Your instincts automatically kick in when you face a threat, and you react quickly to protect yourself. This is true for all threats — an aggressive driver, an intimidating individual and a charging dog. There is often no time to think, and you must just act on instinct.
In some cases, this works. With dog attacks, though, your instincts are typically wrong. As the dog charges and it looks like you may get bitten, you need to try to override these instincts and take the proper steps to diffuse the situation. Let’s take a look at some potentially dangerous instincts and what you should do instead of following them.
Instinct one: Panic and yell
What you should really do is strive to stay calm and keep your voice down, even if you feel scared. Yelling can rile the dog up more, and they can sense your energy.
Instinct two: Run for safety
The problems with running from a dog are twofold. First of all, this can also rile them up and make them want to chase or attack, since they see you as prey. Second, you can’t escape this way. The dog is almost guaranteed to be faster than you are. Running seems natural, but it makes everything worse.
Instinct three: Strike out to protect yourself
You do not want to strike the dog or try to grab on to it. This can lead to very serious lacerations on the hands and arms. Instead, keep your arms in close to your body. If the dog lunges, attempt to give it something that you’re carrying, like a purse or a coat. Try to be as unthreatening as you can.
Even when you react properly, you can still suffer serious injuries. If you do, you may be able to seek compensation from the dog’s owner to cover your medical bills and other costs.