Dogs are one of the most beloved animals in the history of mankind. For nearly 11,000 years, they have been by our side protecting us, hunting with us, comforting us, and making us smile.
However, as most know, these consistent companions are still animals who’s instinct can easily overtake their sense of domesticity.
When dogs’ ancient wolf-like tendencies kick in, they can become aggressive and attack their owners, passersby, other dogs, or even small children. With large, sharp canine teeth and extraordinary jaw strength, dogs can cause serious harm to humans and, at times, death.
Here are some tips from Walton Law Firm’s Auburn dog bite attorneys to help you keep these furry creatures as a man’s best friend and avoid a dog bite attack:
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Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Dogs often attack humans because they feel endangered or startled.
This can easily occur by someone unknowingly sneaking behind a dog, stepping on or near a dog that is asleep, casually entering into a dog’s “territory,” or coming between a dog and his or her owner.
If you are walking through the city or a neighborhood, be aware of your surroundings and if you see a dog or group of dogs without leashes or owners present, make sure to keep a safe distance.
Stay Calm and Communicate That You Aren’t a Threat
If you do come into close contact with a dog that is not restrained, one of the most important things that you can do to prevent an attack is to remain calm. A startled dog is often significantly more frightened of you than you are of it.
If you come face to face with a threatening dog, avert your eyes downward, avoiding direct eye-contact with the dog. Turn your body sideways and make your physical presence as unthreatening as possible.
Do not run from a dog if you are frightened. This triggers the dog’s chase response. Rather slowly back away. Dogs are very territorial and usually do not want to follow a visitor. They just want you to leave their territory.
Do Not Pet, Tease, or Startle a Stray Dog
Stray dogs may not appear to be threatening or frightened by your presence. However, stray dogs often do not have the same quantity or quality of human socialization as dogs that are kept as pets. This makes them more easily startled by people passing by, especially when those people try to physically engage with them.
Simply pass stray dogs without giving them undue attention like petting them, walking toward them, or calling out to them.
If Attacked By a Dog
Here are a couple of tips we modified from the Houston, TX BARC Animal Shelter and Adoption:
Put an Object in the Dog’s Mouth
Grab a stick on the ground, insert a sleeve of your shirt, a purse, a notebook–try to get something other than your body in the dog’s mouth.
If you aren’t carrying anything or are unable to grab something to put into the dog’s mouth try to defend yourself with your less dominant arm or leg to avoid a more crippling injury.
Square-up and Intimidate
If you are able to free yourself from the jaws of the dog, stand up, face the dog, and try to intimidate it with a commanding, “NO!” or “GET!”
After an attack has occurred, there is no need for you to try to communicate that you are not a threat. The dog has already decided that you are. At the point of attack, you need to communicate to the dog that you are a threat and that, if he or she does not leave, you will cause it real harm in defending yourself.
Seek Medical Help Immediately
Dog bites can range in severity from a minor scratch or bruise to major injuries that can cause handicaps, infection, loss of limb, or even death.
As with any personal injury, seek medical attention as quickly as possible in order to avoid long-lasting harm that can come from dog bite attacks going untreated.
Contact an Auburn Dog Bite Attorney
Whether due to disposition, training from their owners, or the need to survive on its own, some dogs are overly aggressive toward humans causing them to attack.
If you have been attacked by a dog and have suffered substantial emotional or physical harm, contact our team of Auburn dog bite attorneys at Walton Law Firm. We have decades of experience getting justice for the victims of dog bites and other animal attacks.