You are out for your routine morning jog when (out of nowhere) a neighbor’s dog comes charging toward you. What do you do? Or, what should you do? Should you assume the dog is friendly and continue with your jog or should you stop and confront the animal?
A dog bite can be extremely dangerous, especially if you sustain deep cuts or if it gets infected. And if the victim is a child, the attack can be fatal. Because of the severe ramifications of a dog attack, it is important that you know how to handle yourself when dealing with an aggressive animal.
The first thing you need to know is that you cannot outrun a dog. Thus, you should never run from a dog that is clearly aggressive. Doing so will only aggravate the situation. That said, here are a few tips that can help you counter a charging animal.
While it is natural to panic and feel anxious when a dog is charging after you, try to remain as calm as possible. Try these body postures:
- Stand still – any form of movement (running or walking away from the dog) will trigger the animal to chase you.
- Speak calmly to the animal – calmly command the dog to stop. If you know the dog’s name, use it and tell it to “go home.”
Most importantly, avoid erratic movement. Instead, slow down and let the dog know that you are not a threat.
Try to distract the animal
Of course, most people don’t jog around with dog treats. But if you are lucky enough to have some on you, then you might want to distract the animal by throwing some at it. And if you do not have any, try to pick an object and throw it far away. Sometimes, the dog might run after the object and allow you time to create space between you and the animal.
Seeking help following a dog attack
Certainly, knowing how to react to a charging dog is no guarantee that an animal will not attack you. If you are attacked and hurt by someone’s dog, you may be eligible for compensation via a premises liability claim.