What techniques can I use during a dog attack to avoid serious injuries?
It’s undeniable that dogs are man’s best friend. However, even best friends can have their bad days. Unfortunately, when a dog has a bad day, he may become aggressive violent, and vicious. Even though an attack may not be preventable, you can still protect yourself from serious harm. By knowing what to do to calm the canine, rather than provoke him, you can help lessen bloodshed and shorten an attack.
Protect and Pacify
The two most important things to remember when you’re in the grip of an aggressive dog, are the desire to protect yourself and the need to convince the animal to let you go. However, often these two instincts are in conflict with one another and can easily make a bad situation worse when they clash. As a result, to minimize injury and to stop an attack, it’s vital to know how to balance your actions so as not to provoke the dog any further. The following tips will help you manage an attack as efficiently as possible:
Stay calm. Dogs will not generally attack unless they feel threatened. Therefore, if a dog is snarling, barking, or nipping at you, you must remain calm and avoid any added provocation. Stay calm. Refrain from yelling or making any large or quick movements toward the dog. It’s obvious that he is already anxious and any signs of aggression from you can cause him to pounce or attack more ferociously.
Pull a bait-and-switch. When a dog lunges toward you, the best defense is to have him attack a loose object before he can grab hold of your body. For instance, if you’re carrying a jacket or sweater, maneuver the extra fabric in front of you so that he grabs that rather than a hand or arm. If he takes the bait, he’ll think he has a part of you and will become distracted enough for you to slowly back away.
Protect your face and neck. In many cases, the most severe dog bite injuries involve the head and neck. Once a dog has is jaws clamped around a body part, he can shake his head with enough force to tear muscle and break bones. Furthermore, the bite force of even a small dog can be enough to puncture skin and veins. If a dog chomps on your neck, he could easily sever an artery or even break your neck. Therefore, if you find yourself on the ground and the dog is lunging towards your face, head, or neck, press your chin to your chest and cover your face with your hands or arms. You’d much rather be bitten on the hand than in the carotid artery.
Act submissive. Though it may sound odd, dogs can sense emotions. Have you ever heard the phrase, “dogs can smell fear?” Well, in a sense they can. When you’re scared, aggressive, or anxious, you excrete certain hormones that dogs can sense. If you are fearful and scared, the dog may believe that being aggressive is the correct response. In most cases, fighting back will only make the dog continue to attack you. Instead, try to remain still and protected. If you do attack the dog, target its most sensitive areas, such as its eyes or nose. Eventually, the dog will realize that he has dominated you and you’re no longer a threat. If you’re no longer a threat, there’s no reason for him to continue attacking, and he’ll let go and walk away.
Embrace the latch. If the dog manages to grab your arm or leg, do not attempt to pull away—you’ll only wind up tearing your own flesh even more. Although this may sound insane, you’d rather have his mouth latched onto you than free to bite several areas of your body. Furthermore, if the dog’s mouth is occupied, you can use your free hands or feet to hold or otherwise incapacitate him from causing further damage.
Stay put. Try not to run from an aggressive dog—he’ll only chase you down. If you untangle yourself from the dog attack, resist the urge to run away. Instead, slowly back away while continuing to protect your body as well as you can.
Dogs aren’t inherently aggressive, but when provoked or stressed they may lash out. After 25 years of serving the Seattle community’s dog bite claims, we know that sometimes an attack can’t be avoided. However, our experience has taught us a few things about reducing risks, protecting your family, and pursuing the compensation your injuries require. Contact our office today to schedule your complimentary dog attack case evaluation. We’ll be happy to discuss your claim options and help you plan a strong claim counterattack. Call or fill out the contact information form provided to see how we can help you.