What Should You Do If An Aggressive Dog Approaches You On The Street?
Far too many Washington State dog bite stories begin the same way: a person is walking in their neighborhood when a stray dog from a nearby house attacks them without warning.
In these cases, the owner of the dog is at fault for the dog bite – they have let their aggressive dog roam free without a leash and are not supervising its actions. But what can you do to prevent dog bites from unleashed dogs on your street and in your Washington neighborhood?
• Don’t make eye contact with the dog. Dogs see eye contact as a challenge, and you do not want to challenge an aggressive dog. Instead, look to the side. • Look for signs of aggression. Does the dog have raised hair on its back? Is it growling or baring its teeth? Is its tail still and head low? If so, the dog may be ready to bite if you continue to approach. • Stand still and cross your arms. Don’t move toward the dog, run away from the dog, or make loud noises. Don’t attempt to scare the dog away – you want the dog to lose interest in you. • Throw something in another direction. If you can, throw a branch or rock away from you to distract the dog’s attention.
When your contact with the dog is over, be sure to alert its owner to the dog’s behavior and whereabouts. If the dog is a chronic threat and problem, alert your local Washington State animal control chapter both to the dog’s aggressive behavior and to the owner’s negligence. Even if you escape a dog bite from a neighborhood dog doesn’t mean that the rest of the people in your neighborhood are safe – calling in a poor owner and an aggressive dog could save another person from becoming a dog bite victim.