One of the most important ways to prevent a dog attack or bite is recognizing it’s about to happen.
We have recently written about the prevalence of bites in our area and how to deal with dogs safely. But in any situation, a dog’s demeanor can change in an instant, and sometimes you’ve got to handle confrontation.
Here are tips from the Humane Society so you can be ready for a face-off with a dog.
Dog Attack Warning Signs
Be attuned to the dog. The following signals indicate the dog is tense and might feel the need to bite:
- Growling. Let go of the need to make peace. It’s time for a careful retreat, as we describe below.
- Tensed body or stiff tail.
- Pulled-back ears.
- Rolling eyes.
- Intense stare or furrowed brow.
- Backing away. When it does that, you do the same.
How To Respond to a Dog’s Warnings
- Stay calm, cautious, and resist your natural urge to escape…because the dog will likely bolt after you, and probably catch you:
- Put space between yourself and the dog, but never turn your back and run away. The dog’s instinct is to chase you, and it can’t ignore that instinct.
- Do not scream. This could scare the dog. When dogs are scared, they bite.
- Stay still with your hands at your sides. This shows you’re no threat.
- Do not make eye contact with the dog; it will view this as a challenge.
- When the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until it is out of sight.
What to Do If You’re Attacked
- Resist the urge to panic. We know that’s easier said than done, but it may make all the difference in the severity of your injuries.
- Put anything you can between yourself and the dog—a jacket, a purse, a bike, anything.
- If you end up on the ground, curl into a ball, hands over ears. Do not move. Do not scream or roll around. In the dog’s mind, this shows you’re no longer a threat.
- Wash any wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
- Call your doctor, or go immediately to an urgent care or emergency room to get checked out. You may need stitches, protection from infections, or even rabies treatment. And remember, rabies is deadly.
- Report the bite to local animal control. In Spartanburg, it’s the health department at 596-3415 or animal control at 596-3582.
We hope these tips can prevent you or a child you love from suffering a dog attack. If not, contact us about your rights.