what to do if an aggressive dog approaches you
Angry dog with bared teeth.

Have you ever seen or encountered an aggressive dog who looks like he’s going to bite? This is probably a huge fear for many of us, may we be dog owners or not. After all, no one would want to bump into an attack, it can mean trouble for you OR even your dog while walking around!

What that being said, what safety precautions do you need to learn about if ever such an experience happens? Whether you’re walking your dog or running on your own, read on! I’ll be sharing about what to do if an aggressive dog approaches you.

What To Do If An Aggressive Dog Approaches You

There are various reasons why dogs would bite or are aggressive. Most of the time, they attack from fear rather than the aggressiveness. Other times, they aren’t spayed or neutered, or they feel surprised, challenged, or threatened, and their self-defense is through acting aggressive.

And now, with so many news on dog bites and attacks, you’ll want to make sure that you and your own pet are safe from any of that. So follow these tips on what to do if an aggressive dog approaches you:

1. Stay Alert At All Times

This is a crucial precaution to take, preventing any potential animal attacks in the first place. I highly recommend that you walk on familiar paths and that your senses are always focused on your environment. If you’re wearing earphones, keep one ear open and stay aware of where you’re walking.

By doing this, you will be able to see or hear if there is any danger approaching. And if you do see a barking or growling dog, whether in their own yard or a stray, walk to the other side or cross the street. Don’t invade his territory, which increases the risk of him biting or chasing you.

2. Do NOT Run or Scream At A Dog

When surprised or fearful, our initial reaction is to scream or run. However, when faced with an aggressive animal, that is the first thing you SHOULDN’T do. Why? Running or screaming that way would escalate the problem, spurring the dog on and prompting him to attack or chase after you.

Instead of reacting that way, back away slowly while talking to the dog in a soft, soothing voice. Avoid making smiling or making eye contact, which would challenge the dog. It’s best to stay calm as you slowly create an acceptable distance between you and the aggressive dog before you go away and resume your run or walk.

3. Shield Yourself If Attacked

Unfortunately, attacks can happen especially if the dog gets too close and begins to be extremely aggressive. If ever he does lunge at you, still do NOT panic. React quickly and have anything around you to create a field or barrier from the dog and his bite. Whether it’s a bag, jacket, or any item big and strong from the path, have something between both of you.

If the dog bites the item, give it to him and run while he’s distracted. For this riding a bike, place it between you and the dog to protect yourself while getting someone’s attention. Pepper spray also works, so use if absolutely needed (and bring one during your walks to prevent other types of attacks).

4. What Happens If You Get Bit?

For those who do get bit, do not try to pull away from the dog, which only challenges him to bite and clamp on even harder. Don’t hit the dog as well and still try to put anything between both of you until he stops biting.

Make sure that you wash the wound thoroughly with water and soap. If the bite is serious, deep, and painful showing swelling and discoloration, call your emergency services. If the dog has an owner, make sure to get the dog’s vaccination status. After this, report the bite to local authorities and the veterinarian to have the dog checked.

5. If You’re Walking With Your Dog

If you are walking with your dog, make sure that before you do so, he’s trained and knows healthy social behavior. Also, if you’re walking together and spot a strange dog, walk between both the dog and your pet.

Check this video out on surviving dog attacks:

Wrapping It Up

I understand how worrying it can be if you spot an aggressive dog approaching you while walking. But instead of showing panic or fear, it’s best to follow proper steps calmly to prevent any attack from happening. As long as you stay calm and collected as you pass, as well as know how to shield yourself, you can avoid nasty situations.

I hope that this article on what to do if an aggressive dog approaches you helped you out. So start following these tips and keep yourself safe on your next walk!

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