5 Ways To Handle An Aggressive Dog
Although most dogs will never exhibit any overly aggressive behavior, it is important to take steps to protect yourself if you end up in a bad situation. After all, almost 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year in the U.S., and this causes approximately 885,000 victims to need medical attention. Therefore, whether you are spending time with the family pet or encounter a dog walking down the street, you need to be cognizant of the fact that a happy and playful moment could turn vicious if the animal ends up feeling threatened in any way. The following are tips on how to handle aggressive behavior and dog bites:
1. Approach Dogs Correctly
Many people reach out to pet the top of a dog’s head without gaining the animal’s consent. Unfortunately, this one simple act can make a dog lash out in an aggressive manner. Because of this, it is important to never reach over the top of a dog’s head without first giving the animal the opportunity to get used to you and your scent. Additionally, it is always best to avoid making direct eye contact with a dog, especially if they do not know you.
2. Look for Warning Signs
Dogs will typically give you several warning signs before they actually attack. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to any dogs that you encounter to help you determine if you are in a dangerous situation. For example, if a dog is standing straight and stiff, it is most likely feeling threatened.
3. Never Run Away
If you feel threatened, your first instinct is probably going to be to run. However, if you give into this instinct, you are most likely going to incite the dog further. After all, animals enjoy chasing down prey, and the vast majority of them are going to come after you in an aggressive way if you start running.
4. Distract the Dog
It can be very scary to have the negative attention of a dog, especially if the animal seems poised to attack. However, you need to remember to stand still and avoid eye contact. If this does not defuse the situation, you should attempt to give the dog something else to bite such as a water bottle, backpack or purse. After the animal has started attacking the object that you have placed in front of them, you should slowly begin backing away.
5. Dog Bite Claims
If you receive a dog bite that is serious enough to need medical attention, you should strongly consider contacting a personal injury attorney to take legal action against the animal’s owner. Medical bills can mount due to this type of injury and it will be important to retain a legal representative to help file a claim for financial recovery for medical costs, any lost time at work, and possibly pain and suffering.
Although some dogs will attack no matter what you do, there are several ways for you to reduce your odds of being bitten. Therefore, you should always be cautious around dogs you do not know, and it is also important to avoid smiling and making eye contact. If you still end up being attacked, make sure that you go to a doctor immediately, and contact a lawyer to help you file a lawsuit to recover your medical expenses.
Lisa Coleman shares several tips that a person can take to help reduce the chance of getting bit by a dog. She recently read online how a Michigan injury law firm can help in such a case.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40567541@N08/6993960366/
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