You are taking your routine morning jog when, out of nowhere, a vicious bulldog comes charging after you. You are frightened, rightfully so. So what do you do?
Unfortunately, these kinds of encounters are not uncommon. If you find yourself in a confrontation with a vicious dog, it is important to try not to feel as if this will only increase the risk of an attack. Even with your adrenaline level at its peak, you certainly cannot outrun a dog at full sprint.
With that said, here are two tips to remember when encountering an aggressive dog:
Maintain your composure
While it is normal to feel nervous about a dog charging toward you, try as much as you can to remain calm. Here are a few postures you should consider:
- Stand still – the last thing you want when a dog is charging at you is to take off. This will certainly trigger a chase.
- Keep your arms straight by your side
- Calmly yet firmly try to speak to the animal – If you know the dog’s name, try to issue instructions to it.
Most importantly, avoid erratic movements. Instead, slow down and try to be friendly to the animal.
Do not challenge the animal
Your goal here is pretty straightforward: make yourself as friendly as possible so the animal doesn’t see you as a threat. Whereas you need to appear friendly and a non-threat, do not pet or touch the animal. Also, do not look them straight in the eye as they might interpret this as a challenge.
What to do if you are attacked
In the unfortunate event that the animal attacks you, be sure to phone animal control so the stray dog can be identified. Next, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Besides the physical wounds, dogs can be vectors of disease-causing pathogens like rabies virus. Seeking treatment also ensures that you obtain a medical report that will be critical when litigating your premises liability claim.
A dog attack can happen to anyone. Knowing your legal options can help you protect your rights while pursuing a premises liability claim against the dog owner.