How you deal with an aggressive dog can be the difference between a few tiny wounds and gaping gashes that need reconstructive surgery! Dogs can attack for a variety of reasons and while some breeds have an inherent aggressive streak, others are trained to be aggressive.
The harsh and undeniable reality is that an animal’s behavior cannot always be predicted. This simply means that a friendly dog may turn hostile under certain circumstances. Your best defense would be to spot aggressive behavior before the animal aims its hostility towards you, then employ safety tips that prevent dog bites.
Know about dogs that have the potential to get aggressive
Out of the 4 million plus cases of dog attacks across the country, nearly 31,000 caused serious injuries that required reconstructive surgery. Needless to say a tiny Chihuahua, as aggressive as it may appear, will not have the damage causing potential of a pit bull or Rottweiler, but some breeds do attack viciously and can cause life threatening injuries.
These include: Pit Bull, Labrador, German Shepherd, Rottweiler and the American Bulldog.
Some situations turn friendly furies into ferocious fiends!
Even normally docile and friendly animals can turn violent under certain circumstances. So, you need to watch out for such scenarios. For instance:
- – Sickness, wounds or distress of any kind can bring out the violent streak in an animal.
- – Similarly, female animals will attack if they feel their young ones are under threat.
- – Dogs will also get hostile if they perceive a threat to their owner.
- – Dogs are territorial animals, and many will try to defend their space, particularly from small and young kids.
- – Animals that are afraid or have suffered abuse will attack in self-defense.
When dealing with an aggressive dog, it is crucial to understand how the animal perceives human behavior. For example, close proximity, sudden movements and direct eye contact appears threatening to many dogs as they may retaliate with a bite.
How to be safe with so many dogs around?
- – Running will just provoke the dog to give chase: For a canine, a person who takes off running seems like a playmate or a robber who is getting away. In both cases, the animal will chase right after you until it catches up. Remember, it is the natural instinct of the pooch to chase its prey and that is not the position you want to be in, particularly if you are dealing with a large animal or a pack of dogs. Running in front of the animal will bring out its predatory instincts; instead, confuse the animal both by standing still and ignoring it or by trying to move towards it.
- – Don’t give strange animals the time of the day: Pooch people can seldom resist the urge to pet a dog. But, not every dog craves or wants your attention. In fact, if you spot a strange animal, don’t look it directly in the eyes or the face. Ignoring is something that can make the four legged trouble maker go away.
- Children often unassumingly and inevitably end up annoying and irritating dogs: Do not let kids roughhouse with the family pet. Often, young children unwittingly pester the animal by pulling onto its fur, ears, tail or other sensitive parts. While some animals will brave the pain for their little human, many will snap back. So, never allow small children to play with or around pets unsupervised.
- Don’t let your child bring out the territorial instinct in your pet: Do not let young children, particularly babies and toddlers pick up food, toys or other things that belong to your pet. This may be perceived as a threat and the dog may bite in retaliation.
- Explain your pet’s nature to your guests: Visitors to your home, particular those who bring their children along, should be warned of your pet’s aggressive streak, if it has one.
If you are in the unfortunate position where you’re faced with an aggressive canine don’t allow the animal to knock you over and if you do fall down, protect your face, ears and neck with your arms. A bite to the arm will prove to be the least dangerous. Even serious and deep puncture wounds when on the arm do not pose as much threat as a few lacerations on the neck or the face.