Each year, thousands of innocent people are attacked by dogs. Whether you’re an avid jogger or only spend time outdoors at the playground with your kids, you could be at risk. Knowing what to do to protect yourself from a dog attack is vital for your safety. Use these ten tips to help you learn how to protect yourself if you do come in contact with a strange dog.

What NOT To Do:

  1. Never Run From A Strange Dog: If a strange of aggressive dog approaches you, your instinct might be to run away from it. However, running is a major mistake. Making any type of fast movement might trigger a reaction in the dog, much like a red blanket might trigger an angry bull. Even if you feel as if you should run for safety, the best thing to do is to stand still and avoid making any sudden movements. 
  2. Don’t Look The Dog In The Eye: Many aggressive dogs will react violently if you look them in the eye, so be sure not to make eye contact with a strange dog. If you stand still and avoid looking at the dog in the face, chances are it will leave you alone. However, there are many dogs that think you’re trying to challenge them when you look them in the eye. Turn your head to ensure the dog understands you’re not interested in fighting with them.
  3. Don’t Fight The Dog: Some people try to strike a possibly aggressive dog, however the more you try to fight a dog, the more angry you’ll make it. Even if the dog attacks you, if you stay completely still they will most likely stop their attack because they will think you’re dead and will retreat.
  4. Don’t Slouch: Sometimes dogs will avoid attacking you if you stand up tall and spread your arms wide out to your sides as they approach. They often think this means you’re much larger than you appear and will retreat out of submission.

What you SHOULD Do:

  1. Don’t Get Bit In The Face: If you’re being attacked by a dog, do everything in your power to avoid getting bit in the face. The worse dog bite injuries you can sustain are to the head, face and neck. So, protect these areas at all costs. If the dog is large and is jumping at you, try to pull your shirt over your head to protect your face. You can also use your hands to cover your ears, while keeping your elbows firmly to your sides to protect some of your vital organs.
  2. Stay Calm: Sure, it might seem impossible to stay calm while a dog is trying to attack you but it’s very important you attempt to be calm. Dogs can sense fear in an instant and that will only provoke them more.
  3. Stay Alert: When you see a dog approaching you, be sure to stay alert. Don’t look the dog in the eyes but you should know where the dog is at all times, so you aren’t a victim of a surprise attack.
  4. Drop Your Head: If a dog sees you drop your head, chances are they will think you’re being submissive and won’t attack you. This can help you quickly and easily prevent a dog attack.
  5. Use Self Defense Spray: If you want to stay safe while outdoors, you probably already own protective self defense spray like pepper spray or animal spray. If you have animal spray with you, be sure to use it to prevent the dog from attacking.  Muzzle dog pepper spray by Mace is recommended for protection against vicious dogs.
  6. Call Animal Control: If you’ve prevented being attacked from a stray dog but know it’s still on the loose, be sure to call animal control so it won’t have the opportunity to attack someone else.