In 2014, a total of about 83.3 million dogs lived in households in the United States as pets. So far this year, we’re well on track to set an even higher record. This can be nothing but a good thing, right? After all, who doesn’t love dogs?
But what happens when man’s best friend becomes man’s worst nightmare?
Yes, most dogs are well-trained and owned by responsible individuals who keep them leashed and in control at all times. However, there are bad owners out there who neither teach their dogs good behavior nor take the necessary measures to keep them restrained and away from the general public. Because of such negligent dog owners, people get attacked, and sometimes even killed.
You may believe that you will never get into dangerous situation with a dog because there are only “good” dogs in your neighborhood. But even good dogs can become aggressive. In fact, 60 percent of all dog bites are in situations where the dog and victim are familiar with each other.
How Can I Tell When a Dog Is Being Aggressive?
Dogs usually exhibit the following signs when in an aggressive state:
- Excessive barking and growling
- Baring teeth
- Fur standing on end
- Ears laid back
- Tail slung low
Again, do not assume that a dog is safe because he or she is a friend’s dog or part of the family. Any dog has the capacity to turn aggressive in the wrong circumstances.
What Do I Do If Confronted by an Aggressive Dog?
The first thing you should do is get the owner to restrain the dog. If that is not an option, then make sure you do the following:
- Do not make any sudden movements
- Stand still like a tree with your arms at your side
- Do not stare into the dog’s eyes, but don’t lose sight either
- Speak only in your normal voice with calm and measured tones
- If you know the dog’s name, use it while saying they’re a “good dog” to relax the animal
- If the dog is unfamiliar, try using commands like “sit”, “down”, or “stay”
- Back away from the dog slowly while keeping it in your vision (but don’t make direct eye contact!)
- If need be, toss an item away from you and the dog to distract it
Please Stay Safe
At Wilshire Law Firm, we believe that knowledge is power in any situation, which is why we have provided the information above to help you keep safe from dog attacks. To learn more about dog attacks and bite injuries, visit our webpage.