Unfortunately sometimes dogs bite and according to statistics in the city of Barcelona every year, there are about 100 dog bites per 100,000 inhabitants. This figure only includes bites that have been officially declared. Watching some news that dog bites occur surely you have some time to think about what to do in case we are caught up in a dog attack. Dr. Sophia Yin teaches us some tips to defend her or avoid bites in a possible dog attack.
As a veterinarian, I focus on the behavior of dogs that have tried to bite. In spite of working with aggressive dogs, in the last 20 years I have only been bitten on one occasion and did not have any importance. The secret is to remain calm. The more you shout or try to move the more excited the dog.
Imagine we are running and a dog runs after us. If you run faster due to a reflex action, the same reflection a dog will have on seeing a squirrel running. What you should do at that moment is to stand in front of the dog and be still as if you were a tree with your arms glued to the body. Surely, the dog will continue to bark to scare us but will do so from a distance.
Most breed dogs that look aggressive do not intend to bite but growl and threaten you to go. When you stand still and walk towards them, they usually fall back quickly. Once you realize that you are not going to run, they will usually leave. You can also go back slowly in a relaxed way. Once you take some distance, you can rotate and continue with the planned route.
A method I have described has worked for me in all the situations in which I have been involved. Even in cases of dogs with a history of bites of having attacked even sent people to the hospital. The dogs responded to the reaction of the person looking at it. Most dogs actually bite out of fear and if the person starts to scream strongly activates the animal’s survival response.
Sure, some are wondering what to do if the dog does not stay still because you are afraid. Try to stay calm and keep your back to the dog so the dog cannot reach your face. If the dog really takes you to the ground roll like a ball with your knees bent and hands on the back of the neck keeping you as still as possible.
Being realistic, if you are able to remain calm you are not likely to happen. If you live in an area where dogs are running, avoid the temptation to carry a stick or shout. In countries where I have seen where it is common to see stray dogs, the use of sticks or stones to keep dogs away actually causes dogs to be more aggressive.