Although rare, sometimes man's best friend can turn vicious. We've all heard stories from acquaintances or seen it on the news, but still most people don't expect it to happen to them. Most people won't even think about it happening - until it's too late.
Whether caused by playfulness gone wrong or an actual vicious attack, any dog attack can be harmful or even fatal. There are certain steps that will protect you if you ever do find yourself in this dangerous situation.
Avoiding the Attack
The first thing -try to avoid the attack altogether. This doesn't mean avoiding every strange dog you meet; it just means knowing how to respond if a dog is acting strangely.
If you sense that something isn't right with a dog near you, you need to be proactive about preventing the actual attack. The most important thing to remember is: don't panic. If you panic and scream or run away, the dog will only be encouraged to chase after you.
When you were young, you probably heard some adult wisdom about dogs: act like a tree. As it turns out, this advice is exactly what you should do if a dog is acting strangely. Keep your arms to your sides, do not move, turn to face away from the dog, and avoid eye contact. Even if the dog walks up to you, it may simply sniff you, lose interest, and walk away.
If you are lucky enough to have another object with you, you could try using that to distract the dog. Whether it's a bag, a pencil or a bone, anything is worth a try (besides your own limbs, of course). If you succeed in diverting the dog's attention, use this opportunity to get away to safety.
If you weren't able to avoid it and the dog has begun to attack you, it's time to take action. Try commanding the dog to "back away" in a confident, deep voice. Continue to avoid eye contact.
If that doesn't work, physically fight back. The dog's weak spots are the back of its head (not the top, where its skull is thick), nose, and throat. Otherwise use your full weight and elbows or knees to wrestle the dog down. In general, your weight can be used to your advantage. If you do it right, this action may cause the dog's bones to break. Remember, a dog attack is a direct threat to your life. Unless you are able to hold it down until help comes, you will need to do whatever it takes to survive. In this case, it most likely includes harming the dog - don't hold back.
While defending yourself, make sure you also keep your head, neck, and torso safe from the dog's jaws, as injuries in those locations are the most life-threatening. The worst thing you could do is lay on the ground, as that gives the dog direct and easy access to these areas.
Dog attacks are not something to ignore. If you are injured in a dog attack, be sure to pursue legal action. You could be saving another person's life by bringing the dangerous dog to the attention of the authorities.