How to Avoid Being Attacked by a Dog

Points to Remember

  • Never go into someone else’s yard to pat a dog.
  • Never try to pat a dog that is chained up.
  • Don’t reach through a car window to pat a dog.
  • Even if the dog is one that you know and who likes you, he may not recognize you. So stay away unless you have the owner’s permission.

The Safe Way to Meet a Strange Dog

  • Stand quietly with your hands at your sides.
  • Do not shout at the dog.
  • Do not wave your arms, grab at the dog or run away.
  • If a dog looks frightened or angry, leave it alone.
  • Do not look straight into the dog’s eyes.

Questions and Answers about Unfriendly Dogs

If I am in my yard and a strange dog walks past my house, can I go and pat him?
No, the only time you should pat a dog you don’t know is if you have permission. So, if a person and a dog are walking past your house and you want to pat the dog, ask permission.

What do I do if I am approached by an unfriendly dog?
Do not run, scream or talk. Just stand still and be quiet. Don’t look directly at the dog, even if he comes up to sniff you. You can look at his tail or his foot, but don’t look into his eyes. In dog language, that is a threat. Remember, quiet, still, no staring. Most likely the dog will lose interest once he looks over you. Then you slowly move away.

How do I approach a dog?
Walk up to the dog from the side, not the back or directly in front. Hold out your knuckle and let him sniff your hand, this method keeps your fingers protected. That’s how dogs tell who you are — by sniffing. Pat him under his chin or on the side. Never pat a dog by coming down over the top of his head or the back of his neck because it is threatening. practice by patting your dog correctly.

What if I fall down?
Remember, quiet, still, no staring. If you are down and the dog seems to want to bite you, slowly curl into a ball and fold your hands behind your neck.