Attacked by Another Canine
4 Tips For Handling Yourself & Your Pet
When another dog attacks you and your own, it can be a traumatizing experience. All of your instincts go on red alert, and you aren’t sure how to protect yourself and your pet at the same time. It’s natural to want to flee or fight back, but you should make sure you respond in an appropriate manner that doesn’t cause more injury to you or any animals involved. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being attacked by another canine, be sure to follow the advice given below.
Although it is essential to escaping with as minimal damage as possible, remaining calm, understanding canine body language and proper dog handling techniques can end an attack or even prevent one altogether.
Check For Warning Signs
Canine body language is subtle and can be hard to read, especially if you’re in a crowded place like a park where multiple triggers may be affecting a dog. There are various signs of anxiety and aggression in dogs that you may misread at first glance, but some to watch out for are:
- Licking its lips or flicking its tongue
- “Freezing” for short periods
- Turning head away while holding eye contact
- Low tail
- Drooling, shaking and excessive panting
If you notice a dog acting like this, it’s best to leave the area immediately. Dogs that are anxious and feel threatened are likely to lash out suddenly. Any dog that’s snarling, snapping, or lunging for another dog is also one that shouldn’t be approached or “dealt with” in any way. If you have a way to leave safely, you always should.
Stand Tall And Stay Calm
When a dog is attacking yours, do not start to run or make an effort to intervene because this could cause the dog to leap onto you.
Instead, stay calm. Don’t make direct eye contact or turn your back, scream, or make any attempts to hit or kick the dog. Famous dog trainer Cesar Milan advises that you stand sideways to make yourself a narrower target. If you have an umbrella or cane, place it between you and the dog to make yourself appear bigger.
If your dog is being attacked by another canine, attempt to maneuver it away from the dog, but do not insert any part of your body in between the animals as a barrier. The best thing to do is get help and look for any physical object to place between them.
Be Calm But Firm
In a deep, authoritative voice (but not yelling), command the dog to “Back off!” You should still be avoiding eye contact and project a calm, assertive energy. In some cases, this type of intervention will scare off an anxious dog.
Get As Much Information As Possible
If the dog has an owner, collect their info. If they’re uncooperative, call the authorities. In general, you’ll want to gather information as if you were preparing to file a car insurance claim — the time, date, location and a full description of the dog will help immensely. If you or your dog are attacked by another dog, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of professionals.
You shouldn’t hesitate to speak to a lawyer if you were attacked by another canine. The experience can cause emotional trauma as well as severe injury to you and your pet. If anything, filing a suit with a lawyer will allow you to receive compensation for any veterinary bills incurred as a result of the attack.
A QUESTION FOR YOU: Have you and/or your pet been attacked by another canine? How did you handle it?
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