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Defend Against Dogs

Tenshi Hinanawi edited this page Apr 28, 2012 · 1 revision


  1. Get your bearings straight. Know where you are. If it is your first time to be in the area, familiarize yourself with the best routes that you can take to escape, to avoid further encounters with the aggressive dog, and to avoid being trapped in dead-end streets or alleyways.
  2. Stay calm. One of the first things that you should do is to not let panic take over and cloud your thinking. If you panic, the dog may sense your fear and make you more prone to attack. Look around, and think of possible escape points you can use. Can you get away by climbing, entering or leaving a building or fenced-in area? What objects can you use to ward off the dog if necessary? Make sure the animal does not feel backed into a corner, as its instinct would really be to attack anything that is blocking its path. If the dog does not have space, back up slowly and avoid contact to give the dog more room.
  3. Don't run. This is one of the most important points to keep in mind. Running makes you prey in their mind, and will lead the dog to pursue and chase you. Moreover, you will not be able to outrun the dog -- regardless of what the breed is -- and once the dog catches you, you will be prone to being attacked even more vigorously. The best thing to do is to stand absolutely still, and avoid making any sudden movements. Make sure that your position is not threatening to the dog.
  4. Avoid making eye contact. Making eye contact signals to the dog that you are provoking it, and want to impose an attack. The dog, in turn, would be aggravated even further. Keep the dog and its actions in your peripheral vision, but never look directly into its eyes.
  5. Yell for help. The owner may just be near by and may be able to get the dog under control, or there may be other people elsewhere who can assist you. If there are no other people who can help you out, shout stern commands at the dog directly, such as "Stop!" or "Down!"
  6. Use any object available to deter the dog from attacking. Bang sticks together, clang steel gates -- make a lot of noise. Throw rocks or get a fistful of dirt or sand to throw in its eyes. If you have a flashlight and it is dark, shine it in the dog's eyes. Take caution, however, in doing this, as this could go either way: it could either momentarily stun the dog, or aggravate it further. An open umbrella is a good object to block a dog from closing the distance. If the dog is coming at you, try and bait it into biting your backpack, purse, briefcase, etc., instead of charging at you directly.
  7. Protect your neck at all times. Most dogs will instinctively attack the neck, which could quickly lead to death in some cases if attacked. Cover your neck and face with your arms so that if the dog does inflict some wounds, it would be on the less vulnerable areas of your body which would be easier to treat.
  8. If you are trained, stand so that the dog's back is directly underneath you. Extend your hands in around its neck, and lock your arms together quickly in a choke. Kick your feet out, dropping your entire body weight on the dog's neck / back. This will incapacitate the dog long enough just for you to get away. Note: Do NOT attempt this method or try to punch the dog if you are not trained.
  9. Jab your fingers toward its eyes in a quick motion, as if throwing sand. Do this method if the dog is not charging but just trying to bite you, and you cannot do any of the above. This will confuse the dog as to which direction it should charge at, and will prevent the dog from attacking your neck.
  10. If you got away from the dog, stay quiet. Dogs have great hearing, and may sense the direction in which you went. Try to get away as quickly but as quietly as possible.


  • If you find that the dog has inflicted deep cuts and wounds, seek medical help and have the wounds treated.
  • Contact the authorities and notify them as soon as possible, providing the owner's address (if you know it) or a description of the dog and where the attack happened.
  • Pepper sprays would make a good means of defense, and could buy you time to back away from the attacking dog.


Take note of the warning signs to see if the dog has rabies.

If the dog has ropy saliva and has wandering eyes, then it might have rabies. If a rabies-infected dog has inflicted you with wounds, make sure to seek medical attention immediately. Rabies is a serious condition which might be fatal.

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