We talk a lot about self-defense against a human attacker, but what about those fury attackers? Whether you’re a regular runner or walk across campus daily, it’s important to know how to defend yourself against a dog attack.

SEP 30, 2019

10 dog attack self defense tips

“Never smile at an angry dog. Teeth are viewed as a sign of aggression.”

Dog Attack Self-Defense Tips

🐕 Don’t Panic 🐕
Everything in your instincts is going to want to panic, shout and run. These are the worst things you can do!

Keep your voice calm and low. Move in slow and smooth motions as you back away from the dog. You never want to turn your back to a dog or run because this will trigger the chase instinct in most dogs.

🐕 Don’t Make Eye Contact or Smile🐕
The things that we do as humans to show we are non-aggressive actually are signals of aggression in dog language. Never look a nervous dog in the eyes.

Eye contact is a challenge in dog language. You should keep the dog in your view at all times but look down or to the side so the dog does not feel you are threatening their control of the situation.

do not smile 10 dog attack self defense tips
Smiling is something we do as humans to show someone that we are friendly or kind. Showing your teeth to a dog is actually a sign of aggression and may trigger a nervous dog to attack.

Keep your teeth covered with your lips and speak in a low calm voice.
🐕Retreat Sideways and Slowly🐕
Never run away from a dog. The natural instinct of a dog will be to chase you and you cannot out run a dog.

Instead you should turn slightly sideways, showing you are non-confrontational to the dog and begin backing away slowly and sideways to safety.

🐕Discharge Your Stun Gun🐕
If you have your stun gun with you, set off an electrical charge into the air so that the nervous animal sees and hears it.

Often this "warning fire" is enough to deter an attack and cause the dog to retreat. Further, the distraction may provide you an opportunity to move behind something to protect you from the attack.
discharge your stun gun 10 dog attack self defense tips
🐕Throw Your Purse🐕
Throw your purse (or anything in your hands) away from your body before the dog attacks. This distraction may draw the dog over to that object or at the very least, distract the animal for a hot second while you seek cover.

🐕Make Fists to Protect Your Fingers🐕
If you are attacked, make fists to protect your fingers. It will hurt if a dog bites your fist, but you may suffer severe (or irreparable) damage to your fingers if they find their way into a viscous dog’s mouth.

🐕Throw Your Jacket or Shirt Over the Animal’s Head🐕
If all else fails and the animal decides to charge at you, take off your jacket or shirt and throw it over the dog’s head to cover its’ eyes and disorient the animal.
cover dogs eyes 10 dog attack self defense tips

“Throw your shirt over the dog's head to create an escape opportunity.”

🐕Climb Up on Something High🐕
Dogs can’t climb as well as some other animals. Climb up on a car, a picnic table, playground equipment or even a tree. The dog may be able to jump a certain height, but they can’t climb the jungle gym.

🐕Fight Back🐕
If you have to fight back, make fists and punch the dog’s nose, throat and back of the head. Another popular technique recommended by many dog trainers is to reach back and pull the dog’s two back legs out from underneath the animal. This throws the dog off balance and breaks the attack focus of the animal.

make fists to protect fingers 10 dog attack self defense tips
🐕Cover Your Face and Neck🐕

Cover your face and neck while defending yourself from a dog attack.

Never try to “pull” a dog off of you once it has taken the bite. This may cause ripping of the flesh and result in more severe injuries. Use the method listed above and grab the dogs back legs, lifting them off the ground, to throw the dog off balance and release its’ grip on your body.

If you know it's inevitable and you are about to bitten, experts say that the best places to be bit by a dog are on the forearm or calf. These areas of the body have the least nerve endings (to repair) and don’t contain any major blood arteries.
leave dog an escape 10 dog attack self defense tips
🐕Leave Them An Escape🐕

Even the kindest dog can become viscous if it feels vulnerable or cornered. Remember, the dog probably wants to escape this situation as much as you do. Provide them a way to escape the confrontation while you are also maneuvering a way to leave too.

Learning these 10 dog bite survival tips will greatly increase your chance to de-escalate, avoid and survive a dog attack.

To read more articles on self-defense and safety awareness visit our blog homepage.

Defense Divas® also offers a complete selection of active lifestyle safety products to keep you safe and provide self-defense protection. Whether you are walking across campus, leaving work late or out for an evening walk, Defense Divas® has the self-defense product to fit your busy life.

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