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What Actions Can Help Prevent a Dog Attack?

Colburn Law

Dogs have the potential to cause severe damage when they bite. Due to their strong jaws and long teeth, dog bites can tear through the flesh, break bones, and pass on dangerous bacteria that can lead to serious infections.

While some dogs are unpredictable and attack without warning, many of these animals are triggered by certain actions or situations. If you encounter a potentially aggressive dog, the following actions could help deescalate the situation and prevent an attack.

5 Ways to Protect Yourself & Prevent a Dog Attack

#1: Do Not Make Eye Contact

When you make eye contact with a dog, the animal could interpret your stare as a potential threat or challenge. As a result, the dog can feel threatened and scared, and begin attacking as a way to defend itself. If you are near a dog that you suspect could attack, look away from the animal and avoid eye contact.

#2: Stay Calm and Move Slowly

Dogs often attack as a way to defend themselves. If you make it clear that you are not a threat or a challenge, you can reduce the chances of an attack. Remaining calm and moving slowly can help you avoid a dangerous situation.

When an aggressive dog is near you, do not scream, flail your limbs, or run away. These actions could further provoke the dog to attack, leading to a serious injury. Body language such as yawning, crossing your arms, and standing as still as possible could also signal to the animal that you are not a threat.

#3: If a Dog Knocks You Down, Be Still

Dogs can easily knock a person onto the ground, which makes the victim vulnerable to an attack. If you find yourself in this position, avoid squirming or fighting back, as this could further provoke the dog. Instead, roll up in a ball and lay as still and quiet as possible. The dog may lose interest and stop attacking at this point.

#4: Invest in Distractions

If you encounter dogs that are aggressive or often chase or follow you, investing in certain equipment can help prevent a dog attack. Sharp or ultrasonic whistles, loud rattles, and other tools can cause a dog to become frightened and run away. Dog treats can also act as decoys; by tossing food away from you, you can distract the animal and potentially prevent an attack.

#5: Learn the Signs of an Aggressive Dog

Many dog attacks happen because people do not know what aggression in dogs looks like. By recognizing aggressive dogs, you can act accordingly and prevent a potential attack.

Common warning signs include the following.

  • A hard, direct stare
  • Tense lip and facial muscles
  • Growling and deep, guttural barking
  • Hair standing up on the animal’s back
  • A high, stiff tail moving from side to side

Speak to a Washington Dog Bite Attorney

While these tips can help prevent a dog attack, violent incidents can still occur. A dog bite injury can have a serious impact on your life, leading to physical, emotional, and financial hardship. If you are bitten by a dog in Washington, you have the right to hold the dog’s owner liable for these damages.

In these situations, you need an attorney who can represent your lawsuit against the owner and help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact a Bellevue dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and strategize your next steps.