When a dog suddenly attacks, it may only take a few moments for them to cause permanent, disfiguring or disabling injuries. Children may be at increased risk, given their small stature.
Either as someone who may encounter an aggressive dog because of work or as a parent who has to protect children, familiarizing yourself with how to intervene in the event of a dog bite attack can help you and the people you love to stay safe.
Learn the signs of a dog about to become aggressive
While dogs can abruptly change their behavior and bite, they will generally give at least a few body language or auditory warnings.
Growling is usually a strong warning to back away from a dog. Although some breeds, like golden retrievers, make growling noise while playing, it is better to err on the side of caution, especially with strange dogs.
Body language that can warn of a dog attack includes flattened ears, exposed teeth or a raised, bristled tail. All of those are signs to give a dog space and possibly put a barrier between you and the animal.
You can take steps to minimize an attack in process
Running, screaming and kicking at a dog could all reinforce its decision to attack. Trying to stay as calm as possible can prevent a dog from chasing you and may even stop it from attacking at the last second.
If a dog does lunge at you, presenting an arm as a way to keep it from your midsection or away from children can reduce the damage it causes. If a dog takes you or the dog bite victim to the ground, rolling into a ball or instructing the child to do so can reduce the risk of injuries to the abdomen, face and neck.
After a dog bite attack, victims may have medical expenses and may require counseling in order to overcome the trauma involved. Those expenses may be covered through a homeowner’s insurance policy or could require a personal injury claim in some cases.