What To Do If You Encounter A Dog Without Its Owner (Your Guide To Avoid A Dog Bite)
Certain dog breeds are very frightening to look at, let alone be attacked by. When you see a dog of a dangerous breed, be it the pit bull or Rottweiler, on a leash with its dog owner, you have at least some sort of reassurance that the dog might not be able to bite you (though, unfortunately, it is not always the case).
But when you encounter a potentially dangerous dog alone, without its owner in sight, things can get out of control quite quickly. A lot of people fail to handle this type of situation properly, which results in a dog attack and can lead to injuries. Today, we invited our Dallas dog bite attorney from the The Law Office of Dorothy Hyde to explain what you should do when you encounter a dog without its owner.
Basic safety tips to survive an encounter with a stray dog
There are certain safety tips you should follow in order to survive a scary encounter with a stray dog. “Above all, remain calm and do not panic no matter how difficult it might seem,” advises our lawyer.
Sure, we get it. You could end up severely injured as a result of that encounter. But panicking and losing your calm is counterproductive, as dogs sense fear and are provoked into attacking the “easy prey.”
Let’s imagine that you are taking a walk or jogging in the neighborhood and see a dog quietly staring at you, slowly approaching you, and/or barking and growling with its ears perked up while gazing in your direction. And the worst part is that there is no owner in sight, no person to restrain the dog.
It is now or never, the dog is deciding whether to attack you or let you pass by. And depending on what you do next, you can either end up in the emergency room or forget about this encounter five minutes later.
What you should do when encounter an ownerless dog
If the stray dog is look at you, do not move. Do not step toward the dog when you got its attention. Stand still and avoid any sudden moves. Do not look the dog in the eyes regardless of how far away you are (for a dog, looking straight in the eyes is a threat).
Avoid smiling, screaming, yelling and getting aggressive. You should be talking to the dog in a soft and soothing voice (which is nearly impossible considering the circumstances). Your body language should be calm, friendly and consist of no sudden movements.
What to do when you are attacked by a dog
However, the above safety tips do not help in 100 percent of all situations when you encounter an aggressive dog without its owner. If you cannot prevent the attack, and the dog jumps at you, do not pull away, as this will only encourage the dog to bite you harder.
The best strategy to avoid a dog attack before it is too late is to put your backpack, purse, jacket, or bicycle between you and the dog so that the dog has something to divert its attention (and teeth) to. If the dogs knocks you down to the ground, assume the fetal position by covering your head with your arms.
Legal options after a dog bite to recover damages
Needless to say, it is best to avoid such situations altogether, which is why you should avoid neighborhoods, properties, or areas where you know a dangerous dog might be. If you have seen that dog before, it would not be a bad idea to report that dog to the local authorities.
“However, we all realize that avoidance is not always possible,” says our Dallas dog bite attorney. “Dog owners can act irresponsibly or negligently, and sometimes there is no way to avoid a dog attack.”
Sometimes, no matter how many preventative measures you take, there is no way to avoid a dog attack. If that is the case, and you have been injured after a dog bite, contact the Law Office of Dorothy Hyde to find out about your legal options. Get a free consultation by calling at 214-883-1700 or complete this contact form today.