A Conversation for What to do when facing an aggressive dog

A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 21

Ausnahmsweise, wie üblich (Consistently inconsistent)

Yes - I'm confused too.

A lot of what Mina said does seem to make sense.

I've read in several places that it's not good to shout. But maybe the low, loud command is OK?

And standing tall and spreading your arms is supposed to work for bears smiley - winkeye

The Enlish lady (dog_trainer_former_horse_trainer_in_Argentinia_whose_name_I_can't_remember) said you should cross your arms in front of your chest.

Konrad Lorenz's book might have something on the subject (I gave my copy to a new dog owner).

Awu


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 22

six7s



A dog attack made the headlines here a couple of months ago and a thread << horrific dog attack >> was started in Askh2g2, where I pitched in with my 2 cents (see post 10, F19585?thread=244576 )

I have a hunch that a bike pump would distract an aggressive dog for no more than 2 or maybe 3 seconds, most of which would probably be best spent *thinking* rather than running/attacking

Killing a dog - in the heat of an attack - would (generally) indicate that those present were either unprepared or ill advised

I like the entry and I think the guide is the right place for advice on how to protect all life

six7s smiley - winkeye


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 23

Mort - a middle aged Girl Interrupted

Mina has said everything i would have said

(is there where i plug that i have worked with a vet specialising in animal behaviour for 6 years? <winkeye)

Use one word basic commands in a clear and confident but non aggressive voice such as 'sit'.
(ok it sounds ridiculous when you are about to be eaten) It is the first word many owners teach their pooch and the dogs will often respond to it before they have had time to think about it.
And the not maintaining eye contact is a big thing too.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 24

Farlander

stefanf, i like this article. it's clear and concise, and should make the guide for obvious reasons. however, i would like to point out a thing or two. you might want to mention that making eye contact with an aggressive dog is a very serious no-no, as this is a 'provoking the dog' thing. dogs tend to take direct eye contact as a sign of challenge or aggression, and you'll just be giving them all the more reason to attack. also, i agree with what mina said about not making yourself look bigger, because that's obviously going to provoke the dog even more. i read this article some time back the the reader's digest about how to deal with aggressive dogs, and what they recommended was in fact the opposite of what you did - namely, they said that one should make oneself as small as possible so that one will not look like much of a threat to a dog (remember, these are animals we're talking about - they react based on instict, and one of their built-in instincts is to defend themselves when posed with a threat)... that one should slowly(!) assume a crouch position, and, if forced to look at the dog at all, to do it out of the corner of the eye (which isn't really reassuring!).

of course, if you're dealing with a small, yapping dog, chances are that it's of the 'empty vessels make more noise' variety, and will flee before you with its tail between its legs the moment you take an aggressive step in its direction (trust me, i know - my dog wedge is one such dog. she yaps ferociously at strangers, and scares most of them off; however, she's really a coward at heart, and will run off if you try to get near to her). it's just the big ones that you should be wary of.

smiley - cheers


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 25

Mina

We defintitely can't have anything about kicking the dog or being violent towards it in anyway. We do have to err on the side of caution, and in this case there is enough in the entry without it being added.



Was there anything else I was asked that I've missed?


The thing about small dogs is that they don't know they are small. We've bred size into the dog's body, not its brain.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 26

Stefanf

Okay, right, so apparently most of the people here agree that making yourself look big isn't good. I'll take that out of the entry, but I'm not sure what I should put in its place instead. Crouching to stop looking like a treat seems rather unlogical to me. I've heard in several places that crouching makes the dog take you for its equal and that that's not good.

For the moment, I think I'll just omit it until I know for sure what's best.

As for small noisy dogs, I couldn't agree more. I always say "The smaller the dog, the bigger the mouth". In Dutch, my mother tongue, that rhymes nicely too smiley - smiley


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 27

Cissdur

I think the bit Mina wrote about turning your side to the dog is good. I have tried it once and it actually seemed to work long enough for me to get far enough away that the dog calmed down a bit. I was told once that this is what you have to do as well as looking down. The idea being that you show no interest in going into a fight with the dog. And of course walking slowly. Moving slowly eventhough all you wish is to get away as fast as you can.

Cissdur


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 28

Ausnahmsweise, wie üblich (Consistently inconsistent)

Must be "Hund" and "Mund" - or the Dutch equiv.

I've been bitten twice, delivering papers, and they were suprise attacks from the back, so nothing would have helped.

Awu


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 29

Sea Change

Dear Mina,

If we are erring on the side of caution, may we link to the Royal Mail guidelines, may we suggest the reader look there if they are more interested in the subject, or should we leave that whole thing be?

Here is the reason I feel strongly about telling the *whole* story of protecting yourself: currently in LAs gay and prison populations, methicillin resistant Staphococcus Aureus is aggressively spreading as a sexually transmitted disease. (normally, you'd only get it from a hospital or if you were immunocompromised) Because it's considered possibly predjudiced to claim this, and because health officials got bit by LBGTXYZ activists during the pre-protease-inhibitor AIDS years, the warnings against it don't mention this. The warning was as useless and vague as a 'Code Orange' Homeland Security alert here in the USofA, and so hypochondriac me went to the MD. Not everyone else is as fussy about their health as me and wouldn't go to the doctor until it was too late, and it's a good thing for some of my friends I am one of those loudmouthed silence=serious illness sorta folk.

I don't want someone to feel they are as armed as they could be against a dog attack after reading this entry, when there are known solutions, (even if we ourselves can't say them).

Thank you!

Sea Change

smiley - popcorn

There might be municipalities in which reporting the dog to the police or the local authorities afterward will result in positive (unspecified in the Entry) action, so I think this should be added.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 30

Mina

Have you got a link? I agree that it would be worth giving a link for more information, but I'd like to check them out first.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 31

six7s


I think the entry needs an intro emphasising that a confrontation with an aggressive dog is best dealt with by sending 'congruent' messages re posture, movement and tone of voice, along the lines of what another dog would do:

tail between its legs, whimpering, staying still, rolling on its back or curling up in a ball
OR
growl, rush at the other dog, rear up on its hind legs, etc

I feel that the entry is currently sending a mixed message - the six steps listed combine passive AND aggressive, a tactic that can backfire unless done 'properly' i.e. the change from passive to aggressive is calculated and *sudden*



Mina said << ... We do have to err on the side of caution ... >> and whilst I'm not suggesting that a guide entry should needlessly fuel fear, I think it would be irresponsible if there was no mention of what to do when things turn _really_ ugly


smiley - towel Prioritise what you have to 'feed' the dog - your bag, your clothes, something it can get a hold on

smiley - headhurts The foetal position (knees under your chin, hands clasped behind head, elbows in front of face) will protect your abdomen and throat and a dog will recognise this 'shape' as totally non-threatening

smiley - doctor Seek medical attention for any wound, no matter how slight

I think it would be a good idea to point out that dogs can't climb trees and that they are territorial animals so they feel justified in 'protecting' their own turf

six7s smiley - winkeye





A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 32

Danxyz

I think this is a good article. All advice is helpful.
Its depends totally on the situation and person involved as to what action to take.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 33

Sea Change

Most links I have found so far from folks who are attacked by dogs alot are rather viscious, and probably not suitable.

Most other links I have found are by spca's and veterinarian groups, and say don't do any attack on the dog for any reason. I have yet to find the source for this idea.

I haven't given up. I am still looking.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 34

Mort - a middle aged Girl Interrupted

dont know if you have seen this link already but it is

THE ASSOCIATION OF PET BEHAVIOUR COUNSELLORS
http://www.apbc.org.uk

May have some points of relevance in there regarding canine interpretation of situations etc.

Mort


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 35

Zucchini

A dogs temperament closely follows that of his owner. Unfortunately most humans are fairly aggressive themselves.


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 36

Mort - a middle aged Girl Interrupted

if you mean a dog interprets its social environment and adjusts its responses to what it deems its place in the 'pack hierarchy' you are right.

Unfortunately the way a dog fits into its home situation reflects on how it will behave in the world. And if a dog isnt socialised by the time it has reached 12 weeks of age (when most of the way it views/interracts with the world has been established) it is hard (but not impossible) to reverse that learned behaviour/reaction.

Socialised properly from a very early age will help prevent situations where a dog will feel the need to show unprovoked aggression, even territorial aggression is reduced because the dog has been introduced to the fact that it has no territory and as far as humans are concerned it comes way down in 'the pack' below all of them and not just its family.

Of course this doesnt help when you have guard dogs (and stray dogs) that have not been socialised properly for that very reason.

Animal psychology is a complex matter which is why more and more pet behaviouralist are needed and no longer seen as a gimmicky thing. Although it is usually the owners, not the pet that receives the treatment because it is the way they interact with the dog in many cases that exacerbates a problem and even reinforces persistant negative behaviour.

But yeah, people need a bit of beahviour modification on the whole anyway. smiley - winkeye


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 37

Trout Montague

Is it worth putting something in about how if push comes to shove and you need to kill the dog?


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 38

Zucchini

That could get pretty unpleasant.
"If a dog has bit into your arm and is thrashing around without letting go, grab a rock and bash her skull in."

smiley - boing


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 39

Mort - a middle aged Girl Interrupted

Mina Post 25

"We defintitely can't have anything about kicking the dog or being violent towards it in anyway. We do have to err on the side of caution, and in this case there is enough in the entry without it being added."


So i think that rules out killing the dog or harming it.

Even if you are being bitten, as hard as it is, the best thing to do is actually remain still, not try to remove the body part from the clamping frothing mouth, as that will only encourage the jaws to clamp together tighter.

If the dog has no resistance then it will loosen its grip. In the wild the instinct is to hang on to a struggling animal. If the animal isnt struggling then they assume they can safely let go without losing their dinner. I have practised (unvoluntarily) this with cats many times and it does work. They simply let go and instead of a rip in your arm you end up with puncture wounds.

Mort


A1015732 - What to do when facing an aggressive dog

Post 40

Agent X

As for what should and should not be said if thing turn “ugly” I think it is safe to say that we can say do what you feel is necessary. If caught in that situation the person is going to defend themselves physically anyway. When I was training to be a lifeguard they were no longer allowed to teach us how to respond if we are being drowned by a victim, our instructor said he was not allowed to teach us what to do but that one dead or injured person is better than two dead people.

your friendly neighborhood smiley - bluefish


Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more