When you think about dogs what comes to mind?
Is it the feeling of brand new puppy’s fur against your hand, the sound of your dog crying when you leave them home alone, or the joy that you feel busting in your chest whenever that four-legged friend smiles up at you? Dogs can make people’s hearts leap for joy, but unfortunately – just like people – sometimes they fight back, and cause serious injury to their victims. Dog bites can be as small as a warning to not touch them to potentially bringing about a life ending accident. Fortunately, another thing we have in common with our furry friends is we both have warning cues to show when we will attack. Knowing some of these warning signs can save your skin, and potentially your life.
What Do I Look for to Protect Myself?
There is a list of to-dos and to-don’ts when dealing with a potentially hostile dog.
- Remain motionless if you are approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- If you are knocked over by the dog, curl into a ball with your head tucked and hands over your ears and neck.
- Let an adult know about any stray dogs in the area. Specifically, if they are behaving strangely.
- Approach an unfamiliar dog,
- Run away from a dog,
- Panic or make any loud noises,
- Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for its puppies,
- Pet a dog without letting it see and sniff you first,
- Encourage aggressive play with a dog that is unsupervised,
- Let small children play with a dog without supervision.
What if a Dog That I Don’t Know Approaches Me?
Generally, dogs are kindhearted and loving companions, so people tend to act favorable toward an approaching dog. However, doing this can cause the person serious injury if the dog is hostile or aggressive. If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, the first thing you should do is stay in place and remain calm. Do NOT panic or make any loud noises. Also, be sure to avoid any direct eye contact to prevent the dog from asserting you are challenging it. In a firm and deep voice tell the dog “no!” or “go home!” Another step you can take – to prevent a misunderstanding that you are challenging the dog – is position your body so the side of your body is facing the dog. The last step is make sure you wait until the dog passes you before moving. If they don’t, slowly back away from the dog.
What Do I Do When Introducing Myself to a Dog?
If you encounter a friendly dog – and you want to introduce yourself to the animal – there are a couple of steps you can take to make sure your encounter isn’t negative.
These steps are:
- If the dog is with its owner, ask them if their dog is friendly.
- If they say yes, slowly and calmly approach the dog.
- As you advance toward the dog pay particular attention to their mouth, eyes and body language.
- If the dog shows its teeth, growls or takes an aggressive stance, immediately stop walking toward the dog.
- Once you reach the dog, extend a fisted hand toward it, and allow them to smell you.
- If that goes well, slowly and tenderly pet the dog.
If at any point of this procedure the dog bares its teeth or growls, immediately stop petting the dog.
I Was Bitten, What Do I Do Now?
Getting representation for a dog bite is an incredibly important step in assisting to retrieve your monetary benefits for medical expenses, lost wages and perceived future expenses. The Advocates are personal injury lawyers well-versed in providing the highest settlements possible for our clients. We are available 24-7 for a free consultation. Contact The Advocates at 801-901-9224 today.