It’s frightening to see a potentially dangerous dog coming toward you, possibly barking or snarling. They’re off the leash and you have no idea what their temperament is. You’re worried that you’re going to be seriously injured.
Your instinct, at a moment like that, is to turn and run away from the dangerous dog. This instinct is good in one sense, in that dogs are often territorial and leaving the dog’s territory may help you. But you need to know that your instincts are often wrong.
You should back away slowly
Turning to run is dangerous for two main reasons. The first is that it means you turn your back on the dog, so you can’t see if it’s actually going to attack you. The second is that running often makes the dog see you as prey, so it’s just going to become more riled up and chase you.
Instead, you need to fight your instincts and stand still while facing the dog. You can then slowly back away to leave the dog’s territory.
Similarly, your instincts might be to scream or try to fend the dog off with your hands. But things like screaming and making eye contact may appear to be a challenge to the dog, and grabbing at the animal with your hands is merely a good way to get a serious bite injury. You’re far better off trying to project a sense of calm and control and then slowly leave the area, showing the dog that you’re not a threat.
Of course, you could still be bitten, even if you do everything right. If you suffered serious injuries that may lead to long-term scarring, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.