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What to Do If An Aggressive Dog Threatens You

Legal Team

Encountering an aggressive dog can be a frightening experience, but knowing how to react can make a crucial difference in ensuring your safety. Whether you are a pedestrian, a jogger, or simply passing by, following these guidelines can help you in this situation.

Stay Calm

It’s essential to remain calm and avoid making sudden movements. Dogs may perceive fear or anxiety, which can escalate their aggression.

Avoid Eye Contact

Direct eye contact may be interpreted as a threat by the dog. Instead, keep your gaze downward and avoid staring directly at it.

Stand Still

If a dog approaches you, stand still with your arms at your sides. Avoid waving your arms or making sudden gestures that might provoke it. Running may trigger its instinct to chase. 

Create Distance

If possible, try to put distance between yourself and the aggressive dog without turning your back on it. Slowly and calmly move away while keeping the dog in your peripheral vision.

Use a Barrier

If available, put an object, such as a backpack or a bicycle, between yourself and the dog. This can act as a barrier and provide some protection.

Speak Calmly

In a calm and firm voice, speak to the dog without making loud or sudden noises. You can use simple commands like “sit” or “stay,” but avoid shouting.

Seek Higher Ground

If the dog is smaller, try to slowly move to an elevated surface like a bench or a car. This can help create distance and discourage the dog.

Protect Your Hands and Neck

If a dog does attack, use your non-dominant arm to shield your neck and face. Keep your fingers curled into a fist to protect your fingers.

Carry Protection

If you frequently encounter aggressive dogs, consider carrying deterrents such as dog repellent spray or an ultrasonic device. These can help deter an approaching dog.

What To Do After a Dog Attack

Taking prompt and appropriate actions after a dog attack is crucial for your safety and well-being. 

  • Seek Safety: Move to a safe location away from the aggressive dog. Make sure you are out of immediate danger before assessing injuries.
  • Call for Help: Dial emergency services (911) if you have serious injuries or if the dog attack is ongoing. If the injuries are less severe, contact your local animal control or non-emergency police line to report the incident.
  • Exchange Information: If the dog owner is present, exchange information with them. Obtain the owner’s name, address, contact information, and vet information. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact details as well.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the scene, including the dog, any injuries, and the surroundings. This documentation can be valuable if legal action is necessary.
  • Identify the Dog: If possible, make a note of the dog’s breed, size, color, and any distinctive markings. This information can assist authorities in locating the dog and their owner if they were not present.
  • Get Medical Attention: Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if they seem minor. Dog bites can lead to infections, and medical professionals can assess and treat the wounds appropriately.
  • Cooperate with Authorities: If authorities investigate the incident, cooperate fully. This may involve providing statements, sharing evidence, and participating in any legal proceedings.
  • Preserve Evidence: Keep records of all medical treatments, prescriptions, and any other related expenses. Preserve any clothing or items damaged during the attack, as they may serve as evidence.

Consult a trusted Albuquerque personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can provide guidance on pursuing legal action to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.

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