Should we be frightened of dogs biting us when outdoors in the neighborhood?
Even if we have never been bitten?
No, insecure dogs feed off fear, depending on the dog, I would either completely ignore it, or if it was a big dog, I'd make sure I had my Shepherd with me! haha
A secure dog wouldn't bite you unless it was in his back yard.
Dogs can literally smell fear. If you don't show, or exhibit any sign of fearing the animal, you are much less likely to get attacked, unless of course, like Netblots said, you're in his backyard. I've been trying to teach my daughter how to act around strange animals, specifically dogs. But it's hard for kids to hide fear, especially from an animal that can smell it. (I keep our dog close by, just in case. Sekhmet is overly protective of our little girl.)
There are no fear-generated chemicals released into the air that I am aware of. The accessory olfactory system is designed to detect non-volatile pheromones in members of the same species. Fear is more likely picked up from behavioral cues.
Tough question to answer because I don't know the context or why you are asking the question. Are you afraid of dogs, or are dogs running loose and that concerns you? If you mean, is it reasonable to be afraid, then we could talk about canine body language and how to stay safe. I personally don't think dogs should be loose outdoors with people around. I think they should all be on leash.
D. A. M has almost answered the question. I agree with her. Dogs don't normally attack you if you don't show signs of fear. Moreover I have experienced that if we stand still instead of running then the dogs stop chasing us and retreat.
There is one more and more scientific reason why dogs chasing you don't normally bite you. Dogs are long sighted. They see you when you are far away. However when they reach close to you they do not see you. They can only smell you and fail to find where exactly where you are.
Dogs even though domesticated are still animals and you can never fully predict what they may do. I was attacked by two dogs that ran from their yard. The smaller of the two was the aggressor and nipped me first. I was then attacked by his companion, a black German Shepherd.
I wasn't afraid of the little dog, and really thought he was running out to say 'hi'. I was shocked when it bit me.
It seems that we are trained how to respond to a multitude of situations, but I'm not sure there is a correct response to a dog attack. My response to the first attack by the Shepherd was to strike out which I did and have deep bruises on my arm. I wasn't expecting him to attack a second time, but when he did I put my hand out because he leapt for my face. The dog grabbed my hand.
Six days later, I am still recovering from the shock of the attack and the wounds on my body. From this point forward, whenever I go for a walk in the neighborhood I will carry mace.
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