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How to Protect Yourself Against a Nasty Dog Attack

Updated on October 11, 2013

So you are walking down the street one day, minding your own business, listening to the goldfinches bicker with silverfinches in the trees, enjoying the feel of sun on skin, when you feel a tingle down your spine; goosebumps up your arms and sweat forming everywhere else.

Your 6th sense, your ancient Neanderthal instinct if you will,  tells you in no unmistakable terms, that someone , or something , is, with malevolent intent,and perhaps a dash of malice, eye-balling you.

So you  take off your sunglasses,forfeiting your bid to look cool, in the trade-off to actually see something , and you spot something...something ominous, something threatening, and when your eyes adjust to the brightness of the day, you spot a fiendish-looking fido,  some distance away, (hopefully) with barred teeth,ears laid flat and eying you like today's special down at the local diner, where, the last time you looked, humans were not on the menu.

A Dog Can be a Friendly Fiend !

Dogs are animals, we sometimes forget, and that means people can be bitten or even killed by 'the family pet', sometimes attacking and putting into hospital, as the news reports (and in the case of pit bulls it is too common for comfort,) when children are the victim it is even more severe a crime. So how to protect yourself when an out of control rottweiler eyes you?

Look for a Hiding Place

Your brain is still in the early stages of seizing-up, so you can still think, even if in a minimalist-manner, so you begin to scan your immediate surroundings for A PLACE TO HIDE.

This is the first thing to do in the situation, and, provided you can make it to a dog-thwarting cubbyhole,rostrum or niche, BEFORE the mongrel makes it to your hind-quarters, you will be safe as houses.

A ha! You perceive a crab-apple tree not three feet away. 'Dogs can't climb trees!' you say to yourself, 'but then...can I climb trees?...that is the question...I knew I should have used that abs-building-gadget Babs gave me for Christmas.

Alas, the tree is out. And those little apples would have made such nice ammunition with which to pelt the beast.

Freeze Play

Given the absence of a higher place to relocate yourself, is there perhaps a car nearby, with unlocked doors?

A bush,with thorns, that, while they may tear and rip at you as you conceal yourself in it's midst, will certainly force the cruel canine to hesitate and think twice about following?

If not, you are now at what I like to call 'Freeze Play'.

At this point the dog, having watched you (and believe me he has) scan for an escape route, and deducing that you have not found said route, is gaining in confidence and possibly has begun his predatory stalk.

[Sidebar] We are all familiar with this stalking, as we have seen it multiple times played out on the National Geographic Channel on the African Savanna, as lion prepares to take down his prey. Dogs are no different. Don't let the fact that we allow them to live in our homes and shed on our best furniture. Dogs are only one step away from the wild and crazy life they probably all prefer, if only we would let them run wild for one generation.

Being that as it may, back to our scenario.

As the dog approaches, remember this, should you forget all else: Don't Let Him See Your Fear.

Don't Make Eye Contact

Should the monster for one moment, suspect that you are in fact terrified down to the smallest bones in your quivering body,it will only encourage him.

On the contrary, your job is to look as self-possessed and confident as Russell Crowe facing an army of munchkins with pea-shooters.


This is not easy, like the caution to 'don't look down' when you are crossing a wobbly, rope bridge in South America over a 10,000 foot drop to rocks and smitereens. Nevertheless you must do it.

If You Must--Run!

If by this point the demon looks ready to lunge no matter what tactics you employ to divert or otherwise put him off, you are now compelled to run.

The hope is that you will escape him by the the surge of adrenalin pouring through your body at this point giving you the speed of Super Saver on amphetamines.

Are you wearing a jacket? Remove it and either wrap it around your arm to protect yourself from the gnawing and chewing that are presently to commence, or perhaps throw it at the unsociable creature in a desperate, if pointless attempt, to cover his head and confuse him while you increase the velocity of your getaway by ten-fold.

Should the blighter achieve his aims, remember to report to emergency immediately to have your wounds tended and to tell the nurses the tale of the Hound of the Baskervilles that you took on, fearlessly, in an heroic fight to save a poor little kitty from it's terrible jaws.

You have to have some dignity.


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  • Woody Marx profile image

    Woody Marx 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Jeanie: Thanks! Good advice. I imagine most postmen carry something like it, but the really vicious dog would only find spraying it a turn-on and want to get 'a piece of you' even more, I think. ;)

  • jeanie.stecher profile image

    jeanie.stecher 7 years ago from Seattle

    Nice hub marx. =) In addition to your suggestions, it might as well just as good to have a dog spray or any other animal repellents with you. Not only you can use it for dogs but also for muggers or unwanted attackers.

  • Woody Marx profile image

    Woody Marx 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Putz: thanks! I too have had run-ins with the canine species, one when I was only four years old left me with a forever fear of German Shepherds. I love dogs though, especially the toy breeds like Scotties,Pugs,B.Bulldog, and that dog that was in As Good as It of my all time fav. movies and doggies. :)

  • Putz Ballard profile image

    Putz Ballard 7 years ago

    Great hub. When I was a youngster and growing up in a samll mill village, many of the residents had dogs as we did. Dad usually kept ours tied but some neighbors allowed their to roam free, some would bark at us and growl but luckily we never were attacked by one.