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How To Avoid a Dog Attack


Updated August 21, 2011

One of the scariest encounters you can have on a walk is being charged by an aggressive dog. How can you avoid dog attack and keep from getting bitten or mauled by a dog while walking or jogging?
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 1 minute

Here's How:

  1. Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on leashes.
  2. Ask owner's permission before approaching a dog, on leash or in yard.
  3. Never approach a barking, snarling, sleeping, eating, or nursing dog.
  4. Do not stare the dog in the eyes.
  5. Turn sideways and slowly withdraw.
  6. Put an object such as a tree, post, or bench between you and the dog.
  7. Speak softly and gently to calm the dog, "Good dog, it's OK, go home."
  8. Stand still or maintain a constant slow pace out of the dog's territory.
  9. If local law allows, use pepper spray when charged by the dog.
  10. If charged, get something between you and the dog's mouth - umbrella, pack, jacket, stick
  11. If attacked, curl up in a ball and protect your face, neck, and head.


  1. You can't outrun the dog, not even an Olympic sprinter could.
  2. Be aware of dogs a block or more ahead, change your route or turn around to avoid unleashed dogs.
  3. Know the weapons laws in the community you are walking in and obey them.
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