An RTI query earlier this year revealed that there is roughly one dog bite every six minutes in Delhi. Residents from several Noida sectors have also reported aggressive dog incidents within societies of late.
City Spidey brings you 5 tips to save yourself from an aggressive dog:
1. Know your best friend
All dogs are not hounds from hell with the sole agenda to devour your soul. They are mostly friendly, loving and affectionate. They are man’s best friend for a reason, you see.
Having said that, our canine friends are wild by nature and it’s smart to keep that in mind. Dogs can be aggressive. Some might be in a surly mood, some threatened by your presence, or some, just bad apples. There are, in fact, 11 reasons why a dog can turn hostile!
Luckily, we don’t really need to pin-point on the exact reason why the dog is hostile, we just need to know it is so. The next step enables you to identify aggression in dogs, so you can steer clear of them.
2. Learn canine body language
No, you don’t need to get a PhD on the subject. Just the basics will do. Enough to make you recognise an imminent bite, for you to de-escalate the encounter immediately.
Ears pinned back, intense eye contact, the fur along their back standing up, a stiff tail and even yawning (combined with the other signs) are clear signs that you should start backing off.
When putting space between yourself and a dog that might bite, never turn your back on it and run away. A dog's natural instinct will be to chase you.
In majority of dog bite cases, we bear some responsibility by not knowing how to approach or interact with a dog. By learning to read canine body language and educating others, we can reduce a substantial number of dog bites.
3. If you think the dog is about to bite
According to famed dog-whisperer Cesar Milan, if you think a dog is about to bite, the first step is to resist the impulse to scream and run away. Keep your hands by your sides, stand motionless and avoid eye contact with the dog (yes, swallow that ego). Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until it is out of sight.
4. Avoid the bite of an attacking dog
If a dog charges at you and appears as though it will attack, do what you can to stay away from its teeth. Try to put something in its path: Your bag, your shoe or your umbrella.
If knocked down, curl into a tight ball with your head tucked in and cover your neck and ears.
5. If all else fails
Ok, so the dog did manage to bite you. Tough luck. Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water. Contact your physician for additional care and advice. Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency.