Dealing With A Dog Attack

Don't Panic Or Run

Did Christopher Wilson ever have a chance? We'll never know. But there are ways to increase your chances if a dog attacks.

Diane Jessup, the animal control officer in Olympia, Wash., runs the Canine Aggression Research Center. She knows what to do when a dog attacks. Here are some tips:

  • Chances are the dog will not lunge if you simply face him down.
  • Stop, stay calm. If you start to panic, the dog will get excited. Stand your ground. "If you stand there and say, Â'What the hell are you doing?' You know, 'Go home. Sit,' anything like that, most of those dogs are gonna evaporate," Jessup says.
  • Try to get something between you and the dog. "I have been saved more than once by a piece of paper - simply putting out a piece. The dog does not know how to get around this," she says. If that doesn't work and the dog's coming in, give it your arm to bite.
  • If the dog bites you, try to stay on your feet. If you fall, stand up.
  • Take the dog to the nearest available cover, a car, a door or a gate. Get the majority of your body on the other side of the cover. Try to separate yourself from the dog.
  • Stand like a tree. If you are knocked down, lie like a log. Lay still.