What do I do if I think a dog is going to attack me?

If you get the feeling that a dog is going to attack then give the dog space and then stand still and avoid eye contact. If a dog attacks, then you may suffer from permanent injuries, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. If you are ever in a situation where you believe that a dog is about to attack, here’s what to do if you think a dog is going to attack you.

Preempt the Attack by Giving the Dog a Wide Berth

There are a number of signs that a dog will give if it is feeling angry, scared, or territorial.

  • Tensing its body
  • Raising the hair on its neck and back (raising its hackles)
  • Opening its eyes wide so that you can see the whites (whale eye)
  • Backing away
  • Flattening its ears against its head

If you notice any of the above, get away from the dog immediately in a calm manner. Sometimes giving a dog enough space is all it takes to stop a dog attack.

Remain Motionless

It may be too late to move away. If a dog is close enough to attack you and looks like it might do just that, you should try to remain as still as possible. Don’t move until the dog moves away. Remember, a dog is much faster than you. Your calmness may remove the threat of a dog attack.

Avoid Eye Contact

Dogs read eye contact as aggressive body language.  You don't have to necessarily make yourself blind to its movements, turning your head and looking out of the corner of your eye is standard submissive dog behavior. Dogs normally attack because they feel threatened, they think their young are threatened, or you are on their territory. The result that the dog probably wants is for you to be submissive and vacate the area.

Resist Your Impulses

Your natural reaction if a dog looks like it will attack you will probably be to scream, try to run away or hit the dog. Avoid all of these behaviors if at all possible. The best thing that you can do is remain quiet, remain still, and put something between yourself and the dog (like a coat or purse). Don’t fight back – doing so can enrage the animal even further. Even if you’re being attacked, try to remain still and make sure your face is covered.

Know Your Rights as a Dog Bite Victim

If a dog in the state of Iowa attacks you, it’s important that you know your rights to recovery. Iowa has a strict liability dog bite policy in its code (Section 351.28). If a dog bites you, its owner is liable for damages.

Hopefully, a dog never attacks you. But if one does, you may need a lawyer to represent you while seeking damages. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our lawyers have experience working with dog bite claims, just read our dog bite blog. Call us at 888-435-9886 today.

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.