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Should You Flee From An Aggressive Dog?

Should You Flee From An Aggressive Dog?
Christian J. Amendt

When a dog snarls, snaps or charges, do you turn and run? You know you don’t want to get bitten and you certainly don’t want to engage a dangerous animal, so isn’t the next best option to flee?

You do want to leave the area and avoid conflict, but you don’t want to run. Ever. It’s the biggest rule of thumb from safety experts. Running away from the dog is not going to have the results you want.

Why not? For one thing, that aggressive dog is trying to size you up and see if you are a threat or potential prey. Dogs are natural predators and have this instinct. Running makes you appear to be the prey, and that can launch the dog into a frenzy as it chases you.

Dogs feed off your energy. If you stay calm and collected, it can calm the dog down. If you panic, scream and run, it can rile the dog up. That’s what you’re trying to avoid.

You also want to consider your own speed. Even if you’re a world-class athlete — and most of us are not — the dog can catch you. This is especially true with large, powerful breeds, which are often the same type that act aggressively.

Instead of running, focus on staying calm and attempting to slowly remove yourself from the encounter. You may have to fight your instincts to do it. But this is the best tactic that works the most often in these situations.

If you do still get injured by the dog, you may then be able to seek compensation.

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