The Best Dog Attack Prevention Tips
We need to start this blog with a disclaimer or two. First, my close friend out in Colorado has been a dog owner. These are some of his experiences. Many years ago, shortly after he got married he had St. Bernards. He loved them to pieces, even though one of them ate an elaborate cake his then wife had purchased for a party she was throwing. But as you can imagine, that’s another story. Then, as he had children, he gravitated to smaller dogs.
Once when two of the dogs who were in a fight with a few of the children nearby, not so smart dad decided to break up the dogfight. Dad ended up with a trip to the emergency room and 82 stitches.
That was the start of his disenchantment with dogs-you might even call it dislike. The personal feelings aside, Americans seem to have a love affair with dogs. In all the years that we have been in this business, the single biggest topic of discussion has been how to defend against dog attacks. Not home security, not self-defense, not hidden cameras, but dog attacks!
Here are some enlightening statistics!
According to the Humane Society dog bite statistics close to 4 ½ million Americans are bitten by dogs on average each year with one in five dog bites resulting in injuries serious enough to require medical attention in a hospital or emergency room. Almost half of those bitten are children, with the age group of 5 to 9 years old the highest age bracket of victims. “In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.”
One organization that keeps track of dog bites statistics is dogsbite.org. They claim that every day about 1,000 US citizens require emergency care treatment for dog bite injuries.
According to their website, “the combination of molosser breeds, including pit bulls, curs, rottweilers, presa canarios, cane corsos, mastiffs, dogo argentinos, fila brasieros, sharpeis, boxers, and their mixes,” are the most dangerous and cause:
• 81% of attacks that induce bodily harm
• 76% of attacks to children
• 87% of attack to adults
• 72% of attacks that result in fatalities
• 81% that result in maiming
In a 2009 report that they issued, pit bulls accounted for 59% of the deaths attributed to dog bites. In a separate study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites doubled over a 15 year period, with the average cost of a dog bite related hospital stay at $18,200. That is twice the average of the normal injury related hospital stay.
In an ABC news story done recently about dog owners’ home insurance costs the insurance industry paid out $489 million in claims involving dog bites in the home. That is approximately 1/3 of all the money paid out for homeowners’ liability claims. That is an increase of 50% in the last decade.
Homeowners’ insurance rates may be higher for certain types of high risk dogs such as pit bulls and Rottweilers.
“Dog bites are the ninth leading cause of unintentional nonfatal injury to children ages 5-9,” Kathy Voigt, president of Prevent The Bite, tells ABC News. “More than 2 million children are bitten by dogs every year, and most bites are from their own dog or a dog they know well. The majority of bites to smaller children are in their face and head.”
Owning a dog is not cheap. According to the American Kennel Club the average annual cost for a dog approaches $2,500. That does not include the one-time costs of nearly $2,100.
Here Are Some Dog Attack Prevention Tips
- The number one tip is the most obvious-avoid areas where dogs congregate. When two or more dogs are together, a pack mentality sets in making them more dangerous.
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Some people claim that dogs can sense fear or panic. If you panic, dogs may feel more confident in an attack.
- If a dog is charging at you and barking, stand your ground and stay still. He may lose interest and leave.
- Don’t yell at a dog and especially don’t smile at it. A dog may see the bared teeth of a smile as a sign of aggression.
- Since dogs are very territorial, a dog in a fenced in area may be especially aggressive. Most dogs can jump a three-foot fence easily.
- Sometimes elevated sharp commands such as “stop” or “go home” may just work at stopping an assault on you.
- Don’t be foolish enough to think that you can out run a dog. Never turn your back on a barking dog and never run away from one.
- Remember that dogs have a natural instinct to bite. Don’t irritate them.
- Never pet a strange dog; let him sniff you first.
- Never try to pet a dog while he’s sleeping, eating or drinking water.
- A dog’s body language can give you a clue as to what his intentions are. If his ears are pinned back, he is ready to attack. If he has a loping gait he may want to just play.
- When out walking, jogging or cycling it is best to have a self-defense pepper spray with you.
- It is also not a bad idea to carry a blocking device with you of some kind. That way if the dog attacks, you can stick the blocking device into the dog’s mouth for him to bite instead of your forearm.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and be still.
How To Defend Against A Dog Attack!
There is a reason why letter carriers with the United States Postal Service carry a pepper spray that is issued to them by the Postal Service. It is the number one way that you can defend against a dog attack. But it has a limited range which is why some people use a pepper gun that has a range of as much as 25 feet. Some people have resorted to using a telescopic stun baton. Others choose a product that uses ultrasonic sound that can repel certain breeds of dogs, but in our experience it is not effective against the more aggressive dog breeds.
Have you ever been attacked by a dog? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.