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Handling Dangerous Dogs: What To Do When You Encounter An Aggressive Stray

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Dogs are man's best friend when properly trained, but stray dogs can seem like a separate animal altogether. If you've noticed dangerous strays in your area and you're worried about your safety, it's vital to learn how you can escape unharmed from a confrontation with a stray dog.

Don't Let Friendly Behavior Confuse You

When you're dealing with a dog you don't know, it's highly possible that it will display some form of seemingly friendly behavior toward you. It may pant, approach slowly, wag its tail, or sniff you. Unfortunately, if you overlook signs of aggression and assume these actions are friendly, it could be a painful mistake.

One common reaction people have to a dog that wags its tail is to extend their hand for it to sniff. However, tail wagging is a sign that the dog is excited, not that it specifically likes you. Dogs that feel aggressive can also be excited, and in this case the animal may see an extended hand as a challenge and respond with a bite. Unless you know for a fact that the dog is friendly, don't try to pet it because it looks happy to see you.

Know How To Make A Peaceful Exit

Stray dogs typically bite for one of two reasons: they feel you are invading their territory, or they think you're going to attack them if they don't attack you first. Often this happens as a result of people getting too close to the dog or walking in an area that it has decided is its home. If you find yourself facing an aggressive stray up close, it's important to know how you can get away safely.

The first step is to act very relaxed. Yawning or licking your lips is a good way to put off the vibe that you're not looking for a fight. Then, back away slowly from the animal. Don't look directly at the dog, but don't turn around either. It's very important that you move slowly, as running may trigger the dog's instinct to chase prey, and a dog will always be able to outrun you. Even as you get further away, make sure you don't run until the dog can no longer see you.

What you don't want to do when confronted with an aggressive stray is try and intimidate it. Dogs are brave and protective animals, so if you try to make yourself look big or you flail your arms around, they'll respond to the threat by attacking you to keep their territory safe.  

If You See A Pack, Keep Clear

If you see a pack of strays on a path you usually take, it is advisable that you do everything in your power to avoid them. Being in a group emboldens dogs and gives them a drive to show off aggressively when the group is challenged. If one attacks you, the others will follow suit. Being attacked by multiple dogs is far more serious and life-threatening than being attacked by just one, which is why it's imperative that you avoid going near them at all costs.

If you do get too close to a pack of dogs and they seem alert or aggressive, use the same calm, slow backing away procedure as you would with a single dog. 

Treat Aggressive Dogs Like Aggressive People

If you saw a person attacking people on the street and destroying property, would you just let them keep doing it? Most likely, you'd call the police. Well, aggressive strays are no different. Even if you get away unharmed, someone else may be less fortunate. If you notice aggressive dogs roaming your neighborhood, be sure to call an animal control company like Accurate Termite & Pest Control right away. You may save someone else from a serious attack.