Behavior

Dog Attack: Everything You Need to Know

Reality bites and dog attacks! You gotta admit it! There is no getting away from this. However, dog attack is always with some proper logic and it is not something that you cannot interpret, comprehend and avoid. In this article we are going to talk about all the concerns that people have with Pitbull attacks and all the questions that come to your mind. But before ever we start this, let us make an attempt to properly understand the situation in which a dog attacks. A dog is, by nature, a predator. His predatory genes and his instincts keep him on toes, alert, ready to rout or ready to attack.

Now wait a second! What did you just read? Rout or attack! Yes, there lies a little secret that all of us learn and save both: the human and the dog. Save the dog from the embarrassment of biting you and save yourself from being bitten. With a little brain-work and skill, you can make the dog choose the option to rout instead of biting you. How? Well, this is something that you will learn in this article. Dogs, as much as predatory they are, their instinct does not only dictate them to attack and bite, but also directs them to rout if they feel danger and if they see that there is a way out. A way out! Yes! This is what you need to give to a dog, before ever he decides to bite you.

Now let’s have a look at the most frequently asked questions and find out their answers.

The quick movement or arrival of a human being sometimes appears aggressive to dogs and they attack them. A dog attacks if it feels threatened, challenged or finds an immediate threat to its pups, food or toys etc.[1]

In our previous articleDog Bites: How To Avoid a Dog Bite we covered this question in detail, but we are going to share the same insight with some other details to get a bigger picture. While experts might come up with their own reasons of how or why do dogs attack, in our own opinion, based on years of exposure to and learning of dog behavior, dogs are made to attack. Whether they are from herding breed or guardian breed, they are engineered by the nature and the man to attack the stranger and save the “pack”.

Now if you’ve also seen that amazing flick “A dog’s purpose”, you would definitely understand what we mean. Let us have a look the most important reasons of dog attack:

  • Immediate arrival or sneaking up on dog – whether you jog, run or bike or just sneak around a lot, make sure to not surprise a dog by your immediate motion or arrival. Dogs are just as fainthearted as us humans. What would you do if any of your friends or siblings shock you with a sudden noise or motion? You will shout back at them, won’t you? Or at least you would be stunned. This is what dogs also do; they get stunned and they respond to it either by barking or chasing down the “offender”.[2]

Infographic

Dog Attack Infographics

  • While fear or being threatened is one of the biggest reason of Pitbull attacks, it is definitely not the only reason. Dogs have different instincts which make them a predator of a very possessive nature. So they would also attack you when they feel that you are violating their space and interfering with the dog’s unmatched ownership of the house where he resides, the pups that the dig is a mom or dad of, the food that it owns or the toy that it plays with.[3]
  • Dogs mainly bite or attack when they see that their property is being invaded. Now this is an interesting part. A dog is definitely an animal and does not know a Jack squat about property laws. While a dog is perfectly within its rights to attack you if you enter its owner’s house without any apparent permission, what if a dog mistakenly consider a park, a street corner or a junkyard, its personal property? This will definitely make things interesting, because humans are also entitled to enter any such place. As a result comes into being a clash of ownership and in such a clash, a dog attack is only highly possible.[4]
  • Another big reason of a dog attack is anxiety or stress. Take it, dogs are animals prone to stress. It is in their DNA. Wherever there is a sense of responsibility, there is always some amount of stress and dog is one of the most responsible and loyal animals. This is why they get stressed easily; remember, they are predators and ready to sense and deal with the danger at any time. This is why when children sneak up on the dog and shock him with a sudden appearance, dog does not see a way out, but only attacking the “aggressors”.[5]
  • Excitement is also one big reason of a dog attack. When dogs get stressful or anxious due to someone trespassing their property or sneaking up on them, they start chasing them down, barking and biting. Once this vicious cycle is completed, dog reaches a new excitement level and he cannot help but do the same again. This reminds us of Ivan Pavlov who discovered classical conditioning by experimenting on dogs, and he told us how dogs get used to a routine and reconditioned to repeat same thing again and again: hence the notorious dog attack.[6]
  • Another very important reason of Pitbull dog attack is pain induced stress. No, this is not the stress that we have discussed above. Stress arising out of someone’s invasion of a dog’s privacy is a different thing, but sometimes when a female dog is going through pregnancy pain or any dog is going through any kind of painful disease or it has been injured, it may attack you.[7]

Dog-Attack-4

  • Pregnancy and pups can also make a female dog attack There are two primitive animal instincts behind this kind of dog attack. Number 1, every animal, and this includes the social animal “human being”, will be very stressful and aggressive during pregnancy! Why? Because of the pain and because of the mood swings arising out of the inevitable hormonal changes. And number 2, for the same instincts, dogs would attack anyone who comes near their pups. There are incidents in which a mother dog even bites her own owner for coming too close to the newborn pups. Well, this is a no-go area. Make sure to not go near your dog’s pups until they are a few days old and the mother dog gets acquainted with people coming to look and appreciate her pups.[8]

How to avoid being bitten?

There are a few preventive measures that one may take. Firstly, do not cross paths with a dog, secondly, do not run or jog near a dog, thirdly, do not enter an area that a dog considers its property, and lastly, do not panic near a dog or shock him with sudden appearance.[9]

You might be shocked to learn that in USA roughly 4.5 million dog bites take place every year, and approximately every one out of five victims get infected with something like rabies or else. So, it is only highly suggested that you must refrain from getting anyway near those Pitbull attacks. The research shows that the most common victim of a dog attack is children.[10] So, does this make dogs appear as anti-children pets? The answer is hell no! Dogs are pets, loving, caring and loyal, but before any other thing, they are animals who are being dictated by millions of years old dog data saved in their DNA.

This is why they attack anyone coming near them with apparently aggressive or evil designs. Children do evil things all the time; although their intention is not to cause harm to anyone. However, a dog cannot differentiate between bad intention and being playful, so they happen to bite the kids who annoy them or violate their privacy.

So, how to avoid it? Here are a few very important tips:[11]

  • Do not move a muscle – Suppose that you have just entered a dog’s zone and a dog attack is a kitten’s whisker away, now the first thing to do is to remain motionless and read dog’s expressions. If dog goes from barking to growling to looking right into your eyes, it means that he is relieving himself of the stress and he is not going to attack you until further notice.
  • Do not run away – running away from dogs always make them furious and their instinct makes them chase you down and bite you. This won’t do any service to you. Even a 2nd grader knows that dogs run faster than human beings.
  • If you see that dog is doing opposite to what has been explained in point one e.g. going from unfriendly stare to growl to bark, be prepared for dog attack. Curl your body into a ball with your head tucked in and with your arms/hands over the neck to protect neck and ears, in the event of the dog attacking you.

  • Do not panic at all; it will only make the situation worse than before. Dog will get more panicked, more stressed and more willing to finish it. In Putbill dog attack it has been noticed that if the victim of the attack remains calm and in control of his nerves, the dog mostly leaves them without causing much harm.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog that is not known to you. Ask him to go home in a soft but firm voice. Do not come face to face, but try to have the dog on one side of your body; it will not make you look like an aggressor. Slowly raise the hands to cover neck and ears, and wait for the dog to back away.

What to do if you are attacked?

Get the details of dog to be sure about existence of rabies. Then apply a clean towel to wound to prevent bleeding. Keep the wound elevated and wash it carefully. Then apply bandage to the injury and go to the doctor so that they may perform whatever procedures are needed.[12]

However, this was only a very brief procedure. There is always a two-fold layer of protection against any Pitbull attack. First of all, you need immediate medical assistance. Either get some friend or family’s help or do it yourself.

The first thing to do is to find a clean towel, put it on the wound and elevate the injured area so as to stop any bleeding. Then if you have sterile bandage at home (you might not believe, but many people keep basic first-aid kit at home) apply it to the wound or go to the doctor.

Here starts the job of your doctor. They must ask you some questions e.g. breed of dog, whether you have dog owner’s particulars or not (to confirm whether dog is vaccinated for rabies or not) and other such questions. Then doctor will do the bandage and apply antibiotic to your wound every day: so as to prevent infection. And the last step is to determine if you need dog bite injections or not.

Conclusion

To conclude we must say that it is not only reality that bites, but dogs also bite. Shit happens! You got to learn to deal it. Can you deprive yourself of the furry goodness in your life, two shining cute eyes looking right into your eyes, a friendly bark, much needed company and unparalleled loyalty, because of the off chance that your dog might bite you? The answer is always a big No with capital N!

Dog attacks are not hate crimes! They happen because of the primitive instincts of this predatory animal, and we got to develop an understanding of these instincts, so as to save ourselves and this beautiful animal.

References

[1] https://www.avma.org/public/Pages/Why-do-dogs-bite.aspx
[2] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/when-dogs-attack
[3] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/dog-bites-101-why-bites-happen
[4] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/when-dogs-attack
[5] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/dog-bites-101-why-bites-happen
[6] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/when-dogs-attack
[7] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/dog-bites-101-why-bites-happen
[8] https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/dog-bites-101-why-bites-happen
[9] https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/
[10] https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/
[11] https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/
[12] http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-bites#1

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