Can You Avoid A Dog Attack?

Minimize Your Risk and Fight Back.

1. Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs even if the dog is being walked on a leash.

2. Ask owner's permission before approaching a dog.

3. Never approach a barking, snarling, sleeping, eating, or nursing dog.

4. Do not stare the dog in the eyes.

5. Turn sideways and slowly withdraw.

6. Put an object such as a tree, post, or bench between you and the dog.

7. Speak softly and gently to calm the dog, "Good dog, go home."

8. Stand still or maintain a constant slow pace out of the dog's territory.

9. If local law allows, use pepper spray when charged by a dog.

10. If charged, get something between you and the dog's mouth - umbrella, pack, jacket, stick

11. If attacked, curl up in a ball and protect your face, neck, and head.


  • You can't out run the dog.
  • Be aware of dogs a block or more ahead, change your route or turn around to avoid unleashed dogs.
  • If a dog runs towards you exhibiting aggressive growling or barking, stand your ground without sudden movement. Brace yourself and command the dog as if you were its owner: "No!" "Down!" "Sit!" "Stay!" Do this repeatedly. Do not raise your hands in a fight stance prematurely as this may antagonize the dog and you might lose your one chance at stopping the attacking dog through commands.
  • If you are jogging, stop jogging and walk by the dog, avoiding eye contact and sudden movement.
  • If the dog is small and presents no danger for your neck area, you may want to try to kick it. A good blow to the nose or to the body will stop most small dogs.
  • If you are on a bike, remember dogs often go for your feet on the pedals. Bicyclists have been seriously mauled even while riding in bicycle races. Some bicyclists carry pepper spray in areas where the law allows for this, and cyclists also will use other types of deterrents to help when they can't out bike the dogs.