I was deeply saddened by the recent attack on Kathy Klassen’s dog while she was out walking her dog. I hope her dog will make a speedy recovery.
I would like to share a tip that can help when someone is faced with a situation of a dog attack whether on another animal or person. If a dog is in the act of biting, do not try to grab them by the head or collar as this will endanger you. The correct thing to do is to grab them by the back legs, lifting their body up into the air, leaving their front feet on the ground, this takes away a great deal of their physical force. Having the back legs in the air also keeps you safe, as it allows control of the dog’s body if he should let go and try to bite you. Maintaining control of their back legs means they cannot bite you.
If the dog still does not let go of its victim, do not try to pull them apart. Often more physical damage is done through the pulling of the flesh of the victim than the actual bite would have inflicted. You can try to cover the dog’s head and eyes with a jacket or scarf as sometimes this will make them release, or if you have a water bottle, try to fill their mouth and nostrils with water to cut off their breath which will also cause them to release. Do not let go of the back legs until the dog can be controlled, otherwise they may very well attack again. In addition, if it is an unleashed or stray dog, you will have possession of the dog ensuring that dog control can take the dog into their custody and press charges if necessary.
The most important and the most difficult thing is to remain as calm as possible, high anxiety feeds the dogs aggression. Practise doing this in your mind a few times so that if the situation should occur where you need to act, your mind will already have experience and it is more likely that you will remember this skill.
I hope people will find this information helpful as I feel the more people who know about this technique the safer we will all be.