Stray dogs can be dangerous. But anyone, especially children, are most likely to be bitten by a dog they know.
Because people stayed at home since March 2020, younger dogs did not undergo the usual socialization experienced by older dogs. Older dogs may still need a slow reentry into social situations.
While walking, be aware of your environment and homes which have dogs on your regular route. An open gate may signal that the dog is loose.
Dogs undergo stress in urban environments, especially to children, joggers roller bladers, skaters and people with mobility issues. Approaching humans may appear as a possible confrontation to a dog. Pet owners can avoid this by stepping off the sidewalk until the pedestrian passes.
Dogs pursuing prey usually engage in focusing, stalking, chasing, and acquiring. If a dog is not tracking you, remain still and let it go past you. A dog may chase you if you run.
Slowly move away from a tracking dog. If you need to move past the dog, move away at walking speed and on a diagonal to create the most distance as quickly as possible.
In bad situations, step inside a gate at a home without a dog, climb into or place your child into a pickup with an open bed or get on top of a vehicle.
If these options are impossible, stand still with arms straight along your side or crossed over your chest. A dog may run up and sniff you and then move along when this occurs.
Dogs have an oppositional instinct where they bite harder if prey pulls away. Lean into the biting dog. A loud and low noise may startle a dog and make it back off.
Swing a backpack, purse, cane, or other object like you are sweeping a broom. This may create a space between you or your child and the dog. Raising an object to hit the dog leaves your whole body exposed.
Interlace your fingers and curl into a tight ball if you are brought to the ground by a dog or group of dogs. Hitting them is ineffective.
Pepper spray may also work upon a lunging dog. If a dog lunges at a child, it is important to place distance between them by using a rake or other object. If nothing else works, parents may place themselves between the dog and their child.
Attorneys can help victims seek compensation. They may assist with gathering evidence and pursuing rights.