There are a lot of hazards that Georgia pedestrians face, such as negligent drivers, slippery sidewalks, and uneven roads. However, there is another common but unexpected danger that you could encounter while walking or running: dangerous dogs.
Dogs can sometimes unexpectedly attack joggers, runners, and other pedestrians while they are out for a stroll. However, there are steps that you can take to avoid these attacks in the event that you encounter an aggressive dog. Above all, it is important to stay calm, avoid eye contact, and carry tools to distract the animal.
#1: Slow Down and Stay Calm
Many dogs chase pedestrians and joggers because they enjoy the act of chasing. Dogs have a natural hunting instinct that could be triggered by a fast-moving passerby.
If you do approach a dog, slow down your pace and walk as calmly as possible. Try to put an object between you and the animal, such as a tree, bench, or mailbox. Speak softly and calmly to the animal; do not yell at it.
#2: Do Not Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is a sign of aggression in dogs. If you are approaching an unfamiliar animal that is staring at you, look away from it. This shows that you are not a threat to the animal and do not want to engage with it, which can help diffuse the situation.
#3: Carry Tools to Distract the Dog
If a dog does chase or follow you, you could carry some equipment to help dissuade or distract the animal. Dogs are highly sensitive to loud noises, so carrying a safety whistle can help stop a chasing dog. There are even special ultrasonic whistles that emit a frequency that can only be heard by dogs, repelling them away from your location.
You can also carry a can or jar filled with small rocks. If a dog approaches you, you could rattle the can and try to scare it away from your person. You could also purchase milkbones and other treats that you can toss to distract the animal.
#4: Do Not Approach an Unfamiliar Dog
When you are walking in Georgia, you should not approach any strange or unfamiliar dog, even if it appears friendly. You should especially avoid approaching a dog that is barking, growling, or taking care of its pups.
It’s also important to know the signs of an impending dog attack. An aggressive dog may display any of the following behaviors:
Rigid body posture
Barking and snapping
What Should You Do If a Dog Attacks You?
If a dog unexpectedly attacks you, you can suffer from painful injuries that could become infected. After a dog attack, you should call 911 as soon as possible and receive medical attention for any of your injuries.
Additionally, you should take steps to document the incident. Take photographs of the animal and your injuries. Collect the owner’s information and the information of anyone who saw the accident. Then, contact an Augusta dog bite injury lawyer to discuss your options for legal action.