Getting Out Of Danger
If you follow the 8 Simple Safety Tips and are careful about Avoiding Risk Situations, you can limit the risk of being bitten by a dog.
Dog owners are required by law to keep their dogs under control at all times. If you find yourself in a situation where there is no-one to take control of an aggressive dog
- try to leave the area (slowly) to avoid being attacked
- warn any other people in the area
- report your concern to your local Council.
Stop. Stand. Leave
The lowest-risk response to an agressive dog is to ‘Stop. Stand. Leave.’ This is what you should teach your children.
Be like a tree (or a statue)
If you are confident that you can control the dog, you might try commanding the dog very firmly to 'sit', ‘down’ , or ‘no’. Look directly at the dog to assert your control. If the dog does not respond to this or the situation escalates, revert to ‘Stop. Stand. Leave.’
- stop what you’re doing
- stand still. Don't kick at the dog, squeal, wave your arms around or jump. Look look down at your feet or the dog's feet (looking directly at the dog might be interpreted as a challenge). Keep your hands by your sides
- leave once the dog has calmed down. Slowly back away from the dog, and when there is enough distance between you and the dog, walk away slowly and calmly.
What to do if attacked
If a dog does rush at you
- call loudly for help
- do try to put any object between you and the dog – such as a bag, bike, ball, umbrella, clothing, car door etc
- if you are knocked down, lie face down with your arms over the back of your head, stay still
- get medical attention immediately if bitten
- report the incident as soon as possible to your local Council Dog Control Officer.
What to do if your dog is attacked
Learning how to avoid situations that can lead to a dog fight is better than having to break one up. But you might find yourself in a situation where your dog is being attacked, or attacking another dog.
If a fight does happen
- do not attempt to reach for a collar or get your hands in between the dogs – it’s a sure way to get bitten
- drop the leash. Alternatively the leash should be jerked sharply and a firm "No" given. This should be followed by the command "heel". If the two dogs break apart, then you may be able to walk your dog away or keep it from the other dog
- if someone else is around try wheel barrowing - each person picks a dog and grabs its hind legs, pulling back and up until the dog loosens its grip
- try pouring water over the heads or into the ears of fighting dogs
- a cloth or coat thrown over the heads of both dogs may confuse them and allow time for one or both dogs to be removed
- throwing a noisy object along side the dogs, or making a loud sound near their heads to startle them may gain sufficient time to stop the fight. A succession of commands such as "No" or "Stop" should be given at the same time.
- report the attack on your dog to your Council.