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Should you run from a dog?

A dog charges at you. It’s not on a leash. You don’t know the dog. It looks mean, and you think it’s going to bite you.

Instantly, you feel like you should turn and run. You don’t think about it logically. Obviously, the dog is much faster than you and you’re probably only going to make it a few steps before it reaches you. But your fight or flight response tells you it’s time to run.

While running may be prudent in some rare cases, experts typically advise you to do just the opposite. Try to stay as calm as you possibly can. Don’t scream and run. Face the dog calmly and stand still with your arms folded.

Dogs react to your emotions. If you scream and run, the dog is just going to chase you more vigorously. It’s going to become more worked up and the chances of a serious attack could go up. By standing still, you lower the overall energy in the encounter and calm the dog down.

Remember that dogs instinctively wants to chase you and bark at you. Dogs have natural predator/prey instincts that push them to chase. They also get used to seeing people go by — perhaps on the other side of a fence with a gate that finally got left open — and they bark to scare them off. By acting like prey, you may just encourage them.

Even standing still won’t always prevent a dog bite, though. When you are the victim, you could be facing serious medical bills and even a lasting disfigurement, and you must know what legal rights you have to seek out compensation.

Source: Pet Health Network, “What To Do If A Dog Attacks You,” accessed June 07, 2017

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