How to Defend Yourself Against a Dog Attack

Every year, there are about 350,000 emergency room cases due to dog attacks. These attacks can cause serious disfigurement and sometimes even kill people.

And it gets worse…when SHTF, people will abandon their dogs and force them to fend for themselves. That means more dogs out on the streets desperate for their next meal.

If you don’t know how to defend yourself against a dog attack, you’re going to be an easy target for these feral dogs.

The good news is that there are ways you can avoid dog attacks and a couple easy ways to defend yourself.

Prevent the Attack

The obvious best option is for you to prevent the attack entirely, so you don’t have to defend yourself and risk injury.

When most people try to prevent a dog from attacking, they actually agitate the dog and make the situation worse. So here are a few tips on how to encourage the dog to leave you alone.

Avoid Eye Contact

If a dog is showing aggressive behavior, then you should avoid making eye contact with them. By making eye contact, you’re challenging the dog, and this will increase the chances of it attacking.

Instead, look past the dog, or at an object that’s close to the dog so the dog remains in your field of view without staring it down.

Don’t Smile

Don’t smile at a dog showing aggressive behavior towards you. This might be hard for you to do, especially if you smile when you’re nervous.

When a dog is being aggressive, it’ll bear its fangs…and it thinks that’s what you’re doing when you smile. By smiling, you’re returning the aggressive behavior and encouraging it to attack.

Don’t Turn Your Back

Never turn your back to an aggressive dog.

First, it displays weakness and will signal the dog to attack.  Second, you won’t be able to see what the dog is doing. And third, by turning away, you could trigger the dog’s chase instinct.

Instead of turning your back, simply slowly back away while continuing to face the dog. This will allow you to create distance between you and the dog without showing weakness or triggering its chase instincts.

Understanding a Dog’s Only Method of Attack

Even if you’ve done everything you can to prevent the dog from attacking, it might attack anyway.

In that case, you need to understand the method dogs use to attack their prey so you’re better prepared to defend yourself.

This is fairly straightforward. Dogs only have one method of attack, and that’s to get close and bite you.

This is good news for you because this limitation makes dogs very predictable. They’ll either run or jump forward and bite the part of you closest to them.

If you can exploit this, then you’ll be able to successfully defend yourself from the attack of any dog because aggressive dogs all behave the same way.

Of course, it’s more complicated when dealing with a pack of dogs, but this post is about dealing with one dog. We’ll talk about defending yourself against a pack of dogs in a later post.

Two Ways to Defend Yourself Against a Dog Attack

Shooting the attacking dog is the safest choice if you have a gun, but many people don’t carry one regularly.

That’s why I’m listing these two methods of defending yourself against a dog that can be done even without a gun.

Using a Bite Stick

A bite stick doesn’t actually have to be a stick, though it can be. A bite stick just needs to be a long object that you’ll trick the dog into biting instead of your body.

Sticks and baseball bats work well, though you can even use something like a rolled up sweatshirt.

Keep the bite stick between you and the dog, and the dog will most likely bite it first.

Usually, when a dog bites something, it expects it to pull away…but you’re going to force the bite stick into its mouth.

The bite stick prevents the dog’s jaws from closing all the way and makes it impossible for it to bite you. Plus, if you’re forcing the bite stick into its mouth, it won’t be able to get rid of the bite stick.

Use the Clothes on Your Back

Let’s say you aren’t carrying anything suitable for a bite stick and you don’t have time to grab one.

Your other option is to use the clothes you’re wearing. A coat or sweater works best, but a regular T-shirt can work too.

Take it off and wrap it around your forearm. Your forearm now has a layer of body armor. Something as thin as a shirt won’t give you complete protection, but it will prevent a lot of damage.

Hold your forearm between you and the dog so the dog is more likely to bite it. The clothing you wrapped around your arm will protect you.

While the dog is biting the clothing on your forearm, reach under the dog with your other arm and grasp the dog’s rear legs. Now lift the dog up and flip it over. The dog is now upside down, and it can’t go anywhere because you’re holding onto its rear legs.

What you do next is a judgment call on your part. You can keep the dog in this position and call for help, or if you are nowhere near anyone, you can kill the dog by snapping its neck with your foot.

I know the idea of killing man’s best friend sounds pretty brutal, but depending on the size and strength of the dog, your life could be in danger. If it’s really viciously attacking you, you need to take that seriously and be prepared to kill it.


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