How to defend yourself against an attacking dog

My dog and I were attacked by a German shepherd last summer. His name is Max. He lives down the street from us and would often run up to the fence barking ferociously as I would walk my dog past his house on the way to the park.

No big deal, I thought. Dogs are often territorial about their property and like to bark at other dogs. One night, the attack night, however, when he charged at the gate to bark at us, the gate swung open.

Suddenly this massive German Shepherd came barreling across the yard and seized my dog in his mouth. My dog, Buckley, is a 30-pound Schnauzer. He was crying and yelping. At first I thought this might just be a dog fight. Something I needed to break up, but not too serious. Then Max had Buckley in his mouth, off the ground, and was swinging him around. He was literally trying to kill him.

I yelled at him and shook him by the collar but he ignored me, and Buckley continued to cry. So, I punched Max in the eye. He dropped Buckley and bit me through the hand. Then he chased Buckley across the street and grabbed him again. I ran after them both, clutching a bleeding hand and yelling for help. Finally, Max’s owners heard the commotion, came outside, and got their dog under control. If a similar situation has happened to you or someone you know, you or they may be eligible for compensation, to find out if you are, hire the help of a law firm in your local area that covers dog bites, like this law firm based in Vancouver, Canada – Diamond and Diamond.

Buckley needed stitches for a host of open wounds. I still have numbness in two fingers a year later. Max’s owners paid the vet bill and bought me a bottle of bourbon by way of apology. They also installed a new fence and gate keeping their dangerous dog in the back yard and out of sight of the road. Max’s owners were lucky, I would have been quite within my rights to pursue legal action against them if I’d have enlisted them help of a personal injury lawyer.

It was a scary situation, and in the heat of the moment, I really didn’t know how to handle it. So I talked to Buckley’s vet for some expert advice on how to deal with an attacking dog.

Vet tips for handling an attacking dog

Yell common commands. Try loudly and assertively ordering the dog to sit or stay. He may have been trained to obey orders and this can diffuse the situation or give you time to walk away.

Back away slowly. Running will only encourage them to chase you, and turning your back on them can be seen as an invitation to attack.

He stresses, that if the dog bites, do not pull the victim out of the dog’s mouth. That would result in the teeth tearing at the flesh, making much more serious injuries.

In the case where Max had Buckley in his mouth off the ground, the vet recommends getting behind the attacking dog and grabbing him by the collar. Then with one leg on either side of the dog’s back, you can pull the collar back tightly with both hands forcing him to release his grip on whatever he is biting. This also prevents him from being able to turn and bite you. This kind of aggression isn’t common and should be altered immediately. If the owner isn’t taking any responsibility for an attack and you’ve had to seek professional help for yourself or the dog, then you should contact Gruber Law Offices, LLC immediately. Precautions need to be put in place to prevent this sort of brutality from happening again.

Also, use a weapon if you can. My punching Max may have caused him to drop Buckley momentarily, but he immediately bit me. Using a stick or other object can allow you to beat the attacking animal back without exposing yourself to as much risk of injury.

My wife has carried pepper spray ever since the dog attack incident and even avoids walking Buckley in that direction whenever possible. Buckley was traumatized for a day or so, but has since recovered from his wounds and doesn’t seem to react any differently to passing Max’s house or German Shepherds.