How to survive a dog attack

Don’t run or fight

(Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dogs are known as man's best friend, but in the rare instance they attack, it can turn deadly.

The best bet for anyone, canine owner or not, is to familiarize themselves with tips on what to do if you encounter an aggressive dog. While your first instinct might be to run, that could actually make matters worse.

The guidelines below on how to avoid and survive a dog attack come from a variety of expert sources, including the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Beware of body language

Avoiding aggressive dogs means avoiding an attack. The ASPCA recommends examining a dog's body language to try to determine whether it could bite. Aggressive dogs will try to make themselves look bigger by making their ears stand straight up, puffing out their fur and pointing their tail up. Growling, lunging, barking and baring teeth are other sure signs of aggression. Anxious dogs that could bite out of fear tend to cower, put their tails between their legs, flatten back their ears and yawn or lick their lips. There's also a chance that dogs could show a mixture of fear and aggression. No matter the case, try to stay away if you see a dog exhibit these signs.

Know when not to approach

(Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States)

About the Author: