It is up to dog owners to ensure their pets do not harm others. However, you may still encounter an aggressive dog while out and about, which can put you in direct danger.
Although the owner of the aggressive animal will likely be liable if an attack occurs, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of getting hurt. Here are a few essential factors to consider.
Avoid making eye contact with the dog
An aggressive dog may take an innocent action or gesture as a threat. For instance, the dog may interpret eye contact as a direct threat, which can lead to an attack. Avoid eye contact with the animal and provide commands in a clear, steady voice.
Put an object between yourself and the animal
If the dog advances toward you, look for something to place between yourself and the animal. A backpack, purse, or bicycle can block the dog and potentially distract them. If the dog latches onto the object, leave the scene as soon as possible and call for assistance to ensure you get to safety.
Keep your distance from the animal
If at all possible, try to keep a safe distance between yourself and the aggressive dog. For example, cross the street to avoid walking by a fence containing a barking dog. Canines are very territorial, which means the animal could perceive you as a threat if you get too close. In this case, the further away you stay, the lower the chance of injury.
It may not be possible for you to completely avoid a dog attack. In the event the dog does bite you, clean the injury before contacting local law enforcement to report the incident. You should also receive an evaluation from a doctor immediately.