Somewhere deep inside, even the bravest of the brave secretly fears a dog attack when suddenly faced with these creatures. Even in those who have never observed on a firsthand basis what it is like when a dog attacks someone, the fear is still quite rampant. All kinds of media have made dog attacks so very popular and graphic, that the fear is only too natural. Books like Cujo only worsen matters (sorry Stephen King, but I had to say this, couldn't resist!). The following is about several things pertaining to dog attacks, ranging from why they attack humans, to what kinds of treatments are recommended.
Why do Dogs Attack Humans?
We must always remember that dogs are naturally feral creatures. We might try to domesticate and train them, but they will remain what they are, by nature. It is because of their nature that most of the attacking incidents happen.
Dogs are very aggressive creatures. But what most dog owners don't know is that there are several kinds of aggressions that they might show. Their most predominant form of aggression arises when they need to show their superiority. Dogs might attack people who encroach into their areas. In fact, that's the reason why dogs react violently to strangers. They perceive them as threats to their freedom. They can also attack people who try to move them from a point where they have established themselves.
Dogs can also behave violently if their possessions are threatened. For example, they might attack someone who tries to take their food plate or water away. Most times, though, dogs attack out of fear. Sudden changes in their surroundings unnerve them. This is why they might attack people who suddenly break into a run. People who make quick body movements near them are also at a risk of an unexpected attack.
The above indicate that most of the attacks on humans are out of a sense of defensiveness, rather than for offense. If there is even a suspicion in the dog's mind that it is going to be harmed in some way, it will attack in self-defense.
Finally, we must not forget the aggression shown by pet dogs towards their owners or the other members of their family. Even these attacks mostly happen when someone from the family is trying to train the dog. It is true that dogs are quite responsive to training, but it might take them some time to be broken into a habit. This is where some impatient trainers might go overboard, thus provoking to dog to make an attack.
How to Prevent an Attack?
The proverb 'Let sleeping dogs lie' is quite apt. It is best to allow them to be on their own. Dogs will seldom attack if they do not feel a sense of insecurity in some way, so the best way is to make sure your paths do not cross.
There are no set points on preventing dog attacks, because different breeds act in different ways. But it is necessary not to give the dog any cause for alarm. When a dog you are not acquainted with is in your vicinity, do not make any sudden movements. You can understand when a dog is getting agitated. At the first sign of agitation, it is better to stop whatever you are doing and see if it goes back to being normal. If you are carrying some kind of food with you, probably the dog is getting aggressive for that too. In that case, it would be wisest to push the food on the floor in the general direction of the dog. If the agitation still continues, it is best to move out from the place as quietly as you can.
Trainers must bear in mind not to be quite forceful during training. Dogs indicate when they are getting stressed out by their body responses. These must be taken as a sign by the trainers to let go. Giving the dog some treat helps them to forget the stress of the training, and might prevent the possibility of an attack.