Let’s run through a scary scenario. Say you’re out for your daily walk, and you’re approached by a strange and not-too-friendly dog. What do you do?

  • First: Don't run. Certified dog trainer Cari Brown says that unless you’re positive you can get to safety, running will only activate the dog’s instinct to chase and bite its prey, meaning, you. 

  • Instead, you’re better off if you freeze. Roo Yori specializes in Pit Bull rehabilitation. And he says that if an angry dog charges, stand absolutely still with your arms folded across your chest, and don’t make eye contact. In most cases, the dog will sniff you and move on, provided you don’t smile at it. Because dogs don’t understand that smiles are meant to be friendly, to them, a smile means you’re baring your teeth, like a snarl.

  • If the dog does attack: Experts recommend kicking or punching it in the throat. That will stun the dog and buy you time to escape. But if the dog manages to knock you down, cover your head with your arms, roll into a ball, and stay completely still. If the dog gets no reaction from you, it should lose interest and go away.