I’m an animal lover, always have been. But …
This past Thursday afternoon, I was doing house checks for one of my owners. I manage several nice homes for him and I stop in occasionally to make sure my tenants are maintaining the home and that everything is in working order.
It was pouring rain, so I pulled way up into the driveway and made a run for the front door. Out of nowhere, a big dog totally snuck up on me, barking viciously only when he was almost on me. Scared the “you-know-what” out of me! I turned to face him just as he bit my forearm. I yelled “No!’ and he ran back to the garage next door.
My arm was bleeding, of course … it’s fine now, wasn’t a deep wound. I couldn’t have protected myself from this because I never saw him coming, but I’ve been accosted by stray dogs before and I asked my daughter Allison what to do. She’s a little smartypants in the realm of animal behavior. (In the past, I’ve put my hand out, yelled “NO!” or “Raaaahhhh!”, and she said that’s probably the worst thing you can do.) This was her advice:
When a dog approaches you growling, it’s out of fear. Don’t look the dog in the eye, and don’t address the dog. He will see these things as challenges, and this will increase his fear, which can lead to aggression. So, I was wrong on all counts!
In the future, I won’t confront a snarling dog or look it in the eye … I don’t carry mace, but I do pack the heat … of course, I wouldn’t want to use it on a dog. Actually, I hope I never have to use it at all. Maybe I’ll carry treats in my pocket and throw them in the opposite direction?