WOD Talk Magazine

Defence Against Dog Attacks

By on October 6, 2012

Most people when thinking about personal defence, tend to think about person to person, or one person against many persons. But I would like to know how many of you think about and train protecting yourself from animals like dogs. I would bet not many.

For most of you, this is probably the first time you have ever thought about it. Except if you are a mailman or something. :)

Here in Belize (where I live) it is not just possible for this to happen, it is even probable for it to happen with so many stray dogs around. Maybe you are just taking a walk, or heading to work. Or maybe even taking a bike ride and an unfamiliar dog jumps out at you trying to protect its territory.

Did you know that getting bitten by a dog is the fifth most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms? And that over 5 million attacks happen every year just in the USA alone. These injuries can be minor to majorly severe, to even death.

Whatever the case maybe, you have to be prepared for it.

But how do we prepare for the possibility of being attacked by a dog? We can’t all have dogs attack us repeatedly so that we can learn some fancy martial art move to defend ourselves. So what do we do?

The fact is, most of what you need to know about defending yourself against animals is non-physical. And this is something you can teach your kids about as well. Lets break it down a bit.


The first thing you have to do is be aware and take precautions.

This is no different than dealing with other humans. You have to be aware of your surroundings and what is happening in those surroundings. If you are on your cell walking around town with no awareness, you are bound to get into trouble. I have seen it time and time again. Put aside whatever else you are doing and be aware. Don’t go down those dark alleys at night, even if it means adding 20 minutes to your walk. If you are going down a road and see a “nice” dog, don’t try and go over and pet the thing. And if a dog is chained up, they are most likely going to be more aggressive than unchained dogs. That is a good way of loosing some digits. NO PETTING!

Another tip here would be to: Avoid smiling at dogs. This is all fine and dandy to a human (in most cultures) but a dog will see you bearing your teeth ready for a fight. This is a sign of aggression.


Look for warning signs.

Sometimes we can’t help but be in a dogs perceived “territory”. And when this happens you need to be able to tell if a dog is just friendly, playful, or dangerous. Now, while some dogs are said to be more dangerous than others, the fact is, any dog can and will attack in certain situations. If you decide to corner a little chiwawa, you are going to loose a finger.

One way of knowing is how the dog actually approches you. If the head is held high it probably will not attack. But if it is held level with its body, beware. This is the dogs guard and attack position.

Another thing to look at is if the dog has a loping gate and is playful like, or a steady and constant run. If it is constant, look out


Remove yourself from the situation, carefully.

If you find yourself in a predicament, make sure you stay calm. A dog is very sensitive to you and being freaked out will only make the situation worse. Get into some sort of non threatening position without exposing your extremities.

Next thing is to hold your position. Do not run from a dog. Instinctually they will chase you and you will end up with K9′s in your flesh. Instead, stay put, do not antagonize the dog, and it may even be beneficial to use words like “sit”, “go lay down” or “go home”. But never turn your back to the dog.

Another thing you could do (if you have something in your hand), is put it between you and the dog. This will give you something the dog can sink its teeth in if it attacks.

Now slowly back away from the situation always keeping an eye on the dog until you are able to get away or the dog looses interest. But to not look directly at the dogs eyes. They can see this as a threat.

Now, What if the Dog Attacks?

If you have something to defend yourself (stick, rocks, etc.), use them. If you are carrying a bag or have a bike, put it between you and the dog.

I guess it goes without saying, stay way from the dogs mouth. That is where it keeps it’s teeth. You know, those nasty little (or BIG) things that will rip you open and make you have to go to the hospital for stitches.

And if you don’t have anything with you, you will need to treat it in a similar way to a criminal trying to kill you. If you can not avoid the dogs mouth for any reason, grab the lower jaw and hold on tight. While you are doing this try and strike the dog or put your fingers in its eyes.

After an Attack

Tend to your wounds. DO NOT think that just because it may be a small wound that you should not take care of it. Maybe the dog is rabid, or worse. Wash it well and wrap it in dressing with some antibiotic ointment. Keep an eye on it for infection. If there is even the slightest bit of infection see a doctor immediately.

And if the wounds are more serious, wrap it well and go to the emergency room or see your doctor immediately after the event.

And last but not least, contact the owner and animal control authorities when you can to tell them about the situation.

Do you have anymore useful tips?

STAY PRIMAL, my friends


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About Coach Karma

Coach Karma L Senge has been in Personal Protection / Self Defense as well as the Fitness & Nutrition world for over 31 years now and continually teaches around the world. He has held seminars for many government agencies around the world as well as seminars for civilians. He currently teaches seminars in the United States, Europe, India, and throughout Central America. As well has oversees many training groups around the world.
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