When Dogs Attack

Jack and Diane

“Jack” and “Diane”, Two American Dogs Doing The Best They Can. These are two of the sweetest dogs I know. They really don’t fit the picture of an attack dog but I needed a pic. ūüôā

This post is another random musing of mine. It is absolutely not related to cakes, parties or poetry. But I feel it is important none the less. This past weekend was a little rough for my household. I was sick as a dog (no pun intended), had a ton of baking commitments to fulfill, kid’s practices and a few other dozen things. As Saturday progressed from afternoon into evening I told my husband that I didn’t feel like cooking dinner to which he responded “let’s get a pizza”. So like a good husband tending to his wife, he decided to go get a pizza and a movie for us all to watch. He stepped foot outside the door to warm up our van. Suddenly I heard a vicious growling and snarling noise coming from outside the house. I jumped up, ran to the window and saw him standing there with a shocked expression on his face. He then walked out of my sight. He had just been attacked by our neighbor’s dog. My husband simply walked to the van and this animal ran out of the neighbor’s front door at the same time, charged at my husband and latched on. This little animal is extremely territorial.

Allow me to paint the picture of my husband’s attacker. The dog is a chihuahua/miniature dachshund mix. It is a terrible nuisance. The critter barks non-stop. I don’t mean like a little bit when they put it outside, I mean it will bark from the time it’s paws hit the dirt until they bring it in. The longest they left it out was for 2 hours! Yes, it barked the entire time. And heaven forbid they leave the windows open in the summer because it will stay perched at that window’s ledge barking at the leaves rustling in the wind….it’s that ridiculous.

Even though it’s a small dog, it did a bit of damage. It latched onto his pant leg and began tearing it to shreds. Thankfully they were some what baggy pants and the dog never got a hold of my husband’s skin.

Upon doing some investigating with other neighbor’s and speaking with the dog warden, we found out that none of her animals are licensed (required by law in Ohio) and none of them have had a rabies shot. One of our neighbors, who has lived in the neighborhood a long time, told us that this wasn’t the dog’s first offense. A few years ago it attacked a woman as she was walking outside.

Please understand that we are not anti-neighbor, dog hating horrible human beings. In fact my hubs and I both grew up with dogs and we love the companionship a K-9 offers! But we are deeply concerned about the safety of not only our daughters but any body else that may cross this mutts path. Now, what do you do if you are attacked? What do you do if your children are attacked? Whether it’s a big or a small dog, they can cause serious harm to a person. Below are suggestions on handling these scary situations from my counties dog shelter website.

To avoid becoming the victim of a bite, follow these tips:

  • Never approach a dog you do not know.
  • Assume any dog you don’t know, may bite.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with aggressive dogs.
  • Never disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating or protecting puppies.

If a strange dog approaches you:

  • Remain calm ~ do not scream or yell.
  • Freeze and remain still.¬† Avoid sudden movements.¬† Above all, do not run, as this invites a chase.
  • Turn your head away slightly, avoid direct eye contact.
  • Be patient.¬† Wait until the dog loses interest and back away slowly.

If you are attacked by a dog:

  • Seek cover and try to use any object you have to place between you and the dog ~ a coat, book bag, etc.
  • Try to stay on your feet.
  • If knocked down, curl into a ball on your knees and use your arms to protect your face and neck.

Report dog bites and dog-related injuries to your local animal control department and health department. 


  • Reporting is key! In my husband’s case, he simply walked out of the front door at the wrong time. He didn’t stare the dog down or approach it. It ran at him. And since we know of other incidents that have occurred with this animal, it is extremely important to report it so there is record of this animal’s history. Again, not trying to cause problems with the neighbors, but rather trying to be protective and proactive about any possible dangers.

Medical Aid (from WebMD)

Dog Bite Treatments

Although you can provide first aid for a dog bite at home, it’s very important to see a doctor, especially if an unfamiliar dog bit you, the bite is deep, you can’t stop the bleeding, or there are any signs of infection (redness, swelling, warmth, pus). Dog bites can cause infections that need to be treated with antibiotics.

To care for a dog bite injury at home:

  • Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
  • Try to keep the injured area elevated.
  • Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
  • Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the injury every day to prevent infection.

When you visit the doctor, be prepared to answer a few questions, including:

  • Do you know the owner of the dog?
  • If so, is the dog up to date on all vaccinations, including rabies?
  • Did the bite occur because the dog was provoked, or was the dog unprovoked?
  • What health conditions do you have? People with¬†diabetes,¬†liver¬†disease, illnesses that suppress the immune system, and other health conditions may be at greater risk for a more severe infection.

Your doctor will examine the injury to see whether the bite was deep enough to damage muscles, tendons, nerves, or bones. Then the doctor will thoroughly clean the bite wound to remove any dirt or bacteria, and may also remove dead tissues from the wound.

To Sum It All Up…¬†

If you have a dog that is difficult to control or may need training then look into programs at your own local dog shelter. Sometimes they offer classes (even free ones) or can direct you to local organizations that may help.

Our dog shelter has education programs for kids! They came to my daughter’s school last year with some dogs and demonstrated how to approach a dog and what signs to look for in an animal that may be getting ready to attack. It was extremely helpful and the kids got to pet some very sweet dogs!

I sincerely hope you don’t ever experience a dog attack of any sort. If you are interested in learning more about dog bite prevention, dog training or educating kids about animal safety, then look to your local animal shelters for helpful suggestions.


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