1. As soon as possible after being bitten, wash the wounded area well in soapy water scrubbing around the bite marks. Cover with sterile dressing. Get medical care!

    A well known Renaissance painting depicting the return of the prodigal son, shows son and father along with several joyous dogs. Each dog has a curved spine and relaxed ears. Good catch in your article and wonderful eye on that artist.

    Dog bites and any deep puncture wounds are bad news even with access to modern medicine. Best avoid the bite in the first place. Dogs have a pursuit drive. As Nicholas points out, you won’t escape even a moderate sized dog on foot. Running only increases the aggression. Dogs don’t nip at the heels so much as try to sever the achilles tendon or hamstring muscles making evasion impossible. Some believe showing fear increases the likelihood of dog attack. I think there is much to this. My son watched in horror one day as I was being charged by a bull out on the Texas panhandle. I ran toward the bull as it charged me, flapping my arms and yelling. The bull turned away, probably thinking that any little creature so meeting its charge must be part badger. The bull thought well and not only because I had my trusty .45. Not that I’d recommend this against a more agile creature such as a dog but then again, I had what the French call the force de frappe, which is of course one of the best defenses against animal attack.

    I have been, well doggy, most of my life. In my early 20s, I raised and trained a Doberman as a companion dog. One day I swung a leg over a motorcycle, disengaged the clutch and started to ride forward. The Doby watched in interest never before seeing me on a motorcycle. Once it moved with me however, the dog charged, grabbing my jeans cuff and pulled me off the motorcycle, dumping me in the dirt and turning over the bike. I was annoyed and mad at this unusual behavior until realizing that the dog was saving its master from a metal beast making off with him. We now live on a remote mountain top with a half dozen dogs including Rhodesian Ridgebacks. That curved back on a dog is one of the best tells of non aggression.


    • Ridgebacks: Best dogs in the world. Wish I had one again. Also thumbs up on the dobie, like the Ridgeback, mine have been great with kids, livestock, poultry,family, and friends, but not so much to varmints with either 2 or 4 legs.

  2. Getting medical help post dog attack is necessary for several reasons. Dealing with and documentation of wounds and locations by medical personnel is necessary as mentioned for health reasons. More important it accelerates the scale of involvement by Animal Control and helps to provide you with a basis of legal defense if you injured or killed the animal. Most jurisdictions require mandatory reporting of dog bites for animal control for action and investigation.
    The neighbor’s mangey mutt will suddenly become a prize winning pure bred show dog in the event of them counter claiming you in a suit, so documented wounds you sustained while defending yourself or others from an attack will become vital.
    One last defensive trick when ‘Fido’ has the upper hand- Jam your hand into and down his throat grabbing the base of the tongue. Its counter intuitive, but will serve to confuse him, block his ability to breathe (you or attacker can’t fight if you/they can’t breathe) to minimize biting or abilty to lock its jaws. You’re trying to rip it out or hang on to it. Its a last ditch maneuver, but at that point you have nothing to loose.

  3. I have used clubs to break up dog fights but hard blows had little effect on the dogs at first. They ignore them. My own dogs german shepherds playing with me run and hit me with their bodies nearly kn6ockcing me over. This body 5low is effective in knocking you off balance. Dogs are smarter than they look. As a joke a friend mocked hurting his wife in front of a chain german shepherd. the next day the man had forgotten that but the dog did not forget and got him. It was protective but I played with the kids there and n6ever had a problem with the dog. A husky was looking at my sisters baby and her Irish setter seeing that charged across a foot ball field and killed the husky protecting the baby. Very fast action by the dog

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