What to Do When You See an Aggressive or Dangerous Dog in Your Neighborhood

You may be curious what you should do in the event of a dog attack—should you fight back, or play dead? However, perhaps a more important subject is how to prevent a dog attack in the first place. Oftentimes, dog bites can be avoided if you know what to do when you see a dangerous or aggressive animal. Many dog attacks can be avoided if citizens take proper action when they see an aggressive dog.

What should you do if you are approached by a dog which is showing signs of aggression?
Stay calm.

  • Remain motionless and quiet with your hands at your side.
  • When the dog has lost interest, walk slowly away from the dog with your eyes averted.
  • Make sure others in the area are aware of the dog and tell them to stay away from the area.
  • Make sure children are not playing in the vicinity of the dog.
  • Call your local animal control to report the dog. Stress not only that the dog is loose, but also that it is showing signs of aggression.
  • If you recognize the dog, inform the owner of the incident. Don’t inform the owner until after you have called animal control.
  • Wait for animal control to arrive so you can describe the incident.

What shouldn’t you do when you see an aggressive and potentially dangerous dog?

  • DON’T make any sudden movements.
  • DON’T run away—the dog may chase you.
  • DON’T attempt to approach the dog to look at its tags.
  • DON’T attempt to physically subdue the dog unless it attacks.
  • DON’T make eye contact with the dog.

In California, a dog owner can be liable for a dog attack even if his or her pet does not have a history of aggressive behavior. However, it may be helpful to your case if the dog has a history of brushes with the law and reported incidents.

If you have been injured by a dog in Southern California, you may wish to speak with a Newport Beach personal injury attorney. We can help you determine who was at fault for your dog bite injury and whether you are owed compensation. To learn more about your case, call Russell & Lazarus at (949) 851-0222.

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