Tuesday, November 4, 2003
What Would You Do: Dog Attack
Please welcome South Florida's newest franchise. Charles Perez shows us how escape from danger. Tonight, What Do You Do when attacked by an angry dog?
(WSVN) -- There are 300-thousand dog attacks every year in this country ... Most occur in the owners own yard.
Gerardo Cabrera spent days in the hospital after a neighbor's dog that had never attacked before suddenly turned on him.
"All of a sudden when I felt the bite I started screaming," he says.
Rebecca Ruth was bitten by her neighbor's German shepherd ... while she was feeding it for them while they were on vacation.
"He didn't bark," she says, "He didn't growl. No warning. He just lunged."
Dog trainer Peter says, "There's no such thing as a perfect dog. They've got a million years of being a wolf, right."
And those "wolf" instincts can turn on you at any moment ... so you need to know what to look for.
"A dog's body posture will tell you everything," Peter says.
"Shoulders up. Tail straight up in the air. He's holding his ground," explains Peter.
Ears back ... growling, barking ... or tail between the legs - all signs that a dog is ready to attack.
"My biggest instinct is to turn and run," says Charles.
Peter says, "Absolutely not. When you run from a dog, you're activating, if you will, the dog's natural instinct... which is: prey."
To give you an idea of what you're up against, I agreed to allow myself to be attacked by a trained police dog.
"I should be committed for this one," says Charles on tape.
Here's what could happen if you run ...
"Don't look back .. .OK. Go!"
The dog goes after you ... It's sole purpose: to take you down.
"OHHHH," says Charles as the dos brings him down.
Back it up ... Look again ... Watch how the dog hits hard in order to knock me down ... Once you are on the ground... you're easy prey.
"Dogs will fight to the death to save their life," says Peter. "They have that will to survive."
So what do you do? First, try to prevent the attack.
Start by trying to distract the dog.
"If I had something, a purse, a cellular phone, I might throw it... not at the dog directly, but near the dog," suggests Peter.
If the dog goes after it, you could escape.
If there's nothing around ... The dogs will instinctively go for your head so you have to give them another target.
"Put your arm out in front of everything else," instructs Peter.
You want the dog to attack an area of the body that won't kill you.
"So that way ... and then go for the throat if I can."
The throat is where the dog is most vulnerable.
Peter suggests pinching the canine in the Adam's apple as hard as you can.
"Never underestimate a dog," says Charles. "You may be fighting for your life."
Peter agrees: "Absolutely. Absolutely."
Bottom line, What Would You Do? If you routinely walk or run in an area where there are a lot of dogs ... Carry an umbrella with you. That way you have a handy tool to ward off an attack. And, never approach a dog big or small without the owners permission.
Keep in mind, most attacks involve children because they are a smaller prey.
Next week, what would you do if your boat catches on fire in the middle of the ocean. We'll have the answer.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Edgar Snyder & Associates