Memphis dog bite attorneys | Memphis personal injury lawyers

When Dogs Attack

By: Darrell Castle

Here in Memphis, a big city with a lot of residential areas, dogs get loose fairly often and are roaming the streets. Sometimes, these dogs are harmless to you because they’ve been trained relatively well. However, some dog owners are completely negligent and their dog is either trained to attack or doesn’t know it’s not supposed to.


Cesar’s Way, a great online resource for dog owners, has some advice for what you should do when confronted by a dog.

The article details why dogs attack – as a result of motion, which triggers their prey drive.

When you run or walk by a house with a dog fenced in the back yard, that dog will begin barking at you because it wants you to go away. And, when you keep running past the house, the dog thinks it won. This will create a vicious cycle when this process is repeated continuously, to a point in which the dog may become bolder and begin rushing toward the jogger when given the opportunity, which could result in a bite or attack.

The article offers some safety tips on how to avoid being bitten:

  • Stay calm. An aggressive dog wants you to be stressed and anxious before an attack.
  • Avoid direct eye-contact. You can do this by standing sideways which will also make you a more narrow target.
  • Claim your own space. You can do this by placing a cane or umbrella in front of you if you happen to be carrying one, or something similar.

If the dog senses you aren’t a threat, it may lose interest and leave you alone. However, that’s no guarantee.

Unfortunately, an attack may be inevitable, especially if you’re a jogger or runner, which can leave you very vulnerable to a sudden attack.

What should you do if you’re attacked?

First, if you have anything extra with you, like a sweater, slip your arm out of a sleeve and hold it in front of the dog, letting the dog rip off that sweater. This will give the dog the sense he has a part of you, leaving you time hopefully to back away and get to safety.

Always remember to protect your face, chest and throat while keeping your hands in fists to protect your fingers. The safest place to get bitten is the shin or forearms. If bitten in the thigh, a dog bite can cause fatal bleeding.

If you do happen to get bitten by a dog, resist the urge to pull away as this can cause more significant injury.

Here’s an important quote from the article:
“Remember: Dogs are not naturally inclined to attack humans unless they feel a threat to themselves, their pack or their territory. We cannot always avoid the problem because some dog owners are irresponsible or negligent. However, we can arm ourselves with the knowledge that will prevent a situation from escalating, and minimize the damage if it does move on to an attack.”

If you’re attacked by a dog, after seeking medical treatment, you should speak to an experienced attorney. If the dog attack was due to the owner’s negligence, you shouldn’t be liable for the medical costs, lost wages from time off work, pain, suffering and more.

If this happens to you, we’d like to talk with you about what went down. You can call us at (901) 327-1212 or fill out the “Get in Touch” form below for a free consultation.