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Advice on handling a dog attack

Article Published 10/09/2013

There was a dog attack in Layton City on Oct. 7, 2013, near Reid Avenue and Main Street.

Layton Police Chief Terry Keefe stresses that if an aggressive dogs approaches you, it is proper to call 911 for assistance. 
He also said that while walking sticks may work fine for walkers to deter dog attacks, those persons running will likely only be able to carry pepper spray along.

-Here’s a question and answer segment with Clint Thacker, Director of Davis County Animal Care and Control, regarding how to prevent/react to a dog attack:

1. What advice do you have if someone meets aggressive dogs?
Answer: “We educate adults and kids with the same information: If the animal is just curious, you should ‘stand tall like a tree’ hands at your sides. The animal may get bored and leave. … Some actions like arm waiving can help, but some actions may elevate the animal’s aggression. NEVER RUN AWAY.”

2. If a dog attacks, what do you do?
Answer: “If the animal attacks, try to get something between you and the animal. A bike, a car, a backpack, anything! If the animal knocks you down you should cover your face and ears with your arms. Generally, the animal will leave, but if the animal won’t leave, and continues to attack you, you have to fight back. Yell for help and get away.”

3. Do you recommend regular walkers/runners carry pepper spray? If so, what kind, or is something else better?
Answer: “I would recommend joggers/walkers carry something. Pepper spray can be very dangerous to the user because it may get in their eyes and lungs. I would recommend a walking stick of some kind. Something that can be deployed quickly and has no room for user error.”

4. Some dog owners have only 4 feet high fences to keep large dogs contained. What advice do you have for dog owners on proper containment?
Answer: “Best advice for dog owners is to know your dog and take appropriate actions. Some dogs are fine behind a small fence; others can and will jump a 6 foot fence. There are several options to keep a dog inside their yard. Our department has recommended to some dog owners an invisible fence system that runs inside their fenced in yard. Another option is a stake and chain appropriate to restrain the dog. Place it in the middle of a fenced yard free of obstructions. A simple dog run or kennel is another option.”

5. Is there any good Web site with more sound advice on handling dog attacks?

6. Any other advice?
Answer: “Please remember to get your pet a current rabies shot, a license, and if you can, a microchip. All of these can be accomplished at your local veterinarian, or the Animal Shelter. 1422 East 600 North, Fruit Heights.”