Staying safe from dangerous dogs: What to do during and before an attack

SAN ANTONIO – Friday’s brutal dog mauling on the West Side has prompted several questions from KSAT viewers about how to keep yourself safe if you are in a similar situation.

KSAT spoke with Tatiana Coreas, trainer at San Antonio Dog Training Company, for some ways to keep your family safe from a dangerous dog.

What’s the best advice you can give someone?

“Don’t run away. Don’t turn around. Make sure the dog stays in front of you, because the second you have eyes off of it, if they’re in a distance, they’re going to charge,” said Coreas. “A lot of times, the second you turn around, you turn into prey.”

How can you spot an aggressive dog?

“They get a lot more tense. Their eyes are kind of locked in, really big. Their bodies are really stiff, and their hackles go up,” said Coreas. “If you see a dog that’s approaching you and you see them stiff, then their head starts to get lower, and you see their mouths closed, and they’re just kind of moving towards you, don’t turn away from them.”

Does mace or pepper spray work if a dog is attacking you?

“Yes, because it’s stinging their eyes and mouth, their nose, and everything like that. So it’s a good deterrent. The only disadvantage to having mace or pepper spray is that it may get on to you and your dog.”

What should you do if you a dog has lunged at you or has its jaw locked on you?

“If they have any type of collar, or you have any type of, like, leash or something like that on you, choke them out so that way you can get their airway closed,” said Coreas.

“They also have break sticks. You apply them pretty much to the back of the jaw and push the jaw open. And then that’s going to be how you get away from the dog,” Coreas said.

What are some other ways to stay safe?

“Don’t turn your back, don’t run backward. See what your exit points are. Can I jump into a car? Can I jump behind a fence? Is someone coming to help,” said Coreas.

“If they’re running at you, just stand your ground, make yourself big like you would a bear, and that might get them to be like, never mind and think twice about it,” said Coreas. “In case of dog attacks, never approach a strange dog. Don’t stick your hand in its face. A lot of dogs don’t actually like that. They find that more intimidating versus just standing there.”


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