Thursday, March 23, 2006

About Dog Attacks

In martial artist (and dog trainer) James Sotomayor's article, "When Dogs Attack," he discusses something about which I admit I know nothing. There are few things that would instill a strong, primal fear in everyone, but I think an attack by a rabid, vicious dog is probably one. How often do you hear of attacks in which a child or elderly person is mauled or killed by packs of dogs, usually pit bulls? On the other hand, at the PD where I work, two individuals who both volunteered to be "decoys" with the police K-9s have been injured (one from running & falling, the other from a bite causing nerve damage in his hand). We need more information knowledge on how to handle it, because we can't practice it in a realistic way without knowing more. Here it is (click the link and read it all):

... I'm not talking about poodles or puppies; I'm talking about full-grown Rottweilers, pit bulls and Dobermans. If a policeman has to discharge an entire clip into a charging pit bull to stop one, do you think your kicks and punches can do the same? Wake up and smell the red meat, it could be yours!

... most people really don't understand how deadly a dog can be let alone a pack of dogs. They assume a few kicks will do the trick, when in fact that will only hasten their demise.

First - If you ever come across any martial arts instructor who claims he can successfully defend himself from a serious dog attack, do yourself a favor and run for your life. This is a dangerous person and he is teaching dangerous concepts. The reality is, all you can do is to attempt to escape without too much damage.

The following headlines (from 2001-2002) reflect a rising trend in lethal dog attacks.
"Stray dogs kill mother of five" Chukhotka, Russia
"Woman devoured by dog, Moscow" Russia
"Rottweiler kills 3-year-old, Chicago" USA
"Rottweiler savages boy in street" Manchester, England
"Pit Bull attacks German Shepard and owner" San Francisco, USA
"Man killed by his Tosa fighting dogs, Ibaraki" Japan
"Man fends off dog and is knife-attacked by its owner" Drachten, Holland
"Baby girl mauled by Rottweiler" Chicago, USA
"10-year-old girl attacked by police dog, Jacksonville" Florida
"Hunting dogs kill disabled retiree" Kagoshima, Japan

... The most commonly reported dog breeds involved were pit bulls, followed by rottweilers, and German shepherds. ... many breeds, however, are involved in the problem.

Young children are often the most vulnerable to these attacks. Children are small people; they are closer to dog size. So the dog often views them as playmates. In dog society there is a distinct rank order, and dogs sometime see a young child as someone they can push around or perhaps discipline by biting or nipping.

... On the basis of both reputation and dog-attack statistics from the centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the most dangerous dogs listed include Rottweilers, Dobermans, pit bulls, Presa Canarios, chows, Akitas, huskies and wolf hybrids.

Some important things to know

- Sadly, every year a number of newborn infants die when they are bitten by dogs that see them as prey, teach your children the essential rules about avoiding strange dogs. Also, teach them not to tease, chase or throw things at dogs behind fences or gates.

- A real danger with dog attacks is when they start biting your legs, at some point you may lose enough blood and go into shock, where you may well drop to the ground and a dog can finish you off there. Always place something between you and the dog's teeth, plan an escape.

- Dogs are generally motivated by motion…running dogs, children on bicycles, a squirrel etc. They are also motivated by noise, and are more likely to bite when a person yells or screams.

- Always keep in mind that a dog that doesn't know you may see you as an intruder or as a threat.

- Avoid going onto private property unless specifically invited.

- If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, take steps to minimize the damages. As soon as possible, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water and then call your regular doctor for additional information on how to treat your wounds. If your wounds are serious enough, go directly to your local emergency room.

Critical information. Please read and share it.

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