Let sleeping dogs lie is not just a good metaphor for not involving yourself in other people’s problems; it is sound advice for dealing with a dog. A dog that is sleeping is likely to reach out and bite at you if you wake it up, so leave it be. The first step toward learning how to deal with a dog that wants to make you a meatbone sandwich is never awake and sleeping dog.
A dog that is wide awake and ties up nicely to a stick with a chain around his neck should never be approached unless the dog is familiar with you. Just because the dog is chained up or tied up doesn’t mean that it won’t attack you. And since you don’t know how long the chain is or how well the rope is attached to the dog, you could find yourself running for your life as you hope that chain is just a 20-footer.
Signs of a dog that is ready to pounce and tear your flesh include raised fur, snarling, baring teeth, an erect tail and ears either also erect or flattened. Any dog that is growling at you should be avoided. You don’t want to run away from a dog making this kind of appearance because that makes you the Beta dog and him the Alpha dog. You want to maintain a status of being in control and not exhibiting fear. The old advice that dogs can smell fear is quite true to a certain extent. Dogs have a sense of easy prey and like hooligans they are much more likely to attack easy prey than a master over them.
If you are in a position where a dog seems ready to lurch at you and bury your femur 20 minutes later, the first thing to do is make yourself big. Just like with a bear, you want an imposing appearance that will make the dog cower before your eminence. Chances are that won’t happen unless you say-not shout-something like “Stay!” or “Sit” in a firm clear voice. If the dog goes ahead and attacks, place one leg in front of the other to increase your balance and stability. Cover your neck with one arm and be ready to strike the dog with the other. If the dog senses that he’s going to get hurt rather than hurt you, you increase that feeling of mastery over him.
Falling down when a dog attacks means curling up in a fetal position and covering your head with your hands and your neck with your arms. If you see a chance to kick the dog, don’t be afraid to go below the border and deliver a punishing kick to the testicles of a male dog. Otherwise, try to kick the body so that you don’t wind up getting your foot caught inside the dog’s mouth.