Dog bites are common but an all-out attack is not. But even though these are unlikely, you should know how to respond to dog attacks.

There are not many common warning signs. These may include growling, snarling, baring teeth, lunging and some more subtle signs.

When a dog appears aggressive, there are several things you can do to help prevent an attack. You should avoid eye contact, turn your body slowly to the side, cross your arms, ignore the dog, remain still for a short period and then move away and try to get to a place where there is a barrier that separates you from the dog.

If these are unsuccessful, stay completely still. Calmly ask, without shouting, for help from someone nearby. If you are on the ground, you can protect your head and neck by slowly curling into a ball on your knees with your hands clasped behind your neck.

Do not try to be friendly with the dog. Communicating with the dog increases the likelihood of an attack, Instead, completely ignore it. Being boring lowers the possibility of an attack.

Spraying pepper spray before an attack might spark an explosion from the dog. Using aggression to respond to aggression makes the situation even more dangerous.

If the dog lunges at you and bites you, redirect the dog’s bites to a purse, rolled-up jacket, or a stick. Go to higher ground and try to place yourself in a position of height away from the dog because it is harder to effectively bite you from below.

You may also have an opportunity to escape if you momentarily block the dog’s vision by covering its head with a shirt or blanket. The dog may also disengage when their sight is blocked.

Dogs usually try to bite a few times. But in the infrequent times the dog is viciously mauling you, curl up into a ball on the ground while protecting your neck and head until help arrives.

During an attack, try not to further antagonize the dog by screaming. Hitting the dog with a stick or other object will only increase the dog’s extremely high adrenaline and energy.

Medical care should be sought as soon as possible. If possible, get witness names and any pictures of your injuries. An attorney may also help pursue a claim for compensation and damages.