Daily Star Guide to fighting off XL bully dog from gouged eyes to fingers up bum

  • Bookmark
  • Sign up to TeamDogs for the best dog news, pictures and stories.

    Thank you for subscribing!

    Sign up to TeamDogs for the best dog news, pictures and stories.

    We have more newsletters

    Dog attacks have been on the rise in the UK in recent years, with growing concern that particular breeds could be behind an uptick in violence.

    Attacks have been increasing and so have deaths with 10 people killed last year and five having already lost their lives in 2023, an astonishing jump compared to the total of six deaths across 2020 and 2021.

    At the centre of the storm, a huge debate is roaring over the XL Bully, a loosely-defined breed in the UK that some want to see banned.

    READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE Why there are more brutal dog attacks as experts reveal the true causes of epidemic

    Opposing them are The Dog Control Coalition, made up of the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association, Hope Rescue, the Kennel Club and the Scottish SPCA, who feel that banning breeds is a dangerous game.

    Stats on violent incidents carried out by dogs is hard to come by, with the only reliable data coming from deaths or hospital admissions, and the latter doesn’t record the kind of breed involved.

    However, American bullies have been responsible for73% of deaths in the UKsince the start of 2022 despite only making up a small percentage of the total British dog population.

    The chances of being attacked by a dog and left in a critical condition remain low, but perhaps the most concerning aspect of it is that it could happen to anyone.

    No one wants to think for a moment about hurting a dog but in extraordinarily rare scenarios it might be your last resort.

    In the face of rising numbers of incidents, the Daily Star has put together a handy guide on what do if you are attacked by a dog.

    Why do dogs attack?

    Aggression from a “socialised” dog is rare, and unlikely to happen without warning.

    Veterinary charityPDSAnotes that the signs a dog is uncomfortable can be spotted well in advance, with growling, snarling, snapping, baring teeth and lunging all listed as probable signs of aggression.

    According to the organisation, earlier signs could also include: "Licking their lips, ears going backwards [and flattening] on their head, yawning, showing the whites of their eyes, turning their face away, trying to move or turn away from the other dog and standing crouched or walking low to the ground.”

    But the reasons a dog might be aggressive tend to depend on the circumstance it is in.

    The RSPCA explained: “Dogs are aggressive in response to unfolding events.

    “Any dog has the ability to use aggression, but it is always dependent upon what they believe is happening to them.

    “When a dog uses aggression it is almost invariably because it thinks that it is under some form of threat.

    “For example, the threat could be to its personal safety, to take away something (or someone) it values highly, or by preventing it from doing something it really wants to do, which causes frustration.

    “Aggression can be used to control or reduce this challenge. Theoretically, every single dog, if pushed far enough, can and will use aggression.”

    How to stop an aggressive dog from attacking you

    • Pup saved from becoming 'dog soup' at China meat festival now can't stop smiling

    If you find yourself in a situation where a dog is clearly being aggressive towards you, there are things you can do to stop it from actually attacking.

    According toPositively.comfrom well-known dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, it’s all about trying to show a lack of interest in the dog, no matter how hard that might be.

    The site notes that if you find yourself in that position, you should “avoid eye contact and turn your body slowly to the side”.

    You should then “cross your arms” and, if you can, “completely ignore the dog”.

    After a brief period of being still try to move away slowly and “get to a place where there is a barrier between you and the dog”.

    Be wary that a smile could be interpreted as you baring your teeth, instead slowly back away.

    Bear Grylls previously wrote inGQthat if a dog attacks you it’s a bad idea to run as it can engage their instinct to chase you.

    Only if there is a pack of dogs would be a better idea to run because your chances of winning the fight are small.

    If you find yourself in that position, try to get up high and raise your arms to try and intimidate the dog and roar.

    What to do if it turns violent

    If deterring the dog doesn’t work you might be forced to fight.

    Its main weapon against you is its teeth, so the first thing to do is try and get something between you and them like a rucksack or stick, Grylls wrote.

    The next thing to think about is which part of your body are you more comfortable with it biting, he noted.

    Grylls explains that you will want to protect the parts of you that are most vulnerable like your head, neck and groin – which are also the parts that the dog is likely to go for.

    One of the top places for it to take is the arm as it has more bone and will bleed less than a leg.

    Try and wrap something around it first if you can but don’t try and rip your arm out of it does get its teeth in.

    Grylls noted that in a worst-case scenario, this is a fight to the death so do all you can to stay off the ground and instead try and flatten the dog with your body weight.

    The ribs of dogs are fragile and use your free arm to go for its eyes or hit the back of the head at the base of the skull.

    If for whatever reason you have a blade with you under the front legs and above the shoulder are the most vulnerable areas.

    It may also be worth trying to cover the dog’s head with a coat to disorientate, Positively writes, as this might give you the opportunity to escape.

    If you are not Bear Grylls and don’t manage to pull off any of the fighting techniques he discusses, Positively explains: “In the very rare event a dog is viciously mauling you (as opposed to just trying to bite or landing a few scattered bites), curl up into a ball on the ground, protecting your head and neck while waiting for help.

    “If you are all alone, you are unlikely to get the dog off you by yourself until the dog loses interest.”

    Will sticking a finger up a dog’s bum or hitting it with a stick help you?

    A number of myths exist around fighting off dogs, including sticking a finger up its bum to surprise it off you.

    Anecdotal evidence has floated around the internet of this trend for some time, but there is little concrete research out there to suggest this is a good idea.

    Despite some having reported positive results, the National Breeders Council is reported to be against the move.

    Similarly, Positively is anti-using a stick.

    The organisation said: “Hitting the dog will only heighten the dog’s already sky-high level of adrenaline and energy. Try to act as calmly as possible.”

    To get more stories from Daily Star delivered straight to your inbox sign up to one of our free newsletters here.

    • Dogs

    Source: Read Full Article