How to Protect Yourself Against Feral or Stray Dogs

According to statistics, feral and stray dog attacks result in the deaths of anywhere from 30 to 50 people each year within the United States. Of these deaths, 64% directly involve adults, 28% are children, and 8% are infants. Stray Dog

In terms of general dog bites – other than attacks – a whopping 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. In excess of 800,000 have to seek medical attention as a result of those bites, according to information from the U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Now, we realize that dogs typically do not fall under the “wildlife” category; however, if they are a stray, feral, or end up in a pack they could be and could be dangerous. Here, you will learn how to protect yourself against feral or stray dogs.

In addition to bites and direct attacks, dogs may be dangerous to humans in other ways. Examples include people falling as a result of a dog or having rabies transmitted to them by a dog.

In total, dogs are said to be responsible for a total of up to 30,000 deaths a year. It is ideal to – at least – learn how to protect yourself from stray and feral dogs. 

  1. Remain Calm, Yet Remove Yourself 

If you find yourself in the presence of a stray or feral dog that appears to be aggressive, you must stay calm and attempt to remove yourself from the situation. You should never run. It is also advised that you do not turn your back on the creature.

Exhibit a high level of confidence and attempt to back away or move away very slowly. Observe your surroundings. If you see a way to climb on something or get up higher, do it. Then, immediately call for assistance. 

  1. Stay Still 

In some instances, the dog may start to bark or growl. If this happens, you should stop and stay still. It is best to just wait and allow the dog time to see that you are not a threat. If you attempt to move away under these circumstances, the canine may attempt to physically take you down. 

  1. Offer Treats 

Now, if you are hiking or walking in an area where dangerous strays or feral dogs frequent, you may consider taking some dog treats with you. Keep the treats completely sealed; however, open them if you are approached. You should them throw the treat or treats away from your location. In most instances, the dog will become distracted with the treat and allow you time to remove yourself from the situation. 

  1. Avoid Eye-Contact 

It is a known fact that if you stare at a dog – directly into their eyes – they consider this to be highly aggressive behavior. Do not do this. Instead, look down a bit – but up enough that you can keep track of the creature’s actions. 

  1. Send Friendly Signals 

Last – but not least – if you are approached by a stray or feral dog, you can send signals that you are friendly. This may be done by clicking the tongue, licking the lips, placing yourself so that you are standing sideways to the canine, and even allowing them to approach you and do their sniffing. Keep completely still if this happens, though. You do not want to make any sudden movements. 


If you find that a stray or feral dog is becoming a nuisance around your home, you should contact animal control. In most instances, they will be able to remove the canine. If you have further complications or animal control is unable to assist you, you may contact us directly for further assistance on the situation. You may reach one of our wildlife specialists by calling the following number: 855-465-1088

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