How to avoid and defend a Pit Bull attack

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Pitbull attacks can be deadly and its a difficult topic to address. Every year 4.7 million people are victims of dog attacks in the United States, and routinely the pit bull is either #1 when it comes to breeds most responsible. This is a trend that isn't going away, and it is our responsibility to know how to defend ourselves.

Let's start off by talking about the idea of self defense against a pit bull. These animals are intimidating and scary when not trained properly, but if you follow a few solid guidelines you can greatly increase your ability to handle the situation.

1. Before a Pit Bull attack and how to avoid it

The best approach before a Pit Bull attack is to turn a potentially bad situation into no situation at all.

1. Show confidence and hide fear. As much as we depend on verbal communication as humans, pit bulls detect just as much through your body tensions, odors, and mannerisms. They will pick up on it and could even be encouraged if you tense up and emit a fearful 'smell'. Be cool, natural, and in command.

2. Be mindful of your hands. When around a pit bull or other aggressive dog, avoid quick, large hand movements. Furthermore, if the dog is sniffing around your hands, hold them in a loose fist.

3. Don't show your teeth. Even if you are trying to be nice and smiley, avoid barring your teeth. It's a subtle psychological thing, but can have a real effect.

4. Slowly back away. Do not turn and run. This is very important. The canine chase reflex is extremely dominant, especially for dogs that are trained to attack, like some pit bulls.

5. Go dominant if passive confidence fails. You always want to try to be calm at first. However, if the situation continues to go badly, try asserting yourself as a dominant figure. Shout common commands and become a stern person.

2. Defending yourself from a Pit Bull attack

Unfortunately with pit bulls, it can be aggressive, unflinching animals and you may have to defend yourself. here are some good tactics.

1. Projectiles and Sprays. The first piece of advice is also the most commonly effective. Pepper sprays are easily carried and can be sprayed in the eyes of an attacking dog.

2. Distancing tools. More common than pepper spray is something of a stick variety. By that I mean a cane, walking stick, umbrella, etc. These long objects can be used to thrust, swing, and distract the bite of a dog.

3. Unarmed combat. It won't be pretty, but there are unarmed options for handling a pit bull. When striking the animal, aim for the nose, eyes, and ears. These are all very sensitive and could help to disorient the animal. On long snouted dogs you have the option of clamping the mouth shut with your hands, but that is a bit more difficult on pitbulls. If possible and necessary, dogs can be grappled from behind and put into a standard choke hold - one arm cinched tightly under the neck with the other compressing the lock inward. one final method of attack is grabbing the legs of the animal and pulling them apart abruptly, breaking the knees.

4. Playing dead. If you feel you simply have no method of defending yourself against the animal, curl into the fetal position and play dead. Attempt to protect your vitals like your throat and hope the pit bull becomes uninterested in a non-combative prey.