Are you fed up of the stray dog menace in your area? They bark, growl and sometimes even try to bite you. They try to scare you so much that you have had mini heart attacks as well.
You know you have to handle this issue but injuring them by pelting stones isn’t the answer and this is precisely why we at Pune365 set out to help resolve this with experts in the field who outline the simple steps to tackling a street dog.
“I face a lot of problems from stray dogs when I ride home from work, especially in the night”, says Anish Chaudhari, Customer Representative
They come barking towards my bike, I fear of losing my control which may harm them or myself, and they may end up biting me. The government should take the responsibility of stray dogs, before the worst happens.” He adds.
“I freak out when I see dogs and change my route to avoid an attack.” says Ankita Shirke, Student.
“The stray dogs should be handed over to the animal rights organizations as they can take care of them better, or there should be different people to take care of the dogs. I may not be a fan of dogs, but I certainly see no reason to harm the poor souls.” She adds.
“It is nice to stay in Smart City but look at the no of stray dogs in the city!” says Shreya Singh, Content writer.
Poisoning the dogs and burning them alive is certainly not the solution. The solution to tackle with these stray dogs is to provide shelter for stray dogs, along with proper vaccination., Attacking the animals is wrong though this is what people affected by them do most often, Singh adds.
“I encounter stray dogs daily, and it is very traumatic for me.” says a frustrated Housewife, Dipti Desai.
“Street dogs always chase me whenever I try to go out, although they have never harmed me or anyone in the society.
But It’s very disturbing. The shock of seeing them all together in itself, is too much to bear.” says, Dipti.
It is important to understand here that 99% of the time strays will avoid confrontation with humans. At times, a dog might act confrontational, which can lead to a harrowing experience if you’re not familiar with dog behavior.
We spoke to experts and animal activists to share with us simple pointers on how people with an inherent fear of dogs can deal with such encounters.
Canine Behaviorist Neeta Godambe says ‘Understand that streets are their homes’.
These streets are their home and when you try to shoo them away, you’re trying to conquer their territory. At least, that’s the impression they get from you.
“What would you do if someone tries to throw you out of your house? Fight. Right? This is what they would do. So, in case, you want them to behave as calm and lovable dogs, mend your own ways.” she says.
Dogs are pack animals and as such their social behavior is mainly about conflict prevention. A dog will not randomly threaten or attack you just out of unpredictable viciousness.
“It probably wants to defend itself or something that is important to it ‘Specially a mother with litter’. It will also want to avoid an escalation, even though it does not necessarily look like it to you. So don’t panic!
It’s not a pleasant situation to be in, agreed, but the calmer and more confident you are, the better.” she adds
You really want to avoid confrontation and show that you’re no threat.
If a dog faces you, growling or barking, neck hair standing up etc, just stop and stand still.
Depending on the situation or how you feel, you could slowly sit or even lie down. But if any movement results in further growling, just don’t do anything and wait.
“If you’re somebody who fears dogs, then while facing them, you should stay calm, says Mojdeh Farashahi, Founder of Bodhisattva Ngo.
Most of the times, dogs growl at you because they’re scared of you.
When you’re walking on the road keep walking do not run the moment you see a dog. Stay calm and walk away. Don’t run. Turn your head away, or even turn your whole body away. Another way of stating that you are no threat.” She adds
Avoid eye-contact. Do not stare at the dog and do not look him directly in the eye – that is aggressive behavior and not in your interest to demonstrate.
If the dog approaches you slowly, just don’t move and let it check you out. It’s more likely though, that it will just stay where it is and seem to lose interest in you, giving up its aggressive posture. At that point you can start walking away, still slowly. Feeding hungry and helpless creatures also works most of time, says Mojdeh.
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