HONOLULU (KHON2) — Loose dog encounters remain a problem in Hawaii. One recent incident on the Big Island resulted in the death of a man after he was attacked by four large dogs.
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So, what should you do if you’re confronted by a loose, or unleashed aggressive dog?
Maria Hagood, owner of Island Dog Obedience, said before stepping out, you should check your surroundings so you’re well informed of what is going on around you.
“We always scan the environment,” said Hagood. “Dogs can attack for different reasons. Sometimes they just want to say hello … sometimes dogs can be aggressive or reactive because they have been beaten before and now theyʻre turning aggressive to any type of dog.”
Another thing you want to be on the lookout for are parked trucks. That way, if you do encounter a loose or aggressive dog, and you are capable of lifting your dog, you can put them into a truck to keep them safe.
If you see a loose dog and they’re far enough away, you can turn around and walk slowly away to avoid an encounter.
If an interaction is unavoidable or the dog rushes you, Hagood advises that you move your dog behind you, stand your ground, give a forward motion and yell “no” or “stop.”
Hagood said 90% of dogs will run away if you stand your ground. The worst thing to do is run away or let your dog get into a fight.
If confronted by a pack of dogs, Hagood advises that you not stand your ground and instead try to remove yourself from the area immediately. If one dog of the pack is showing aggression and they are a solid pack of dogs, they will mimic that behavior and all the dogs could become aggressive. If possible, retreat to a house or other building to get away from them.
“A pack of dogs, try to avoid them at any cost.”
Hawaiian Humane said if a dog is a risk to public safety, such as uncontained near a major street or highway or is acting aggressively, the public should call 911. Otherwise, they can call the Hawaiian Humane dispatch team at (808) 356-2250.
For more information on Island Dog Obedience, visit their website or call them at (808) 428-9917.