Dog bites can not only cause serious injury but can also be traumatizing, particularly because we are more likely to be bitten by dogs that we know rather than those owned by strangers.

In the event that you are staring down an aggressive dog, it is important to know what to do. According to Petful, the best thing to do is ensure that you are protecting your vital organs if a dog is about to attack.

The dog has lunged: now what? 

If a dog is actively attacking you, try to get something between yourself and the dog. For example, if you are carrying a purse or a backpack, it is a good idea to put this in front of you. It is likely that the dog will continue to attack the first thing it comes in contact with, and if that thing happens to be a bag, umbrella or other object you have, that will work in your favor.

In the event that you are actually bitten, the first reaction you may have is to pull your arm away, but this is a bad idea. This is more likely to result in tearing. It is better to try and get a stick or other object to help pry the dog off of you.

Can I be aggressive toward a dog? 

It is better to not be aggressive toward a dog who looks as though they may attack or bite. It is true that some dogs may be back down if you act aggressive toward them, but many dogs will simply get more aggressive themselves if you are trying to posture at them.

The best plan is to back away, avoid eye contact and try to put a door between yourself and the aggressive dog.