When a dog acts aggressively toward you, perhaps running at you as you jog by a home, you may be tempted to run for it. You want to get away, and you’ll instinctively sprint off down the street. You figure that you have to get away to prevent the attack.

Unfortunately, this type of reaction may only make a physical attack more likely. In the heat of the moment, you need to try to remember not to run. It increases the danger.

To begin with, you just have to think about the potential outcome. Can you outrun a dog at a full sprint? Even with fear driving you forward, you can’t. Dogs are too fast. There is a reason that the police use them to chase down suspects. They know that a dog can close a substantial gap in just a few seconds. You’ll never outrun them, so there is no upside to trying to run away.

There is a downside, though. As you turn your back on the dog and display fear, you cement yourself as the prey in this predator/prey relationship. Many dogs have instincts telling them to chase prey. They may get increasingly riled up as you run from them.

Instead, you want to calm them down by facing them, acting as unthreatening as possible and talking to them in a calm voice. Try to hide your fear as much as you can and, when the time is right, slowly back away from the dog.

If even reacting like this does not prevent the bite injury, you need to know how to seek financial compensation for your medical costs and other damages.