We conducted an interview on this very topic with one of our local news agencies, awhile back. We discussed the reaction of the person coming under attack and how it feeds excitement to the dog, while in an attack state of mind. The worst thing you can do is run, scream, throw your arms everywhere, etc, etc.
When a dog is coming after you, the best action you can take, is to stand your ground. Most dogs will not bite a stationary target. Not all, but most. Even some of the best trained police dogs find it hard to bite a non moving target. Many are afraid to strike a dog, when under attack because they don’t want to hurt the dog or offend the owner of the dog. You have to let that thought go. A dog intent on biting you isn’t worried about causing physical harm to you, so you shouldn’t be worried while attempting to protect yourself.
Staying calm and giving the dog something to bite, other than you is key to making it out of the situation. Putting a purse in the dogs face or pulling off your shirt to use as a distraction for the dog to bite can bide you time while you throw offensive strikes under to the dogs chin. Just throwing punches or kicks at the dog will only serve to excite the dog. Remember, stay calm, provide distraction, go on the offensive once you have exhausted other means.
Should the dog be dragging a leash behind them, the best way to stop a bite, is to get a hold of that leash and start swinging in circles, as the dogs paws come off the ground. Not only will the dog not be able to come toward you anymore, but you will literally be draining the fight from the dog while restricting air for about 3 spins.
Obviously we hope to never be put in such as situation where we are forced to fight for our lives. But if you find yourself in this very situation … stay calm, don’t be afraid to do anything and everything you have to do to protect yourself and leave the area as soon as possible, without running. Find a barrier or fence. Once you realize the dog cannot reach you, do not yell or provoke in any way.