Dog Safety

dogIt was a beautiful fall day and I was about a mile into my run through the neighborhood. 

I was getting closer to a house that had a dog that had been threatening in the past (running up to the edge of his property and barking menacingly). 

I crossed the road to avoid a confrontation even as my heart rate sped up.  Indstead of stopping at the edge of his property like usual, the dog kept running toward me barking and growling.  I slowed to a walk and didn’t look at him, but it was to no avail. 

The dog bit the back of my thigh ripping a hole in my running pants.  Fortunately, he didn’t attack further so I got out of there as quickly as possible. 

When I got home I called animal control.  After describing what happened the officer went to the house and impounded the dog to make sure it was rabies free.  The outcome was fine and I wasn’t seriously injured, but that incident has made me hyper-aware of dog safety.  Here are some helpful tips I’ve found:

Dog Safety for Runners

  1. Dogs are territorial so do not approach them even if they seem friendly, get away from their territory
  2. Their prey instinct is triggered by fast movement- slow to a walk, cross to the other side of the street, don’t turn around and look back
  3. Don’t stare a dog in the eyes, this can be seen as a challenge and can cause more agression
  4. If a dog approaches- stop and stand still, don’t yell or make sudden movement, in a firm, calm voice say, “NO,” “Go home,” or “Good dog.”
  5. If a dog tries to jump on you, turn to the side and push it off with your forearm
  6. If you have problems with a paticular dog, change your route
  7. If the dog gets aggressive try to put an object between you and the dog like a tree, telephone pole, or car
  8. Carry pepper spray if local laws allow it and use it if the dog rushes at you barking and growling
  9. Remember, you cannot outrun a dog even if you’re really fast
  10. If you are attacked, curl in a ball and protect your head, face, and neck
  11. File a report with your local animal control if you are bitten or attacked

One Response to Dog Safety

  1. Amy Reed February 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Great tips! I’ve always been afraid of strange dogs and I think this article will help.

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