Here’s a continuation of my blog series of things that come up on a runner’s journey and how I deal with them:
Dogs are great, but not so much when they start chasing after you as you pass their driveway on a distant country road. Five miles into one of my favorite long runs, I find myself running by a house with a really large dog that loves to chase anyone who passes by. Immediately, the dog’s loud barking fills me with intimidation; doubt about my safety and the dog comes to mind. Can I trust that this dog won’t bite me? I don’t know this dog. I’m running, so naturally a dog could interpret this as me being afraid. Why wouldn’t a ferocious dog continue the chase?
During one of my runs, I remembered a trick my father taught me when I was a young paperboy. This is one of those secrets that I believe even the Special Forces would love to learn. It’s easy, quick and very quiet. I’m about to tell you this one and it is dawning on me that I might be able to use it as material to be highly paid for special ops training. Well, since I have your attention now, here it is: ***stop walking or running. Then, turn and face the direction that the dog is approaching. While the dog is still a safe distance away (10-15 yds.), stoop down and touch your shoe, posing as though you are reaching down to pick up a rock. Make sure that you keep your watch fixed on the dog the entire time. Instinctively, domestic dogs will switch to a defensive mode. They sense danger and change to that cautious animal that is posing itself for retreat.
An option is to go with the same movements, but to include an actual rock or object. You know just in case it comes in handy. How do you deal with aggressive dogs while you run?
***Disclaimer: These cases may be more complicated than they appear. This information is in no way intended as professional advice on how to avoid animal attacks. Each encounter with animals and wildlife is different, and the application of what is contained on this blog site requires each person to carefully analyze their situation and handle those situations according to his or her own judgment. The information contained on the blog site is for general information and educational purposes only. This information is not legal advice or is not guaranteed to prevent an attack.