First and foremost let me say that I am a dog lover. But occasionally man’s best friend can quickly turn into a runner’s worst enemy.
In my 33+ years of running I’ve been bit twice by a dog. Funny thing is that each time it was a standard poodle – same breed, different dogs. Yes, my canine nemesis is a standard poodle. In both instances, I never heard the dog coming and the attack came from behind. My left hamstring was the target each time and it hurt like hell – dog bites are basically puncture wounds.
Through the running grapevine I’ve picked up a few tips that are helpful when it comes to dealing with aggressive dogs while running:
- Do your best to keep the dog in front of you
- Do not look the dog directly in the eye; dogs feel threatened by direct eye contact.
- Dogs do not like flying objects. Lean down, pick up a small rock and throw it in the dog’s general direction. Just the motion of leaning down and acting like you’re picking something up can send a dog running in the opposite direction. No need to hit the dog with the projectile!
- Keep your tone deep and firm. If you yell at the dog, keep it firm and don’t sound scared