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10/30/12

What should I do when a dog chases me?

I hate it when a dog chases me. I never know what to do. This week a Doberman came racing across his yard towards me. I was sooo terrified when I felt the dogs nose on my bum that I moved out into the road and screamed. I know that wasn’t the right thing to do. Please tell me how to handle this situation. The owner called to me that the dog wouldn’t hurt me! Yeah right! - Michael

Dear Michael,

I feel your pain! Just the other day I was running on my favorite bike path and in 2 separate occurrences, dogs slipped out of their collars and ran over to me. I run with my dog and in both of these instances the other dog was trying to show dominance over mine. One of the owners actually told me to “shut up” when I suggested that they put their dog on a collar that fits. Oh well…..

Anyway, I suggest the following:

If I know the dog and/or its owner and he is just being friendly then I will go to the dog’s home, ring the bell, and tell them that their dog is off of its leash.
If I don’t know the dog, or it is behaving in an aggressive manner, then I will stand up very tall, point in the other direction (usually in the direction of the owner or where the dog came from), and say “GO!....GO HOME!” in a very stern voice. You might have to do this a couple of times. Never look the dog in the eyes because they will take this as a sign of aggression from you and it might start a conflict.
In the case of the Doberman, they have a tendency to be more aggressive than other dogs. If the owner continually fails to keep it contained, I would suggest you consult with a veterinarian about the use of pepper spray. Family and/or friends that have a pet can recommend one to you if you don’t have one yourself.
As a last resort, I would put in a formal complaint at your local police station. There are leash laws for a reason.Good Luck!

Helen
Running Fit Headquarters

I can commiserate with you as I too have had large dogs come after me (and 1 even caught me once)! One "survival" trick that I learned which worked most of the time when I felt threatened was to put my arm back and pretend to throw something at him/her.

Please note though that I would NEVER be cruel to an animal and am completely against any cruelty to animals.

I know some dogs to get upset by anyone running and/or biking, but when I stop and walk and speak nicely to the dog, he/she is pacified.

If/when possible, change your route and avoid the beast completely!
Power by xinh xinh