>General Running>I Suppose It Was Inevitable, Yes?
Did we win?
I get chased by dogs on almost every run; the ones that come into the road after me get sprayed with pepper spray. I used to think that it was mean to the "poor dog", but the dog "is what it is": an untrained/undisciplined, dangerous animal. I'm not going to risk injury or even the inconvenience of getting bitten.
I was able to meet a neighbor after an encounter with his dog (it was the only dog to get a face full of spray.) He apologized and we've had nice conversations since then. It's a great ice-breaker!
I PR'd in my FIRST half-marathon; you can, too. Ask me how!
Heart & Sole Half-Marathon, Goldsboro, NC, Feb. 2, 1:56:40 (PR)
New River Marathon, Todd, NC, May 4, 4:59:32 (PR)
Triple Lakes Trail Race (40 mile), Greensboro, NC, Oct. 5, pending...
Dave, Whatever happened with this?
I'm wondering if the younger folks aren't getting this.
I'm wondering if the younger folks aren't getting this.
39 years old....Had to google it. Interesting.
Marathon Maniac #6740
Goals for 2013:
Run 3 Marathons in less than 6 weeks
Run 1,500+ miles
I saw this story about another runner who was bitten and thought of you.
Whatever happened with this. You got us all worked up and never reported.
I didn't get bit, but as I was close to finishing one of my longish runs, a couple walking in the opposite direction that I was running had two dogs. The dogs were in the grassy area (it was wet, since it had rained the night before). The couple didn't move or make a single file on the path, so I moved towards the grass. The coupled called their dogs and the dogs went in the direction of the owners. As I was moving away from all of them, at the last second, one of the dogs went in my direction instead of the couple. I guess it wanted to play. It put its claws on one of my knees as I was running, pushed me off balance, and I landed poorly on the other foot and I twisted my ankle. I limped for a few steps and decided not to continue running that day. That was two weeks before my race. Thankfully, I was able to run the following day with just some minor, barely noticeable discomfort. Now the owners keep their dogs on a leash, and I didn't even have to tell them anything.
Luckily most of the time when I run towards or behind dog walkers with their dogs, they usually stop walking and control their dogs to let me pass by.
On one occasion, there were two dogs without an owner on the trail. A small dog barked at and run towards me, but the other dog tried to stop. Well, the bigger one just wanted to play. I just run as normal.
Is it true that dogs feel threatened, bark and bit people? Those dogs must feel themselves as an Alpha at home.
5k - 20:56 (Sept 30, 2012)
7k - 28:40 (Nov 18, 2012)
10k trial - 43:08 (Mar 29, 2013), 42:05 (May 05, 2013)
FM - 3:09:28 (May 19, 2013)
Typical urban situations: sidewalks, paths, trails, etc.
I have a dog that is afraid of runners (and bicycles). I believe it's the aggressive looking back and forth arm action/leg action. He could be aggressive to a runner if I didn't train him/calm him/distract him/move him out of the direct line of "attack" (i.e. someone running straight at him). Dogs also view a fast oncoming approach as an attack or as aggressive. They don't greet each other that way--they greet each other by circling--the bigger the circle necessary if they are fearful of the strange dog. Also, a lot of people who are afraid or worried about a dog will stare at the dog as they are running toward it--dogs don't like this. When you put all of these variables into play, it's more likely to set a dog off.
That being said, in town, if I'm out running or walking my dog and I see a questionable off-leash dog, just about 100% of the time, I yell: "GET YOUR DOG!". Even if I don't see the owner. If you don't give the clueless dog owner clear instructions, they will just stand in one place with a dumb look, and meekly call: "Fluffy come here" and expect their equally clueless dog to come to them. However, if you call the owner to action with clear and easy to follow instructions, they might actually walk (or even jog) to their dog and retrieve it.
The country and/or territorial dogs:
The country is a different situation. Dogs can be territorial, especially in groups. I run on country roads. One of my runs has about 6 houses with territorial/aggressive dogs--not your everyday aggressive dogs, but truly mean dogs--really really dislike their owners for allowing the dogs to become so aggressive. I had to stop taking that route because it was so bad and I just didn't want to deal with it. However, on my new route, there are still aggressive dogs, but I managed to make friends with them. It takes a while at first--but I can't rely on their owners to train them or confine them. If I were to pepper spray, kick, or throw things at them, they'd just become even more aggressive--might not attack me, but they'd attack the next runner down the line. I don't want any part in making dogs more aggressive so the dog spray is my last resort.
If a dogs comes to me, I stop running and walk or even stop. I put my hands along my hips. Usually the dog comes closer, I give him slowly my hand to sniff, he sniffs and walks his way. It works. More - in this way dogs in the vicinity 'know' me, and they don't even pay attention to me.
This is sort of my second step in the case of dogs that are more difficult. It doesn't necessarily make the dog happy to see me the next time, but it's a way to keep the situation calm: If you are aware of a dog in advance and you know it's aggressive, you can even stop, well before it gets to you, and look at it while telling it "go home" in a deep, but calm (slow) voice. Sometimes you have to keep looking at it as you work your way past it. A lot of dogs are opportunists and won't attack unless they can sneak up behind you. Don't try this if you have any fear whatsoever of dogs--may not work for you. You kind of have to "feel the force".