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:

  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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