Why do I keep getting chased by dogs?
Yes yes, I'm sure it's a boring topic.....but I've had enough.
I like dogs. We had a black lab when I was a kid and I loved that dog to bits. He wasn't interested in runners. Unless they were dressed as squirrels. Which wasn't often.
I also love running, but recently have sharted having all manner of dog related problems.
It started 12 months ago. I was out for my usual lunchtime run. Big, beautiful boxer bitch started running towards me. Clearly a youngster, and a lovely looking dog. I looked at the owner to check all was OK and she simply said "she might jump up but she's just playful". 15 seconds later I've got blood running down my right thigh from a bite and nasty teeth scratches down my left thigh. Off to hospital, various jabs and on we go. I've seen the dog many times since and it has always been muzzled when off a lead. Put it down to experience.
Month later, came round the corner near the river I run by and was confronted by two very nasty looking pug things with their skinhead owner. One went for me and got hold of my foot but luckily I managed to hop up into a tree and the dog couldn't hang on so I escaped injury.
3 months ago, early morning run, white rottweiler appeared out of nowhere and went for me - surprisingly quick for such a big dog. Luckily I saw it coming and grabbed a bit of wood on the floor and applied wood to dog and got away with a scratch and shredded shorts. Never saw the owner.
Last week, small yappy type dog decided to chase me along a country road. I ignored it and carried on assuming that its owner shouting for it and me ignoring it would encourage it to give up the chase. Wrong. Bit me hard on the achilles, the little bastard. I had a right go at the owner, showing the blood and general mess of my ankle and she said "he's only 9 months old, don't be so nasty". I've just been bloody bitten you stupid idiot.
So, a question to all dog owners, what should I do when I'm out running and encounter a dog who is clearly not utterly disinterested in me? I know "yours" would never do anything, of course, but you'll know some who are a bit of a handful I'm sure. What's the safest approach?
Lots of people never have any trouble at all, and I genuinely like dogs, but this is getting a bit much. I've been bitten now three times and scratched once and needed hospital treatment twice in 12 months (thigh and achilles). That can't be right.
I know what you mean.. it can be a real pain when dog owners are not responsible. I've had a nasty looking rottweiler chase me (whlist the farmer owner was blissfully unaware). Ive been told to stop running, stand like a tree and don't make eye contact.... personally I growl at them and it seems to work (maybe I look threatening?)
I am a runner and a dog owner and I regularly run with my two dogs and a friend and her one. I can HONESTLY say our dogs have never chased another runner, nor have we been chased by other dogs, whether with our dogs or running dogless. If I am running and meet a dog I don't know I will always slow down or walk depending on whether the dog looks interested or not and I don't make eye contact as this can be taken as a challenge to a dominant dog. I'm sorry you've had such horrible experiences, most dog owners are responsible,I will always call my dogs back and put them on a lead when a runner approaches out of common courtesy, just as when running and approaching a dog walker from behind I would slow down and let them know I'm about to overtake, giving them a chance to hold their dog. We all have to share the same spaces, respect and a little tolorance on all sides has to be the way to go.
I run with one of my black labs and both she & I would be considered submissive. We might run 100 times carefree and then sure enough some dog comes out of nowehre and usually goes after my poor dog. She flips on her back and submits as I try to walk her away so we can continue our run. (Difficult as you can imagine)
As much as I try to ignore the experience it really ruins the whole run.
Typically the offending dog is a small yappy thing and the owner tells me the bark is worse than the bite. A hundred offensive comebacks swirl around my mind but I say nothing and continue on. My worry is for children or just people in general who have a fear of dogs. It must be terrifying.
Oh yeah...my advice....I think dogs in the care of useless owners will be here forever and it's one of the sad realities we have when just minding our own business and going for a run. I worry about saying the wrong thing to the wrong owner and escalting an already volatile situation.
Commiserations Elstead. I posted a couple of months back seeking advice, and did get some good advice on stopping, not engaging eye contact, folding arms into the body. Assuming statue pose, basically. However, I got alot of derision from the dog lobby saying that this theme is worn out. However, on a forum called Runner's World, it stands to reason that there will be a bit of repetition!
Here in the South West, we don't get the dangerous nutter dog owner too much, just people with too many dogs, often more than 3 per owner. There are now 9m dogs in the UK, and there has been an explosion in dog ownership. Every time I go out, I have some sort of incident. I wouldn't believe in harming a dog, so I'm not sure why dogs and owners think it's OK to go for me.
I've now devised myself dog free routes, and always breathe a sigh of relief once I'm through an unavoidable dog-zone. Last week, a huge St Bernard knocked me down on the beach. Leapt at me on all fours. It weighed a ton, and I hurt just from the jarring to my body for days afterwards. Owner looked on almost dotingly. They rely on our restraint and sangfroid not to lash back - but my patience is certainly wearing thin.
Interested to know where you run? Is this in a park or on roads?
I've never once had that, although I suspect it's because dogs in Richmond Park tend to be accustomed to seeing dozens of people, dogs and horses each time they go out, from an early age. The only time I've had similar is running in France, where dogs in front gardens tend to be trained to bark aggressively at passers by; they tend to be locked or chained up, but it's quite wearying.
The points about body language and eye contact above are important - I got a dog a year ago and am still amazed at his sensitivty to body language and moods. I presume it's a bit of a self-perpetuating thing - if you tense up at all, they'll notice that, and if you shy away from them or try and speed up, it won't help either. Slow down, don't change direction, and don't make eye contact. Don't be afraid to knee them in the chest too if they jump up - that winds them nicely.
Also, do you wear anything unusual when you run? Dogs sometime react to unusual clothing, which is one reason that badly-socialised ones hate posties.
Tmap wrote (see)
Also, do you wear anything unusual when you run?
Reckon these could be a problem ....
Dog owners a group whose so huge that their actions are best seen not as specific to that group but as simply behaviour typical of humans.
Some people are not good with people, and in fact are quite hateful towards others. Some are not able to empathise with other people.Their emotional development has in some respects been retarded.Some really cannot careless about anyone who is not them or theres. Kith and kin.
Sociopaths. Misanthropes.Selfish bastards
When some of those people have dogs you see this behaviour channelled through their dogs
There is nothing really you can do as how do you know the dog owner is a see you next Tuesday?
You can avoid parks at certain time, stay away from areas that you know dogs are walked.
Most of all dont blame yourself unless you're going around with pieces of steak in your pockets I really think your doing nothing wrong.
settergirl wrote (see)
Do Rottweilers come in white?
Funny, I thought that. I've never seen a white Rottie myself either.
Visit the official Runner's World page
Follow Runner's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
Run For Charity
About Runner's World
Runner's World is a publication of Hearst Magazines UK which is the trading name of The National Magazine Company Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP. Registered in England 112955. All rights reserved.
Website powered by: Immediate Media Company Ltd. | © Runner's World 2002-2014 |