he won't bite

17 messages
23/08/2002 at 13:24
Is it me or do runners attract a lot of attention from dogs? It seems to be a regular occurence for dogs to bark, run and jump up at me when on a run. The owners tend to laugh and reassure me if I stand still I wont be bitten. I dont want to stop running and get slobbered but I dont want to be chased or bitten either. Anybody else have this problem?
WildWill    pirate
23/08/2002 at 13:31
Marvin

I think that some people attract more attention from our four legged friends than others – we have a guy in our club that always seems to find himself prey not only to dogs but also cows and horses :o)

Will
23/08/2002 at 13:38
Marvin,

Dogs know exactly what they're doing.

Every time I find myself running directly towards a dog and its owner, the dog will move away from the owner in an attempt to trip me with the retractable lead. The leads are of course completely camouflaged !! Again like your own experienc the owners find this 'amusing'.

However; I've yet to use my water bottle in anger.
23/08/2002 at 14:47
Dogs are an absolute pain to runners in my opinion....but the owners are worse!! Particularly those who don't keep them on leads in public parks where they are supposed to and then say naff things like 'If you stop running, he'll ignore you'...kind of defeats the object really!!

Even the cute ones can be bad. My husband was bitten by a West Highland terrier on a run near my parents' house in Kent. The dog just ran out of the driveway of a house and bit him on the calf.
WildWill    pirate
23/08/2002 at 15:03
If a dog is all teeth, then I think you are perfectly in you rights to do an impersonation of someone trying to score a field goal

Will
23/08/2002 at 15:09
They are a nightmare, SOME of the owners as much as the dogs!

I don't know who I can blame for the attacking seagulls in my area. I had to change my running routes throughout June - August to prevent being dive bombed my these NASTY birds. No joke they have been known to cause nasty cuts to peoples heads. They were bad while they were nesting, but I managed to just be chased and swooped on, wore a hat to protect my head, but after the babies were born I wouldn't even risk running past them. All clear again now, for another year!
23/08/2002 at 15:24
I am regularly chased and bitten by a Chihuahua!! No joke, this tiny creature seems to be able to see us coming for miles. The owner at least has the decency to be embarrassed about it. The thing that annoys me though, is when they say "He won't touch you" - how the hell do they know?!
23/08/2002 at 15:41
A small tip - when approaching a dog owner (or in fact when encountering anyone walking alone) I have a coughing regime, that starts with a loud cough 100 metres away and, until I am noticed, continues until I am positively consumptive! Generally works.

I personally like the "dogs barking behind fences" to whom I usually bark back - that's when I usually spot the open gate!
23/08/2002 at 16:50
WildWill's parting shot is cool...very funny!

I (touch wood) have never been bitten by a dog or stung by a wasp/bee but when I see any of these whilst out running I have been known to go completely out of my way to avoid them. I also hate owners saying don't worry he won't bite you, doesn't give you much confidence when their boxer dog is gunning for you at twice the pace you are running yourself!!

Worse for me though was when avoiding a dog I jumped a fence into a field and this silly horse bit my hair whilst I was stuggling to my feet...very funny but scary too!
23/08/2002 at 17:12
MartinH, thought it was just me that did the coughing thing, more effective of course is when you "clear" your throat just behind them
23/08/2002 at 18:12
French dogs - they actually train them to be mental.

And interestingly enough the "he won't bite" comment translates as "il est pas mechant", as I learned when this snarling attack dog came tearing at me teeth bared, foam slicking his evil jaws, as I ran up a cliff in Brittany. Some things obviously are universal.

And how the heck do the owners KNOW that today's not the day when Fido loses it and actually DOES rip someone's nuts off? They DON'T.
23/08/2002 at 18:40
As a dog owner and runner, maybe I can intervene with some idea of why dog owners say the things they say...

A dog is a pack animal. They're born with instincts to chase things, especially things which appear attractive or interesting - such as cats, other dogs (especially), cyclists, runners and even cars (in some mental dogs' cases).

The owner says "if you stop he won't run after you" because quite simply, the minute you stop, you become less attractive (you're not trying to get away) because obviously if you're trying to get away then you must be worth chasing!!

This is not compatible with the runner's ethos of "not wanting to stop" and breaking their stride/pace etc. However, the dog isn't capable of reason or thought (even though some owners swear they are) and so if you keep running by him, he'll keep chasing!!

As for the dog's who bite runners - that simply is a question of poor training and dog management. Dogs only bite those things they perceive as a threat. It seems to me that those pooches who aren't "socialised" early enough to respond to different aspects of their life - i.e. runners, cars, other dogs etc are likely to respond in an aggressive manner. In my opinion this is lazy dog ownership and if a dog bites you - you ought to ask the owner their name, address, details of pet insurance and pass the problem to the police. People who have dogs that bite in public can be ordered to make their dogs wear a muzzle when out, even if they do not come under the dangerous dogs sections of the law.

RoadRunner -- most dogs aren't required to be on a lead in a public park unless that park's byelaws specifically state that it is so. However, a dog owner is legally obliged to ensure that his or her dog is under control at all times. To me this means putting your dog on a lead when anyone he doesn't know comes by - or attracting their attention with treats and biscuits etc. If the dog isn't under control and you feel the dog poses a threat, you are entitled to report the dog owner to the police for this and they can be fined upto £2000!!

Hope this helps - so if a loose dog is chasing you, the best course of action and easiet (because of their stupid owners) is to just stop and wait for the owner to get hold of the dog whilst you carry on. Sorry, but you can educate dog owners until you're blue in the face but you'll always come across some prat who doesn't understand they have a responsibility to the public when out with their dog.
23/08/2002 at 20:31
Its the evil man eating cows you want to look out for not the dogs. I was faced by a particularly intelligent herd of cows a few months ago that cornered me in a field and I had to be rescued by a farmer!
23/08/2002 at 20:41
You're quite right, Cath, of course it's the owners not the dogs - but I have to say that running in London, if you stopped for every dog that was not under control you'd never get any running done!

and actually it's precisely because I used to own a dog that I understand that even the best trained dog can have a bad day! I think more than anything, they get scared when they see something big running towards them at speed (well, at speed on a good day for me!). s.
23/08/2002 at 20:48
Mmmmmm, sometimes you don't even have to run - my father-in-law was walking the other day and this dog came flying at him, ripped his trousers from the thigh to the ankle and he realised he'd been bitten quite badly. Unfortunately, he's just had heart surgery and is on medication which thins his blood so it didn't stop bleeding for days. The owner did look quite sheepish but it turns out this isn't the first time the dog has gone nuts so why it wasn't wearing a muzzle I do not know. My parents-in-law are lovely nice people who aren't even going to press charges as they're just not those sort of people. :(

I run a lot over the Downs and I'm always dismayed at the number of dodgy dogs (including Dobermans and Rottweilers) with no muzzles I come across with no sign of any owner in sight. I normally stand still and shout out until eventually some owner appears normally not at all apologetic. Sometimes, it takes up to five minutes for them to appear as their dogs are so far away from them. :-(((
23/08/2002 at 21:12
Dose any one else remember about 18 months ago, RW ran a "Jeers" item for the American runner who shot a dog that had bitten him on a previous run & then went for him on another run.
I guese that any dog owner in that town would have started keeping thier dog on a leash after that. Making it safe for other runners.
"Cheers" would have been more apt.
PM
23/08/2002 at 21:17
Like Cath, I often have a dog (vacation lodger). She runs with me, free on the fen. I know perfectly well she won't hurt anyone provided they don't raise an arm to strike her. But she does like to sniff the back of the legs - which would worry me if I were the runner, and didn't know her.

Most times I meet a dog without her, I get by by calling in a friendly voice "hello sweetheart, aren't you handsome" or some such (making quite sure the owner can't mis-interpret the flattery as applying to him!). Eight out of ten times the dog accepts me as benign and leaves me after a sniff. The other two times I have to freeze - which would indeed be annoying if I were watching a clock.

Oddly, the best way of dealing with other dogs is to leave it to my dog! No other dog has ever taken any notice of me running or walking if Poppy is around. Pity Poppy is not really all that keen on running (getting fat and lazy in her middle age).

Not too much trouble with extending leads on the fen. Lots of dogs, but most dog owners twig that dogs negociate social encounters much better when they are simply left to sort it out themselves.

Now cows...

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