One of my pet peeves is irresponsible dog owners who don’t lease their dogs.
Every runner has been chased or barked at by an obnoxious loose canine. All animals, including humans, are unpredictable. A dog owner who lets his Rottweiler, Pit-bull, or Doberman run loose and says, “Oh, my dog won’t bite, he’s friendly” is mistaken. I am always cautious when I see dog, even when the owner is close. But the dogs that concern me the most are the ones without an owner in sight.
Facing a huge beast with sharp teeth and iron jaws can be frightening, but there are a few actions that may prevent an attack from a dangerous dog.
- Stop RUNNING. Do not yell or make loud noises or make sudden movements.
- Stand still; pretend you’re a tree. Slowly cross your arms over your chest, as if you are giving yourself a great, big hug.
- Look away from the dog’s eyes. Also, DON’T SMILE or show your teeth to the dog. Direct eye contact and the bearing of teeth are signs of aggression to a dog. Usually, simply standing still and avoiding direct eye contact will cause the dog to lose interest. If the dog approaches. Talk to the dog in a firm low voice. If it sniffs you, just let it sniff. Don’t stare at it and don’t make any sudden movements.
- If the dog isn’t showing further signs of aggression, but isn’t moving. Toss a rock, stick, or anything else away from you and away from the dog. The sound should attract grab the dog’s attention. The dog will usually move toward the thrown object to sniff and investigate it. This will give you a chance to slowly turn and walk away. Once you are far enough way from the dog, you can resume your run. If you live in a neighborhood full of unleashed dogs, you might want to run with a tennis ball. That way, you’ll have something to throw.
- Carry Pepper Spray <—–Shameless Product Plug. This is a last resort and should only be used if the dog tries to attack. Nevertheless, it’s one of items that is “better to have and not need than to need and not have.”
Sobering, true story about a dog attack close to home.
My neighbor enjoyed breeding pit-bulls; he swore that they were misunderstood and very docile animals.
One day he was sitting on his couch watching television. Bella, his female pit-bull, jumped up on the coffee table and licked his face. Since he was trying to watch TV, he told her stop. But she kept licking. So, he decided to put his hands on her head to turn her face away. He had a mouthful of chips and turned to her with his mouth open, her sharp powerful teeth sunk into his lower jaw. Luckily she didn’t clamp down for long. But the full force of her bite brought an ambulance to his house and left him visible scars on his lower jaw. When he got out of the hospital, he told me that the didn’t which was more painful the bite or his having to put Bella down.
On that happy note, have a great day!
Was that too much of a downer?