Running is awesome and you know it! This form of exercise has the ability to burn calories quickly and easily and benefits your leg muscles and core strengthening. Maybe it’s the runner’s high that has you hooked, or the intense joint strengthening this type of exercise brings. Whatever your reason, you probably also know the downside of running, with extremes of weather and the inevitable chasing by neighborhood canines that makes your running program more dangerous than you’d like it to be. Luckily, there are a number of remedies you can apply to ensure the neighborhood dogs let you to run in peace.
Although you may have just hit your rhythm, you should slow down to a walk if a neighborhood canine starts to harass you. Dogs instinctively chase whatever creature is running, and you will change its behavior by changing your pace. Slow down to a walk or stand still for a short period of time without engaging the animal by look or voice.
Stand Totally Still, But Not Fearfully
Nothing tells a dog the game is over faster than the stopping all movement. Come to a complete stop, not engaging the animal in any way. If possible, turn your back on the dog. Wait for a few minutes for the animal to understand that there’s nothing interesting going on here, then go on your way. A personal injury lawyer in Denver from Bachus & Schnaker Law recommends if you stand still to do so out of the way of cars or crosswalks.
Avoid Eye Contact
Although intense eye contact is a sign of dominance and can get most dogs to back off, it may not work on an extremely aggressive animal and could provoke an attack. Simply concentrate on changing other aspects of your behavior to make yourself less interesting to the animal.
Use a Loud Low Voice
Many runners find that answering an approaching dog with a loud, low bark can often cause them to back off quickly. Chasing running prey is an instinctive reaction, and so is backing down from a bark from a dominant pack member. You may feel silly, but this can keep you from an attack.
Carry a small water bottle with sprayer to spritz water into the dog’s face or carry a container of pepper spray or mace. The pepper spray will not hurt the animal, but will definitely discourage it from leading with an aggressive response.
Dealing with dogs on your daily run can be hazardous, but a bit of strategy can usually change the dynamic enough to cause them to adjust their attitudes and go their own way.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.