As a runner, I realize that I will always have a complicated relationship with dogs, as I typically move fast enough to look like a toy to them. I also realize that most of the time, the dog simply wants to play with me, and rarely (I hope…) that dog wants to hunt me down and dismember me….
So what do we, runners, do to avoid the confrontation? I mean, come on, I am not going to stop or change my running routine just because I look particularly appealing and tasty to some beast on the road! Here are some ideas:
a) If you see a dog, even if it is on a leash, try to get on the opposite side of the road ahead of time – there is plenty of space for us all! Chances are, that dog is a male, and we males don’t like it when someone gets into our territory!
b) At all costs, avoid eye contact with the dog (and with the owner as well) as they basically hate you, and hopefully will not notice you at all.
c) Slow down just a little and move at a steady pace, appearing as if you are not at all intrigued or bothered by the dog’s presence, perhaps it will ignore you as well…
These may work, however, if at some point you see that nothing works and the dog is about to sink its teeth into your leg, well, you have to try to:
1. Stop running and face it like a man! (even if you are not one).
2. Assume fighting position and face the dog aggressively, so that it knows you will not be an easy prey!
3. Start making aggressive hissing noises, and if possible, show your teeth to the dog, because they can relate to that.
Your goal is not to hurt the dog, of course, but to fend off the aggression, and perhaps it will get the message and choose to stay away from the future runners on the route.