How can I protect myself from loose dogs when I’m out running?
Despite the fact that it’s usually against the law and it’s dangerous both for their dogs and for other people, it’s unfortunately true that some pet owners let their dogs run loose. If you meet a strange dog when you’re out for a walk or a jog, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
• Don’t look the dog directly in the eyes, as dogs can interpret this as a sign of aggression.
• Stand up straight and look confident.
• Watch the dog for signs of aggression, like growling, staring you straight in the eyes, or having stiff legs and a stiff tail. If the dog looks aggressive, back away slowly. Don’t turn around and run.
• If loose dogs are often a problem in your neighborhood, consider carrying citronella spray. Dogs hate the smell of citronella, but it doesn’t harm them, so it makes a good deterrent. You can find the spray at some pet stores and sports/running equipment stores.
• Once you are safely away from the loose dog, call your local humane society or the non-emergency number for your local police and tell them where to find the loose dog. Not only will you save the other walkers and joggers in your neighborhood from encountering the dog, but you may well save him from being hit by a car.