What to do if a dog chases you while running?

Answered by Michael Wilson

When a dog chases you while running, it can be a scary and potentially dangerous situation. Here are 10 ways to manage unwanted attention from dogs when you’re out for a run:

1. Take control: Stay calm and assertive. Dogs can sense fear, so try to project confidence and control.

2. Use a deep, firm voice: Speak in a low, authoritative tone to convey a sense of calm and assertiveness. This can help to establish yourself as the alpha and may deter the dog from approaching further.

3. Turn sideways on: Facing a dog head-on can be seen as confrontational. Instead, turn your body to the side, making yourself appear less threatening.

4. Fold your arms across your body and neck: This can help protect vulnerable areas and make you appear less exposed.

5. Stand still: Avoid making sudden movements or running away, as this can trigger a dog’s prey drive. Instead, stand still and avoid making eye contact with the dog.

6. Move slowly away: If the dog continues to approach or show signs of aggression, slowly and calmly walk away, maintaining a sideways position.

7. Curl up if you fall: If you happen to fall or get knocked down, curl up into a ball and protect your head, neck, and vital organs. This can help minimize the risk of injury from bites.

8. Don’t keep going: If a dog is persistently chasing you, it’s important to stop running. Running can trigger a dog’s instinct to chase, so it’s best to come to a halt and follow the other steps mentioned.

9. Don’t shriek: While it may be tempting to scream or shriek when faced with a charging dog, this can actually escalate the situation. Stay as calm and composed as possible.

10. Don’t make eye contact: Direct eye contact can be seen as a challenge or threat by dogs. Avoid staring at the dog and instead, focus on your own safety.

Remember, it’s important not to behave aggressively towards the dog. This can provoke them further and increase the risk of an attack. Stay calm, assertive, and focused on your safety. If the situation escalates or you feel in immediate danger, seek help from nearby people or call animal control.