How To Stop a Dog Chasing You While Running – And prevent a Bite!
If you’re reading this post, then you’ve probably just been chased by a dog while running, or worse been bitten by one. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve been bitten twice and chased countless times by dogs. Maybe they smell my cats on me but whatever the real reason, it’s very annoying and often scary. By the end of this post, you will have learned the best process for how to stop a dog chasing you while running, and hopefully prevent a bite.
This is why I wanted to share my own personal experiences and how I have come to deal with dogs when they start chasing me while out running.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, it’s just the ones that bite me on the ass that offend me. I often wish I had my own trail dog to run with me, maybe it would ward off the naughty ones? If you have experienced this to be the case, please let me know in the comments below.
Right then, let’s jump right into it with the most important things you need to know, in order to stop a dog chasing you while running.
How to stop a dog chasing you while running
1. Stop running and stay calm
This was my first mistake when I encountered my first angry dog with its utterly clueless owner. I just kept running thinking that the dog would soon give up, not being able to keep up with my 4.30/km splits. I was wrong, instead, the dog got even more confident, thinking I was running away scared, I was a little. After 3 attempts of jumping up at me while I was running, the dog eventually bit me on my ass, my only protection was the inner lycra compression layer of a pair of Salomon S-Lab Exo Twinskin shorts. This layer luckily stopped the dog from penetrating my skin with its teeth. He did leave a nasty mark though!
What I should have done was immediately stop running the moment I detected the dog growling and beginning to make the chase.
2. Stop the Dog: Shout common commands at the dog
When I was first chased by a dog, I was so surprised that I really didn’t know what to do after being chased. My instinctual reaction after being bitten was to stop and shout at the dog’s owners to do something about their out of control dog. I was so angry that they were so blasé about the whole affair. If I was a horrible person I could have reported their vicious dog to the authorities but knowing it probably wasn’t the dog’s fault, I felt that it would have been an extreme reaction to an unfortunate event. I couldn’t let that dog get in trouble or worse still put-down on behalf of its bad parents.
What I should have done before the chase got going was: stop running and shout common stop words to the dog. For example, shouting “NO!”, “DOWN!”, “BAD DOG!” or even “STOP!” probably would have done the job. The key is to put on your stern voice, if you have any experience in dealing with pets or children then you already know how to channel that voice. If possible, try to avoid eye contact while giving your commands, yes it sounds a bit like a joke, ordering a dog to do something without looking at the dog directly but trust me it will feel less threatened if you do this.
…Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, it’s just the ones that bite me on the ass that offend me.
3. Defend yourself
If for whatever reason steps 1 & 2 don’t work for you, and the dog is in full attack mode, then you need to defend yourself by any means necessary. Hopefully, you won’t need to harm the dog, but if you do, then your safety is the priority so don’t feel too bad for it. Remember, the dog started it, you just need to finish it.
I had another attack by two much bigger dogs once, I think they were Labradoodles. Anyway, it’s a similar story that involves a bad pet owner who did absolutely nothing to try to help me or stop his wrongly unleashed dogs from attacking me. The man shouted out in a laughing tone, “Oh little Rex is just playing, don’t mind him!”. “Excuse me!!? Your dog is gnawing on my wrist! Do something about it!”, I replied. The man did nothing, so I gave the dog a push kick he won’t forget anytime soon. I’m so glad I took that Kickboxing course beforehand :). I felt bad afterwards but this was one of two large dogs, that if left alone would have taken advantage of my weakness and continued to “play” with my already badly bitten wrist. I should mention that the dog was only stunned to the point of it feeling dominated enough to back off, and no lasting harm was given.
So I got this one absolutely right! I’m proud of my reaction but I wish I was better educated at the time so that I knew to stop running and shout the dog down before it even got to the biting stage.
“Oh little Rex is just playing, don’t mind him!”. “Excuse me!!? Your dog is gnawing on my wrist! Do something about it!”
Don’t let this post put you off
This doesn’t happen all the time so please don’t let this post put you off running, instead use it as a prevention tool should you ever find your self in a similar situation, whether you’re running or not. This situation usually only arises when a badly trained (or completely untrained) dog hasn’t is not leashed in a public space.
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Have you been chased by a dog while running?
We recently ran a poll on our Instagram Stories – asking whether you chased or bitten by a dog while running. 629 of you responded with 278 saying they have been and 351 people saying they haven’t. That’s 44% who have been chased or bitten and 56% who haven’t. Quite an interesting poll if you ask me!
Care to share some of your own tips?
If you have any other tips on how to stop a dog chasing you, based on your own similar experiences, please drop them in the comments section below, I would love to hear them in case my own tactics ever fail me.