A lot of dog attacks/chases start when someone is already running. Say you’re out for your daily jog. A mile into it, you pass a home with a dog sitting on the front porch. The fact that you’re running makes the dog think you are either prey or a threat, so it jumps up, snarls and charges toward you.
You only have a split-second to decide what to do. Should you stop? Should you keep running? What is the best course of action?
Running often feels like the best choice. First of all, it’s your instinct as you try to put the danger behind you. Secondly, you know that the dog may be protecting its territory, so it makes sense to leave that territory as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, many experts warn that you should fight back against this instinct, as running actually makes it worse. What you want to do is to stop, avoid loud noises and eye contact, and slowly back away.
The reasoning here is that dogs want to chase. If you stop running, that dog that is sprinting toward you is actually more likely to stop, as well. It may come to a halt and bark at you from a few feet away. If you don’t act aggressively and then start backing away, the dog will usually stay at that spot and watch you leave. If you turn and run, it’s going to chase.
Knowing how to deal with a dog is just the first step. Attacks still happen. Those who get injured need to know what legal options they have.