Posts Tagged With: bark

Runner vs Dog…AGAIN!

A while back I posted about a dog encounter on my run, along with my tips for those situations. This morning I got to use my own advice again.

It was early this morning.  Still dark.  I was 3 miles into my 5 miler.  All of the sudden about 20 yards in front of me these two loose dogs that I hadn’t seen in the darkness just went nuts barking at me.

I immediately paused my gps watch running.  But I did not run away.  Whosever house I was in front of had left their trash and recycling bins by the sidewalk for collection.  I began pounding on the bins to make loud noises.  I yelled at the dogs in a loud deep voice.

One was obviously the leader, and the other stayed behind him.  I did not pay the other any attention, I focused on the leader.

Photo break - here's another neighbor's house.  He likes this time of year, I guess.

Photo break – here’s another neighbor’s house. He likes this time of year, I guess.

Now they didn’t immediately retreat, but they did stop in their tracks.  We had a good ole fashioned stand off for a few minutes (or at least it seemed like).  Neither of us budged…they kept barking and I kept yelling at them and banging on the bin.  I’m sure I must’ve woke up some of the neighbors.  I did not care.  I was secretly hoping to wake up the owners of the dogs (if they lived in one of the houses there).

I then took my jacket up in my arms stretched over my head to make myself look bigger.  I started to take steps toward them, and the leader held strong.  The other dog backed up some into the street, and luckily a car came from behind it that spooked it.  When I took more steps, the other dog ran off.  Then the leader finally submitted when I took a few aggressive steps toward them.  I picked up a newspaper to throw at them, but after a defiant final bark, he retreated with the other.

I waited a few seconds to make sure they didn’t return, dropped the paper, and ran in another direction.

I’ve encountered countless dogs on my runs, but this was the first time I faced a pair.  They definitely took longer to back down, but they did.

I know I’ve asked this before, but what do you do when confronting a hound?  Ever come across a pack?  Ever banged on a neighbor’s trash can at 6 am?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Runner vs. Loose Dog

Carving Jack-O-Lanterns with our dawgs a few years ago.  They're horrible at it, BTW.

Carving Jack-O-Lanterns with our dawgs a few years ago. They’re horrible at it, BTW.

If you run, you no doubt have come across your fair share of Fidos.  Most of the time they are just barking at us from behind a fence or living room window.  Sometimes they are coming at us dragging their owner by the leash.   Other times, they are loose.  There are three ways they get loose.

1.)  The owner thought their dog was such a “good widdle puppy” that they could take the leash off and the dog would stay by their side and obey every command.  Here’s a newsflash for those people:  Your dog will not care about you when it sees some random person running, and will instinctively run towards said person.  Keep the leash on.

2.)  The owner opens their front door to get the paper or mail or chat with a neighbor and the dog takes this opportunity to run out the door and chase the jogger down.

3.)  Dog escapes another way like digging under a fence, or the owner accidentally leaves the backyard fence door open, or they do not properly secure the chained up outside dog.

This morning I dealt with the last one.  Luckily I knew how to approach this situation, and it worked out for me.  Lemme splain.

Almost every run I go on takes me to a park near the house.  To get to said park I run past a house that has no fence and the owners keep their dog chained to a spike in the ground.  The best way I can describe this hound is that it looks like a junkyard dog.  It’s big and mean and goes absolutely berserk every time I run past.  I also think of it as a junkyard dog because the owners keep their pick-up trucks in the same yard.  Yes, I live in Texas.

Every time I run past this yard, I always think up a plan for what to do if this dog ever gets loose.  I always figured it was an eventuality that he would eventually pull the spike out of the ground so he could fulfill his dream of mauling me.  I’ve always thought that I would jump up on top of one of the cars parked on the street.  But here’s what I did do this morning when he came after me.

I’m not an expert, but I’ve lived with dogs my whole life, I know how they think.  I also used to watch the Dog Whisperer religiously.  And luckily, I instinctively did what some of the things he says you should do if you come across an less than friendly pooch (along with some of my own techniques):

1.)  Stop running!  If you run, the dog will chase, and it will catch you as they have the advantage of running on four legs.

2.)  Turn and face the dog.

3.)  Make yourself look big – stand tall and puff out your chest.

4.)  In your lowest and loudest voice (mimicking a bark), yell at the dog.  This morning I yelled, “No!” and “Go!”

5.)  Stand your ground.  You may even take a couple steps toward the dog.

6.)  Have no fear!  Dogs can sense it, so you must portray confidence and dominance.

7.)  When the dog backs down and retreats, do not turn your back, but back away until you feel it’s safe to turn and continue on your run.

I did all of this stuff this morning, and it worked like a charm.  When he came at me barking, I turned toward him, puffed out my chest, and yelled.  The display and noise seemed to shock him out of his pursuit and he stopped in his tracks.  He barked a bit, but when I took a step toward him, he retreated with a defiant “woof”.

Sometimes though, these tricks don’t work and the dog will still come at you.  I was prepared for this this morning.  When the dog started coming at me, before I turned to face it, I looked down and saw a large rock in their neighbors yard.  I picked it up.  If my display of dominance wouldn’t have worked, I would have fought that dog with the rock.

Bailey & Guinness - the Irish Car Dogs.

Bailey & Guinness – the Irish Car Dogs.

Before I go on, know that I am a dog person.  We have two at home that we rescued from a shelter.  I’ve also helped catch dogs who have escaped from their owner’s house, while I was on runs.  But I’ve also been bit before.  It was a nightmare, I had to report the dog to animal control who put it in quarantine.  I had to go to the emergency room to make sure I didn’t get rabies or anything.  So when a dog does come at me on my runs, I don’t care if the owner is standing there or not, I will kick it.  I will throw stuff at it.  Anything to get it to back down.  If you’re worried about kicking a dog in front of their owners – don’t worry, I have yet to have them get mad at me.  Instead they apologize and yell at their dog.  I’m a pretty laid back guy, but in those situations, I will yell at the owners to get their darn mutt on a stinking leash (perhaps with harsher language than that).

For those who feel sorry for the dog, I’m with you.  They shouldn’t leave it chained up alone outside all day.  After I got home, I contacted Animal Control who said they would investigate to see if there are any code violations.  I believe they have to have access to water, shade, etc to avoid a violation.  If anything, a visit from Animal Control may scare the owners straight into properly housing their pet.  Hopefully in the future they will treat the dog better so that it won’t be so angry that it wants to kill joggers.

What about you?  Anyone else have any doggy stories or tips?  What do you do when a dog comes at you snarling and barking?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Running with Dogs, Skunks, and Roosters, Oh My!

So in my post yesterday, I wrote about some wildlife encounters I’ve had while running.  I’ve since remembered a few others.

Dogs.  I am a dog person, but not when I’m running.  I can’t tell you how many times dogs have come charging at me.  It especially happens whenever I run with my (leashed) dogs.  Almost every time it happens because the dog’s owner doesn’t have him/her on a leash, and aren’t pack leader enough to make them stay by their side without one.  Sometimes the dog is a stray or escaped from it’s home.  I’m sorry, but when a dog comes at me barking, I am going to kick it or throw something at it.  I don’t care if the owners are there or not, I don’t want to get bit.  The owners never get mad at me for doing so, they’re too busy apologizing…I rarely accept their apologies.  I will tell you this, the one time I didn’t kick a little barking dog that came at me, it bit me.  It turned into a whole big thing with animal control, emergency rooms, quarantine, rabies tests, etc.  What a mess.  I should’ve followed my instinct and kicked it, but I was trying to be nice.  Don’t worry, after it bit me, I kicked it good in the head and it scurried off whimpering, all while the owner apologized.

Skunks.  Nothing makes me alter my course more than coming across a skunk.  Recently I came across a couple of them on a paved trail I was running on through a neighborhood.  I stopped dead in my tracks and slowly backed up.  Luckily they ignored me and eventually left the trail so I could continue on (only after I let them get far away).  I will never do anything to piss a skunk off cause I don’t want to get sprayed.  My one friend actually did get sprayed by one on one of his runs.  No thank you!  I don’t want to have to bathe in Chef Boyardee Ravioli, or whatever the remedy is.

Roosters.  This one actually freaked me out the most.  I was in Guam and was about to go for a run, when our hosts looked at me in dis-belief.  They couldn’t believe I was going to run with all the wild roosters out there.  I didn’t get what the big deal was, but they said they’re very territorial.  They also explained that many of them had escaped or been set free after being trained for cock-fighting.  Then they gave me a metal pipe to run with in case I had to defend myself.  I had never been scared of a chicken before, but was so freaked out that I ran in a circle around the block over and over, too afraid to venture out and suffer the wrath of a territorial cock.  After that, I did all my runs on the roster-less beaches!

Peace!

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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