I agree with what others have said about blasting music, especially if it's dark out and your awareness is already impaired. I was saved by my phone when I fell and hurt myself a few months ago, and instantly whipped it out and made a call when approached by a guy who gave me a bad vibe one time. Better safe.
Iím surprised it wasnít mentioned to not have music up loud while walking/running. In some towns they are saying to not listen to music at all since it makes you more susceptible to attacks since so many people have their headphones/earbuds up so loud. I wear earbuds but I can still hear cars coming and dogs barking. As soon as one of us gets a new cell phone we put ICE in it. Iíve even done that with my grandparents phones too.
As for the dog part, I canít disagree more. If the dog is going to actually attack, you will be worse off on the ground. Staying on your feet is the best bet . 1) Donít look the dog in the eye. Dogs can see that as a sign of aggression. 2) Donít run. The dog may decide to chase and attack if you do. 3) Slowly walk or back away.
I have several dogs where I walk that run loose and Iíve found that most just want to bark. What I do with the ones where I am isnít recommended, but I have gotten to know these dogs. There are two dachshunds that run towards the road yapping, but if I talk to them and take a step or two towards them they run the other way. There are several larger dogs on my route too and they are all different. One will bark and come to the end of the drive where it lives, but I just talk to it a little and keep walking. When he sees I am not stopping heíll go lay back down. Another large dog will walk with me. He is friendly but barks when he sees me excited and ready to go. There is a brown dog that I donít trust though. He has tried to sneak up on me before. If I see him Iíll just raise my voice and tell him to ďGet outta hereĒ or something and he will. I have told the owner of that one that Iím going to start carrying a walking stick and the next time it comes at me I will defend myself. They told me if I do they will call the police, but Iíve already talked to the Chief, two officers, and the dog catcher. They have all told me I have the right to protect myself. This dog has chased several kids, but it is smart and hides when the dog catcher is in our area.
I was attacked and badly bitten by a neighbour's Alsatian when out jogging. I had heard that if you throw yourself down face down, the dog will not attack. That was when he really let rip. It was so painful when his teeth ripped through my flesh that I sat up. Then he just sat there and looked at me, till people came and he went away. AT first I just screamed. Then I started shouting HELP! Neighbours said they heard me screaming but thought it was children playing, till they heard me calling HELP! Now if in doubt I take a stick and pepper spray with me. I'm terrified of strange dogs now, and of course they will know it and therefore be more likely to bite. There's not much I can do about that, except ask passing dog owners to understand why I'm neurotic. In Albania normally if you bend down when a dog looks aggressive, he will run away with his tail between his legs, expecting to be hit by a stone you have picked up. It works 4 times out of 5. That's probably a local phenomenon though, as dogs here expect to have stones thrown at them, which doesn't make them friendlier!
I'm surprised that being oblivious to surroundings while into your music wasn't included in the article. It took an earlier comment to bring it up. In my experience running with music in both ears is a lot more prevalent out there than runners yaking on cell phones. Be careful out there!
I agree with all but the dog section. Being a dog trainer and working on behavior modification, I don't agree with much of what is said there. The worst being curling into a ball and telling an "aggressive" dog that you are weak - this is asking for further aggression.
Dogs are predictable and respond to our behavior in predictable ways. I have met many "aggressive" (in all reality, DEFENSIVE) dogs in my walks and runs. Most people let their dogs run loose in my neighborhood. I would rather run into one of them any day than a malicious person. Dogs I can handle. People scare the hell out of me.
But aside from that, the rest is good information.
Thanks Coach Nancy!!! My running group likes to wear the same colors so we can look out for each other while on the trail because we go at our own pace but look at for each other.
7/4/2012 8:16:21 AM
I carry a couple dog treats with me. Only been in a situation once where I needed to throw one, it worked!! The barking, running dog changed directions, went straight for it and trotted back to its yard.
10/23/2011 9:56:33 AM
I run with my dog so when a strange/stray dog comes running to us, and it happens regularly, I drop her leash and she goes and makes friends with them. This is probably NOT the right solution for everyone who runs with a dog, but it works for us.
In response to some of the other comments. I agree with the person who mentioned not taking your IPOD if you are not paying attention. I only use one ear bud with mine and leave my other ear open for listening for traffic and dogs and such.
Definitely pay attention to what is around you and be safe, but I do not believe there is good reason to be paranoid, just prepared.
I would add ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. If that means leaving your Ipod at home, leave it at home. I have seen many joggers unaware of animals, cyclers, or even other joggers because they were so into the music and just not paying attention.
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