Here are 6 tips for walkers and joggers on how to avoid dog bites and aggressive dogs while exercising outdoors. Encountering an aggressive dog while out for a walk or jog can be a scary and dangerous situation. Without the proper action, you can be seriously injured. Knowledge can help you prevent finding yourself on the wrong end of a dog bite.
Carry a Whistle
Dogs do not like loud noises, and the piercing sound of a whistle could be enough to stop a dog in attack mode in its tracks. Carrying a whistle when you walk or run is a good way to be prepared in the unlikely event you stumble upon a dog ready to bite. A whistle can also help protect you from dangerous people, as it can alert others nearby that you need help.
Carrying treats is a great way to meet new dog friends while you’re exercising outside. It can also help you avoid dog bites from an aggressive animal. If an angry animal starts to approach you, take a few treats and throw them far away from you. This should provide enough of a distraction to divert the dog’s attention away from you.
Bring a Spray Bottle
If you carry a backpack with you when you run or walk, put a full spray bottle inside. Spraying an attacking dog with water will not hurt the animal, but will get him to back off. If you see a stray dog or a pack approaching you, hold the spray bottle in your hand in case you need to use it fast.
Use Loud, Firm Commands
If you are being attacked by a dog, using a series of loud, firm commands can help you divert their attention and avoid dog bites. It is important to keep your voice clear and show no signs of fear. Try repeating the following words:
- Leave it
Change Up Your Route
If you know there is an aggressive dog on your route, it might be a good idea to go a slightly different way. Even just crossing the street while passing the dog’s house can add a little bit of extra protection. The more you come into contact with an aggressive animal, the more you risk a dangerous situation.
Know What Not to Do
It can be hard to avoid reacting with fear to a dog bite, but there are things to definitely avoid in the event of an attack.
- Do not kick the dog, or it might bite down harder
- Do not scream and run, or you might encourage the dog to chase after you
- Don’t use pepper spray—it will most likely not work on the dog, but might affect you
- Do not stick out your hand in protection, or the dog might bite your fingers
At Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we care about the health and safety of all animals. Our specialty and emergency veterinary services are here to help when you need them. To learn more about our services, please call (248) 334‑6877.