It’s going to happen.
Each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency treatment for a dog bite injury according to dogsbite.org
If you run long enough its going to happen, there is going to come a day where you are on the wrong end of an aggressive dog. What you do can determine whether you and the dog walk away unharmed.
Borrowed from The Humane Society of America.
Pay attention to the dog’s body language
Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals, that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:
- tensed body
- stiff tail
- pulled back head and/or ears
- furrowed brow
- eyes rolled so the whites are visible
- flicking tongue
- intense stare
- backing away
When putting space between yourself and a dog who might bite, never turn your back on the dog and run away. A dog’s natural instinct will be to chase and catch you.
What to do if you think a dog may attack
If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:
- Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
- Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
- Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
- If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, water bottle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.
What to do if you’re bitten by a dog
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic.
- Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
- Contact your physician for additional care and advice.
- Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where he lives. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you’ve seen him before, and in which direction he went.
ASPCA article on Dogs Chasing Runners
Please, Be careful out there. Be responsible, approach dog owners who are out walking their dogs with respect and at a distance that does not startle the dog. Be aware if there are lose dogs in your neighborhood, avoid that area if you can, but if approached remain calm and remember the The Humane Society of America guides for avoiding a bite.