Running Safety When Encountering a Dog

Today on my afternoon run, I had something happen that hasn’t happened in the last 8 months or so of running for me. A dog saw me and actually started chasing me while I was running! I could hear it barking and then I could hear it running towards me. I could hear the tags on its collar jingling. At first it was running parallel to me across the street, but it quickly cross and approached me. As it started to approach, I stopped running. It came close and started to growl and bark. I will be honest, at that moment I was playing out in my head how I would grab the dog by the collar and wrestle it to the ground and choke it out. It was a good size dog, probably about 50 pounds or so. I shouted to the dog to go home and it actually listened. I was surprised that actually worked, but that had me thinking, what if this was a much larger or more aggressive dog? I decided to look up some tips on how to deal with dogs you may encounter while running. I found these on About Health.


  • Don’t make eye contact with the dog. If it sees you staring at it, it might see that as a threat.
  • Stop running, turn and walk in the opposite direction or across the street. You won’t seem as interesting to the dog if you’re walking. Also, the dog won’t think you’re trying to invade his territory if you’re heading in the opposite direction. Don’t turn around and look back.
  • If the dog approaches you, stop and stand very still. Don’t yell or make any sudden movements. In a firm, but calm voice, say, “Go home,” “Sit” or “No”.
  • If the dog tries to jump on you, turn to the side and push it off with your forearm.
  • If you keep encountering the same aggressive dog, find a new running route. You can also file a report with your local animal control.


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