Dog Attacks on Runners

By Amanda Theobald

I got attacked by a dog, while running, in a scary way. It being scary is subjective, and I don’t think I am especially dramatic so just go with it. I have had dogs bark, chase, and even little ones nip at my ankles. Yet, I had never been seriously threatened. Until today when the demon who charged me was a pit bull. The same breed as the dog who attacked a classmate of mine in first grade. Its bite caused her to miss a week of school and on her return the whole right side of her abdomen was held together with staples. Thats what went through my head as this dog charged me. I was on a “highway” in the small, rural town of Nampa, Idaho. I saw the dog and immediately looked for an owner, but all I saw was a kind of run down shack of a house on the edge of a large field. I immediately lost confidence that whoever let their pit bull free to roam would be aware of my trembling little frame. No, I wasn’t trembling. I immediately stopped running and told myself not to be scared or I would for sure be eaten.

Apparently those are the only two things I know to do when confronted with an aggressive dog. Don’t run. Don’t be scared. Beyond that I had seriously no idea what to do. Shout at it?  Charge it? Stand or walk? To make things worse, I couldn’t not be scared. Especially when it crossed the street and started to follow me. It got closer and closer. Thats when I wanted to run. Glad I didn’t. Then it bit me. It went for my quad. I need that to run and I really didn’t want it to get eaten. I would’ve thought that if there had been time. Its teeth didn’t sink in. Either he wasn’t trying very hard or my upward jerk collapsed his mouth so he just bumped me with his mouth. I yelled so loud; it scared me how loud I was and how much anger and fear was inside of me. After this pure yell I found words and screamed, “Don’t. Get away from me” as the pitch grew higher as the words came out. Then his huge frame and all his teeth were back across the street staring at me. I walked. It stayed. I walked further. It stayed. Then I ran and it didn’t chase me. And then I ran really fast. It felt awesome. Running on all that fear and adrenaline. I didn’t even cry. However, I knew that if that dog had wanted to eat my quad, it probably could have. I had no weapon, knowledge or skill.

Never to fear, I googled it when I got home and found some information for you guys. You should check out the websites linked below. Nevertheless here is a summary:

Don’t run (I was right!)

Don’t smile it looks like you are bearing your teeth.

Keep your hands in a fist because if your fingers get bit they will be destroyed

Don’t make any sudden movements and don’t yell at them. In fact, don’t even look them in the eye.

If a dogs head is low, he is seriously hating you and thinking of attacking you.

Stand sideways from them, don’t turn your back on them, and don’t face them head on because that looks like you wanna fight.

If they try to bite you try to block it with your thigh. I’m not sure what that means. Like thrust your leg at it or pull it up and away really quick. I did the latter.

If they do bite you don’t pull away or it will just increase the severity of the wound.


So there are some pointers. Some of you are probably like, “what a baby,” or “NBD”. But let me throw these stats in your face. In 2010, 34 people died in the U.S. from dog attacks and the CDC claims from data collected between 2001 and 2003 that there are 4.5 million dog bites per year, of which 800,000 receive medical attention ( HYPERLINK “http://dogbitelaw.com/dog-bite-statistics/dog-bite-statistics.html-” http://dogbitelaw.com/dog-bite-statistics/dog-bite-statistics.html- how legit is this source?)  Also we sell pepper spray at the store, which is generally effective at scaring dogs enough to leave you alone. The pepper spray does not hurt the dog; however, it leaves their eyes red so their owners should recognize they are out hassling people. Okay, if you want more information here are two good sites, beyond this tips just get repetitive.


HYPERLINK “http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-a-Dog-Attack” http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-a-Dog-Attack




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