What should you do if a dog chases you? Say you’re out for a walk and the dog comes running from someone’s yard? Should you try to run away in hopes that the dog will leave you alone and return to the yard?
The reality is that you typically should not run from a dog. First and foremost, even small dogs are very quick, compared to people, so there’s really no reason to run. You won’t get away if the dog wants to catch you.
Second, the dog may actually be more likely to chase a fast-moving person that it views as prey. If it sees you turn and run, you increase the odds of an attack. The dog does not understand that you want nothing to do with it and are just trying to escape. Its instinct is to catch you — and it will.
What other options do you have?
Though you shouldn’t run, there are things you can do to reduce the odds of a bite. For instance, you should:
- Keep your hands close to your body, rather than striking the dog.
- Turn sideways to create a thinner profile.
- Stay as quiet and calm as you can.
- Protect your head and neck above all else.
- If you’re carrying anything, try pushing it toward the dog so that it bites the item — a coat, a purse, etc.
- When you have a chance, slowly begin backing away from the dog without turning your back.
Naturally, all of this is hard to do in the moment — when you’re scared and trying to think fast — and none of it guarantees you won’t be injured. You may be able to seek compensation if you are bitten or otherwise injured by an uncontrolled dog. Learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced advocate.