When attacked by dogs...

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When attacked by dogs...

Postby otso » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:44 pm

I went for a 20K run this morning - took a few gravel roads I never runned before.
About 14-15K from start, I had to pass a farmstead (the road is owned by the commune, hence everyone has right to travel on it), I noticed there were dogs on the property (typical watch/hunting dogs, mid-large stature) so made myself visible for the dogs and the farmstead owners (they noticed me for certain):

- Took away buff, so they could see my face
- Decreased pace
- Coughed/cleared my throat

As closing in (10 meters from farmstead), the dogs went totally insane - went after me at instant (they were not in a cuddly-attack mode), so had to take another route. Lucky for me, they only went 50-100m from farmstead, then returned back to their turf...

Took another route to avoid confrontation with the dogs and inbred banjo-duelling locals...

Later, about 1.5-2K from mentioned encounter, another confrontation was underway... A few inbred (and most likely, intoxicated) locals were out on a hunt. I could easily spot them walking along the edge of the forest (had seen their cars on the way up the hill), suddenly, one hunting dog went after me in great pace. He/She spotted me 600 metres away and just went as a bullet at me - I took it lightly - when he/she came close (20 metres), he/she began to stare and growl (Fido did not look too happy to see me), so I went totaler krieg and stared intense back and growled. Fido must have been suprised/spooked by my reaction, because he/she gave out a cry and went down the hill...

None of the dog handlers called their dogs back! It is not the first time this happens... I've been attacked earlier, chased, bitten etcetc. I'm not afraid of dogs nor inexperienced by their nature, however, trained watch -and huntingdogs are not to be taken lightly. If it's a dog that is happy and-/or interested, I don't mind if they chase me or wants to greet. When meeting dogs (or other animals, including people) I always make myself visible as much as possible and avoid getting to close - however, most people doesn't seem to grip it goes the other way around too.

How do you act when being chased by not-so-friendly animals, especially dogs? When no option of alternative routes (avoiding conflicts in first place) ofc.

I don't want to hit them - if anyone should get a beating, it's the dog handler. However, if an animal, human as non-human, attacks me - I sure do give them hell. The chance of success against a trained dog is minimal.
I was thinking of a dog whistle in case of emergency, from vegan ethics, would that be justified?
I do take alternative routes mostly to avoid, but recently, those problematic dog handlers have become more common - no matter where I run.

Inbred local: [sarcastically] Running?
Me: That's right, a jog.
Inbred local: What the hell you wanna go fuck around with that forest for?
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby blinki » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:50 am

When big(ish) dogs are aggressive to me I tend to freeze so I'm not much use on advice. But I'm not sure dog whistles do anything, doesn't the dog need to be trained to have a particular response to it? It doesn't sound like those dogs have been trained to leave people alone on any sort of signal.

However, if I'm wrong and it does do something, then I don't think it is unethical. If you are in a situation and you have done what you can but are still likely to be attacked then doing something the dog finds distressing to stop what could be a a serious injury to you is unfortunate but necessary. On one hand you have the dog being annoyed, maybe getting a headache but no long term harm on the other hand you have you needing stitches and surgery to clean out wounds (plus whatever harm might come to the dog if you/someone nearby hits it or if dogs can be put down for attacks where you are if reported). By far the least potential for harm is using the whistle so long as you use it as a last option before violence.
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby hakko » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:15 pm

It doesn't happen to me ever so often but I met a pretty aggressive dog out in the forest a couple of weeks ago. I assumed it saw me as a threat and wanted to protect whoever was out walking it so I just stood still until that person appeared and put it on a leash. I had her ask for forgiveness because I thought she had done a pretty bad job raising her dog.

But after she said sorry (and she was quite embarrassed) we had a long and friendly talk. Seeing things from the perspective of that dog, I think it has a right being out enjoying the forest just like I do. And from her perspective, I'm pretty scary when I come running through the forest breathing like a maniac and there's not a single person except us around. I kind of wish there was a universal "hey, I'm a vegan and I'm friendly" sign that you could use so that nobody would have to worry.
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby otso » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:35 pm

[quote="blinki"]When big(ish) dogs are aggressive to me I tend to freeze so I'm not much use on advice. But I'm not sure dog whistles do anything, doesn't the dog need to be trained to have a particular response to it? It doesn't sound like those dogs have been trained to leave people alone on any sort of signal.

However, if I'm wrong and it does do something, then I don't think it is unethical. If you are in a situation and you have done what you can but are still likely to be attacked then doing something the dog finds distressing to stop what could be a a serious injury to you is unfortunate but necessary. On one hand you have the dog being annoyed, maybe getting a headache but no long term harm on the other hand you have you needing stitches and surgery to clean out wounds (plus whatever harm might come to the dog if you/someone nearby hits it or if dogs can be put down for attacks where you are if reported). By far the least potential for harm is using the whistle so long as you use it as a last option before violence.


I do not wish any harm upon dogs (or any animals for that matter, human-animals included) - nor do I have any emotions of fear when facing these situations. It is just annoying - a disturbance that may result in bloodshed - the dogs, mine and the handlers - it's not the dogs fault, simply put: They're treated as tools for their master - and if they attack, they'll surely be killed "humanely" (but not the owner, who is main responsible for the act). Friendly handlers and dogs I don't mind - it can be slightly annoying - however, I seldom run at max pace on regular runs, so a quick-stop is not a terrible disturbance.

Most dogs and their handlers are no problem - even when the dogs decide to chase me a bit, it's just fun, mostly they want to greet and all that cuddly stuff. Just couple of weeks ago, I was hunted down by a golden retriever who probably thought I ran to slow - she decided to, despite my commands & growls, jump at me (friendly) and offered to wash the sweat from my face and hands... (and by offered, I mean demanded)
The owner tried to stop her, but an approx two-year old dog has selective hearing. He was not accustomed with dogs and both of them were friendly, so it didn't cause any harm, however I told him that there were courses for new owners at the local dog club. Met the dog many times since then, no problems, so probably he heeded my advice.

Some people in this town are not kind to animals, especially dogs, there have been increasing cases of poisoned meat & dogfood recently, if it's aimed for dogs or wolves is irrelevant, still a sh*tty behaviour. Dog handlers should take preventive actions to avoid their dogs to greet everyone, since a-holes are common here. So it is not for egocentric pov completely.

[quote="hakko"]It doesn't happen to me ever so often but I met a pretty aggressive dog out in the forest a couple of weeks ago. I assumed it saw me as a threat and wanted to protect whoever was out walking it so I just stood still until that person appeared and put it on a leash. I had her ask for forgiveness because I thought she had done a pretty bad job raising her dog.

But after she said sorry (and she was quite embarrassed) we had a long and friendly talk. Seeing things from the perspective of that dog, I think it has a right being out enjoying the forest just like I do. And from her perspective, I'm pretty scary when I come running through the forest breathing like a maniac and there's not a single person except us around. I kind of wish there was a universal "hey, I'm a vegan and I'm friendly" sign that you could use so that nobody would have to worry.


How did you make her ask for forgiveness?

Since I'm no communicative type of person, most of my words come out blunt... ^^
Some people do say they're sorry, and it's alright, however most tend to say it in a hurry - despite their dog lunged with open jaw. Been attacked by dogs when I was a kid couple of times, so I guess still some of that annoyance still lingers on.

Indeed, dogs acts as their routines tell them to act - I try not to startle any animals - uncover face, easen up, drop pace, avoid eye-contact and aggressive stance. Mostly they just bark, a quick command ("No", "No, Silence") is enough. These problematic owners/handlers have become more problematic, since they seem to move around more around town.

Some distances, example route 21, goes direct towards work, hence I take it for work by foot or bike - most "aggressive" dogs and handlers there am I well-known too, still have the dogs and handlers become way too aggressive last couple of months.
Even for other people and dogs (probably other animals as well), a co-worker was out for a run with her friends (human and dogs), they got "trapped" by one dog handler and his bulked-up rottweiler (60-65kg of pure muscle, no kidding, can take a pic someday). My co-worker and her human friend called in their furry friends, however, the guy with his beefy-rottweiler, could not care less - the rottweiler increased in speed and aggressiveness, wouldn't let them pass nor walk back away - the dog handler didn't call in or took any other preventive action, they managed to slip away by stepping down the un-trailed slope. Same dog, and it's inbred dog handler, attacked me when biking last fall. I made myself visible and called for attention - both of them noticed me many hundred metres away, the dog was in a leash, however, that didn't stopped it to smash a nice set of razor sharp teeth into my leg. One sec delay and I guess my left leg would be torn apart.
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby hakko » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:33 pm

[quote="otso"]How did you make her ask for forgiveness?


I don't remember exact phrasing, but our initial conversation was something like:

me: I don't know anything abour your dog, but a lot of people get scared when big dogs like that come running on the loose.
her: I know, I know, I should really keep him on a leash
me: If you know you should, how come your dog still come running towards me like that with you out of sight?
her: I'm sorry, I sometimes let him go because he enjoys it so much, I didn't mean it to happen. I'm sorry.

.. and then I said I really like dogs and I want them to enjoy nature as much as I do, but that she should be more careful because it's very scary for kids etc. It felt pretty constructive. But who knows, same thing might happen again.
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby otso » Tue May 13, 2014 8:19 pm

Actually, couple of weeks ago I was attacked while running a long run in evening. Went on the road that circulates the town, when entering a long straight, I spotted a man with a *big* guardish-looking dog couple of hundred metres away (they also went on the "wrong" side of the road, so just in case of not scaring the dog, I ran on the other side). That dog has been troublesome before, or to be more exact, the keeper. To not trigger any guard/hunt instinct, I slow down the pace, ran to the other side of road, turned my arms/hands (so the "soft" side was outwards)... well, that didn't worked.

What happened was that the dog went into guardstance about 10m away. Lunged, with the keeper holding the leash, across the road towards me in one giant leap. If I hadn't jumped, I would had a set of gnarly looking teeth jagged in my thigh/hip. I went total krieg. Told the keeper in not so polite words to keep control. Also said some other things that may cause problems ahead, but wtf... I was startled, I *know* that the keeper didn't had any fuckin' control of the situation (he was more scared than I was), a mere luck that I jumped and kept distance by walking away. I'm not afraid of getting into fights, but, what am I supposed to defend myself with against a trained watchdog? Fists? Yeah, right. =P I'm more scared of creating injury on a dog due to it's keepers shitty behaviour, than actual getting my ass bitten (cause that have happened, not so fun experience).

And yeah, that dog was also a rottweiler. Seems a lot of shitty people keep them as dick extensions. I don't care if dogs (or other animals for that matter) lunge at me in a playful manner, just couple of days ago, I was "chased" by a dog (dunno race, small, fluffy, cute beast) that had wandered off from his family. He seemed to enjoy running, so after I let him chase/play with me a bit, I ran with him to his family. No harm done.

When thinking of it, I should have reported the keeper. Oh well.
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby xJimx » Mon May 19, 2014 3:35 pm

I've had problems sometimes with dogs when doing sprint training at the park. I think the sudden change of pace from nothing to a flat-out sprint freaks them out & they go crazy, probably thinking I'm going to attack their owner.

For this reason, plus the horrendous amount of dogshit, I now do my sprints on the local school's sports field. Technically I'm trespassing doing this, but loads of kids play football there at weekends & no-one seems to care.
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby otso » Fri May 30, 2014 8:06 pm

I don't want this thread to be all negative, since most meetings with dogs (or other animuls, including hoominz) are actually quite pleasant.

Today I was out in the evening for a stress release jog, paced in low-mid intensity around the mid-distance route in the forest park (approx. 5km). After running an uphill in mid-high pace, I followed the path's sharp curve to the left, only to be stopped by a dog. I had a border collie right in front of my way - I noticed she and her follower (not the other way around, haha), was no threat. I slowed down the pace and stepped smoothly out into the rough to avoid a defensive reaction. She just looked at me, took a few steps out in the rough and blocked my path yet again. She was not in leash (they have to be in leash during this time of year in the forest park), however, I picked up that she wasn't any threat/she was merely curious what I were doing (she didn't respond to calls).

Had to stop and chat with them for a while - it seems that the dog wanted someone else but her (human probably) to talk with her human friend. Had a quite emotional conversation about life in general - seems that this elderly person had gone through quite some tough time and needed to be heared out (anxiety in general). I'm not into emotional stuff normally, since mostly, I think it's just whining. But this was something different - heard him out, talked a bit, discussed running, the commune/community etcetc.
The dog was supercute! An old border collie who more or less demanded to be scratched/greeted/allowed to wash salts away from my skin. :)
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Re: When attacked by dogs...

Postby otso » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:32 pm

A few weeks ago, I visited my relatives. Went for a run together with my sibling and the beast (Leonberger + German Shepherd + Golden Retr. mix) in the woods, despite that the beast turned 8 this year (also had some issues with hips), she pushed us to to keep moving quickly. Even if we encountered other dogs that she doesn't like, she didn't seemed to care at all, full focus on running and keeping the first position.

Went for an early morning jog earlier this week, mid-in, I met three dogs that wasn't in leash (where they are supposed to be) - I ran slowly, took away cap, showed "soft sides". Two of the dogs were ok with it, however, the other one was still sceptical (5:30 AM, not many people outdoors in middle of forest). After I stopped, talked a bit with him and the owner, we were cool. No problems after that.
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