I like dogs. Though I am not certain if the emotion is entirely mutual. I find it a bit of an overkill to wake up at 5 in the morning at the peak of summer to run anything less than 10 kms. And, in the evening, in the same weather, I start sweating if I were to even think of running before 9 PM. That’s where the dogs come in.
Needless to say, dogs are automatically attracted to moving objects – especially after the sun sets. And as I have discovered, this affinity keeps becoming stronger as the night progresses. Until, finally at 10pm they go into ninja mode and chase anything that even stirs a little. Somehow, that is usually the time I find myself running. So, through a lot of experimentation and gnarly, narrow escapes, I have learned the following truths.
1. Most dogs just bark – which in no way means that you go stick your leg in the mouth of the ones that seem unhappy with you around, just start walking and ignore them, their territory will end soon enough and they will not come after you post that.
2. A biscuit is better than a stick – it’s a long term investment if you run in the same places, befriend the dogs with some eatables that you can easily carry in your pocket. It’s best to do it proactively – that is before they start to growl.
3. After 10 PM, all bets are off – it’s true! Notice also that this is the time that they start chasing cars – winter timings differ so try to wrap up your run before then.
5. Run in your own pack – Running in large groups always helps to keep them at bay. If ever confronted with a pack. Look for help around. Guards are your best bet.
6. It’s not just at night – It has happened to me at 7am as well. So, be careful, even in the daytime.
7. I would want everyone to read the following links which I found really useful in order to protect yourself.
I also understand that not all runners have been fortunate enough to escape dog bites. And I urge you to share your tips and tricks to avoid this terrifying nightmare.