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Tips for avoiding dog attacks while jogging

For some joggers, one of their biggest concerns involves being chased or attacked by dogs. Dogs may believe they are protecting their territory or they may be controlled more by a basic predator/prey instinct. Either way, attacks can be painful and even deadly, so it's important to know what you can do to avoid them.

To start with, experts warn that running from the dog doesn't often help. Dogs are faster than the best sprinters in the world, so you're not going to get away while jogging, and running can just get the dog more worked up.

Instead, turn sideways to the dog and look away, not at the animal's eyes. This is a sign of submission to the dog, who then thinks it has "won" and may back off.

There are a few things you can do to avoid even getting to this point, though. Keep your eyes well ahead of where you are running and look for dogs, especially those that are not on a leash. The last thing you want to do is sneak up on the dog in its own territory. You may be able to spot the dog before it decides you're a danger.

Even when a dog is on the leash, keep your distance. Warn the owner -- calling out a warning to say that you're passing on the left, for instance -- and be especially careful if you're coming up behind the dog. Since you're moving more quickly than normal, the dog may mistake that for aggression.

These tips help, but you also need to know your legal options if you do suffer a dog bite. You may be able to get compensation from the owners for medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Source: Very Well, "How To Avoid a Dog Attack," Wendy Bumgardner, accessed April 12, 2017

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