Training Widget

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pomeranian Punting

Day 176 - June 25, 2009

What is it about small dogs? Why is it they feel the need to bark the loudest? And why do they always have to try to bite me?

Twice in the last mile of my run tonight, I had dogs come out into the road barking at me. The first was a minature collie and she really was more curious than anything. But like all small dogs, she completely ignored her owner and followed me out into the road, all the time barking. I get the whole defending their territory argument, but if I cross over to the other side of the road, that should be enough. Fortunately, she was happy with just "running" me out of her territory.

The second dog was a tiny pomeranian, whose leash was attached to a lawn chair. As I crested the hill, I saw the dog, start running towards me, completely ignoring the two owners who were out with it. That nasty dog dragged that chair 100 feet across their yard and right into the road. I gave my customary two warnings for the dog to stop, but of course it didn't. Nope, it came right out across the road, causing two cars to slam on the brakes, as it went for the kill on my legs.

Now I generally like dogs and respect their right to defend their owners property. But, if I'm in the road, I'm not letting a dog bite me if I can help it. I have a simple rule - if the dog comes into the road and tries to bite me, I will kick it in the nose. If the dog tries to bite me again, I kick it harder. Tonight, when the dog lept at my knee, I gave it a swift kick and that was the end of it. No second kick was needed.

In general, I find most dogs stop when I yell at them to stop, and 90% of the rest give up after the first kick. But there is always that one dog. About a year and half ago, I Jack Russell Terrier came across his electric fence with Satan in his eye. There is not a doubt in my mind, that if that dog had been bigger, it would have tried to kill me. It came straight at me, ignored my shouts, and took the first kick like I had hit it with a balloon. Completely unphased, he kept coming and I rolled him into the ditch as he latched onto my calf. Even that didn't phase him and he was quickly coming back for more. At this point, I had enough and when I stopped to defend myself, the dog finally realized I was about to get serious and he wisely retreated.

I really wish I could just run without having to deal with dogs, who doesn't. But as runners it is something we will all be faced with. What do you all do when confronted by "man's best friend"? Fortunately, I've never been bit hard, but I'm sure it happens. If you have a strategy that works, I'd love to hear it. Drop a comment and let everyone know.

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