I am an animal lover. I really do like them, but I admit I get scared of dogs when I run. I’ve been charged at, chased and jumped on. I’ve witnessed dogs biting other runners. Sure, the vast majority of dog owners are awesome considerate people, but not every dog owner sees what we see.
Our goal today is to shed a little light on what runners would like from dog owners so that we can peacefully coexist with their sweet, furry companions.
1. The single most important thing we want from dog owners is that you keep your dog on a leash of appropriate length (if it’s too long it defeats the purpose) when in public or secured in your yard. This is because …
2. An unsecured dog to a runner is a potential threat. A secured dog communicates to us that you are a responsible and considerate dog owner. An unsecured dog communicates to us that you are potentially a careless dog owner (we want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but hey, we don’t know you!) and worst of all, creates the opportunity for your dog to attack us. S0 …
3. If we ask you to secure your dog we’re not trying to be assholes. We just don’t want to be bit, jumped on, scratched or chased by little Muffin. We’re only concerned about our personal safety, not getting off on telling other people what to do. The goal is to pass by as quickly and uneventfully as possible, and that is all.
4. Telling us she’s friendly means nothing to us because of course Muffin is nice to you. You feed her! You’re not exactly an objective judge of Muffin’s temperament in the face of a running stranger who may be a little or a lot afraid of her. You may be 100% positive that your pup is very sweet and friendly, but don’t forget – we’re strangers to him!
5. And please clean up your dog’s poop.
Runners, do you have any tips for dog owners? Don’t worry dog owners, we’ll give runners tips from you soon. If you have any tips for runners feel free to share them in the comments and we might include them in that post!