Running outside is one of Californians’ most preferable ways to stay physically active and fit all year round. Not only do you get to exercise and burn the calories while listening to your favorite music, but also breathe in fresh air and meet new people outside.
But people should not be your only concern when running outside. Dogs… Although there are many people who prefer running together with their furry friends in Los Angeles and all across California, many dogs seem to get hostile and aggressive whenever they see someone running past them.
Unfortunately, dog attacks on runners are quite common in California. Here at the Compass Law Group, PC our Los Angeles dog attack attorney receives dozens of dog bite-related calls every week, many of which come from runners.
That is why we decided to put together a short list of tips to help you stay safe on your run and prevent dog attacks the next time you lace up your running shoes and hit the road.
Do not get distracted and always be aware of your surroundings. As tempting as it might be to zone out and lose yourself in your favorite music tracks while running, the inability to stay aware of your environment may lead to a dog attack. After all, when the latest Drake album, Scorpion, is blasting through your headphones, it is nearly impossible to hear a dog chasing you or growling nearby.
Avoid unsafe or unfamiliar areas. Stay away from areas that you know are unsafe, especially bad parts of town where the risk of encountering an off-leash dog is high, rural areas where dogs are supposed to guard their territory, farms, and other unsafe and unfamiliar areas.
Stay away from loose dogs. “Easier said than done, right?” says our experienced dog attack attorney in Los Angeles. “You should always keep distance between yourself and a loose dog whenever you see one.” You never know how a dog might react to you when you come closer, so even if a dog looks calm as you run toward it from afar, it is advised to slow down or switch to walking to get past a loose dog.
Examine the dog’s behavior. Although reading dogs’ body language can be tricky and takes years of practice, there are certain signs indicating that a dog might attack you. If you notice any of the following signs, you are at a high risk of getting attacked by a dog: intense staring, growling, tense body movements, a tail held high, lunging, exposed teeth, raised hackles, and others.
Just because the dog is with its owner and/or is leashed does not mean it will not bite you. This is a common mistake that many runners in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California make and end up being injured as a result. Even if the dog does not appear hostile, it might attack you if it feels threatened, frightened or feels the need to protect its owner or territory.
If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog while running, let our best dog bite lawyers in California help you locate the dog owner and recover damages. You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages if the dog owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the attack.