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Jogging and aggressive dogs: Tips for staying safe

Unfortunately, one thing you have to contend with when you go for a jog may be an aggressive dog. Every year, many runners suffer serious bite injuries when the owners do not properly contain or control their pets.

The main thing you need to do is remain alert at all times. It's probably best not to listen to music while you run. If you have to, try listening with one earbud instead of two. You want to feel completely aware of everything happening around you.

Remember that dogs are territorial. Yes, you have a right to run on the sidewalk. If you see an aggressive dog in a yard ahead of you, though, consider safely crossing the street to run on the far side. That's often far enough that the dog does not feel threatened and will not attack.

If the dog still charges toward you, do not turn and flee. Dogs want to chase. Their instincts kick in. They will chase you, and no matter how fast you are, you're not faster than a dog. Instead, face the dog calmly and speak to it.

Do not yell or panic when you speak. Stay calm. Show the dog that there's nothing to worry about. Don't meet the dog's eyes, as it may take it as a challenge, but calmly look away and keep talking in a soothing fashion.

These tips can help, but you know well that dogs may still bite even when you do everything you can to avoid the encounter. That's when you may need financial compensation for medical bills and other costs.

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