Any dog owners? A question please: What do you... - Couch to 5K

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Any dog owners? A question please


What do you do when a strange dog comes tearing across the footie pitch and jumps on you? This morning I was working through my warm down jog and a dog came bounding over to me. Now I'm fairly scared of dogs at the best of times unless I know them but this was a strange golden lab who came straight for me and pounced, at which point I think I let out a wee scream and almost fell over. The owner shouted and called the dog off but I was extremely shaken. Should I have done anything?

14 Replies

The dog is either frightened of you (a surprising number of dogs are frightened of joggers) or wants to join in. Either way if you stop still, it will stop bouncing all over you.

it's very bad manners for dogs to jump at people or other dogs so you are quite justified in asking the owner to keep the dog under stricter control. It's not your responsibility to prevent dogs from getting excited- it's the owners'. Next time you see one approaching you in an excited state, call the owner's attention to it and ask for it to be leashed. (if you have the breath!)

I'm not making excuses but I know quite a few labs & I think it was just very excited at seeing you run and people in general. I totally understand that you must have felt quite frightened though. On my run this morning I had a yorkshire terrier jump up at me, barking. I carried on running and eventually after a min or so it went back to it's owner.

If this happens again to you, do what happierswimming says about calling the owner, or you may find it helps to give the dog no eye contact and carry on running as best as you can.


That is very frightening even to a dog fanatic like myself.

If you can try not to panic, as one other poster has said, try not to make eye contact, and swiftly turn away (turn your back to him) as he jumps up whilst saying "NO!" firmly - that might be enough for a reasonably well trained but momentarily over excited dog.

But definitely politely tell the owner that they need work on their "recall"! The owner should have called him back before he reached you!

I always run with my dog but whether I am running or walking him I make sure he comes right back to my side when I see cyclists and runners. Unfortunately non running dog owners often haven't a clue.


I've had a similar thing happened with a golden retriever, friendly and playful but nearly knocked me over. I shouted at it NO, DOWN and kept on running. Its owner didn't even say sorry. Now I'm not frightened by dogs but it could have been very different had I been. Dog owners should not let them off the lead if they can't be sure they will come back when called, really sorry you got a fright.


I run with a black labrador, and I am always wary in case he gets in the way of other people, he is on a long lead when he runs.

His owner says he can't run with him as he keeps jumping up at him, but does not do it with me, or to anyone else when he is jogging along.

For some reason many dogs see you as something to chase like a cat and their instinct is to run at you.

Very annoying, I must say.


As a dog (Labrador) owner I can only apologise for the owners who give the rest of us a bad reputation. A strange dog jumping up at you is scary whether it be a tiny chihuahua or a great dane. I used to be scared of strange dogs off leash, the legacy of many bad dog owners around my area, but had grown up confident with dogs I knew. The tips, if I was nervous, I used, and sometimes still use are:

1. Ask the owner to control the dog, they should be doing it anyway but sometimes a 'gentle' prod sometimes reminds them of their responsibilities.

2. Take deep breaths and remember something that makes you feel confident - i.e the fact you have just got off the couch and ran, you should be confident & proud of yourself.

3. Dogs have three main senses & use them in this order nose, eyes, ears so although all your instincts tell you to flap around screaming at the dog (personal experience) it's always best to remain calm, step 2, pull yourself up to your full height and calmly with a firm voice tell the dog no. 4. As Deryn61 says turning away from the dog can help to show it you are not interested.

I run with my black Lab and he is on an extending lead and he will come when called. I think it's rude & dis-respectful for owners to allow their dogs to upset other people and it's unhealthy for the dog not to have any rules or boundaries.

Please don't let this experience put you off running.


Don't waste time and energy shouting at the dog; it's a dog. Spend productive time and energy shouting (a lot) at the owner. They need to understand that they are responsible and their dog's behaviour, and their own, is unacceptable.

I had a Husky dog jump up at me on Friday-I'm 4'8.5 so the length of my body. I simply hate dogs, but for some reason they love me-why? The vibes I send out are certainly not friendly. Anyway it jumped off and started running with me with another Husky. I was laughing so much I couldn't be cross with her anymore. The owner was great. She apologised and said she's never done that before, and is normally shy of strangers, so I suppose I should feel honoured. Another dog last week ran at me and I shouted go away at it. It was so stunned it sat down. later on when I was repeating the circuit I saw the dog again and the owner apologised and said she will keep the dog on a lead in future, which I saw she did this week. Normally if the dog is coming towards me I stop and turn my back on it, but both of these dogs came from the side.


No dogs so far, but a long haired tortoiseshell cat came out of nowhere when I was walking back from my run and ran over to me looking like she/he was going to bite my legs, I had shorts on! I know, sounds silly but the cat looked really angry as though I shouldn't be there! My husband thinks it hilarious as I found out the cat lives nearby our flat and I watch out for it now! Also call it 'devil cat.' OK I know, will stop now. Hope you don't get any more 'dog surprises' ceefin, good luck with your running ;)


How horrible for you - whether it was a friendly dog or not, the owner should have been watching it a lot better. At least you were warming down when it happened. I'd have given the owner a mouthful, football pitches are not for dogs. I'm a dog owner myself and I think it's just so important not to let your dog terrorize people like this. Whether it's scared or wanting to play, no dog should be allowed to jump up on strangers. Hugs to you.


Thank you everybody for taking the time to answer my question. I think I might have the courage to shout "No" as long as I stay calm, but I have a tendency to panic when I see dogs running loose unless I know the dogs and their owners and I know most of them here - it's a small village. The owner of this one probably thought there wouldn't be anybody about so early and he was a long.long way from the dog. I didn't even see him until after he shouted.

As I'm fairly well known in this area (the banjo lady that does the funny walking) I'll spread the word about the 'strange' dog and I'm sure there will be someone who will give the owner a good ticking off lol I'm way too small and timid to rant at a total stranger ;)

No harm done this time except very dirty marks on my running top and a pulled thread which I have fixed.

Oh the joys of running :)

3 mile run on the lovely flat shore path tomorrow morning. All dogs are leashed because of the busy road. Yaaay lol


I usually find the best thing to do is ignore the dog. If there is no reaction the dog gets bored and goes somewhere else. Young labradors can be very boucy and energetic.

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