As a recreational runner, you know that one of the most frightening experiences you can have is to run by someone’s home and see a dog charging out of the yard. Whether you’re on the sidewalk or the street, you suddenly feel very exposed.
Now, the reason that this happens is clearly that the owner has not secured the dog properly. It was not on a leash, tied up in the yard or behind an adequate fence. Dogs should never be in a position where they can chase and potentially injure people who are simply passing by the property.
But on a deeper level, why do some dogs even want to do this? Why do they see runners as a target?
An evolutionary trait drives dogs to give chase
There are a few reasons, but the main one is just that dogs have evolved as predators. They inherently want to chase things — animals or, in some cases, objects like cars — that are moving quickly. They may see people walk by the house all day and not react, but seeing you out for an afternoon jog triggers that part of the dog’s brain that tells them it needs to chase you down.
This is why owners need to be aware of the risks. They often say, after the dog bites someone, that it was always such a nice dog and that they can’t understand how this happened. But that may just be because the dog hasn’t been exposed to the right conditions before.
Naturally, bites can cause massive injuries and may lead to infections or even disabilities. Be sure you know how to seek compensation when needed. An experienced advocate can help you understand more about your legal options.