How to Score a Dog Bite: The Joggers and Bikers Edition


Hi there. You look really fit. All tan and muscle-y and stuff. Oh, it’s because you’re a jogger. You look like a long distance kind of dude. And you’re a cyclist too? Well aren’t you the picture of health.

What was that? I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you right. Did you just say you really want to get bit by a dog?

You did. Um, you know that’s crazy right? No one likes dog bites. They kinda hurt. Ok, ok. You really want to get bit, huh?

Well, since you asked…

So You Wanna Get Bit By a Dog: The Joggers and Bikers Edition

If you really want to get bit by a dog while you’re jogging:

Scout out a narrow trail, filled with pedestrians and dog walkers. With no audible warning, sprint up behind a dog, passing it so closely that your personal gust o’ running wind parts their fur.

The surprised dog, startled by a total stranger rushing them from behind, will likely be one of the following: scared, threatened, excited, or spun around and confused.

You’ve increased your chances of getting bit. Well done. If you aren’t too busy bleeding, don’t forget to check over your shoulder. You may not have scored that dog bite you’re bent on getting, but you’ll get a good chuckle at the dog walker who is now struggling to calm her startled dog. Score!

Did you see me scare the crap out of that dog? High five bro!

Not into doing it from behind? Try sprinting at a strange dog head on! When you spy a dog strolling on leash, pick up your pace and run right at the dog. Most dogs will think you’re coming to hurt them, hurt their human, or play with them.

Either way, you’ve got their attention now! Bravo. Look forward to lunging and barking. Fingers crossed for that dog bite you’re obsessed with getting.

Like riding bikes? Why not do it on a crowded sidewalk or walking trail, filled with pedestrians and dogs? There’s nothing that screams, “I want a dog bite!” like speeding past a dog who has no room to escape you and your hot wheels.

For extra points, scream at the dog walker for not getting out of your way. What do they think they’re doing walking on that sidewalk? They should stay out in the road with the cars….where it’s safe!

Obviously, I’m kidding here. Don’t ever do this stuff. Stop it right now.

For real: Can we talk about how crazy it can be negotiating bikes and joggers with our dogs?

They way they charge at our dogs is like some special brand of stupid. They’re just begging for a dog bite.

And I happen to know that they can’t stand us either. I love checking the search terms that people plug in to find my blog. I’ve gotten a bunch of search terms that go something like this: ‘”I hate dogs while I’m jogging” and “I want to run over dog walkers with my bike and then back up and do it again, while ringing my dumb bell.”

Ok, not the second one so much, but I do see the first one a lot – joggers don’t like dealing with our dogs any more than we like dealing with joggers.

I promise not to walk my dogs into the middle of your marathon. That would be rude.

If we’re both miserable, why can’t we call it a truce and end this perpetual Fight Club we’re in with each other?

Here’s what I propose:

Joggers: if you see a dog, go wide. Do not run directly into, up to, or past a strange dog. Exit the sidewalk and run in the street. For like 10 feet. Then you can get back on. No biggie. If you’re trapped on the path, slow down and walk. I can hear you guys now: “Walk?! I’m a runner!” Fine.

At the very least, say something clear and understandable from a distance, like “INCOMING JOGGER BOMB ON YOUR LEFT!” or whatever you think will be the best way to alert a dog walker that you are coming up from behind and they need to move over. Please don’t heavy breathe a polite, quiet, “excuse me”, at the exact same time you’re passing us. That doesn’t give us enough time to react. I’m usually thinking about my next snack while I’m dog walking. Please give me enough time to snap out of my cupcake cloud and move over.

That’s all we want, really. The chance to move out of your way. Cuz we like our space.

And if you run with your dog, keep them close to you. Don’t let them run right up to, squeeze by, or surprise strange dogs.

Bikers: Get off the sidewalks. Period. Unless you’re in elementary school, it’s time to suck it up and ride in the streets. It’s just not fair that pedestrians have to contend with bikers on sidewalks. Especially on crowded city streets. This actually has nothing to do with dogs. I’m saying this for all of us: dog walkers, senior citizens, children, people who dislike being run over.

If you think it’s too dangerous to ride in the streets (I feel you on this, by the way – I was terrified to ride my bike in the city), take the subway. And don’t you dare give me lip if I’m in your way and don’t move over fast enough. These aren’t called bikewalks.

The City of Evanston gets it. Those people look really happy.

Dog walkers: We need to behave too. Don’t let your dogs lunge at or jump on joggers and bikers, if you can help it (meaning – you weren’t caught completely off guard). If they’re giving you space, be thankful and control your dogs. Keep your dogs on leash. Retract your flexi leads. At home, contain your dogs in your yards by fence or lead, so that they can’t chase people. Get off the phone and take off the headphones, so you can hear what’s going on around you. Be good, responsible dog owners.

That’s not so bad, is it?

No one wants to get bit. No one wants their dogs to bite someone. Instead of creating the prefect storm for a dog bite: charging and startling an unfamiliar dog, let’s work together to set dogs and humans who like to sweat in public up for success. We can do it – this whole being polite and giving each other space thing – I just know it.

(p.s. I know you guys know this already, but don’t be silly about what you read here. That stuff in the beginning was a joke. You will not hold the author of this blog responsible for any incidents related to the materials published here. assumes no liability or responsibility for your actions.)

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