I remember what I wanted to talk about!
Dogs are wonderful creatures and I certainly am a dog-lover. I've been lucky to have obedient dogs my entire life. Once I was divorced, I had a great dog who was so bright and well-behaved that cops who trained dogs for a living were impressed by him.
But as well trained as that dog was, he was, of course, a dog. And dogs have certain inherent traits that came along well before man and dog became friends. One of those traits is that habit dogs have of chasing things that move quickly past them. They chase cars, motorcycles, other dogs and people who are either running or riding a bicycle near the dog. Dogs are genetically wired to chase fast moving objects/creatures because at one time, they had to do so to survive. They had to catch their own food so an innate need to run after things is inculcated into all dogs, even the dogs lucky enough to eat the fanciest, most high priced dog food available.
My dog, Payton, was people social, dog social and cat social. He was a very loving dog and until he got sick near the end of his life, he never harmed a soul. He did occasionally try to bolt during walks if a runner or a bike riding kid rode past him. Luckily, he never got away from me but I did learn about the dog and it's natural instinct to chase. When I went to read about that phenomenon, I encountered many articles where people did little but complain about the dog owners.
My ex used to bitch at other drivers when he was driving. He wasn't the type to slow down and let the crazy people go away...instead he said things to justify his own behavior like, "It's HIS fault!". Perhaps it would have been. And had that man killed himself trying to be a jerk on the road, I would have put his last words on his tombstone.
It seems that a lot of the people discussing the dogs were happy to simply blame it all on the owner. Once again, perhaps the owner is a jerk, but that won't help much when you're in hospital getting stitches and rabies shots. So, yeah, a lot of people are jerks and a lot of jerks own dogs. So, when a person is running near a dog, the runner should either slow down, turn a corner, or stop and rethink their next move. Also, kids with bikes should be taught that a dog will give chase when they see a fast moving bike so they, too, need to slow down or stop and let the dog walk away.
This morning I was sitting by the water with a dog. Luckily, that dog was on a leash so when a chick ran by us, I had control of the situation. You would think that she would have noticed the inclination of dogs to chase her after a few weeks of running and figure out a way to handle the situation. But all she did was run to the bridge and turn back to run past the same dog.
When I saw her coming for a third time, I decided that I would write a post about this so that any runners out there (or bike riders) will understand dogs a bit better, if you don't already. People can just sit there or whine about the irresponsible owners...or they can develop a self-preservation attitude that is mature, logical and potentially helpful in the future.