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department of Public Safety

Running safely

Joggers can be susceptible to criminal attack. One of the problems with joggers or runners is that they can become so preoccupied in their physical activity that they fail to be alert and pay attention to their surroundings. They sometimes become too busy concentrating how much further they have to go and on putting one foot in front of the other that they don't realize what is happening around them.

Safety tips for joggers and runners

  • Jog or run with a known companion.
  • Jog or run in a familiar area.
  • Do not jog or run in a heavily wooded, poorly-lit or secluded area. Particularly if jogging or running alone, don't wear radio or recorder earphones.
  • Do not jog or run after dark.
  • Do not jog or run near bushes which can provide concealment.
  • Wear brightly-colored clothing to improve your visibility.
  • Vary your route and pattern of jogging or running.
  • Carry a whistle or high-decibel battery-powered personal alarm device when you jog or run.
  • If followed, go to the nearest residence, open business or group of people.
  • Carry your motor vehicle and/or home key with you.

Defense against dogs

Joggers or runners often encounter what either may be or appear to be an unfriendly dog. If such an encounter does occur, the following measures are encouraged:

  • When encountered by a threatening dog, the impulse is to often turn and run. This can be the worst response, however, since such movement can trigger the chase instinct in dogs.
  • Stand very still and attempt to be calm.
  • Don't scream at the dog and run.
  • Be aware of where the dog is. Look in its general direction, but don't stare into its eyes. This can be considered an aggressive challenge to a dog.
  • Let the dog sniff you.
  • In a low voice say, "No! Go home!"
  • Stay still until the dog leaves.
  • Back away slowly until it is out of sight.
  • If a dog does attack, try to "feed" it your workout jacket or another item of clothing.
  • If you are knocked down or fall, curl into a ball and keep your hands over your ears and face. Try not to scream or roll around.
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