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Why do dogs chase runners?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2021 | Injuries |

Aggressive dogs, if not properly restrained by their owners, may chase all sorts of people. Mail carriers are a cliche target, as dogs often feel they have to protect their territory and do not understand that the mail carrier is not trying to break into the home. Children are often bitten simply because they accidentally do things that make dogs nervous, like running toward them to pet them. 

If you’re a casual runner or a jogger, though, you’ve probably noticed that dogs often bark at you as you go by. If they’re not tied up or inside, they may even run toward you. Why does the mere fact that you’re moving quickly make them want to chase you? 

Four common reasons that dogs give chase

It’s actually a bit different for every dog. Here are four main reasons that it happens:

  • The dog believes it is a game and thinks that it is just playing along.
  • The dog’s predator/prey drive has kicked in, and it is acting instinctively as if the runner is the prey.
  • The dog felt threatened by the fast-approaching person, assuming they were a threat.
  • The dog was startled by the runner. This happens, for instance, when a runner comes up behind someone who is walking their dog off the leash.

In all of these situations, dogs can bite and cause serious injuries to a victim. No matter how fast the runner is, they’re not faster than the dog, and they may not be able to escape.

Those who suffer injuries, infections, disfigurement and other such issues after a dog attack must know about all of the legal options they have to recover their losses. An attorney can often be instrumental in getting a fair settlement.