Thankfully, the injury was described as being minor and Radcliffe said she has no need or desire to change her training plan, which includes targeting a fall marathon to qualify for the British Olympic team and the 2012 London Games.
Dog bites are all too common. The CDC reports 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually. Their website unfortunately does not really provide any significant advice on prevention or what to do if you are attacked other than to "remain still". The American Veterinary Medical Association sells a pamphlet on the subject, but it is not freely available. The AVMA does, however, offer an extensive paper on community based programs for dealing with dog attacks. One of the more extensive resources I found on the subject is over at WikiHow.com. The source material that they reference is pretty thin, so I am not sure if it is effective or recommended, but it seems like reasonable advice.
- While I have never been bitten, I have been chased. Just slowing to a walk and quietly moving on is usually very effective until owners can gain the dog's attention.
- Wikihow suggests a variety of methods to assert dominance without being threatening. Such as, forcefully say "no" or "go home" but do not look the dog in the eye.
- Use whatever is nearby to help shield you, sticks, your bike if you are cycling, or even just a thick sweatshirt over your arm if you are lucky enough to have one.
- If you must strike the dog, Wikihow suggests that hitting the skull is usually not effective since they are often very thick bones, but the base of the skull (ie: the back of the neck) is most likely to get their attention and scare the dog off.
If you are bitten, definitely seek medical attention! Dog bites can be very dangerous if they become infected so make sure to see a doctor right away.
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