One of the most common instinctive responses, when an aggressive dog charges, is to run. Maybe you were already running, just jogging by a home in your neighborhood, when a dog exploded out from behind the fence. Your brain tells you to kick it into gear and sprint away from the animal.
Don’t do it. Experts warn that, though this is your natural instinct, it typically puts you in a worse situation. It can get the dog riled up. The dog is a predator, after all, and running makes you appear to be prey. Its natural instinct is to chase, so it may only be more aggressive when you try to get away.
Plus, you cannot outrun most dogs. Even the fastest human sprinters in the world would get caught. Many people get chased on their bikes and cannot out-bike the dogs, either. They’re faster than you think.
What you should do is try to stay calm. You want to shorten the encounter by calming the dog down and showing it that you are not a threat. Fold your arms over your chest, stand still, avoid eye contact and slowly back away from the dog’s territory. It may help to speak calmly to the dog, but don’t yell at it or try to scare it away.
Of course, nothing guarantees that an aggressive dog will not bite. You could get injured no matter what you do in the moment. If that happens, make sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.