One of the things I encountered early on in my habit of running several times a week?
I live rural, which I mostly love, but for some reason, many people who live rurally don't understand that even in the county there IS a Leash Law.
They also seem to not realize that dogs are naturally territorial and protective. Hence, when someone (kid, adult, whomever) is walking or running on the public roadway, that dog is going to go nuts.
Sometimes they try to chase, growl, bite and attack pedestrians.
The answer I got when I asked veteran runners what I should do? Get runner's mace.
Off to Academy I go, to pick up some protection.
I picked up this handy pink version of the
Sabre Jogger Pepper Spray.
At only $11.99, it was a good deal for the peace of mind the small container affords me.
I didn't pick the pink one because I wanted to be super-girly, I chose it for high visibility. You can see above how highly visible it is, strapped to my right hand. In my opinion, having it visible helps to deter would-be human attackers.
One of the things I've always read is that attackers look for easy targets. Seeing that I am proactive and am armed should, theoretically, help deter human attack.
Oh, and at Academy, they only have the runners mace in black and pink. So, not much help if you want to be high-viz, but aren't feeling the pink.
But that's not why I really bought the spray. I bought it because I wanted a humane way to protect myself from all the dogs in my neighborhood who have irresponsible owners. After all, the spray will stop a dog attack and will not cause permanent damage.
Here's the spray canister out of it's hand holster.
The way it works:
Velcro it to your hand, canister in palm on your dominant hand. The Velcro allows for custom fit. Twist the canister itself around in the holster until you have it where it will spray from your grip at whatever angle you'd like.
Practice rotating the "trigger" around a few times, from "safety" to "armed & ready" so you can get the hang of it.
I simply take my thumb, as seen above, and use it to rotate the trigger to "armed" position, as seen below.
Now, all you would need to do is press down on the trigger. Don't worry, it's not sensitive. You have to push like you mean it if you want it to spray.
Below is how it looks from the front while on "safety".
And now, below, it's on "armed & ready".
It's very simple, even in gloves, while running, to push the trigger to ready position.
What I do?
I put it in ready mode when I'm nearing an area where I know an aggressive dog lives, or if I even see an unfamiliar dog nearby.
Once I'm past the "danger zone", I simply rotate the trigger back to safety position. I typically do this about 5-6 times per 3 mile run, because that's how many danger zones are on my running route.
Now, one thing to consider...if a group of dogs came upon you aggressively (I have had 2 dogs gang up on me several times), you may not be able to effectively spray enough of them quickly enough to do the job. Also, I don't think pepper spray would be very helpful against, say, an Eastern Diamondback Rattler, or a mountain lion. It is what it is. All you can do is your best.
One very small problem I've had with mine:
I got a bit of fraying on the elastic, as seen below. No biggie. Just trim it off.
Other than that, in 7 months time, no problems.
I've used the spray a handful of times and still have plenty left in it. But, you should be aware that Pepper Spray does expire, as seen below, so make sure you keep your pepper spray current and in working order.
And don't forget it.
Hey! It doesn't help you a bit if you leave it at home! Right?!