When Are People Most Susceptible to Dog Attacks?

outdoor view of neighborhood street at dawn

This neighborhood looks peaceful at dawn but dogs, coyotes, and wolves are more likely to be out and active at dawn and dusk. If exercising at these hours go prepared.

When Are People Most Susceptible to Dog Attacks?

Anybody who works outdoors, runs, walks or rides a bike knows that safety is essential and should prepare for the risks that come along with it. What most people don’t know is that even though dog attacks happen at all hours of the day, during the twilight hours the chance of running into a dog, coyote or wolf out looking for prey increases.

Dawn and dusk are often cooler more peaceful times to exercise. The downside to this is that dogs, wolves, and coyotes actively look for prey at dawn and dusk. Canines have a genetically encoded instinct to hunt during the twilight hours of the day. This instinct was passed down by the best hunters because they learned:

  • when the scent was easiest to detect
  • at what time there would be fewer of their predators around
  • when they were less likely to be seen

Only good hunters survived to pass down their genes.

Canines are crepuscular predators. This means dogs instinctively look for prey during the twilight hours. As dogs evolved, their eyes developed the ability to easily detect movement in diminished light.  And they learned that scent was easiest to identify when it is stirred up during the more rapid change in air temperature over ground temperature.  This change happens at sunrise and sunset. Canines found their prey more easily with these adaptations.

How to Reduce the Risk of Dog Attacks

Today the domesticated dog carries with him this genetic instinct to hunt at dawn and dusk. Bicycle riders, runner or walkers out exercising at these times, are more likely to be noticed by the canine and less likely to be recognized as a non-prey animal. Remember the dog is attracted to the movement not necessarily the shape. This makes dawn and dusk a time to be more careful and prepared.  Though it’s a good idea to take an aggressive dog deterrent with you no matter what time it is.

The twilight hours make visibility another concern for people who work or exercise outdoors.  Diminished visibility means there’s less light and decreases the chance a motorist will see the person. And a person on a bike, out walking or running is less likely to see potholes, curbs or debris on the road. There are also fewer people out at that time of day. This means there are fewer people that could be alerted in the event an accident or dog attack.

If there is no other time to get out for exercise or you have to work early or late in the day there are a few things you can do to increase personal safety:

Take dog attack protection.

• Aggressive dog deterrents offered by Sound Defense are designed to stop dog attacks using an audible sound signal in dogs’ sensitive hearing range. The audible sound can also be used as a bike horn or safety alert to let others on the road know you are there or signal for help if something goes wrong.

Increase visibility.

• Reflective gear and reflective decals can increase visibility during the twilight hours. Flashing and different colored lights are useful for visual detection and can be attached to a bike or pocket.

Make sure someone knows when to expect you back.

• Letting somebody know when you are going out and when they should expect you back is also a good idea. It can be helpful if you don’t return as planned.

Whether exercising or working outdoors it’s a good idea to prepare for dog attacks and make sure you are easily seen no matter what time of day it is.  Visit our shop page to find Sound Defense products and accessories.