In this day and age, one can’t be too careful when taking on the big outdoors. Here are some safety tips for dog walkers.
- Refresh on the basics. It’s important to follow basic safety tips when going out for a walk with your dog. Always wearing reflective or bright colored gear, avoid going for walks during early morning and late evening hours and staying in well-lit areas that are near houses or stores in case you need to yell for help can all help assist in keeping you safe.
- Keep your guard up. It’s easy to fall into a comfortable groove if you take your dog for a walk on the same route every day, but assailants can choose any day to attack. It’s important to never get too comfortable, stay aware of your surroundings and trust your intuition if something feels off.
- Exude the right body language. Confident body language signals that you’re a tough target can deter an attack before it begins. Hold a posture with your back straight and chin up. Keep a balanced stance and walk with a sense of destination. Make eye contact to show that you’re aware of who/what is around you. And, keep your hands out of clothing pockets.
- Use assertive verbal skills. This reinforces confident body language and strength and draws attention from bystanders. It can be accomplished by using short, clear, declarative statements. Volume can range from speaking firmly and clearly to yelling, depending on the situation.
- Physical training is ideal. Practicing how to fend off an attacker will help you feel empowered, strong and confident and the more often you can train, the better. Training will not only give you the physical skills necessary to defend attacks but also increase the effectiveness of your body language and verbal skills.
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