Road to Khon Kaen: Dealing with Motivational Stray Dogs

Ty Miranda, 127 YinD

For the record, I have been bitten by a dog in Thailand. Not that this gives me a knowledge base on this subject, but it does give me a bit of credit when talking about the process of this misfortunate event. So dogs in Thailand, how do I even start this topic.

I remember talking about stray dogs at staging in Seattle almost two years ago now. Everyone was writing that they were afraid of stray dogs and squat toilets. I was confused really because in my experience of traveling Thailand, I had never encountered these problems. Boy, was I naive.

There are stray dogs, everywhere. This isn’t an exaggeration in the least. Dogs are multiplying and pooping, and chasing down people everywhere. It’s all in a day’s work in this country. I have several packs of dogs in my community and I try to keep to these guidelines when dealing with them. But, then again, I have been bitten so maybe you shouldn’t keep to these guidelines. The choice is yours.

  1. Don’t outrun a dog. Even if you are feeling on fire one day and think a dog can’t keep up with your newly acquired PR time, don’t try it. If you see a dog running towards you while you are running, stop.
  2. Look the dogs straight in the eye. I don’t exactly know the science behind this phenomenon but it really works. It lets the dog know that you are aware of his/her presence and that you are not f*-/?ing around.
  3. Be loud and obnoxious. Whenever a dog chases me I try to curse the dog out in an array of languages. It’s actually a great stress reliever, but I wouldn’t recommend using Thai. The dog may understand you.
  4. Ask for help. Never be too proud to ask for help. Thais have grown up with stray dogs and are usually knowledgeable about how to get a dog away.
  5. Carry protection. I have tried rocks, sticks, water, spit and more to ward off dogs. Sometimes I just pick up stuff on the side of the road to protect myself. I don’t recommend the “kicking” method because a dog could bite your leg or could fight back and bruise your knee. I have first hand experience of the bruising part.
  6. Run on big roads. I know there must be something in the safety and security handbook about running on large roads but I find that dogs DGAF about you running on a main road. They are too worried about the eight billion other things happening during that moment.

If you are bitten by dog, make sure to call the PCMO right away. They will recommend the necessary treatment plan which usually involves a trip to the local hospital for Rabies shots. These hurt, I’m not kidding. But, they will protect you from going crazy with Rabies.

Also, this is something to let your community members and leaders know about. If they know that the prized falang got bitten by a dog, it may suggest that there is a problem in the community.  Besides, they are going to talk about it anyway so you might as well give the real story. It also encourages people to keep an eye out on you when you run, in case you run into any more dogs in the future.


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