I was running a different way then usual, and ran past a house when I heard a dog barking. Next thing I know, it's right behind me and jumping up close enough that it's foot hit my heel. I have always read that if a dog comes after you while running, you shouldn't make eye contact or stop/speed up suddenly, so I didn't look back at it, just continued at the same pace and the dog ran off. Unfortunately, the street ended in a circle, so I had to run back the same way. This time when I ran past (making sure to keep my pace steady), the dog jumped up and grabbed my elbow in it's teeth. It was very gentle, so I just firmly said "down" and kept moving steady. It again jumped up and grabbed my elbow, so I slowed to a walk. By this time, I was past it's house, so it left me alone (I assume ran back to it's house, I didn't look around), I walked a couple houses further, and then resumed running.
My question is, should I let the owners know, if so, how? Even though the dog was being pretty gentle, I could very easily see that sequence of events ending much messier. I guess one question is, is there much chance they don't know the dog does this? They obviously allow it to run free, so I would hope not, but who knows. I am not a confrontational person, so I would feel uncomfortable going and talking to them in person, but I thought maybe an anonymous letter just explaining what happened would at least ensure they were aware.
My other question is, if I did try to handle through official channels, once the word "bit" comes into play, would the dog have to be quarantined, even though it wasn't really a bite?