I have to admit I don't understand the whole dog thing... Why anyone considers it acceptable to have a pet which keeps you and the neighbors up barking at nothing, which chases and potentially bites any pedestrian or cyclist with the temerity to use the PUBLIC street adjoining your home, and which expects you to assert yourself with it lest it start misbehaving, is just beyond me: I guess, like guns, dogs must be more fascinating if they're yours.
Anyway, after getting chased by a small pack of barking dogs for the umpteenth time today, I had the odd thought that dogs basically behave like the simulated monsters in the computer game World of Warcraft: if you pass outside a certain radius they ignore you, but if you pass too close you get aggro, and can only loose the aggro by moving away without doing anything threatening.
Of course, in the World of Warcraft game itself you'd have a wider range of options for dealing with aggressive dogs. For example, a high-level paladin confronted with a pursuing dog could start with a holy shock attack (ideally preceded with "divine favor" for an automatic critical strike), followed by a stun with the hammer of justice ability, and finally a judgment against the seal of command preceding the concluding hammer of wrath. Alternatively, a team of players could have the mage polymorph an unruly animal into a sheep, then the shadow priest mind controls that sheep right into the county slaughterhouse :)
In the real world, however, there's apparently no alternative to letting the dogs chase you until they tire of it :(