Yes, the dog is the best friend of man, but everything changes when we sit on the bike then dog chasing bikes. For some reason, the rotating wheels of the bike make us a potential prey in the eyes of four-legged ones. Some dogs chase a bicycle just out of hunting excitement, others strive to grab, bite, maim, and sometimes kill.
Unfortunately, there is no universal recipe for behavior in all cases of cycling life. Each situation is unique and requires an individual approach from the rider. And yet there are a number of recommendations that can help you better prepare for an unexpected and not always pleasant meeting.
Rate the dog
If you do not talk about mongrels, then each dog breed was bred by people for some specific purposes. A shepherd dog will chase everything that moves around, including you. Watchdogs are at the mercy of territorial instincts – they will fight for their yard, their street, and their owner. Hunting dogs are designed to grab the prey – they will try to drive you into a corner. Fight breeds have phenomenal abilities to cripple their rival – they usually attack without barking.
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Of course, you do not need to carry a catalog of dog breeds with you in order to find out what to expect from a dog running in your direction. Remember that a dog of any breed, in principle, can create problems for you. Even a small hound can easily grab you in the heat of her “hunt”, and she runs at fantastic speed. Therefore, the most important thing is to carefully monitor the behavior of the dog and correctly assess the potential threat.
Assess the situation
A situation always consists of several aspects. For example, you can go to a hill, from a hill or on a flat terrain. This is of considerable importance, because dogs run fast. If you are going to climb, you will have almost no chance to break away from the chase. When driving down, depending on your form, condition of the bike and the right choice of gear, you have such a chance.
On the road
Driving on the road also affects the situation. On a wide street with a small number of cars, you will have more room to maneuver. But if the street is busy, then you should not run away, otherwise the drivers will have a difficult alternative, whom they should shoot down – you or a dog suddenly rushed under the wheels and dog chasing bikes. Most people instinctively turn the steering wheel when someone suddenly appears in front of the car, and therefore you can become a victim of driving instincts.
If the dog was let out for a walk from one yard, then, having seized upon freedom and finding himself in the midst of many unfamiliar smells, he is unlikely to pay attention to you. Lonely stray dogs can be calculated by protruding tongue and shy movements. They are also unlikely to pose a threat. Often dogs react more aggressively in the presence of their owners. They do this because they feel supported. It is worse here if the dog is not on a leash. Such a dog is likely to chase you. Here it will be necessary to hope only that the dog will obey the owner when he calls her.
The frequency of meetings also affects their character. Most often, random encounters and especially sudden encounters end safely. Even if the dog gets angry, it takes some time, during which you usually manage to drive off to a safe distance. But with sudden encounters, you, of course, do not interfere with the speed of reaction. It so happens that you are passing by the same dog every day. Here the tendency is such that if the dog dislikes you, then its aggression can increase each time and buy a faster bike. This may be caused, in part, by the prevailing stereotype of behavior in a repetitive situation.
What can be done?
Ideally, during a trip, you need to “scan” the surrounding space all the time for the presence of a dog in it without a leash, and have noticed this from a distance, just go around it at a respectful distance. And try to make sure that she did not notice you at all. This is perhaps the most guaranteed option to avoid an unpleasant meeting.
If the meeting has already occurred, you can try to influence the dog with a loud noise. This may be your voice, and some cyclists acquire loud beeps. On some dogs, the loud sound is daunting, and the problem is solved immediately. But most often the noise effect can be used as a kind of test about the possible intentions of the dog. So, if the dog continues to press on you, even though your powerful sound signal is screaming into his sensitive ears, then such an opponent should be taken seriously.
In addition to acute hearing, dogs have a strong sense of smell. Hence, another group of means for daring aggressive-minded four-legged strangers. It was observed that dogs do not tolerate the smell of ammonia and vinegar. Therefore, someone thinks it useful to carry a bottle with a strong solution of one or another substance. If the dog rushes to you, you can splash a portion in the area of its nose. This method is considered particularly effective if you regularly meet a dog that rushes at you.
In terms of odors, you can also use a tear gas canister. The only thing here is to carefully approach the choice of the design of the can. There are models that give out a whole cloud instead of a jet, and this cloud can harm you because the dog chasing bikes. In addition, some models have to use both hands to remove, for example, a protective cap. When riding a bicycle, this option does not suit you, and you need to take a spray that is actuated with one hand.
If it really happened that the dog caught up with you and is trying to bite, try to dismount on the other side of the bike, blocking its path by the bike itself. Throwing a bicycle on a dog and letting it go is not worth it, because then you will have nothing to isolate yourself from it.