What to do when a dog bark and chase you? | Cycling Tip

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(At the beginning of my trip, I was scared when a huge dog barked and chased me. I lost balance with the fear and fell off. Then suddenly the dog turned around and went away like ‘It’s boring. No fun here. Bye Bye’)

I’ve cycled the world for over nine years on six continents and definitely, I do have lots of experience of dogs barking and chasing me. I have faced all kinds of dogs like a big dog, farming dog, sheep dog, street dog, dog having owner but no lease, too aggressive dog, and so on. So far I’ve never been bitten by a dog (Knocking on wood) And here I will share how I deal with it and also I will tell what other cyclists have done in this situation.


1. Ignore them and keep cycling

If it’s downhill or flat with a tailwind, ignoring them and cycling is the best way. They cannot chase far away as they will get tired soon and definitely you will go faster than them.


2. Stop cycling and wait for a minute until dogs calm down.

Dogs are chasing things moving. I’ve noticed that usually, wheels are triggering dogs. One time dog was biting my wheels and barking at it even. The best way I’ve done all the time was just to stop and wait. It takes only a few minutes to calm down like the above video. And then when I cycle again, they don’t follow me usually.


3. Spray Water from the bottle

I’ve never done but some cyclists told me they did this. Some said it works well and you won’t lose balance and fall down cause it’s easy as sipping water while cycling.


4. Swing Stick

Some cyclists carry a stick to prevent dog chasing.


5. Kicking dogs when they are near or threatening with your legs

Some cyclists told me they kick the dog when dogs come near. But I don’t think it’s a safe way. You might lose a balance and fall down. Moreover, if it is street dogs and they get injured by your kicking, they will die on the street without treatment from the vet.


6. Shouting loudly

Some cyclist suggested that suddenly loud shouting can make dogs embarrassing and make them stop to chase you.


7.Ultrasonic whistle

Ultrasonic whistle has many different types and the price range is from less than $10 to $30. But we all know that dogs have extraordinary sensitive ears. Even when I turn around my body in the middle of the night during sleeping at wild camping, a dog from far away bark at me. So if you use this, it would be like torturing them.


8. Pepper Spray

Some cyclist said pepper spray works. But I highly recommend using it when you are only in a dangerous position as it can be too painful for the dog. If you are using it while cycling, you are the one who will get pepper spray by the wind. So, you have to stop using this probably.


9. Air Horn

Some said Air Horn is working well. Not sure what can be less painful for the dog but more effective between Air Horn and Ultrasonic whistle



#1 Cycle fast is the best way if you can. The next best is #2 Stop and Wait. I highly recommend #2 if you can do #1 as it’s the most peaceful way and efficient. Please leave a comment if you have any exprience. 

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  1. The method that I’ve used extensively never seems to get mentioned. The dog is someone’s pet. It likely doesn’t hate people but is just excited by the movement.
    I use a very friendly voice and talk to the dog like it is mine or a friend’s. I say thing like “Hi boy, who’s a good dog?”,”What a good dog.”, etc.
    Obviously you have to make some judgement of the dog, but usually stopping and talking calmly to the dog will settle it. This is made as suggestion 2 above, but without the calming talk. After a few minutes, you can often just slowly, slow being important, ride away.
    Why do I take this approach? I am trying to train the dog not to chase bikes. The aggressive approaches suggested above tend to further excite the dog and train it to bad behavior.

  2. I do the same as Eric.

    I call out to the dogs and speak very friendly to them, most of the time it stops them in their tracks and they aren’t sure what to do. The next time I see them they will either ignore me or run alongside me (like I am their friend).

  3. I live in Mazatlan and often dogs are trained to attack asthey are a home’s primary security system. Often times the neighborhood dogs may roam around at times in a pack.

    When I am mountain biking / gravel biking, multiple dogs and packs will often race out to attack in full-on aggressive mode. My typical response is #1 but that gets much harder as I get older. I have had dogs start to overtake me after 1/4 mile with me still going over 20 mph. Some dogs can really really run. I had one actually get its snout in front of my front wheel at that speed, and although he got bumped, we both luckily were OK. This is my experience with #1 and I am pretty fit. Basically it is only a matter of time before I am bit or a crash occurs.

    I am thinking of trying the Airhorn and maybe ultrasonic whistle, but both of those will require extra equipment and, worse, time to use. The airhorn is likely the most simple as it can be mounted with an actuator on the bars in a convenient spot.

    I won’t try squirting, shaking, throwing, etc, things while riding on dirt and trails. This sounds like a recipe for a very dangerous crash.

    I also am not a fan of #2, not because it won’t usually work, but because it may not work in some cases, and those cases could be very problematic.

    Thanks for the good inputs. And safe riding!

  4. Today…
    While I am going to my college from hostel by cycle, suddenly dogs started barking and running behind me as fast as they can…
    I got scared and I started screaming and cycling as fast as I can…And today is Sunday no one is there to save me.. Suddenly a boy saw me screaming and he stopped them…
    Thank god…Iam in the shock state for an hour…
    Thank you for this article which will be helpful in future…

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