(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.
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