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Hi,
I was wondering what I should do if I am riding my bike and a dog starts chasing me. The reason I am asking is that it just happened to me and it really scared me.
I decided to go for a bike ride by myself today. We live in the country and I was about a mile from home and it was a dirt road and I heard some dogs barking and I saw 3 large dogs down a long driveway in the woods and they were watching me as I went past and then one of them took off down the driveway with the owner yelling at him (or her not sure). Needless to say I booked it as fast as I could and that dog would not stop chasing me and he was gaining ground fast and the owner was yelling at him. I have a mirror on my handlebar so I can watch for cars so I was watching him gain ground and then all of a sudden she got him to stop. I don't know if I handled that right or not. Should I have stopped and put the bike in front of me? Or was I right in biking as fast as I could. Just wondering what I should do in those circumstances again. I do have a repellent spray for such things if I needed it in an emergency but I forgot to bring it.
 

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That is a hard one isn't it?
I know that you riding faster gave in to his prey drive... but I wouldn't have wanted to stop and find out either.
 

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I used to subscribe to online bicycling lists. It's a perpetual problem and everybody has a different method of dealing with it.

Some wave their frame pumps at them, some carry pepper spray. Mostly cyclicst just yell at them, which is what I have done. One woman said she yelled, "Get off the couch!" at one dog and it stopped in it's tracks.

I'm guessing the dog finally stopped when you got out of the dog's territory.
 

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Being an x-cyclist, always riding down country roads in the middle of the night, I have had my share of being chased.

I think that you did the right thing, with three big dogs. Yes, you can stop and put the bike between you and ONE dog, but not three.

Yes, the prey drive MAY kick in, but in my experience the dogs generally gave up when the threat (me) was out of its self-proclaimed territory.

I have yelled at them, usuall "GO HOME!" or "GET YOUR DOG!!!!" but sometimes that works, sometimes not.

Toward the end of my cycling career, I was out with my little sister when I heard the toenails coming. Knowing that she (my sister who is eleven years my junior) was not the cycling enthusiast that I was, I hung back and let her get ahead, figuring if one of us gets bit, it might as well be me. It was kind of like calling the dog's bluff. I did not get bit. I was really amazed at how cool I was.

I did pepper spray a Doberman one night. It was actually snapping at my ankle. I got a hold of the spray, HALT, and sprayed it right in its face. If ran across the street and fell into a ditch yelping. Oh well, I was not actually proud of that, but I didn't lose any sleep over it either. Generally the spray is never where you need it when you need it. Also, I think that most often, you do not really need it.
 

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This is a great concern of mine too as I also ride my bike out in the country where "what is a leash law??" and all my neighbors let their dogs roam free. One of the advantages of living in the country but....a couple things that I do, and not so sure how correct these are:

1) If a local dog scares me I drive back to the house right away like within a few hours and talk to the owners and try to make friends if possible with the dog (bring some bones along). Ask for the dogs name so you can say "NO FIDO" next time. I normally tell the owners that I do carry pepperspray and will use it if necessary.

2) Carry dog treats and stop and throw at the dog as a distration and possibly form a friendship (especially if you know the dogs name) but what about the time you forget to bring the bones?? not so sure ha ha

3) Bring pepperspray and use it if needed. A word of advice though, if it is windy watch out as you may get it sprayed back in your face (I am speaking from experience)


4) Buy an umbrella and bring it with you. I havent tried it yet but I guess if you open it up it will scare the dog. Some people even paint large eyes on it to make it look like a large animal.

Good Luck and remember that your safety is first
 
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