Dog Bite Prevention Week: Get Off Your Bike if a Dog Chases You

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Making it worse?

We are often asked, "What should I do if a dog chases me or my kids while we are riding our bikes?"

This video shows what you should not do if
you are chased by a dog while riding a bike.

Most adults assume that if they have good speed they can outride a dog. While that may or may not be true, keep in mind other dangers associated with fleeing. A cyclist in our area was badly injured when a dog ran down a farm lane barking at him. The cyclist sped up to try to get away from the dog, lost control on the gravel shoulder, and fell off his bike. The dog sniffed him and walked away.

Avoid a chase

Kids on bikes should never assume that they can ride faster than a dog can run. Most likely, they cannot. If confronted by a dog while riding a bike, the best thing for a child to do is to stop. If there is time, a child should get off the bike so that the bike is between the child and the dog.

The main motivation for the dog is the chase. When there is nothing to chase, the dog will lose interest. If the dog does catch a moving cyclist, serious injuries to the cyclist can result—both from the fall and from the dog, whose natural instinct is to bite and shake prey that it has caught. It is best to defuse the situation by removing the dog's motivation to chase.

This video demonstrates the right thing to do
if you are chased by a dog while riding a bike.

Some people have been told to get off the bike, but keep moving to keep the bike between them and the dog. This movement will just keep the dog interested longer! It is best to stand still even if the dog circles around the bike to investigate.

The first video shows the wrong thing to do if a dog chases you while you are riding a bike. When the cyclist moves the bike to try to keep the dog on the other side of it, this action just makes the dog more interested in him. As soon as the cyclist stops moving, the dog loses interest.

The second video demonstrates the right thing to do if a dog chases you while you are riding a bike. Notice how much less interested the dog is when the cyclist stands still, compared to how interested the dog was in the previous video when the cyclist kept moving.

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