Tips to Cyclists to Prevent Dog Attacks

One of the biggest annoyances for bicyclists is a run-in with a dog while on a bike. Although not every person who rides a bike has encountered an aggressive dog, many have. Bicyclists who are avid or career cyclists most likely have had one run in with a dog—whether they were chased by a dog or experienced a full attack—that led to a Georgia bicycle accident. Many dogs are trained, nice pets; however, many canines can be aggressive and mean. Some of the aggressive dogs are strays, but many of them are pets that were unchained, unfenced, or broke their chains.

Bicyclists vs. Dog

A bicyclist may be riding down the street when a dog comes out of nowhere and starts chasing her. In those situations, a cyclist never knows when a dog will catch up to her, or what the dog will do if it catches her, or what she should do in this situation. Because dogs are typically faster than cyclists and can outrun a bicycle—unless the bicycle is riding down a steep hill—authorities on this subject tell bicyclists that when they see a dog chasing them, they should slow down and prepare to stop. When the cyclist stops, he or she should keep eye contact with the dog and not show fear.

Some dogs that just wanted to chase will stop when the cyclist stops; however, other dogs will try to attack at this point. Authorities instruct cyclists to always keep their bikes between them and the dog, and then do a number of things if the dog continues to bark, growl, and approach.

These actions include the following:

  • Do not try to pet the dog
  • Stand still and maintain eye contact
  • Keep the bike between you and the dog
  • Yell an authoritative command like “Halt,” “No,” or “Back off.”

Unfortunately, there is no single response that has been proven to work for everyone in these situations. Some bicyclists believe that you have to show that you are dominant to make the canine back off. They do this by barking at the dog, shouting, or throwing rocks at the dog. Others use pepper spray, another type of repellant, or carry sound-emitting gadgets that are unpleasant to dogs but are silent to human ears. If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Atlanta because of a dog chase, or if a dog bites you, it is important to try to find the owners of the dog if possible. Also, it is critical to get checked for rabies immediately, and then seek medical care and call an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a claim against the dog owner.