Dog Day Afternoon

October 8, 2010


I've been chased by every breed of dog on the planet, from Chihuahuas to Kangal Dogs. Every traveling cyclist has their own method for dealing with canines. Some use the simple spray of water from a water bottle, while others carry canisters of pepper spray. Some cyclists try to outrun them, some immediately stop and confront them.

I'm not afraid of dogs, so I finding a short sharp yell often does the trick, or when I'm in a more playful mood, I like to stop and call the dog. It always most often confuses them and they stop chasing and barking all together.

But the higher the temperature and humidity, the more likely you will be confronted with dogs like the one in the photo above.

What is your method for dealing with chasing dogs?

Photos by Willie Weir

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at


Bill G October 9, 2010, 11:50 AM

Locally I just ride but when we did the Underground Railroad Route - talk about dogs!!!!

I finally learned a valuable lesson - the water bottle to the face shot. Now we didn't douse them because it was over 100 degrees most days and 100% humidity and water was a precious commodity, but a little shot to the face stops them dead in their tracks.

keith October 8, 2010, 11:50 PM

I just keep riding. I find that they are justafraid of the bike enough that they don't get real close. I got some pepper spray and I do carry it, but hostile motorists are way more dangerous then a dog, so I'm more likely to use it on them.

eje October 8, 2010, 10:18 PM

I almost always stop and say hi. 99% of the time, it's the moving bike that provokes them, and as soon as you stop, they do. Someday I'll likely meet the exception that proves this rule, but it hasn't failed me yet.

Log in to post a comment

Forgot Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email that will allow you to reset it. If you no longer have access to the email address call our memberships department at (800) 755-2453 or email us at

Not Registered? Create Account Now.