BICYCLISTS: Know what to do if a dog starts chasing you

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A leisurely bike ride can quickly turn dangerous if it’s interrupted by a vicious dog on the loose. Over the years, we’ve reported on many cases where a dog chased down a bicyclist and attacked him or her. Most recently, a Lebanon woman was bit in the thigh while riding her bike in her neighborhood.
We asked Certified Professional Dog Trainer Carrie Galvan what to do if it happens to you.
She says dogs case bikes because they’re predators by nature.
“The movement of the bike is what causes the chase. It’s super fun for them. So stopping is probably the quickest, easiest, safest way to get out of it,” said Galvan.
She says you should stop pedaling, get off the bike, use it to protect you.
“Depends on the dog. Some dogs, if you hit him with the bike, it’ll make him more mad. So you just want to put it in between you. But if they’re really going after, you, stick that bike in their mouth. Make sure that it’s the bike and not you,” she said.
She also says parents need to tell their children what to do if they get chased by a dog.
“Have them get off the bike and put the bike in between them and the dog. And then they can move towards a neighbor’s house, or somebody’s car. Something like that, until somebody can come and help them.”
She says whatever you do, “Don’t let go of that bike.”
If you’re an avid bicyclist, one thing you may want to consider is picking up some mace or pepper spray. You can find a ‘dog spray’ at many bike shops for about $10, and it will fend off dogs without actually hurting them. Galvan says the spray is effective for most dogs, but it will not work on every dog.