There’s nothing quite like a leisurely stroll on your motorcycle through your local neighborhood. It feels nice being able to take a break from life and just enjoy time with your bike. But sometimes unexpected encounters can happen on strolls like this.
It’s not uncommon for a motorcyclist to get chased by a dog, especially in residential areas. If you’re a seasoned rider, you’ve probably already experienced this yourself. It can be scary and also difficult to know what course of action to take in a situation like this.
So, what do you do when a dog chases you on a motorcycle? If you are getting chased by a dog while riding a motorcycle, slow down before you reach the animal to avoid collision. If it looks like the dog is going to intercept with you, speed up just before interception to throw off the dog’s timing. Do not kick the animal as that can throw off your balance on your motorcycle.
It can be stressful knowing this is a possibility while riding. You probably don’t necessarily want to have a lot of practice with this, but knowing what to do beforehand can save you and your motorcycle from injury.
How To Avoid Contact With Dogs On Your Motorcycle
Having a pet is meant to be something that’s enjoyed. Unfortunately, not everyone trains their pets properly, even their dogs, which can result in a catastrophic situation for strangers and the dog itself.
Dogs chasing motorcycles is nothing new and unfortunately some owners don’t do anything about it. It can be a very scary situation if you’re the one being chased. It can lead to unpleasant confrontation with the owner.
Getting chased by a dog while riding is most common in residential neighborhoods, though it’s not unheard of to be chased on busier street. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, if a dog is chasing you from behind or you notice you will soon be encountering an aggressive dog that will attack, slow down your motorcycle.
Some dogs still don’t get the concept of what motorcycles are and will run right in front of the motorcycle tires. Slowing down can help you control such a situation.
If it looks like the dog is going to intercept with you, meaning you feel like the dog is going to bite either you or the motorcycle, speed up right before you feel interception will happen. This will throw off the dog’s timing and give you a head start if the dog decides to continue to pursue you.
If the dog seems aggressive, it may help if you’re far enough away to put your motorcycle in neutral and do a high rev. The loud sound has a good chance of scaring the dog away.
Avoid using that street again on future motorcycle rides. If it a road that you have to use frequently and you notice the dog(s) keep chasing you, you’ll need to have a discussion with the owner and request they keep their dogs locked up. If the owners still have done nothing to help with your situation, you have an obligation to call animal control.
While you are talking with the dog owner, make sure you are cordial but firm about your request. Report that if it is not resolved, that you will call animal control.
Talking with aggressive dog owners can be tricky. Some may take offense to what you are saying or may even find you threatening. If you have another encounter with their dog and their dog gets hurt, they may claim you threatened to hurt their dog when you came to talk with them.
If you are planning on talking to the owner, take a witness with you. Also have some sort of recording device with you in your pocket that records the conversation between you and the dog owner. If the dog gets hurt and the owner tries to come after you, you have a witness as well as a recording that will back you up.
What To Do If You Get Bit
When you’re riding a motorcycle, there is no guarantee of safety. This also means that even if you follow every step of safety while getting chased by a dog on your motorcycle, you may still end up getting attacked or bit.
There’s not way to completely prevent this, even if you are the safest rider out there. If you get bit or attacked by a dog while riding, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure your safety as well as the safety of the public.
If you get attacked or bit and it breaks skin, immediately get medical attention. Not every dog owner gives their dog a rabies shots. So not only will you need to get your wounds professionally dressed, you’ll also need to get checked for rabies.
Once you get the right medical attention, you can call the police since this is now a serious enough issue for authorities. You’ll give a description of what happened to the police and the police will directly contact the owner. You also have the option to press charges if needed and get the damages covered by the dog owner.
If there have been several similar complaints about the same dog, the police have a right to take the dog from the owner. It may sound inhumane, but you have to remember this is now a public safety issue. If their dog attacks you, they’re likely to attack other people riding or walking by such as children or the elderly.
Contacting authorities is not something that you have to do. If you prefer, get the medical attention you need then contact the dog owner yourself and let them know of the incident. Warn them that if it happens again, you will contact the police. If you decide to go this route, you will be paying for your own medical expenses.
What To Do If The Dog Gets Hurt
If you’re caught in a situation where a dog is chasing you, it may result in the dog getting hurt. As a disclaimer, you should never actually try to run the dog over if you’re getting chased. That can end up in a messy lawsuit.
But there are some situations where there is nothing you could have done and the dog ran in front of either of the tires. If the dog is noticeably hurt, you should notify the owner. Again, be cordial but firm with your confrontation and let them know the dog ran in front of you. If there was a neighbor outside or if you have a fellow rider, have them talk to the owner with you as a witness.
You will need to take the same steps in the dog is injured to the point where they can’t move or if the dog seems unconscious. Doing a hit and run with a dog, even if it wasn’t your fault, can result is police charges as well as a lawsuit from the owner.
If you’re unsure of who the owner is, ask around to some of the homeowners close by. If they’re not sure who the dog belongs to, contact the police and let them know what happened. They should be able to help you locate the owner.
Why Dogs Chase Motorcycles
The biggest reason a dog chases a motorcycle is because of poor training and care from the owner. When a dog is well trained, they should not be chasing any vehicles; if they’re chasing vehicles, they’re probably chasing people, too.
Most neighborhoods and cities don’t allow dog owners to let their dogs walk around freely. Dogs should be either leashed or fenced in the owner’s yard. If a dog chases you on a motorcycle, that is poor care on the owner’s part.
Most dogs are people pleasers and love the company of humans. But there are a few breeds that do have a higher innate territorial characteristic. When a motorcycle drives by, an untrained dog may see your motorcycle as threat and go after you to defend it’s territory.
Other dogs may simply chase out of playfulness and don’t have any intention of attacking; they simply like the reason to run a long distance. But it’s hard to know exactly what a dog’s intentions are while it’s chasing you on a motorcycle, so always take the right steps to avoid any type of injury to make sure you get out of the situation safely.
How do I avoid hitting a deer on a motorcycle? If you are inevitably going to hit a deer while riding your motorcycle, do not swerve, rather slow down as quickly and safely as you can. Hitting straight in to the deer at a slower and upright position with decrease chances of injury.
How can you tell if a motorcycle has been in an accident? Some motorcycle accident signs you can look for are wobbly wheels, bent or gouged front forks, bent or crooked handlebars, dented or scratched gas tank, or a bent frame. For more information, see our other article here.