Ever had an encounter with an aggressive dog that chased you in the midst of your touring or bikepacking trip? How did you respond? Did you panic and run? Well, this is a scenario that has happened to many people regardless of their physical attributes.

It can just happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, for all reasons, and in all manners. No one wakes up in the morning with wishes to get chased by mean dogs later in the day, it always occurs as a surprise.

It is not rare to fall victim to an aggressive dog once in a while. And if you do, you need to be aware about a few things that will help you to respond to the situation effectively.

You do not want to be spotted in random places running away from stray dogs that are chasing after you like a coward. Or better yet, you do not want to start running and possibly get caught by the fierce dogs for the ‘obvious reasons’.

So, you better grasp what I will advise on how to handle such occasions. You never know when next you will have an encounter with another mean dog.

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First, dogs are living organisms, just like people. So, dogs have life frustrations, temptations, and goals. Just like humans do! Therefore, there are various underlying reasons why a strange dog may be tempted to chase after you.

But that is a story for another day. Let’s discuss effective ways on how to deal with a dog that is chasing you in the midst of your tour. The best reaction is to remain calm and stand your ground.

Effective Responses To An Aggressive Dog

Remain Calm

Staying calm and managing your responses to an aggressive dog always works magic. Dogs, just like humans, often like to test people’s reactions by pushing them to their limits. Fierce dogs know that people are often scared of them, and they will happily use every opportunity to ‘flex’ dominance on their targets.

It is the reason why a fierce dog will always approach you with a rude face to test your composure. If you are weak, you will expose your fear and possibly try to escape. But don’t even think of escaping because you will sign up for running battles that you possibly are not prepared for.

Also, running from an aggressive dog is dangerous! Aggressive dogs are predatory by nature, and running from them triggers their hunting instincts. Moreover, an aggressive dog will likely chase after a person who tries to run. You do not want to run and excite an aggressive dog to chase after you because they always have the energy to catch up with you!

Remaining calm will prove to the dog that you are not afraid. It will show the dog that you are prepared for the worst. That way, respect is likely to prevail between the two of you.

Stand Your Ground

Standing your ground will often make an aggressive dog to lose interest in its bid to attack you.

How do you stand your ground? Well, you simply need to face the dog as it makes advances towards you. Assert your presence. Actually, the technic works against all kinds of attackers, not mean dogs only.

“Be a tree” and resist the urge to give in to the dog’s efforts of scaring you. If the dog persists, consider making yourself big while yelling to the creature. You can make yourself big by stretching your feet and raising your arms in the air. Be careful with yelling because some dogs find excitement in that.

If all these technics fail and the dog is not deterred from attacking you, maybe it is time to get ‘real’ with the aggressor! You may need to grab any close object that can be used to scare or fight the dog.

Sticks and stones will be useful at this point. Position yourself and employ a defensive stance. However, do not approach the dog until you are certain that it will definitely bite you if you don’t react quickly.

You may choose to shove the objects towards the animal to show them how serious you are with your defense. If they still persist, use any available object to prevent them from reaching you. For instance, it is better if the dog bites your bag and not your hand. So, use any available item to safeguard yourself from a possible dog bite.


You definitely want to get away from the dog after successfully breaking its attack. However, you still need to be careful with the animal since you are uncertain whether they still have the excitement to resume their advances.

Just don’t turn your back on the dog and start walking away until you have attained a safe distance from the aggressor. If you turn you back on the dog, they may perceive this as a sign of cowardice and try to pounce on you again. You need to monitor the dog’s mood and actions until you gain a safe distance.

It is advisable to use any physical barrier that is available at the scene to completely get away from the aggressive dog. Parked cars and fences will come in handy in sneaking away from the animals.

For instance, you can cross a fence and get away from any possible attacks if the dog still desires to charge against you. This will ensure that you have enough time and space to respond if the dog tries to pounce on you again.

Things To Avoid When Dealing With Aggressive Dogs

Knowing how to react effectively to aggressive dogs is important, but being aware of factors that trigger attacks from fierce animals is also worthwhile. Below are some of the things to avoid when you encounter aggressive dogs:

  • Avoid eye contact with the dog since they perceive this as a threat to their dominance.
  • Do not let aggressive dogs sense fear in you.
  • Do not intimidate them if they have not shown any intentions of charging against you.
  • Don’t be too close with strange dogs, unless under the supervision of the owners.


I’m optimistic that these tips will help you to avoid issues with aggressive dogs and give you the ‘upper hand’ whenever you find yourself in an encounter with a mean dog.

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