Dog! Fright or Flight?

We’ve all been there, pottering along the country lanes or gravel tracks, minding our own business, only to be barked at and chased by one of our four legged friends. At this point, we have a critical choice; shout at the dog, slow down and have a ‘chat & pat’, or adopt the riskier option of trying to out-run it.

Why Though?

Dog’s generally chase to defend / protect their owner or their owner’s property. The people that feed, shelter and love them are their supreme leader who must be defended! (Although, sometimes I reckon dogs are passing judgement on cycling clothing or bike brands they don’t like). Some dogs chase for fun, chasing a cyclist is just a bigger version of chasing a stick. Dogs are also social animals and like to be around humans, even an unwilling, sweaty human in lycra – dogs aren’t too fussy.

What Make?

What sort of dog is it? If you can quickly identify the dog, it makes your options much clearer. Because once you’ve identified the dog, you can assess how fast they are likely to be able to sprint and, more importantly, how long they can sustain their sprint.

Breed For Speed

If you are chased by one of these, unless you just returned from the Tokyo Olympics, it could be difficult to outpace them.

Greyhound – 70 KPH

Saluki – 65 KPH

Afgan Hound 60 KPH

The good news is that the superfast dogs above, tend not to be the ones which are regularly keen for a bike rider chase.

Mid-Range Power Hounds

German Shepard 50 KPH

Alsatian 50 KPH

Border Collie 50 KPH

Labrador 50 KPH

Boxer 50 KPH

Jack Russel 50 KPH

These mid-range power hounds can pack a lot of punch. They are also the types of dog that are often ‘up’ for a chase. Working farm dogs such as Border Collies have a potent mix of outright speed and the ability to just keep going, forever. This can be tricky if your plan is to outrun one.

Slower Pooches

French Bulldog 25 KPH

Shih Tzu 10 KPH

Pug 10-15 KPH

Toy Poodle 15 KPH

Bulldog 25 KPH

Bassett Hound 10-15 KPH

Slower dogs can usually be outrun by most bike riders, which is good news for anyone not riding in peak form. These dogs tend to know that they aren’t the fastest, so will probably resort to barking or giving a stern look, to mark their territory.

The Unknown…

Mixed breed dogs can offer up unkown capabilities. Hard to quickly identify, these dogs could provide the perfect storm where extreme speed meets big teeth and persistence. It’s like a pro’ bike rider that can sprint, time trial and climb with the best – a four legged supreme being. A canine breed known as the Tadej ‘Dog’acar…