What to do when you come across a stray dog

Relations between skaters and dogs are very unequal. While some dogs will be totally indifferent when you pass them, some may become completely mad. Here are a couple of tips to coexist with our stray friends…

The good reactions to adopt

Rencontre avec un chien errant

Do you know what to do when you come across a stray dog with your skates on?

Lots of skaters, skateboarders and cyclists bump into dogs every day, and most of the time quite unexpectedly. You come out of that encounter sometimes serene, sometimes afraid, and not always safe and sound.

What is the good attitude to adopt?

  • Try to avoid direct visual contact with the dog, which may be interpreted as a threat.
  • Try to skate and remain static when the dog gets closer to you. It is recommended to keep a safety distance.
  • If the dog is not aggressive and comes to you, let it smell you but be ready to avoid any sudden move.
  • Above all do not shout, that could be interpreted as a threat.
  • Make an effort to remain calm and relaxed when the dog comes near you. Dogs can feel fear. Most of the time, they will go on their way if you are not afraid and show indifference.
  • It is not the time to be friendly. Do not try to make friends with a stray animal, a dog that is eating or sleeping. Leave them alone, in order to avoid potential biting.
  • If you are followed, unless you are far ahead, do not try to skate away. Most of the dogs run faster than you will ever skate. Moreover, they love chasing moving objects, even just to play. Stay calm and static, and they will eventually lose interest in you.
  • Once the dog has forgotten your presence, leave slowly in the opposite direction.
  • If you regularly come across the same stray dog on your route, and if it is still hostile to you, report it to the authorities before it hurts someone. Otherwise, change your way.
  • If ever a dog attacks you, throw something at it, like a backpack or a helmet, which will divert it the time that you find a safe place to hide or to climb to.
  • If you are attacked, get into fetal position and protect your head, your ears and your neck with your arms.
  • Systematically file a complaint to the police and go and see a doctor immediately afterwards. 

What to do with dogs that are not locked up in their houses?

Often in the countryside, dogs are let free in the farm yards. You should then be particularly vigilant when you pass their properties. For a dog, passing in front of its home is like violating its territory. Once you are away, the dog will leave you alone.

Here again, aggressive dogs can be reported to the police. Masters are responsible in case of damages caused by their animals.


In case of animal straying, cats or dogs, the responsibility of a municipality may be engaged if no measures are taken to find a solution.

The straying of cats and dogs is forbidden in the article 213-2 of the rural code.

If you come across a dangerous dog, you had better warn the town council quickly.

Useful links

Texte : Alfathor
Translation: Chloé Seyres
Photos : Chihirosan, droits réservés


Alexandre Chartier


Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com depuis 2003. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Aspirine ou café recommandée si vous abordez un de ces sujets !


Do you like the content of REL, mediaskates.com and spotland.fr?

Please, help us to perpetuate the association!

Read also

  • Aucun article associé.
  • Publicité Ligne Droite Roller

    Publicité Ligne Droite Roller 2022

    Publicité Cadomotus

    Cadomotus : from rookie to pro

    Une réponse pour “What to do when you come across a stray dog

    1. Bhree

      Some animals recognize walking objects, human on bike or in car, but some of them have no idea about skater (neither walk or on vehicle they think). The result can be unpredictable./

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *