There are quite a few reported instances where Onewheel riders have gotten attacked and bitten by dogs. Please use caution when coming up on dogs, and try to keep as much distance as possible. Here is a breakdown of why they are triggered by the Onewheel and what to do if a dog comes after you.
Dogs bark at Onehweels and attack them due to their chase response. This instinct causes dogs to raise their defence mechanism. Combined with the high pitch sound from the motor and noise of the wheel rolling over concrete can trigger the dog into thinking there’s a threat approach.
- Onehweelers are haveing the same problems like skatboarders. Dogs bark at skateboarders, bicycles and Onewheels beacuse it can tirgger the predatory chase drive.
It’s not the wheels that dogs hate it could be anything moving, you should always take it easy when running by a dog on the sidewalk.
- Dogs can hear sound frequencies at least three times as high compared to the human ear. Thats why some dogs fears the vacuum cleaner and the high-frequency noises it makes. If you are young you can lissen to your board and here a simular high pitched electrical noise from the wheel when activated. (The possability to hear high frequncies diminish with age)
- Most dogs havent seen a Onewheel rider and you are something strange that is approaching them and their owner. This in comibingation with the above might make their first encounter to be overwhelming. The dog might see it as a threat at first and might go into protection mode for his owner. This is something comonly seen with dogs and for example wheelchairs.
What to do when passing a dog.
To combat the reasons when passing a dog it’s a good idea to ride VERY slow (almost walking speed) when you go by them. Try and make eye contact with the owner to ensure that they are aware and can show that everything is okay with the dog.
A calm owner is helping the dog to relax and be at ease. I if you by accident make the owner scared the dog will sens this as an attack. Therefore it’s always good to try and ”ask” the owner if they are fine when you are approaching them.
If the dogs are not at ease dismount the board and walk past them until you are out of sight. It’s often easier from a liability standpoint if something would happen. Pedestrians have right of way so even if their dog jumps on you and the dog owner would get hurt, you would be held liable.
What to do if a dog attacks you while riding a Onewheel.
There is no good idea to keep riding. Dogs are faster than the Onehweel and there is a risk that they will knock you off your board when they catch you and now you are on the ground. If you ever get attacked by a dog on the ground make sure to protect your neck with your arms and try to get up as soon as possible.
Always STOP, this might stop the chase trigger and the dog clams down. Use your board as a shield to protect yourself from the dog if needed. Stoping also removes the sound coming from the motor.
Using a trigger word like, STOP, might snap the dog out of the chase. A Onewheeler had success by jumping off and screaming to make the dog snap out of it, freezing and just stare at him. When you are of the board you are again a human and not something strange floating around.
Don’t show fear, stay calm try to use a deep authority voice.
Dog spray or pepper spray
Carrying a Dog deterrent spray or pepper spray is something a lot of the employees of the U.S. Postal Service do to deter dog attacks. Dog Spray is specifically formulated for use on aggressive dogs and is usually compact so it can be easily carried on your belt or in a pocket.
The effect is only temporary, will stop a dog and last long enough for you to ride away.
I recommend carrying Dog spray and many riders have needed to use it to deter aggressive dogs with good results. They will stop immediately and rub their faces on the ground with no permanent injuries. It’s better for both us as a rider and the dog. In many countries, a dog attacking and drawing blood would be risking getting put down by the authorities.
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