There's been a crackdown on loose-running dogs here over the past couple of years; unusual since my town is only about 850 people. There are a couple that still roam the town, but they're harmless.
I encounter a lot of dogs out running the local gravel roads. They're big, mean and occasionally cut my ride short to get home for an underwear change if they happen to get the jump on me and I suddenly hear them barking right by my leg and see them running right next to me.
Fortunately, I know where most of them reside so I can plan ahead. Most of them seem to have a pre-programmed attack route from the yard or front porch to the road, but sometimes they'll be across the road on the other side and come exploding out of the weeds or road ditch where you don't expect them.
When I see them ahead of time, I usually slow down, then just as I approach them, I speed up to kind of throw them off.
I've accepted this, though. If I lived out in the boonies like some of these people do, I'd have a free-running dog around the house, too.
Yes, they're public county roads, but the dogs aren't a threat to the few people in cars that drive down them (generally just the people who live on them) and I'm about the only person around here who regularly rides a motorcycle on them.
I actually find myself sometimes opting for the "dog roads" so I can experience the thrill of the chase, even though I'm the one being chased. I always just hope that's not the time the KLR decides to crap out on me.
When the wife accompanies me on her Honda 250 ATV, we have to avoid dogs like those because the Honda doesn't have the acceleration or probably even the top speed to keep her away from them.
I'm always armed out in the boonies but even though I have every right to be on those roads, I don't consider those peoples' dogs an infringement on my rights. That's the reason they live out there and not in town and I respect that.
Now in town, it's a different story. If you're in close proximity to other people, you need to keep your dogs under control at all times.
I've pepper-sprayed a lot of humans, but I can't imagine trying to effectively spray a dog whilst riding a motorcycle.
My strangest animal experience was riding at relatively low speeds through a thick bank of fog on an asphalt road one morning on my way to a fishing hole.
Suddenly, I could hear the unmistakable sound of deer hooves on pavement but I couldn't tell where they were because the fog was so thick and my visor was fogged up. I can only assume they must have been beside me because I didn't hit any of them. I never even caught a glimpse of them.
I was also brought to a standstill on my mountain bike one day when I came across a huge bobcat that just stood in the road, glaring at me and blocking my way. I just stopped, astraddle the bike and pulled out the .380 I was carrying but knew if it came at me, I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of hitting the thing before it got to me. It was about 20 feet away and would have been on me in less than a second.
I debated on slowly walking the bike backwards, but was afraid to move and there was no way I was turning my back on the thing.
I think I had surprised it because the gravel road was damp and it didn't hear me approaching. It was probably just as scared as I was.
I figured if it attacked, my best chance was to offer my non-gun arm and try to get it on that then shoot it at close range. I was 5 miles from the nearest human, had no first aid kit and no cell phone coverage so just a few large lacerations from its claws could have been fatal.
The standoff ended peacefully. After what seemed an eternity, it slow moved forward off into the weeds at the side of the road, eyeballing me the whole time.