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-   -   Protection against dog attacks. (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/105127-protection-against-dog-attacks.html)

KevinCCAD 05-07-05 08:27 PM

The last time I thought a dog was going to be aggressive I just yelled "HEEL" really loud and deep. The dog stopped and looked kinda freaked out.

Dewbert 05-07-05 08:42 PM

Last weekend I was riding in an unfamiliar place. A guy was in his yard with two ENORMOUS dogs. He immediately starting yelling at them, trying to get them under control...to no avail. I ended up grazing his mailbox as his dogs, one on each side of my bike, bit my legs as I pumped like mad to get out of there. I tried yelling, squirting water and kicking one in the nose. In the end, the only thing that saved my skin was the fact that it was really cold and I was wearing nylon running pants with two layers of nylon, so as they bit, nylon slid against nylon and their teeth kept clicking together as their CHOMPS slid off the nylon.

In the end, I wasn't hurt, but had about a quart of dog slobber running off my legs for the rest of my ride!

Crazy Cyclist 05-08-05 02:01 PM

why not just carry a can of mace on your bike, it works good for both dogs and their owners.

Phatman 05-08-05 02:05 PM

why hasn't anybody suggested sprinting to get away? I generated 1153 watts sprinting from a dog...he never knew what was coming.

Roughstuff 05-08-05 02:44 PM

There is this one country road i always take on my cycling between Rhode Island and the Berkshires in western Mass, a ride I do many times over the summer. Everybody had a dog, and different days different dogs chase me from different directions. There are great big huggable country mutts and purebreds. Alot of times when I hop off the bike the dogs come out and just sniff me, and even realize I am a local and let me pet them. As soon as I get back on the bike, its sic 'em time! Something about bikes drives dogs bonkers.

roughstuff

cruentus 05-08-05 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dedhed
Attacked and chased are not always the same thing. I have been chased by dogs that I know aren't going to attack me, but the first time on that route you don't know that. Most of the suggestions here will work on most dogs. Another thing is take different routes if you know a particular dog is bad or talk to the owner. I find rural dogs can usually be seen ahead of time and planned for, urban dogs often appear out of nowhere and are a lot closer to start with. Another suggestion is a small .22 auto loaded with hollow points. Head shot works best. Guaranteed he (she?) won't bother you or anyone else again.

I don't recommend a .22 for dogs. Dogs are tough to kill, and head shots are difficult.

A couple of years a ago, one of my friends shot his neighbor's Rottweiler. The Rottweiler had gotten into my friend's yard and was in the process of killing his Beagle. My friend used a Glock 17 9mm. He shot the Rottwieler three times -- one round went into the dog's rump, another in the chest and the third went through a leg. That Rottweiler is still alive and well.

I wouldn't use anything less than a .40 cal on a dog.

chanel 05-08-05 08:25 PM

Thank you for your reasurance, especially since you are quite experienced. I am planning to start riding with a group. I am mostly afraid of ending up in the hospital injured or worse from a bite or a dog attack. Also, I don't know: should I keep pedaling as fast as I can or should I get off the bike? How can I spray the dog while pedaling?

chanel 05-08-05 08:27 PM

Yes , but I am new, I don't think I can pedal that fast.

chanel 05-08-05 08:31 PM

If you carry a batoon, where do you carry it?

chanel 05-08-05 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by STEEKER
I love dogs I really do BUT I carry a batton and will and have cracked a dog or two over the nose and head before ,, They are supposed to be on a leash

Where do you place the batton?

palmertires 05-09-05 07:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AverageCommuter
Generally when a dog is chasing or barking at a bicyclist it is not the person that the dog is bothered by, it is the bicycle. There are several ways to deal with the situation, some have already been mentioned. You can keep riding, though dogs with herding instinct may try to get ahead of your front wheel and redirect you. You can try getting off on the side opposite the dog and walking the bike past, but if you do you should not turn directly toward the dog and stare at it, it may see this as a threat or a challenge. You also should not turn your back on it, it may see that as an opportunity to strike. Turn your shoulder to it and watch it with a sidelong glance, that tells the dog "I am not threatening you, but I'm not running away either." Chemical sprays and other offensive measures should be saved until the dog has commited to an actual attack, which is easier to determine if you are off of the bike. Especially since, if you are attacked while on your bike, you will probably end up down on the ground. Which is not a very defensible position when dealing with a dog.

The most important thing to do is not to assume that the breed of the dog is an indication of what it's behavior will be. Because of stereotype, most people are afraid of PitBulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepards and the other, so-called, "vicious" breeds.
Yet the 2 breeds most frequently involved in dog bite incidents in the US are the Golden Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel.


I have been chased by a dog, a cocker spaniel, while riding...I was probably about 14 years old, and was scared by the experience, but I think the dog was only doing what dogs sometimes do, which is chase things. Had I stopped pedalling the dog might have stopped, too. This was going uphill, too, and I never pedalled with more enthusiasm in my life. The other time I was chased by a dog was at night, after leaving my house through the back door and walking down the alley. I heard a wild snarl behind me, and instinctually stopped. The dog stopped, too. Both of these dogs owners eventually came and got their dogs. I have never been chased by a wild dog, but I suppose behaving somewhat like a dog may diffuse a situation, unless the dog is rabid.

tbobby 05-09-05 07:43 AM

Whenever I see an unleashed dog, I slow down to assess his interest in chasing me. They seem to be more interested in chasing the faster I am going. I've noticed that smaller breeds tend to chase more. I would not try outrunning a large breed dog, rather slow to a stop and let him sniff your leg then slowly move on. I usually have pepper spray in a saddlebag in case of emergency. If suddenly ambushed, yelling "NO" loudly sometimes freezes them. I've never been bitten but have been licked, sniffed and even hugged by countless dogs.

bluebottle1 05-09-05 09:03 AM

I have trouble with the idea of cracking a dog over the head. Sorry, but I'm a dog owner myself. I've been chased plenty of times, though. I find a water bottle with gatorade or some other kind of sweet sports drink in it works the best. Give the dog a shot in the face and he'll actually stop to lick the sweet stuff off. This has never failed, though I do admit that I've never had any really vicious dogs come after me.

Rex G 05-09-05 10:39 AM

We have seven dogs, and some of them are strong "alpha" personalities; my wife is involved in K9 search and recovery work, so we have been around many dogs. IMHO being "terrified" of dogs is part of the problem. It helps immensely to understand the body language of dogs, and know which breeds are herding breeds and which are aggressive hunters such as terriers that do the killing themselves. Yes, I do like dogs. On the other hand, I have whacked a dog on the side of the neck hard enough to knock it out cold for several seconds. (This occurred while out running on a rural road.) I would also not hesitate to shoot and kill a dog that I truly believed posed an imminent threat to life and limb. (I carry a handgun virtually all the time, being a peace officer.) I am going to propose a really unusual solution: borrow someone's dog and attend an obedience class! Or, at the very least, make an appointment with a really good dog trainer to learn how to read canine body language and how to respond. The proper response to a dog that is running at large or at the border of its "turf" may be very different from finding yourself well within its turf, and the response to a herding breed is certainly different than the predator that is closing in for a kill. Running or riding away with one's back turned to the dog is a bad idea unless you are truly faster than the dog, as fleeing can trigger the prey drive. The worst case scenario is a trained attack dog or a trained fighting dog, which has been hardened to press the attack. There are no easy answers for those, but encountering a truly trained attack dog is extremely rare.

AverageCommuter 05-09-05 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by palmertires
... unless the dog is rabid.

Yeah, if you're dealing with a rabid animal of any kind ALL bets are off.

powers2b 05-09-05 02:41 PM

I love it when these threads pop up (about every three months or so).
Bottom line from a cyclist that has been chased, bitten and jumped on by dogs while cycling:
Dogs need to learn that [chasing cyclists = pain] and I am happy to provide a chemical lesson any time I ride.
If the owners wont keep them tied up then they should look forward to a large vet bill and/or a certified letter from the courts.

Enjoy

Roody 05-09-05 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CommuterRun
Pepper spray or getting cracked over the head is a lot easier on the dog than the dog getting hit by a car. Doing nothing to deter the chasing behavior reinforces to the dog that running in the road is acceptable behavior.

How absurd! I think the dogs have probably taken out a hit on you and your kind! It sounds like you are much more a danger to them than they are to you. If people illegally let their dogs run free, and it really disturbs you, then call animal control. They will easily solve the problem without harming the animal.

CommuterRun 05-10-05 03:17 AM

Chill, Roody. I happen to like dogs, a lot. Well the larger breeds anyway, especially retrievers, we had several at various times when I was growing up and I intend to do that again with my kids as soon as my current situation changes, in a matter of a couple months. Dogs, like children, adults too for that matter, need training and discipline to teach proper behavior and to hold them to a standard of behavior. To not teach a dog, or child, right from wrong is irresponsible, careless and lazy behavior on the part of the owner, or parent.

Chasing by any dog except herding dogs and hounds is wrong. Chasing anything in the road by any dog, regardless of breed, is wrong. A dog chasing a person for any reason is dangerous to the dog and wrong unless it's a law enforcement or military dog trained for that.

Why do you think it's okay to allow a dog to engage in behavior that will get it killed, or crippled and put down? Are you a dog hater?

jackiebrown 05-10-05 10:12 AM

whatever you do, dont look them in the eyes!
i was bitten last week by a pit bull (which has since been put down).
i was casually riding my bike up to a corner where a girl was standing with her dog.
i looked at the dog, because i actually like pit bulls and think they are nice looking animals. i looked away and CHOMP! right on my knee cap! luckily it didnt get a hold of me, the teeth mostly scraped me and didnt take a chunk out.
im also pretty boney too so that helped matters...

the owner of the dog seemed so stunned that she didnt even apologize (somehting she still hasnt done) or even yell at the dog!
no wonder the animal bites, its obviously had no training at all.

jackiebrown 05-10-05 10:19 AM

Quote:

Running or riding away with one's back turned to the dog is a bad idea unless you are truly faster than the dog, as fleeing can trigger the prey drive
i dont think its fair that people should have to be "trained". ALL dogs should be muzzled and leashed at ALL times when in public. Why should i have to learn "how to read a dogs body language" - the owners should take FULL responsibillity and be fully faulted for their dogs behaviour.
I should be able to do what i want (within legal boundaries) when i want, without worrying about a dog attacking me on my bike!!!!

Roody 05-10-05 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CommuterRun
Chill, Roody. I happen to like dogs, a lot. Well the larger breeds anyway, especially retrievers, we had several at various times when I was growing up and I intend to do that again with my kids as soon as my current situation changes, in a matter of a couple months. Dogs, like children, adults too for that matter, need training and discipline to teach proper behavior and to hold them to a standard of behavior. To not teach a dog, or child, right from wrong is irresponsible, careless and lazy behavior on the part of the owner, or parent.

Chasing by any dog except herding dogs and hounds is wrong. Chasing anything in the road by any dog, regardless of breed, is wrong. A dog chasing a person for any reason is dangerous to the dog and wrong unless it's a law enforcement or military dog trained for that.

Why do you think it's okay to allow a dog to engage in behavior that will get it killed, or crippled and put down? Are you a dog hater?

This is getting silly, and I apologize for my role in that. The OP has a phobia (that is, unreasonable fear) of dogs. Maybe you do too. Of course digs can be dangerous if they run in front of your bike and startle you. Be ready for them and be careful around them, and try not to fall off your bike. But don't be so damn scared of them! There are so few vicious dog attacks that they become lead stories on the 6:00 news. Most "attacks" involve a dog (or dogs) running toward a person. No one gets bitten, and no one gets hurt, unless it's the dog. In 99% of cases, no harm is done if the human participant keeps his/her cool. Just ride at your original spped and direction. If the dog gets too close for comfort, slow down and be prepared to dismount and yell at the dog. 99% of the time you will be OK. The other 1% is too rare to worry about.

Your last question--I hope it is rhetorical and does not require an answer--but just in case, no I am not a dog hater. I do hate the humans who allow their pets to run free, placing them in harm's way. If you are riding in an incorporated area, call animal control and give them a good description of the dog. They will either find the dog's owner, or take the animal into custody and wait for the owner to claim it. The owner will get a hefty fine, and will probably think twice before letting the dog run free again. If you are riding in an unincorporated rural area, I do not know what you should do.

I hope your last question is rhetorical and does not require an answer. But just in case, no, I am not a dog hater. I'm just trying to ride my bike. I also do not fancy myself to be a roving dog disciplinarian (or Samurai Trainer:)). I am not convinced that hitting a beast upside the head with a U-lock--or even spraying it in the snoot with a toxic substance--is the best possible training method. I am not even convinced that either is a humane tactic for a "dog lover." You, of course, are free to do as you wish.

recursive 05-10-05 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chanel
Hello
I have read the forum on what to do when approached by a dog, but I don't think I can stop, get off the bike and place it between me and an aggressive dog without almost fainting with fear. Should I get the Dazer, a pump, a water bottle and spray and use all if I have to get off the bike?

[...]

Any advice?

Chanel

It is to your advantage not to be afraid. Dogs can sense your fear and intimidation. If you are scared, they are less likely to back down. I have used the bike shield technique with a big (>100lbs) very mean and powerful looking dog who was loose. I don't know if it works in all cases, but it worked for me. I stood my ground and stared straight at him without flinching. After a short while, keeping the bike between us, I started walking in the direction I needed to go. Out of confusion or boredom, he soon stopped following me. If I had acted less assertively, the dog may not have kept his distance. How you carry yourself really does have a big effect on dogs' behavior.

CommuterRun 05-10-05 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody
This is getting silly, and I apologize for my role in that. The OP has a phobia (that is, unreasonable fear) of dogs. Maybe you do too. Of course digs can be dangerous if they run in front of your bike and startle you. Be ready for them and be careful around them, and try not to fall off your bike. But don't be so damn scared of them! There are so few vicious dog attacks that they become lead stories on the 6:00 news. Most "attacks" involve a dog (or dogs) running toward a person. No one gets bitten, and no one gets hurt, unless it's the dog. In 99% of cases, no harm is done if the human participant keeps his/her cool. Just ride at your original spped and direction. If the dog gets too close for comfort, slow down and be prepared to dismount and yell at the dog. 99% of the time you will be OK. The other 1% is too rare to worry about.

Your last question--I hope it is rhetorical and does not require an answer--but just in case, no I am not a dog hater. I do hate the humans who allow their pets to run free, placing them in harm's way. If you are riding in an incorporated area, call animal control and give them a good description of the dog. They will either find the dog's owner, or take the animal into custody and wait for the owner to claim it. The owner will get a hefty fine, and will probably think twice before letting the dog run free again. If you are riding in an unincorporated rural area, I do not know what you should do.

I hope your last question is rhetorical and does not require an answer. But just in case, no, I am not a dog hater. I'm just trying to ride my bike. I also do not fancy myself to be a roving dog disciplinarian (or Samurai Trainer:)). I am not convinced that hitting a beast upside the head with a U-lock--or even spraying it in the snoot with a toxic substance--is the best possible training method. I am not even convinced that either is a humane tactic for a "dog lover." You, of course, are free to do as you wish.

Sorry, I went back and reread my posts on this thread and found no statements to indicate a fear of dogs or of being bitten. I did, however, find statements that I made in both threads that express concern for the safety of a roaming dog. Primarily safety from cars. Perhaps you were responding to another thread and quoted mine by mistake, but you seem to think it's okay to allow a dog to engage in behavior that will get it killed, or crippled and put down. Why do you think that is?

DonD 05-10-05 04:26 PM

Quote:

It is to your advantage not to be afraid.
While this may be true, if it is a true phobia, it may not be consciously controllable without professional counselling.

I certainly fall into the dog phobia group, and am very aware that my fear is, for the most part, unreasonable. That doesn't help me when I'm in a situation where dogs are unleashed. I wouldn't say that I'm frozen with terror, but I'm certainly worried about what might happen (even when I'm not on a bike).

It's been this way since childhood..pretty much as long as I can remember.

- Don

Roody 05-10-05 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CommuterRun
Sorry, I went back and reread my posts on this thread and found no statements to indicate a fear of dogs or of being bitten. I did, however, find statements that I made in both threads that express concern for the safety of a roaming dog. Primarily safety from cars. Perhaps you were responding to another thread and quoted mine by mistake, but you seem to think it's okay to allow a dog to engage in behavior that will get it killed, or crippled and put down. Why do you think that is?

Please--
We both like dogs. We have different ideas of what constitutes humane and effective treatment of them by cyclists. I hope we can keep the discussion on that level.


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