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Old 11-25-08, 09:10 PM   #1
mattotoole
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Problem dogs -- what cyclists should do

I just finished posting our article about cyclists using Virginia's dangerous dog law:

http://www.vabike.org/dangerous-dogs-campaign/http://www.vabike.org/dangerous-dogs-campaign/

Under Virginia law, any dog that causes injury can be declared a dangerous dog, whether from a bite, or from a crash caused by the dog. Dog-induced crashes frequently result in serious injuries.

We've provided some hang tags for you to download and print, take with you on rides, and leave at homes where there are cyclist-chasing dogs. These are to advise the dog owner of the law, and the seriousness of having their dog declared a dangerous dog.

There's also an article explaining the law and how to use it, which you can link to, or download and print.

Please feel free to use this material on your own websites, etc.

Last edited by mattotoole; 11-25-08 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 11-26-08, 01:46 AM   #2
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Lassie took a chomp at my shoe a few months ago, but didn't get much deeper than the sole.
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Old 11-26-08, 07:26 AM   #3
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The biggest mistake I see cyclists doing is engaging in play with the dog, training it to chase.

Learn how dogs work and most are no trouble.

Pop rocks firework things do a nice job of driving them off.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:14 AM   #4
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So does the bottom of my shoe. Got one this year that way.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:25 AM   #5
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This thread reminds me of the "training scene" in American Flyers.

I miss my old Silca pump with the pronged Campagnolo head, but a water bottle can be just as effective.

I have been bitten twice by dogs. The first time I was cycling slowly up a 16% grade in an alley in west Los Angeles and got nipped by a golden retriever who was probably just playing. The damage was minimal and the dog owners were so nice about everything that I did not even ask them to pay for my tetanus booster.

The second time, I got chomped in the thigh by an American Staffordshire terrier (basically a pit bull) while jogging home from work. Since this dog was a known neighborhood menance who had previously attacked other dogs in the neighborhood, I immediately phoned animal control. The sympathetic officer wrote up my injury as "moderate" instead of "slight." Vindication came several months later when this dog self-euthanized while biting the tire of a moving car. (Yes, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.)
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Old 11-26-08, 02:50 PM   #6
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I'll see your 'Dangerous Dog' law and raise you a STATE-WIDE leash law.

Citation: LA R.S. 3:2771
"No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another."

Local law enforcement is familiar with this law, to the point where my riding group has actually made an appointment with a sheriff deputy to deal with a loose, problematic dog on a favorite route. He met us at the appointed time & place, then watched us ride past the house in question. When Fang came charging out from the car port, the deputy drove up to the house & cited the owner, with us cheering him on.

No more dog problem. Plus this law give cyclists clear right to press the case against the dog owner, in case of injury or damage. Or the right to shoot the dog. if threatened. Basically, a loose dog has little right to exist.
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Old 11-26-08, 03:36 PM   #7
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It the owner isn't responsible enough to follow the leash law for a dangerous, a collapsible nightstick should train the dog quickly.
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Old 11-26-08, 04:12 PM   #8
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You have to be nuts if you think it's a safe thing to hang a warning tag on someone's property. Things can happen to you that are a whole lot worse than a dog bite. Just ask any dog warden ( or what ever they are called in your area) or a cop. Very dangerous. I'd rather deal with the dog.
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Old 11-26-08, 04:15 PM   #9
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owner not dogs

my problem is that all these laws are only trying to treat the symptoms not the problems. i ride with my dog Prana regularly and with out a leash. these law just make it so people do not have to take responsibility for properly training and socializing their animals.i got Prana when she was 6 months old and the people who had her didn't even have her house broken it took me 4 months to house break her because she was so old already. my point is don't go get a family dog if you do not want to train it properly and socialize them around new dogs and people regularly. i grew up with 12 rotties and never even have been nipped by them the only dog i have been bitten by was a springer spaniel and again he was a rescue who was kennel locked and un-socialized. so you can see where the problem lies we as a people made a pact with these animals for survival so long ago, and we as a people have violated that trust again and again.
so maybe the law should have a mandatory obedience class law for dogs in an urban setting. that would force people to have a better understanding of their animals. as for Prana she loves to run with me while i ride she does five to six miles in the woods with me an couldn't be happier. (Prana is the dog in the pic)
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Old 11-26-08, 05:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
The biggest mistake I see cyclists doing is engaging in play with the dog, training it to chase.

Learn how dogs work and most are no trouble.

Pop rocks firework things do a nice job of driving them off.
When I've been chased by dogs, I ride at a fast, but submaximal pace. When the dog is pretty close, I let out aloud yell to startle them and immediately speed up. As I can best recall, they always give up the chase.
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Old 11-26-08, 07:12 PM   #11
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I knew a guy who owned a Harley. In his neighborhood was a vicious dog who was always chasing him and trying to take a chunk out of his leg. One day he backed off the throttle to let the dog catch up, and then carefully modulated the throttle (and steering) to keep the dog just out of reach of his leg while the dog was at top speed. Now mind you the dog was on the right hand side of the bike, totally focused on taking a piece out of the guys leg just inches away, so he never saw that mailbox post coming.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:36 PM   #12
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Old 11-27-08, 10:48 AM   #13
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leash laws are so foolish. It is like banning all cars because some people are bad drivers. Whoa, maybe it is a good idea.
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Old 11-27-08, 11:08 AM   #14
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This thread reminds me of the "training scene" in American Flyers.

Hey Eddie !!
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Old 11-28-08, 08:32 AM   #15
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It the owner isn't responsible enough to follow the leash law for a dangerous, a collapsible nightstick should train the dog quickly.
Agreed. Around here, you will probably have better luck dealing with the dog than with the owner. A dog running loose is frequently more intelligent than its owner. Rednecks that let their dogs run loose just don't care and just get PO'd if you point out there is a countywide leash law.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:38 AM   #16
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What's the problem? My main worry is that pooch doesn't run under my front wheel, like in the tour. That might not be very good for it... Just ride around it and carry on. Why is everyone getting so worked up? Horse riding people don't ask for cyclists to be chained up just because we often (usually) spook their horses when we meet on the road. They say hello, we say hello, we pass carefully and continue with our journey. Follow the same rule with dogs and you'll usually be fine. If it goes for you, kick it in the face, but I've never seen this happen. Mostly they just woof a lot and run alongside, just doing their duty and all.
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Old 11-28-08, 11:39 AM   #17
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I've got bitten once. Dogs chased me a lot of times. Small wound. Couldn't have cared less if there was not a very slight chance of diseases.

They seem to have their area which they don't leave. If you got the speed thats good.
I've thinked about spraying them with water. Or get a whistle if that would work who knows. It's worse if you got food on you. I think even putting your food inside plastic makes dogs less likely to get interested even if they probably notice.

Some of dogs interested in poor bicyclist are real quiet and friendly and just beg for food with big eyes. Maybe they are raised better or just less hungry. Others are horrible beasts. A couple of times a big dangerous looking dog got too excited it would have been scary otherwise. Good they were locked up.

I think the touring crowd have most experience with this.
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Old 11-29-08, 05:17 PM   #18
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I just finished posting our article about cyclists using Virginia's dangerous dog law:

http://www.vabike.org/dangerous-dogs-campaign/http://www.vabike.org/dangerous-dogs-campaign/

Under Virginia law, any dog that causes injury can be declared a dangerous dog, whether from a bite, or from a crash caused by the dog. Dog-induced crashes frequently result in serious injuries.

We've provided some hang tags for you to download and print, take with you on rides, and leave at homes where there are cyclist-chasing dogs. These are to advise the dog owner of the law, and the seriousness of having their dog declared a dangerous dog.

There's also an article explaining the law and how to use it, which you can link to, or download and print.

Please feel free to use this material on your own websites, etc.
I think, ANY dangerous-dog law is a waste. Yes the dogs may behave badly but, their behavior is a product of their environment. Prosecute the owners, don't euthanize the dogs.

Dogs bark at me all the time. If it is a case of, they are being walked by their owners, instead of taking my response out on the owner, I stop and, show the dog that, they don't need to be afraid of me.

Dog bites in general and the severity of the bite notwithstanding, the dog needs compassion from the cyclist, not anger. Direct your response at the owner, not the dog.
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Old 11-29-08, 05:47 PM   #19
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I once had a dog in my rural neighborhood who regularly chased my car (an old Jeep BTW). So one day when he did it, I flipped a u-turn, engaged 4wd, then returned the favor, chasing him across a field. The dog never bothered me again.

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Old 11-29-08, 05:57 PM   #20
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I've been permanently injured by an aggressive, loose dog, and probably won't be able to bend my thumb for the rest of my life. I now carry Counter Assault bear spray in a cable-tie holster in my basket. It's just not worth wondering if they're playing or attacking, betting on the chance that they won't run under your wheel.
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Old 11-30-08, 09:30 AM   #21
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Yikes! Some of you people are pretty aggressively anti-dog! I'm wondering if this is a cultural difference again- my mind boggled when I saw a thread on another cycling forum about "do you carry a gun when you ride" and the response was mostly yes, cue lot's of gun-geeking about what calibre, how many bullets, how many bears can you kill with a single shot etc etc. Scary to me! In the UK you take a gun when you are hunting, and try to conduct yourself with some degree of civility around other peoples animals. I never heard of anyone in the UK carrying pepper spray to blast dogs with!
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Old 11-30-08, 09:37 AM   #22
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Yikes! Some of you people are pretty aggressively anti-dog! I'm wondering if this is a cultural difference again- my mind boggled when I saw a thread on another cycling forum about "do you carry a gun when you ride" and the response was mostly yes, cue lot's of gun-geeking about what calibre, how many bullets, how many bears can you kill with a single shot etc etc. Scary to me! In the UK you take a gun when you are hunting, and try to conduct yourself with some degree of civility around other peoples animals. I never heard of anyone in the UK carrying pepper spray to blast dogs with!
Most definitely a cultural difference. I seldom hear of dog issues from riders in the UK. Restrained dogs do not need pepper spray.
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Old 11-30-08, 12:32 PM   #23
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Dogs are everywhere. If one percent of them makes trouble it guarantees my encouter with one sooner or later. I would have nothing against some dog running beside me for less than a minute but theres the uncertainty. Before you can judge the situation you are already exposed to the risk of being bitten no matter how small.

The civility around other peoples animals goes straight out of the window if some dog begins to make small bites against my foot. If some random bicyclist feels threathened because of a dog I might say the problem is almost always caused by the dog and its owner.

Spraying an agressive dog with pepper spray might upset the dog owner. In my experience most of the owners of annoying dogs seem always to think there is never nothing wrong with their pet or they are just incapable in some other way.
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Old 11-30-08, 02:48 PM   #24
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About the biggest problems I see with dogs are not in terms of primary (i.e. the dogs biting the bikers), but secondary (the bikers swerving their bikes out of the path of a dog and into traffic). This one I really see as big with kids and dogs.
As for my solution, I have animal control on speed dial.
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Old 11-30-08, 10:50 PM   #25
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Had to laugh at how he barks back at them.
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