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  1. #1
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    advice needed on dogs, etc.

    I got a different bike. Trek 2100. I happen to live way out in the county, but all my roads are now paved. I have a possible loop I could make that would require going to the highway 4.5 miles, down the highway 1 mile, and back to my house 3.5. The county road is not very busy but the rolling hills and the drivers who think it's an interstate concern me. However my biggest concern is the dogs! My county has no shelter, no animal services, no leash laws. The dogs won't chase cars, but I don't knwo if they'll chase a bicycle. I was figuring it up and I might have more than 10 dogs to worry about. Is it worth it?

    What would you do?
    ride the loop but be armed with pepper spray (or just my water bottle)?
    try to outrun the dogs?
    Be quiet and fast and hope they don't see me?
    Forget the loop and ride my in-town laps?

  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I always assume a dog will chase and try to be prepared. I used to carry Halt, but haven't for years, instead relying on my water bottle, as stern (and loud) a shout as possible (usually something simple that they should know, like "go home," or better, a simple "no!"), and a frame pump raised like a club. Most will stop if they sense you're authoritative enough, but often not until they reach the edge of what they perceive to be their territory. You'll probably find some that won't even stop there, though, and that's when the pump comes in handy, assuming you can wield it and ride a straight line at the same time. I never try to outrun them, unless I've got a HUGE head start, because most of them are just too darned fast. Worst case, I've had to stop once or twice and walk until I'm beyond their territory, being careful to keep the bike between me and the dog.
    Craig in Indy

  3. #3
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    I normally only ever need Halt in the spring or on tour. I'd suggest you at least try it a time or three. Ride toward the middle of the road, quietly, so you can hear the canine toenails if they come out after you. My progression is usually shouting, then getting off on the other side of the bike, then Halt. In the muzzle.

    If they're not close enough to spray, they're not close enough to worry about.

    You'll soon learn where the misbehaving dogs are. If you spray them, you may be able to train them. If not, find another route.

  4. #4
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Interestingly, it seems that late in a ride, when I'm more likely to be tired and just don't give a crap anymore, the dogs will behave better when I shout at them to stop. It's almost like they sense I could be more dangerous in that mental state than I am earlier in the ride, like they're thinking, "whoa, this guy might not be bluffing this time."
    Craig in Indy

  5. #5
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Water with just a hint of ammonium. Fog it where thay have to run thru it. I'd hold off on spaying them in face unless absolutely necessary.

  6. #6
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    Shouting just adds excitement for the dog and most will enjoy chasing this loud rolling object (you). A simple water bottle squirt in the eyes will stop most dogs. Beyond that, you can use your bike as a shield as you get out the pepper spray.

  7. #7
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I ride rural roads also. I'm a dog lover and have noticed some trends:

    Many dogs are just playing but the danger is some try to cut just in front of the wheel. I've found "Go Home" seems to work well on them but you have to let them get close.

    A barking, chasing dog is protecting his territory and usually stops at his border. These dogs stay just behind you as they are trying to run you off.

    The ones I worry about are the stealthy ones. We are prey to them and I give them the water bottle routine. This can be dangerous as it stops me from concentrating on riding the bike.

    My favorite is a miniature dachshound that will "chase" me away from his property. He never goes on the asphalt and I always slow down so his tiny legs can keep up. He looks so happy after running me off. On my way home, on the other side of the street, I don't exist in his world.
    Habit, if not changed, soon becomes necessity.

  8. #8
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Just keep riding at your normal pace. Shouting or racing away elevates it into a game for the dog and guess what? When we sprint away he won! I do carry halt for the really aggressive ones that have meat in their eyes.

  9. #9
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    I have dealt with a few dogs that would chase and actually try and bite. The other riders in the group would try to sprint away, use the water bottle, yell at them while on the bike. None of those methods would work. When I took over leading the ride, I figured out that I could ride a bit ahead of the group, let the dogs (one pit bull, one mutt) and when they would start to chase me I would stop the bike, tell them to go home and they would. I would have to stand there until the group went by and they would not chase. Most of the time talking to the dogs work, but some will be stubborn and still chase. I have talked with a sheriff deputy in my county about a pack of dogs that will chase and bite you. He told me, to use pepper spray on them. He said that by using the pepper spray, even if they are not affected by it, it will leave a distinct odor on them. That way the deputies can actually have proof that those were the dogs that chased and tried to attack me on my ride.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
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  10. #10
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    When we're out for a rural ride and get chased by a dog, we call it to us. "Come on boy! Come on!"
    Seems to work, the animal looks confused and stops chasing. Mind you, these are fairly genteel acreage dogs, usually one at a time. If it's a pack, in an area where problem dogs aren't kept in check by any laws or bylaw officers, that might be more of a problem.

  11. #11
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    I befriended the dogs on my regular route where I lived once. I got tired of dealing with the worry of thier prey drive leaving me with a potential bite. I only had to stop the bike and talk cheerfully at them twice offer scratches and pats. After that, they became my cycling partners for a mile or so. Running out happily to lope along at my back wheel before they'd get tired and trot back home. I was their best buddy. I found it amusing when after I did that, the owners who had a very nice fenced yard suddenly decided to keep their dogs IN it. They'd just never bothered to keep the gates shut before.

  12. #12
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Most dogs I just consider sprinting partners.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    nashcommguy
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    Having tried everything possible on my regular haunts...my county has leash laws, but are rarely enforced. Was told by the Sheriff's Dept. that once the dog hits the pavement it's subject to my discretion. Tried treats, stopping, calling nicely, hollering NO!, etc. Nothing was really was effective and I thought, "Why do I have to stop or slow down MY workout to accomodate someone else's irresponsibility?" Halt, Air Zounds(most effective of the cannister options), Spray Shield, Mace, water bottle. All they would do is create a hazzard for me. They NEVER worked. The dog(s) would just avoid the spray and keep coming. Sometimes the wind would change direction and I'd be sprayed. So, on the advice of a more experienced 'rural' cyclist I decided to investigate the option of some sort of air projectile weapon, ie a bb gun. I looked around and found this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Crosman-Powere.../dp/B001BHEEC6

    Sprayed it bright orange so it wouldn't be mistaken for a real pistol. Got a fabric holster at Wally-World and wear it on every commute, utility or recreational ride. It's got a rather loud report which shocks dogs into stopping, I think. Have I actually shot at a dog with it, yet? Yes. Have I hit any? I'm not sure, maybe. It's kinda like trying to shoot behind while riding a horse. Not very accurate.

    I can say this. All the dogs who would chase me on my regular routes know me on sight by now and they don't chase me anymore. They all know I'm armed and not fair game. And any new ones I encounter in lightly travelled areas for me give up the chase by the 2nd or 3d shot. Usually the bb hits the ground in front of them and they stop out of confusion.

    The BF anti-gun lobby may have trouble w/this response, but if one wants a totally effective way to deal with dogs this works for me. Had one run in w/an owner who threatened me w/bodily harm. When I told him I had the Sheriff's Dept on speed dial and showed him my cell phone his attitude became more agreeable.

    50.00 delivered is a small price to pay for peace of mind while cycling rurally.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    Having tried everything possible on my regular haunts...my county has leash laws, but are rarely enforced. Was told by the Sheriff's Dept. that once the dog hits the pavement it's subject to my discretion. Tried treats, stopping, calling nicely, hollering NO!, etc. Nothing was really was effective and I thought, "Why do I have to stop or slow down MY workout to accomodate someone else's irresponsibility?" Halt, Air Zounds(most effective of the cannister options), Spray Shield, Mace, water bottle. All they would do is create a hazzard for me. They NEVER worked. The dog(s) would just avoid the spray and keep coming. Sometimes the wind would change direction and I'd be sprayed. So, on the advice of a more experienced 'rural' cyclist I decided to investigate the option of some sort of air projectile weapon, ie a bb gun. I looked around and found this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Crosman-Powere.../dp/B001BHEEC6

    Sprayed it bright orange so it wouldn't be mistaken for a real pistol. Got a fabric holster at Wally-World and wear it on every commute, utility or recreational ride. It's got a rather loud report which shocks dogs into stopping, I think. Have I actually shot at a dog with it, yet? Yes. Have I hit any? I'm not sure, maybe. It's kinda like trying to shoot behind while riding a horse. Not very accurate.

    I can say this. All the dogs who would chase me on my regular routes know me on sight by now and they don't chase me anymore. They all know I'm armed and not fair game. And any new ones I encounter in lightly travelled areas for me give up the chase by the 2nd or 3d shot. Usually the bb hits the ground in front of them and they stop out of confusion.

    The BF anti-gun lobby may have trouble w/this response, but if one wants a totally effective way to deal with dogs this works for me. Had one run in w/an owner who threatened me w/bodily harm. When I told him I had the Sheriff's Dept on speed dial and showed him my cell phone his attitude became more agreeable.

    50.00 delivered is a small price to pay for peace of mind while cycling rurally.
    The only problem is you get some idiot owner who see you and your "gun", grabs the AK47 he keeps over the mantle, and comes after you with it, for shooting his dog (even if you intentionally miss). If you have a cell phone, keep the county/city dog catcher(s) on speed dial, you get chased, call the dog catcher and report the address the dog came from. If the address owns a dog, they will get a reminder of the local bylaw and fine structure. If a dog gets hit, that's not your problem, if it causes an off bike experience, the best weapon is a good lawyer.

  15. #15
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    Having tried everything possible on my regular haunts...my county has leash laws, but are rarely enforced. Was told by the Sheriff's Dept. that once the dog hits the pavement it's subject to my discretion. Tried treats, stopping, calling nicely, hollering NO!, etc. Nothing was really was effective and I thought, "Why do I have to stop or slow down MY workout to accomodate someone else's irresponsibility?" Halt, Air Zounds(most effective of the cannister options), Spray Shield, Mace, water bottle. All they would do is create a hazzard for me. They NEVER worked. The dog(s) would just avoid the spray and keep coming. Sometimes the wind would change direction and I'd be sprayed. So, on the advice of a more experienced 'rural' cyclist I decided to investigate the option of some sort of air projectile weapon, ie a bb gun. I looked around and found this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Crosman-Powere.../dp/B001BHEEC6

    Sprayed it bright orange so it wouldn't be mistaken for a real pistol. Got a fabric holster at Wally-World and wear it on every commute, utility or recreational ride. It's got a rather loud report which shocks dogs into stopping, I think. Have I actually shot at a dog with it, yet? Yes. Have I hit any? I'm not sure, maybe. It's kinda like trying to shoot behind while riding a horse. Not very accurate.

    I can say this. All the dogs who would chase me on my regular routes know me on sight by now and they don't chase me anymore. They all know I'm armed and not fair game. And any new ones I encounter in lightly travelled areas for me give up the chase by the 2nd or 3d shot. Usually the bb hits the ground in front of them and they stop out of confusion.

    The BF anti-gun lobby may have trouble w/this response, but if one wants a totally effective way to deal with dogs this works for me. Had one run in w/an owner who threatened me w/bodily harm. When I told him I had the Sheriff's Dept on speed dial and showed him my cell phone his attitude became more agreeable.

    50.00 delivered is a small price to pay for peace of mind while cycling rurally.
    Dangerous for you

    Sad for your community

    Terrible for cycling
    Habit, if not changed, soon becomes necessity.

  16. #16
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    WOW! I'm so impressed with C&A today! We really are a kind and reasonable bunch. When this question gets asked in Road or Distance the conversation quickly turns to real violence against all dogs and even dog owners.
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  17. #17
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    well, it was a pretty day today. Sunny and above freezing! I went outside and got my newly acquired bike ready (since I had never rode it yet!) I observed my dogs just wanted to lay in the sun so I assumed most dogs would be the same way. I was right!!! I made it from my house to the highway a round trip of 7 + miles. Every dog that looked at me, just looked up and promptly laid its head back down and continued napping. Glad I got lucky today. I think it might this route my work out for me. In case you're wondering, I had my water bottle ready but never took it off safety!

  18. #18
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    Could be the dogs are getting used to seeing you by now. Some years ago I worked in an industrial park and had to leave my car beside an autobody shop with a big German Shepard patrolling the lot. The first week, this huge animal would throw himself against the fence, barking and growling and scaring the #@*! out of me. The second week, he just lifted his huge head from where he was napping and barked, then went back to sleep. By week four, he was bringing me tennis balls and sticks to throw for him.

  19. #19
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jross View Post
    I had my water bottle ready but never took it off safety!



    Congrats on your first ride on new bike!
    Habit, if not changed, soon becomes necessity.

  20. #20
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    I was once chased by a St Bernard. I turned around and that thing looked like a bear coming after me! I think that was my fastest sprint ever!

    If ya'll didn't like what bbeasley (howdy neighbor!) had to say, you're going to like mine even less. Years ago my dad was walking my dog and was attacked by a pair of springer spaniels. They ripped into his stomach and almost killed my dog, then went after my dad. Since then I carry a pistol (I have a permit). Usually for biking or hiking I carry a small keltec .380. I've never had to pull it and hope I never have to shoot a dog (or person) but its there if I need it.

    I'm all for making friends with the local dogs. A few dog treats in my pocket might be a good idea, now that I think about it.

  21. #21
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I haven't been chased by a dog since I was a boy, I guess I should count myself lucky. My opinion, do what you have to if you truly feel yourself to be in danger. People > Dogs.

  22. #22
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    Not much real dog experience posted... I've been dam near killed because of loose flea bags... twice.

    Mutt runs to road barking.. from my left... car comes.. avoids dog and comes oh so close to running me over. Quick manuever down into the ditch and I'm still riding. Driver never saw me and never stopped. On the other occasion she stopped.. nearly sheet white with fright.. explaining all the while how she didn't want to run the mutt down. THEN.. she saw the bike.........

    What one has to remember first is the bubba that owns said flea bag is most often the same flavor as the mutt... be careful. Let the bag run down the road well past the residence.. nail it close range with the sling shot using 45 caliber lead balls... head shot if your good. Trains them NOT to chase.. they'll avoid bikers quickly. On one road a golf shaft was employed.. the biter. Never tried to bite anyone again... looked like a car kill. Shaft head removed.. end of shaft filled with lead... nice efficent tool. Local donut eaters almost never will investigate a rural vicious dog complaint.. just eliminate the problem... quietly.

    So easy for some to pass judgement on those forced to deal with real mutt issues. The naive pet owners are seldom any more intelligent than what they're feeding. Loose mutts can get you killed... local enforcement now pushes these complaints onto the humane societies which are far overloaded. Hence nothing is done. Either you take care of the issues.. or you risk your life. Just do it on the smart....
    44 27′ 16″ N, 89 35′ 1″ W

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  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    Most dogs I just consider sprinting partners.
    An opportunity to train with Eddie!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfv2diohUXE (NSFW - some mild cursing!)

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    "Poor Reverend Hamilton! He worked so hard, got a mountain named after him and now all anyone wants to do is complain about his backside!" Overheard while climbing Mt. Hamilton

    Check out my cycling blog.

  24. #24
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    Learn how to ride one handed. When the dog comes out shout at it that usally works, if that doesnt use Halt. I actually like spraying them, they are on a public road. When you hit them with Halt I believe they learn what is coming the next time you go by because when the ones that I did spray usally stopped when I raised my hand. Halt just burns them for a while and they get over it. Remember to slow down and keep control of your bike.

  25. #25
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    I'm a firm believer in HALT. The first day I started carrying it I nailed a pit bull right in the face as he was gonna chomp on my ankle.. He turned right around and ran home! I quit riding that area though, wasn't worth the problems. At least once a week getting chased where the dogs actually came on the road, and never the same place twice. Began ruining my rides thinking about when it would happen next. My new areas I rarely got chased the whole summer. Much nicer, but I still carry a can when I ride/jog/walk.

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