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  1. #1
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    Hi all,
    I just had a stand-off with a loose dog yesterday on the bike path. The owner was a long ways off and the dog came running at me and stood its ground about 20 feet away. I stopped, but it slowly came closer. I called for the owner to get it, but they were taking their time. I carry a knife, but outside of that I was defenseless and in a bad spot as I had stopped. I figured if I had ridden past it would have gone after my legs. I imagine many of you have come across these situations. What is the best defense against dogs? We have a leash law here and I don't care what happens to the dog as I consider it an assault if a dog comes running after me, barking and tail down. Is mace a good choice?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    This topic has been discussed alot. Opinions vary widely from take any measure you think acceptable, to do nothing at all, as the dog is innocent and means no harm. It has almost always become a very heated discussion. Search the archives and you will see what I mean.

    Me I carry a can of Bear repellent, ( pepper spray) supposedly shoots about 30 ft, avaialable at REI.com search for bear spray.

    To be a useful device it has to be accessible, fast like right away, a holster on the outside of your clothing, or mounted to your bars or top tube.

    By the way pepper spray is not legal to carry in some locations. Ask your local attorney general's office, if it bothers you and you want to stay legal.

    Also right on the label is a warning that it is not to be used on humans, and can in fact cause death through inflammation of mucus membranes, lungs etc.

    Never had to use it, hopefully never will. And the product is certainly not harmless, but if the need arises I will use it. By the way if I was in your situation I would have sprayed the dog. Wouldn't yell bad dog go away or any such nonsense, it was a threat to my safety. If it is off the leash, legally if it approches, I can defend (read in use lethal force) myself any way I can. I know this will start a flame war, sorry but
    too bad.

    Now for my questions. Suppose you had this (pepper spray or something else) on you at the time this happened, would you be willing to use it? Second at what point do you do so, when the dog lunges at you or before? What happens if the dog's owner gets involved after you defended yourself. Reason for asking is, if you wait for an attack you have already lost, dogs are faster than you might think, ask a K-9 policeman. You need to have decided on a course of action (whatever it may be) before you find yourself in this position. As for dealing with the owner ride away, as fast as you can and call the police, it is not sensible to stick around to aplogize (for defending yourself) and expose yourself to an irrate pet owner, the situation will only get worse if you stay. I am sure they will be upset if you "attack" thier pet.

    Hope this rant is of some help.

    I will not follow this thread any further, it always gets nasty.

    Good luck, have fun riding.

  3. #3
    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    I've been knocked off my bike by a dog. It hurts, So...
    1) If they are in full gallop and have the angle on you, stop and get off your bike...but always keep the bike between you and the dog.
    2) Carry pepper spray or some say, a squirt gun full of ammonia. Don't be afraid to fire.
    3) Most dogs aren't vicious, but once they see you, you become the best game in town. It's like gambling, you don't win this game.
    4) I've always thought some sort of flexible steel whip would be fun, really get their attention.
    5) Most times I simply outrun them, few will chase very far.
    "Lack of opportunity does not constitute virtue". Diana Tickle.

  4. #4
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Dogs are a gamble. First rule is: avoid confrontation, if possible. Obviously, in your example, you were pretty much past this option. Next is to show that you're not scared. Trying to outrun / outride an aggresive dog can be the worst option - its possible, even likely, you'll trigger the chase instinct and identify yourself as 'prey.' This is not the desired outcome. So if you're in a standoff, you might consider trying intimidation. Tone and posture are important here. i.e. stand up straight and speak directly to the dog, I like 'get back.' But it has to be a command tone, not a frightful shriek. Think Marine Corps drill sergeant. Finally, consider location. If you're on their turf, dogs are going to be a lot more agressive. In a park where they're running around off-leash, they're least likely to get scared into biting you. If you're going by their yard, or they think you're threating towards their pack (i.e. owner(s), possibly other dogs), they're more likely to aggresively defend.

  5. #5
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Applehead57
    I've been knocked off my bike by a dog. It hurts, So...
    1) If they are in full gallop and have the angle on you, stop and get off your bike...but always keep the bike between you and the dog.
    2) Carry pepper spray or some say, a squirt gun full of ammonia. Don't be afraid to fire.
    3) Most dogs aren't vicious, but once they see you, you become the best game in town. It's like gambling, you don't win this game.
    4) I've always thought some sort of flexible steel whip would be fun, really get their attention.
    5) Most times I simply outrun them, few will chase very far.
    I could not have said it better.
    Loose dogs need to learn that Bikes = Pain.

  6. #6
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Defeated many dogs with just my water bottle.

    Most dogs won't give chase if you just coast by, but get ready to jump!. They see rapidly moving feet and they just can't resist...

    The ONE TIME I tried to play puppy polo with my pump I crashed.

  7. #7
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I carry mace, but I've never had to use it. I find that even with the most vicious dogs simply outrunning them is pretty easy. I've been going uphill when I've been accosted and literally felt my adrenalin turn me into Clark Kent a couple of times! Usually, in my estimation, the vulnerable position you put yourself in getting off the bike isn't as good as just hauling ass. But if worse comes to worse, I always have the mace.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  8. #8
    Site ***** HaagenDas's Avatar
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    I remember in my younger years I got a bollocking from a dog owner for kicking his dog's teeth in. Still I ended up with a few bruises on my ankles before I loosened his desire to keep going. These days I'd carry a spray bottle around if I thought it was gonna be a problem.
    School years were the best days of my life. I used to get caned by middle aged women wearing high heels, stocking and glasses. Now I have to pay for it.

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  9. #9
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    I would do whatever is necessary to defend myself from both dog and owner and then do my best to get the owner's ass thrown into court. Unfortunately, the law still does not treat irresponsible dog owners as the menace they are. The other advice is good - bike between you and the dog, some kind of dog spray, etc. I love dogs with all my heart, but if one is attacking you, the owner only has themselves to blame if you crunch a couple of Poochie's ribs because Poochie tried to rip your leg off...

    Bravewolf

  10. #10
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    The water bottle is a good idea. My dog is still terrified of the garden hose resulting from anti-barking training years ago. If I just drag it around the yard, she gives it a wide berth & wary eye.

  11. #11
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    I don't understand this post. The dog stopped 20 feet away from you and unless you forgot to post some critical details, it wasnt menacing you at all (was it barking at you and growling or something?) And here you are safe and sound writing your post. So what was the problem that you now feel the need to attack dogs?

  12. #12
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    I like dogs, but they can be extremely dangerous if not under control. To my left was a drop-off into a river, to my right were woods. I had no where to go with a growling, barking dog moving toward me and his owner and her small child behind him. If I had made a break for it he would have gotten me from the side. You never turn your back on an angry dog, so you tell me what you would have done if you had to write a response like that.
    Last edited by jlgerhar; 02-17-05 at 01:54 PM.

  13. #13
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    I'm sorry, but while i love dogs as much as anybody, something in me just does a real quick 180 when confronted by one thats ready to attack. If i think i'll be attacked i would literally kill if i had to. I've been bitten before and let me tell you, if you think you've been scared before wait till there are teeth in your leg. I have in the past thrown rocks at them to keep them at bay. Once it even resulted in the dog jumping backwards to dodge the rock and was hit by a car. To be honest i wasn't sorry for the creature at all. Some of you say the dog isn't to blame, but when a dog goes after you even tho you aren't in thier yard and chases you down and bites you you might just change your tune. Again, i love dogs, but not those who attack. Yes, the owner is the one at fault for letting them roam. But that doesn't change for me the fact that some untrained and vicious creature is out to harm me. I say anything goes in avoiding becoming prey.

    And by the way, speaking of the owners. Those who carelessly allow thier dogs to roam, and especially those who don't seem to care even when thier dog is assaulting someone as in the thread starter's story, those people need to be punished in a BIG way when it leads to an attack ! If it were up to me there would be a mandatory 5 or 10 thousand dollar fine and some jail time. You think thats way out of line? Look what happens to those who asault or kill people. Having been bbitten i KNOW that would be a minimum appropriate punishment.
    Last edited by dazco; 02-20-05 at 06:56 PM.
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazco
    I'm sorry, but while i love dogs as much as anybody, something in me just does a real quick 180 when confronted by one thats ready to attack. If i think i'll be attacked i would literally kill if i had to. I've been bitten before and let me tell you, if you think you've been scared before wait till there are teeth in your leg. I have in the past thrown rocks at them to keep them at bay. Once it even resulted in the dog jumping backwards to dodge the rock and was hit by a car. To be honest i wasn't sorry for the creature at all. Some of you say the dog isn't to blame, but when a dog goes after you even tho you aren't in thier yard and chases you down and bites you you might just change your tune. Again, i love dogs, but not those who attack. Yes, the owner is the one at fault for letting them roam. But that doesn't change for me the fact that some untrained and vicious creature is out to harm me. I say anything goes in avoiding becoming prey.

    And by the way, speaking of the owners. Those who carelessly allow thier dogs to roam, and especially those who don't seem to care even when thier dog is assaulting someone as in the thread starter's story, those people need to be punished in a BIG way when it leads to an attack ! If it were up to me there would be a mandatory 5 or 10 thousand dollar fine and some jail time. You think thats way out of line? Look what happens to those who asault or kill people. Having been bbitten i KNOW that would be a minimum appropriate punishment.
    I agree with the fine and jail time, and take the dog away and find it a responsible owner.

  15. #15
    Retired Member ultra-g's Avatar
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    Air Horn.
    I Changed My User Name!

  16. #16
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    Frame pump or water bottle.

  17. #17
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Threaten 'em with your CO2 cartridge.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  18. #18
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    Where can I buy mace or pepper spay? I live in Madison, WI, my bike shop doesn’t carry any. Can anyone help?
    Thanks,
    Geek
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    2004 Martin Novato: 10613 miles, Ride in Peace (DOD: 12/05/06)
    Max Speed: 40 mph

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
    Where can I buy mace or pepper spay? I live in Madison, WI, my bike shop doesn’t carry any. Can anyone help?
    Thanks,
    Geek
    Some cities/states/counties/etc. require you to be liscensed to carry pepper spray/mace. You can buy HALT! spray from nashbar, etc. A LBS might carry it. I've seen mail carriers have it clipped to the outside of a letter bag, maybe ask them where they got it?


    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by geeklpc1985
    Where can I buy mace or pepper spay? I live in Madison, WI, my bike shop doesn’t carry any. Can anyone help?
    Thanks,
    Geek
    rei.com, bear repellent

  21. #21
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    I have broken two pumps on dogs thru the years.

    My primary defense on the road now is speed. I can usally leave a dog in the dust so long I have some warning. Secondary defense is a spray from the water bottle. I avoid stoppping at all costs.

  22. #22
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    I had no where to go with a growling, barking dog moving toward me and his owner and her small child behind him.
    nevermind the loose dog thing,(I think its wrong and irresponsable pet ownership to let them loose)this dog was protecting its "pack". its a natural thing for it to protect the weaker members of the pack. I would bet the husband/father is the alpa male in their pack. in his absence the dog steped up to that position. for some reason it saw you as a threat to them. why? I dont know,but I personally have 5 dogs and each one has a differant personality to contend with. none are aggresive in anyway that I have ever seen ,but I dont doubt for one second that anyone of them would die to protect me or my wife,if they had too.

    for instance my 95# boxer is the biggest baby you will ever see. he has never met a stranger he didnt like. one day the wife was out in the yard with him and a guy was walking by on the sidewalk ,for some reason he didnt like this guy and stood between this guy and my wife in a guarding position and lightly groweled. never seen it before or since but my dog knew ,and to me that is what matters. he was there to protect my wife when I wasn't.

    not to defend this owner,cause I do not,perhaps she had never seen her dog be aggresive and wasnt worried it would hurt you? people want to pet our dogs when we walk them and they always ask "do they bite?" hell yes they bite its a dog. "will they bite right now?" is something else altogether

    once again I am not defending the owner,dog, or you, just commenting on the information in your post

  23. #23
    chicharron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudade
    I don't understand this post. The dog stopped 20 feet away from you and unless you forgot to post some critical details, it wasnt menacing you at all (was it barking at you and growling or something?) And here you are safe and sound writing your post. So what was the problem that you now feel the need to attack dogs?
    Is he supposed to wait till he is bit?

  24. #24
    chicharron
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlgerhar
    Hi all,
    I just had a stand-off with a loose dog yesterday on the bike path. The owner was a long ways off and the dog came running at me and stood its ground about 20 feet away. I stopped, but it slowly came closer. I called for the owner to get it, but they were taking their time. I carry a knife, but outside of that I was defenseless and in a bad spot as I had stopped. I figured if I had ridden past it would have gone after my legs. I imagine many of you have come across these situations. What is the best defense against dogs? We have a leash law here and I don't care what happens to the dog as I consider it an assault if a dog comes running after me, barking and tail down. Is mace a good choice?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
    Others have already made the point that this topic has been covered before in other threads. Pepper spray can be purchased over the counter at law enforcement supply stores here in Kansas City. I also carry a portable bicycle tire pump which can make a good weapon in an emergency. If the dog is not making a serious effort to attack me, and if I can outpace the dog on my bike, than of course I wont stop. But, the worst thing you can do if a dog is really set on attacking you is to run and turn your back. They will just bite you from behind. Stop, get off the bike, and put the bike between you and the dog. Spray him with pepper spray if you have to. Jam him with your bike. Ram the air pump down his throat if you have to. Fight back if you can't get way.

  25. #25
    Spring is overrated. Sylvan's Avatar
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    Our local bike club - TCBA - Tri County Bike Association in Lansing MI just had our monthly meeting. At that meeting Hector Hernandez, a dog trainer for local police departments and protection training for Post office delivery personnel, gave us a presentation tailiored to bikers. WONDERFUL!

    He is in process of writing a book, but here are the salient points that I took away from the meeting:
    1. Carefully observe the dogs behavior. Tense body posture preceeds an attack. If the dog is still moving it body side to side, you're probably ok for the moment. If the dog is rigid, LOOK OUT!
    2. NEVER turn your back side to the dog. Dismount, put your bike between you and the dog and BACK AWAY slowly. Do NOT ROLL away with your butt exposed. Keep the bike between you and the dog.
    3. Swing your bike side to side (aka a Klingon Batleth or Quarterstaff) to knock the dog away.
    4. Hold still. A dog's attack instinct is heightened by movement. If you're bitten, don't pull away - pulling causes the dog to bite harder and will rip your flesh more. If viciously attacked, ball up on the ground and protect your head with arms and elbows. Hold still. Dogs lose interest if you're down, quiet and still.
    5. Distract the dog with a helmet, jersey, pump, or whatever. Let them chomp on something besides you and while they're chomping, you can klonk or karate chop them somewhere sensitive - Throat, Shoulders, spine to disengage/disable them.
    6. do NOT yell. Yelling only raises the dog's adrenaline level. (yeah.. right... easy for HIM to say!)
    7. If a dog is attacking, they get tunnel vision. You can approach a dog that is attacking a companion or other person from the rear and they will never know you're coming. Hit them in the back HARD or pull the rear legs apart to dislocate the hips. Not a permanent injury, but it WILL disable a dog who is intent on doing bodily harm to a person.
    8. Call out common commands "Sit!" "Stay!" "Down" and "Fooey!" (seriously... "fooey" means "Bad Dog" in many dog training circles... tells the dog that they messed up.) to confuse the dog long enough to sprint.

    One member of the club said "Shift into the small ring and aim for their neck".... to a lot of laughter...

    My personal strategies include
    1- water bottle squirting - figure eight motion to spread the water wider and have a better chance of hitting the pooch.
    2- Hollering a greeting to any owner in the yard - "Hi! I ride every tuesday and thursday evening! Can you call your dog in?"
    3. listening to the owner call the dog so I'll know it's name for the NEXT encounter... "Ceasar! How's it going buddie? Yeah, I know... you're being a great guard dog tonight, now shoo! Off! Sit!"
    4. If time permits, and the owner is in the yard, I'll stop, WITH BIKE BETWEEN ME AND THE DOG, chit chat, ask them to introduce me to the dog and tell them "you NEED to control your dog! Our county laws dictate that your dog must be "under control at all times" and when your dog is out on the road chasing me, it is in danger. If you like, I'll call you when I'm about to ride past and you can use my riding by as an opportunity to discipline your dog away from the street. It could save the dog's life you know.
    5. So far, I've not encountered any really vicious dogs, but I'm ready when it happens, thanks to Hector.

    Best of luck in YOUR attempts to avoid being dog chow.
    Never put off until tomorrow anything that you could postpone indefinitely!

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