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Old 07-19-02, 10:29 PM   #1
Alexey
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new dog-evading technique

Some time ago a stray dog started to bark on me and got rather close. I took out the tear gas spray and sprayed it a bit. The dog run away and I was left with my hand wet with this tear gas chemical residues. I immediately cycled home to wash my hands with soap, as I suspected that the chemical could be irritating to the skin. The ride was spoiled completely.

I understood that the tear gas spray is far from perfect protection. I decided to give some thinking to the problem and to discover a better way to protect myself against an aggressive dog.

I came out with the following solution. I bought a pack of the processed dog food. This dog food consists from sort of pellets of the same size, about 3/4 of inch in diameter. The idea was to throw these food pellets before dog to switch its attention from me.

Yesterday I gave it a try. I was lucky that already on the second block from my home a small dog started to bark and run on me. I threw about 5 - 6 pellets before it, the dog stopped barking and started to sniff and search for food. However the owner of the dog behaved not the way I expected. She run to the dog and snatched the dog away. Like she thought the food was not OK, expired or something. The food was OK, but she apparently did not believe me for some reason.

With the stray dogs it worked OK, but I was a bit uncomfortable when 3 dogs came close around me asking with eyes for more. So I threw about 10 pellets far to the side and cycled away while they were searching and eating.

In general I liked this more than spray, but this technique requires more testing. A pack of processed dog food costs peanuts and will last long.

My impression is that I found a good way to deal with dogs. Has anyone tried this method of protection before? Are there drawbacks I should be aware of?
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Old 07-19-02, 10:48 PM   #2
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Are there really that many dogs on your ride that you have to carry dog food all the time? I'd move.

As for the owner worried about the food, I don't think she thought it was expired. She probably thought it was poisoned.

I'm sure you wouldn't mean the dogs any harm (maybe the irresponsible owners) but there are some sick peole who lace dog food with poison to kill off dogs in their area.

When dogs come at me I just sprint away. It's amazing what a barking dog can do for my speed.
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Old 07-19-02, 11:07 PM   #3
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I tend to come to a screeching halt and get very, very confrontational, letting out inhuman bellowing growls while stalking angrily toward the dog. This is not the outcome they have in mind, I guess. Anyway, I chase them to their fence, porch or whatever they call their territory. They'll keep barking, but they sure don't chase me as I leave. I suppose some truly dangerous fighting dog might stand its ground once it was on its territory.

For my own amusement, I did try your general scheme once, with a couple of dogs out on a section of highway that I'd travelled enough to know they'd come out to bark. I fed them quite a few Fig Newtons. They never did get anywhere near friendly, but they barked a little uncertainly as they gulped down the cookies!
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Old 07-20-02, 12:58 AM   #4
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Thinking for the technique again. If you are cycling the same route every time, and the dog is there every time. Won't the dog be coming after you for food since you have fed it once? Maybe if you just cycle past, it might not even be chasing you. I remembered once when I was cycling, and there was a dog along the path. I went past it at quite some speed and it was scared. I was lucky it didn't come chasing after me.
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Old 07-20-02, 03:09 AM   #5
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When dogs come at me I just sprint away. It's amazing what a barking dog can do for my speed.
I second that!! It's amazing how fast some dogs can run when they get a bead on you. I never thought about the dog treat idea, I guess if it works for you keep doing it. The only drawback I can see is if somehow the dog gets sick through no fault of your own the owners might try to say that you poisoned the dog. Then you get to deal with harassment from the owner. Not very likely but it's something to think about. How about a dog whistle, I've heard that they work but I couldn't tell you for sure. Good luck!
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Old 07-20-02, 03:48 AM   #6
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I just reach for my water bottle and give them a spray of water and most dog run away from you, have tried that countless times, it has never failed me
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Old 07-20-02, 04:05 AM   #7
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Originally posted by orguasch
I just reach for my water bottle and give them a spray of water and most dog run away from you, have tried that countless times, it has never failed me
That works. Another thing that works is to hold up my hand and hurl and imaginary "rock" at them. If that fails and I really can't out run them, I just stop, get off the bike and hold the bike up in the air like a weapon. That is option "c" and has thus far been infallible.

This all reminds me of a time five dogs chased after me one fine morning in Currumbin Valley. I outran the first four without too many problems, but the fifth and fastest one got the inside line on a corner, then tried to run across in front of me. This caused me to hit the brakes rather hard, but for some reason they were really squeaky that morning, so the sound was deafening. I have never seen five dogs turn around and bolt home so fast in my life!

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Old 07-20-02, 05:29 AM   #8
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Not to be critical, but:

1. Dog barks at and chases cyclist.

2. Cyclist REWARDS dog by giving it food.

3. Dog says, "Oh, boy! A new source of treats! I'm a GOOD dog!"

4. Dog chases every cyclist it sees.

The water bottle is really the best way to deal with this situation. You're only cutting your own throat by training the dog to chase bikes.
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Old 07-20-02, 06:23 AM   #9
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Hey inkwold, that's a nice one! HEHE I wonder how do you spray with the bottle at the dog? Do you aim at a particular part or something?
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Old 07-20-02, 07:01 AM   #10
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Aiming at the eyes and nose is usually good. Though I met one Great Dane who seemed to be totally waterproof. (Great Danes hate me.)

My favorite was when three dogs were crouching at the roadside, obviously waiting for a fun chase...I squirted one of them (a big Samoyed) who SCREAMED and ran for home! The other two slunk off, trying not to look terrified....
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Old 07-20-02, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by mechBgon
I tend to come to a screeching halt and get very, very confrontational, letting out inhuman bellowing growls while stalking angrily toward the dog. This is not the outcome they have in mind, I guess.
This works for me (sans the growling part). Stopping the bike usually stops the chase.
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Old 07-20-02, 12:42 PM   #12
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Originally posted by MediaCreations Are there really that many dogs on your ride that you have to carry dog food all the time? I'd move.
It would take a bit more than some dogs to make me move.

I would not like to shout on the dogs or owners again. I feel bad after this.

I am trying to find the engineer solution to the social problem. As example, this year I cycled the Chesapeake & Ohio Towpath from Washington D.C. to Cumberland and back. The C&O Towpath is the National Park. It is so called - trash free park. There are nice plastic bags on the special posts for garbage, which everyone is to take out from the park. These bags look nice, but will not be used for anything else but trash, because they have some sort of glue on the inside surface. No need to write: "Use these bags only for trash!", because the problem was solved technically.

The cookies will not work, because they are too messy to use. However, the processed dog food is very convenient for usage, as it is dry, light, and comes in the form of small pellets. I bought the brand "Chappy." But there were half a dozen of other brands in the shop, like "Pedigree", etc.

I found that it is better to carry the immediate charge in the small plastic container from vitamins, but some additional pellets in a small plastic bag. Because it is much faster to take out dog food from the container, than from a plastic bag.

My thinking is that a dog barks on a cyclist because it wants to show its owner that it serves all right. Because the owner feeds it. Here the cyclist turns the tables. Now the cyclist feeds the dog and wins its loyalty.

I will keep testing this technique and will inform you of results. But the first impression was encouraging. It seems it helps to build better relations with the dog community.
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Old 07-20-02, 11:30 PM   #13
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The dog will definitely recognise you after some time, but if it recognises you as the person who will give him treats, then you are in trouble.

Water spray is a good idea, but having to hold it on you hand from time to time spoils the ride.

My suggestion is to tie some kind of sponge or cloth stained with the irritant you used. Dogs have great sense of smell as everyone knows, surely it will not come chasing after you if it picks up the smell. Not sure if this will work.

Here there are stray dogs everywhere. Sometimes owners don't keep their dogs properly and they can come after you too, but I will try to avoid those areas.
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Old 07-21-02, 06:32 AM   #14
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I don't know if anyone already posted this :

But I start out a dog encounter with very loud "HELLO" how you doing? Sometimes I whistle. Or a "what's your name? works most of the time.

I never start out yelling or "spraying" at anything.

If the dog seems really vicious then use evasive "s" pattern of travel -- veering into the dog and forcing it to the side of the road so it can't run as fast. If you don't know what you're doing and can't keep your wits, then stop and collect yourself using the bike as a shield.

Would cyclists please quit 'YELLING" AT dogs, your screwing it up for "normal" cyclists that know how to ride safely.

Technically, spraying and feeding other people's property is unlawful in most cases..

arf arf

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Old 07-21-02, 09:21 AM   #15
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For the most part as strong "NO" works.
For extreme conditions water bottle squirted in dogs face
(try electrolyte solution, its confusing!)
ChrisL's bike as a weapon in absolute last resort.
Alexey, given the number of sickos who will poison a dog
just because it barks, I'm not surprized at the reaction
you're scattering food elicited in the dogs owner.
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Old 07-21-02, 09:37 AM   #16
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Most of the dogs you meet on rides are family pets and are not mean. They chase for two reasons one to protect their family (and stop at the end of their property) or they're bored and chasing bicycles is FUN (just watch the TDF and see everyone chasing Lance). 99 out of 100 dogs are playing. Don't be afraid of someone's pet. Just ride on and they will stop at the property line, or tell them to STOP! GO HOME!!
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Old 07-21-02, 10:46 AM   #17
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Most of the dogs you meet on rides are family pets and are not mean. They chase for two reasons one to protect their family (and stop at the end of their property) or they're bored and chasing bicycles is FUN (just watch the TDF and see everyone chasing Lance). 99 out of 100 dogs are playing. Don't be afraid of someone's pet. Just ride on and they will stop at the property line, or tell them to STOP! GO HOME!!
Having been in a club ride where a "playing" dog crashed a paceline at 25mph, I'm not inclined to be so restrained. In that case I literally went to the front door of the home and pounded on it with my front wheel until the dog's owner appeared, and told him that his dog was not restrained as required by law, resulting in an accident. Call me crazy...
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Old 07-21-02, 11:38 AM   #18
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or if the dog is really aggressive after the squirt of water on your water bottle, take a good aim on the head of the dog and try to hit his head with your water bottle by throwing the water bottle at him, (ahh, animal advocacy group will surely be angry with me at the forum), but hey, if your riding your bike and minding your on bussiness, the dog owner should see to it that their dogs should not be let loose and harrass anybody, I'm I right here, if your dog try to harm me, I will definitly defend my self in not getting harm or bitten by your dog...
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Old 07-21-02, 02:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexey
Some time ago a stray dog started to bark on me and got rather close...I came out with the following solution. I bought a pack of the processed dog food...The idea was to throw these food pellets before dog to switch its attention from me.

With the stray dogs it worked OK, but I was a bit uncomfortable when 3 dogs came close around me asking with eyes for more. So I threw about 10 pellets far to the side and cycled away while they were searching and eating.
I picture you being chased by 100 or more dogs, eventually.

Inventive...may not harm the dogs, unless you use cheap dog food, which may spoil their nutrition.

Beats heck out of toxic spray. Then again, I hope they don't follow you home..

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Old 07-21-02, 03:50 PM   #20
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A frame pump, raised in a threatening manner, has always worked for me.
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Old 07-21-02, 04:02 PM   #21
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This technique was popular with Alaskan gold miners to fend off wolves during the gold rush, much to the displeasure of local Inuit hunters. The gold-diggers trained the wolves to investigate and harass every passing sledge.

Take a leaf out of the Inuit book and use negative feedback, not positive feedback.
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Old 07-21-02, 04:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by mechBgon

Having been in a club ride where a "playing" dog crashed a paceline at 25mph, I'm not inclined to be so restrained. In that case I literally went to the front door of the home and pounded on it with my front wheel until the dog's owner appeared, and told him that his dog was not restrained as required by law, resulting in an accident. Call me crazy...
If anyone was injured, or any equipment damaged; hell, if anyone was a bit shaky after the incident, you could have filed suit against the dog owner; cases involving pets and personal negilgence are particularly profitable for lawyers of the ambulance-chasing variety (many of whom will accept a portion of the settlement as payment), and it would cost him (the owner) at least several thousand to defend against the suit; much more if he lost.

If he tries to defend himself in court, he will lose; and if he hires a lawyer, than his lawyer will likely advise him to take a smaller out-of-court settlement. Either way, you have one signifigantly poorer moron, and spanky new jerseys for your cycling club.

As I've found numerous times, it's amazing how a subpoena can change someone's attitude.
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Old 07-22-02, 05:19 AM   #23
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Hi folks

I don't believe it is illegale to squirt water at a dog that is chasing you. As I've said here before if water doesn't work add a little ammona.

I also don't believe that feeding them is a good idea, unless you want at least a lot of them to follow you home. Also the dog can cause an accident and so should not be encouraged to chase by being given food.

Saying something like sit or stay - words that are likely to be familiar to the dog sometimes work. Stopping usually ends the game.

Yesterday I came upon two young dogs that apparently not seen a bicycle before. They took off running really scared. Never had that happen before.

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Old 07-22-02, 06:07 AM   #24
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Use high fat foods. Eventually the dog will become so overweight that it will be unable to run after you.

You should speak to the owner. If they get aggressive, just say you are thinking of the dog's safety. if it runs after you, it might get hit by a car and will be hurt (as well as opening them up to a law suit for damage to any vehicle)

Prevention is better than cure.
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Old 07-22-02, 07:07 AM   #25
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Up until now, I have used a few less than perfect techniques for defending myself from dogs.

I have used pepper spray. You must dismount and confront the dog for this to be effective, and it is not always practical.

I try to outrun the dog. This works most of the time.

I lead the dog into traffic and let the cars do the work for me. A smart dog won't follow, and you must be near a busy road for this to work. This works well when being chased by dogs in a pack.

I would not feed the dog because this reinforces the behavoir that you wish to prevent.

I have been meaning to try one of those lightweight aluminum, telescoping ASP batons. I think they would be a more effective remedy than a frame pump because they are designed to be weapons.
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