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  1. #1
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    New to riding and doggie issues

    I just got a recumbent on Saturday. I've ridden every day since then. I live in a rural area. With every direction I go, there is, at least, one house with a dog not restrained. What do you do for doggies yapping at your heels?

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I carry Halt! (pepper spray) Haven't had to use it.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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    Mike Coop500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katz View Post
    What do you do for doggies yapping at your heels?
    Usually I just keep riding, but I go back and ask them to tie their dog up before I call animal control. Once I make sure I am not at risk to get bitten that is; sometimes this means coming back in a car at a later date. I love dogs, all pets really, but not running free where they are a risk to themselves and others.

    I guess I should ad I live out in the country. I am not sure if my approach would work in an urban environment.
    1994 Specialized Rockhopper Fs
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    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I've spoken to owners and pointed out the ordinance requiring Old Towser be on leash when off it's property. No dice? I explain that, by law, I can legally kill a dog that's off the owners property. Only one women kept telling me her sweet, little doggie never bit anyone... I told her dog tastes like Veal when stewed - and I am very fond of Veal. I look like someone who would eat a pet. She chained and muzzled her "doggie" within 15 minutes.

    Check your local laws. Bon appetite.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  5. #5
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I can't say, as I was warned of banishment if I did. However, there is a whole thread about it over in the Road Cycling Forum.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    To understand little about the mind of a dog (not stray dogs,will get to that later),you have to know he's thinking you're trying to invade his turf,that's why when he sees you coming, he will run toward you,some of them will see you but instead getting off their feet, they simply wait until you're close and then dash out towards you,so now you say: NOW WHAT? well,one simple thing you can do is to give a gesture or yell out something to the dog, this will buy you some me to evade his chase,usually when you're out of their turf,they will retrieve back home,stray dogs usually don't give a chase because they are lost themselves,just in case you can't out run him and you need to confront your threat, put the bike between you and the dog as a defense,yell out loud for help or call 911 or whoever near by for help,pepper sprays and such are good,as long as the distance and wind direction are on your side.
    Last edited by KungPaoSchwinn; 06-09-09 at 06:24 PM.
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  7. #7
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    Try this at your own risk. Every dog encounter I have had usually begins with barking. So, I know their coming. I come to a complete stop as quickly as possible. Look straight ahead. Do not establish eye contact. The dog circles and sniffs and loses interest pretty quickly. I ride off slowly. I have not been bit once using this method while riding or on foot. I did have one dog that just appeared on my heels without barking. I was lucky it was a smaller dog and had no problem outrunning it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katz View Post
    What do you do for doggies yapping at your heels?
    If they actually charge right up to me, I will stop and get off the bike for a minute. Often they do the circle-and-sniff ritual, and then they leave me alone.

    I will attempt to keep my bike between myself and the dog until I'm reasonably certain the dog will only sniff me, and not bite me.

    Sometimes I will walk the bike for a few yards, to move out of their territory before proceeding.

    (Some of the above might be harder to do with a recumbent).

    Sometimes I will shout "no!"

    I have been bitten a few times in my life, but only once while on a bike, when I was a child.

    Some dogs don't follow "the rules". Last time I was seriously bit, the dog ran towards me dead-silent. There was no barking, no sniffing, no circling. There was no bike involved. I was actually walking up to visit the dog's owner.

    There is one Rottweiler down the street that I hope never manages to break the small chain the owner ties him with. He (she?) is a mean one, and I don't think he would follow "the rules" either.

    Dogs are predictable except when they aren't.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I don't do anything. When we're riding together on our tandem my wife talks baby talk to them: "Hello there baby. How are you doing today? Are all these bike riders invading your territory today?" Generally the dogs stop yapping and just run along side until we pass their territory line.

    I've got some other good dog stories. I've posted them several times so if you're interested I suspect that a "search" will find them. If you're not that interested, there's no point in my taking time to repeat them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rbrian's Avatar
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    If the dog is yapping at your heels on a recumbent, you should be able to reach his collar quite easily. It would be amusing if you also carry a lead, one end of which you could attach to the collar, the other lassoo around a fence post...
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Ghandi

    Live as if the world were the way it should be, to show them what it could be - Angel

  11. #11
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    I maced the neighbor's dog. Used to chase me every time I rode by. Now he doesn't.

  12. #12
    Pat
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    It depends on the circumstances.

    First off, dogs almost always chase from their "base" which is usually the home of their owner. They have a "territory" which they will not leave (most of the time that is). Many dogs will not leave their yard. They will run along their yard parallel to you but they will not even go into the road's shoulder. Other dogs seem to include the shoulder as permissable territory but they will not go into the road. There are some dogs who will go into the road.

    Also, remember that even a small dog is dangerous. If it gets in front of you and you hit it, you are probably going over your handlebars and landing on your head. Landing on your head is probably worse than the bite you might suffer.

    If you are a strong cyclist and able to get up to 25 mph + fairly easily, you can just blow by them most of the time. In years of riding and many thousands of miles, I have run across few dogs that can get up to 25 mph. There have been a few but that is a digression.

    Secondly, there is another proactive approach. Take out your water bottle and squirt at the dog. I have not seen this one fail. The dog sees the spray and will avoid it and usually slow way down. But this assumes that you are using an approach of motoring past the dog at a reasonably high speed (in the 20s).

    Third, you can just get off your bike. Get the bike between you and the dog. Walk past the dog's territory. You can fake picking up invisible rocks and throwing them at the dog. Dogs seem to believe that invisible rocks are real and painful if they hit. The technique will usually buy you some time.

    Another thing is to learn where the problem dogs are. You can report them to the county animal control officer. But I understand that animal control officers vary widely in whether they side with the dog or the cyclist. Many seem to think that dogs have every right to attack travelers on public roads.

    If you get bitten, a good source to contact is the public health department of the county. Unlike animal control officers, public health departments really do not want people coming down with rabies which some dogs could possibly have. They do not want their county to be a data point for the Center of Disease Control. It looks bad. They are more likely to side with the cyclist than the dog.

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose5 View Post
    Try this at your own risk. Every dog encounter I have had usually begins with barking. So, I know their coming. I come to a complete stop as quickly as possible. Look straight ahead. Do not establish eye contact. The dog circles and sniffs and loses interest pretty quickly. I ride off slowly. I have not been bit once using this method while riding or on foot. I did have one dog that just appeared on my heels without barking. I was lucky it was a smaller dog and had no problem outrunning it.
    You are right up to a point. Establish eye contact. Dogs are pack animals and will yield to the dominate animal in the pack. Because of their long history with us...and selective breeding...most of them view humans as the top of the pack. Most people wouldn't tolerate a dog that would challenge them for pack dominance Use that to your advantage.
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  14. #14
    CAT5 joe_5700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    You are right up to a point. Establish eye contact. Dogs are pack animals and will yield to the dominate animal in the pack. Because of their long history with us...and selective breeding...most of them view humans as the top of the pack. Most people wouldn't tolerate a dog that would challenge them for pack dominance Use that to your advantage.
    Bingo. I establish eye contact with every dog I pass. So far every dog that has run after me while biking has been a spirited type chase that did not leave the boundries of their yard or farm. I could tell that the dog giving chase was actually playing. In a game of cat and mouse....don't be the mouse. Some dogs seem to be mystified with bikes. When I take my large dogs for a walk, passing bikers (even a tandem) do not even register as anything of interest to them. In my knowledge of aggressive dogs, it is better to direct yourself towards your attacker and yell at them to go home as loud as you can. I am not saying that it will work in all cases, but I was able to stop a ghetto dog who broke it's leash who went after a coworker when we were unloading materials when I used to do construction. After I yelled at the dog and told it to go home it went and layed on it's porch and never moved. When the owners came home they didn't seem to have a problem with their 100+ pound Rott (normally great dogs, I own one)snapping it's chain and coming after one of us.

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    I will certainly try that on my next encounter. I have never "maced" a dog. That is usually a good way to get the owner chasing after you.

  16. #16
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    I always thought Predator pee would be interesting to try. http://www.predatorpee.com/
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Carry a can of Bear-Grade Pepper-Spray. That'll work on owners, too.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  18. #18
    Senior Member gapowermike's Avatar
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    Frame pump.
    RIP Stacey. =3.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_5700 View Post
    yell at them to go home as loud as you can.
    OK, here's my best dog story:

    Happened around 30 years ago. I was riding in southern Michigan with my friend, Bill. As we passed a farmsted on a hill a medium sized dog came charging full speed down the hill at us. Bill yelled: "Sit!". Well, that dog certainly knew that command. He planted all four paws but his momentum caused him to roll over at least once before coming to rest in a perfect "sit" position.

    That command thing definitely works sometimes.

  20. #20
    Pat
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    As for storys, I remember riding north on Ionia Highway in MI. I had a big tail wind and was cruising at 25 mph. I got to this house and this all black german shepherd came out after me. I thought that there was no way. I looked back and he was reeling me in. With every stride his teeth seemed to flash in the sun. I ramped it up to 28 mph and that held him off until her ran out of steam.

    The next day, I was going by the same route. But this time I had a head wind and I might have been able to do 28 but it wasn't likely. But for some reason, I was not concerned as I approached the dog's house. There he was and he obviously recognized me. He just stood in his yard, wagged his tail and gave out a few happy "woofs". I think the day before, he saw me and thought "I wonder if I can catch that guy?".

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    shoot them before they see you coming

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    If they are your neighbors, you can bring treats and announce yourself loudly as you bike by their territory. After a few incidences of stopping, talking to them so they know your voice, then giving them a treat (don't give it to them until after you talk to them for a bit so they don't associate chasing with treats), they should come to recognize you. I have done this many times and they recognized my voice and though they still ran out, they no longer came close enough to threaten me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose5 View Post
    I have never "maced" a dog. That is usually a good way to get the owner chasing after you.
    Then mace the owner and continue your ride.

  24. #24
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by probe1957 View Post
    I maced the neighbor's dog. Used to chase me every time I rode by. Now he doesn't.
    Buy some Halt.

    When a dog chases you squirt it in the face.

    It is your right.

    That is all.

  25. #25
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    A friend of mine used military tear-gas on a German Shepard that attacked him. It blinded the dog, but the dog managed to get it's teeth around a wooden column on the porch of the house it was from (my friend was delivering packages). It chewed all the way through this 8-inch column.

    Moral to story: A maced Woof is still VERY Dangerous!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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