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Old 11-16-11, 08:37 AM   #1
hyegeek
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Dogs of night

I went for my first night ride last night, it was a lot of fun and promises me a way to keep riding (at least a little) in the winter. I was reasonably well prepared for the dark and cold (needs some adjusting, but worked well enough). The only really unexpected thing was the dogs.

The short route I took last night is one I have done many times during the daylight and the couple of dogs on it know me well and we coexist peacefully. Well that seems to only be true during the daylight, both those dogs were far more aggressive last night. The first seemed to recognize my whistle and never come too close, but I did not see the second one in time to get the whistle out to warn it. Poor thing could not figure out what I was and while trying to go for the light got in my way. Fortunately, I was not going too fast so I did not go down and I don't think I did any more than scare the dog, but the surprised yelp and the running back home tells me it was not too happy about the incident.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:54 AM   #2
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By whistle do you mean air horn?

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Old 11-16-11, 09:06 AM   #3
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No, I use a whistle like you would see in a sporting event. Both of these dogs were quickly trained by it to leave me be. The one I hit seems particularity sensitive to the noise and, during daylight rides, will shake its ears if it sees me putting it in my mouth.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:31 PM   #4
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I too am a night rider this time of year. Dogs will figure you out very quickly. I keep a can of Halt mounted on my bike. It's mounted in such a way that I can grab it without having to look. Luckily I rarely have to use it, but OTOH I won't leave my driveway without it.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:35 PM   #5
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I'm not too worried about these particular dogs, as I know they are not really vicious. I was just surprised at their change in attitude. It was something I had not considered when I did the night ride.

A can of Halt sounds like something to consider if I extend my rides to other areas since it would seem that daylight vs. night makes a big differences on the dog's attitudes.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:38 PM   #6
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A squirt with the water bottle usually does the trick as well, and is not as traumatic on the dog as HALT.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:44 PM   #7
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From their reactions, I don't believe that Halt is at all traumatic to a dog. It makes them give up the chase and go rub their nose in the grass.
I DO believe that it is very important to train dogs not to chase me. Even a friendly dog can cause a crash if it hits your front tire.
I know. I have a plate in my right shoulder to prove it.
If a dog gets in my bubble, it gets sprayed.
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Old 11-18-11, 08:59 AM   #8
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I got out again last night and it appears that both dogs have come to grips with my night riding. The first went back to ignoring me and the second one (the one I ran into), was obviously still upset about the incident, but a lot more cautious. Instead of the normal hiding and running out as I got close, it came into the road when I was a ways off barked a couple of times and when I kept coming ran back up the driveway and stayed there (quiet) until I went by. It did not want to get in the way again.
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