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  1. #1
    Senior Member phinney's Avatar
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    Dogs chasing while towing kids in trailer

    I haven't found a good strategy yet for dealing with dogs while towing the kids in a trailer. Before the trailer it usually wasn't too big a deal just to outrun them. Now acceleration and terminal speed are way down (or the dogs have gotten much faster).

    Last year my wife was riding on her bike solo while I towed the trailer. She hit a dog that cut between us to get at the trailer and went over the bars for a rather severe crash. Bad road rash and some bruises but it could have been worse.

    Dog spray is illegal in this state and even it it weren't the kids are in the windstream and would be easily hit with the overspray.

    I've tried the water bottle squirt and the yelling. Doesn't work for most of the dogs around here. Note also that the dogs are generally focusing on the trailer. I'm more worried about cars swerving to avoid the dog and hitting us than anything.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    Give us some more details. Are you riding country roads? city? Is it the same route/dogs every ride or different? Dogs can be trained with negative or with positive reinforcement. I knew a guy who used to carry treats for the dogs that chased him. Eventually all he had to so was swing his arm and the dogs would be off looking for the treats. Also, you can ride with an empty trailer to do the training. That way the dogs will recognize you.
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  3. #3
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    Swerving and getting hit by a car is also more of a concern to me than the actual dog biting, in fact most wan't do.. I find that most of the time, if I stop and dismount (with the bike between me and the dog ), the dog will stop and turn back.
    The treats trick is really good, I would have never thought of that.. (and they can be used as energy food if no dogs show-up ).
    I have also experienced this with a trailer, my guess is that dogs think of an animal. Same strategy, I would dismount, put the mesh screen down on the trailer at all time to protect your child.
    A couple of months ago, we were chased by a friendly sheep to the amusement of my daughter, it followed us for almost a mile

  4. #4
    OMG! i'm a DURT gurl!!!! caligurl's Avatar
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    chased by a sheep? now where's the video camera when you need one!?
    OCP and PROUD!
    "OCP is not just about attitude, it's a way of life!"
    life's too short to ride a crummy bike..........

  5. #5
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Boy, stories like this really tick me off!!!!!!!

    If I were you I'd go after the owners of the dogs big time
    as THEIR unrestrained dogs is an endangerment to YOUR kids.
    From where I stand it's hardball time when my kids are at
    risk.

    Complain to the police then file suit for a restraining order
    to protect YOUR rights to ride in peace. Dog owners need to
    understand that THEY are legally responsible for what their dogs do.

  6. #6
    Senior Member phinney's Avatar
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    Kerk,

    Country roads. We have lots of different routes so a combination of same dogs and new dogs.

    If I throw treats won't the dogs learn to chase me for treats? Would rather the dogs stayed out of the road and not chase to begin with. A woman jogger was attacked and killed by a couple of Rottweillers in this area several years ago so I don't assume the dogs are harmless. I had read several years ago that most dogs won't bite a cyclist and within a week of reading it had one clamp down on my foot. Left holes in my foot and bent my toeclip with its teeth! It wasn't even a big or ferocious looking a dog.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Last time this happened to me I turned around and chased the dog for a 1/2 mile or so. I wouldn't recommend this technique on every dog but I find it quite effective on some dogs. It's a lot of fun to turn the tables.
    Sunrise saturday,
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by caligurl
    chased by a sheep? now where's the video camera when you need one!?
    Actually, I may have some pics somewhere, will post when I find them. Heard it was some kind of pet sheep, more and more people get them as well as goats for clearing their land / yards.. at least that's what they told me

  9. #9
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    I agree. Call the local police and file a complaint.

  10. #10
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    Don't believe the dog won't get a cyclist bit. I was riding my bike years ago going to play tennis and this medium sized yapper comes at me. I'm like, oh brother...watch it doggie or you may fall into the spokes. Well, he leaped up and bit me right in the calf. Instantly he got a tennis racquet on his noggin which is the only thing that made him quit.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phinney
    Kerk,

    Country roads. We have lots of different routes so a combination of same dogs and new dogs.

    If I throw treats won't the dogs learn to chase me for treats? Would rather the dogs stayed out of the road and not chase to begin with. A woman jogger was attacked and killed by a couple of Rottweillers in this area several years ago so I don't assume the dogs are harmless. I had read several years ago that most dogs won't bite a cyclist and within a week of reading it had one clamp down on my foot. Left holes in my foot and bent my toeclip with its teeth! It wasn't even a big or ferocious looking a dog.
    Since you are talking different routes/dogs means the treats won't work because the dogs won't learn to recognize you. Country roads means the Sherriff's dept. would be the ones to contact. Who knows if they will be helpful. Furthermore, they won't do anything until a "crime" has been committed and by then it is too late.

    Have you tried the LOUD air horn trick? Some dogs (not all) hate it when you blast one at them.
    Hey! How about a paint ball ***? Wouldn't really hurt them, but it would fend them off. And it would be fun!
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  12. #12
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    I just holler "hey puppy... good doggy... want to play" and talk to the dog the entire time.

    Most of them will run up to me and run with me but not bite.

    I'll keep some treats handy from now on just in case but around my country back roads I have not had any major problems. As a matter of fact, dogs that used to chase me now just look up at me. They only bark if I don't say something to them. After I say something they go back to sniffing their hind legs or chasing bugs.

    Ivan

  13. #13
    Senior Member TechJD's Avatar
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    I would first talk to the owners
    then the cops if all else fails
    try this and get rid of bottle
    THE RECIPIE ===========
    Ingredients ************
    200mls of Vinege,r 1 pepper, 1 pint glass, 1 Spray bottle
    STEP 1: *********
    Get the pepper and make a cut down the middle of the pepper.
    STEP 2: *********
    Get a pint glass and fill it half way with vineger, you can use pure
    alcohol(ethenol) but vinegar is just as good.
    STEP 3: *********
    Put the pepper in the vinegar, and leave it to stand for about 24hours. Just to let
    all the nasty stuff out the pepper and dissolve in the vinegar. At this point
    be very carefull, if you get this stuff in your eyes you will be crying like a
    little girl, so just watch out.
    STEP 4: *********
    Pour all the pure pepper spray into a pump action spray bottle, if you
    rummage around a females bedroom you are sure to find one of these
    filled with something. (just clean it
    out)
    STEP 5: *********
    use this ONLY and i repeat ONLY as a last resort
    self-defence mechanism.
    79 Schwinn Continental II
    Ride cause you enjoy it!

  14. #14
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    I was having the same problem when I ride the country roads around here. I can't outrun them with my heavy toddler in the trailer.

    But I found the answer to my prayers - the Delta AirZound horn. I haven't found a dog on my route yet that doesn't run away from a few short blasts of that very loud horn!

  15. #15
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karenemt
    I
    But I found the answer to my prayers - the Delta AirZound horn. I haven't found a dog on my route yet that doesn't run away from a few short blasts of that very loud horn!
    Still, the problem is you have to stop, or nearly stop, to use it. If the dog IS dangerous he's got his teeth in you by then. Perhaps if it could be rigged up facing backwards under the rear seat, with an old brake lever and cable to trigger it easily from the handlebars....hmmm....

    bkr
    Last edited by bkrownd; 08-20-04 at 12:49 AM.
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  16. #16
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    After reading the responses here thus far it occurs to me
    that the burden of self defence falls on the cyclist which
    is pure nonsense.

    The best recourse is the legal defense and failing that
    the use of force is all that is left that will actually work.
    That said please remember we're talking about.......
    Self Defence which allows for the use of deadly force if it
    would be required.

    With dogs this level of force is all they really would understand. Do we need cyclist riding armed? No, we don't.
    However, until laws extend true protection to humans against
    hostile pets it's either them or us. You take your pick.

    Me...I'll defend myself by whatever means required.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    After reading the responses here thus far it occurs to me
    that the burden of self defence falls on the cyclist which
    is pure nonsense.

    The best recourse is the legal defense and failing that
    the use of force is all that is left that will actually work.
    That said please remember we're talking about.......
    Self Defence which allows for the use of deadly force if it
    would be required.

    With dogs this level of force is all they really would understand. Do we need cyclist riding armed? No, we don't.
    However, until laws extend true protection to humans against
    hostile pets it's either them or us. You take your pick.

    Me...I'll defend myself by whatever means required.
    I rode with a guy back in the day, who shall remain nameless, who showed me something with dogs I've never seen and can't imagine having the brass ones to pull off...

    We were riding through an area that was just loaded with curs and mutts, who mostly didn't care about us at all, when we get chased by this nasty red looking thing with huge teeth. My buddy says "this dog is an idiot, and needs to be chained up"...and spins around and yells at the dog...the dog wheels back into the yard of this perfectly nice looking house...but then decides to run back at skinny climber dude...he stops, dismounts, and with the dog snarling at us, picks up a paving brick from the edging near the road and hurls it through the front window of the house...needless to say, me AND the dog are stunned...Dog runs up onto the porch, two felonious cyclists take off...and about a mile later he says "I hope that was the house that dog came from"

    Never rode that route again.

    Z

  18. #18
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zensuit
    about a mile later he says "I hope that was the house that dog came from"Z
    2011 Raleigh International
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    Proud owner of all three colors made! Orange, Blue , Yellow .

  19. #19
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    I don't have any better answer than the ones above. Never even had a problem with a dog until recently when we took our vacation at a family camp in a rural area. My wife and I went riding, were immediately chased by a pint sized dog whose owner just watched and never called the dog back. Three blocks later, we came upon some horses out of their corral on the side of the road that spooked and one started running next to me. Scared the heck out of me! I was afraid I'd get squished if he changed directions.

    A block after that, I went around the bend ahead of my wife and came face to face with a giant pig...a boar blocking this tiny little road. "Uh, sweetheart? There is a nasty looking boar in the road up ahead." "Yeah, sure...."

    Detour to a different road where we passed a yard with a dog behind a fence who barked like crazy. On the return trip shortly afterwards, he barked.....then crawled under the fence and starting chasing us! Yow! Just calmly kept going until he stopped.

    Finally, we had to return to camp on the same road where the little yappy dog was. I told my wife to make sure she was zooming through there and suddenly look down and realize I've got a slow leak, my tire is getting soft and I don't know if I can go fast at all. Thankfully, the canine wasn't there.

    Sheldon

  20. #20
    SDS
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    Call the police/sheriff office.

    Now waitaminit. Dog spray is illegal or spraying dogs is illegal or pepper spray is illegal? Which? Howzabout the ole **** whistle? That has about a 90% stop rate. Get your wife to buy some pepper spray and hose the dogs. Surely no place on the North American continent will deny a woman the right to own pepper spray?

    I have some friends who are braver than I am. They aim for the dogs and try to snag their noses with a pedal or a foot.

    When I am out with slower riders I play the crippled-herd-animal for my friends. I go slow on the same side of the road as the dog(s), and let them key on me. Dogs are programmed to go after the weakest animal in the herd, which will be running at the back. They have to turn a hard 180 degrees to get into a stern chase, and it is already game-over: few can accelerate as fast as I can, and I angle away toward the opposite side of the road too. Lately, though, I've started hitting them with the pepper spray, which has a 100% stop rate and seems to produce permanent behavior change for the better. Lead for the wind, shoot for the center of the triangle of the eyes and nose-mouth, and you are bound to get some where they will feel it. A stream is better than a cone, and colored is better than clear, because you can see where it goes and correct. Make sure you are inside your maximum range. I like 5 feet. At that range by the time they realize you're squirting, it is too late to avoid getting zapped. Believe me, the moment they get hit, they will be way too busy with the spray to close the last few feet to you.

    Ammonia is supposed to work well if you don't want to get caught with pepper spray. I say arm your wife with elbow and knee pads and pepper spray, use an empty trailer or a full one or no trailer, and go hunting. The change to hunter from victim feels as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

    The other thing you can do is to use yourself as bait with a friend following in a pickup truck. Dog comes after you, pickup truck charges and squashes dog. Don't use a car because there is too much weak sheet metal and plastic on the front.

    This is deadly serious. There are dogs that want to tear you into thoroughly dead scraps. But even the ones who want to practice hunting are too dangerous. Crashing can cause permanent disability including head injury. Don't sympathize with the dogs if it will interfere with your effective response.

    There are a few dogs who just want to run. If you can tell which ones they are, it's fine to let them run with you. But you have to know.

  21. #21
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    I'm reminded of the South Park episode where they're out hunting... "It's coming right at us! Blam."

    I say arm the kids with bear spray and goggles. Wait until the dog gets even with the trailer and yell "It's coming right at us!!" Then spray.

    I do understand your frustration though (I was once chased by a dog at night, I got home jumped in my car and went back to even the score but the dog was back home). You're really powerless to do anything. Phone the police or animal control each and everytime it happens. I'd carry a cell phone and call the police immediately after. If you're lucky they'll be able to seize the dog.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    Still, the problem is you have to stop, or nearly stop, to use it. If the dog IS dangerous he's got his teeth in you by then. Perhaps if it could be rigged up facing backwards under the rear seat, with an old brake lever and cable to trigger it easily from the handlebars....hmmm....

    bkr
    No, I don't have to stop or nearly stop. The horn is mounted right on my handlebars. Also works very well if a car is about to hit me - it's so darn loud.

    Here's an advertising blurb about it:
    "The "AIRZOUND 2" horn clamps securely to your bike's handlebars. Thin tubing connects the horn to the pressurized air container, which tucks into the water bottle cage on your bike frame.

    This low-tech approach to noise making has produced the world's loudest bike horn. With an adjustable volume control, the "AIRZOUND 2" can deliver anything from a 115 db blast to a friendly toot. Use it on the road to signal motorists, fend off dogs or call for help. For off-road cycling it's an essential safety accessory ..."

    Here's a pic on this site (click "bike horns"): http://www.deltacycle.com/

  23. #23
    Rock Star... ScattMan's Avatar
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    Amonia works wonders... Take a trip to the squirt *** aisle at wally world and see what they have. Battery operated would be great. just attach to the trailer facing backwards, rig a on off switch to your seat or top tube or handle bars (two wires and a push button... easy) and your in business.

    If that doesn't work a .22 cal ****** will for sure.
    Ronn

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  24. #24
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karenemt
    No, I don't have to stop or nearly stop. The horn is mounted right on my handlebars. Also works very well if a car is about to hit me - it's so darn loud.

    Here's an advertising blurb about it:
    "The "AIRZOUND 2" horn clamps securely to your bike's handlebars. Thin tubing connects the horn to the pressurized air container, which tucks into the water bottle cage on your bike frame.
    Interesting...
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  25. #25
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    Just by reading your initial statement, I would say either carry a tazer stick or a collapsable baton. If it were a case of the dog (or even me) or my children (hypothetically; I don't have any kids) it would be the dog. Dogs aren't dumb; if you either zap or smack the crap out of them a couple times it should no longer be an issue in the future. Alternatly, if you are opposed to harming the animal; paintball grenade. also called paint grenades. They are pin actuated and work off a small co2 cartridge. The ones I am familier with are semiloud and splash red or blue paint. The dog will probably leave. only problem is you might be red, too.

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