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Old 02-16-12, 08:22 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Watertight or Highly Effective Prevention for Dog Attacks?

I just read this firsthand account of a dog attack over at CGOB,

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?page_id=273087

It seems as though cyclotouring could include better, more effective, more foolproof techniques or tools for dog attack prevention. Many people are a bit lax about it, and many of the approaches seem to be less than watertight.

Words like "deterrent" and "dog deterrents" are often used. These words can or tend to carry a subtle implication of partial effectiveness -- as in deterring theft, rather than completely obviating it. This sort of partial effectiveness is opposed to, or quite different from, full, watertight effectiveness.

What are some of the more effective means you have tried or seen or can think of?

While I admire the way Emma handled her attack and its aftermath, I can't help wondering if there aren't some lessons to be learned here about more effective prevention.
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Old 02-16-12, 10:59 PM   #2
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Wow that is crazy!!! Kind of makes my dog bite 2 blocks away from my house on the mountain bike seem kind of lame...
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Old 02-16-12, 11:03 PM   #3
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Pepper spray seems like a good idea.
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Old 02-16-12, 11:29 PM   #4
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Quite a harrowing experience. It does sound like they handled it well. Hopefully her optimism will continue to see her through her current circumstance.

Touring does have many risks and the only way to eliminate them all is to stay at home. It's impossible to know what behavioral changes they could have made to avoid this specific accident. Personally I carry pepper spray but have never used it, although I've been chased many times by dogs. Fortunately I've never been bitten.
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Old 02-17-12, 07:21 AM   #5
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Having been chased by a few dogs and a cow (that was on foot) I do like the idea of having pepper spray if needed, but I'm paranoid about not knowing what I'm doing and the wind blowing it back into my face, or such things.
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Old 02-17-12, 07:40 AM   #6
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I was once herded by a pack of farm dogs. They clearly had a plan and there was no simple escape. It took a few well aimed rocks and a big stick to get out of their territory.
Pepper stray is illegal here in the UK (along with guns, sticks and pointy scissors and sharp paper) but we do have a law that says that dogs shouldn't bite people so I feel better already.
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Old 02-17-12, 08:19 AM   #7
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Pepper stray is illegal here in the UK
When I crossed into Canada last year, they did confiscate my pepper spray at the border. Of course carrying a shotgun would have been fine.
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Old 02-17-12, 08:37 AM   #8
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Having been chased by a few dogs and a cow (that was on foot) I do like the idea of having pepper spray if needed, but I'm paranoid about not knowing what I'm doing and the wind blowing it back into my face, or such things.
That is the reason the keeps me from carrying it too...
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Old 02-17-12, 09:53 PM   #9
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The alloy baton is light weight and fits neatly vertically inside my small handlebar bag. Illegal in some states. Works on any dog, every time. Just a tap does the trick. Don't swing it as you may lose control of the bike. Probably works on human pests too, although I have no experience. No one gains resistance to a wrinkled skull.



http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?s...lerid=31337309
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Old 02-17-12, 10:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
When I crossed into Canada last year, they did confiscate my pepper spray at the border. Of course carrying a shotgun would have been fine.
You can't bring it in for some reason but you can buy it locally.
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Old 02-17-12, 10:30 PM   #11
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I have been bitten once before, while off a bike. Pepper spray is my deterrent of choice.
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Old 03-05-12, 07:37 PM   #12
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I carry a hiking stick against my front fork, as shown here:

http://frankrevelo.com/hiking/sewing...tickholder.htm

The stick can be quickly removed with one hand (right hand) and makes an awesome self-defense weapon. Poke with it, don't swing with it. I doubt you'll be questioned by police about an ordinary hiking stick, but you could say it was for supporting a tarp. And indeed, I might use the stick for that purpose if I bike in areas with rain. For now, I'm sticking to the desert and so use just a bivy sack.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:51 PM   #13
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I think a cattle prod might be Ok. In Canada they are sold in farm supply stores. To the nose. carry it where you would carry a pump. You can't legally buy a taser/stun gun up here. The RCMP have most of them and shoot tourist with them who complain about service. The Ultimate would be a marking gun with pepper spray, but I don't know that the people are allowed those anywhere.
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Old 03-08-12, 04:04 PM   #14
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Quite a civilization we've created for ourselves...
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Old 03-08-12, 09:18 PM   #15
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Yeah, I know what you mean... We have these a-holes from the city who buy large rural properties, buy a couple of monster dogs " for protection", then figure they will be bored indoors while the owners are at work, so they leave them to run around out of doors coursing deer, and attacking cyclists. Kinda like leaving your gun collections, "for protection", lying around on the lawn.
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Old 03-08-12, 09:56 PM   #16
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Got chased by a dog that had gotten loose from the fence of the used car lot it was guarding. That was probably the most horrifying. It was at the end of a long hill, too! Also ran into dogs on an overnighter, but was some 60 plus miles into the trip. Once it was two dogs and I was going up a hill and dead tired. They could have bitten me if they wanted to, but they were just doing the dog thing. I even had a chat and let them know I'd leave them alone if they would do the same.

That said, the next time I go out on a tour, especially if I'm by myself, I plan on carrying some pepper spray. If you are in the US, I would recommend a foam based spray like this to avoid any blowback. The last thing you want to do is inhale a big burst of pepper spray while trying to escape an angry dog.
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Old 03-08-12, 10:47 PM   #17
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In Full Tilt, cycle tourist Dervla Murphy relates driving off a pack of wild dogs (or perhaps wolves) in Yugoslavia with her .25 Beretta during a snow storm. It was a different age and a different world.
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Old 03-08-12, 11:19 PM   #18
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Have confidence in your pepper spray and only use it at point-blank range. That way you don't have to worry about overspray getting you. I like to get in right in their snarling mouths. Gets them busy with more pressing needs - like breathing - real fast.
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Old 03-10-12, 09:05 AM   #19
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Pepper spray! It used to be illegal in Canada - I used to get it from my Canada Post man in exchange for a bottle of scotch! Mount it on your bars with elastics so it is easy to reach. And use it at close range - right in the face. I have fended off most charges with a good very loud and heartfelt primal scream (Go Home! Bad dog! No!!) Most dogs are territorial and will quit when you leave their space but packs are something altogether different. In remote or northern parts of my province of Saskatchewan, pack dogs are a real concern. Locals usually just shoot them. Irresponsible pet owners are the real problem aren't they?
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Old 03-10-12, 07:23 PM   #20
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Here is a sensible article on dealing with dogs.
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Old 03-11-12, 01:14 AM   #21
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Yeah, that is a pretty good article.

In Canada you can buy Bear Spray, some places make you sign a document saying you won't use it on humans, but that is really for their protection. I met an animal control officer who had bear sprayed a trapped bear, and said it was pole-axed. So... No idea what happens if one bear sprays a dog, but I would not count on it being non-lethal. Or to flip that, I would not count on the owners thinking your intention was non-lethal.

I've never met a single dog that scared me, though they are there, but the problem I have run into is getting nailed every half mile or so. There isn't enough money in my budget for the pepper spray. And while every single one of them deserved a bullet, there is no practical way to drive through a country shooting every dog from every house without becoming a national figure. Ain't much fun. Except... Occasionally one attacks from across a busy hwy.
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Old 03-11-12, 08:04 AM   #22
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I am intrigued by Revelo's stick holster. I have a click stand and have been thinking about how to make it quicker to deploy. If I had a rigid stand and just clipped in on my bike somehow... a stand could do double duty as dog defense. Ah, I have a Leki telescoping trekking pole that is about 28 inches long when collapsed, the same length as my clickstand unfolded. That might be a good solution!

Revelo's holster looks like it probably wouldn't work with front panniers. I am thinking maybe something similar could work with the top tube. Maybe the grip of the pole could be up by the stem, easy to grab. Maybe I could tweak some kind of
Top Tube Bag to support the trekking pole's grip.

When using the trekking pole to prop up the bike, I'll need to get the grip connected to that top tube - seat tube junction somehow. Probably again some kind of cloth up-side-down pocket, incorporated into the holster.

Hmmm, this all might just work!
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Old 03-12-12, 08:06 AM   #23
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@Jim Kukkula: actually, my stick holder works fine with my home-made panniers, and I think it would work with Ortliebs (at least with my Thorn Low-loader rack). Below is a photo of my fully-loaded bike with front panniers. You can barely see the stick on the far-side of the bike:



The photos on the sewing details page ( http://frankrevelo.com/hiking/sewing...tickholder.htm ) were taken before I installed the front-racks.
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Last edited by revelo; 03-12-12 at 08:08 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-12-12, 08:20 PM   #24
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Thanks, Revelo, for the reassurance. I too have a Nomad with Thorn low front racks. I have Carradice SuperC panniers.

It seems like I can put the grip of my Leki hiking pole under the rack, right where it connects to the seat stay. I haven't played with it enough yet to be confident it'll stay there securely. But to have a multi-purpose tool like that - trekking pole, dog defense, bike stand, tarp support, etc. - I just might have to test my sewing skills!

Your home-made panniers look great! Thanks for the photo!
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Old 03-12-12, 08:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I can put the grip of my Leki hiking pole under the rack, right where it connects to the seat stay.
Ah, I see now, that is just what you show in the picture on your website. Very nice and practical!
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