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Old 03-03-05, 01:55 PM   #1
elmira
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dogs ruining tours

I have read scatered reports of people being chased, or attacked by dogs during a tour that have ruined their tours. This has me concidering wether or not i should take dog repellent on my next tour. I was wondering if this concern is valid, or if it is a rare occurance that would burden me with extra weight?
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Old 03-03-05, 02:00 PM   #2
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If you ride in Ohio and don't take dog repellent make sure you take a first aid kit.
Enjoy
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Old 03-03-05, 02:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by powers2b
If you ride in Ohio and don't take dog repellent make sure you take a first aid kit.
Enjoy
Wait a second. I'm originally from Ohio and have ridden all the NW of the state and have never had a problem with dogs in Ohio. Yokels in pick-up trucks, yes. Dogs, no.

When I have had problems with dogs, I just dismount and put the bike between me and the dog and back away.The dog should lose intrest. If it doesn't(they always have with me), and attacks you, you have a bike to beat it with. It's much quicker and safer than spary. My mother-in-law had a vicious chow that was immune to anti-dog spray. I tried all different kinds. Never trusted spary after that.
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Old 03-03-05, 06:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmira
I have read scatered reports of people being chased, or attacked by dogs during a tour that have ruined their tours. This has me concidering wether or not i should take dog repellent on my next tour. I was wondering if this concern is valid, or if it is a rare occurance that would burden me with extra weight?

Well, how can a dog ruin a tour? You mean did they ever haul me down in a pack and rip my throat out? No. But I sure have had my share of run-ins with dogs. I'll leave dog repellent discussion to those more knowledgeable; but in general unless the dog attack is seen well in advance I don't know if you'll be able to spray the dog in time.

Before a tour in 3rd world countries you should get your rabies shots, updated Tetanus shots, and carry both topical and pill antibiotics.

You have a few seconds at most to see if you can outrace the dogs. If not, I get off the bike if I can. You can always defend yourself better on foot against any kind of assailant.

roughstuff
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Old 03-03-05, 07:34 PM   #5
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Halt clamp:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...reid=&pagename=
A can of Halt doesn't weigh much and has saved my legs from being chewed on.
Nashbar doesn't have a picture of it, but this link is for a plastic clamp that holds a can of Halt! to your handlebars. You can grab it and spray in seconds. Just watch for the wind blowing it back in your face.
Halt:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

Last edited by hillyman; 03-03-05 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 03-04-05, 06:52 AM   #6
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I did have a problem with being attacked by dogs, especially in rural areas. The last time it happened I searched out dog repellent at a sports store. Turns out it is actually pepper spray and if I carry it around with me it could be considered a concealed weapon. Recently I was advised not to take it with me to Britain as it is illegal there too.

That said, it appears to act as an amulet, as I haven't been attacked by a dog since I started carrying it. Strange but true.
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Old 03-08-05, 09:46 AM   #7
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I have biked the pacific coast twice and have never had a problem with dogs. However my favorite ride at home takes me past this old mans house and everytime his dog takes off after me. It is always disconerting and I really want to kick it in the head.
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Old 03-08-05, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmira
I have read scatered reports of people being chased, or attacked by dogs during a tour that have ruined their tours. This has me concidering wether or not i should take dog repellent on my next tour. I was wondering if this concern is valid, or if it is a rare occurance that would burden me with extra weight?
A dog did ruin my tour almost two years ago, but my response to the dog's "attack" was wrong and I knew better.

Normally, when a dog comes at me, I get off my bike, put it between myself and the dog, and walk until the dog gets bored. I also hold a can of Halt! at the ready just in case the dog is vicious and keeps coming at me.

This time, however, I did stupid things. For some reason, I tried to out-pedal the dog, which was especially ridiculous as the critter wasn't all that far away to begin with. As I pedaled furiously, I turned my head back to see where he was, which caused my bike to sway just a touch. Combined with my intense pedaling and the weight in my rear panniers (I didn't use front panniers), I lost control and fell hard against my upper right thigh. A doctor who treated me a few days later made things terribly worse, and that was the end of my TransAm Tour--after only three + weeks.

My point here is not to panic and do something stupid like I did. All it takes is one mistake, and you could set in motion a rapid-fire chain of events causing severe injury.

By the way, I used Halt! only once. It DID work, and very well. Honestly, though, it made me feel bad seeing the once proud, vicious dog walk away slowly, tail between its legs, looking back at me, sad eyed and defeated. I don't want to ever use it again, but I will only if absolutely needed.

Wolfy

Last edited by David in PA; 03-08-05 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-08-05, 11:31 AM   #9
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Howdy -

There's a forum topic on this subject over at crazyguyonabike.

As to my views - which run counter to the prevailing wisdom -

Why do we have to use chemicals to grow our food, to arrange our hair, to peel our skin, to cure our colds, to scrub our floors, and to keep Fido away? For those that want the security of Halt! - fine - but I am of the opinion that it is better to know how to deal with dogs - then use spray at the last resort - if at all.

I say this as someone with close to 100,000 miles touring experience. I've dealt with my share of dogs. Something about moving wheels triggers a dog's chase instinct - just like a shoestring wiggled across the floor will get a cat to pounce. Plus dogs have strong territorial instincts about their yard. So most dogs will be all bark and no bite.

I ain't no fool either - there are some mean dogs out there - their owners always say something like - "Oh, he won't bite" - while the dog attaches itself to your calf. So you need to utilize the third dog instinct - the alpha dog. YOU have to be the alpha. This may be hard if you have a profound fear of dogs - but if you just have the normal desire not to get bitten - then make sure the dog knows that you are boss.

I don't even pay attention if dogs stay in their yard. If they start out into the road I yell, "Get back in your yard!" More than once if necessary. The key word here is YELL - and it shoud be as loud and mean as possible. That takes care of 99 1/2% of all dogs. For the very few problem dogs you will need to dismount.

Despite what others say - I always dismount TOWARDS the dog and head straight at him. Also, you need to bellow as harshly as possible. If you are scrupulous about your language it might be, "Oh, you naughty, naughty dog!" But I usually yell something like, "Get back in your ****ing yard or I'll kill you." As soon as his ears drop, he is toast. He may start up again as you get back on the bike - but a quick spin on your heels will get him to cower.

Remember that you are larger than the dog - plus you are coming from an elevated position on the bike. I think the male voice may be more effective given the lower pitch - but my Mom used to have some powerful lungs, too. The point is - make sure the dog knows you will shred him into confetti. If you can't do this - then you may need Halt! - but I believe any adult can. I've yelled down dobermans and rottweilers. The time one sprung out of some nearby bushes, I was hoarse for a couple of days afterwards - but he backed down.

As to geographical distribution - dogs are worst in the rural South - absolutely. The Midwest is mixed - the further south you are - i.e. southern Indiana, Ohio - the worse it is. They only have poodles in the Northeast - oops! And dogs in the interior West are mainly working dogs so are too busy to worry about you. Also herd dogs absolutely cannot leave their herds - they may look at you cycling by, but only from a perspective of protecting the herd. On the Navajo Reservation there is no control of the dog population. There are probably thousands of strays, but they are all malnourished and beaten - it's tough to see. California dogs are too stoned to bother you.

So that's my take - even if you do carry Halt! - use the above techniques first.

Best - J

Last edited by jamawani; 03-08-05 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 03-08-05, 12:24 PM   #10
Sigurdd50
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I've always had more problems with redwing black birds.
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Old 03-08-05, 01:07 PM   #11
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Been there Sigurdd50! Thanks for posting!

I have a 2 mile stretch near my home that is a dive-bombing range for Redwings. I thought I was the only one with agressive birds on my route! The daddy bird taught his nestlings his tricks and by the end of the summer I was dodging 4 or 5 of the little guys.

(Perhaps it was my helmet? They didn't like Bell helmets in blue? I'll find out for certain this summer - I just got a Specialized Aurora in Grey and silver.)
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Old 03-08-05, 04:05 PM   #12
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Man, hearing about anybody's misfortunes on a tour always bums me out, but hearing that it involved ugly dogs is even worse..

I'm a dog lover. I don't know why, but I've never met a dog I didn't understand instantly, and the feeling has been almost totally mutual. I've been lucky apparently, but the only dog that didn't take to me was this grumpy poodle (appropriately named Caesar) that my best friend Mike had when we were kids. Mike was the only kid I ever knew who didn't cry when his dog died.

If any dog ever starts chasing me on the road, I dismount, and--far from pulling out my Zefal or some pepper spray--make myself as friendly and truly affable as I can be, let him get my scent, talk calmly and encouragingly, and the crisis turns into a lark: instant understanding. One way in which animals are infinitely more intuitive than humans (for all of our posturing as the supreme Earth species), is their understanding of intent and body language. Mutts are simple, generally friendly despite their bark, and overfeared in the cycling world. Or maybe I just have some weird PT Barnum/Kenobi trick that even I don't understand. I'm like Spock with the Horta or something.[/mindmeld]

BTW, jamawani's advice to yell at them is 100% correct too. Dogs will respond to threats from authority most easily, if the authority is solid. I have actually done this a few times, when I didn't feel much like stopping. A very stern "NO" will solve most dogs.
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Old 03-08-05, 04:19 PM   #13
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I ride with people who dogs seem drawn to. I don't really have any problems. Usually I talk to the dog like I do my own and they leave me alone or don't get too close. Some guys, they just seem to want to tackle. If you're afraid of dogs, it makes the problem much worse. Dogs love to bluff.
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Old 03-08-05, 08:13 PM   #14
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A couple weeks ago we went to the Tri-County Bicycle Association's club meeting. It was a great meeting. The guest speaker was Hector Hernandez who operates First Class Dog Training, a company that trains police dogs. He has a wealth of experience with dogs and a great understanding of when and how the attack. Hector also trains mail carriers in this area on how to deal with dog and how to avoid bits. In just one group of mail carries there were no bits this year where there were 14 bites the previous year.

He is in the process of writing a book called "Preparing Yourself for Dog Encounters" with a chapter devoted specifically for cyclists. Well worth getting when it comes out.

Here are a few tips he gave:

Know how to read a dog's body language to tell if it's playing or attacking
If an attack is eminent:
Don't try and outrun a dog (unless it's small)
Dismount and keep the bike between you and the dog
Swing your bike at the dog, but don't let go of it
If a dog really wants to attack, mace/pepper spray will only make him mad
Don't hit the dog in the head - it will only make him mad
Knee the dog in the chest or hit him on the neck near the shoulders.
Distract the dog by waving something - helmet, shirt, etc.
Fall to the ground in a fetal position, protecting vital organs. The dog will not attack as hard and will stop if you stay still.

These are just a few things. You need to get the book for a full picture.
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Old 03-08-05, 09:27 PM   #15
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People keep telling us to swing the bike at the dog.

Don't they realize we are cyclo-tourists, and that we are riding either 60lb bikes or have a 30lb bike with a 30lb trailer attached to it?

If I can swing one of those around fast enough to beat back a dog, I'm doing pretty darned good!

:->

(In case you thought I was serious)
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Old 03-08-05, 09:48 PM   #16
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just beat the )$*%&$$Q$6^s on the head with your pump! Aim for an eye. What's this world coming to? Spray? Good god. Wusses! Whatever happened to Rocks? the esperanto dog away gesture of reaching for a rock works half the time in third world countries.
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Old 03-09-05, 02:01 PM   #17
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You might give the Dog Dazer a try. It produces a discomforting but not harmful high powered sound, audible to dogs but not to humans. The website below must have the shipping weight listed wrong because its light, I think the 9volt battery weighs more. Worked great for me until I dropped it on the highway on one of my rides.
Put dog dazzer on a search engine and you might find a better deal.







http://www.shopfromyourhome.com/Merc...duct_Code=DAZX

Last edited by hillyman; 03-09-05 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 03-09-05, 02:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xylx
just beat the )$*%&$$Q$6^s on the head with your pump! Aim for an eye. What's this world coming to? .
Maybe back in the days when I had a full-sized frame pump, but now I have one of those damned min-pumps. The dog would only laugh while it chewed on me.
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Old 03-09-05, 05:54 PM   #19
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Don't hit it on the head. Their heads are like tanks. I'll you'll do is make them mad. The lower neck will stun them good.

True, you can't swing a fully loaded bike, but still good advice if you aren't loaded. Bottom line, take advantage of what you have.

Spray is worthless. He did a demonstration where he had his dog attack someone (in protective gear) as the person tried to spray the dog with fake pepper spray. Even knowing the dog was coming the guy couldn't hit the dog. You're more likely to hit your riding partner.
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Old 03-09-05, 05:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillyman
You might give the Dog Dazer a try.
My guess is that it would work on a dog that wasn't too serious in attacking you. But a Pit Bull or Rot that had already made up it's mind . . . I doubt it would make a lot of difference.
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Old 03-09-05, 07:13 PM   #21
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Worked really well actually. The more aggressive the dog, the more they hate it. The only ones I found it didn't work on was Chows and sheep dogs. The sheep dogs still tried to 'round up' my bike but never bit me. The Chows... well nothing stops a Chow! Friendly dogs just tilt their heads and look down at the ground.
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Old 03-09-05, 07:43 PM   #22
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I think I have one in a box somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and try it this spring on the neighbor's dog.
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Old 03-10-05, 11:49 PM   #23
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Seems Jamawami has it down to a science... thanks comrade.
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Old 03-11-05, 10:59 PM   #24
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thank you for your thoughts. I will not tour with spray. You people have helped me decide to just do the dismount/yell and scare the dog away method.
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Old 03-12-05, 12:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
there are some mean dogs out there - their owners always say something like - "Oh, he won't bite" - while the dog attaches itself to your calf.
maybe the owner┤s right that his dog really don┤t bite and that it┤s not really mean, just lonely.

but serious, the yelling method does sound good to me.
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