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Old 07-09-18, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You know that southern plantations and prisons used to let packs of tracking dogs maul and kill the escaping slaves and prisoners, right?

I'm finding it fascinating that people just assume all dogs are cute little harmless pooches who would never really hurt people.
Who has said they are "cute little harmless pooches"? But neither are they out to kill humans. We humans won't allow a dog that is a threat to humans exist for very long.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
To be clear, I don't carry spray or any other weapon. I might not be able to outrun the dog, but I have a better chance of that if I am not fumbling around for an object that I probably wouldn't even look at more than a couple times a decade.
You've hit the nail on the head. The mistake that most people make with dogs is either that they can outrun them or they have to outrun them. The other mistake they make is thinking that they can take out a canister, aim it, and spray it accurately while trying to outrun a dog without ever having practiced said action. And some around here are suggesting that you do it with a stream spray that requires far more accuracy than fog type sprays.

At the very least, a bicyclist that is going to use a pepper spray should stop, get off the bike and place the bike between them and the dog. But that will stop the dog from chasing the bicyclist in the first place in my experience.

Originally Posted by Whib View Post

Iíve had dogs all my life (44 yrs old); growing up, my father trained K9 for local police and DEA. An attacking dog should NEVER be considered predictable ... stop your bike and deploy the spray. Period.
Again, no now has said that an attacking dog is predictable. But they do follow fairly regular patterns such as not chasing something that isn't running or being very wary of "prey" that has the ability to fight back just like most any predator. They don't want to fight for their food because if they get injured, they can become food.

Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
At the same time, both the law and animal control agencies in the US recognize such a thing as a "vicious" dog.
Yes. And there are legal remedies...either criminal or civil...that are used when a dog is deemed "vicious".

Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
The conditions under which a dog is considered vicious are clearly defined by municipalities and the owner of a dog deemed vicious has a higher level of responsibility to control the dog than do owners of dogs without the label.

There is a vicious dog on one of my routes. Animal control had determined that it is vicious and the owner is under court order to keep the dog restrained.
Case in point. And there is "a" vicious dog on your route under court order. You have been implying that there are dozens of them.

Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
My point is that vicious dogs exist. No one is out thinking a vicious dog and no amount of understanding dog behavior or speaking sternly is going to stop it from being vicious.

No one has said that "all dogs" are friendly. Of course there are vicious dogs and there are legal remedies to use if you run across one. However, even the most vicious dog has a human that is the head of their pack and they respond to that human. Understanding dog behavior goes a long way toward not getting attacked by one. First and foremost, don't try to outrun one. Even if you have pepper spray and you feel like you should "fight for your life", you should stop to do so. Not understanding dog behavior isn't a better way of dealing with dogs.

Start with a loud, deep stern voice and work your way up. It a lot better than waiting until the dog has latched onto your heel.
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
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Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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