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Dogs

Old 11-30-17, 11:08 AM
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fritz1255
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Dogs

I'm sure this has been covered a few times before, but here goes again. A couple of homeowners on my bike route have dogs that are often wandering around loose. Small, yappy dogs who will chase you if they see you. They are not a danger to me directly, but could cause some real havoc if they get in front of my bike and stop, or similar behaviour. Can someone suggest something to discourage the little darlings from getting too close? Ideally something that could go in a water pistol?
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Old 11-30-17, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
I'm sure this has been covered a few times before, but here goes again. A couple of homeowners on my bike route have dogs that are often wandering around loose. Small, yappy dogs who will chase you if they see you. They are not a danger to me directly, but could cause some real havoc if they get in front of my bike and stop, or similar behaviour. Can someone suggest something to discourage the little darlings from getting too close? Ideally something that could go in a water pistol?
I carry pepper spray and have used it against two particularly determined and sizable dogs. I have just stopped and confronted smaller dogs with success. Several riders around here carry police whistles and claim success. Others carry little pieces of beef jerky. Anything to break the dogs interest long enough to ride away. Check your local laws before making a choice.
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Old 11-30-17, 11:40 AM
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In my racing days, dogs were sprint training. Just like race accelerations that one has to match or get dropped, when a dog chases, I had to keep my front wheel ahead of it. I cannot do this reliably any more. Luckily I have few loose dogs on my rides. Those that I have hit (now three) all happened at lower speeds.

Best dog defense I ever did was as a young teen. There was a chaser at the bottom of the hill coming home. ONe day I rode close to a telephone pole while he was chasing. He hit hard. Never chased a bike again. (Not just me.)

Coolest dog chase story - (and one I did not win!) My racing days. Training ride on my race bike and sewups. Passed a large house set well back from the road in affluent Lexington, MA. Dog on the front steps. I was going downhill. We saw each other as I passed the front walk. He chased. With me accelerating hard, he hit the corner of that big yard about 20' behind me! Came up alongside and just paced me down the hill as I rode flat out, 53-13. Hill leveled out, dog pulled up, turned around and trotted home. Job done. Never barked, growled or made any attempt to get his nose further ahead than my bottom bracket. No threat at all. But we both knew who won that race and it wasn't me! He could have beaten me across any finish line easily. Decades later, my neighbors acquired a whippet. That dog!

Ben
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Old 11-30-17, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
In my racing days, dogs were sprint training. Just like race accelerations that one has to match or get dropped, when a dog chases, I had to keep my front wheel ahead of it.
That's all fun and games until you ride past the dog that lives at the bottom of a 8% hill (I say this from experience).

To the OP, I've contemplated, and have heard people have had success with wearing a dog whistle around their neck and using that to distract the dog. Not going to be a physical deterrent like pepper spray or a squirt gun, but easier to cary, and you also won't have a pissed off homeowner comping after you for assaulting or injuring their dog. I've heard of people here in Texas getting chased down by angry dudes in pickup trucks for tagging overly aggressive dogs with pepper spray. That's a potentially life threatening situation that I'd recommend people avoid.
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Old 11-30-17, 01:15 PM
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I carry pepper spray but have never used it on a dog. For several reasons. I've found a squirt from the water bottle will usually stop them, or at least, the few I've encountered. Most are not exactly vicious, and most chase because in essence, you are "running from them". It is their natural instinct to chase. Also, I believe there is a good chance of getting caught up in wind drift of the spray. Wouldn't want to have to ride home with pepper spray in my eyes. The one time I truly had one actively involved in trying to bite, I was sprinting and kicking, trying to stay upright and no way would I been able to pull and aim the spray.(Or a water bottle in that instance) I finally got angry, slammed on the brakes, jumped off my bike and started chasing the dog. As I said, it is their predatory instinct to chase, when the tables turn, unless they've been trained to attack, "most" will quickly turn tail and run.

Couple years ago I passed an apple shed with two border collies, or australian shepherd types out front. One gave chase, he was on the opposite side of the road with a ditch between him and the road. A car in the opposing lane passed me at about the time the dog came to a driveway over the ditch. He decided to use that as a cut across to get to me. I heard the impact and looked in my rear view just in time to see him bounce out from under the rear of the car and roll down the road, dead as a hammer.
Ruined an otherwise good ride and great day.
I wish people would keep their dogs up, not only for the safety of cyclist but for the dog as well.

As far as someone being angry you pepper sprayed their dog, I couldn't care less and if they want to push the issue, I have no problem getting the police involved. You own pets, you have a responsibility. At the same time, I have a right to defend myself against predators, four legged or two and will take whatever means necessary to do so.

Last edited by WNCGoater; 11-30-17 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 11-30-17, 01:38 PM
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I U-turn and chase them back now.

I once went completely nuts on my motorcycle when a dog nearly caused me to crash. I U-turned and chased him back to his driveway, and then a full loop around the house riding across the lawn. In hindsight, it wasn't the brightest thing to do, of course, but I never did see that mutt loose again - owner probably saw or heard what happened, and then locked that mutt up since then. No chance of me actually catching a dog, but the look on that mutt's face was priceless.
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Old 11-30-17, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post

As far as someone being angry you pepper sprayed their dog, I couldn't care less and if they want to push the issue, I have no problem getting the police involved. You own pets, you have a responsibility. At the same time, I have a right to defend myself against predators, four legged of two and will take whatever means necessary to do so.
Agreed. My brother-in-law has some very nasty scars on his leg from a dog attack while he was on a mountain bike ride. If the dog is aggressive and large enough to harm me, I will do what it takes to protect myself.
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Old 11-30-17, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
He decided to use that as a cut across to get to me. I heard the impact and looked in my rear view just in time to see him bounce out from under the rear of the car and roll down the road, dead as a hammer.
Ruined an otherwise good ride and great day.
I wish people would keep their dogs up, not only for the safety of cyclist but for the dog as well.

As far as someone being angry you pepper sprayed their dog, I couldn't care less and if they want to push the issue, I have no problem getting the police involved. You own pets, you have a responsibility. At the same time, I have a right to defend myself against predators, four legged or two and will take whatever means necessary to do so.
I agree with you on people keeping their dogs on their property for the animal's safety as well. I've seen a few nearly get hit, they've been lucky. I'd hate to see one actually get hit, even while chasing me.

As for the owners... I live in Texas. If they are going to bother to come after you, they're probably well armed, and police involvement is probably not something that they are going to actively invite or wait around for.
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Old 11-30-17, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
I agree with you on people keeping their dogs on their property for the animal's safety as well. I've seen a few nearly get hit, they've been lucky. I'd hate to see one actually get hit, even while chasing me.

As for the owners... I live in Texas. If they are going to bother to come after you, they're probably well armed, and police involvement is probably not something that they are going to actively invite or wait around for.
This is Texas specific? Can't imagine someone shooting someone over their dog being pepper sprayed. They do that in Texas? Wow.
However, I don't go through life worrying about defending myself against a dog attack for fear of what others "might do". I do however, go through life prepared to defend and take any means necessary to protect me and mine. Perhaps it is THEM that need to worry about considering violence against a lone cyclists, no?
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Old 12-01-17, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
This is Texas specific? Can't imagine someone shooting someone over their dog being pepper sprayed. They do that in Texas? Wow.
However, I don't go through life worrying about defending myself against a dog attack for fear of what others "might do". I do however, go through life prepared to defend and take any means necessary to protect me and mine. Perhaps it is THEM that need to worry about considering violence against a lone cyclists, no?
Probably not Texas specific; but you get out in the country more than 10-15 miles from well populated areas and there are some people who, while they might not actually shoot you, will definitely let you know they have firearms and do not approve of you hurting their animal. I’m with you in not going through life worrying about what others might do, but also try to know my surroundings and avoid inviting conflict unless absolutely necessary.

And while they probably do need to worry or think about considering violence, let’s face it, there are people who just want to feel like they are in power and a dude on a bike looks like an easy target from an F250. I have known people who carry while on the bike for just this reason.
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Old 12-01-17, 05:35 AM
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Going back to the OP's request for some deterrent he case carry.

I don't carry anything, and have always done well authoratively commanding them to go home.

However, the best thing I know of is ammonia carried in a mist sprayer. Unlike with pepper sprays where you need to hit a target, you simply spray a cloud forward on the dog and it runs into it.
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Old 12-01-17, 07:35 AM
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I am frequently armed. That being said, I have never had an issue with my dog chasing people, because it is inside a fence, on a leash, or under very close supervision (like going from the house door to the car). If my dog were out in the road and got sprayed I would not see as a problem with the person being chased. I would see it as training experience for the dog.

I will say that assumes that the person is using proper dog, or self defense, spray. If the person is using some home brewed concoction intended to cause permanent injury or blindness to the dog; then yes, there would be a problem. In no way is this a threat; it is simply a concern based on some of the vile home brew concoctions that I have seen some forums recommend as dog spray. If you are taking acid out of your car battery and putting it in a squirt gun, you are doing something wrong (yes, I once saw that recommended).
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Old 12-01-17, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Going back to the OP's request for some deterrent he case carry.

I don't carry anything, and have always done well authoratively commanding them to go home.

However, the best thing I know of is ammonia carried in a mist sprayer. Unlike with pepper sprays where you need to hit a target, you simply spray a cloud forward on the dog and it runs into it.
I like this suggestion as pepper spray is hit/miss and usually single shot.
What kind of mister is good for this carry while riding purpose ?
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Old 12-01-17, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
I like this suggestion as pepper spray is hit/miss and usually single shot.
What kind of mister is good for this carry while riding purpose ?
Whatever is small and convenient. If you don't have anything at home, shop the travel section at a drug store, where they have all sorts of small bottles.
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Old 12-01-17, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
... but also try to know my surroundings and avoid inviting conflict unless absolutely necessary.

... let’s face it, there are people who just want to feel like they are in power and a dude on a bike looks like an easy target from an F250. I have known people who carry while on the bike for just this reason.
Absolutely agree, especially with avoiding conflict. I just feel we have become a society of "victims" which emboldens the bullies of society. "Manhood" is in short supply and by "manhood" I don't mean someone who is quick to act or be a bad-ass, or walks around with a chip on his shoulder. I mean someone who goes around in quiet dignity, pulling his weight in society, respecting others, expecting nothing more than what an honest days work would provide, but who simply draws a line saying, I won't be pushed but so far. One who stands up for what is right, and for their rights. He doesn't go looking for trouble in fact will do whatever within reason to avoid it.

I also believe there is indeed a stereo-typical view of cyclists as weak and timid. My point is, I'm too old to fight and never really had the inclination, preferring instead to walk away. I expect nothing but respect from others in the same measure I give it. But it isn't in my nature to stand around and be physically abused without some attempt at protecting myself. I'm not willing to relinquish the right to defend myself, especially against a dog, for fear of what may happen.

There's an old saying about armed conflict:
Question, "If you knew you were going to a gunfight, which gun would you choose?"
Answer, "If I knew I was going to a gunfight, I wouldn't go!"

So yes, swallow your pride, be called names, do whatever it takes to avoid conflict. But if it comes anyway, I am not prepared to take a beating, nor a biting, without some attempt at returned force to defend, not only my person, but my dignity as a man. There comes a time when one must "stand his ground".

But I'm drifting way off subject from the original OP.

I think we are in agreement on this subject though.
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Old 12-01-17, 08:16 AM
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The only time I have ever crashed because of a dog, was when I was trying to kick it as it chased me. Dog (a Dalmatian) went under my front wheel, and I went over the bars. I was fine, having tucked and rolled, but my seat took all the impact and was destroyed. Owner saw the whole thing, and was quite apologetic, but offered to pay for nothing.

Since then, I just hold my line and ignore them. Doing anything else just energizes them and causes them to chase me an extra 50 yards. In 40 years of riding since I crashed, I have had no further incidents. These dogs that chase bikes don't bite, at least from my experience. They're just bored, not dangerous. Any any attention you give them only encourages them to chase you more eagerly and longer.
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Old 12-01-17, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
Ideally something that could go in a water pistol?
I am going to make the wild suggestion of water. I have toured in many part of the U.S. Works quite well. Indeed, if you have a water bottle filled with water a pistol is not needed. Nothing quite like the look on a yappy dog's face when he takes a good squirt to the kisser. The dog equivalent of "Well I wasn't expecting THAT!"


With that said, and as at least one other person has mentioned, a loud voice is often all that's needed. Show them who is top dog.
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Old 12-01-17, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I am going to make the wild suggestion of water. I have toured in many part of the U.S. Works quite well. Indeed, if you have a water bottle filled with water a pistol is not needed. Nothing quite like the look on a yappy dog's face when he takes a good squirt to the kisser. The dog equivalent of "Well I wasn't expecting THAT!"


With that said, and as at least one other person has mentioned, a loud voice is often all that's needed. Show them who is top dog.
I've not had a dog yet that didn't slam on the brakes when hit in the face with a squirt from my water bottle.

(knock on wood)
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Old 12-01-17, 05:07 PM
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I use a shared pedestrian/cycleway network (we don't cycle on the roads here) so dogs are my main problem. They're often on a lead, but even then, the lead is too long to prevent them crossing my path as i approach. The dog itself isn't so much the issue - the lead is.

I usually use the bell, so the owner can prepare (and they usually do) but if they're around a blind corner, and so i can't give them much notice, i find it safer not to ring and startle them, but merely go on judgement.
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Old 12-04-17, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
Probably not Texas specific; but you get out in the country more than 10-15 miles from well populated areas and there are some people who, while they might not actually shoot you, will definitely let you know they have firearms and do not approve of you hurting their animal. I’m with you in not going through life worrying about what others might do, but also try to know my surroundings and avoid inviting conflict unless absolutely necessary.

And while they probably do need to worry or think about considering violence, let’s face it, there are people who just want to feel like they are in power and a dude on a bike looks like an easy target from an F250. I have known people who carry while on the bike for just this reason.

As a Texan, now living in Pennsylvania, and a cyclist and F250 driver, I can confirm that nearly everything looks like an easy target from the cab of my truck. That's why I carry on the bike, as well.
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Old 12-04-17, 03:51 PM
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dog sees cat, cat runs, dog chases cat running in front of me, I go over handle bars hard. bounce off hip, back pack and helmet (and BS to all the non helmet crowd on whether the work or not...in this case huge benefit) Dogs licks face. me: bruises, sore, no scrapes, bike scapes on brooks seat, pedal, handlbare and brifters
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Old 12-05-17, 01:21 AM
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I also encountered the same incident before. While I was riding my bike, I didn't noticed the dog, fortunately I was able to regain my balanced. I think what we can do is to be extra careful on streets especially when passing a street where there are possible dogs that will pass.
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Old 12-05-17, 08:42 AM
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WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THE SQUIRRELS!!!.....that dart out into the road, and then in indecision, reverse course right in your path. Big problem!!
Thankfully, none have decided to dive through my spokes...yet.

If you have regular interactions with a vicious dog on your routes, either avoid that route, or address it cordially with the owner and if that doesn't work, get the police involved if necessary. Pet owners ARE RESPONSIBLE for any damage caused by their pets.

Dog's are IMO just another safety issue to be aware of, but beyond that, LITERALLY squirrels are a greater "danger" on my rides. But neither of those poses any more risk, realistically, than a pot hole, loose gravel, or acorns. As stated by multiple people, a squirt with your water bottle will usually stop them, then pedal on.


However, keep an eye on those motorists.
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Old 12-06-17, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THE SQUIRRELS!!!.....that dart out into the road, and then in indecision, reverse course right in your path. Big problem!!
Thankfully, none have decided to dive through my spokes...yet.

If you have regular interactions with a vicious dog on your routes, either avoid that route, or address it cordially with the owner and if that doesn't work, get the police involved if necessary. Pet owners ARE RESPONSIBLE for any damage caused by their pets.

Dog's are IMO just another safety issue to be aware of, but beyond that, LITERALLY squirrels are a greater "danger" on my rides. But neither of those poses any more risk, realistically, than a pot hole, loose gravel, or acorns. As stated by multiple people, a squirt with your water bottle will usually stop them, then pedal on.


However, keep an eye on those motorists.
THIS!!

I once saw a dude trying to pull a squirrel out of his fork because the vile beast thought it could fit through the gap in the spokes. Was not a pretty sight. I have also watched a squirrel bounce off the spokes of a rear wheel because the wheel was spinning too fast for it to get its head into the spokes on it’s kamikaze run.

Squirrels are the biggest danger and mortal enemy to cyclists everywhere.
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Old 12-06-17, 10:04 AM
  #25  
WNCGoater
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Seriously. This has been a constant on my rides this fall. I have muttered more than once on a downhill, those &$^% squirrels are going to be the death of me. One literally came within inches, as I was focused down the road, I'm unsure whether he narrowly escaped in front, behind or between my tires. All I saw in the instance he reversed course was we were occupying the same real estate for a split second.
I can envision one diving through my spokes and jamming in the fork/brake on a steep downhill with catastrophic results.
Luckily, that hasn't happened.
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