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Dogs.

Old 06-29-21, 07:32 PM
  #1  
Helderberg
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Dogs.

I was riding today, it was in the 90's with high humidity, and at about mile 12 two dogs started chasing me. Now they were two Chihuahua so no big deal but it got me thinking. I was climbing a long grade, not going much over 9 mph, what if this had been a Doberman or a Pitbull? How do you people handle large aggressive dogs that chase you and want to rip you apart? I was laughing while it was happening but in hindsight, it could have gotten very ugly. And yes, I need to lose some weight and train to climb faster, I know.
Thanks in advance, Frank.
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Old 06-29-21, 07:42 PM
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I point straight at the dogs and yell a loud "GO HOME". And hit the gas on my riding a bit.

So far no problems, although I did have a person say their dog was a "Good Dog" right before it grabbed for a piece of my handlebars. Then, one dog near Portland that just kept coming. Never saw it again though.

I have to think homeowners hear my ROAR... and those that are conscientious keep a tighter reign on their dogs.

I did have a dog at a mandatory turn-around. When I said "GO HOME", the dog just went and sat down at the corner of it's property.... "This is HOME". As long as it wasn't chasing me, that was all I needed.
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Old 06-29-21, 08:22 PM
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I yell at the dog(s) and stop or slow. Climbing a hill at 9 mph means even if you hit the gas almost any dog will catch you. You won't be able to speed up enough to ensure a clean get away. The biggest threat of serious injury here is the dog causing a crash... possibly at high speed because you tried to get away. Speeding up encourages the chase, stopping eliminates the crash threat. I've yet to have a dog not back down, and usually don't need to come to a complete stop.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:03 PM
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Put a few rocks in your pocket to throw at them.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:23 PM
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Yet another reason why the steel Campagnolo pump head was so much better than the lightweight plastic one that came with the old Silca frame pump.

Turning around and chasing the dog is very effective 90% of the time. The frame pump takes care of the other 10%.
Brent
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Old 06-29-21, 09:37 PM
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I had a large mutt want a piece of me so bad it jumped a puny 3 foot fence while the owner looked on and simply stood there. I knew immediately by the speed it was approaching and the set of its mouth it meant business. I stopped and swung my bike between it and me just as it got to me, almost knocking me over. Then I literally used my bike to attack the dog (adrenaline is a powerful drug). I chased that dog back into the yard and then kicked the gate so hard it flew off the hinges and the lady standing there told me I was going to pay for it. Fortunately, my bike wasn't damaged ( good old steel frame). I pulled out my flip phone and told the lady that we would let the cops decide who was paying for what. She turned and stormed into her house taking the dog with her. The next time I rode past a day or two later I was looking for the dog. Once again it came charging across the yard so I hit the brakes and waited for it with the fence and the bike between it and me. It stopped just before it reached the fence and when I yelled at it to eff off, it trotted back to the front porch. The lady never came out and within a month there were new renters there and they didn't have a dog. I'm glad to say.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:08 PM
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A bicycle resembles the motion of running prey and triggers predatory instincts in most dogs unless they're well trained or exceptionally calm. I stop, get off the bike and put the bike between myself and the dog and take a moment to evaluate the situation. I carry pepper spray but have used it only once in six years.

Most chasing dogs are guarding their territory and stop as soon as we pass their invisible boundaries. And most of them get confused when we stop. So they tend to lose interest and leave.

I also run video on every ride, so I have documentation in case the incident escalates. Unfortunately too many untrained and undisciplined dogs are owned by people who are indifferent or incompetent to be responsible dog owners, and tend to react defensively and with hostility. So try to avoid confrontations or escalation.
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Old 06-30-21, 03:41 AM
  #8  
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I squirt them in the face with my water bottle. It stuns them enough that you can sprint away. I did have one dog that actually jumped up and clamped his jaws on the tip of my drop bar. One of those that would chase me every ride. He was just hanging there while I was riding and I had to kick him off haha. His teeth tore holes in my bar tape. Later in the day I drove to the owners house and told the lady that next time I was going to call the police. Never saw that dog outside again.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:33 AM
  #9  
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The main rule is: Nothing works with every dog.

My cycle club had a dog trainer give a talk. She emphasized the difference between a dog that wants to chase you away and one that wants to attack and bite. Ears pulled back, tail down, and an aggressive attitude, I think. She said to take off sunglasses and stare down and yell at the chaser dogs, but don't look directly into the eyes of an attacking dog -- it's a challenge. Luckily, I've never encountered one of these attack situations.

For normal dogs:

To discourage them:
Yelling commands. 30-50% effective.
Staring down: It helps along with these other methods.
Squirt with a water bottle. maybe 30% effective -- but it really backs off those dogs, even if the water doesn't reach them. They don't expect something flying toward them.
A loud emergency whistle. It startles dogs into stopping. Again, 30-50%
For small dogs far ahead at the side of the road, barking: I sometimes speed up, change my riding direction to aim directly at them, and yell/growl. Raahhh! Some dogs will bail and run away.

I do the water bottle squirt for dogs that don't come out onto the road. I hope it's a little training to keep them away for future riders.

Strategy:
Stopping will defuse most dogs. And I worry way more about collisions than bites. Dogs go for moving feet and ankles, too.
Downhills ahead -- sprint away.
Uphills ahead -- stop, get off the bike. Use the bike front wheel as a moveable barrier. Try all the discourage strategies. Walk away from the dog's territory.
Flats -- Dogs are faster than you and me. If the dog was late responding and the angle isn't good to intercept, I'll try sprinting. Otherwise stop.

I see quite a few dogs that make sure they will reach the road behind the riders. They just want to bark, not fight. As soon as we are out of their "territory" they go home.
I'm getting better at hearing dog barks that are "I wish I could chase, but I'm stuck here with a chain or invisible fence." Frustrated barks!

Multiple dogs:
They can get each other revved up. I got nipped years ago when two young dogs came charging in, even though I was stopped. They immediately backed off -- "what have I done!"

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-30-21 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:37 AM
  #10  
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Animal Control
The county Animal Control officers are really good at follow up. They will visit the owner (if you know where the dog came from), and do rabies tests, etc if a rider was bitten. Talking to the owner ourselves never works -- "What do you expect, go ride somewhere else." The officer will explain the rules to them.
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Old 06-30-21, 07:42 AM
  #11  
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Thank you all for your suggestions.
Ride safe, Frank.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:16 AM
  #12  
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Dogs and many animals seem to sense fear. Don't be scared. My wife for whatever reason has a fear of dogs that bark and look aggressive. If we encounter a dog while walking that comes out barking, the dog will come up and ignore me as I try to stand between it and my cowardly (to dogs) wife. I know it's ignoring me because It circles me barking and looking at my wife.

So just simply learning to suppress your fears might be a big help. When on the bike you have two options. Simply outrun them or stop. Many times as soon as I stop the dog stops.

I don't know if any of the dogs were pure pit-bull, but many of the dogs are large mean looking dogs. Though the little chihuahua's seems to have to go the extra step to compensate for their size and actually get close and act like they are nipping at me.

I've never been bitten yet. Neither has my wife, so I don't understand what to me is her irrational fear.

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Old 06-30-21, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
I had a large mutt want a piece of me so bad it jumped a puny 3 foot fence while the owner looked on and simply stood there. I knew immediately by the speed it was approaching and the set of its mouth it meant business. I stopped and swung my bike between it and me just as it got to me, almost knocking me over. Then I literally used my bike to attack the dog (adrenaline is a powerful drug). I chased that dog back into the yard and then kicked the gate so hard it flew off the hinges and the lady standing there told me I was going to pay for it. Fortunately, my bike wasn't damaged ( good old steel frame). I pulled out my flip phone and told the lady that we would let the cops decide who was paying for what. She turned and stormed into her house taking the dog with her. The next time I rode past a day or two later I was looking for the dog. Once again it came charging across the yard so I hit the brakes and waited for it with the fence and the bike between it and me. It stopped just before it reached the fence and when I yelled at it to eff off, it trotted back to the front porch. The lady never came out and within a month there were new renters there and they didn't have a dog. I'm glad to say.
A bike handled like a two handed scythe can be an effective defense if all else fails. That should cover most dog threats when they won't stop at first. If after that they are still coming, you are in trouble.

The real problem isn't dogs though. It's some dog owners.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:47 AM
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Slow down to let them almost catch up then turn round and really push on that downhill.
I don't know if it's my voice or just the accent, but yelling "sit" has always worked. OTOH I have also talked to black bears when I meet them on a walk, with good results.
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Old 06-30-21, 11:27 AM
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The last time that happened to me I got ready to kick the dog in the face before the owner finally stepped in. I told him I was ready to kill the dog before i would let it bite me. The owner then got aggressive and said maybe you want to fight me. My reply was you need to control your animal and no I don't want a fight with you. The next time I saw him - it was on my back lane used to get to work - he apologized and after that no problems.
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Old 06-30-21, 03:26 PM
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I've luckily never had a run-in with a dog while riding (maybe because I mostly ride off-road), save for one time a nasty little fluffy white yapper tried to bite my ankle at a stop light as it was crossing street (it was on one of those stupid elastic/retractable leashes that clueless dog owners use).

But I do have an annoying dog next door that barks if it's outside, gets my OWN dog barking like crazy, etc. The neighbors don't care. So I bought this cheap $12 sonic dog bark deterrent: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079ZS78W4...roduct_details
Looked like a piece of junk but.... holy cow this thing is shockingly effective. I can't even use it if my own dog is outside, even a good distance away--it makes her totally rattled and she hides inside for an hour afterwards. To test it further, I was on a walk, and there was a guy walking two big dogs and they were barking at me, pulling, looking like they wanted to eat me, so I pointed this thing at them and man, they got totally quiet, tails between legs and tried to get as far away from me as possible. I was roughly 15-20 feet away from them. It's so small the guy couldn't see what I had in my hand--didn't register to him I'd done anything. So, I dunno, maybe I'll velcro this cheap little gadget to my bike . . .
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Old 06-30-21, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I was riding today, it was in the 90's with high humidity, and at about mile 12 two dogs started chasing me. Now they were two Chihuahua so no big deal but it got me thinking. I was climbing a long grade, not going much over 9 mph, what if this had been a Doberman or a Pitbull? How do you people handle large aggressive dogs that chase you and want to rip you apart? I was laughing while it was happening but in hindsight, it could have gotten very ugly. And yes, I need to lose some weight and train to climb faster, I know.
Thanks in advance, Frank.
Each case is different. If you are doing 20 mph down a slight grade, it is probably easy to get beyond the dog's territory. Going uphill is a different story.

On a 4500 mile bike race, I got to the top of a long, steep climb in Kentucky at around 11 pm or maybe Midnight. Three dogs greated me. One was a Pit. This was one of the scariest moments of my life. I would describe my preferred approach but the kind, gentle moderators would take note. People who say spray water are stupid.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:13 PM
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When a dog starts chasing you, do you really have time to determine if the dog is just chasing for fun and will stop after a short while, chasing to protect it's territory (yard) and will stop once you pass by, or chasing to attack you and won't stop until it's either out-run or bites?
Of course, the first thing I will do is yell "GO HOME!" or even "SIT!". But, while I'm doing that, I'm reaching into my jersey pocket to grab my HALT spray cannister. If the dog comes within range, I don't take chances. The dog gets a face full of spray. (Personal experience, water doesn't always work.) Stopping may work sometimes, but if it's a particularly vicious dog, you could be standing there for a long time before the dog either gets bored or finally gets to sink it's teeth into you.
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Old 06-30-21, 05:31 PM
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I donít know anyone that can ride fast enough to outrun a dog on a climb. You need to be going 20+ mph for a little longer distance than you might think.

Iíve had a lot of canine interactions. I donít mind the dogs running alongside and barking. The only issue with those is if they are running out in the road and a vehicle comes along. Iíve seen two dogs get hit by vehicles doing that.

What I donít like are dogs that nip at my ankles nor dogs that dance back and forth in front of my bike. Iíve been bitten on a climb and got animal control involved.

Iíve even had a dog bite and try and grab my front wheel on a climb. Having a dog biting your front wheel while riding is pretty scaryÖ..

Iíve tried a lot off things but havenít found anything that really works in every situation. Yelling commands works for some. Spraying water works for some. Loud whistles also work for some. But Iím not sure if there is anything that works on the really aggressive dogs other than pepper spray and firearms.

Dogs will also be more aggressive on their property and also when the owners are present .
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Old 06-30-21, 05:36 PM
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I carry pepper spray. I've never had to use it, but if I feel threatened ...

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Old 06-30-21, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by northernjeep View Post
The last time that happened to me I got ready to kick the dog in the face before the owner finally stepped in. I told him I was ready to kill the dog before i would let it bite me. The owner then got aggressive and said maybe you want to fight me. My reply was you need to control your animal and no I don't want a fight with you. The next time I saw him - it was on my back lane used to get to work - he apologized and after that no problems.
It's really interesting how people get aggressive behavior when they're in the wrong.
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Old 06-30-21, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I've luckily never had a run-in with a dog while riding (maybe because I mostly ride off-road), save for one time a nasty little fluffy white yapper tried to bite my ankle at a stop light as it was crossing street (it was on one of those stupid elastic/retractable leashes that clueless dog owners use).

But I do have an annoying dog next door that barks if it's outside, gets my OWN dog barking like crazy, etc. The neighbors don't care. So I bought this cheap $12 sonic dog bark deterrent: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079ZS78W4...roduct_details
Looked like a piece of junk but.... holy cow this thing is shockingly effective. I can't even use it if my own dog is outside, even a good distance away--it makes her totally rattled and she hides inside for an hour afterwards. To test it further, I was on a walk, and there was a guy walking two big dogs and they were barking at me, pulling, looking like they wanted to eat me, so I pointed this thing at them and man, they got totally quiet, tails between legs and tried to get as far away from me as possible. I was roughly 15-20 feet away from them. It's so small the guy couldn't see what I had in my hand--didn't register to him I'd done anything. So, I dunno, maybe I'll velcro this cheap little gadget to my bike . . .
I want one!
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Old 06-30-21, 07:01 PM
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Regarding multiple dog confrontations... this is based on years of working around many dogs, as a dog owner and working for veterinarians.

A reliable way to distract them is to hurt one of the dogs badly enough that it yelps in fear and darts away. This often triggers a primitive shark-brain instinct in the other dogs and they're likely to turn and attack the injured dog. It works best if the injured dog bleeds a little. I know it sounds cruel but we're talking about a scenario in which you are at risk of serious injury or death.

It's an odd thing to witness but I've seen it many times. Dogs will viciously attack their own siblings and packmates if one of them is injured, especially enough to draw blood. I've seen it with my own basset hounds years ago -- the female nearly killed her brother after he was injured slightly by a barbed wire fence drawing a little blood. After that attack she kept repeatedly attacking her sibling and I finally had to split up the pair.

And I saw the same thing with a relative's pair of bird dogs. One of them caught a birdshot pellet in the paw while hunting. We're certain the dogs were well off to the side but my best guess is some of the birdshot ricocheted off a rock in the field and nicked the dog's paw -- it was just barely under the skin. But these formerly loving and gentle dogs turned vicious in an instant and the other nearly killed the injured dog.

Again, it may seem like a cruel tactic to deliberately hurt one dog enough to draw blood, but when confronted with two or more dogs it may save your life.
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Old 06-30-21, 07:51 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
I want one!
It's crazy how well this chintzy little thing works. YMMV of course, but for $12, hard to beat!
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Old 06-30-21, 08:09 PM
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Pepper spray is the most reliable and safest for both you and the dog.

Stop and get off your bike - a large dog is going to catch you anyway and if you're still moving, you risk a crash and serious injury. Put the bike between you and the dog. If yelling at it doesn't scare it away immediately, hit it with the pepper spray. The dog will run away, you carry on with your ride, and both you and the dog go home safe (although the dog is very uncomfortable for 15-30 minutes). I've never had it fail. It has the added benefit of training the dog - it won't chase you or probably any cyclist ever again.

I use Sabre Red, same exact model as TCollen (above).

Last edited by Jeff Neese; 06-30-21 at 08:12 PM.
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