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Pepper Spray recommendations

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Old 07-01-18, 09:08 AM
  #1  
Buckspeedster
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Pepper Spray recommendations

Hello Group,
I'm new here and I recently was charged at by a loose dog while riding. The dog ran right for my front wheel and i stopped just in time. I had no defense at the time and it very frustrating. Is there a recommended brand of pepper spray that I could buy? There are some that are online but I'm not sure of their quality. I'm sure it's been talked about here and I've done a search but not much for results.
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Old 07-01-18, 09:15 AM
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I just squirt them in the face with my water bottle, it stuns them enough to be able to pull away from them. That's why I always carry two when I usually just need one. I live in the country with wild dogs galore. I'd be going through too many canisters of pepper spray. If I did carry it I would use bear repellent.
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Old 07-01-18, 10:17 AM
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I was attacked by a pair of dogs a couple of years ago, so I understand your feelings well. In many years of cycling, it was the only time I have actually been bitten by dogs. It cost nearly $1000 in medical bills, not to mention the unpleasantness of the situation, so it is definitely something that I don't want to repeat. After that experience I got a small canister of pepper spray at Academy that I carry in my jersey pocket when I ride. I think of it as a last resort and in fact I have never used it.
The first thing to do is to try simply telling the dog to go home. I get the impression that dogs don't always recognize people on bikes as people. When they realize that it's a person, they'll back off. If that doesn't work then a squirt of water will often get them to back off. If that doesn't work, I'll get off my bike, keep the bike between me and the dog, and keep walking until I'm out of the dog's territory (which, in the dog's mind, usually extends into the road). Remember, you cannot outrun the dog. The last resort would be pepper spray, which I didn't have the one time I needed it, and luckily I haven't needed it since.
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Old 07-01-18, 12:41 PM
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Sabre Red Pepper Gel
https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-gel-...novation-sabre

Completely organic. No permanent harm to the dog - wears off completely in two to three hours. Stops a dog instantly - I say this from experience.

There are lots of country farm dogs where I live and I never leave home without the larger tactical canister in my jersey pocket. Sabre Gel has been recommended to me twice by county animal control officers. The tactical canister sprays 18 ft with little to no overspray or blowback due to the thickness of the gel.




-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 07-01-18 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 07-01-18, 06:05 PM
  #5  
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I always carry 'Halt' pepper spray - not sure if it is as powerful as 'Sabre', but I can't legally have Sabre mailed to the state in which I live. The USPS uses 'Halt' and I have sprayed dogs 3 times in 30 years using Halt with the desired result.

Sabre may be available at your local gun store if you can't get it mailed to you.

Make sure you get gel and not a true spray. This matters because if you use the spray version it could create a cloud that riders behind you would unknowingly ride through - nasty!
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Old 07-01-18, 07:01 PM
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Seriously, it isn't the dogs, it i the owners who are the problem. Forget the spray, speak to the owners.

Last edited by cb400bill; 07-01-18 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Removed sentence advocating shooting people
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Old 07-01-18, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Sabre Red Pepper Gel
https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-gel-...novation-sabre

Completely organic. No permanent harm to the dog - wears off completely in two to three hours. Stops a dog instantly - I say this from experience.

There are lots of country farm dogs where I live and I never leave home without the larger tactical canister in my jersey pocket. Sabre Gel has been recommended to me twice by county animal control officers. The tactical canister sprays 18 ft with little to no overspray or blowback due to the thickness of the gel.
-Tim-
I agree with this post! And that’s from a guy who has a metal plate in his shoulder (and daily pain) due to a dog attack much like the one the o/p describes.

Yeah, it’s the owners fault but you’ve got to deal with the consequences (mad dogs) before you can confront the source!
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Old 07-01-18, 10:27 PM
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The immediate concern is stopping the dog when it is charging.

My concern is changing the animal's behavior. Speaking to the owners is a secondary concern.

The last two dogs I sprayed I did exactly that, went back and spoke to the owners. I informed them that I had sprayed their dog and if they touched the dog they would get contaminated with pepper spray themselves. One owner apologized that his dog had gotten loose and thanked me for letting him know. The other claimed the dog which had come from and retreated to his front porch wasn't his dog.

Spray first. Talk after.


-Tim-
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Old 07-01-18, 11:09 PM
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Spray first, talk after. Great philosophy you guys have. The dogs need training on how to behave in society, as do their owners - and the cyclists.
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Old 07-01-18, 11:18 PM
  #10  
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Reminds me, I need to order some pepper gel spray. I'm recovering from a collision injury (car, not dog), but have had too many encounters with dogs. Usually not vicious, but being chased is a dangerous distraction. The dogs should be discouraged for their own safety and pepper spray, while temporarily painful, might deter the dog and save its own life.

It may save my life too. It'll be months before I regain full mobility of my right arm, which limits my ability to defend myself -- it's difficult even to lift my lightest bike right now. Dogs can sense fear and I've seen previously good natured dogs suddenly turn vicious when they sensed fear. Years ago I had to split up a pair of seemingly harmless hound pups, brother and sister, when the female suddenly turned vicious after her brother had a minor injury and began whining. Something about his momentary vulnerability triggered the killer instinct in her. A few years later I saw exactly the same thing again in my father-in-law's bird dogs. One of them had a goat head grass burr stuck in its paw and was whining in pain. The sibling attacked it viciously. Before that incident they'd been harmless goofballs. It shocked us all.

Regarding confronting owners, I've never found that to do any good. In many years of rural living and now in the city, I've never found a single instance of an unrestrained free range dog having a responsible owner who gave a single damn about the effect on their own neighbors, let alone passing cyclists, joggers or pedestrians. At best the owners are clueless, having absolutely no idea about training or disciplining their pets. At worst too many dog owners are as hostile as their dogs and are looking for an excuse to pick a fight. If it's a recurring problem I'll report it to police and animal control. Let them deal with the jerks and psychos.

And water has zero effect on dogs. Tried it years ago, including a high pressure hose on free range dogs that would chase and kill our chickens. Either the dogs would snap at the stream of water or run away a few yards and wait. And squirting water from a bottle is laughably ineffective. The dogs think it's a game and will continue chasing until your water runs out or they get bored.
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Old 07-02-18, 07:17 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Sabre Red Pepper Gel
https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-gel-...novation-sabre

Completely organic. No permanent harm to the dog - wears off completely in two to three hours. Stops a dog instantly - I say this from experience.

There are lots of country farm dogs where I live and I never leave home without the larger tactical canister in my jersey pocket. Sabre Gel has been recommended to me twice by county animal control officers. The tactical canister sprays 18 ft with little to no overspray or blowback due to the thickness of the gel.

-Tim-
Purchased ours years ago. Have it out walking, riding, in door compartment of cars.
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Old 07-02-18, 08:43 AM
  #12  
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Years ago on another bike forum, a guy pointed out that most dogs aren't feral or rabid, but are someone's pet, and that they'll usually respond to a loud,firm, "NO !!", having heard that since puppy-hood. That seemed logical to me, and in the years since I've found it to work most of the time, surprisingly well. The dog kinda hits the brakes for a second (with sort of a "WTF,dude" look on his face, LOL) giving me time to cruise by. Of course, unless I have a decent lead on him, I'm also usually trying to quickly slow down at the same time, in case he tries to put his head through my front wheel.
If I couldn't get away, and the dog seemed genuinely threatening rather than just normal barking and chasing, I've stopped and gotten off the bike, using it as both a shield and potential weapon, and start screaming bloody murder and chasing after him, even throwing a rock if one's handy. (I'm usually seriously pissed, so it ain't an act).

Last edited by Homebrew01; 07-02-18 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Remove Gun talk. Off topic.
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Old 07-02-18, 08:53 AM
  #13  
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Check your state and local laws regarding the legality of pepper sprays. In some states pepper sprays are(or were) illegal. I had my first accident caused by a dog that ran under my wheel. Had I peper spray I'd have sprayed the owner I was that angy.
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Old 07-02-18, 09:08 AM
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One more vote for Halt! I don't carry it close to home, but on longer trips or away from home (where I don't know where the bad dogs are...) I have it clipped to my bar. The half dozen times I needed it I didn't have time to pull anything out of a jersey or jacket pocket. The clip on the bars may release the Halt! canister, or it may come off the bar, but either way I've got it aimed at the offending dog in a split second.
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Old 07-02-18, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
The immediate concern is stopping the dog when it is charging.

My concern is changing the animal's behavior. Speaking to the owners is a secondary concern.

The last two dogs I sprayed I did exactly that, went back and spoke to the owners. I informed them that I had sprayed their dog and if they touched the dog they would get contaminated with pepper spray themselves. One owner apologized that his dog had gotten loose and thanked me for letting him know. The other claimed the dog which had come from and retreated to his front porch wasn't his dog.

Spray first. Talk after.


-Tim-
agreed.
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Old 07-02-18, 09:36 AM
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Fox Labs is well regarded, and what I carry for biking, and hiking.
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Old 07-02-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Seriously, it isn't the dogs, it i the owners who are the problem. Forget the spray, speak to the owners.
That's assuming the owners actually care and would contain their dogs. If the owners were responsible the dogs wouldn't be running loose in the first place.
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Old 07-02-18, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
And water has zero effect on dogs. Tried it years ago, including a high pressure hose on free range dogs that would chase and kill our chickens. Either the dogs would snap at the stream of water or run away a few yards and wait. And squirting water from a bottle is laughably ineffective. The dogs think it's a game and will continue chasing until your water runs out or they get bored.
And I'm not going to waste some of my precious water spraying a dog when pepper spray works so much better.
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Old 07-02-18, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Reminds me, I need to order some pepper gel spray. I'm recovering from a collision injury (car, not dog), but have had too many encounters with dogs. Usually not vicious, but being chased is a dangerous distraction. The dogs should be discouraged for their own safety and pepper spray, while temporarily painful, might deter the dog and save its own life.

It may save my life too. It'll be months before I regain full mobility of my right arm, which limits my ability to defend myself -- it's difficult even to lift my lightest bike right now. Dogs can sense fear and I've seen previously good natured dogs suddenly turn vicious when they sensed fear. Years ago I had to split up a pair of seemingly harmless hound pups, brother and sister, when the female suddenly turned vicious after her brother had a minor injury and began whining. Something about his momentary vulnerability triggered the killer instinct in her. A few years later I saw exactly the same thing again in my father-in-law's bird dogs. One of them had a goat head grass burr stuck in its paw and was whining in pain. The sibling attacked it viciously. Before that incident they'd been harmless goofballs. It shocked us all.

Regarding confronting owners, I've never found that to do any good. In many years of rural living and now in the city, I've never found a single instance of an unrestrained free range dog having a responsible owner who gave a single damn about the effect on their own neighbors, let alone passing cyclists, joggers or pedestrians. At best the owners are clueless, having absolutely no idea about training or disciplining their pets. At worst too many dog owners are as hostile as their dogs and are looking for an excuse to pick a fight. If it's a recurring problem I'll report it to police and animal control. Let them deal with the jerks and psychos.

And water has zero effect on dogs. Tried it years ago, including a high pressure hose on free range dogs that would chase and kill our chickens. Either the dogs would snap at the stream of water or run away a few yards and wait. And squirting water from a bottle is laughably ineffective. The dogs think it's a game and will continue chasing until your water runs out or they get bored.
Good thoughts.... I am going to get some pepper spray before riding again. We have some neighbors a couple of miles down the street that I have avoided in going that route because their dogs are always running wild (ended up at our house 8-10 times). After just breaking my leg, I am not about to have any dogs lunging at me and making me prone to another injury or fall. Good thread!
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Old 07-02-18, 10:50 AM
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Old 07-02-18, 10:52 AM
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Call animal control to have them taken care of.
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Old 07-02-18, 11:10 AM
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A defense whistle might help too
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Old 07-02-18, 11:51 AM
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Old 07-02-18, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Call animal control to have them taken care of.
The owners or the dogs? Or both?
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Old 07-02-18, 12:57 PM
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Again, calling animal control is fine after the fact. Talking to the owner is fine after the fact.

The first concern is stopping the dog. That means pepper spray. Animal control officers where I live recommend using pepper spray.

Many times an owner simply won't answer the door or isn't home when animal control officers show up. If the animal isn't seen by the officer then there is nothing they can do.

Not all counties are responsive either. Animal Control in the county where I live is useless. There is no formal complaint process or form, only a phone number. They ask if the dog is still loose tell me to call back later when I can see the dog running loose. The next county over is extremely responsive and has issued several citations as a result of complaints from cyclists.


-Tim-
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