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What to do about dogs?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What to do about dogs?

Old 08-17-07, 01:27 PM
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AbsoluteZ3RO
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What to do about dogs?

How many of you have to deal with dogs on your daily rides. I have one that bothers me every morning. It's not to the point where I'm in danger, but I fear that some day I may be attacked. I love dogs, and trust most, but I've seen a few dogs come after me and I've seen other stories of dogs messing with people here.

My father in law suggested pepper spray, or dog treats (obviously different ends of the spectrum), but I thought I'd see what others do. I'd rather not spray a dog with pepper spray, unless the thing is about to take my leg off, then I'd still rather spray the owner for letting it out of their control.
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Old 08-17-07, 01:34 PM
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Call Michael Vick and his groonies.
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Old 08-17-07, 01:35 PM
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There is a watered-down pepper spray product called "Halt." It is designed to make the dog stop without making them yelp or causing them great pain. I have used it -- it works very well.

The same dogs still like me, so it must not be terribly uncomfortable for them. But whenever I reach for the can of "Halt" in my pocket, the dogs who have experienced it before tend to stop chasing.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:16 PM
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I have used a little peanut butter sandwiched between two ritz crackers. It takes them a few moments to chew and swallow - long enough for you to get away with minimal effect on their health.

I view Halt with some suspiction because it's impossible to know how it feels to them. Dogs are pack animals that evolution has taught to mask their weaknesses lest they should be attacked. They usually only yelp when something really hurts - or they're trying to con you into doing something for them.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AbsoluteZ3RO View Post
How many of you have to deal with dogs on your daily rides. I have one that bothers me every morning. It's not to the point where I'm in danger, but I fear that some day I may be attacked. I love dogs, and trust most, but I've seen a few dogs come after me and I've seen other stories of dogs messing with people here.

My father in law suggested pepper spray, or dog treats (obviously different ends of the spectrum), but I thought I'd see what others do. I'd rather not spray a dog with pepper spray, unless the thing is about to take my leg off, then I'd still rather spray the owner for letting it out of their control.
I am very interested in other cyclists experiences - great topic!

I had to face a very angry dog every time I wanted to make my favorite 32 mile loop. Most of the time he was found sitting at the side of the road hunting for cyclists. He's tried to catch me several times when I've been alone and with groups - by the way, he can run 22 MPH. I've tried yelling "NO!" and I've tried speaking calmly "good boy" as I've approached, but nothing has worked. I've decided to simply avoid that stretch of road now because of the darn dog, but have considered getting a frame pump to use as a defensive weapon like a seal club in case I find myself in the same situation elsewhere.

I've heard that pepper sprays just make aggressive dogs more angry and I don't think that I want to make an aggressive dog think that cyclist = delicious snack. What to do?
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Old 08-17-07, 02:27 PM
  #6  
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^^ depending on ordinances in your area, for a dog that is a habitual threat, you may be able to involve animal control. Letting the owner know in advance would be nice.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:37 PM
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I just yell "NO!!!" at the dog, hopefully way before they are even with me. If they get too close, I stop quickly and get off the bike, and put the bike between me and the dog and yell some more. I've not had to do anything else yet. If they know that I'm going to stop and confront them each time, they usually give up after my first yell after the second time. I got this advice from local riders, because it comes up a lot with local ranch and farm dogs. I've only heard of one guy that has had to smack an agressive dog with the bike to keep it off him.

The other ideas sound useful as well. Be careful, especially if it is a big dog.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:42 PM
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send them dogs to www.puppysteak.com
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Old 08-17-07, 02:44 PM
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See my post on "Vienna Sausages..."
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Old 08-17-07, 02:48 PM
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I whack 'em on the snout with my frame pump. Worked every time so far.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ri_us View Post
I have used a little peanut butter sandwiched between two ritz crackers. It takes them a few moments to chew and swallow - long enough for you to get away with minimal effect on their health.

I view Halt with some suspiction because it's impossible to know how it feels to them. Dogs are pack animals that evolution has taught to mask their weaknesses lest they should be attacked. They usually only yelp when something really hurts - or they're trying to con you into doing something for them.
There is no way a dog who is chasing you down with the intent to bite would stop for a cracker you throw toward him.

I'd go with Halt or pepper spray. I had a dog chasing me once and I sprayed him in the eyes with grapefruit juice from my water bottle. I bet that stung.
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Old 08-17-07, 03:02 PM
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rofl, seal club
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Old 08-17-07, 03:02 PM
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I couldn't carry enough vienna sausages or peanut butter treats! I have had as many as twenty-three (23) dogs chase me on a routine training ride. I average eighteen. Probably 30% of those are pitbulls.
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Old 08-17-07, 03:20 PM
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I found that dogs will chase, but even big dogs are only playing. They may chase and bark up a storm, but they never put the last effort in to attack. The dogs I've encountered that did get close enough to bite I just lean over and bark as low and as loud as I can. I think dog hierarchy depends on your bark a bit. When I bark back they are usually stunned for a couple seconds. It's like they're asking themselves, "woah, what am I dealing with here?" Even the big ones take a step back.

I probably look like a nut barking at dogs at the top of my lungs, but it sure gets me energized.
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Old 08-17-07, 03:23 PM
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If it's a regular thing, i agree with the above comment to get animal control involved. It seems like they could force the owners to either keep their dogs tied up, or get something like invisible fence if they don't want to tie them up. I suppose it depends on the laws where you live, though, and the laws regarding pets.
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Old 08-17-07, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AbsoluteZ3RO View Post
How many of you have to deal with dogs on your daily rides. I have one that bothers me every morning. It's not to the point where I'm in danger, but I fear that some day I may be attacked. I love dogs, and trust most, but I've seen a few dogs come after me and I've seen other stories of dogs messing with people here.

My father in law suggested pepper spray, or dog treats (obviously different ends of the spectrum), but I thought I'd see what others do. I'd rather not spray a dog with pepper spray, unless the thing is about to take my leg off, then I'd still rather spray the owner for letting it out of their control.
For this kind of problem I would be tempted to walk my pair in the area. (They are big boys at 105 lbs each and do work as a team for almost everything, especially begging for more food).
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Old 08-17-07, 03:45 PM
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Get a water bottle that sprays a nice fine stream of water and spray the dog in the face. It stops them in thier tracks. I can get them at 15 feet and I never have to break my stride.
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Old 08-17-07, 03:45 PM
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I ride up to the owner and have a chat with him.
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Old 08-17-07, 03:47 PM
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Spray them with water and they will stop.
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Old 08-17-07, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Spray them with water and they will stop.
+1
The advantage of this is that the water bottle is always there and you're used to handling it (as opposed to a pepper spray container).
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Old 08-17-07, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Get a water bottle that sprays a nice fine stream of water and spray the dog in the face. It stops them in thier tracks. I can get them at 15 feet and I never have to break my stride.
I use the water bottle tactic and it does work every time. If the same animal persists in the future I talk to the owners..if that doesn't work there's always this:



or, I can always hire:

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Old 08-17-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by vpiuva View Post
Have you used this?
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Old 08-17-07, 07:20 PM
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Pepper Spray.
or Oven Cleaner, if you're really fed up.

Last edited by xfimpg; 08-17-07 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:58 PM
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Aaah, but what do you do if it's not a dog, but instead a black bear ?

It's happened to me several times, but not in my new location. We only have moose.

Funny how dogs can be a__hol_s to bikers, but I've found bears just take off, as I'm sure they have better things to do.
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Old 08-18-07, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ThinLine View Post
Call Michael Vick and his groonies.

also my first thought!
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