Being chased by dogs....



OoAmericanGirl

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Aug 2, 2006
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...scares the **** out of me. I was attacked by a dog and was in the hospital as a kid so I'm afraid of large dogs. I've found this wonderful road with no traffic, but there are a few houses where they have dogs that will chase you and I'm afraid of being torn off the bike at 18mph. I was thinking of carrying a bottle of mace, but somone told me that would not deter the dog from chasing me. I also toyed with the idea of bringing treats, but then that might encourage them to chase me if they get rewared with it. What can I do to keep myself from being bitten?
 

Jono L

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Apr 28, 2005
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OoAmericanGirl said:
...scares the **** out of me. I was attacked by a dog and was in the hospital as a kid so I'm afraid of large dogs. I've found this wonderful road with no traffic, but there are a few houses where they have dogs that will chase you and I'm afraid of being torn off the bike at 18mph. I was thinking of carrying a bottle of mace, but somone told me that would not deter the dog from chasing me. I also toyed with the idea of bringing treats, but then that might encourage them to chase me if they get rewared with it. What can I do to keep myself from being bitten?
You're not a cat by any chance?
 

Aussie Steve

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Nov 8, 2005
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You might as well carry a bottle of mace and give it a try...if it works, great; if not, you can always use it against any potential muggers as well...borrow one from one of your friends or just buy a very small one that only gives a few shots, if they are available. The thing with dogs, if you see them well in advance, and the road has little traffic, it may be a bit easier to avoid them than if they charge out straight at you.
I remember one morning at maybe 5:30 am, I spotted 6 guys up ahead, walking, they were obviously going home after being at a nightclub...two of them turned around and saw me; from their body language, and their gesticulations, I knew they were shaping to jump me and grab my bike :eek: - maybe they had no money for a cab...:confused:
I made for the opposite side of the road, then put on the big "Robbie McEwan sprint" as I went past, they tried to catch me but I was doing 40 km/h (24 mph) with my heart rate in the red zone...!!
 

vadiver

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Oct 3, 2006
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OoAmericanGirl said:
...scares the **** out of me. I was attacked by a dog and was in the hospital as a kid so I'm afraid of large dogs. I've found this wonderful road with no traffic, but there are a few houses where they have dogs that will chase you and I'm afraid of being torn off the bike at 18mph. I was thinking of carrying a bottle of mace, but somone told me that would not deter the dog from chasing me. I also toyed with the idea of bringing treats, but then that might encourage them to chase me if they get rewared with it. What can I do to keep myself from being bitten?
Ausie's post is what I do.

When I ride I try to pay attention to barking dogs. If I hear them I start to prepare at that point.

I do not know if I have ever had a dog come at me head on. It is usually from either behind or side to likea 45 degree approach. If that is the case I up shift a gear and sprint like I have a steak in my pocket. I have been able to out run all of the dogs I have encountered and they seem to give up before I give out.

I am not as terrified of dogs as it sounds you are, but have been attacked by a dog once, and was very lucky, so the next bit probably will not work for you. When I am walking If I encounter a dog running at me I just stop, and as fourcefull as I can muster I tell the dog to "SIT". I do not make any movements towards the dog and try to "read" the dog. If its tail is waging fast, it is just a noisy playful dog, if it is not I am a bit more worried. If the dog is chasing you because it wants to chase you, if you stop, they have nothing to chase.

I have not been bitten for a long time now, but I am still cautious and try to avoid dogs while riding.
 

bobv190

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Jun 21, 2003
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but there are a few houses where they have dogs that will chase you and I'm afraid of being torn off the bike at 18mph

I live in a very rural area of Western North Carolina. Obviously ... no leash laws exist here and pretty much all dogs run free. I ride about 7,500 miles a year and obviously get chased by literally scores of dogs each year.

I know that someone will probably contradict this, but your chances of getting yanked from your bike by a dog are probably next to nill. The biggest danger when it comes to dogs, is hitting one causing a nasty accident where both you and the dog will likely be injured. I had a Jack Russell recently go right between my front and rear wheel and amazingly make it through without hitting anything.

Most dogs are just in it for the chase ... if I feel a dog is getting too aggressive, I just give them a squirt right in the face with water from my water bottle. It always seems to stun them long enough for me to ride away, or for them to realize that it isn't worth it anymore.
 

OoAmericanGirl

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frenchyge said:
You might try riding with a slower friend. :)
biggrin.gif
My poor dad wants me to take him on this route. I guess that I'll try the mace.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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bobv190 said:
Most dogs are just in it for the chase ... if I feel a dog is getting too aggressive, I just give them a squirt right in the face with water from my water bottle. It always seems to stun them long enough for me to ride away, or for them to realize that it isn't worth it anymore.
I've seen people do that in my club rides and it seems to work pretty good.

Knowing my luck if I used mace it would probably blow back in face somehow and I would be maced and mauled at the same time. :)
 

Bill Black

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Apr 13, 2006
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Bear Spray -- it comes out in a thick stream vs. a mist so no blow-back. The first dog I used it on I thought I had killed it -- absolutely dropped him, a lot of writhely and yelping but he recovered and has not chased me since. Google it -- there are many varieties.

Best,
Bill Black
 

pwebster

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Nov 17, 2004
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howdy,

I've tried the anti-dog pepper spray which is probably similar to Mace. The problem is a) its kind of expensive at $5 a can b) the dog has to be real real close to get a hit. Only a few feet away and at that point, you might not want to take one hand off your handlebars so you can use the spray. c) the vast majority of dogs aren't going to run into you or bite you, so spraying all dogs is big effort on your part and disruptive to your ride.
I thought about the bear spray but balked at the $35 sticker price and its a big can for your back pocket. Also there may be some blurb on the can that its a violation of federal law to use for its non-intended purpose.
I've tried lemon juice in a the water bottle. Didn't seem to work any better than regular water and of course at some point you'll forget its lemon juice and take a big swig.
A squirt from your water bottle works well. The best I've found so far - is when the dog(s) approach, point and shout in your loudest/deepest voice "go back" or "stop". This works amazingly well. The dog(s) will stop dead in its/their tracks. It worked for me again this past Saturday.
If your neighborhood has a leash law you could call animal control for a chat. I haven't tried this but they might offer to do something for you.
Good luck - I was in the same spot as you two years ago but it gets better as you get used to seeing the same dogs and realize that you're not going to get bit.
PW
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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pwebster said:
... The best I've found so far - is when the dog(s) approach, point and shout in your loudest/deepest voice "go back" or "stop". This works amazingly well. The dog(s) will stop dead in its/their tracks. ...
I'll second that, I've carried pepper spray and bear spray (we actually have grizzlies in mountain biking terrain around here so it's a good idea) but the worst dogs seem to appear out of nowhere and I doubt I could fish out the spray fast enough most of the time. A stern shout and a point stops them for a moment or two and that's usually all it takes to move down the road. I also agree with the previous poster, getting bit isn't really my concern, getting a dog under my front wheel causing a hard crash is what I worry about. I've seen it happen several times over the years, the dog comes racing out of nowhere and gets tangled up in a front wheel or chainring, the cyclist goes down hard and the dog gets badly injured by the big ring. It cost a friend a broken hip many years ago and I've seen a couple less serious injuries from dogs.

-Dave
 

9.8mps2

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Feb 9, 2006
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frenchyge said:
You might try riding with a slower friend. :)
Outstanding !! ...unless you are back marker like me.
Situational awareness is the best policy. If you can shout something loud and command - like as he starts his run at you he will break off early 7 / 10 times.
I fear no dog if I'm standing , but need a little piece of mind when clipped in with my achilles tendon in an inticing position.
I have not been seriously threatened since I have velcro'd my poochie mace to my top tube.
It is amazing - "Owners" who appear to gain some redneck amusement in allowing their dog to chase cyclists - even dicounting the cyclist's well being, they allow their dog to endanger it's own life by streaking across roads to get to you...
 

Jim R

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Jul 26, 2004
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I own a can of bear spray for hiking but it is too big and bulky to carry on the bike. The best thing I have found with a chasing dog is to holler at him as loud as possible. They will often stop probably associating this with their owner scolding them. If that doesn't work, pedal like hell.

If I had a repeat offender on a route I wanted to keep using though, I would get out the bear spray and have it ready ahead of time.
 

Hewer

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Oct 30, 2003
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In addition to commandingly yelling "STOP" or "SIT" or "NO" (All orders dogs are used to hearing from their owners), I've had some good luck with my silent dog whistle. Blowing it sometimes confuses them enough that they stop the chase. I keep one around my neck on a chord. You've got to be aware and see them coming in order to use it, though.

I second looking into the leash laws. I've had dogs cross traffic to get to me on the other side of the road- that's very dangerous for everybody.

I have managed to kick a couple of dogs with my cleats (at speed)- That's pretty scary. I don't recommend it. It's even more scary when you miss.

Around here cats can be as bad as dogs for mucking up the ride. They'll freeze right in your path trying to decide which way to dart. Of course it will end up being the way you try to use to get around the durn critter. Usually a good "PSSSSST" will scare them enough to pick a direction before you have to slow down too much.
 

9.8mps2

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Feb 9, 2006
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I failed to observe your handle - it appears on closer inspection that you are female, and may have less of a command voice than some of us guys. Keep it deep and don't be afraid to curse them soundly. Many dogs will respect a fit female who will candidly discuss their lineage . As an ex merchant mariner I can cuss them untill fur starts falling off. One dog seemed to comprehend that I indeed would inflate him with my CO2 up the wazoo then skin him out with my plastic tiretool.
If you have enough lead, go like hell, but if not coasting might be better - they seem to be fascinated by whirling feet. As my learned colleague Hewer indicates, kicking at them is a bad idea. I had one repeat offender that I stopped and gathered a few rocks for before our dance - good thing he did not show that day as just tossing them away gently damn near unhorsed me !
Maybe one of those "soft touch" plastic bb pistols.
Be it spray, foghorn, airgun , or .40 S&W, it must be instantly reachable with no fumbling.
My only getoff ( so far -knock knock ) was the result of a dog inspired sprint - no mas .
 

zorly

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Oct 5, 2006
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If you are really afraid of the dogs maybe mace would make you feel better. Thing is most mace is like 6', or so, max effective distance, and that is not really considering riding a bicycle at speed and so forth. They have those huge bear mace can foggers, but don't know how you would strap that one on comfortably. One of the riot control mace grenades would probably do the trick though. Seriously, I carry mace sometimes, but it is meant for unruly people in certain areas.
Personally I've had tons of dogs give chase and, so far, there has never been one that can match a decent little sprint, though they can gain some ground while you are getting things wound up (Though they do claim that Greyhounds, whippets & some Afghan hounds can get up to between 38-45 mph. Mmmm. Now, that would be getting it on).
If they come in from the front, just slow down enough to make them think you're going to face off with them, then blow on through to one side and pour it on.
Closest one ever came was one jamming a paw into the rear spokes during a good sneaky side attack (didn't see it coming in time) & it wasn't walking to well after that, but didn't stop to check on it, as it was one of the more vicious ones.
It would be bad to have one make you down though, while a few more were on the way. Guess you would have to force feed them some bicycle bits and pieces.
Actually, there are some roads where I know where the dogs are and look forward to a little race with them (as do they).
This person put some serious thought into it --> www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/dogs.htm
 

OoAmericanGirl

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Aug 2, 2006
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9.8mps2 said:
I failed to observe your handle - it appears on closer inspection that you are female, and may have less of a command voice than some of us guys. Keep it deep and don't be afraid to curse them soundly. Many dogs will respect a fit female who will candidly discuss their lineage . As an ex merchant mariner I can cuss them untill fur starts falling off. One dog seemed to comprehend that I indeed would inflate him with my CO2 up the wazoo then skin him out with my plastic tiretool.
If you have enough lead, go like hell, but if not coasting might be better - they seem to be fascinated by whirling feet. As my learned colleague Hewer indicates, kicking at them is a bad idea. I had one repeat offender that I stopped and gathered a few rocks for before our dance - good thing he did not show that day as just tossing them away gently damn near unhorsed me !
Maybe one of those "soft touch" plastic bb pistols.
Be it spray, foghorn, airgun , or .40 S&W, it must be instantly reachable with no fumbling.
My only getoff ( so far -knock knock ) was the result of a dog inspired sprint - no mas .
biggrin.gif
The dogs really don't take me seriously when I yell no.. I like the soft touch bbgun idea, but I wonder if I could get it out of my jersey pocked in time. I might try the dog wistle, I would like to confuse them more than I would like to hurt them. Thanks for the advice everyone!
 

vadiver

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Oct 3, 2006
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OoAmericanGirl said:
biggrin.gif
The dogs really don't take me seriously when I yell no.. I like the soft touch bbgun idea, but I wonder if I could get it out of my jersey pocked in time. I might try the dog wistle, I would like to confuse them more than I would like to hurt them. Thanks for the advice everyone!
If you are going to use the BBgun, check you local laws. It could very well be considered a concealed weapon.
 

Pendejo

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Apr 8, 2006
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In general, a dog who is barking while chasing you is really just trying to "scare" you away. On the other foot, a dog who is silent while chasing means business.