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Who let the dogs out?(25 posts)

Who let the dogs out?mike mcmahon
May 27, 2001 11:49 AM
Had an interesting experience with a couple of our canine friends this morning. I was riding on Mulholland Drive, a nice road with rolling hills. I came around a right curve that starts a long winding descent. The beginning of the descent is a straight section of about 500'. When I round the curve, I see two dogs standing in my lane staring straight at me: a Pit Bull and a Rottweiller. They're standing next to each other about 100 yards in front of me and they're staring straight at me without budging. I immediately stop and we stare at each other for about 2-3 minutes with no movement on either side.

I slowly pick up my rear wheel and shift into the small ring, thinking I might climb back up the short hill behind me. Reason gets the better of me and I figure that even a slow Pit Bull going uphill is going to be able to take me on the small ring climbing. So another minute of waiting. Finally, the Rotty walks off into the bushes and I'm hoping the Pit Bull will follow. No such luck: the Pit Bull starts walking toward me and doesn't look like he's trying to find someone to scratch his belly.

Now it's go time. Forget the pump and water bottle tricks: I'm going to need both hands to accelerate quickly enough to pass the Pit Bull with all skin and tissue intact. I start rolling and shift to the big ring. As soon as I start moving, the Pit takes off running straight at me at full speed. I start screaming at it at the top of my lungs: YAAAAHH!!! He just gets more pissed and starts barking and running faster.

When I'm about 10' from the monster, I turn hard left and start yelling again. Once again, the yelling just pisses him off. As I pass him, he does the fastest u-turn I've ever seen anything do and is immediately going downhill at top speed on my heels. By now I've worked my way to the 53x11 but don't seem to be increasing the gap. Finally, I get to the section of the descent where the road curves and he finally gives it up.

I've had numerous experiences on the bike with dogs but have never had one that seemed so personal. It was like someone assigned this dog the task of preventing me and me alone from passing that spot in the road. He ignored everything else going on in the area and never took his eyes off me for a good five minutes or so while all of this was going on. I think that was the first time my heart rate has been at close to 200 on a long descent.
re: Who let the dogs out?PsyDoc
May 27, 2001 12:53 PM
Wow...close call. I was in a similar situation, but not so lucky. The dog actually took me down and I ended up with a broken collar bone and a fractured pelvis. The dog was fine...typical.
re: you gotta admire mother nature's...Akirasho
May 27, 2001 1:53 PM
... quadratrak.

Amazing what an animal born on four legs can do. Despite being entertaining on ice or a slick lineoleum or wood floor, dogs have some amazing agility and speed on the right surface and it's good you didn't underestimate his/her skills.

Amazing too, their ability to run and chase beyond all reason... luckily, your pooch opted for "reason".

One of my most unnerving confrontations occured on a country road where I was nearly flanked by two St Bernard mixes (one seemingly friendly, one NOT). My only real defense was the bike ('tween me and they) and a hedge (kept them from completing the flank.

Since I had no killer descent to strategize with, and I was pretty much toasted from the metric I was on, I stood toe to toe with these two for about 10 minutes (screaming and yelling commands) till some kid (about 25 pounds lighter than the lightest of the two dogs) came and semi snagged the more agressive dog. I believe that they were his dogs... but what amazed me even more was the lack of a response from the ADULTS at the house both the dogs and the kid had come from.

Amazing again, that they can be so dogged about their percieved prey...

Glad you made it.
Be the bike.
F'ed up dog ownersJohnG
May 27, 2001 3:48 PM
I rounded a sharp turn while MTBing last weekend and was immediately surrounded by three VERY large Roties. I nearly C@apped..... and the ahole owner was 50 yards down the trail completely unaware of what was going on. On top of that the hammerhead had a baby on his back and was NO way in control of his little killers. Those dogs are sooooo stupid and evil that they could kill someone in less than a minute. The only thing more stupid than these dogs are the folks who take them out without a leash and taser gun.

re: Who let the dogs out?got2ryd
May 27, 2001 4:11 PM
scary story! i am not sure what i would have done in a situation like that. i have been in the veterinary profession for 14 years now and have been attacked by dogs, but never out in the open like that. always in a hospital setting. anyway, i just wanted to say its not the dogs fault. speaking from personal experience, pits are some of the nicest dogs out there. owners of dogs need to be more responsible and be held responsible for their dogs actions. its a shame dogs dont pick their owners. i think there should be some kind of test an owner has to pass before he/she becomes a pet owner.
glad you made it out alive!
re: Who let the dogs out?Skip
May 27, 2001 5:08 PM
What, and where are you in the veterinary profession? Thanks.
re: Who let the dogs out?got2ryd
May 27, 2001 6:36 PM
most of my years were in northern virginia. i am now dealing with felines only in vermont.
re: Who let the dogs out?Skip
May 27, 2001 6:57 PM
Are you a vet, vet tech, recept, other, etc.?
re: Who let the dogs out?got2ryd
May 28, 2001 7:07 AM
licensed vet tech from va. no licensure in vt as of now.
are you a vet? where are you practicing?
re: Who let the dogs out?Skip
May 28, 2001 2:16 PM
re: Who let the dogs out?Skip
May 27, 2001 8:11 PM
I don't know of any of my classmates that are practicing in Vermont.
dogs+bikes=no good4bykn
May 27, 2001 4:16 PM
I still can't ride comfortably if I know a dog is near. And don't let the size fool you. A 18 pound boston terrier can take out your front wheel and do a great deal of damage to your body, trust me.
dogs+bikes=no goodcasati_rider
May 27, 2001 7:59 PM
Boy do I agree, the worst road rash I ever got was from an 8 pound pooch that ran out from under a parked car straight into my front wheel. Pooch and front fork were mangled and I picked pee gravel out of elbows and knees for a couple of months.
Questions for allBQ
May 27, 2001 8:09 PM
I bet most riders are eventually confronted by unrestrained dogs. That raises two questions.

1) If you are attacked by the dog, I'm assuming you can hold the owner liable for any damages to you or your bike. I assume, too, that without witnesses, you're SOL. Is this correct?

2) What are the best tactics for dealing with dogs? I usually stop and keep my bike between me and the beast while yelling various commands (BAD DOG, SIT, STAY, LAY DOWN, GO AWAY, etc.) with mixed results. Some of my friends say "ride faster", which seems dangerous. Others say "throw them a dog biscuit", which would seem to reward a behavior that you don't want repeated.

Your thoughts?
re: Who let the dogs out?Teach
May 27, 2001 8:54 PM
My only experience thus far with dogs was a couple of months ago. I was riding a new route with a friend, but she was a good distance behind me. One dog chased me and passed me, then ran right in front of my bike. Couldn't get around it and didn't want to hit it. Next thing I knew, there's another dog behind me. That's the one that bit my calf (obviously not spinning fast enough!). Finally grabbed the water bottle and squirted at them both and got out of Dodge as fast as I could. Not too much damage, though it did break the skin in several places and was pretty bruised up. My friend and I went back to check on the status of their vaccinations.
re: Who let the dogs out?dustin73
May 28, 2001 12:59 AM
ok, i don't mean to sound inhumane, but the last time a dog chased me, the big guy (german shepard near the outskirts of town) surprised me. i could feel his drool flying onto my calf. if i would have had some legs left in me, i would've tried to get away, and if i wasn't winded, i would've yelled, but i didn't so instead, i not-so-softly nudged him in the snout with my shoe. i know, not kind, but i'd rather have him whimpering than me whimpering and having $$$ in dr's bills...not to mention lots of pain.
re: Who let the dogs out?AD14
May 28, 2001 7:15 AM
The last time I was chased I outran the dog but I was going up and down this lovely little switchback hill trying to improve my fitness. Then I got stubborn and repeated the climb with the same result. Gotta admit he was not the fastest canine out there- in fact my newfoundland is probably faster. Dogs are probably the only reason I havent switched to a mini-pump. My old silca and newer blackburn have been used in self defense with varying degrees of success over the years.
re: Who let the dogs out?JohnG
May 28, 2001 2:04 PM
Good reason to use SPD's with metal cleats! A kick to the face might slow these little sh!ts down.

handle it differently, maybe....Trypsin
May 28, 2001 7:14 AM
If I encounter dogs that aren't being initialy hostile I usually ride slowly right past them no matter what the breed is.

If you try to speed past them it usually encourages them to give chase. You also run a much higher chance of hitting the dog and ending up in a crash. A friend of mine hit a dog a few years back and was off his bike for the rest of the year.
I might have tried that with another dog,mike mcmahon
May 28, 2001 2:14 PM
but like I said, this dog seemed intent on getting a piece of me. I figured that if he did get a hold of me, the piece was likely to be smaller doing 40 mph than it would have been doing 7 mph. Of course, the speed does increase the risk of injury if the dog takes you down. And, like someone else said, the dog usually ends up unscathed: sort of like the drunk in a traffic accident. After the ride, someone informed me that Pits and Rotties are number 1 and 2 (not sure which order) on the list of dog-attack deaths each year in the U.S. I'm not sure if this is true, but I can think of many other dogs I'd rather take on armed only with a frame pump and a water bottle: Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and just about any breed of dog you'd see at the Westminster Dog Show.
P.S. For Breckmike mcmahon
May 28, 2001 9:20 AM
Although I know that you're musical knowledge is wide and varied, I'd just thought I'd let you know that the title of my post is a musical reference, albeit one you may not recognize. "Who Let the Dogs Out" was a recent smash hit among the Nickelodeon crowd by a band called the Baha Men, who are from Bahama (get it, Baha Men?). Anyhow, it's such a lame song, I was hoping you might not get the reference.

Adios, King of the Hill,
Leroy BrownBreck
May 28, 2001 2:11 PM
No did not catch it and thanks for the heads up. However, wuz thinkin' mebee you were the consultant on "American Flyers" regards the "Butch" dogie dog chase which mirrors your experience somewhat with wannbe junk yard dogs. BTW, the dog in the old 'Spanky and Our Gang' series would pass for the pit bull terrier type today which are normally gentle as lambs :)

A little tribute to Jim Croce may be in order....
"And he's bad (bad) bad (bad) Leroy Brown
Baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than ol' King Kong
Meaner than a junk yard dog"
ABC, 1972.

My three mutts are all lassie style Scottish Collies. No.1 Max is named after Maximilian Schandri, the (then) Motorola racer, No.2 is Stormy Weather, and No.3 is Ginger. Sometimes take them on the MTB rides but never on the road bike rides.

Funny, I almost used Croce!mike mcmahon
May 28, 2001 2:18 PM
I knew you'd get that one, so I thought I'd see if I could stump you. Scottish Collie doesn't sound like the kind of dog that's likely to go after a cyclist. When our kids get old enough to start clamoring for a dog, I'm going to lobby for an Australian Shepherd. Give the mutts a biscuit for me.

re: Two words...JRM
May 28, 2001 2:21 PM
Pepper spray. Its the canine attention getter.
re: Two words...mike mcmahon
May 28, 2001 2:27 PM
I'm starting to think about it after this morning's experience. I could have rolled right up to that little fella and blasted him in the face at the first sign of trouble. Who knows? Maybe he would have ended up being a push-over if I had just ridden up to him like a nice guy rather than going at him at 35 screaming like a Banshee. However, based on the look on his face, I have serious doubts about this. The spray is a good suggestion and I'm going to look into it. Thanks.