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DOGS(19 posts)

Jun 6, 2002 7:52 AM
Whats the best way to deal with dogs?

Last night on my way home from work I come across this old guy with 3 dogs on a bike path as I approach the dogs are going nuts & 2 of them go opposite directions completely blocking the path & the third one gets away from him. So theres the old guy in the middle of the trail a dog on either side with leashes going everywhere. I had to come to a complete stop to get around this at which point the third dog starts biting my foot & the guy is yelling at me, to get out of his way! So I kick the dog thats biting me & ride over the other dogs leash pulling it out of the old guys hand. So now I've got 2 dogs chasing me uphill & the old mans still bellowing on about how I'm a jerk.
I stopped on the other side of town & bought a can of pepper spray. The store also had mace & military grade tear gas. Does anyone know which of these is most effective? Have any other suggestions? I actually really like Pets/Dogs & dont want to hurt them, but this was really just too much.
What kind of dog...tronracer
Jun 6, 2002 8:02 AM
was biting you? Was it one of those little shit lap dogs or a bigger one? I'd venture to say that the pepper spray and mace would affect a dog the same way it would affect a human. Get one of those load horn things instead, they'll usually scare away any dog.
30-40 pounder dk breed kinda mangey (nm)PBWatson
Jun 6, 2002 8:09 AM
Dealing With Dogsjromack
Jun 6, 2002 8:19 AM
In this case, come to a complete stop, dismount and use the bike as a barrier.

Let the moron pass, and then continue on your ride.

I carry pepper spray for use on stray animals and stray rednecks, but only if absolutely necessary.

Dogs hate loud words. Usually, shout "NO" as loud as you can.
best bet is to avoid multi-use pathsTig
Jun 6, 2002 8:19 AM
I avoid multi-use paths whenever possible. They are just too dangerous. Bike paths that are part of the roadway can be OK, but I find that they are usually not swept and are full of trash and glass.

Dealing with dogs on a leash limits your options. The owner is doing what he is legally required to do by leashing them. Morally he may be a jerk though. Once they are off the leash, feel free to yell at them or squirt them with water from a bottle. Anything greater that hurts them can put you in hot water unless you are being attacked and are in fear for your life or well being.

Loose dogs on the road can be handled best by yelling in a fierce, growling voice, "GO HOME" or "BAD DOG". A squirt from a water bottle to the face works well for me.

Occasionally there will be a smart dog that picks up speed while hidden by a fence and springs out and is on you before you have any warning. These dogs are usually silent! Most dogs chase and bark until they get to their property line or personal boundary. They just want to show you that they are the boss and you aren't welcome in their territory.
reason with themmr_spin
Jun 6, 2002 8:21 AM
Try to turn them against each other and the old guy.

I'm kidding, of course. Go for the military grade tear gas instead.

What are you gonna do? You deal with this problem and a mile down the path there's another old guy with three more dogs. Or a mom with three kids going in random directions. I commute on a bike path and I've come to the conclusion that bike paths suck for riding. Still, it's the best option for me.

The way I see it, you did what you had to do. I wouldn't want to hurt a dog, either, but I'm not going to let it bite me if I can help it. One thing about dogs is that most of them aren't so tough. If you stand your ground and shout "no" at them, they usually back off. Usually.

The problem with pepper spray or tear gas in this situation is that you can't expect to control it well enough just to get the one dog. If it's windy or your aim is poor, the old man could get some of it and now you are in trouble. He'll complain to the police and make up a story about how you assaulted him, etc., etc.

Get a nice air horn instead. At close quarters, it will scare the living $@#! out of man or beast, and it leaves no trace or evidence trail.

Who knows, maybe the old guy learned something from the experience, but I doubt it.
reason with themSteveO
Jun 6, 2002 8:54 AM
"He'll complain to the police and make up a story about how you assaulted him, etc., etc. "

absolutety true... especially if the dogs were on the leash 'officer, I had control of my dogs at all times"

The 'overreacting bicyclist' will most probably lose to the 'responsible dog owner' scenario.
what would the spray have accomplished?DougSloan
Jun 6, 2002 9:17 AM
Not sure the pepper spray would have remedied your situation.

Sounds like you are just screwed in this scenario. Some people are just oblivious or jerks, and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. This guy obviously did not comprehend the whole "share the path" idea.

I'd just stop and let them pass, with you behind the bike. If the dog bites you, report it to the police. A biting dog is not "under control."

re: DOGSbeamer
Jun 6, 2002 10:02 AM
As a bike rider who was bitten by a dog while riding on a public road this spring, I'm doing everything I can not to be bitten again. I like dogs, and I have a dog myself, but I don't plan on getting bit again. I bought an extendible baton which I carry in my jersey pocket, and will be adding an inexpensive spray bottle filled with ammonia which will be on my handlebars to spray the dog in the face with. Next time, bike will be the barrier, baton in my hand for defense. You don't want to go through the hassle of a dog bite, believe me. It is a gigantic waste of time, not to mention the expense of medical checks and torn clothing. My biggest problem with Mace, etc. is the effect of the wind on the spray. I don't want it to blow back on me. Some guys around here use anti bear spray, supposed to have a very effective chemical irritant and a powerful stream of spray.

One other thing, any dog that would bite me could do very serious harm to a child. I wouldn't feel bad about hurting any dog that comes after me in the future.
re: DOGSJamieB
Jun 6, 2002 10:26 AM
I would just stop and let the dogs go by. I wouldn't carry pepper spray/mace or a baton (JMO). It's against the law to kick a dog (and since the dog technically didn't bite you), you could get in serious trouble (depending on where you live). Maybe I'm a bit of an animal fanatic, but I'd file charges against you if you sprayed or kicked my dog (even if they were acting foolish). What would you do if someone kicked or sprayed you toddler that was acting like a hazard on the bike trail? To many people (including myself), my dogs are the closest to children that I plan on having. It's not fair to punish the dog for the owner's lack of control. :0) I always just stop and ignore the dog....and I haven't had any problems with that approach. I also don't ride where dogs are generally walked. :)
Jun 6, 2002 10:36 AM
That's an absurd comparison. Toddlers aren't generally considered threats! They can hardly bite, they can't chase after you, and they aren't territorial or defensive. Most toddlers I've ever known can hardly turn vicious and rip out your throat. You aren't thinking of that Chuckie kid?

I love animals, too. But if a dog wants to attack me, I am going to fight back. Feel free to file charges. Feel free to pin the dog's lack of control on the owner, too. As if that means anything.
Jun 6, 2002 10:59 AM
You missed the comparison. Most dogs act like little children. They're excited to see someone on a bicycle. I have had little brats almost cause me to crash while cutting through the park, because they dash out in front of me. Believe me, I wanted to kick that kid. I'm just saying that most dogs don't intend to be mean and you shouldn't kick or spray a dog just because it is chasing you. If you kick or spray a dog, it is much more likely that the dog is going to bite you. Like another post said, if you stop and pet the dog, or simply ignore him/her, they're much more likely to loose interest. I believe violence is violence, regardless of what "life form" you direct it at.
Jun 6, 2002 3:18 PM
No JamieB - you missed the comparison. A dog can hurt you, seriously in some cases. A toddler cannot. End of story.
Jun 6, 2002 5:38 PM's not the end of the story. If I had crashed, I could have been harmed. And, it would have been the child's fault (and the child's parents for not watching their child). Anyway, we'll just have to agree to disagree (pardon the cliche). People get so worked up sometimes, and there's no reason to be rude.
Sorry Jamie....coonass
Jun 6, 2002 7:15 PM
If your Fido is not under control as required by law and gets within 5 feet of me with his/her teeth showing in a menacing manner, I can assure you that Fido will realize that I do carry 17.0% Oleoresin Capsicum (REI's Bear Spray is 1.73%....that's correct: 1.73%) I'll bet that Fido associates a bicycle and his memory of spray....maybe some responsibility from the dog owner would be appropriate...I know that down South, a bad dog doesn't have a long life span...never understood why....maybe high blood-pressure or lead poisoning? (yes I have dogs and no, they don't run wild or attack anything except maybe cat food)
re: DOGSPBWatson
Jun 6, 2002 10:49 AM
If you had read completely you'd see the dog did bite me, thats why I kicked him. He did not break the skin but my foot is bruised & sore, & the only reason he did not break the skin is that I kicked him & got the hell out of there.
re: DOGSheloise
Jun 6, 2002 10:50 AM
Many times a dog will chase simply because you are moving.
Sometimes I'll stop and try to pet a "chaser" and you should see how confused they become. They often turn and run the opposite direction.

Another thing to try is giving the simple command "SIT" or "sit down" in a firm voice. Many dogs know this command and will sit when told.
re: DOGSWoof
Jun 6, 2002 11:36 AM
re: DOGSSoultrain
Jun 7, 2002 1:09 AM
Have To say that you probably did the right thing. I don't know what I would have done differently. That said, Could you have gotten out of the way sooner? or gotten further off the path? I know that if the dog got loose then it doesn't really matter about that , but it is good to take into account. As for the pepper spray I can say this, Back in high school there was a genius that decided to spray the stuff down one of our halls. I didn't hear about what had happened until I walked, obliviously into an invisible cloud of pepper spray, I wasn't the only poor SOB to do this either. Pain ensued.
I have also spent 4 years in the united states navy and in boot camp they made us go through the gas chamber where you withstand teargas for about 30 seconds or so. The tear gas was painful and made life generally unhappy, however the pepper spray pretty much incapacitated me. I just couldn't do anything except hurt, and if a dogs smell is 50 times more sensitive on average than a human, then I would say that the dog may be angry and aggressive, but the pepper spray is an excellant attitude moderation device, Oh and don't worry about the wind catching the pepper spray. If the stream of spray us aimed away from you, not very much will get any where near you. Good luck and try to avoid tooth marks,