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dogs(17 posts)

Mar 26, 2003 5:54 AM
What do you do when approached by barking dogs? I have tried the water squirt n the face, but I think he actually enjoyed it. I dont want to hurt the dogs, but I also can envision myself sprawled and mauled. If it were the same dog, I would maybe change my route. However, it's never been the same dog, or the same place, twice.
City dogs or country dogs?filtersweep
Mar 26, 2003 6:27 AM
Most country dogs are merely territorial- if unleashed they will just chase you until you pass the owner's property... its pretty cool actually, and I've never had a real problem with these little guys

The ones to watch out for are city dogs that are always leashed or confined, and the owner just decides to unleash them... these owners, and it doesn't matter their gender or socioeconomic status, could care less about their dog's safety, much less yours. I was told to commit some impossible sex act with myself after confronting a woman about her unleashed dog that she was walking that darted out into the street and was nearly killed... I really wanted to rescue the poor dog from what must certainly be a miserable existence, but again, I'd be the one hauled away by the local constabulatory for being insane and dangerous...

A friend was out jogging when a dog literally burt THROUGH a screen door, chased and attacked him resulting in countless stitches to his face (my friend, not the dog's). The owner refused to call an ambulance because he was afraid he might incur an expense. Several neighbors witnessed the event. The police put the dog down and the dog's owner quickly declared bankruptcy to avoid any possibility of a suit.

Bottom line- I'd get over a fear of hurting a dog unless it is some tiny little thing. They can usually hurt you much more than you can hurt them.
two things...merckx56
Mar 26, 2003 6:42 AM
1- If alone, learn to sprint. Dogs can get up to speed pretty quickly, so a good jump is vital if you want to sprint away.
2- If in a group, practice the "weakest antelope" theory.
Try to get the weak person in the group between you and the dog. Lions always go for the weakest prey.
re: dogsjaybird
Mar 26, 2003 7:09 AM
Most of the time I just pedal like hell... I dont want to waste any sprinting time by messing with my water bottle.

Usually dogs are not trying to catch you they are just trying to chase you.

This theory however, offers little comfort to me when I get caught day dreaming and I see Cujo tearing after me and I am in my 39/23 going up hill... Or if they aren't barking and just show up next to you in a dead sprint...

Almost every time I have been chase I have never had a problem pulling away from a dog that was chasing me. Most of the time they will break off the chase after about 50 yards. If you do find one that stays with you, he is more than likely just out to have a little fun.

See the MB1 post with Attica a few weeks ago. I think the stupid thing ran with them for several miles...
country dogsflint
Mar 26, 2003 7:35 AM
they are country dogs. And I have developed a sense of what their intention is by where they are focusing. If on ankle, SPRINT; if eye contact, I know I am probably okay. Mostly it's the silent ones, focused on my ankle, that appear out of nowhere when I am headed up a LONG hill that bother me. I have wondered about carrying a small can of pepper spray, but I dont want to give cyclists in this area a bad reputation with the locals, who are not so open to explanation as to why I gassed their "lovable" pitbull.
Had a little fun with a dog this past weekendvindicator
Mar 26, 2003 7:23 AM
I tried a new route this past weekend. One of the streets on it is highly recommended by locals for its hill and twisting quotient. Little did I know it runs through some "Deliverance" country. Anyway, I'm huffing and puffing near the top of a big climb and here comes the dog, barking like mad, coming from in front of me toward my front wheel. I pull out my water bottle, veer around him, the owner starts yelling at him, and after plenty of barking and a little chasing I get by him and he trots back home.

Well, my route was a loop so I wasn't going back that way, but Microsoft Streets and Trips failed me and a road that was supposed to connect A to B didn't exist, so I had to turn around and go back the way I came.

This time, I approach dog's house from the other direction, after barrelling down a good descent and then rolling up a small hill using momentum and some pushing to keep my speed up. So I hit his radar screen doing about 27, and then accelerate down the hill he lives on top of. He barked once and then gave this little whine and shut up. I imagined it the dog equivalent of "HEY GET OFF MY .... oh sh!t he's gone already"

Of course, I've always been easily amused.
I dont know what I would do if these dogs came after me.onespeed
Mar 26, 2003 7:25 AM
Uhhh..lift your feet up six inches? (nm)LactateIntolerant
Mar 26, 2003 10:25 AM
Carry a fly-swatter???? (nm)TWD
Mar 26, 2003 10:43 AM
re: dogsc722061
Mar 26, 2003 7:31 AM
I would sprint like crazy if possible. Otherwise, I would unclip, stop and use my bike as a weapon to defend. If I had to do that, I would try to hurt that dog real bad so it would not have a chance to hurt me. My rule of the engagement is to attack fast and aggressively. I had encountered aggressive dogs many times and believe me, they were all running away when I acted more aggressive than they were.

Beware if you get chased by two or more dogs at a time, just sprint as fast as you could and pray that they do not catch up with you. Dogs in a herd are far more dangerous than they are alone. Cheers!
Second thinking on dogs....DINOSAUR
Mar 26, 2003 8:35 AM
I usually try to out sprint them. Usually when you get out of a certain range they will stop, but not always. I was nipped by a dog a couple of years ago when I was jogging. The dog followed me very agressively, barking, I yelled at him ("Bad dog, go home!) in my usual fashion and it did no good. I reached down (mistake) to pick up a large rock to throw at him and he nipped me on the back on my leg. To make a long story short, I called animal control and they came out and cited the owner and took the dog to dog jail for ten days. No injury to myself.

Second story- a local roadie, an old retired guy like me, who does a lot of riding and is very familiar with the area, was climbing a hill on a regulary travled route and a dog came bounding out from nowhere, not barking and collided with his rear wheel causing him to go down and fracture his pelvis and 3 ribs. Now he is in the process of sueing the dog owner. He carries pepper spray, but the dog gave absolutely no warning at all.

Dogs are not always predictable. They are my main fear while riding, even over traffic.

The problem lies not with the dogs, but the owners lack to contain them. Some people who live in the country think it's o.k. to allow their dogs to run loose. The thing is dogs can move fast and you never know what they will do.

Dogs usually back down if you shout at them and stop and confront them. But not always.

Just reading this makes me dog tired.
re: dogsFender
Mar 26, 2003 8:44 AM
Usually I opt for the sprint, but there's always that dog who's in extremely good shape. If the dog can keep up with me for more than 100 yards I slow down a bit, just enough to keep him within leg distance and deliver a kick to it's face. Works best if you get them in with the cleat. After that it's clip in and sprint like hell!!!

There was one dog that could chase me for over 200 yards, even after kicking it and splashing water I decided to take action. I found this 2x4 wooden board next to the road. I picked it up and road back by the property. Here comes the dog chasing after me. As soon as he got close enough I took one good swing and hit it in the chest.
Dog never chased me again. =)
That's sick! But apparently effective. nm.CaliforniaDreaming
Mar 26, 2003 9:01 AM
That's sick! But apparently effective. nm.Fender
Mar 26, 2003 9:08 AM
I agree, but then again the dog would chase me as cars doing 70+mph went by me.
no, it is justice at that pointlonefrontranger
Mar 26, 2003 11:14 AM
I agree with Fender on this one, because he followed what I would term my accepted methods of hostile engagement and escalation: the shout, the water to the face, the carbon fiber shoe to the head - IMO if the dog is still aggressive after escalation to this point, you are free to engage in whatever hostile tactics you can employ, PARTICULARLY in instances like this where the dog is endangering both you and itself by running into high-speed traffic.

I have seen dogs get run over and killed by cars while chasing cyclists, and a rider on my old club was nearly killed when he was hit by a car while swerving to avoid a dog, so IMO teaching the dog a quick and fairly harmless object lesson is preferable to him or you getting maimed or flattened. I grew up on a farm, and have seen dogs punted forty yards through the air by cows without making an impression. I doubt a cyclist's shoe or even Fender's 2x4" are much in comparison.

Some things I've seen work, assuming you've merely got a territorial or fun chaser instead of a truly vicious dog:

* Holler "GET OFF THE COUCH" - this actually works because it confuses the heck out of them and they stop and look around in kind of a dazed manner while you make your escape.

* Turn the tables, become the aggressor and charge the dog, barking and growling and generally being far more big and menacing than it is. This tactic may get you shot in some areas of the world, but I've seen a guy chase a dog through a yard and around a house and neither the dog nor his owner ever messed with our group ride again

* When venturing into "BAD DOG" territory, always take a stalking horse (slower rider) with you.

I live in Colorado now, and rarely ever see loose dogs; the ones I do see are usually well disciplined and under voice control by their owners on the open space trails. I actually got chased last week for the first time in two years. This was in a local McMansion development (Somerset) and it was one of the funnier episodes I've ever seen. This little tiny white fluffy mop dog escaped his swanky house while I was groveling up the hill past the property. He came tearing across the lawn at me, zipped under the (merely decorative) fence... and promptly SANK in the 3' deep pile of slush next to the road!! (ROFLMAO). The owner, a really nice older lady, came out and retrieved him and asked me if I was okay - I had stopped to make sure he wouldn't get onto the road. I merely laughed and asked if her dog was okay - IMO after that episode the poor thing might need a doggie therapist :) I wasn't worried much for myself, as the little bugger was about the size of a healthy squirrel, but there was a car coming.
Be smarter than the dogemptyhanded
Mar 26, 2003 11:47 AM
1) yell "NO!" as loudly and convincingly as you can. but "get off the couch" is pretty funny too.
2) sprint like hell.
3) if it's still on your tail, sometimes simply swinging your arm as if you're throwing something at him will stop the dog in its tracks.

That get's rid of about 90% of the dogs, but there are always the very determined ones out there.

however, i can't believe that after a cyclist has made it safely past a dog, he'd pick up a 2x4 and intentionally ride by the house. Of course the dog will chase you again. IT'S A DOG.

It's one thing to escalate your tactics to prevent getting taken down by a pursuing dog. But to arm yourself, turn around, and seek out the dog again is pathetic. It's seeking revenge on an animal that is only running on instinct. Take it up with animal control or the owner. Don't pretend you're operating in the dog's best interests by slugging it with a 2x4.
Don't try this at home!TWD
Mar 26, 2003 10:40 AM
In my younger and more foolish days, my standard technique for handling chasing dogs was to first yell at them then outsprint them.

Usually, after the dog gives a good chase, it will turn around and happily trot back to it's property thinking it just won some huge victory.

Just about that time, I'm about 50 yards up the road, I would pull a U-turn, and use all of that adrenalin to attack with an all out sprint. As I would approach the dog from behind at about 30mph I would unleash a primal war cry, complete with barking snarling, foaming at the mouth (from me not the dog).

At this point most dogs will b-line it home tail between legs and if you have executed your attack properly, the dog might even leave a yellow streak down the road.

On one club ride where I was feeling particularly feisty, I chased a mangy mut right back onto his property, up the driveway and into its garage.

Needless to say, I developed quite a reputation with that club. I've mellowed out over the last few years, so now I usually just yell at em and keep going.

There's an art to knowing which type of dog will run and which ones will pick a fight. Whether a dog is barking or not isn't necessarily a good indicator of intensions.
You'll see barking ones that mean no harm, and barking ones that do. You'll also see silent ones that are just out to take you on in a sprint, and the silent stealthy ones that mean to take you down and gnaw on you for a while.

An excess amount of snapping and snarling at your heel is usally a good sign that it isn't just a race.

The silent ambush types are the worst, especially if they are the type that aim for your front wheel.

There's a huge rottweiler (sp??) on a local ride that means business. He just about tore my leg off last year without making a sound other that claws on pavement. I don't mess with him, although, if he persists I may call animal control.