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A question of ethics, I think.(22 posts)

A question of ethics, I think.gr8spinner
May 4, 2003 2:20 PM
It goes like this. I have a great quiet, very hilly and scenic 75km loop I like to ride on a regular basis.

A few times riding this loop I've ben chased by farm dogs, but by the time they see men they are already too far behind to be any concern.

The last time I rode here I was challenged head to head by a German Shepard. He charged, I rode back, he charged, I rode back, you get the idea. I'm not to sure how friendly he was but I wasn't taking any chances. He didn't want me to pass so I didn't. I felt very cheated out of a great ride.

So I ask all you people. Would it be wrong to continue riding this loop and carry pepper spray knowing the dog may be there, or should I find another ride? Keeping in mind I love animals and cycling equal.
First thing is to say in a firm voice Go Home......johnrg
May 4, 2003 2:48 PM
or No, Bad Dog etc....similar to what it's master would say. If you turn and run well it's probably fun to chase you, what dog wouldn't. If the dog really is a problem call the police/sheriff because there probably is a leash law or ordinance that the owner should be paying attention to. Pepper spray might be useful if the above does nothing but beware of owners with shotguns and beer cans in hand.
A question of rights.jesse1
May 4, 2003 3:22 PM
Believe it or not, even here in West Virginia, people have more rights than dogs. In my opinion, it would be un-ethical to relinguish your right to the open road to a dog.
And this comes as the third person in our paceline this afternoon was taken down by a beagle that ran into his front wheel. Fortunatly his (the biker) injuries were very minor. The dog ended up running into an orchard and we didn't see him again.
Whatever action you take to eliminate the threat this dog presents may save the next biker/motorcyclist from serious injury.
re: A question of ethics, I don't think so...LLSmith
May 4, 2003 3:43 PM
Get some pepper spray and let the dog have it in the eyes. The dog needs to learn not to chase people on bikes. You or someone else might be seriously hurt by this dog.You can also get one of the small old time plastic squirt guns.Put a little mixture of ammonia and water in it.It wont take much to get the dogs attention.
Call the local authoritiesMel Erickson
May 4, 2003 4:21 PM
Sheriff, constable, town, county, whatever the case may be. Let them know there's a dangerous dog at that location. Don't try to talk to the owner yourself. In my experience it doesn't work. Usually dog owners that let their dogs run free are not very amenable to joe citizen telling them they have a problem. IMHO pepper spray is a last resort and used to protect yourself from imminent danger. If you can take care of the problem without injuring the dog you're much farther along. The dog needs to be controlled by the owner. If it's in the road chasing bikes it may chase cars too, and get hit.

If the authorities won't respond then pepper spray (or vinegar or bleach water) may be your last resort. Be careful, it can get in your eyes/lungs too.
re: A question of ethics, I think.gearmasher
May 4, 2003 4:48 PM
Pepper spray, pepper spray , pepper spray- Pavlovs dog routine. Oh yeah, did I mention pepper spray?
Pepper spray is the way to go!the bull
May 4, 2003 4:55 PM
It does not have long term affects on the dog so it is not unethical!Its just pepper!He will just start sneezing-kind of funny actually!
A blast of CO2 has always worked for medunkind
May 4, 2003 5:18 PM
without the need to pepper spray
youll freeze you eye out !the bull
May 4, 2003 5:36 PM
Knowing my luck I would get a flat 40 yards up the road!
youll freeze your eye out ! your your your!nmthe bull
May 4, 2003 5:38 PM
Cap-Spray the d@mn dog!!Rusty McNasty
May 4, 2003 5:49 PM
Geez, it's so simple: dog threatens you, you zap the mutt right in the kisser with the strongest shot of pepper spray you can find! I'll be that, not only will that dog never chase you again, but neither will any of the others from that house!
What is dog spray for?tremblay
May 4, 2003 6:05 PM
Spraying dogs that get in your face!

I would use dog spray if the thing came at me. If you are on a public road and the thing comes after you, then by all means do what you have to do. You aren't going to kill the dog, you aren't going to maim it. You are going to teach it a painful but temporary and nonviolent lesson.

If you do this, the dog may not wander into the road again, and this is a good thing.
Do the DOG a favour and spray it with pepper or ammonia!GeoCyclist
May 4, 2003 6:05 PM
Yes, you are doing the DOG a big favour by spraying it with pepper or ammonia. This will teach the dog not to chase vehicles (bikes included) and may save the dog's life! I used ammonia in a 32oz water bottle when I cycled in Turkey. Turkish sheep dogs are the size of small ponies and travel in packs. After one ammonia application I never had a problem with the same dog twice! It was really amazing to see the dog that you sprayed last week stay in the yard the next time you cycle by.

Ride on!
I agree with all that has been said, butscottfromcali
May 4, 2003 8:33 PM
Don't over use or become trigger happy with pepper spray or any other concoctions of ammonia or dish soap/water. FACT: Spraying pepper spray at a subjects eyes for over 1 second is wasteful, and can result in permanent damage to someone or something's eyesight. I would feel awefully bad to damage a dog's eyesight permanently.
re: A question of ethics, I think.clintb
May 4, 2003 6:34 PM
Cayenne pepper mixed up in some water straight into the eyes and mouth. You won't ever have a problem again.
Ultrasonic deterrents?BQ
May 4, 2003 7:01 PM
Has anyone here tried an ultrasonic device instead of pepper spray?

Arguing with the owner is pointless -- they obviously don't care about their animals if they let them run in the street. And I'd rather not have the "what have you done to my dog?" arguement, either.

That said, it'll be ammonia or pepper spray on my bike in the future if ultrasonics are a waste of money. I had 2 incidents today in a 25 mile ride, one that took me off the bike until the owner happened to notice that his canine wouldn't let me use a public road.
Ultrasonic deterrents?gr8spinner
May 4, 2003 8:54 PM
Thanks everyone!

I like the idea of using ultrasinics, didn't know such a thing existed. Teaching the dog a lesson is great, but what I think scares me about pepper spray is the thought of the owner running me down in a truck if he sees this happen.
Ultrasonic deterrents?rogue_CT1
May 4, 2003 10:02 PM
First of all, as the owner of 2 German Shepards I know for a fact that having a stranger yelling at them will not work. So don't even consider that method as an option.

I would recommend the use of pepper mace on the dog. But you need to understand that this may only cause a slight hesitation before he really gets pissed off. My wife was about to be attacked by a stray dog one day when my Schutzhund trained Shepard came to her protection and began fighting the stray. My wife used my police issued pepper mace and sprayed both dogs in the face. My Shepard stopped, snorted and then began fighting again. The other dog took off after that. I asked my dog trainer about the use of pepper mace on aggressive dogs. She said that on about 1% of the dogs it will have absolutely no effect other than to just make them mad. So if you do use it, get the hell out of dodge while the dog is snorting because he may come after you with some really bad intentions.

One thing I want to add, when you spray that stuff you are going to get it on yourself so be prepared!

As for the owners, F'em. If you can articulate your fear to the police then you have every right to protect yourself from a dog that is not restrained.

A little side note, on Jan 4, 2003 I was riding my bike in a state park when a doberman squared up with me. My front wheel hit him square in the chest and down I went. The dog ran off to its owner and they left in a truck without so much as a saying a word to me. I had a couple thousand dollars worth of medical bills and damage to my property. I ran her license plate and showed up at her house two days later. I charged her with violating the leash law and I filed a claim against her renters insurance for the damage to my bike, helmet and clothing. I don't think we should be victims just because we choose to ride bikes.
Forget about the ultrasonic crap.eyebob
May 5, 2003 7:24 AM
German Shepards are very strong dogs with a high tolerance to pain. These gadgets would do nothing to them. I have one, and I've seen her get more excited when these things have been utilized. It's like these retards who buy these sound makers (which also have settings that only dogs can hear)that respond to the sound of a dog's bark to try to break them of the habit. They do not work. I've seen them used by neighbors with axes to grind, as well as by owners inside houses when they're gone to stop dogs from barking. I've also spoken to dog trainers about this subject and they just laugh.

I'd call the cops or the animal control officer. If you love animals, the best thing to do is to try to let the owner know that the dog's in harms way by doing this. My local ACO is good and will respond. I also think that by sending a letter to the owner with a reasonble tone to it would help.

Hope some of this helped. I too love animals and cycling and I've come upon all types of these encounters so I know that there's no easy solution.

ONe other thought. Typically, I would just squirt water at the dog. Sometimes startling it is all you have to do.

Do what you would to a human being.elviento
May 5, 2003 7:28 AM
If you want to treat the dog with enough respect, just treat it like a person. If someone threatens you and comes up to you even though you are doing something within your right, then you can choose to back off and chicken out, or you can choose to teach him a lesson and defend your turf.

Same thing here.
Works both way'sFender
May 5, 2003 7:58 AM
Based on personal experience talking to the owners will help, but not in all cases. Along this highway I used to train on I was chased by a small dog. This dog could run!!! He would usually chase me for no less than 1/4 of a mile. Despite sprinting and TT efforts, this dog would be extremely close to me. One day I find a 2x4 laying on the side of the road. Needless to say I picked it up. I tried to keep the 2x4 away from the dogs view, but it knew I was up to something. So, once he was in close enough range, WHACK!!! right in the ribs!!! Dog never chased me.

Another time along the same road, two small dirty dogs would cut me off everytime they saw me. So I stopped at the owners house one day and spoked the the man. During the conversation I told him which days and time I would use the route. For the most part, he would lock them in those days around those times. Nice man.

In your case, talk to the owners first. If that does not work, you can spray the dogs and have something to cover you butt in case the cops get involved.
A weird dog storymtncranker
May 5, 2003 1:10 PM
I was riding a narrow road in North Carolina, keeping a close eye on the cars trying to brush me into the ditch, when I was suddenly aware of a large animal running beside me to the right. I pulled a panic stop while trying not to veer left - and discovered a huge German shepherd about a foot away from me on the right! He had stopped when I did, and just stood there, panting and wagging his tail. I talked to him, he stuck his nose in my hand, I petted him, scratched his ears, got back on the bike and rode on. He ran beside me for about half a mile, until we apparently reached the end of "his" property. Then he stopped, whined a bit, and walked back home.

Never saw him again!