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Thread: Bikes and Dogs

  1. #1
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    Bikes and Dogs

    Spent the weekend riding on the back roads of southern IL. I got the attention of many dogs along the way. Just wondering what other riders do when they encounter dogs? I usually just pick up the speed and hammer it until the dog drops off. After my second encounter with sprinter, i began to think about whether or not I should be carrying pepper spray or dog treats. None of the dogs got close enough to bite, but when a dog gets a line on you and starts charging head on, there is always that moment of uncertainty. What has worked for you?

  2. #2
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    Stop, get off and put the bike between yourself and the dog then scream profanities at the top of your lungs. If you try to out run it there will be one eventually that catches you and it won't be pretty. Sprinting only encourages the behavior.
    Randy

  3. #3
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    Bikes and Dogs

    I usually slow down and talk to the dog...maybe that's just me.

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    More people are hurt by collisions or near-collisions/crashes caused by dogs than by actual bites, so I am reluctant to ride on if the dog enters or approaches the road. I'm willing to walk a short section if necessary to safely traverse it. Plus, out-biking a dog on the uphills is near-impossible for me. Keeping the bike between you and the dog adds some safety for biters. Usually once you are out of it's territory they leave you alone. If its on my regular commuting route I also try to train them to stay in their yard with "GO HOME" and pointing while moving toward them (un-prey-like behavior); it's worked for some. I'm a dog lover but it's not really safe for them to be in the road as they could get run over by something bigger than a bike.

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    A friend of mine has told me if they get close, he squirts them with his water bottle. He says it shakes them up enough, they slow down and he keeps going. I haven't had to do it yet and they have to be pretty close to do it.

  6. #6
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    I just sprint. We run across them often especially riding through reservation land. I feel like they're more interested in running me off their territory than making me lunch

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    depends on the type of dog as well. My two Aussies love people and bikes but know to get out of the way. One does have a tendency to try and heard bikes from time to time so that could be some too. But by riding away you assume prey, most of the dogs are not to be feared but just doing what naturally comes to them.

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    One of the places I ride (forest land) had a pack of wild dogs roaming around for a few years. I have not heard anything about them in the last 12 months so they may have been dealt with. We own some land in the area and I heard them one night chasing deer down at the bottom of our property and making quite the racket.

    Another time I was riding with my dog and a group of 5 came out of the woods and ran at us. They seemed to be just trying to run us off, but other folks who have land in the area had reported them surrounding, attacking and even killing some peoples' pet dogs. My dog is kind of old and slow, so I was practically pushing him up the hill to get some distance. It certainly gave me an energy surge! I now carry pepper spray (for dogs, bears and mtn lions) and sometimes a pellet pistol as well. Its pretty loud and I'm sure packs a bit of a sting for a dog - enough to get them to disperse.

    But in my regular riding, when I encounter dogs I generally slow down and engage the owner and dog. I have been nipped (to the dismay of the owner) and occasionally you get an owner that just doesn't care or dogs that are a bit aggressive. But overall, I find people and dogs to be perfectly pleasant if you give them the proper respect. Hooked up with a guy riding with his two dogs one day and man were they fast! We all had a blast tearin' it up on the trails.

    I love dogs regardless, so I so I cut them a lot of slack.

  9. #9
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    Not treats, it will only teach the dog that chasing cyclist is good.

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    I ride in the midwest and enjoy some good gravel back roads from time to time. The farms dogs tend to not bother me to much but there are a few that have been trained not to let people get to near to the farm house. Usually this only requires a stern "go home" sometimes though, a little bit of pepper encouragement goes a long ways. On the normal loop routes I do often enough, the dogs whom have received a dose don't even bother to get off the porch any more when I pass by.

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    stear into them, it throws there line off, also i have clipped there hind legs and sent them squeeling. Got to have some fun with it.

  12. #12
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    I've only ever had a handful of dogs be truly aggressive. Most of the time you can ignore them. However, there have been a few situations where the dogs were overly aggressive; typically the owners got their sh*t together pretty quickly when I got off the bike, reached in to my frame bag and pulled out my knife. I don't mess around with dogs attacking people. I'm a well sized adult, but it's just a matter of time before that dog will attack a kid.

  13. #13
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    Are you guys serious? You don't think anything in your behavior is wrong? if your scared or aggressive or unsure, your going to face the same. Offcourse there are aggressive dogs towards humans but I don't think it's the case even in half of them where people think they are.

    If someone would use pepperspray or did anything uncalled for my dog, I'd make sure I beat the living hell out of that guy. So better think before you act.

    (I only came to this thread cause I thought it was about touring with dogs.)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KK89 View Post
    Are you guys serious? You don't think anything in your behavior is wrong? if your scared or aggressive or unsure, your going to face the same. Offcourse there are aggressive dogs towards humans but I don't think it's the case even in half of them where people think they are.

    If someone would use pepperspray or did anything uncalled for my dog, I'd make sure I beat the living hell out of that guy. So better think before you act.

    (I only came to this thread cause I thought it was about touring with dogs.)
    LoL, then you can get pepper sprayed, along with your dog.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KK89 View Post
    Are you guys serious? You don't think anything in your behavior is wrong? if your scared or aggressive or unsure, your going to face the same. Offcourse there are aggressive dogs towards humans but I don't think it's the case even in half of them where people think they are.

    If someone would use pepperspray or did anything uncalled for my dog, I'd make sure I beat the living hell out of that guy. So better think before you act.

    (I only came to this thread cause I thought it was about touring with dogs.)
    You specifically call out "uncalled for" actions, and while I agree with you, it's worth considering the possibility that the person your dog is running up to greet was once attacked viciously by a dog, and would perceive that as a threat.

    I treat all attacks on me from man or animal as an attempt on my life, and would respond accordingly with whatever tools I have on hand.

    Note that in Washington, you are required by law to report dog bites to the local authorities, that being a hospital, veterinarian, animal control, or law enforcement, which makes it a huge pain in the ass for the person that was bitten too. This is also a gross misdemeanor the first time the owner is convicted under RCW 16.08.100, and if they have any prior convictions it is a class C felony. It's a serious offense, and not something to be taken lightly.

  16. #16
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    Big difference between people acting aggressively towards dogs and dogs acting aggressively towards people. I am a dog owner and lover, have a 13 year old border collie and 2 year old golden. I would like to understand the attraction that dogs have toward people on bikes, I have heard some theories but who really knows? I truly believe that most dogs are in for the chase and will not bite. Unfortunately that statement cannot be made for all dogs. I also don't think there is a standard answer that if you act a certain way all the time a dog will behave the same way all the time. Dogs live in a world of dominance and submission, asserting dominance can be the proper move for many dogs. Unfortunately asserting dominance towards certain aggressive dogs is not always the correct move. I guess I just don't see a problem with carrying a product such as "Halt" dog repellent incase I had an encounter with an aggressive dog. I am not talking about a barker or even a runner, I am talking about that dog that moves in and starts nipping at your ankles. I have also heard people say that ammonia and water works well, not looking to hurt the dog, just thinking what would make this an undesirable experience. Dog's don't tend to go after a skunk twice.

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    Dogs do what their owners allow them to do and the owners are the ones ultimately accountable.

    Ever been attacked by a coyote or wolf or any other member of the canine family while on a ride? Not likely, but there's no comparison, really; just trying to make a point.

    Aggressive animals require to be dealt with. In my opinion, any deterrent that doesn't cause harm to the animal is sufficient.

    KK89's response earlier tells me with 90% certainty how the animals that he's responsible for are going to react. I wouldn't ride with this dude.

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  18. #18
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    Bikes and Dogs

    My dog runs to a person on a bike, because she rides with me all the time, and facking loves to go on rides. She would come up and run close to the back of the bike because that is where I have trained her to ride. She might even bark a couple of times because she likes to do that too. She is a loving and friendly animal who just happens to share a common interest With cyclists. And I agree with the above statement. If she were to be pepper sprayed for doing that, that person better hope that they can ride faster than I can, and if you are schmuck enough to have to ride with pepper spray....I kinda doubt that you can. So yeah, if you spray my dog, you better make SURE you save enough to stop me too.

  19. #19
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    Lol, you're on. But I'm smart enough to recognize an aggressive animal, defensive behavior and responsible accountability for my animal. You?

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  20. #20
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    Bikes and Dogs

    Yup, all of the above. In twelve years with her, and 14 with the one before that, I have never had an "incident" with my girls. It should be said that there are certainly aggressive dogs, and irresponsible owners. I guess I am saying that we shouldn't use our jump to conclusions mat just because a dog wants to run with a biker. That is all.

  21. #21
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    howdy l just turn into them and not show fear! do you feel lucky ha!

  22. #22
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    I agree.

    But I've never had an issue with rider's dogs. Where I used to ride regularly, one of the riders had the best dog that used to run along with us, and we loved to have him along. He was (is) a great companion. My Golden could never go along because of her heart (born with a hole in her heart), but if she could; I'd be very confident that she'd never be aggressive to any rider.

    My biggest issues have been the rural dogs that I encounter when I'm out riding gravel. I've actually had their owners command (or allow when they saw us) their animals engage the riders passing by. To me, these owners should be accountable for their pets.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crudcake View Post
    My biggest issues have been the rural dogs that I encounter when I'm out riding gravel. I've actually had their owners command (or allow when they saw us) their animals engage the riders passing by. To me, these owners should be accountable for their pets.

    CC
    I've had this too (see the previously one time I've had issues with dogs).

    My dog is 15 lbs (Mini Schnauzer) and doesn't bark, but I spent a lot of money training my dog so she wouldn't be a nuisance. We keep her under control, and know we're accountable for their actions, whether we are aware of the dog doing it or not. We also had three blue heelers, and one of them had aggression issues, so we kept her muzzled. The other two were fine. I work with a lot of people from other countries where stray dogs carry diseases (Malaysia, India, Indonesia), so if my dog runs up to greet them they are genuinely fearful for their lives.

    The minority are definitely at fault here, and they're not the dogs. They're the owners. The aggressive, attacking dogs are a symptom of the problem. The solution is very simple - be responsible and keep your dog from attacking other people. If you're a dog owner like me who is responsible, did the hard yards to teach your dog not to attack, great! Kudos to you. You don't have to worry about this.

    If you're the kind of owner who lets dogs attack other people, you don't deserve to have a dog, and you should cherish every moment you have with your dog because the day will come when it will be taken away from you, be it by law enforcement or someone defending themselves from your dog.

  24. #24
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    Bikes and Dogs

    Sounds like someone might be an irresponsible dog owner. You should have control of your dog at all times.


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  25. #25
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    Before I took my new rescue (less than 6 months with me) on a ride i had him in very social settings so I could see how he would do. He is a very excitable dog that loves people, bikes, and other dogs. He never nips or anything but if you have a dog off leash and he will come and say hi, if I see your dog on leash he immediately goes on leash as well. I read other dogs as well as other owners. I have had 0 issues with riding with my two aussies and my buddies' dogs as well. I always tell people he might go up and say hi to that he is friendly. The second i start moving on my bike he is back behind me because he sees it as his "job".

    I did a lot of testing and even did a 6 week recall course with him so I could keep him under control. I have learned his limits as to where i can still recall him and to where he will not listen to me and I keep him well within them.

    Responsibility is on the owner but he if for some reason he ran up to you after I told you he is friendly and he got pepper sprayed there would be issues. Then again from what I've read that wouldn't be a problem since he is a friendly, well behaved, and loving dog.

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