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  1. #1
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    Chased by big dogs "pit bull"

    I can out run the smaller ankle biters but seems like everytime a pit bull or large dog chases me there right there about to get me. What you guy do to make them go away? Pepper spray? A large 40lb pit bull chased me the other day for about 200 yards and all he had on his mind was trying to get ahold of my tasty looking calf muscle. It scared the shut out of me!!!
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  2. #2
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    A lot in this thread:

    Dog control devices (non-firearm)

    For most normal reasonably well trained (not completely trained or they wouldn't be chasing) dogs, the commanding 'Go Home!" or similar shouts work wonders. The yappy ones respond to "Shutup!" which should not be a surprise. It at least makes them stop to think if they need to obey and then you are too far away to be bothered trying to catch.

    For those that persist, I have a three choices: a small light CO2 horn suitable to rendering them deaf (short term, recoverable) purchased at an auto supply store, Halt (NOT pepper spray, as Pepper spray blinds dogs permanently), and the unclip and side kick to the muzzle.

    I reach for the horn or spray as I try the command. I have found the spray more effective and aimable if the wind cooperates. Dogs hate even a whiff of it. I have seen few persist after a good snoot full. Usually they remember and are lackluster in any subsequent chases I have had one persist after that treatment and I had no compunctions about a solid kick to its muzzle. Three strikes at that point.

    If you have an animal control officer in the dog's area, file a complaint. It is the dog's owner and not the dog who is at fault. The dog is being a dog, rather than a properly trained and controlled dog. If it is a feral animal, its haunts and habits need to be reported.

    I had one problem owner's dog that looked like a cross between a pit bull and black lab who really wanted a piece of me. It's the one that took all three methods. I filed two complaints, but decided that route was just too unsafe for other reasons, so can't report how effectiev the eforts were long term.

    Good luck and safe riding.

  3. #3
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    Dogs have a chase instinct, so the faster you ride the faster they will chase. Best is to try and outrun the dog, but if you don't think you can keep ahead, get off your bike, keep your bike between you and the dog and in loud commanding tones tell the dog to go home. I've also chucked rocks at dogs and once whacked a dog with a branch to get it to leave me alone. Don't forget to call animal control. It's the stupid owners I would like to chuck rocks at.

  4. #4
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    Another long response. Oh well, Hope it helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    Dogs have a chase instinct, ...Best is to ..outrun the dog, but if you don't ...keep ahead, get off your bike, keep your bike between you and the dog and in loud commanding tones tell the dog to go home.
    Carry a cell phone if you are in a coverage area. The GPS chip in the phone can help search crews find your body (just kidding).

    Dogs are dogs. Some owners are idiots. Some dogs are feral.

    My experience is that if the dog will respond to commands, it will if I'm riding the bike or not. Maybe some poorly trained ones given less incentive to chase, will respond to commands better if I am not moving. That might prove true with pups (<1 yr).

    I am nearly 6' and finally only 200 pounds. They look surprised looking up and seeing me. I have no way to test a smaller version of me to confirm if this effect is real or fancied. The Airzound pressure water bottle device apparently works wonders too, maybe by making you sound 'Big'.

    +1 Yes, the tone of voice is more important than the command. Think Drill Sergeant. They get the 'Squirrel!' look from the movie Up! and by the time they snap out of it you are almost or are by their property, so are not of interest. This kind and the ones who quickly lose interest or just run along tongue lolling and a stupid grin, are not a problem, really.

    Near the end of a long uphill with a fresh dog starting a chase, is a bad time to try outrunning IMHO ( and experience). Slowing down to a walk helps reduce the incentive for the chase so drop to lower gears and crawl up the last bit (it helps you get wind for the forceful commands), trying commands all the while. Of course if you are plodding up in bottom gear and the chase is still on, then use Halt! if you have it, don't forget you can kick the dog if need be, and stop only if you can't keep the dog from going for your ankle/calf otherwise, since you are at walking pace anyway and may as well use the bike as a shield.

    Before Halt! became available, people often used a strong ammonia solution in a squirt gun as an effective deterent. Use a good squirt gun, as a leaky one will do you in, or at least anyone near you when you stop. Don't squirt the dog, just fill the air between you and the dog with the scent. You could squirt your shoe but it isn't the best stuff on your skin if it soaked in. A squirt in the face is ONLY warranted in an outright attack (can blind the dog). In true self defense, I think no holds are barred. The day that an SPCA person can beam in and be a human shield for all such attacks, I will change that position, until then, no. If it is the dog or me, it WILL be the dog to the worst of my ability

    With more than one dog chasing/attacking getting off the bike is asking to get bit as it is hard to keep two dogs on one side, nearly impossible with three or more. Anything to get your back against so you can't be flanked and a selection of sticks plus the bike as barrier is good. You need to figure out which if any of them most wants a piece of you, that is the one to dissuade first and likely the only one you need to, unless they are feral and really do need you as fresh meat. The lean starved hungry wolf pack look is a dead (pardon the pun) give away. For a three dog attack, a combination of commands, a kick to the snout of the young aggressive one trying to bite my foot, then dismounting and walking away with my bike between me and them worked, but two weren't that much into it (I had no horn or Halt! then) . Obviously, YMMV, heck MMMV.

    If you have been around dogs, you can generally tell playfulness, from a serious chase, and from outright viciousness. The sneaky ones that bite you in the heel when your back is turned visiting someone, are not going to be this forward. You look down at them approaching your foot and they suddenly veer/slink away when they see that you spot them, they also tend to respond to commands.

    Some have reported that chasing the dog back on its property works to dissuade future events and have converted them into friends by giving treats when they come by. For repeated commuting routes such tactics may be wise. Here on my occassionally ridden recreational routes, you're apt to be shot by the owner or have the owner sic his other dogs on you. Treats may be OK but dragging a side of bacon to encourage them to follow out into a busy street to become road pizza is not kosher (pardon another pun).


    Owners generally do not take an irate cyclist's comments well. Face it if they understood their social responsibility and responsibility to their dog, there wouldn't be aproblem in the first place. Save your ranting breath. Sign on here, vent your spleen and leave it for animal control.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    I've also chucked rocks at dogs and once whacked a dog with a branch to get it to leave me alone. Don't forget to call animal control. It's the stupid owners I would like to chuck rocks at.
    Looking for and stopping by such ammunition is a good idea if you are stopping. You can swing your bike if it's not loaded for a self-supported tour. If it is, you must have packed something that will do. In Manila, a couple of recumbent riders (face at dog height) use their fiberglass or carbon fiber flag poles which slide down into tubes or scabards for easy removal and regularly use them as impromtu whips to fend off the plethora of strays, they must deal with. Think Zorro on a 'bent: En Garde! Their Airzound horns help too. Likely more so after a couple of 'training' incidents that were preceded by horns.

    I found no reports of hitting an attacking dog riling it up more. I mean if it's trying to rip your throat out, it is kind of hard to exacerbate that. However, abusing an animal that is near you but no longer threatening you, simply because it scared you, is completely unacceptable and likely counterproductive: you may indeed rile it up.

    Avoidance is another approach. Parts of my county have feral dog packs. I do not ride them alone anymore. Ride such areas with others if you must ride them. Dogs tend to leave groups of riders alone. Plus you shouldn't run out of Halt! and can form a circle with your bikes.

    My biggest fear is a perfectly friendly dog walking/running out in front of me and it is a much more likley way to serious injury even in the Tour de France (google for video).

  5. #5
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    I first yell at the dog....git...go home.

    I he does fine, if not..

    I outrun them one came close to keeping up once but they tire pretty quick chasing a bike.

    If they keep following then I will call dog control and get them picked up.

    It kills me some guy yelling at his dog.....come....come....don't worry he is a good dog.

  6. #6
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    Squirt them with a water bottle , this sometimes disorients them enough that they give up the chase .

  7. #7
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    When running or biking I've had the best luck with stopping and yelling "NO!" Then slowly retreating without turning my back on the animal. Some dogs won't be discouraged unless you stop and end the fun for them Most dogs seem to at least understand the word no. I'll also add that most dogs are cowards and aren't interested in tangling with any animal or person who will stand up to them. The worst dogs are the silent,sneaky type who give no warning, they're the ones that worry me the worst!

  8. #8
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    Well I tried the hollering method and it didn't work today. So a friend that's a state trooper gave me some mace. I'm not gonna try to spray the dog in the eyes, but more just in the general area where he is gonna get a good whiff of it.
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  9. #9
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    Really? I've commuted for almost a decade now and can count dog chases on one hand. I'm also a man and its a dog, simple math. I've met several pits, bad rap. Mace? Really? If its the same dog then go a different route, simple. I wouldn't give any of my friends or neighbors pepper spray for a dog/commute issue. I'd raz them for asking. Its a dog man, if it keeps happening then detour, more miles will be good for you.

  10. #10
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    I've only been chased once. I was riding uphill on my Big Dummy when two pitbulls came out of the woods. It was after bar close and I'm all drunk and now I have to channel my drunken bike power to sprint up a hill with a 40lb bike. I barked loudly at them and left them in the dust.

  11. #11
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    Kimber:

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  12. #12
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    Bought a new house that's 20 miles from
    my old house, so no more dog trouble
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  13. #13
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    I got chased by an unleashed pup it's legs must have been 5" long that chased me probably 100 meters.
    checked the GPS log I got up to 20mph and I only outran it only because it couldn't keep up. But the speed is right there. I can't imagine a bigger dog..
    how fast can dogs sprint anyway?

  14. #14
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    I got chased by an angry Pit-Bull last Friday on the road bike. I dropped him like a bad habit but I couldn't imagine climbing a big hill or something and having to run from him. Random dogs scare the heck outta me. I think they can sense my fear.

    I got attacked in the middle of the country on my motorcycle last week. I got off the bike to gps my way back to civilization and a pack came outta no where and circled me. I jumped on my bike and revved the engine a few times and they all backed off but the alpha. As he came at me I drove off and kicked him on the way out. F*ckers.
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  15. #15
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    Pit Bulls are just dumb. You can't trust them with strangers. We had one when we lived in the woods and he was a great dog to us but beware whomever came into his domain (extra large yard). Eventually he tree'ed a hunter poaching on our land and the hunter shot him. Stupid game warden wouldn't do anything about it either.

    We had a dog next to our local trail that bit a few people riding it so he got pepper sprayed a few times, he still barks at us but doesn't come within 10 feet of a biker now.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toff View Post
    Pit Bulls are just dumb. You can't trust them with strangers. We had one when we lived in the woods and he was a great dog to us but beware whomever came into his domain (extra large yard). Eventually he tree'ed a hunter poaching on our land and the hunter shot him. Stupid game warden wouldn't do anything about it either.

    We had a dog next to our local trail that bit a few people riding it so he got pepper sprayed a few times, he still barks at us but doesn't come within 10 feet of a biker now.
    the breed stereotypes really piss me off. the way the dog behaves has more to do with the way it's raised than anything else.

    the one time I've felt threatened by dogs chasing me (they were pit bulls, btw), I gave a blast from my airzound when they got close, and that stopped them in their tracks. never saw them again. I can't say I'd call them dumb dogs. I know a guy who likes to use them to work cattle. again...can't say I'd call them dumb.

    I have, on the other hand, seen plenty of dog owners who just allow their dogs to do whatever the f*ck the dog wants. oh, the dog is barking like a lunatic when someone friendly just walks down the sidewalk? hee hee, look at his fur stand on end. (rather than showing the dog that such behavior is unacceptable). oh, your basset hounds bark constantly in your apartment and your neighbors are pissed about it? rather than trying to solve the problem or God-forbid admit that basset hounds who bark constantly do not make good apartment dogs (or train the dogs from the beginning to keep quiet - yes, not easy for a hound, but not impossible, either), you blame your neighbors (who simply live in the same building...they don't even share a wall with you) and tell them that they have to put up with it. as a matter of fact, they do not. they can get your @$$ evicted over those barking dogs.

    I know this is an old thread, but the earlier post that Halt! is not pepper spray is flat out wrong. Halt! absolutely is pepper spray, and where the concept arose that pepper spray permanently blinds dogs came from is ridiculous. I do agree that you shouldn't just automatically reach for the most potent stuff available (typically bear spray) because it DOES hurt. But with that said, if you have a particularly problematic dog on your route that doesn't seem phased by Halt!, then maybe something more potent would be justifiable.

  17. #17
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    There is this route I used to cycle, got chased by a pack of big strays, decided to stop after 300 meters and put my bike between me and them. Waited a good 10 mins before they got bored and left. Can't bear to call NEA (Animal control) as it meant they would be put down. Decided now to cycle around them, adding an extra mile or two. Harder to out pedal a pack, but it does get the old ticker jump started. :P

  18. #18
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    Yes pepper spray

    Its just a good thing to have on you all the time IMO. yeah once i was riding to work in downtown oakland and as i was apssing under the fwy this 100 lbs + rottweiller started circling me and herding me away from a german shepard he or she thought need to be protected from me. I had pepper spray on me but didnt have to use it.

  19. #19
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    I love dogs, but come on, if it is chasing it needs to be corrected, whether by the victim or the owner.

    All this out run, avoid, and re-route baloney only solves the problem for yourself, not for the community and most importantly not for other unsuspecting cyclists. Help protect others, as well as the animal, by picking a corrective method.

  20. #20
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    I have seen few persist after a good snoot full. Usually they remember and are lackluster in any subsequent chases I have had one persist after that treatment and I had no compunctions about a solid kick to its muzzle.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridemtn View Post
    I love dogs, but come on, if it is chasing it needs to be corrected, whether by the victim or the owner.

    All this out run, avoid, and re-route baloney only solves the problem for yourself, not for the community and most importantly not for other unsuspecting cyclists. Help protect others, as well as the animal, by picking a corrective method.
    Share your sentiments. Did inform friends who cycle that route, but can't do anything without the strays being put down by the authority.

  22. #22
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    Making assumptions about a dog based on its appearance, or stereotyping, isn't the ideal method for determining a dog's temperament. But when he is bearing down on you at full speed, you don't have time to talk to the owners and discuss the dog's upbringing. So you go with what you know based on the information you have--which is just what you can see before you.

    I just outrun the little ankle-biters. If they are ahead of me, I actually aim directly for them. Someone recommended this to me years ago and I learned that it works. Dogs think defensively and they are basically planning for an attack. So if you aim for them then they will get out of the way. But if you try to avoid them, they may just end up right under your front wheel. So far it has never failed.

    With labs and other big happy dogs, I'll try for a sprint if I think I can make it. Otherwise, I just step off the bike and keep it between me and him.

    With pit bulls, I dismount quickly and draw a pistol. I realize that most people here probably don't bike with a gun. I do. And I've seen some real nastiness from pit bulls. I've had two close calls with pits, where I actually wondered if the dogs were smart enough to realize that there was some kind of danger from that little black thing I was holding in my hands. I kept my bike between me and them, and they stopped short and eventually let me go my own way. But if they hadn't stopped when they did, they would have gotten a loud, hot dose of lead. Their owners were, of course, nowhere to be seen.

    Pepper spray is great. But I'll stick to my G19.

  23. #23
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    Bunny hop and nail them in the head with the rear wheel. It works well and it impresses the hell out of the ladies.
    I hate 650b because it's not as fun as 26 inch wheels and because it doesn't have the rollover ability of 29 inch wheels.

  24. #24
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    Here's some examples of my Pit Bull laying in wait for the next victim to ride or walk by. She does this daily, when the sun is out. The most accosted victims happen to have food.


  25. #25
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    ^^Nice!! The one I had once sprained her tail from meeting too many new people. Her tail hung straight down for a couple weeks. She was a sun worshipper too.

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