• 03-16-2010
    BrianMc
    Dog control devices (non-firearm)
    I did a little research in other threads about dealing with dogs where the discussion got out-of-hand, and unhelpful.

    So let me make a few things clear off the top:

    1. I love dogs. Grew up with them. Two fended off a rabid fox from my oldest brothers and sister like Ol'Yeller, and paid the price. My family cherished ours until he got epilepsy and had to be put to sleep. I almost succumbed to my allergy to his dander. I wish I could have another.

    2. I was raised on a farm and understand owner responsibility with respect to controlling animals owned.

    3. I make friends with any dog who lets me.

    4. I understand the dog's desire to chase a cyclist. Don't like it, but I understand it.

    5. I avoid routes where owners have dangerously improperly or inadequately controlled dogs and report situation to authorities. I ignore the little yappers and the 'run with the cyclist' dogs, other than make sure I don't tumble over them.

    6. I know a single dog off his property has no property to defend, and unless specifically trained to be aggressive, is a non-threat.

    7. I have successfully fended of many single dog attacks. That has been fairly simple, In part beacuse I am a smaller Clydesdale. I have not had to deal with fighting dogs defending Meth labs or Bear fighting Akitas that are the same size as me.

    I discovered this week that former dog owners (and I use that term very loosely) without the guts to do the right thing by their animals, and their neighbors, have dumped their dogs in our county, making their problem, everyone's problem. These dogs have formed packs. These are dangerous and unpredictable. The single underfunded and overworked animal control officer has been unsuccessful in tracking them all down and dealing with all of them.

    I met such a pack of three dogs recently after three years of riding oblivious to the problem. One of the dogs was overly aggressive, the other two were in the wings on the other side making it hard to keep an eye on them (waiting for an opening, or just along for a nice run?) on an open road with no cover whatsoever. They came out of nowhere and caught me fighting a headwind. The one snarling, baring teeth, and snapping with some intent, not playfullly, at my leg responded to a firm 'ShutUp!" "Go Home!" and backed off puzzeled, and I continued on my way. They ten decided to investigate a road kill in the ditch (not a previuos cyclist). These dogs may have been dumped, or just dogs that hang when their owners let them wander. Dog tags are not required.

    I am going to reroute to avoid this area, where the officer knows there is a problem. Why ask for problems, distracted drivers are quite enough to be getting on with, thank you.

    He says they are wandering freely and may be encountered on any of my routes. That is the reason for this post. I was advised by the animal control officer to carry a small wooden baseball bat like for peewee league on my bike frame and two large mace containers easy to hand. One small one buried in the seat bag, is too hard to get to, and if you do, it just riles them up. I can hold off one dog with my bike.

    I heard of one local rider of the past who carried a 2' chunk of rebar (training weight) in case of dogs.

    So do you have any comments on the officer's recommendations to fend-off an agressive pack of dogs? Any sensible alternatives in a non-firearm? (I know I could carry my gun but it's too tempting to use it on motorists who almost hit me!) :madman:

    Please no pro or anti dog rants. They are OT. :nono:

    Start your own thread if you can control yourself, and get rabid on this, then have at it.:thumbsup:
  • 03-16-2010
    jmadams13
    As a former SPCA Humane Officer, I have to say that what the "officer" told you is a fast way to get you in more trouble then it will solve, and he should have known better to give that kind of advise. I will make a few points here regarding the law, safety, and a few other things...

    1. You are legally aloud to defend yourself against an ATTACKING animal. What you described as your attack gives you the right to defend yourself, but there are laws regarding to what extent. After the dog stopped coming at you, and "IF" you then continued to use force, you are then abusing that animal, as you are no longer in need of protection. Same goes for the the two that did not attack you. If a passer by would see you hitting a dog with a bat or whatever weapon, they have the right to call the police, and I hope they would. They don't know the situation at hand, and have no idea if you are defending yourself or just being abusive. This will then cause a lot of legal hassle on your part if you are innocent, or fines and possible jail time if you "go to far" (happens a lot, they think that if they "handle" it they are helping, but its just an excuse for harming an animal)

    2. Regardless if the animal is a stray or not, un-needed or excessive force is considered animal cruelty in many states, and should be in all.

    3. For your safety in the future, I would carry HALT brand dog repellent, or a small can of pepper spray, not mace (see later regarding mace.) This can be used against feral cats and the would be mugger as well. One thing you should always do after and incident like this is as follows:

    -Get to a safe distance as soon as possible
    -Make a note of the time of day and your location and the location of the incident
    -Make as many descriptive notes of the animal as possible, ie; breed, size, color, distinctive markings, sex (if possible) if there is a collar/tags/leash/ect...
    -Note what events prior to attack like if it let you pet it, chasing you, was in yard or street, if it obviously belong to a household or property nearby...ect...
    -CALL SPCA OR HUMANE SOCIETY ASAP!!! The sooner this is reported, the sooner it can be resolved. A stray dog and wander up to 25 miles in a day, so the faster we know about it, the easier it will be to find the animal. Don't think you are saving it by letting it go, more times then not it will be struck on the road, or wander onto property of a owner who will not take as kindly to it, and possibly injuring other animals and people before hand. If it runs away, try to note the direction it was headed and how fast (run/walk/sprint)

    You stated that "Dog tags are not required." I find this hard to believe. There are very very few counties in the US that don't require some type of license/registration and ID. ALL DOGS IN THE US REQUIRE RABIES AND DISTEMPER/PARVO vaccines, and all vaccinated dogs MUST wear a rabies tag at all times when not in the home. This is not just local to my old jurisdiction, but is federal.


    I would like to meet this fellow that carries rebar to fend of dogs and have a chat...

    This is not a Pro Dog rant, just my training kicking in in trying to make things a little safer. IMO, what you did by yelling at the dog to make it back down is the best defense. The worst thing to do is strike them in any way, not only for the legal and moral issue, but if it is not done correctly, could cause the dog to get more angry with you causing you to get bit, and Rabies is a big issue in most of the country, and I tell you from experience, that is not something you want to go through. Also, you should try to not harm the dog in any way, again not only for the moral issue that its wrong, but if it does get legal, any harm to the animal will only hurt your case in the case it is a home pet and not a stray. The next best defense is getting something between you and the dog, and using pepper spray or Halt. True mace can blind the animal, and if it is a family pet that got away, it may just be scared and lost and not actually aggressive. Imagine finding your lost dog only to find its now blind.

    I apologize if this went a little OT, and I'm not trying to start any debates, but when defending yourself, you also need to look out for the well being of the animal and those around you. And there where some other things to point on that will help with this problem.

    The best way to fight the problem is to reduce the feral and stray dog/cat population and for everyone to keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced in yard. A chained dog is not a leashed dog, but thats a issue for another day.

    Apologize for the long post and if I upset anyone.

    ~joe
  • 03-16-2010
    rodar y rodar
    Wow, it sounds like they surrounded you? Fortunately, I haven`t had enough dog incedents to put much thought into it, but one of the "not so brutal" methods I`ve heard that sounds plausible to me is a squirt gun with a little amonia in the water. Sounds to me like it packs a little more punch than a shot from your water bottle and would still be simpler than mace/pepper spray. Glad you got through that one allright, sounds like those guys were serious.

    Thanks for the advice, JMA. I`ve read a lot of dog threads on various bike forums, but I don`t think I`ve seen such comprehensive advice before as to legalities and the information needed to make a useful report.
  • 03-16-2010
    jmadams13
    Your welcome. A good report can make the difference in a conviction if needed, or even knowing what are looking for when we need to search for an animal. Its sad/amazing how many reports are as follows... "I was bit by a dog, it was like brown/yellow/red kinda small, kinda big, fat and skinny at the same time. What? Collar you say? not sure... Direction it ran..?..? to the left..." on and on.... You can imagine that calls like that go unresolved. And there is a bite involved, that mean treatment for rabies ($$$) that is most probably unneeded, or a potentially truly dangerous animal on the loose, or even worse, a harmless but scared animal getting injured or killed (accident or purposely) that could be saved if we had more information.
  • 03-17-2010
    jrm
    My latest encounter
    was with a big rottweiler here in oakland. When i 1st encountered the dog it seemed as if the dog had been trained to guard and or attack either a local drug house or the truck parking lot under the fwy. Either way two thing became evident. one, the way the dog encircled me was as if to "herd" me in order to keep tabs on me Secondly, the dog went back and forth as if to keep me away from something it was protecting. Once i noticed these traits i was able to slow my movements in order to reduce the dogs reactions to me as i circled waiting for the light ot change so i could get the heII outta dodge and fast.

    Dogs are dogs, im pretty sure a dogs temperment and behavior are a result of the dogs training ie: lack of or for a specific task. However when im chased by a little dog i do get a kick out of unclipping my foot from the pedal and wiggling my leg and saying "come and get it killer".
  • 03-17-2010
    jeffscott
    Bear spray on a holster...

    Works for bears, works for dogs, works for scum

    Well that and really good fitness, to outrun them.
  • 03-17-2010
    jmadams13
    For the record, most bear spray is the same as HALT brand, just with a more powerful propellent. But ANY spray that includes mace in the ingredients should not be used, for the animals and your protection.

    @JRM: You are correct, MOST, but not all dog actions and behavior is a result of training, lack of training, or lack of purpose. Working and herding breed dogs need a job to do to stay happy, if not they become bored, and boredom can easily become aggression. Most other actions can stem from being scared, lost, hungry, ect... Your actions in how you "dealt" with the rotti was exactly what the first type of defense should be. Now, teasing a dog with a foot is a good way to get yourself bit, or get the dog injured by your bike.
  • 03-17-2010
    mtbxplorer
    OP's situation sounds exactly like the one time I did get bit...3 dogs came out, chasing but not scarily agressive. The firm "GO HOME" while pointing at the house had no effect. While I was avoiding the one dancing in front of me the other one bit into my calf - not a bad bite but a puncture. Nobody was home at the house so I called the dog officer (local volunteer or lowly paid position) with the address & description of the dogs when I got home. He was familiar with them & assured me that he had made sure they had rabies shots. I am more conservative now & get off the bike if I don't immediately outrun them and they don't respond to commands. Slows you down but it has avoided further bites. It worked when a pitbull who obviously had pups to defend came out at me; I was able to swing the bike around to keep it between us as I tried to get out of its territory..but she was pretty quick at circling around so I was not making much progress. A neighbor noticed my struggle from her kitchen window and drove out in her car to honk & distract the dog long enough for me to get away. I sent a letter to the dog officer & selectboard complaining about it being loose but did not hear back.

    There is another dog on a dead end mountain road near me who lies in wait for unsuspecting bikers; he lets them go by peacably on the uphill, when they are a slow and boring target, thereby lulling them into complacency, and then when they return past on on the downhill, he takes off after them like a bat out of hell. The owners sometimes sit in the dooryard enjoying this spectator sport.

    I have not tried Halt or similar products. I don't like the weapon idea either, I have had dogs that recognize even a potential weapon, like a guy walking with a shovel, and would put up a growl even though it wasn't being held in a threatening manner.

    p.s. I had a great pound pitbull & she never tried to bite anybody (excepting woodchucks, mice and porcupines) - in fact she once sprained her tail at a gathering from wagging it so hard - it hung strait down from her but for a couple weeks before being able to wag again.
  • 03-17-2010
    BrianMc
    jmadams aka 'Joe': Glad to have someone level headed with real experience contribute so well.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    As a former SPCA Humane Officer, I have to say that what the "officer" told you is a fast way to get you in more trouble then it will solve, and he should have known better to give that kind of advise...

    .
    It didn't make sense to me, but who am I to criticize and officer in a public forum? Take the high road...It may say a lot about how little money the county puts into the problem.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    1. You are legally aloud to defend yourself against an ATTACKING animal. What you described as your attack gives you the right to defend yourself, but there are laws regarding to what extent. ....its just an excuse for harming an animal)

    Agreed. Totally. I was SO glad to be safely on my way. No way I was going to go back to retaliate.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    2. Regardless if the animal is a stray or not, un-needed or excessive force is considered animal cruelty in many states, and should be in all.

    That is true. The terms 'uneeded' and 'excessive' don't have to be applied exactly if it is at all reasonable that you were in actual fear for your life. But if you can walk/ride away, why wouldn't you?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    3. For your safety in the future, I would carry HALT brand dog repellent, or a small can of pepper spray, not mace (see later regarding mace.) This can be used against feral cats and the would be mugger as well. One thing you should always do after and incident like this is as follows:

    -Get to a safe distance as soon as possible
    -Make a note of the time of day and your location and the location of the incident
    -Make as many descriptive notes of the animal as possible, ie; breed, size, color, distinctive markings, sex (if possible) if there is a collar/tags/leash/ect...
    -Note what events prior to attack like if it let you pet it, chasing you, was in yard or street, if it obviously belong to a household or property nearby...ect...
    -CALL SPCA OR HUMANE SOCIETY ASAP!!! The sooner this is reported, the sooner it can be resolved. A stray dog and wander up to 25 miles in a day, so the faster we know about it, the easier it will be to find the animal. Don't think you are saving it by letting it go, more times then not it will be struck on the road, or wander onto property of a owner who will not take as kindly to it, and possibly injuring other animals and people before hand. If it runs away, try to note the direction it was headed and how fast (run/walk/sprint)

    HALT:
    old can not on bike, and if on bike I'd never have gotten to it in time. Lesson learned.

    Safe distance ASAP.
    Yep did that without kicking in the afterburners until I was sure the chase was up. Who is going to hang around to see if they'll have another go? Jeesh!

    Time:
    Trip timer checked and when I got home. Yep.

    Descriptions:
    That is surprisingly hard during the heat of the moment when caught unawares and thinking of how to avoid being bitten. The one snapping at me who obeyed orders was no problem to describe, the other two were much harder. The time to note it is right after the attack breaks off. You are clear headed enough and the dogs are close enough.

    Note events:
    Yep. But I would add that you should immediately after the attack, take yourself through the events before, during, and after to reinforce the memory of them as accurately as possible.

    Call animal shelter immediately:
    Not on my cell call list, but got him called when I got home (Friday). He was unavailable and his hours controlled so he did not follow up until after the weekend. May have a lot to do with why they haven't been caught.

    Non-reporting:
    You can usually tell the untreatening from threatening, but a friendly dog out on the road can cross in front at the last minute and is a hazard to itself most of all. A homeless animal is condemned to a very short and nasty life and is the reason why the person who 'released it into the wilds' is contemptable. Most dog problems are dog owner problems.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    4. You stated that "Dog tags are not required." I find this hard to believe. There are very very few counties in the US that don't require some type of license/registration and ID. ALL DOGS IN THE US REQUIRE RABIES AND DISTEMPER/PARVO vaccines, and all vaccinated dogs MUST wear a rabies tag at all times when not in the home. This is not just local to my old jurisdiction, but is federal.

    Oh, we have dog tags with up to date rabies info. No one enforces that they be on the collar, hence 'not required'.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    I would like to meet this fellow that carries rebar to fend of dogs and have a chat...

    He is in his eighties now, if the story is real. Don't know if he still rides. He was a friend of one of our group riders who is 70 and rode for Indiana University in the early 60's. Accoding to him, the only time it was used in anger was to fend off three large two-legged attackers who ran the cyclist off the road with a pickup and came back to 'larn him some'. The story was they went to hospital, then to jail as they outweighed him by 50-100 pounds each. It may well be an urban legend.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    This is not a Pro Dog rant, just my training kicking in in trying to make things a little safer. IMO, what you did by yelling at the dog to make it back down is the best defense. The worst thing to do is strike them in any way, not only for the legal and moral issue, but if it is not done correctly, could cause the dog to get more angry with you causing you to get bit, and Rabies is a big issue in most of the country, and I tell you from experience, that is not something you want to go through. Also, you should try to not harm the dog in any way, again not only for the moral issue that its wrong, but if it does get legal, any harm to the animal will only hurt your case in the case it is a home pet and not a stray. The next best defense is getting something between you and the dog, and using pepper spray or Halt. True mace can blind the animal, and if it is a family pet that got away, it may just be scared and lost and not actually aggressive. Imagine finding your lost dog only to find its now blind.

    The Parade Ground voice of command worked. Apparently 'Sit! Stay!' is a bit more effective, than 'ShutUp!' and 'Go Home!' It will separate most dogs with some training from the super aggressive and rabid. Since one was leading the fray and the others weren't obviously 'into it', all was well.

    Visions of trying to keep a bike between you and two or three or more dogs that are not responding well, with no fence to protect your back, is not a nice thought. My old can of Halt has likely expired so time to restock and put it back on the bike, I guess.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    I apologize if this went a little OT, and I'm not trying to start any debates, but when defending yourself, you also need to look out for the well being of the animal and those around you. And there where some other things to point on that will help with this problem.

    The best way to fight the problem is to reduce the feral and stray dog/cat population and for everyone to keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced in yard. A chained dog is not a leashed dog, but thats a issue for another day.

    Apologize for the long post and if I upset anyone.

    ~joe

    On topic as far as I am concerned. A failure to plan is planning to fail. Now I know I have a more than vanishingly small chance of another pack encounter of the too close kind, I need to prepare like a Boy Scout.

    Things to clarify:

    We obviously don't practice disabling dogs with Halt, alone or in groups. That would definitely be cruelty. So the best we can do is to envision an attack and think about our actions. Hard to do if you haven't any experience to base the actions on. That lack of knowledge generates excess fear and that leads to cruely or making matters worse.

    So, could you run through a couple of scenarios after the 'Sit!' and "Stay' and 'Go Home!' commands have failed to break off an attack? How best to use Halt? Do you try to disuade the apparent leader? That sort of thing.

    (Learned more in this one post than in multple threads, even if a lot was just that 'I done good'.)

    Brian
  • 03-17-2010
    CommuterBoy
    I'd use a velcro strap or something to hold a can of pepper spray on the stem or headtube. Aim at the eyes.

    I have successfully heel-kicked a snarling pit-bull that chased me down on my commute, and after that ride I considered one of the collapsable baton things cops are using now, but they are questionably legal to carry. It's not a big problem around here, but if it was, I'd be packing pepper spray in an easy to reach location.

    Let me preface this next part by saying that I am a huge dog person. I grew up with them, I will always have one or two, and I understand their instinctual motivation to chase stuff. I have owned dogs that chased cyclists, but because I teach the dog how to act around people, all my dogs have ever wanted to do is run with the bike, not kill the person on the bike. There is a difference between someone having a 'protective' dog, and having a dog that thinks it's OK to chase and bite someone, just because they are there. This behavior can be corrected, and if the owner won't do it, I will do it for them. If the dog has no owner, for the next 10 seconds I am the dog's master and it's my job to teach the dog to NEVER do this again.

    That being said, when a dog is charging, hell-bent on sinking its teeth into my calf, I would never consider trying the "sit!" "stay!" "go home!" thing. I would not consider the well-being of the animal in the least. That dog needs to get hurt doing what it shouldn't be doing, so that it will learn not to do it again. This is how animals learn. This is why wolf mothers snap at (and hurt) thier pups when they need to be taught a lesson. If you chase a bike and you feel pain and can't see for a while, you might think twice before chasing another bike.

    Edit: I'm not trying to start a debate either. I have read the valid points others have posted. I may come off as agressive, but I don't mean to be. The bottom line is that if I'm being attacked by a dog I'm going to react the same way as if I'm being attacked by any other kind of animal. Just because we have them as pets doesn't mean we somehow have some ability to reason with them. If I'm getting attacked, it's getting hurt.
  • 03-17-2010
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I'd use a velcro strap or something to hold a can of pepper spray on the stem or headtube. Aim at the eyes.

    I have successfully heel-kicked a snarling pit-bull that chased me down on my commute, and after that ride I considered one of the collapsable baton things cops are using now, but they are questionably legal to carry. It's not a big problem around here, but if it was, I'd be packing pepper spray in an easy to reach location.

    Let me preface this next part by saying that I am a huge dog person. I grew up with them, I will always have one or two, and I understand their instinctual motivation to chase stuff. I have owned dogs that chased cyclists, but because I teach the dog how to act around people, all my dogs have ever wanted to do is run with the bike, not kill the person on the bike. There is a difference between someone having a 'protective' dog, and having a dog that thinks it's OK to chase and bite someone, just because they are there. This behavior can be corrected, and if the owner won't do it, I will do it for them. If the dog has no owner, for the next 10 seconds I am the dog's master and it's my job to teach the dog to NEVER do this again.

    That being said, when a dog is charging, hell-bent on sinking its teeth into my calf, I would never consider trying the "sit!" "stay!" "go home!" thing. I would not consider the well-being of the animal in the least. That dog needs to get hurt doing what it shouldn't be doing, so that it will learn not to do it again. This is how animals learn. This is why wolf mothers snap at (and hurt) thier pups when they need to be taught a lesson. If you chase a bike and you feel pain and can't see for a while, you might think twice before chasing another bike.

    You don't want the spray attached to the bike, you want a holster....

    Often you end up off the bike for what ever reason then you need the holster...

    They sell really nice ones made for the job.

    I carry it on occasion for bears.

    If you don't have one the right side back pocket of a cycling jersey is also fine....you just need something on the left to balance the weight out a bit.
  • 03-17-2010
    mtbxplorer
    CB, we can clearly see from your avatar that you are really more of a "cat person", and it looks like that kitty has a score to settle too!:p
  • 03-17-2010
    jmadams13
    Tonight i will go over some attack defence ideas and how to "properly" use halt, its gonna be to long to type on my iphone. I am glad you found this post usefull.

    @CB- I am not even going to pleasure you with a response to what was just said...
  • 03-17-2010
    CommuterBoy
    I totally respect your viewpoint, not looking for an argument at all. Just a slightly different perspective. I have not been - and I never will be - abusive or cruel to an animal. If I can ward off an attacking dog in 3 seconds with pepper spray, I'm not going to stick around to try anything else. My answer to the OP is a quick shot of pepper spray, and go on with your ride. Safe, effective, humane.
  • 03-17-2010
    BrianMc
    One thing about adding the ANSI vest: it has pockets and the lower one is Halt sized. Problem solved. Like a fire extinguisher: something you need but hope never to have to use.

    CB: You should have seen the look on the dog's face when I said Shut Up! Go Home! You'd think I 'd said "Bad dog!" to a puppy caught in the act of piddling.

    .
  • 03-17-2010
    rodar y rodar
    As luck would have it, I had a rare (for me) dog incedent today. It wasn`t anywhere near as bad as some of the scenes I`ve seen recounted, but it really makes me doubt my capability to outrun a dog. Just for fun, the details.

    I was out on a short road ride through the next valley behind mine- last piece of pavement for the greater Reno area, so not a lot of through traffic and a fairly rural development where people don`t expect bicycles and dogs aren`t generally kept as confined as their "city cousins". With about ten miles in my legs at a somewhat fast pace, I saw some kind of graying old shepard-herder dog layint in the road and daydreaming about Milk Bones, maybe a quarter mile from the end of the pavement (my turnaround). I was almost past when it woke up and started to bark and chase, but since I had the jump on him he gave up almost immediately and laid down again. I didn`t have a water bottle with me to try the squirt trick.

    A few minutes later, I had to go by in the other direction and he saw me comming, so I had no head start. I poured on the gas and got up to somewhere around 25, which is pretty much redline for me unless I have a good tailwind or downhill. Although he didn`t have time to do anything other than sprint full out (neither did I), I couldn`t outrun him. After a LONG while (a minute?), he finally gave it up and slowed to a trot. If he had managed a little bit longer, I would have been the one to give up. This was no whippet- just a plain `ol dog, and a graying one at that (like he cyclist). I wouldn`t stand a chance of outrunning a younger dog, or even outrunning that particular dog if I hadn`t been on my roadie. Oh- while I was closing in for the second pass, I got the impression that me that he really would`ve enjoyed taking a little piece out of my calf, but the big danger I saw was a collision. A few times he came very close to going under my front wheel, which would not have been a pleasant experience for either of us at that speed.
  • 03-17-2010
    hydrogeek
    I'll chime in here...
    As someone who has been chased and bitten by dogs since I was a kid delivering papers I have to say a couple of things that I have learned over time.

    1. the dog catcher rarely shows because he/she is too busy, regardless of how many details or info you have
    2. the owners rarely care and in some cases I have had dogs encouraged to bite me (yes Arizona has some real s%^t balls)
    3. there is no way in hell that I am stopping and getting off the bike, I have always been able to out run dogs
    4. pepper spray is very effective but you have to watch the way the wind is blowing
    5. yelling at the dog does work sometimes (sometimes)
    6. the 2nd most effective way to get rid of the attacking dog is to give it a sharp kick in the mouth, in my experience this is an option that has 100% success
    7. I now live in an area that has more wealth and I get chased by middle class dogs off the leash because people in my community believe their dogs need to experience being wild, or some crap like that. I now get the pleasure of informing people that, for the safety of their dog and mine, they should obey the law and leash their dogs. That goes over really well. :rolleyes:

    I would refrain from carrying a weapon. You may end up really hurting the dog, you might catch hell from the police (very unlikely though), or you may end up hurting yourself. If you have to carry something pepper spray or halt seems to be the most effective. Just mind the direction of the wind, trust me on that. :eekster:

    One last thing, everyone should listen to Bob Barker, spay and/or neuter your pet. Maybe that should apply to some of the pet owners as well.
  • 03-18-2010
    CommuterBoy
    I got chased the other day and I didn't even know it...I was crusing the bike path in the section where it goes by a park, and apparently there was a dog off a leash playing with its master (?) at the park. I had the iPod on and I was moving right along... about 3/4 of a mile later, the bike path crosses a street, so there's a stop sign and you have to look for traffic. As I got to the opposite side of the street I noticed this beagle-like dog pacing me. He had put up a serious fight to stick with me all the way to the street.

    This was obviously someone's fairly well behaved pet...no intention of hurting me whatsoever. I said "NO!" and the dog started trotting back in the direction of the park. I did feel a little guilt for not escorting him back, but the park does have a leash law, and I made the consious decision to let the owner feel some stress about their dog chasing someone on a bike in the direction of a fairly busy street. If there had been more traffic I would have turned around.

    You can tell in a fraction of a second if you're dealing with a dog that wants to hurt you.

    I totally agree with Hydrogeek on #3, #4, and #6.
  • 03-18-2010
    hydrogeek
    CB,

    I have been chased so many times by off leash dogs that I just keep riding if the dog doesn’t respond to commands. It might sound like I am a d%^k, but I am tired of being the nice guy with people who think the laws don't apply to them. I use to turn around and lead the dog back, but so many times the owners treated me like I was the bad guy.

    One example is a neighbor who has repeatedly allowed her dog to run free in the street and chase me. The dog never responds to me or her for that matter. So I now just continue on my way and let her chase the dog down. Off topic, also her soon is going to get a kick in the a$$ if he doesn't stop ripping through the neighborhood in his jeep too.

    I use to ride through a nice wooded park to work also, but I stopped doing that last year because there were too many off-leash dogs, despite having a large fenced off-leash area. I was chased so many times I lost count not to mention having to watch for dog bombs.

    Man, you guys must think I'm an old grumpy dude. :p
  • 03-18-2010
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hydrogeek
    ...3. there is no way in hell that I am stopping and getting off the bike, I have always been able to out run dogs...


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ...
    I totally agree with Hydrogeek on #3, #4, and #6.

    Thanks guys - now I feel not only slow but wimpy ;)
  • 03-18-2010
    mtbxplorer
    1 Attachment(s)
    Remembered this classic woodcut from Stephen Huneck
    http://www.dogmt.com/
  • 03-18-2010
    BrianMc
    It's a subtle point, but I think you know a dog is NOT going to try to hurt you, rather than know if the bared teeth and growls are it's idea of a good time, a good dog being bad, or a vicious animal. I have lots of dogs that like to run with me. No biggie as long as they don't try to circle in front.

    SIngle dogs have not been an issue, sacry sometimes, but I can deal. I haven't had to do a foot in the chops since I was 12. That was one of a neighbours pack of 9 border collies who was trying to nip me like a sheep. This pack situation is different. Getting off your bike then seems suicidal to me.
  • 03-18-2010
    jeffscott
    I got tracked by a pack of coyotes one day.....didn't leave me alone until I got up on the flat hill top.
  • 03-18-2010
    BrianMc
    Weird. Coyotes or some call them Brush Wolves here are rarely seen in daylight, and then as singles. Makes me think someone has been feeding them as they are usually pretty skittish around people.

    It cain't hurt none to feed 'em! 'Cept dem pesky cyclists!
  • 03-18-2010
    rodar y rodar
    Coyotes? We have tons of them around here and I`ve never ever heard of one being agressive towards humans. Not saying it`s the same everywhere, but that sounds really wierd to me.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Thanks guys - now I feel not only slow but wimpy ;)

    Don`t worry- we can ride together and take turns being mutt bait since I can`t outrun them either.
  • 03-18-2010
    hydrogeek
    I grew up in Southern Arizona. We would go camping in the Desert and Coyotes would always surround our camp site at night. I never saw one and they never came into camp, but they would always howl around us at night. I always figured that they were hunting near us, never worried about being attacked. I would agree though that they might change their mind about humans if they were being fed. Maybe they were smelling that steak you were carrying in your pocket? :D
  • 03-19-2010
    BrianMc
    A really good dog. Takes a caring and patient master. Good dogs mean good owners. Case in point. (Warning: there is religious content/context). :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKohJ1k4oKA

    Sent by friends who breed Golden Retrievers and Clumber Spaniels. Slightly off topic but I thought we could look at a dog in a different way, like say, backwards

    I doubt he ever chases bikes.
  • 03-19-2010
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Weird. Coyotes or some call them Brush Wolves here are rarely seen in daylight, and then as singles. Makes me think someone has been feeding them as they are usually pretty skittish around people.

    It cain't hurt none to feed 'em! 'Cept dem pesky cyclists!


    Yeah bit of a strange situation, its a wild land city park called Nosehill,
    One of the biggest in North America 4.4 sq miles.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nose-hill-view3.jpg

    I think a two packs of coyotes live there, and one herd of deer.

    The coyotes sneak down at night and eat little dogs out of yards etc.

    Then in the day they stock people using the park, not to eat the people, but sometimes the people have little dogs running around, that they will eat....

    So they were just following me along one of there favorite supermarket trails.

    One of many attacks.

    The Calgary Herald reports that a pint-sized pooch named "Rudy" was the unfortunate victim of a coyote attack on Monday morning, May 20, at Nose Hill Park. Rudy, a Duck Tolling Retriever (miniature version of a Golden Retriever), was strolling around the off-leash area of the park when he was confronted by a pack of coyotes.

    "All of a sudden I looked around and he wasn't there," says Rudy's guardian Terry McTravis, 44, "so I went back and looked for him down the hill and saw five coyotes were running a circle around him."

    She stooped down and gathered up a handful of stones to throw at the coyotes, but in the end Rudy managed to escape the scuffle without any help.

    He was rushed to nearby Calgary North Veterinary Hospital by Ms. McTravis who describes, "The whole underneath his tummy is full of bite marks."


    (Photo: The Herald)

    Rudy is expected to make a full recovery, but it may be a while before he's ready to frolic in the park again.

    At any rate, wildlife officials urge area residents to keep their dogs on leashes and to stay close to them at this time of year. Mr. Elphinstone says the worst time is now, known as denning season for coyotes (marked by bold behavior, territoriality and occasional aggression).

    Go figure that the coyotes would plan their denning season smack in the middle of Dog Bite Prevention Week. I wish they'd let us know about these things...
  • 03-19-2010
    byknuts
    wish people would stop assuming the word "dog" invariably implies something nice and cuddly. that's a pet.

    a badly-treated/trained dog will attack long before a well-fed coyote would.
    it's still an animal, if it's aggressive enough to attack then it makes no difference what genus the species is.
    please, don't assume because there's an ownership collar on the animal that it won't bite you...

    jack russell jumped right up on my shoulder, snapping at my face, age 7.
    great dane, forearm when I tried to haul it off a screaming woman, age 19.
  • 03-26-2010
    BrianMc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jmadams13
    Tonight i will go over some attack defence ideas and how to "properly" use halt, its gonna be to long to type on my iphone. I am glad you found this post usefull.

    I am avoiding the pack infested roads. I have successfully handled single dogs in 50 years of riding public roads, though no Akitas. :arf:

    It is the multiple-dog pack and the best way to defend yourself from it, that I am most interested in. How best to use Halt would be good, too. We have several posters who have reported good results from kicking the dog that is attempting to bite. You indicated that you were not in favor. :nono:

    So what do you suggest? Surrounded by dogs, a firearm starts to look good...
  • 03-27-2010
    cairocks
    I've got an air horn attached on my bike, basically to fend off crazy motorist and also dogs. It has an air bottle to be placed into one of the water bottle cage or to any available space on the frame via cable ties and connected to the horn unit mounted on the handle bar by an air hose. The air reservoir can be filled up to 80PSI using a tire pump or one at the gas station. And can give off a pretty loud honk,similar loudness to a car's horn.So far had fended at least 4-5 dog chases without a single failed case. Pretty like this gadget as it gives me an option for self defense without causing any physical harm to the dogs.:thumbsup: Don't know if any of these air horns are sold in the States. Currently in Singapore.

    Edit: Found the product on Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Airzound.../dp/B000ACAMJC
  • 03-27-2010
    BrianMc
    [QUOTE=cairocks]I've got an air horn ... it gives me an option for self defense without causing any physical harm to the dogs.:thumbsup: Don't know if any of these air horns are sold in the States. Currently in Singapore.

    Yeah. Knew of this product and one other user, but no recommendations. I have a 12 volt light system that I use on flash in the day and at half power at night and the battery is already occupying a bottle cage.. I think I'll pick up a car horn.. It would be good in other situations, too. The bell is nice for joggers and pedestrians but that's all and it's lighter, cheaper, and requires no PITA permits to carry.:thumbsup:

    I can still use my foot as a last resort if the horn and Halt! don't do it.
  • 03-27-2010
    outside!
    I ride mostly off-road. No way to outrun most dogs in the dirt unless you are going downhill. With single dogs, I always just slam on my brakes, get off with the bike as a shield and start throwing rocks. Dogs all seem to be wary of rocks. I have never encountered the pack of dogs. I think in that situation I would just be screwed, but I would take some out with me. I love good dogs, but have no use for dogs that attack people.

    When I was thirteen I was attacked by a German Shepard while riding a Honda CT-70. I kicked it in the throat and it let go of my leg, but started coming at me again. I happended to have a philips screwdriver in my back pocket (long story). I was not a big kid, but I was super angry. When the shepard saw me dump the bike (there were no good options to ride away with the direction I got turned when attacked) and turn towards him with the screwdriver in my hand, he changed his mind and ran off. I was completely ready to kill him with that phillips screwdriver and part of me was sad he ran off. Kind of dumb, but at least I didn't show fear! Thanks to my jeans, he didn't actually draw blood. A couple of years later, I went by the same area on my Bultaco 250. Sure enough, he tried to ambush me, but seemed to give up when I roosted about 50 pounds of rocks an dirt at him. That is the only thing I miss about that Bultaco.
  • 03-27-2010
    oscarperez
    A swift kick will usually do job, or rocks ect, I have a knife handy just in case....have not had to use it yet.I have killed a dog after a hard kick to the ribs...had no choice and the police agreed.
  • 03-27-2010
    BrianMc
    Car horns have relays using 10-20 A a bit high for a lighting system battery other than an SLA to deliver even short term.

    Found this:



    Light. Less than $8. A cheap way to evaluate whether the Airzound is worth it.

    So Horn, Halt!, to dissuade and kick if about to bite in spite of deterents.

    I suspect if you took out or discouraged the leader, the pack would back off. Not sure if the leader will always be the lead.

    Any experts in animal behaviour, in particular feral dog packs have a clue how best to deal with them? Or anyone know someone who is such an expert?

    Seems to me cute family pet or no, if it is working in concert with other dogs and your health/life is threatened, then it has crossed a line. It is not cruelty to defend yourself any way you can. Stones and kicks seem relatively humane when deadly force is justifiable. But if horns and Halt can stabilize the situation if done right, I'd love to hear it.
  • 03-29-2010
    Jonesy33
    Mace.... do they even still make MACE? I thought it was all pepper-spray now? If so why?
  • 03-29-2010
    BrianMc
    Mace blinds the dog. Halt! is pepper spray for dogs and does not. It will disable the rider too, so be careful of wind.

    So a shout while getting the horn, a horn blast while getting the Halt, the Halt while unclipping for the kick in the head. Any dog who is close enough for a kick in the head after the previous 3 steps, has shown clear viscious intent and whatever force is needed to fend it off seems appropriate in my book including deadly force, and not cruelty.

    I hope that if this is a pack the most agressive is the leader and that making it turn back will stop the attack. I will google and report..
  • 03-29-2010
    mtbxplorer
    And as poor Martin found out, watch out for the truck ahead of you while you are riding, being chased by dogs, juggling your airhorn and pepper spray, staying upwind, and doing your fancy footwork to fend them off.
  • 03-29-2010
    cairocks
    Just a joke...would letting off some meat balls or buffalo wings work? And the next time you go through that stretch, they (the dogs) would all be there waiting for you with tails wagging. :D
  • 03-29-2010
    BrianMc
    Food could result in bigger packs....

    I thought of the anit-dog chewing solutions used for furniture and the like doused on the cylcing shoes. Smells of Thyme, Wormwood (Absinthe source) and other spices so not objectionable to people. Very bitter when tasted (or sniffed at short range?) They all might yowl and run with tails between their legs when they caught that scent.
  • 03-29-2010
    BrianMc
    Dealing with packs of dogs
    One authority:

    "Sometimes the pack mentality can play a role. One dog gets aroused and that revs up his buddies."

    Also, a dog will defend his territory. If allowed to run all over with other dogs by owners who think it needs to run free, the whole area is pack territory. Also they are less likely to be trained in proper social manners. So it is the owner's fault. If they were abandonned in the country to avoid the fee at the pound, it is the owner's fault. THAT's cruelty to animals.

    Speed Training:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfv2diohUXE

    Sort of a primer in what NOT to do went you can't outrun. Myabe you just need a second slower cyclist along. Nickname: Dead Meat.

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/dogs.htm Extract:

    1) First, I ignore them. This method works with most dogs, and I use it on all dogs that are far enough from the bike.

    -LOTs of experience with this, works great but don't let you guard down some are sneaky.

    2) Second, if the dog is close when I encounter it, I talk to the animal. Sometimes, I am friendly, and sometimes I am barking commands; it depends on the dog. This method is also usually successful.

    -haven't had a dog close enough to talk to that I thought was calm enough for 'friendly' Maybe the next one.

    3) I speed up. This worked better when I was younger. Now that I'm an old dog myself, most dogs can catch me.

    -I don't have the reserves in the middle of a long ride anymore, and certainly not near the end.

    4) While riding, I kick a biting dog in the mouth. Warning! This can be dangerous to the bike rider a) if your bike handling skills are not good or b) if your shoes are soft. However, I taught at least one dog to never bother me again that way.

    -Never tried this. Haven't needed to. Was next on my to-do list one time. But it get's a lot of votes here.

    5) I stop. Doing so stops many dogs. However, it is what I least want to do. When I stop, I always keep the bike between me and the dog(s) to avoid attacks, even though that behavior tends to keep the dogs riled up. Unfortunately, some dogs will pair and circle.

    -AH! There's the rub! Circling dogs! If you had a nice fence to back up to and the bike in front you could hold out and dial 911, but try to protect your back with more than two circling dogs. This might be the reason the warden suggested the small bat and someone in another post suggested a .45.

    6) I pick up, or pretend to pick up, a stone or stick. Once they think I have a weapon, most dogs will back off. Some people prefer to use their pump as a pretend weapon.

    -this is where the piece of rebar or small bat comes in that was objected to. It they back off because of the weapon they remember a prior treatment. No injury required. If they come on, will they give it up short of being rendered unconscious?

    7) I scream at the dog; many times if I can make more noise than the dog, he will back off.

    -in 2 above, 'barking commands' isn't louder than the dog? Seems to me you'd escalate the volume then, although brandishing a weapon and screaming like a banshee might freak them right out.

    8) I chase the dog back onto his property. Dogs will eventually ignore me, if they learn that I am bad news.

    -feral dogs or dogs that owners allow to wander over a township are very hard to chase back home. Some owners actually 'sic' the dogs. Likely the same ones with gun racks in their pickups. Doesn't sound smart to me as a general method.

    No pack attack ideas here.

    http://www.thenhbushman.com/2009/03/...nd-stray-dogs/

    Beat off an attack by four 'maneaters' with a section of bike flagpole.

    Also for Clydesdales approaching 'Heffalump' size: check out the bike shop sign. THAT's a big bike.

    "bent' forum Airzound thread:

    http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ad.php?t=47928

    Works on drivers and less agressive dogs. Not clear it will help with really agressive packs.

    This may be why we've heard nothing back on best practices with packs of dogs.

    From an attack a year ago:

    http://www.californiainjuryblog.com/...og-attack.html

    "It is an established fact that dogs tend to attack when they are in packs and such attacks are more likely to be fatal. In this California dog bite incident, that's exactly what happened."

    IF the likelihood and lethality of a pack attack is truely an established fact, then such an attack is by itself prima facie evidence that your life is in danger and concerns over 'cruelty' are moot. No holds barred.

    To deter dogs that are hard of hearing, also halts drivers:
    http://stores.biketac.com/-strse-12/...ter/Detail.bok