Dogs... How Do You Deal With Them?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Dogs... How Do You Deal With Them?

    So, today was my second day commuting. It's about a 9.6 mile round trip and I'm rather enjoying it. Everyone at the office is pretty jealous that I'm able to bike commute. So today, I had to run home to let my dog out (ironic huh?). She's a little 4 month old, white Boxer. As I was starting out, I passed a house with some people out on the porch. All I remember hearing was the lady yelling, "No! No! Get back here!" and then hearing a dog barking. I turned around to find a rather large dog coming after me. It was pretty pissed, to say the least. I was able to take off and outrun it, but I had a pretty good head start and it got me thinking. What do you guys do when you encounter dogs that you can't avoid? Do you carry anything? Just kick them in the face? Or just try and outrun it?

    The people were still out on the porch when I returned to work, but didn't say anything. I gave them a nice little glare, but didn't feel like being a dick, so I didn't say anything.

  2. #2
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    I have always been able to outrun them.

  3. #3
    namagomi
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    run and if that fails you - find a personal injury lawyer. I know a woman who ended up 2 years worth of medical bills because some idiots dog ran into her. Biting isn't the big issue, it's the dog causing a crash.

  4. #4
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    That sort of thing is really frustrating. It's hard to tell if the dog is coming after your because it likes to chase/run next to bikes or because it wants to attack. I usually just hit the jets, but I've also turned and headed straight at them. This combined with yelling usually makes them think twice. Don't try kicking. I've never seen that one work out...

  5. #5
    jrm
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    "No! No! Get back here!"

    skip the short cut through that trailer park or hood. I carry pepper spray.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    skip the short cut through that trailer park or hood. I carry pepper spray.
    It actually is a pretty sketchy area of SLC. The problem is, the other option isn't much better.

  7. #7
    One Colorful Rider
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    Get the address and call the cops.

    I usually see the dog, talk to the dog, Sprint if needed tell the dog No, Tell it to Go Home.

    When I First see any dog I Say Hey Buddy. Good Dog.

    Most dogs that see people on bikes might think their Aliens.

    If you talk to them they might think "oh that's just a Human.

    If you already have a dog Carry Dog Treats.

  8. #8
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    I like dogs better than I like most folks. I usually don't have a lot of trouble with dogs along my various routes. I speak to them normally, and for the most part they see what I am and go back about their business. "Hey there, houn' dog, how ya doin'? Go on home, now..."

    Some get a little aggressive or overly curious, and the way to deal with them is to yell in your meanest, most commanding voice,

    NO!! BAD DOG! GO HOME!!

    Most dogs have a master of some sort, and this command will get their attention and they'll break off.

    Trying to out-sprint or out-run the dog is playing the game ("go chase") right into his paws... The hazard here is that he'll keep chasing, and get into or under your wheels. I've seen some really nasty crashes due to this over the years. Just get pedaling, and remember, NO!! BAD DOG! GO HOME!!

    Some folks will try to squirt the dog with their water bottle, or with pepper spray. Usually they've never practiced this, and manage only to squirt themselves, or worse, their riding partners. (Squirt me, and I'll beat your azz and then turn you over to my new buddy, the dog.)

    Or you can stop and dismount, always keeping the bike between you and the dog. Now that he's caught you, he probably doesn't know what to do with you... And please note that this tactic probably won't work if there's more than one dog....
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
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  9. #9
    Still want a fat bike....
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    So far I have been lucky enough that no dog has chased me, but in general, I walk a lot in my neighborhood since I have a dog myself and whenever I see a dog that might be off the leash and maybe a tad more aggressive than I like, I just use a confident, commanding voice and tell it to go home. Its really weird how well that works. My wife is always astounded when I tell a dog to go home and it just turns around and walks away.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I guess I was just caught off guard and it was something I had never thought about. I passed the same dog this morning, this time it was behind a fence, and it just ignored me. It makes sense to use the same tactics on other dogs that I use on my own dog. Der! Thanks again guys.

  11. #11
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    I also really hate being chased while riding, I think it is incredibly rude of the owners to allow it. If I can see that I'm not going to be far enough ahead of them to avoid them, I slow down so that they get to the road in front of me and are close and then give the best rolling punt to the head I can muster. I've never had to do it to the same dog twice. I'm fine with doing it in front of owners as well, it is their responsibility to teach their dog, so if they want to have a conversation about it, I'm more than happy to oblige.

    Yelling the NO! Go home method usually brings their aggression down a notch, but I haven't ever had them turn around and leave. I love well behaved dogs; nasty ones...don't need 'em.

  12. #12
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    Squirt them in the face with some water from your water bottle. Try to get it in there mouth and eyes. Usually stuns them long enough to get away.

  13. #13
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    This thread is going to end badly. 99 times out of a 100, the dog just wants chase something or maybe just trying to get you away from "his/her" area. If the owner is freaked out, i'm not.

    Of course, that 1 time out of 100 might not end too well. Oh well, all encompassing, dogs are better then humans :P

  14. #14
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    Love the race!!!!

  15. #15
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    I got chased by two yorkies pulling out of my house, not that I could just out run them, they were in front of my bike.... I hesitated to just run them the **** over.

  16. #16
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    This thread is going to end badly. 99 times out of a 100, the dog just wants chase something or maybe just trying to get you away from "his/her" area. If the owner is freaked out, i'm not.

    Of course, that 1 time out of 100 might not end too well. Oh well, all encompassing, dogs are better then humans :P
    Totally dude - and dogs have cleaner mouths also... maybe you should stop watching marley and me and deal with your intimacy issues instead of sloggin on the rest of us.

    99 out of 100 times people make up statistics on the spot, how about I give you some real numbers and smack some sense into that dome.

    A report by the U.S.-based Insurance Information Institute shows close to one-third of liability claims paid in 2009 were for dog bites.

    According to the Insurance Information Institute, payouts for dog bite claims have risen by 30 per cent in the past six years. It also found that the cost of claims as well as payouts have increased from 2008. The average payout in 2009, according to the institute, was $24,840 US.

    In the U.S., dog bite claims amounted to $412 million in 2009, a rise of 6.4 per cent from 2008.
    Lets keep in mind that it don't matter if fido was "just being friendly" when he charged in front of your wheel causing a massive crash.

    Sorry to come off so strong, but i've seen a gazillion "dogs are better than humans so let them run free" bs threads. I'm sure the OP is also impressed with such nonchalance with other's safety.

  17. #17
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    Show me a problem dog and I will show you a problem owner.

    A fast black lab-pit bull cross was my first problem dog since I was a teenager. He REALLY wanted a piece of me and I ended up kicking him in the chops as I had no Halt spray until after dealing with him. I don't think a bike would have held him at bay. He got better in five encounters up to the kick to keep him from biting my foot. I reported him and his address to the warden as I'd hate to be a pedestrian going by, from the looks of him. The road was a bit too unsafe for comfort and so it just locked it in as a non-route.

    I had another route I used for about a year that I don't ride because too many owners there let their dogs 'run free' during the day and they become a pack with the roads all around their territory and me fair game if I trespass. I did not know of this and I forgot my Halt! It took the commanding voice, a dismount and finally when the young instigator lunged for my foot, a kick in the chops with a nice adrenalin boosted "Go Home!" Good the other two older dogs seemed a bit overtired or when I stopped they wondered what the heck they were doing.. Descriptions and place reported to the animal warden. Who said he knew of them but couldn't catch them or identify the owners and recommended I not ride there. There is a 'multiple dog ' thread here about that if they keep them that long here. It includes stories of dogs being 'sicced' on cyclists.

    Another Jack Russel likes coming after me when the elderly owners forget batteries for his collar so that the invisible fence works. He is too slow and runs for where I was, not where I will be, but completely oblivious to the busy road's traffic (I ride the wide shoulder). I had to report his owners to save the dog's life and save them the misery of his death on the road. He is a bit rambunctious for me to want to own one, but he is a very nice dog. I'd want the warden to visit if my dog was doing this. Cheaper than vet fees.

    One of my neighbor's dogs kept coming after me in spite of making nice or yelling commands and I was not going to accept walking my bike on two sides of his property out and back, six houses from home every trip. When the owner was present, this dog (one of two) did not respond to a call back well. Explains why my commands weren't working. I found an imprecise trail of Halt! gave him just enough of a snoot full that he stays on his property now. Took two treatments He was an ambusher and possible in front of my wheel problem, who needed to learn that "No! Go Home!" must be obeyed. Treats would only have rewarded bad behavior. He chases me staying on his property now which is fun for both of us.

    One pair running free were just too interested in me to listen even riding slow (it turns out I was riding towards their home, they were about a half mile from home when I picked them up, no wonder 'Go Home!, wasn't working as I'd hoped) and I did not trust dismounting as they were both acting too agressive and neither was responding, so they got two doses of Halt and finally they broke it off. The dog's description and house number were reported to the warden. I avoid that road now. DIscretion is the better part of valor when you are free to choose. A collision ends badly for all concerned, and it really is not the dog's fault. They are just being dogs.

    The ones that go home or are just running with me are no issue at all.

    Oh yes. and if you want to be beat up or shot then complain in person to the dogs owner. A word to the wise: use animal control for that.

    BrianMc

  18. #18
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    I used Halt spray a few times and he stopped chasing me. I have only had the one dog chase me other than a few random events.

  19. #19
    local trails rider
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    So far, all dogs that chased me lost interest when I stopped.

    - anything that approaches fast = threat
    - anything that runs away = food or play

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  20. #20
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    I have had a few close calls but every time they get up to me they back off. The worst is when they come out of nowhere and startle you. I have almost run off the road a few times.

  21. #21
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Show me a problem dog and I will show you a problem owner.

    ...

    Oh yes. and if you want to be beat up or shot then complain in person to the dogs owner. A word to the wise: use animal control for that.

    BrianMc
    I totally agree. Of all the dogs that have bitten me or knocked me off a bicycle NONE of those owners were actually apologetic.

    Most blamed ME for the dog's action or simply ignored that anything had happened at all.

    If you want a list of common excuses.

    1 "the breed is misunderstood"
    2 "my dog is not like that"
    3 "he is just a big puppy"
    4 "You should act differently so he does not see you as a threat"
    5 "He has never bitten anyone"
    6 "He is just protecting his property"
    7 "it's not the dog, it's the owner"

    It's a real bitter point for me and i can no longer trust any dog off leash in public.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    So far, all dogs that chased me lost interest when I stopped.

    - anything that approaches fast = threat
    - anything that runs away = food or play
    Exactly!
    That's really all it takes. I should add that you need to be calm. If you stop and act like the dog is no big deal, the dog is no big deal. If you panic and act like prey or a threat, it could be another story.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  23. #23
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    I was riding down a rural farm road at like 5 in the morning and suddenly saw a dog walk onto the street which scared the **** out of me. I then heard a car turn on and knew that the owner was nearby and the dog didn't go after me, just stared so nothing to worry about.
    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." - John F. Kennedy

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJ29er View Post
    It actually is a pretty sketchy area of SLC. The problem is, the other option isn't much better.
    Hah, try Rose Park at 1130 pm. I've had to add a couple miles to my commute cuz I ain't doing that again.

  25. #25
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    THIS! He nailed it, normally a strong and commanding NO and go home works. Sometimes though it doesn't and it's usually with those stupid little ankle bitters who've had no training and get pampered, for them the kick thing works and is normally a one time only thing - they remember well. Trying to outrun/ride a dog isn't smart as they can hit some high speeds, now on pavement maybe you can do it, but on gravel it's hard, so if it's too fast dismount and put the bike between you and it and try the No, Go Home command again. If it's a regular thing and you can't avoid it, as said try carrying some treats with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by PscyclePath View Post
    I like dogs better than I like most folks. I usually don't have a lot of trouble with dogs along my various routes. I speak to them normally, and for the most part they see what I am and go back about their business. "Hey there, houn' dog, how ya doin'? Go on home, now..."

    Some get a little aggressive or overly curious, and the way to deal with them is to yell in your meanest, most commanding voice,

    NO!! BAD DOG! GO HOME!!

    Most dogs have a master of some sort, and this command will get their attention and they'll break off.

    Trying to out-sprint or out-run the dog is playing the game ("go chase") right into his paws... The hazard here is that he'll keep chasing, and get into or under your wheels. I've seen some really nasty crashes due to this over the years. Just get pedaling, and remember, NO!! BAD DOG! GO HOME!!

    Some folks will try to squirt the dog with their water bottle, or with pepper spray. Usually they've never practiced this, and manage only to squirt themselves, or worse, their riding partners. (Squirt me, and I'll beat your azz and then turn you over to my new buddy, the dog.)

    Or you can stop and dismount, always keeping the bike between you and the dog. Now that he's caught you, he probably doesn't know what to do with you... And please note that this tactic probably won't work if there's more than one dog....
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  26. #26
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    If I can't clearly outdistance a dog, I usually try the "GO HOME", while pointing, but if they are still coming I get off and walk through so as not to risk a collision and/or bite. Most decide to stop and bark from a safe distance then, and return home when I am through their territory. I had a near collision once at high speed, a rottie ran out from the side at me until coming to an amazing screeching halt at my front hub. In this case I actually had success with speaking to someone at the house that evening, when I was calmer. It has not been out loose alone again and if they are outside with him in the evening they make an effort to call him or put him in, and he is now pretty unconcerned with me going by, at least in the uphill direction. So no, it won't always work to talk to the owner, but it can on occasion.

  27. #27
    namagomi
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    In my mind, carrying around a bag of tasty dog treats and complaining that dogs are chasing you doesn't seem right.

  28. #28
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    Dogs are terrified at he sound of a taser that clicking freaks them out

  29. #29
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleta loco View Post
    Dogs are terrified at he sound of a taser that clicking freaks them out
    Yes, alternatively you can carry one of these if it's legal in your state.


  30. #30
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    protiip = NEVER run from a dog stand you ground and chase after it just for fun. last time i was walking my dog and 3 small dogs and 2 bluenose pits came after my dog, i turned around ran after them kicked one of the small dogs like a soccer ball infront of the owner then smiled at him and walked away.

  31. #31
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    Down here in Florida it's legal to carry anything that goes boom,it's just more messy

  32. #32
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    I live in S. Indiana, and I can't believe the stupid attitudes people around here have about their dogs. The same people who go berserk if someone pulls out in front of them, or plays their music too loud thinks it is OK for their dogs to go after a bicyclist using a public road. If you ever do see the owner, about half of them don't even bother to try and call the dog back. If you are foolish enough to say something to them, no matter how tactful you try to be, they just stare at you like you are the biggest a-hole who ever lived.

    As for how to deal with them, outrunning them can work if you are a strong rider and already going at a good pace, not going uphill, or if the dog doesn't already have the angle on you. More often than not, you aren't in a position to outrun them. Yelling at them in a commanding voice may work, once you stop the bike or slow way down. It probably won't work if you are still trying to outrun them, or if the dog really is aggressive. Fortunately, most of them are not all that aggressive and tend to wander back home once their doggy curiosity is satisfied. Halt usually does work, and it is easy to aim. You don't have to hit them for it to do the job, but it would serve them right if you did get a good dose in their nose and eyes.

    From what I have seen, the dogs that run wild and habitually go after bicyclists tend to become ambushers, which is the most dangerous kind. You may not get the chance to react at all until they are on you. The nightmare scenario is two or more really aggressive dogs. In a case like that, it may be impossible to avoid being bitten. I have only been bitten once, and that was over 12 years ago when I didn't have as much experience dealing with them. It was two dogs, and they weren't overly aggressive, but my mistake was trying to outrun them when I didn't have the advantage. If the dog has the advantage of position, you pretty much have to stop and deal with it.

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