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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    1,708

    Question Dog Chasings...Advice?

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    Long story short, but been recovering from some surgery stuff, but got the ok from the doc to "slowly resume" riding, meaning take it easy. Well, I was out today, trying to do just that, when out of no where comes not one, but two, big dogs ! A gym friend of mine that's a vet tech said to yell "bad dog" in a commanding voice to stun the dog with dominance. Well, apparently the dogs were not familiar with this technique, as it did not work . I thought for sure I was Milk Bones. Finally I out-sprinted the one that would just NOT let off! I don't own any pepper spray, but I don't think I would have had time to get it out anyways. I don't think this was the doc's idea of "taken it easy" but geez, at least I still had it in me to escape. Of course, I was screaming "bad dog" at the top of my lungs, no owners to be found. I love animals, and own a dog, but what it wrong wtih people ! Any advice on how to handle the chasing canines? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    before they start running (or before they get to you) get off bike hold bike between you and dog. You are no longer something fun to chase. then tell them to go home, bad dog, etc.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    It's not easy to outrun a big dog.
    They have a huge chase instinct, so I take away the "chase" factor. I immediately stop and get OFF my bike and swing the bike around to place it between me and the dog(s). Then I yell "NO!!! GO HOME!!!! GO HOME!!!!" in a very deep commanding voice and point away and try to look imposing. I get my pepper spray in my hand too. (i keep it bungeed to my handlebars)
    So far this has worked like a charm every time for me. They stop and look ashamed and then trot away embarrassed. They wanted an exciting anonymous chase, ....they weren't figuring on dealing with a big human machine combo standing there yelling at them.

    If a big dog is vicious and determined to bite you, it will whether you are stopped or riding fast. Pepper spray is a very good idea, but you need to keep it where you can grab it quickly. And don't leave it on your bike if you go into a store, etc.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    I heard a rule of thumb that I thought was interesting:

    long nose - fast running dog
    short nose - slow running dog

    So in theory you could decide whether to stop and confront a dog based on the type of dog. Many dogs you just won't beat because they run too fast, the stop and confront is probably better and getting thrown off your bike. Dog that don't run that fast you might get rid of easily....

    Any confirmation of that somewhat dubious theory?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    1,145
    I would put a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water in a water bottle and ride by again. Aim for the eyes and let it rip - This method seems cruel to me, but it is widely used by dog handlers and folks in the jogging community. It is a case of risk vs. benefit to me - which is worse? someone (you or even a child) getting bit, stitches, possibly a dog getting put to sleep, OR stinging eyes on a dog?

    One thing for sure, don't try to outrun the dog, you could end up in a pretty bad wreck. Get off. Don't give them something to chase.

    Let us know how this turns out for you.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    I heard a rule of thumb that I thought was interesting:

    long nose - fast running dog
    short nose - slow running dog
    I'm going for the long legs = fast dog, short legs = slower dog.

    I got chased by my neighbors shepard this morning. First time he has ever done that and it really scaried me. I need to remember to yell NO. I always shout Go Home. Not all dogs understand English and No is pretty universal.

    I would rather try to out run Chihuahua then a shepard. I have yet to ever be chased by a Grey Hound. It usually is a lab or shepard (other then the Chihuahua).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,708

    Ooo, excellent thoughts thus far...

    Well, so my vet tech friend had part of the right theory about the dominant voice advice. That does make sense too about not being fun to chase if standng still.

    And omg, YES, one dog was short nosed, sorta a stocky guy--he was the 2nd one neighbor dog--he let off at the "bad dog"...it was the OTHER one, a long nosed sled dog/hound dog mix looking thing that kept running...and was he FAST. By golly I did not think he would ever tire! He's is the one that came out of no where.

    I had not been on that road in months, and the dog came right off a curve. I didn't hear him even bark, until I turned my head to the left, and there is was right next to my inside leg, lunging towards my calves and pedals. I was bit a couple times as a little girl, and the one I could not outrun was a German Shepard--big long nosed dog again.

    The vinegar thing or other spray is good. I just need to figure out where to put it to be accessible. With the fast running guy, I had no clue as to how I would have gotten off even. He was right on top of me. Part of me wanted to get in my vehicle and drive back to the people's house to say, did you know your dog is a hazard out here lose? There are laws against that. But in the county, not city boundries, the sherrif has to witness it or something. It's terrible to enforce.

    Plus, beside the dog biting me almost, or wreckig me, I would bet to say he chases cars too. A very dangerous bad habit for dogs that can get them killed. I have a lab, big dog...ahh, more long nose, but she's a so so runner, and better swimmer as what they are bred for in hunting. I don't correct her so much for barking when people come to the door, a not bad safety feature, but no barking at cars, bikes, etc. are allowed on the walk. The shelters are full of animals that were left because of ill manners, when really their owners had a bit to do wtih it as well.

    Thanks for the thoughts thus far!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perpetual Confusion and Indecision
    Posts
    488
    The vinegar/water is probably a good idea. I just use water from my bottle - so far, so good. A little Accelerade (or whatever you happen to have with you) in the eyes would probably make an impression, without doing any real harm. Stopping and letting them know you aren't taking any guff seems to work well - take away the incentive and the fun. And the dominant voice is key - "screaming "bad dog" at the top of my lungs", maybe not so much - just excites them.

    It seems like the ones who really mean business sometimes don't bark - they like the element of surprise. Like the only one who ever bit me - he'd bark his head off every day when I walked by his house on my way to the ski trails - until that one day. He didn't bark because he knew he wasn't tied up that day! One minute he was standing silently by his house, and the next he was slipping up behind me to grab my calf. The ones who have really chased me on my bike have generally been very quiet. I had a Great Dane in my past who would race along in the field by the road, as hard as he could, until he'd get in front of me, and then just step into the road, to see if he could send me flying over him. Meanwhile, I was riding as hard as I could down the hill by his house, to try to stay ahead. I always had to hit the brakes.

    I sure wish I knew how to handle my own chasing canine! She has never chased a bike (thanks to the invisible fence and the distance to the road), but she loves everybody, loves mountain biking with me, loves jumping on people, and has chased a couple of slow-moving cars (very scary). And she just stampedes our two cats (but I think they love it, actually). She is a long-nosed flying shepherd (50% Aussie & 50% German). I'm afraid to take her anywhere within 1/4 mile of a road, and she isn't so good on a leash before she gets a few miles in. I'm positive she'd chase a bike if she could, but for the fun of the race, not to bite anybody.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    In addition to the other excellent suggestions here, you might consider an Air Zound air horn, if you can stand the fred factor. I have one on my bike now after fracturing my pelvis when two dogs ran right out at me on the road a couple of years ago. Better fred than dead (or in the hospital, having surgery to patch up a bone or several!)

    Most dogs are very startled by the horn and stop running long enough for you to get the heck out of dodge if you're on the flat or going downhill.

    That said, I don't hesitate to stop and use the other methods mentioned here if the dogs are in front of me or I'm climbing when I see them.

    Good luck!
    Emily
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    One (possibly useless, but here it is) thought is that most dogs just want to chase you, they really don't want to catch you. They definitely don't want to get run over by you, and they are much more agile in more directions than you are. The only time I've been bit by a dog on a bicycle is when I stopped to talk to its owner.

    I deal with my neighbor's dog on my motorcycle many days. It's very different, but also starker. On the moto, I could run over the dog without major consequence to myself... but I REALLY, REALLY don't want to, so I don't. On the other hand, if I hesitate or pay too much attention to the dog on the rutted gravel driveway, I'm going to fall over and break something on the motorcycle and possibly need help picking it up. So I don't do that, either. Bottom line is, the dog gets close, but she stays out of my way. It's been instructive, and it's not nearly so scary as it was at first.

    On the velo, I do the "bad dog" thing, but I don't know that it has any effect. Definitely there are biters, and that's scary... but I have a feeling they're in the minority, especially for road riders who are in territory that the dogs know belongs to other vehicles. For the most part, I don't adjust my riding to the dogs any more.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tigard, OR
    Posts
    439
    A squirt from your water bottle works just as well. Assuming you can get the range with a water bottle.

    I've been chased by my fair share of dogs, particularly in the hinterlands of Oregon where I grew up. What I've realized is most dogs are chasing you just because, well, you are moving. I think the mindset of the average dog is "moving thing, chase." It's the ones that KNOW what they are going to do when they catch you that worry me.

    Mostly, I've learned not to pay them any mind. If they don't lose interest after an appropriate amount of time, I'll give them a shot of water.
    re-cur-sion ri'-ker-shen n: see recursion

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,011
    I go with the nice approach...

    "hey there, you're a good doggie, go home now" In a nice soothing voice, or no reaction at all. it's worked so far.
    "Being retired from Biking...isn't that kinda like being retired from recess?" Stephen Colbert asked of Lance Armstrong

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    800
    Dogs really are my biggest fear while riding. First of all, I'm basically terrified of dogs, so it's hard to think straight when one is coming after me. I think it's that "fight or flight" instinct...I'm not sticking around to fight. Nope, I'm running! Or in this case, pedaling my little heart out. I know I should stop and get off the bike, but I'm too scared. And each situation is so different. Like the dog that was chasing me while I was slowly grinding up a very steep hill. I really didn't think I could get unclipped and stop before he bit me, so I rode up that hill like a mad woman while screaming bloody murder. I've had three really scary (well, really scary to me) dog encounters this season. So I do carry pepper spray, I try to be prepared and tell myself what I should do if I get chased, and I hope like hell that I luck out and the dogs stay away!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tigard, OR
    Posts
    439
    I got attacked by a dog when I was in high school. The thing honestly did jump out of a bush and take a chomp on my leg. It was coming around for a second pass when the owner caught it.

    I'm still a bit spooked by dogs so my "don't pay them any mind" remark was basically saying that I keep an eye on what they are doing, but as long as they just chase, I'll keep doing what I was doing.

    However, I have seen a dog get hit by a car because the dog was running across the road to chase me. I'm sure it was a very nice dog.
    re-cur-sion ri'-ker-shen n: see recursion

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Sara, if you were speaking literally when you mentioned screaming, that's one of the worst things you can do. High-pitched expressions of fright like that really inflame a dog's predatory instincts. If you were engaging in hyperbole, sorry

 

 

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