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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    195

    First time chased by snarling dog!

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    The downpour let up enough today that I figured I would get in a ride. I went my usual route. 7 km into my ride, this growling, snapping, dog comes running full tilt up beside my bike. This is my worst nightmare! I'm terrified of dogs. I'm one of those people that dog people always say to me.... "he won't bite".....usually followed up with...."wow, he's never bitten anyone before". To make the situation worst, this dog is charging at me while im pedaling going up hill!!. I'm pretty new to road cycling, but I geared down and started spinning like a crazy woman. I crested the hill with rabid dog still chasing me. Now I got another problem, I have a busy intersection just ahead. If I slow down, the dog is going to bite me, if I keep going I might end up having a problem with a car. I ended up taking the corner wide going full tilt, fear is a wonderful thing! I've never taken a corner so fast. Rabid dog finally gave up the chase. Stupid dog has now ruined my route, as I don't want to ride that way anymore.
    Anyone have some good tips to avoid getting chased, or what to do other than the obvious of pedaling like crazy when chased?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    494
    Being on a hill complicates things a bit.

    Some people speed up and try to blast past the dog, but I don't have enough confidence in my ability to do that, so I usually slow down and prepare to stop if necessary and use my deterrents (horn and water bottle).

    At the first sign of trouble, I blast my small marine air horn. That works about 75% of the time. The next step would be a squirt in the face from my water bottle. That usually works pretty well.

    I have had to stop just to keep the dog from running in front or into the side of my wheel. I've seen that happen to a rider twice, and I would rather stop than take a chance on that happening. I can always put the bike between me and the dog if necessary.

    If you have never seen that dog on the route before, it might be a one time thing where it accidentally got out. I'd give it another try and just be watchful and prepared to squirt it or whatever if you see it again. I have found that dogs that chase cyclists usually don't live a long, happy life as they tend to also chase cars, and they don't usually win in those encounters.
    Another option, if you can tell what house the dog belongs to, is talk to the owner or leave a note in their mailbox.


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
    2002 Terry Classic, Terry Liberator

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    You can try spraying him with your water bottle. If you have to stop, put the bike between you and the dog if it's still attacking. Yelling "bad dog, go home" has worked the best for me.

    ETA Oops, grits said all that already.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    870
    If the dog appears to be that dangerous you should call your local animal control officer. I have a rehabilitated reactive dog and I would NEVER let him have access to people on the road. He is in my control at all times. There is no love lost between me and our local animal control people, but I would strongly encourage you to call them. You might end up saving a child's life by doing so.


    Not all who wander are lost

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    355
    I like this advice. I didn't know there were methods other than pedaling faster. I've only had one small dog chase me and I out ran him.
    2013: Riding a Dolce sport compact for fun and a vintage Jetter with cargo rack for commuting

    www.bike-sby.org: A network of concerned cyclists working to make our city more bicycle friendly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    nomadic
    Posts
    7
    i've heard it's a good idea to bring some beef jerky along; never tried this though

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    195

    How fast can dogs run?

    I googled how fast a dog can run, and it seems the range is anywhere from 19-45 mph which would (for us canadians) be approx 30-72 km. Hopefully my dog encounters are few and far between. I have driven around the area which rabid dog materialized from twice now and haven't spotted the dog. Hopefully this was just a one off. I think the water bottle squirt could be quite effective, but knowing me I would be in a state of panic and I would probably throw the water bottle at the dog lol
    Thanks to all that responded

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    16
    Most dogs are just in it for the chase and will stop when you stop. I like to stop and put the bike between me and the dog, use it as a weapon if you need to. They make a special dog mace called Muzzle. I have some but have never actually used it. I suspect that a dog sprayed with Muzzle would learn real quick not to chase things.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    37
    Just Curious

    Do people only encounter one dog? I rarely see just one. They are in tandems or more and I hesitate to get off the bike. In a pack of dogs, ex-DH was watching the noisy big dog in front of him and the silent little/tiny one bit him in the calf. The owner was very threatening to us when she was required by the county to get rabies tests/confinement for the dog. I am tempted to get a phone-camera photo of animal and something close by (house # or mail box#) and report to the animal control.
    Perhaps call animal control and ask what can be done beforehand.

    fs

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    138
    Quote Originally Posted by fetchspot View Post
    Just Curious

    Do people only encounter one dog? I rarely see just one. They are in tandems or more and I hesitate to get off the bike.
    Oooh, this. I'm usually chased by two to three dogs at a time of varying sizes. I don't bother slowing down, either! If it was just one dog, I'd feel alright putting the bike between me and it, but when there's more than one, and especially if they snap at your heels instead of just chasing... Idk, but I've had to dump my energy snacks in the road to distract them so I could get away twice. I know you aren't supposed to do that, since it's "rewarding" the bad behavior, but... hey, I came out with minimal scratches!

    I'll start packing a horn and squirt gun. Hopefully that'll work for me as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by fetchspot View Post
    Perhaps call animal control and ask what can be done beforehand.
    This, too!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    251
    The horn and any noise is a good idea. My mom had two quite neurotic dogs (now residing with us), and she actually went to a trainer as they were particularly difficult to train. The trainer taught her (and later, us) to use a very low, guttural voice and give the dog an almost growl, sounding like "BAH!" Somehow it's supposed to show that you're the alpha. The horn should work the same way, but I'm uncoordinated enough that I need to have a voice command. It probably doesn't matter what you say, you just have to use that low, guttural tone - but short and one-syllable probably work better.

    The one thing that I know about dogs is that they sense apprehension, so if I see one, I try not to speed up or slow down necessarily, I just try to be aware and keep going. If they get close, I yell at them in the voice I described above.

    I like the water bottle suggestion - hadn't thought of that.
    "Susie" - 2012 Specialized Ruby Apex, not pink/Selle SMP Lite 209

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    930
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    The horn and any noise is a good idea. My mom had two quite neurotic dogs (now residing with us), and she actually went to a trainer as they were particularly difficult to train. The trainer taught her (and later, us) to use a very low, guttural voice and give the dog an almost growl, sounding like "BAH!" Somehow it's supposed to show that you're the alpha. The horn should work the same way, but I'm uncoordinated enough that I need to have a voice command. It probably doesn't matter what you say, you just have to use that low, guttural tone - but short and one-syllable probably work better.

    The one thing that I know about dogs is that they sense apprehension, so if I see one, I try not to speed up or slow down necessarily, I just try to be aware and keep going. If they get close, I yell at them in the voice I described above.

    I like the water bottle suggestion - hadn't thought of that.
    I've handled being chased by a dog with this method. I surprised even myself and had no idea I could make that kind of noise. Funny how fear can motivate you. I carry mace but thankfully, I've never had to use it yet.
    Bike Writer

    http://pedaltohealth.blogspot.com/

    Schwinn Gateway unknown year
    Specalized Expedition Sport Low-Entry 2011

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by Wasp View Post
    The downpour let up enough today that I figured I would get in a ride. I went my usual route. 7 km into my ride, this growling, snapping, dog comes running full tilt up beside my bike. This is my worst nightmare! I'm terrified of dogs. I'm one of those people that dog people always say to me.... "he won't bite".....usually followed up with...."wow, he's never bitten anyone before". To make the situation worst, this dog is charging at me while im pedaling going up hill!!. I'm pretty new to road cycling, but I geared down and started spinning like a crazy woman. I crested the hill with rabid dog still chasing me. Now I got another problem, I have a busy intersection just ahead. If I slow down, the dog is going to bite me, if I keep going I might end up having a problem with a car. I ended up taking the corner wide going full tilt, fear is a wonderful thing! I've never taken a corner so fast. Rabid dog finally gave up the chase. Stupid dog has now ruined my route, as I don't want to ride that way anymore.
    Anyone have some good tips to avoid getting chased, or what to do other than the obvious of pedaling like crazy when chased?

    So sorry this happened to you! Loose, aggressive dogs are my riding nemesis- I am so thankful for my therapy dogs in peds that keep me from hating the entire species....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    468
    I pretty much hate them all.
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    Yeah, me, too. I always hesitate to say this, but some of us just aren't pet people. Thankfully, not much of a problem with loose dogs here, the only one i had a serious problem with belongs to my neighbor, and we have solved that problem (after lots of nasty emails to my plea for leashes posted on the neighborhood list, we got a huge apology letter from the owner, after DH almost was taken down by the dog).
    I just am not much of an animal lover to begin with, but most of the issues I have are due to stupid owners, who don't think how their pet will affect others.
    Kind of the same as with clueless parents.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

 

 

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