Dangerous dogs (page 2) - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Dangerous dogs (page 2)

Steve Miller/GrampiesTo John Pickett

The dog problem in that region is well known, and certainly we would also not hesitate to use bear spray. After our one foray along the Southern Tier, many years ago now, Dodie has adamantly refused to cycle anywhere near the well known dog attack regions and has become quite fearful of dogs chasing her. Thankfully there are so many other places where we love to tour, especially in Europe, where we have almost never seen a dog off leash. 

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Graham SmithTo Mike Ayling

Serious topic but it reminds me of an amusing dog chase incident I had here in Canberra about 40 years ago. 

A relatively harmless looking border collie came racing after me on a suburban street. He was getting a bit too close for comfort despite my best effort to out sprint him. So I stopped and grabbed my Bluemels pump to wave at him as a look alike threatening stick. 

The first wave of the pump totally separated the outer casing from the plunger, and the casing went flying many metres in a beautiful trajectory.

The dog braked to a halt, and did a U turn toward the pump case. Game on. It was stick chasing time. Much more fun than herding the cyclist.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Dino AngeliciTo Steve Miller/Grampies

Has a dog owner ever reacted negatively to the use of bear spray or other deterrent on the pet?

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Mike AylingTo Dino Angelici

It is probably only matter of time before there is an incident in certain areas of the Land of the Free and home of the brave

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Dino Angelici

Nothing more serious than yelling at us for trying to fend off the beasts, but at some point  it would not surprise us if someone got shot, since areas with free running dogs are also areas with freedumb gun toting rednecks.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Dino AngeliciTo Steve Miller/Grampies

I'm assuming these are public roadways and the dogs belong to adjacent property owners.

I have had a couple of interactions in West Virginia, in years past. On one such event, the dog owner watched for a while as I sparred with his dog, using my bike to keep the animal away, and bopping it in the snout a couple of times as it tried to bite and flatten my tire. Finally, the mildly amused and heavily tattooed owner called the dog off. I was not happy, but thought better and thanked him. He smiled and said, "No problem man." I rode away and lived to ride another day. That's always my goal.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Dino AngeliciTo Mike Ayling

Keep your head out there, Mike.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
John PescatoreTo Mike Ayling

Back in March my wife was attacked and mauled by a rabid coyote while she was walking a neighbor's dog on a widely-used trail in the woods between our house and a nearby reservoir. It was a terrifying incident but she was determined not be scared away from walking in those woods. 

She  talked to local animal control who said officially they couldn't recommend anything other than yelling or squirting a water bottle. They did say that for rabid animal calls, bear spray or one of the "dog tasers" were what many in their profession. 

I carried bear spray when we hiked in Yellowstone - carrying it meant we never saw any bears so I never got to find out if I could actually have used it successfully. My wife didn't want to go that way and went the taser route - but had to have it shipped to our daughter's house in Virginia because illegal in Maryland. Carrying it has successfully caused all rabid animals, bears and vampires to avoid her since.

I'm not sure either would work for me on the bike, but I was leaning towards the bear spray. I've changed a couple local day ride routes to avoid "bad dogs" after calling animal control in those counties and being told "leash laws do not apply to farm animals" - I guess dog catcher is a political, elected position in those counties.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
John EganTo Mike Ayling

Some may not choose to use my method ...
I have toured for 35+ years with lots of miles in the South.
It's a rare problem outside of the South.

I never try to get away, I confront the dog.
Nor do I use my bike as a shield.
I jump off towards the dog, yelling and swinging a bike pump.
It takes a little time out of the ride,
but the adrenaline rush more than makes up for it.

I do have a bass voice and an opera background.
You look directly at them and watch for their ears to drop.
My choice of words is unprintable, but it works.
I've yelled down dobermans and pit bulls.

This is only a last resort for truly threatening dogs.
For the less-threatening one, it's not worth getting off the bike.
I just yell something like, "Get the fuck off the road or I'll beat you to a pulp."
I suspect that such language is what the dog is used to.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo John Pickett

I also fall into the foul-language-is-the-answer category.  However, on our recent Australian tour I was beaten to the punch.

Leigh was a bit ahead of me when a dog rushed at her from out of a yard.  She did her normal trick of getting off her bike, putting it between her and the dog and saying in an authoritative voice "Bad dog!".

Next thing a woman of the type one hopes never to meet in a dark alley rushed out of the house screaming "@#$% you! He's not a bad dog.".

The only possible reaction was to get into a slanging match with her but it would have been a fight I could never win.

Reply    Link    Flag
4 days ago