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Tue Jul 7, 2015, 09:22 AM

How do you deal with unfriendly dogs?

Last edited Tue Jul 7, 2015, 10:02 AM - Edit history (1)

In my usual route there are 2 Great Pyrenees dogs behind a barb wire fence. In the past the honored the fence, just chasing and barking on their side. Yesterday the big mail shot through the fence and the race was on. If he had seen me before I saw him the outcome would have been bad.

So what do you do?

edit: short of installing olddots burrito fart drive and going fart factor 10.

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Reply How do you deal with unfriendly dogs? (Original post)
TexasProgresive Jul 2015 OP
kdmorris Jul 2015 #1
Hoyt Jul 2015 #2
olddots Jul 2015 #3
TexasProgresive Jul 2015 #4
Novara Jul 2015 #5
TexasProgresive Jul 2015 #6
happyslug Jul 2015 #7
jberryhill Jul 2015 #10
happyslug Jul 2015 #12
frylock Jul 2015 #8
olddots Jul 2015 #9
TexasProgresive Jul 2015 #13
jberryhill Jul 2015 #11
TexasProgresive Jul 2015 #14
jberryhill Jul 2015 #15
TexasProgresive Jul 2015 #16
Novara Jul 2015 #17
happyslug Jul 2015 #18
Novara Jul 2015 #19

Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 09:31 AM

1. Ride faster

And carry pepper spray... I've been chased by lots of dogs and usually I can outride them. So far, I haven't had to pepper spray any of them, but I've had to get it ready a couple of times (move bag around to the front and unzip, for example)

There's a little mini Doberman that I'm terrified I'm going to run over one day... he's tiny but vicious.

I blame their owners...and would love the ability to pepper spray those jackasses. I have a dog that I keep contained. She's a barker and, though not actually going to bite them, she looks really scary when she barks (part German Shepard). It's my responsibility to keep her from scaring people.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 09:49 AM

2. A shot from the water bottle always worked for me, and riding faster. Some of those big dogs

in rural areas can make you stand up and pedal like heck, they are like bears. You gotta hope they don't catch you on a steep hill.

I'd probably carry pepper spray nowadays.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 10:20 AM

3. by usually panicking then falling ..


seriously this is a huge problem because some people use those expanding leashes that expand when they aten't supposed to .

I try to ride very defensivley around places with ,dogs , skate boarders ,cell phone walkers , organized group rap session jogging get togethers.
I go like hell when I see some wide open spaces knowing that where I ride isn't my private gym or race track which sucks because I love to go fast but know I am at 67 years of age not going to be on the cover of Bike Porn Magazine riding a 13 pound 30 thousand dollar bike dressed like a meat puppet in spandex ....oh but I digress

I don't know you almost have to have a dog sence when you're going going faster than you would like to fall at and slower than some dogs can run .Sometimes I will ride where I am familiar with the surroundings and still get unpleasant surprises = if you ride alot you will fall but its worth it in the long run or we wouldn't do it .

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Response to olddots (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 10:35 AM

4. pleased to know someone is riding and has 2 years on me

That gives me hope I can continue to improve. I altered my course and avoided the big white bear. He's just doing what he was bred to do- defending his people, since they have no livestock. We have had Pyrs for nearly 40 years to protect our dairy goats. The dogs never leave their pastures. And the bark at me when I ride by. They see bikes as some sort of enemy, and aluminum and rubber wolf.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 10:53 AM

5. pepper spray and a call to Animal Control if they're breaking the leash law

I had one on my route that would bark madly but he would at least stop at the street. The last time he came right out into the street after me. I had already upshifted and was picking up speed in anticipation of the bastard but it was close. I called Animal Control. Even though this is a rural area, loose dogs are illegal.

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Response to Novara (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 03:55 PM

6. I bought a can of pepper spray

In the county there is no leash law for dogs here. County animal control only cares about loose cattle and horses on the roads.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 09:09 PM

7. Always ride by them and say "Good Puppies"


Every dog has heard the phase "Good Puppies" they do NOT know what it means, but it generally means something good. By saying that you are telling them you are not an enemy but a potential friend.

After a while, they will still chase you, but stay on they side of the fence and it will be more a game to them then anything else. I once has to walk by a fenced in business that kept two dogs to watch the place behind a chain linked fence. After a few weeks, they still came out when they saw me. barked at me, kept an eye on me, but since I had made no moves to the fence they started to stop "chasing" to the fence a lot sooner then when I first started to walk by the place they were guarding.

My parents once had two dogs and every time we left them out in the back yard, they were bark at the dog catercorner to my parent's house. They did this for years. then one day that dog jumped over the fence. We heard nothing but quite. The neighbor's dog just stood they frozen, he knew he was were he was NOT suppose to be. My parent's dog? just ignored him, for he was NOT were he was suppose to be and clearly was NOT a threat to them. We went out and called the neighbor, who came to get his dog, who then went back to his back yard and barked like he used to from his back yard to my dogs. By they barks you would have sworn those dogs would have torn each other apart when they came together, but when they did come together nothing happened. The main reason for this was habit had been to bark at each other NOT to attack each other.

I bring this up, for your best choice may be to STOP BIKING. You are NO longer running from the dog and he will not know what to do, for only his master does that at the present time. My Father was a Letter Carrier, and he retained one of the last leather postal bag (The Postal Service told the Carriers to turn them in some times in the 1960s, but my father kept his till the 1970s). When he came up to a dog he was always prepared to but that bag between him and the dog and that was the main reason he kept the leather bag.

I bring this up for you have a bike. If you can NOT outrun the dog, stop and put the bike between you and the dog, just like my Father would put his leather mail bag between himself and any loose dog that came up to him. My Father always made sure the dog came to him, he never approached the dog. The same with these Great Pyrenees, stop, get off your bike and keep the bike between you and the dog and see what the dog does. In most cases, the dog will look up to you with a look "Why did you stop, it was fun running after you". On the other hand if he attacks you, the bike is between you and the dog.

In many ways, that may have been the better option when the dog did escape. Stop biking, get off the bike and see what the dog does. The Great Pyrenees is NOT known to be an aggressive animal, it is protective but not aggressive:

In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle (especially with children), and affectionate. While territorial and protective of its flock or family when necessary, its general demeanor is of composure and patience and loyalty. It is a strong willed, independent and reserved breed. It is also attentive, quite fearless and loyal to its duties. The Great Pyrenees' size makes it an imposing guardian. A dog of this breed will patrol its perimeter and may wander away if left off its leash in an unenclosed space. The Great Pyrenees protects its flock by barking, and being nocturnal, tends to bark at night unless trained against such behavior


All dogs love the chase and when you bike by, the instinct to chase kicks in on any dog. He probably does not know what to do if he caught you but that is why you stop biking (if you have the space) dismount and see what the dog does.

My more comment, when I lived in Texas in the 1980s I was biking with my sisters down a country road outside Corpus Christi Texas and a huge German Shepherd ran out of his yard toward us. I yelled at the dog to go home and he stopped and gave a look like "You mean me? I am a good dog". My sisters comment was given the size of the dog they did not know what to do, but it was good to have a male voice around.

My first choice when loose dogs are involved is to stop biking and keep the bike between me and the dog, if I have the time to dismount. Yelling is second but I have never had to use anything else. I could either outrun the dog, or the dog would stop running when I stopped and dismounted.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 14, 2015, 06:41 PM

10. "stop and put the bike between you and the dog"

I was there a couple of weeks ago.

I've outrun a few in the past, but had come upon a loose dog on a section where I couldn't get up to speed.

He sniffed and walked away.

The owners you have to look out for, though.

I was on a charity ride a while back and was in a group of five riders. I was third wheel between a small break to the front two and a small break to the back two.

We came past a house in rural southern NJ and a dog ran out after the first two and was chasing them. The dog didn't see me and was slowing down right in front of me. I shouted as I swerved, so that the dog would at least see me coming, and I avoided hitting the dog. The dog then picked up the chase after me. The owner came out of his garage hollering at me, "Hey, don't yell at my dog if you don't want him chasing you!" along with a choice set of other epithets.

Apparently, he thought the dog started running when I had shouted my alarm at the dog nearly stopping in front of me.

As the other two riders passed, and he continued his Yosemite Sam routine, the last thing I heard was "Hey, come back here!"

As if.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 14, 2015, 06:57 PM

12. I once had a dog owner yell at me to KICK HIS DOG.


I told him if the dog bit me, I would have do it. The dog was chasing me, barking at my let by never came within reach of my leg, he just wanted to chase. The owner wanted to teach the dog a lesson, DO NOT CHASE BIKES, thus he wanted me to kick the dog to teach the dog NOT to chase bikes.

I have had other dogs chase me, but no dog ever bit me. Most dogs just want to chase, if you stop they MIGHT bite (instinct kicks in) but if you stop and turn the bike so that the dog had to go through the bike, you are protecting yourself AND the dog sees something in his way, so he has time to think and realized the chase is over.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2015, 04:55 PM

8. I don't have to deal with them on the trails..

curious coyotes and agitated rattlesnakes are another thing altogether.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 14, 2015, 11:05 AM

9. having your your ears tuned in helps the most


yesterday I heard the dog before I saw it and corrected for it .Reading the road and the sounds of the bike can save us all so I am against ear buds and phone play even when I'm just putzing around figureing where to next .

I always get hurt when I am in Walter Mitty mode making believe I'm in Europe doing a photo shoot testing a 13 pound 30 thousand dollar super bike forgetting I am in the San Fernando Valley .

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Response to olddots (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 09:35 AM

13. I would never use ear buds on the road

I need all my limited hearing to know whats behind, in front and and around a curve. I just received a rear view mirror that clips in glasses. Way back when I used one that would attach to the helmet but there's not enough flat to attach to my current helmet.

I'm with you about the Walter Mitty mode as I attack my personal Alpe d'Huez. This is the one real "hill" on my ride. It climbs steady and at the end there is a sharper incline. I feel like I'm being fitted for the maillot jaune and 2 French goddesses giving my sweaty face air kisses. HEE! HEE! But I admit I am keeping me ears and eyes open to cars and trucks coming over the hill.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Original post)

Tue Jul 14, 2015, 06:43 PM

11. I don't mind them as much as unfriendly humans

Dogs are, for the most part, just being dogs.

People don't have that excuse.

I will never, for the life of me, figure out what sort of brain malfunction makes people think it is a good idea to suddenly holler stuff out of car windows when they pass a cyclist.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #11)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 09:43 AM

14. True confessions time about the primary reason I quit cycling

It is true that it became more difficult to find time to ride working day shift as opposed to midnights. But the real reason I completely quit was fear, fear of humans.

I was riding down a 2 lane highway on an open stretch going slightly down hill towards a bridge over a creek. My speed was in excess of 20 MPH. A vehicle was approaching from the rear. They would have no trouble passing me as there was no on-coming traffic. As the came along side I moved the the extreme right, and then I saw it. It was an old beat up pickup truck and the passenger had the door open to strike me. Because I had moved to the right he missed and nearly fell out of the truck. I was angry which turned to fear. If he had succeeded the bike would've careened down to the creek leaving me with injuries or dead.

Mean people suck!

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 10:14 AM

15. I dodged a thrown object once

I think it was a beverage can of some kind.

This is my water bottle:


There has to be some kind of psychological disorder in these people who feel a compulsion to harass cyclists.

This past weekend, I was thinking of something like this:

Although the bottle cage mount might be simpler:

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #15)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 10:57 AM

16. I had beer cans thrown at me

but they were always empty so more alarming then dangerous. These yahoos would never toss a full one as that would be a waste of beer.

As to riding armed I thought someone ought to modify a bang stick for bicyclists. a frame pump that has a dual function.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #16)

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 03:03 PM

17. I pulled out my pepper spray and aimed it directly at the face of the asshole....

....who kept harassing me on the trails. It all started one day when I told him for his dog's safety it needed to be on a leash (plus, yanno, leash law). Then every time I saw him again he started getting worse, verbally harassing me, etc. He stepped towards me one day and almost knocked me off a pedestrian bridge (I swerved to avoid him) and I reported him to the cops. I didn't see him for a long time, then there he was, blocking the trail so I couldn't pass, sticking both arms out. I stopped, unhooked my pepper spray from my handlebars, aimed it at his face and said, "The police know about you and they're okay with me blasting you in the face with pepper spray. Leave me the fuck alone."

He looked like he was about to shit his pants. Thought because I was a woman he could intimidate me. After that he was as meek as a lamb.

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Response to Novara (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 10:00 AM

18. Oh, good, when I read "Pulled out my pepper spray" I thought you used in on a dog.


Last edited Thu Jul 16, 2015, 10:37 AM - Edit history (1)

On a person that is different. Dogs do things because it is instinctive and thus best worked around by other means then actual harm to the dog. People, on the other hand, should be using the THINKING part of their brain.

As to weapons, I rarely carry any. The bike itself should be viewed as your best weapon. It will get you out of most situations or you can use it to block anything trying to attack you. It is quick to be "pulled" for your hands on already on it. Yes, a bike is a lousy offensive weapon, do NOT try to use it to club someone. In most cases the bike will provide enough blockage for any attacker to either back down or give you enough to to react more forcefully to the attack.

Now, I have been punched on the arms twice, once by a what appeared to be a white 12 year old sitting in the passenger seat of a pickup that past me (I suspect he did it on the urging of the person driving the pickup, who I suspect was the young teen's father). Once past me, the pickup kept on going. Why I was punched is unknown to me, but I suspect someone did not like the idea of a bike was blocking his use of the road.

The other time I was punched was by an African American late teen early 20s who punched me as I past him (He was walking with another African American side by side on the sidewalk). I was on the road. Once I realized I had been punched I stopped and looked back and the person who hit me and he looked like he wanted to fight. Since I was a "Mixed" neighborhood, I decided I did not want to get into a fight in that neighborhood so I remounted my bike and left. When I looked back the other African American male walking with the African American male who had hit me looked like he was in a state of shock, the Second African American looked like someone who could NOT believe his "Friend" had just reached out a punched anyone. He looked like someone who was saying "What have I gotten into, I do NOT want to get into a fight in this neighborhood, especially when the fight clearly started when my friend throw a punch for no reason?". My impression when I remounted my bike, was that the second African American was happy I decided to move forward.

Now, I have been hit by a Large Ford Ranger mirror in the arm (I suspect the driver of the Ranger did not know he hit me, those old Large Ford Ranger were built on the old Ford full size pickup, thus a very wide vehicle especially with large mirrors).

Now, in the last 20-30 years I have NOT been hit. The big time for such actions were in the 1970s and 1980s. I also moved from the inner city and older suburbs to a much more rural area, thus less conflict between bikes and cars. I suspect both are factors, people today are much more tolerate of bikes on the roads AND in more rural areas, you have less traffic on fairly wide roads, thus cars have more places to pass a bicycle by that is sharing the road with the car.

Now, I have seen some problems even today. I think about getting a Go Pro Camera to record my bike rides, so that if anything goes bad I would have a record of it. Go Pro cameras are expensive, but if you can show that the Automobile was the one violating the law when you were hit, would go to show who was at fault (Most Juries and Judges drive cars, they do NOT bike, thus identify with who ever is driving a car NOT the cyclist, thus the burden is on cyclists that they were obeying the law and a film from a GO PRO camera will be a huge factor in such disputes of facts).

Most accidents occur so fast you can not really judge what happened and in most cases Judges and Juries will support any driver of any vehicle over a cyclists UNLESS you have evidence other then you own word. Thus I strongly suggest adding a Go Pro to your camera just to preserve records of such accidents.

The Go Pro can also be used offensively. Most states still permit filing of criminal charges by the victims when it comes to minor crimes. Thus if you are riding and have film of a driver that harnessed you OR evidence that such a person has violated the vehicle code, you can file your own private criminal complaint against the driver. You have NO RIGHT to ask for a driver's license, but you can file an criminal case against the driver of a car with the license plate #. The police will not give you the driver's name or address, but once you file the criminal charges in your local Justice of the Peace office, they can get such information. Remember the fine goes to the state not you, but by filing it you force someone to address what they had done.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #18)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 11:27 AM

19. Hell, if a dog was attacking me you bet I'd use my pepper spray

Just running after me? Nope, not if it doesn't catch me. But if I'm attacked I'll use whatever I have at my disposal to defend myself. It's one reason I have a canister of pepper spray attached to my handlebars. And that's just too damn bad if your vicious dog gets a blast in the face. If your dog can't be controlled, it's your responsibility as an owner to keep it from attacking people. And to keep it safe from people like me, I guess.

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