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Seeing as I have a full time job, like many of you here, I’ll often change and set off for a ride once I get home. I ride the same route nearly every day and, nearly every day, I am chased by three dogs. The dogs come from the same home out in the country and by the time I reach that point in my journey I have about 50km in my legs. Depending on wind direction it can get pretty difficult to outrun them since they see me coming for quite a ways. The bastards will cut across an open field when they see me and head me off. I’ve learned that by riding slowly at first and then sprinting when they get about 100ft away really screws up their timing. As they slow to jump across a ditch to my side and slightly ahead of me (the only thing separating us) I just zip past them and away. In the past this has always worked but the problem now is, they’re beginning to get smarter. They are now beginning to split up and one of them runs right in front of me forcing me to slow down.

The last time it happened was the closest call. The larger one of the three ran in front and forced me onto the gravel shoulder. My bike bounced and wobbled as I was sprinting at around 50km/hr when both wheels finally met gravel. I somehow managed to stay upright, avoid going into the ditch, get back onto the road and, just as luckily, avoid any flats. By doing this however, the leader had slowed me just enough that one of its partners was nipping at my left shoe.

The mere fact that I almost lost control was enough to send adrenaline rushing through my system but add to that three snarling and angry dogs not 5 ft away was crazy! I don’t think they’re looking to get their bellies rubbed - you know what I mean?? I was so pissed I just wanted to go back to the owner’s house and give them a piece of my mind. Problem is, these dogs are mean as hell when all I’m doing is riding by minding my own business. Who knows how evil they’d get if I actually set foot on the property.

Anyway, it’s total B.S. and I’m getting sick of it. I’m not the only one being chased as this route is a popular one with cyclists in the area. A lot of my buddies have been chased as well. I mentioned the dogs to a passing police officer one day and it did slow down for a while but it’s all starting up again. A friend of mine told me the other day that one of the three had run out into the road to chase him and a car headed in the opposite direction had to lock up the brakes to avoid running it over. It was close enough that my friend was surprised the dog wasn’t hit. Sadly, when I heard what he was telling me I secretly wished it had been. I feel bad saying that but these things are just evil.

So the problem now isn’t only the fear of stacking, breaking bones, or being bitten but now it is getting dangerous for motorists as well. I shutter to think what would happen if they actually caught one of us. I fear it’s only a matter of time so I’m wondering if any of you have any suggestions.

For now I will be putting in a formal complaint tomorrow to the Provincial police who patrol the area as well as the township office on Monday. I also would love to pepper spray one of these dogs once as I know it would probably cure the problem instantly but I’m not sure that’s very legal in this area (plus it might be a little cruel).

If anyone else has any similar stories or suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Thanks,
Ska!

p.s. to anyone thinking that I am a dog hater there is nothing further from the truth. I have owned/loved two of my own in the past but they never acted in such a threatening fashion. There is absolutely no need for that sort of thing.
 

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Ska! said:
Seeing as I have a full time job, like many of you here, I’ll often change and set off for a ride once I get home. I ride the same route nearly every day and, nearly every day, I am chased by three dogs. The dogs come from the same home out in the country and by the time I reach that point in my journey I have about 50km in my legs. Depending on wind direction it can get pretty difficult to outrun them since they see me coming for quite a ways. The bastards will cut across an open field when they see me and head me off. I’ve learned that by riding slowly at first and then sprinting when they get about 100ft away really screws up their timing. As they slow to jump across a ditch to my side and slightly ahead of me (the only thing separating us) I just zip past them and away. In the past this has always worked but the problem now is, they’re beginning to get smarter. They are now beginning to split up and one of them runs right in front of me forcing me to slow down.

The last time it happened was the closest call. The larger one of the three ran in front and forced me onto the gravel shoulder. My bike bounced and wobbled as I was sprinting at around 50km/hr when both wheels finally met gravel. I somehow managed to stay upright, avoid going into the ditch, get back onto the road and, just as luckily, avoid any flats. By doing this however, the leader had slowed me just enough that one of its partners was nipping at my left shoe.

The mere fact that I almost lost control was enough to send adrenaline rushing through my system but add to that three snarling and angry dogs not 5 ft away was crazy! I don’t think they’re looking to get their bellies rubbed - you know what I mean?? I was so pissed I just wanted to go back to the owner’s house and give them a piece of my mind. Problem is, these dogs are mean as hell when all I’m doing is riding by minding my own business. Who knows how evil they’d get if I actually set foot on the property.

Anyway, it’s total B.S. and I’m getting sick of it. I’m not the only one being chased as this route is a popular one with cyclists in the area. A lot of my buddies have been chased as well. I mentioned the dogs to a passing police officer one day and it did slow down for a while but it’s all starting up again. A friend of mine told me the other day that one of the three had run out into the road to chase him and a car headed in the opposite direction had to lock up the brakes to avoid running it over. It was close enough that my friend was surprised the dog wasn’t hit. Sadly, when I heard what he was telling me I secretly wished it had been. I feel bad saying that but these things are just evil.

So the problem now isn’t only the fear of stacking, breaking bones, or being bitten but now it is getting dangerous for motorists as well. I shutter to think what would happen if they actually caught one of us. I fear it’s only a matter of time so I’m wondering if any of you have any suggestions.

For now I will be putting in a formal complaint tomorrow to the Provincial police who patrol the area as well as the township office on Monday. I also would love to pepper spray one of these dogs once as I know it would probably cure the problem instantly but I’m not sure that’s very legal in this area (plus it might be a little cruel).

If anyone else has any similar stories or suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Thanks,
Ska!

p.s. to anyone thinking that I am a dog hater there is nothing further from the truth. I have owned/loved two of my own in the past but they never acted in such a threatening fashion. There is absolutely no need for that sort of thing.
Pepper spray is legal, when properly used. Walk up to a dog and spray it in the face, illegal. Dog's attacking you, legal. Kind of similar to the situation a woman can be in - walk up to a random guy in a leather jacket with a Harley and spray him in the face, illegal. (saying the "rapist" or whatnot stereotype). When he's attempting to rape/mug you, self defense, legal.
If the dogs are coming after you, you can use Halt on them, or pepper spray.
Or, one guy once mentioned vinegar, I can see that working well, though you said they're smart dogs, they might come at you with salad ;) . But also, if you don't want to do that stuff, just bring out an extra bottle of water and do a full spray in the face. Use the whole bottle of water if you have to, it probably won't teach them the first time. Or the second. But after 5 or 6 bottles have been emptied in their faces, they'd probably catch on.
-estone2
 

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Have you tried to get off the bike and make friends with them, give em a dog biscuit ...throw them a bone as it were?

or stop and yell at them for chasing you?
 

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I am a dog lover. but this is a problem that must be taken care of. Right know it cyclist next time it may be a child that is mauled. MAKE YOUR LOCAL POLICE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. Dogs should not be running around freely,and remember its the owners fault not the dogs.
 

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I don't suggest the water bottle solution. It might work on some dogs but it might just provoke others. I know my dog would chase you even more if he though you would spray water in his face, he loves barking and growling at water and will practically attack a water hose (he's already eaten 2) and he's genrally a well mannered dog. My thought would be that the water bottle would be hit or miss.
 

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make it a problem for the owner

Basically, you have to make it a problem for the owner to deal with. The only way I know to do this is to call your local animal control and/or the police every time it happens. As long as the dogs are just chasing a bunch of cyclists, the owner couldn't care less. If he is constantly having to deal with the law, it becomes a problem for him. In short, you have to hold his feet to the fire legally. It doesn't have to be a big headache for you....just regular phone calls with the address, date, and circumstances.
 

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I have solved this very problem!

Bear repellent. Why bear repellent? It comes in a can that fits neatly in a bottle cage. It shoots a stream of pepper spray 20 feet with enough coverage to compensate for aiming problems while riding. It will stop any dog, in their tracks and turn them around, and they will remember that feeling and never chase you again. Case in point. I as you ride the same roads on a regular schedule. I pass numerous houses with dogs and some of them, most of them, like to come out to the road. Some like to just run along the side of the road barking, but some (like the ones you describe) seem intent upon causing me physical harm. I like dogs and don't want them harmed and conversely I don't want to face plant into the pavement because some dog was under my wheel. I studied my options and tried, making friends (worked with the less aggressive dogs), intimidation (I stopped and, using the bike as a barrier, chased them while screaming and yelling back to their yard (this got me chased and buzzed, pretty closely, by two teenaged boys on a 4-wheeler who were yelling some epithets that were unintelligible I stopped they ran off) I then decided upon pepper spray.

I bought a "jogger size" spray, used it once and missed completely and almost fell trying. I checked out the other options and found the mother of all pepper sprays, Bear Repellent. I have used this with great effectiveness. First, my rules of engagement; I will not spray a dog that is on the grass, I will not spray a dog that is just running behind me (escort dogs I call them) and I will not spray a dog on the first encounter unless I am afraid for my safety (I had to spray a Great Dane because he was taller than the bike and coming full tilt towards me) Now the results; Bear Repellent will turn any dog around (you don't even have to aim that well it comes out in a great stream/spray and a coloration allows you to see where it hits) the dog, when hit, instantly turns around and RUNS the other way. And they don't forget. I have had dogs, after a previous dousing with pepper spray, come running towards the road recognized me and then they slam on the brakes and head back to the house. THAT is the desired outcome.

I bought mine at an outdoor store but it is available on-line too.

It works, and you only have to use it once per dog.
 

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Go find the owners but i bet they dont do anything and i bet if you do something to the dogs{its not there fault}the owners will come find you.
 

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If I were a dog, I would chase cyclists too. What sport! Particularly when cyclists play along by providing something slow enough to actually catch.

For truly threatening dogs, I routinely call the county Animal Control Officer, giving location, time, and, if possible, the address of the dogs. I have established credibility with them by only calling when my safety is actually threatened. I am cool and strictly factual about the situation and follow up with appreciative letters to their supervisors after the owners have been located and communicated with, either in person or by letter. This makes the officers look good to their bosses, which is remembered and exploited around raise time. I'm on a first name basis with these guys and I think they actually look forward to my call which I always try to make positive, problem solving oriented, and humorous.

It never works the first time because the ACO always takes the easy way out by describing me as a frightened bike rider and then comiserates with the owner about how cyclists think they own the planet. This is, of course, human nature. However, the owner is reminded of the leash and confinement laws.

The second time it happens, the ACO is more adamant, and the contact is less friendly. I'm still the bad guy.

However, the third time (maybe having something to do with baseball) the ACO finally starts ticketing. Although the ACO can't issue a ticket unless he sees the violation, I can issue a "citizen's ticket" at any point in this process. The problem is that until the ACO gets serious, I am still the oversensitive cyclist and a citizen's ticket and my obligatory appearance in front of a judge would be a waste of time. With the ACO, tired of being ignored by the owner, backing me up, and a paper trail, a citizen's ticket would more likely result in a fine.

Sometimes while riding past these owners they ask me why I call in the law from the very first time. I tell them that when I am injured I want to cut through all of the preliminary nonsense ("first time it happened", "somebody must have let him out", "it will never happen again") to have a chance at punitive damages and thus the interest of a personal injury lawyer. I tell them that we live in a "one bite" county, where a dog gets one free (nonserious) bite every two years. To circumvent that I need documentation with the authorities in order to get his dog declared "dangerous" the first time I am injured. This puts his dog in the "pit bull" category, with comensurate insurance and heighten confinement requirements.

Racing away, stopping to make friends, stopping with the bike as a shield, whiffing away with your road pump, screaming "stop", going nuclear by screaming "bad dog", spraying pepper spray, and luring the dog into oncoming traffic are all techniques that are appropriate at times. But these are only stop gap measures and the spray and the luring could get you in big trouble with the owners.

The best (but the most testosterone challenged) way of dealing with dogs is to retreat as much as possible and then entice the authorities to do their jobs. However, I do draw the line at flipping on my back and lifting my jersey to expose my belly.
 

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I've had dogs come up on me down deserted backroads while on the mtn bike that struck a serious cord of panic. So far it’s 0 for 0. I’ve had to stop, show no fear & calmly but w/ authority yell at them to, “NO, GO HOME”. In the city limits it is illegal for an owner to let a dog off leash & animal control will enforce this law. They will pick them up, look for the owner if the dog is tagged & warn/fine them. If the dog is not tagged it needs a new home anyway. Just call 911.
 

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txgal said:
I don't suggest the water bottle solution. It might work on some dogs but it might just provoke others. I know my dog would chase you even more if he though you would spray water in his face, he loves barking and growling at water and will practically attack a water hose (he's already eaten 2) and he's genrally a well mannered dog. My thought would be that the water bottle would be hit or miss.
good point, i hadn't thought of that, a couple of our dogs ahve done that... forgot :eek:
 

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Pepper spray is illegal in Canada

From my understanding pepper spray is illegal in Canada, so that is not a solution. The back pocket .38 solution would also prove to be difficult here in Canada (gun control) and I don't think it is very nice. Try some of the other suggestions that people are giving you.
 

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Cyclesafe said:
If I were a dog, I would chase cyclists too. What sport! Particularly when cyclists play along by providing something slow enough to actually catch.

For truly threatening dogs, I routinely call the county Animal Control Officer, giving location, time, and, if possible, the address of the dogs. I have established credibility with them by only calling when my safety is actually threatened. I am cool and strictly factual about the situation and follow up with appreciative letters to their supervisors after the owners have been located and communicated with, either in person or by letter. This makes the officers look good to their bosses, which is remembered and exploited around raise time. I'm on a first name basis with these guys and I think they actually look forward to my call which I always try to make positive, problem solving oriented, and humorous.

It never works the first time because the ACO always takes the easy way out by describing me as a frightened bike rider and then comiserates with the owner about how cyclists think they own the planet. This is, of course, human nature. However, the owner is reminded of the leash and confinement laws.

The second time it happens, the ACO is more adamant, and the contact is less friendly. I'm still the bad guy.

However, the third time (maybe having something to do with baseball) the ACO finally starts ticketing. Although the ACO can't issue a ticket unless he sees the violation, I can issue a "citizen's ticket" at any point in this process. The problem is that until the ACO gets serious, I am still the oversensitive cyclist and a citizen's ticket and my obligatory appearance in front of a judge would be a waste of time. With the ACO, tired of being ignored by the owner, backing me up, and a paper trail, a citizen's ticket would more likely result in a fine.

Sometimes while riding past these owners they ask me why I call in the law from the very first time. I tell them that when I am injured I want to cut through all of the preliminary nonsense ("first time it happened", "somebody must have let him out", "it will never happen again") to have a chance at punitive damages and thus the interest of a personal injury lawyer. I tell them that we live in a "one bite" county, where a dog gets one free (nonserious) bite every two years. To circumvent that I need documentation with the authorities in order to get his dog declared "dangerous" the first time I am injured. This puts his dog in the "pit bull" category, with comensurate insurance and heighten confinement requirements.

Racing away, stopping to make friends, stopping with the bike as a shield, whiffing away with your road pump, screaming "stop", going nuclear by screaming "bad dog", spraying pepper spray, and luring the dog into oncoming traffic are all techniques that are appropriate at times. But these are only stop gap measures and the spray and the luring could get you in big trouble with the owners.

The best (but the most testosterone challenged) way of dealing with dogs is to retreat as much as possible and then entice the authorities to do their jobs. However, I do draw the line at flipping on my back and lifting my jersey to expose my belly.

Good post, albeit a pain in the butt when you do not want to stop your training ride!
 

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Good god itsa freaking domestic dog...:rolleyes:

its not a cougar or a bear for krissake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gazoo said:
Good god itsa freaking domestic dog...:rolleyes:

its not a cougar or a bear for krissake.

Oh God. You’re right. How could I have let myself overreact this way?? How completely stupid of me...

No Gazoo, I disagree. Give yourself a slap. Being attacked - missing time off of work due to injury, bites or whatever else is still time off of work whether it’s caused by a dog, a bear, a large cat or a bus. Just because dogs are often kept as pets doesn’t mean we’re supposed to let them maul us “for krissake”. Give your head a shake, man.

Thanks to everyone else for the advice. I’ll let you know how things go.

Ska!
 

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Ska! said:
Oh God. You’re right. How could I have let myself overreact this way?? How completely stupid of me...

No Gazoo, I disagree. Give yourself a slap. Being attacked - missing time off of work due to injury, bites or whatever else is still time off of work whether it’s caused by a dog, a bear, a large cat or a bus. Just because dogs are often kept as pets doesn’t mean we’re supposed to let them maul us “for krissake”. Give your head a shake, man.

Thanks to everyone else for the advice. I’ll let you know how things go.

Ska!
Very very few dogs will ever actually attack .... nipping at your heels when you're cycling isn't attacking. :rolleyes:

However they will bark and grumble and growl and act tough until you stand up to them and kick their doggie asses.

Pansy. :p
 

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I am amazed how many posts like this I see. It really surprises me that so many people let their dogs roam unattended. Sure, one of my dogs will occassionally jump the fence or bolt out the door but I immediately retrieve the dog. I guess it is just different in rural areas, because around here if you see a dog out wandering someone will consider it lost or a stray depending on whether it has tags.
 
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