Dog repellent when biking

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1789
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Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

I was chased by a pit bull the other day on my road bike. It was a CR on 1-1 lane so i ended up pedaling hard in mean time yelling at dog " go back" :annoyed. Eventually he turned back without catching me but on a hill ride its not fun. I am wondering how other bikers deal with this problem? Anything i should have like ultrasonic device or horn? Especially looking for suggestions to push pit bulls and German shepherds when needed.

Thanks
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by bubbadog »

What about a canister of bear spray?
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by WildCat48 »

I usually ride with my gun.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 9to5er »

I have also used yelling, but squirting them with water from your water bottle seems to give them another reason to think twice and stop the chase. (It's also harmless to the animal.) Fortunately, I've not had to try this more than once so far, but it worked then. It does not, however, provide as much assurances as the other options already provided.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by quantAndHold »

WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
I would think there would be a significant risk of shooting yourself in the foot doing this. And a gun would be a pretty big lump under the Lycra. But you be you...
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

When I was younger, I was a competitive road racer. My go to method if I wasn't going to be able to outrun a dog was to uncap my water bottle and as the dog got next to me squeeze the bottle while thrusting it in his face. The dog can't see momentarily, best case, and breaks off the chase.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

bubbadog wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:24 pm What about a canister of bear spray?
Have you used at all? How easy on that moment to take this action? So you stop and then face with dog and then do this?
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
I don't know how to use a gun and i think its not ideal solution :wink:
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by gofatbike »

I live out in the country and have had this issue. I talked with the local police for the best way to deal with it.

1) Pedal hard, usually you can outrun the dog (unless you are like me).
2) Use an air horn as it both scares the dog and alerts everyone nearby something is off.
3) Be careful about harming the dog as people can go after you in civil court. Was told this has happened more than he would like to believe.

I found the air horn to be affective.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:35 pm When I was younger, I was a competitive road racer. My go to method if I wasn't going to be able to outrun a dog was to uncap my water bottle and as the dog got next to me squeeze the bottle while thrusting it in his face. The dog can't see momentarily, best case, and breaks off the chase.
I agree that outrunning is only easy for me when i go down the hill. That day i didnt have any concern coming down as i know it would be impossible for a dog to catch me going over 30mph. I will keep in mind to use bottle. So you only use water, not anything else liquid?
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

Any real experiences that you can share your method worked for you?
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by ridebikeseveryday »

Squirt them in the nose with your water bottle. Their surprise will give you more of a head start.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by fizxman »

I carry pepper gel when I walk my dog after having a few dogs come after my dog while walking her. A gel is supposedly more wind resistant than a spray and I also read somewhere that pepper gel/spray is more effective than mace against dogs, but I have no idea if that's true or not. I never had to use it but this is what I have.

https://smile.amazon.com/SABRE-Red-Pepp ... 805&sr=8-4
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

ridebikeseveryday wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:43 pm Squirt them in the nose with your water bottle. Their surprise will give you more of a head start.
I will try... I was using a metal water bottle so far. I guess time to switch
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by willthrill81 »

I agree that pepper spray or gel is a must, both for four-legged and two-legged threats, for those unwilling to carry more substantial means of self-defense.

An uncle of mine served as a cop for many years, and before they could carry pepper spray, they had to get sprayed themselves directly in the face with eyes open (this takes the wind out of the sails of an attorney claiming police brutality when they can show a video of the officer having been sprayed him/herself). He said that he had to lie down in the shower for hours with cold water running on his face to cope with it and that getting tazed was far easier and less painful.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by quantAndHold »

Back in the day, we used to take swings at them with our frame pumps. But I don’t think many people carry a frame pump that’s substantial enough to whack a dog with anymore. Unless you want to carry a stick or something, the water bottle thing is probably your best bet.

A lot of the time, if you just stop, they’ll lose interest, but I’m not sure I would want to try that with a pit bull.

The worst crash I ever had was when I got chased by a crazed...dachshund. It was terrifying. Once I lost control and fell off the bike, the dachshund quietly trotted back home, leaving me to tend my wounds. I still have scars from that. In my defense, I was 10 at the time.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

Thank you all. I am considering pepper spray and water bottle trick at the same time. Probably real test will be next time i see one of these aggressive dogs. I am worried i will try running again :oops:
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by quantAndHold »

1789 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:35 pm
bubbadog wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:24 pm What about a canister of bear spray?
Have you used at all? How easy on that moment to take this action? So you stop and then face with dog and then do this?
Having used bear spray on a bear...I think this could work. Keep the bear spray in a water bottle cage, spray on the run while you’re still in front of the dog. I think you would want to practice first. I think you don’t want to try doing this for the first time when facing down an angry pit bull while riding a bike.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Shallowpockets »

Fill your water bottle with ammonia. It only takes a drop in the eye to stop a dog.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Teague »

1789 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:36 pm
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
I don't know how to use a gun and i think its not ideal solution :wink:
I do know how to use a gun, and I agree this is not a good solution at all.

First, you're trying to aim a pistol at an erratically moving target, behind you, while you also are moving, with only one hand left for the handlebars, and trying not to crash into something you can't see because you're not looking ahead. I'd say it's no stretch that most of your shots will ricochet off the pavement. Where the bullet goes from there is anyone's guess. An adjacent house? Kids in a front yard? I could envision all sorts of potential criminal charges ranging from negligent discharge to, well, let's not go there. Plus a guaranteed substantial civil suit if someone gets hit by a stray bullet. As an absolute last resort, maybe, depending on circumstances. But I sure wouldn't want to have to defend why the gun was my first choice.

While walking I've deterred threatening dogs with a carried stick, a handful of gravel grabbed from the side of the road, or simply making myself large and threatening (raised arms, loud voice.) I've carried pepper spray but never had to use it. That stuff gets all over everything, including the user. No specific experience with dogs and bikes unfortunately.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Elysium »

OP,

I hear you. As a fellow cyclist it is a huge concern for me. I usually try to avoid riding alone on unfamiliar country roads to avoid this problem with unfriendly dogs, as well as to avoid unfriendly humans with big trucks. In the groups it is not a problem, although last season several of our riders were taken down by a dog that snapped out it's leash and bolted straight across the road on to the riders. Not so much to attack, but it was startled. I think one guy suffered a concussion,although it wasn't verified, and a couple others road rashes.

Coming back to protection, I started carrying a canister of halt. It's an orange colored spray which is supposed to be very effective. You can spray up to 15 ft, and it fits in nicely in the back pocket, is barely noticeable, and carry no extra weight (important). The bear maze by contrast is a large canister, that while fits in the back pocket, will look out of place and will add extra weight. I do own one for trail walking and hiking. Very effective although never used it. Halt is supposed to leave a burning sensation on the animal and reviews says effective.

I never had to use the halt spray although I feel safer carrying it, the water bottle technique is an added thing on top of halt. Lastly, if it comes to that, I have thought about getting off the bike and using the bike as a shield between the animal and myself, in case it caught up with you on the hill. I would hate to think about running into a motorist while I pedal in panic mode at 30 mph downhill.

Dogs don't love cyclists, that's just the reality of it :(
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Elysium »

WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
How much does it weigh? at least 1.5 pounds I guess. That's not very efficient, slows you down and makes you burn more energy just to do same as others who ride without a gun. Cycling is all about efficiency, just like indexing.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by willthrill81 »

Elysium wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
How much does it weigh? at least 1.5 pounds I guess.
Many of the so-called pocket pistols out there are under 1 lb. loaded. But if cycling efficiency is what you're most concerned about, you won't carry anything not absolutely necessary by my reckoning. But unless you're a top athlete, I doubt that a sub 1% weight difference will be noticeable or measurable.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by WildCat48 »

Elysium wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
How much does it weigh? at least 1.5 pounds I guess. That's not very efficient, slows you down and makes you burn more energy just to do same as others who ride without a gun. Cycling is all about efficiency, just like indexing.
I'm just cycling from A to B and the gun is for more than just dogs. I'm not attempting to be Lance Armstrong.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Shallowpockets wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:25 pm Fill your water bottle with ammonia. It only takes a drop in the eye to stop a dog.
When I was a kid with a paper route, I used ammonia from a water pistol on the dogs that became an habitual nuisance. I never had an issue with one afterward. Today on highly trafficked streets I might be concerned about traffic dealing with a dog writhing on its back in the middle of the road--but that would probably depend upon the particular dog.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by black jack »

On a bike, if I didn't think I could outrun a dog, I might dismount and put the bike between me and the dog. I did that once, but its effectiveness might vary with the size and aggressiveness of the dog.

When on foot and wishing to repel a dog, miming throwing a rock is often effective (such dogs may have experience with that response).
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
Can't imagine that's very effective against dogs; they mostly don't recognize what a gun can do, and as another poster noted in detail, trying to fire a gun to deter a dog while riding a bike would be stupid in a half-dozen ways (and stopping to do so would still be many kinds of unwise).

It might be effective with people, though. Do you wear it so it can be seen? I sometimes fantasize about wearing a pistol in a highly-visible shoulder holster to see if that would deter drivers from driving too close to me.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Brianmcg321 »

I squirt them with my water bottle.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by 1789 »

Elysium wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:40 pm OP,

I hear you. As a fellow cyclist it is a huge concern for me. I usually try to avoid riding alone on unfamiliar country roads to avoid this problem with unfriendly dogs, as well as to avoid unfriendly humans with big trucks. In the groups it is not a problem, although last season several of our riders were taken down by a dog that snapped out it's leash and bolted straight across the road on to the riders. Not so much to attack, but it was startled. I think one guy suffered a concussion,although it wasn't verified, and a couple others road rashes.

Coming back to protection, I started carrying a canister of halt. It's an orange colored spray which is supposed to be very effective. You can spray up to 15 ft, and it fits in nicely in the back pocket, is barely noticeable, and carry no extra weight (important). The bear maze by contrast is a large canister, that while fits in the back pocket, will look out of place and will add extra weight. I do own one for trail walking and hiking. Very effective although never used it. Halt is supposed to leave a burning sensation on the animal and reviews says effective.

I never had to use the halt spray although I feel safer carrying it, the water bottle technique is an added thing on top of halt. Lastly, if it comes to that, I have thought about getting off the bike and using the bike as a shield between the animal and myself, in case it caught up with you on the hill. I would hate to think about running into a motorist while I pedal in panic mode at 30 mph downhill.

Dogs don't love cyclists, that's just the reality of it :(
Yeah, i never carry anything other than flat kit and a water bottle. Carrying too many things defeat the purpose of riding a road bike, imo. This was a new route that i wanted to try and created in strava and wanted to take a chance. Regardless, what i noticed is that that dog wouldn't try what he did if i were with couple more people. I guess they are more brave when they see a person alone. Also, i hate when people just don't have their dogs under control. I imagine this is happening everyday and owners just don't care about cyclists. Thank you for your suggestions. I am going to find a spray and change my water bottle to plastic and squirt to them, in theory at least :(
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by tetractys »

As a youngster I delivered papers by bike and several kinds of dogs would chase me; but they never bit me hard enough to cause any injury. On my route there were maybe 8 German shepherds, three bull dogs, two Dobermans, all kinds of little dogs, and one super aggressive giant poodle. I learned to play the game, and move fast. When they did dive in I would just move my leg out of the way or even sometimes push off of them. Dogs just chase things right; they like to play. You smile and laugh, and so do dogs.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by bad1bill »

Friend who bikes in the rural South always carries pepper spray...he believes it has saved his bacon MANY times.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by RubyTuesday »

Water bottle with water and yell “no!” Loudly. Has always worked for me.

In my experience, most dogs will stop at or soon after you’re out of “their territory.” The spray of water usually ends the pursuit, but at minimum seems to surprise them so that you can accelerate away. Many chases, never caught (fingers crossed).
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Billionaire »

I've been riding on country roads for decades and usually get to know the aggressiveness of the dogs on the route. But, if a dog gets too close, I unclip my pedals, hop off the bike and put the bike between the dog and myself. Has always worked.

Do no use bear spray. It's a super dangerous product if used incorrectly. If you happen to spray it in the wrong direction, you will be in a bad place.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by goblue100 »

They make a spray specifically for dogs:
https://www.amazon.com/Halt-91427-Dog-R ... B001AZMH46

I've been chased a few times, but never by a pit bull. Never had to spray, but its a good idea to carry something especially in rural areas.

My favorite dog story is the day I was finishing my ride. It was HOT (Texas) and I was tired. I was passing a farm and there was a dog lying out by the road, guarding the driveway. I had one eye on him, but it he didn't seem too interested. Right as I got up to him and was passing the driveway, he let out one large "WOOF". Startled the heck out of me. I looked at him, and we both agreed it was too hot for the chase, so I just keep rolling on and he put his head back down.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by jubby288 »

Did you try petting it?

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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by plannerman »

For those of you not in the Tampa Fl area, yesterday at the close of the Gasparilla day parade, a pit bull attacked the horses of group of mounted police officers. Police shot and killed the dog. The dog owner threatened to shoot the police officer. Dog owner hauled away for "mental evaluation". The take away is there could be consequences to some of the remedies discussed above the one needs to consider.

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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by SueG5123 »

I walk my own little beagles daily and have had some scary encounters with big dogs off-leashes. My take is that an air horn works best to stop a charging dog. As someone previously noted, it not only scares the aggressing dog, but it alerts nearby people to your situation. Having said that — have a plan for what happens three seconds later when the dog recovers from its surprise! If you’re on a bike, cycle fast! On foot, I carry a walking stick.

Regarding the advice for pepper sprays, my personal experience is that these have to be delivered directly to the charging dogs eyes and/or nose — the spray does nothing lying on the fur (no skin). So, this would require a level of aim and presence of mind that may be difficult when the dog is suddenly RIGHT THERE.

About 10 years ago, two houses from my own, three German Shepherds ran from my neighbors open door. All were threatening but only one seriously lit into my beagle. Nearly a thousand dollars of vet bills in seconds. Broad daylight on a warm fall day.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by tigermilk »

Awareness and familiarity with the area are probably the best tools. A few years ago I was riding and didn't notice some dogs. They took me by surprise and immediately gave chase before I could really motor away. I got a little bite in the calf which drew blood. I rode about a 1/4 mile down the road to stop and call the sheriff. Didn't realize the trio was coming down to welcome me to the neighborhood. They attacked, one latching on to my foot, trying to drag me in a ditch, while another was trying to nip at my arms. Fortunately the leather cycling shoe prevented the teeth from penetrating my foot, and my trusty hand pump (I prefer to use a Topeak Road Morph instead of CO2) was in my Jersey pocket. I swung that pump around like a mad man to keep the dogs not latched on my foot at bay. Fortunately someone drove by in a couple of minutes and my day of terror ended. Cost me a few grand at the hospital (owners looked dirt poor, so why bother, and learned the hard way that the ER will not stitch the bite for fear of bacteria in the wound; all I got was a deep clean which I could have done at home), and ended in the death of 2 dogs. I love animals, but the owner didn't have record of rabies vaccine and didn't have enough money to bail all 3 out of quarantine. 1 was bailed out, 2 had their heads chopped off to verify no rabies. Sucks that the dogs had to go down, but given what they did to me, I could only think about what would have happened to a child or less able person.

So now it is being hyper aware and scanning and listening for those critters. Fortunately most dogs are chasers (which bring their own issues), but there is that possibility you get that real arse of a dog.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Figuring_it_out »

You don't need anything more than a small canister of personal protective pepper spray. Get a good brand with high ratings for stopping power.

Also a water bottle. Water bottle first if you don't feel majorly threatened (not a pitbull or other aggressive bread). If the water doesn't work, a short spray in their direction work with their super sensitive nose and heavy breathing.

A direct shot will really turn them around unless the dog is completely off its rocker and can resist the pain of the pepper. Then RUN!!!.

Find a new route.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by furwut »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:59 pm Back in the day, we used to take swings at them with our frame pumps. But I don’t think many people carry a frame pump that’s substantial enough to whack a dog with anymore. Unless you want to carry a stick or something, the water bottle thing is probably your best bet.

A lot of the time, if you just stop, they’ll lose interest, but I’m not sure I would want to try that with a pit bull.

The worst crash I ever had was when I got chased by a crazed...dachshund. It was terrifying. Once I lost control and fell off the bike, the dachshund quietly trotted back home, leaving me to tend my wounds. I still have scars from that. In my defense, I was 10 at the time.
:happy Used to call it dog polo. 9 times out of 10 a firm “NO” was enough to deter the beast. Water bottle trick worked as well. Simply stopping and putting the bike between the dog and yourself took enough of the fun away from Rover that he soon went home.

On routes where I knew where the chasers lived I always tried to go first down the road. That way my riding buddies behind were left with the fallout. 8-)
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Atilla »

Google search "stun club". I take one when walking our dog in the park because there have been times I've had to deal with loose dogs. It's seriously nasty and won't leave a mark. Great deterrent for people too.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by brandy »

In my area, mail carriers use a spray bottle of water/vinegar. I think I'd prefer just vinegar.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by fourniks »

Don't carry a gun - it won't end well.

A loud yell/voice to "stop" sometimes frightens them, connects you as a "human" as opposed to a deer. The water bottle trick has worked well for me, also.

After its all said and done, remember the location/yard. Report it to the local/county animal control and possibly police. On some of my rural routes, after one or more complaints, I never saw the dog again. Obviously, this may not work with general strays, but you can still report.

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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by whodidntante »

1789 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:36 pm
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
I don't know how to use a gun and i think its not ideal solution :wink:
It's easy. You point, shoot, and hope the dog owner doesn't run you over in his truck. And, if laws were violated, that your lawyer can keep you from being incarcerated. Oh, and don't forget the civil suit for killing an aggressive and unleashed beloved family dog. :happy
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Psyayeayeduck »

WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
Seems like an extreme solution and, honestly, irresponsible.
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by runner3081 »

I run and will not leave the house without my pepper spray.

Fortunately, I have not had to use it, but have pulled it out twice and was very close. The first time I bought a canister(years ago), I actually bought a second one to try. It is really helpful to actually see and understand how the spray pattern is before needing to use it.
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lthenderson
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by lthenderson »

Are you sure you didn't ride by Eddie's house?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8uP-dxllKQ

I have always just used a squirt from my water bottle and it has worked fine.
Elysium
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Elysium »

WildCat48 wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:08 am
Elysium wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
How much does it weigh? at least 1.5 pounds I guess. That's not very efficient, slows you down and makes you burn more energy just to do same as others who ride without a gun. Cycling is all about efficiency, just like indexing.
I'm just cycling from A to B and the gun is for more than just dogs. I'm not attempting to be Lance Armstrong.
Gotcha! Although some of us are pretending to be Lance Armstrong over the weekends, especially in summer months :wink:
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Cyclesafe
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Cyclesafe »

50k miles of cycling since 2000 here.

Any action you take to defer a dog is attention diverted from traffic and obstacles, which will hurt you far more than the dog. The dog is scary, the dog is humiliating you in front of non-cyclists (probably owners) who may be having a laugh at your expense.

The safest approach is to stop the bike and put it between you and the dog. This is less effective, of course, when there is a pack.

Next forget about pepper spray marketed for dogs. The stream is pitiful. Invest instead in full-on bear spray and plan to knock them down while turning them orange only when they are clearly not going to back off and you are in imminent fear of being bitten.

But the bear spray is actually only for you (and, of course, for the occasional bear that might similarly take an interest). For you, in the sense that that large cannister makes you feel like you're more in control of an animal that is scaring and humiliating you.

In all my riding I have been seriously threatened by dogs dozens of time. People I have ridden with have tried to spray dogs with pepper spray and with water. One ended up in the hospital when he lost control of his bike. His story was that he was "pulled down". What I saw was that he was distracted by the dog and ran over a pothole. Not as good a story.

I have two cans of unused bear spray. I didn't even use them on the occasional bear and even mountain lion (twice). But they've looked good in my hip holster and offer simpatico with the open-carry denizens of flyover country.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” (Dwight Eisenhower) | "Man plans, God laughs" (Yiddish proverb)
Elysium
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by Elysium »

Psyayeayeduck wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:24 am
WildCat48 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 pm I usually ride with my gun.
Seems like an extreme solution and, honestly, irresponsible.
If this person lives in a state that allows concealed carry then they have a right to carry it whether they ride a bike or a car. I personally don't have a need because my bike riding is not through a war zone. I ride in groups and/or familiar roads to minimize minor threats from dogs and irritated drivers.
Last edited by Elysium on Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
alfaspider
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Re: Dog repellent when biking

Post by alfaspider »

I've had many dogs chase me while riding, but I've never had one actually try to take me down. Once you are leaving their "territory" they disengage.

Just riding is likely safer than trying to fiddle with pepper spray which could blow back in your face and requires taking a hand off the handlebars (which would make it harder to regain control if the dog did bump you). For all the reasons described above, thinking that a firearm would be a good idea in this situation is just :oops:
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