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Interacting with dogs while riding

Old 04-27-21, 04:11 PM
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rbrides
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Interacting with dogs while riding

Have expert dog trainers even commented on the best way to interact with dogs while riding a bike? I'm seeking "expert" opinions because, well, we all have our own opinions.
I grew up with a dog trainer in my family (now deceased) My experience and training from him taught me that (forms my opinion that) shouting and screaming at dogs only excites them, riles them up and creates possibly aggressive behavior. Yet, folk I ride with INSIST on shouting at dogs the instance they see them up the road which of course (in my opinion) makes the dog behave aggressively.

Is there any expert (?) information published on this? If not, well, what are your opinions?
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Old 04-27-21, 04:16 PM
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One thing that always works is to be faster than the dog.
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Old 04-27-21, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
Yet, folk I ride with INSIST on shouting at dogs the instance they see them up the road which of course (in my opinion) makes the dog behave aggressively.

Is there any expert (?) information published on this? If not, well, what are your opinions?
Yes, ride a little faster than your mouthy friends
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Old 04-27-21, 04:48 PM
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A certain percentage of the population have the natural ability to walk into any situation and make it worse. Find new riding partners.
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Old 04-27-21, 04:56 PM
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I know someone who will yell "Go home!" which seems to work for some dogs. I find that soothing tones work better - "Good dog!"

Then a water bottle-spray in the face if they don't get the hint.
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Old 04-27-21, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
yes, ride a little faster than your mouthy friends
good one!
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Old 04-28-21, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
I know someone who will yell "Go home!" which seems to work for some dogs. I find that soothing tones work better - "Good dog!"

Then a water bottle-spray in the face if they don't get the hint.
I too believe the soothing tone matters greatly when working with, dealing with, animals, particularly dogs.
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Old 04-28-21, 05:14 AM
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For dogs that want to chase you: I've learned, from riding motorcycles, but it works on a bicycle too, is to slow down, allow the dog to commit to an angle of attack, then speed up so they miss you. It turns out dogs are good at judging speed, but not so good at anticipating you increasing your speed.

Of course, this is less effective on a hill. Then you're screwed lol.

Dog treats will make any dog your friend.
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Old 04-28-21, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
One thing that always works is to be faster than the dog.
The faster you go, the more dogs will chase you, and some dogs can run fast.

One thing I have done when I know there are aggressive dogs ahead, is to speed up, then go straight towards them, often sounding the horn. They normally run inside their yard. They then turn around to chase you, but in many cases you are so far away, and going so fast, they can't get near you. A small proportion of dogs will turn around very quickly, so it doesn't always work.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:31 AM
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alo
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In Australia, I have rarely had problems with dogs while cycling.

But you want to move to S E Asia. I normally get chased by dogs multiple times a day, and dogs often bite people. Dogs also have rabies and other infections. The amount of people bitten by dogs, seems to vary a lot from place to place. I was told in one town, approximately two thirds of children had been bitten by dogs, and half or those more than once. In many situations, they don't do anything about it, so dogs are free to bite more people.

It is common to see dog fights, where groups of dogs start fighting each other in the street.

Dogs are a serious problem in this society. It does vary a lot from place to place.

Dogs are also racist. I am much bigger than the locals, and stand out as different, which makes me a target of dogs.

The first line of defense for me is to lift my leg, then kick towards the dog. Occasionally I get dogs on the end of the nose with the sole of my foot. This shocks them, and stops them. But you don't want dogs getting so close you can kick them.

I have a piece of bamboo on my bike, like a flag pole, which I can lift out and swing at dogs. This deters them.

Dogs also harass locals. For example, someone may be sitting in front of their house when several dogs walk in, and sometimes start fighting. The locals throw rocks, sticks or other things at them. So while riding, I often lift my arm as if I am going to throw things at them. In a few places, I pick up rocks before going there, to throw at them. Throwing things at them seems to work better, as they keep a much greater distance. They don't get close enough to bite.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:48 AM
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I can out sprint dogs, but sometimes it's not an option; just stop and that confuses the hell out of them.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:12 AM
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This works 100% of the time.

Stop the bike and put it between you and the dog. It's highly unlikely you can outrun a large dog on a bike anyway, and trying will just make it chase you more. You're safer when you're stopped and off the bike. Give the dog a little shot of pepper spray, and it will go away. Then get back on your bike and ride away safely.

I'm seen people carry chains and whips and clubs and collapsible batons, but those can actually injure a dog and if it's someone's pet, now they have to take it to the hospital. Plus, trying to engage in hand-to-hand combat, swinging some kind of weapon from a moving bicycle, is a recipe for disaster. Pepper spray is harmless and wears off after a while, but it does work to repel them. Again, stop your bike first and get off in order to deal with the threat.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Stop the bike and put it between you and the dog.
Sometimes there are several dogs, and they can come from all different directions.

Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
You're safer when you're stopped and off the bike.
I normally don't stop. If you are being harassed by a group of dogs and you stop, you have to get back on your bike and ride away again. This makes the whole encounter last much longer. If you keep going, it is over much quicker.

Dogs are territorial. It is worse stopping in their territory, than being chased as you go down the road.

Last edited by alo; 04-28-21 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:30 AM
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I have used a Marine Air Horn for 60,000 Safe Miles from Dogs.
Wait till They Close, Then Blast The Horn.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
The faster you go, the more dogs will chase you, and some dogs can run fast.
Right, and the more you set yourself up for having a devastating crash. In almost all the stories I've seen where cyclists are injured badly in a dog encounter it was due to a crash.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I have used a Marine Air Horn for 60,000 Safe Miles from Dogs.
Wait till They Close, Then Blast The Horn.
I have used my AirZound Airhorn (you pump it up with a bike pump) with pretty good success.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
I too believe the soothing tone matters greatly when working with, dealing with, animals, particularly dogs.
Having toured a lot of places in this country and thus been in plenty of situations where outrunning dogs has not been possible, I totally disagree. You are not dealing with a dog in a controlled situation like a training session. I can turn my voice up to 11 if I want to. It has almost never failed while touring and on road rides. The best is when they turn tail and run after I have shown them who is "top dog."

In all my years I have never been bitten or taken down by a dog. Closest I came was while riding into Tonasket, WA. A Dobermann apparently got through a hole in a fence was chasing me on U.S. 97/WA-20, which was slightly down hill in that area, so I could maintain a relatively decent pace on a 90 lb. bike. Nothing was going to make it stop so, after sizing up the situation quickly, I put what I termed the "move of death" on it. I veered across the highway onto the opposing shoulder. It had the choice of following me and likely getting hit by traffic or giving up. I am an animal lover, so I am glad it chose the smart move.

A squirt of water to the face has been be equally effective on many occasions. Love that "Well. I wasn't expecting that." look you sometimes get.

It really all depends on the situation. If I encounter a dog that my 20 lb. cat could rip to shreds that is running along the edge of someone's lawn making a racket, I will likely ignore it. When a larger animal seems to be approaching me, I will take a different approach. One size does not fit all.

Last edited by indyfabz; 04-28-21 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 04-28-21, 08:07 AM
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As most any dog trainer will tell you, you don't train the dog, you train the owner.

That's hard to do while being chased by the dog. <grin>
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Old 04-28-21, 08:18 AM
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[QUOTE][Pepper spray is harmless and wears off after a while, but it does work to repel them. Again, stop your bike first and get off in order to deal with the threat./QUOTE]

When I lived in Florida I kept a riding crop attached with Velcro to my top tube. Dogs in the street need training.
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Old 04-28-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I have used a Marine Air Horn for 60,000 Safe Miles from Dogs.
Wait till They Close, Then Blast The Horn.
that seems like a good, harmless deterrent. Maybe a little bulky
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Old 04-28-21, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
that seems like a good, harmless deterrent. Maybe a little bulky
Not Bulky at all. Needs to be handy for Quick Blasts.

Trike
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Old 04-28-21, 08:51 AM
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I've not had much trouble with dogs. The most recent was about a year and a half ago. We were visiting Tennessee and I was riding in the hills near the Mississippi River. Climbing one of those hills a couple of nice looking probably Blue Tick Hounds decided to head over my way. I did what I have always done with aggressive dogs, which is to stop and act like Cat on Red Dwarf: "make myself BIG!" Not aggressive, but obviously not prey. For this pair it worked. They stopped running and headed back from whence they came. I find that it also works on aggressive humans.
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Old 04-28-21, 09:10 AM
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Thank you all. Many different approaches have been shared that work for the authors, so here is mine. I ignore the dogs and they go away. I have never been bitten or truly threatened. About the closest a dog has ever gotten is 2 feet. That seems threatening, I know, but not really in my "personal space" while out on the road. But some folks I ride with shout and scream at dogs and the dogs' behavior gets worse, louder, closer, more volatile and lasts longer.

In lieu of any published research we Bike Forum members will have to accept the anecdotal evident shared by other members and continue to make our own decisions on how to best handle dog interactions while riding. Enjoy!
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Old 04-28-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
Have expert dog trainers even commented on the best way to interact with dogs while riding a bike? I'm seeking "expert" opinions...
This is the internet, who the hell isn't an expert?
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Old 04-28-21, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Pepper spray is harmless and wears off after a while, but it does work to repel them. Again, stop your bike first and get off in order to deal with the threat.
The nice thing about pepper spray is that dogs can carry it back to the owners where it will still be effective.
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