• This topic has 81 replies, 42 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by mjsmke.
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  • Dog encounters, do you have a plan ?
  • bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I didn’t. Everything’s fine, don’t panic. Minor excitement.

    Was out on a cycle path a few weeks ago after dark, been that way dozens of times no issues. See the occasional person jogging or walking their dog, occasionally off-lead but close by. Bad timing that day approaching a corner saw a dog come into view, I continued assuming the owner was just behind. Then realised as I got closer the dog was alone, then it got pretty agressive (medium dog i.e. could hurt you but didn’t fear for my life) and opted to approach me rather than run off to the side into the unfenced park. I wasn’t going very fast as I was coming up to a hill crest, so I decided in the heat of the moment the best bet would be to power on about 20m and outrun it down the hill. There was only about 30m of hill down behind me before it got flat, but ahead there was about a kilometre down. Anyway it comes at me at speed but last minute runs off to the side and approaches me again, again pulls back last minute (scared by helmet light maybe), by now I’m past and just accelerating into the downhill. Glanced back after a few seconds and dog nowhere to be seen.

    In hindsight I think I probably scared it by continuing to approach and unthinkingly pointing about 4000 lumens of bar and helmet light at it. But I didn’t really have an escape plan if I’d turned back and it had become aggressive; it’d have caught me at the bottom of the hill and the anti-motorbike gate. Hindsight is great.

    What struck me though was the feeling of defenselessness – I didn’t have anything so flight was the only option I had. Just the bike, multi tool, and mini pump on a short ride.

    As far as I understand it’s illegal to carry something for self defence, regardless of whether that item’s designed for purpose is a weapon. And anyway I’m not sure I have it in me to club a dog using a big D cell Maglite or whatever. I’d always prefer to try and escape if possible, as I did. I see there are some anti-dog sprays like Bite Back K9, anyone have one or used it? It says it’s non-toxic which I guess is a good thing as a first-use deterrent device. You might be a bit hesitant to spray someone’s dog with something that’s going to need a vet trip, unless it’s actually bitten you already.

    As I said, minor excitement really. Been a bit more cautious since and stopped until I see owners have got hold of their dogs. I’ll also add I like dogs a lot generally and am not nervous about animals, perhaps explaining how I got myself into that spat in the first place.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    My plan is usually to stop and talk to the dog.

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    Carry some dog treats. Stop the bike, rustle around for the food while saying things like ‘Good Dog’ & ‘sit!’ Don’t ride off just walk away pushing the bike. Will work 99% of the time. If the dog is a psycho then you’ll be in trouble anyway. With most dogs the key is to appear calm & friendly.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    My plan is usually to stop and talk to the dog.

    That reminds me of a nice few minutes once spent helping a man get his puppy used to bikes.

    Came up to me while I was stopped for a snack, asked if I could ride past a few times. Of course I duly oblige and subject the dog to a few silent passes and a few of freewheeling Pro4. Faster, if I could please, he asked a few times. Then had a chat and good pat to the dog. Bikes nothing to be scared of, it learnt that day.

    nickjb
    Free Member

    Can’t imagine even thinking about carrying some kind of weapon on the trail in case I meet a dog. As above, plan is to say hello.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Yep as above slow down and say hello.

    If your not comfortable around dogs maybe get off and put your bike between you and the dog and then still say hello

    Dont get aggressive with them, or go even quicker they will just want to play more.

    edit: just read OP’s post in more detail. Op obviously can’t have ever owned or been around dogs, which is absolutely fine you shouldn’t have to be, but I would want to think that on an incredibly rare occasion my dog went out of site and decided to play a game with a cyclist that she might get clubbed to death, then things are not good

    Op sounds like the dog liked you and was just playing a game. I can see that as a non dog person to stop and say hello would be difficult but it would be the best thing to do

    fossy
    Full Member

    My plan is to stop, skid the bike to a full stop, dog doesn’t know what the fark to do, then shout at owner to get dog under control.

    Got serious abuse for that from the dog owner. Reported it.   Months later, got stopped by said abusive elderly lady – it wasn’t her dog, but she saw me regular, she was shaking. I accepted appology.

    Got bit on my wrist by an uncontroled GSD last year, dog owner (another old lady) said kick it.

    I won’t even go into the Bully that attacked a spaniel, I was about to launch a heavy MTB onto the dog when said knuckle dragger got it off – I was about to shif the chain off the rings and impail the barsteward.

    PS I’ve had a shit year of dog attacks in 2023 – I won’t add the other which is graphic in a friends house, that I got physical with the dog as it killed another friends cat in the house.

    I love dogs, **** hate shit owners.

    Dog warden has told me to carry dog spray – aka, slightly less effective pepper spray.

    fossy
    Full Member

    PS, my laptop keyboard is rubbish for typing.

    I’ve had enough of bad dog owners. If I see a bully, I’ll get the tree saw out my paniers for it’s owner…

    I do see, and say hello, to loads of regular good dog owners every day on my commute.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Can’t imagine even thinking about carrying some kind of weapon on the trail in case I meet a dog. As above, plan is to say hello.

    Neither had I, until after that moment when I realised that I was lucky I pulled off a Flight response. And the horror stories in the news recently.

    I haven’t felt unsafe going the same way since, but I now realise that it could happen to me and if I can’t escape then I’m at its mercy really.

    If the dog is a psycho then you’ll be in trouble anyway

    This scenario basically. When your avoidance has failed, your deescalation has failed, and you can’t get away.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    Glad the sensible people are in, in the main

    Yeah, pegging it full pelt away is often what you might want to do, but it’s actually not the best thing to do as you tend to encourage the dog to chase.

    Best thing is to stop and talk to the dog. Avoid leaning in, just say hello.

    Rights and wrongs of dogs ‘out of control’ or whatever aside, the way not to get chased and bitten is usually to stop, not run.

    el_boufador
    Full Member

    If I meet an aggressive dog when out cycling, bike between me and it. Occasionally I have scored a kick to the chops.

    When I’ve met them when out walking/ running I usually do the opposite of being nice and make myself big, scary and shout at them. 100% of the time so far, they’ve turned tail and run off. I then will give the owner a piece of my mind (very unpoliteley)

    Sorry (not sorry) if that offends any owners of out of control dogs. It’s your problem to deal with, not mine.

    Edit to add: the vast majority of dogs and owners are absolutely fine, even the ones that are bonkers just running around playing /bing daft. Above I am talking about full on aggression, running towards me growling and barking type occasions

    16123757

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    edit: just read OP’s post in more detail. Op obviously can’t have ever owned or been around dogs, which is absolutely fine you shouldn’t have to be, but I would want to think that on an incredibly rare occasion my dog went out of site and decided to play a game with a cyclist that she might get clubbed to death, then things are not good

    Op sounds like the dog liked you and was just playing a game. I can see that as a non dog person to stop and say hello would be difficult but it would be the best thing to do

    Had a family dog as a kid.

    I wasn’t advocating that I would want to club a dog if the law allowed me to carry something to do it with. That was an example of a non-weapon weapon.

    No, it didn’t like me. I was there and saw it’s demeanour.

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    All 4 of my kids are terrified of strange  dogs after an uncontrolled lab bounded up to one of them on a pump track. She’ll jump into a busy road to get away from dogs not on a lead.

    Owner couldn’t see the problem and got reported.  Makes me **** angry we can’t go back to that pump track without hysterics.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    My main plan is to avoid an encounter wherever possible. Had some big mastiff thing being exercised in a field next to a BW decide it wanted to give chase and jump over a dry stone wall to do it the other day. Didn’t seem to be in attack mode, but the owner was a few hundred yards away, there was another one in the field, and I REALLY didn’t want to stop and say hello.

    Some people are just not dog people, I really don’t mind dogs as soon as I know they’re under control, but there are so many bad owners out there who think that other people should be accommodating their badly trained, poorly controlled animals.

    Bruce
    Full Member

    When I have encountered dogs that were actually trying to attack me I have put the bike between me and the dog and used the bike to keep the dog at arms length. Hopefully the owner will get the dog under control.

    tjmoore
    Full Member

    My plan is usually to stop and talk to the dog

    Usually my approach, though the odd few aggressive types are already committed. Many are just playing chase though. If you continue riding it will see it as a challenge. If the owner is about they’ll give up but may continue to chase if not. Also you could be leading it away from the owner wherever they are.

    Taking to the dog is more useful for grumpy dog walkers who look like they’re going to have a go at you out of bike hate. Talk to their dog and it often disarms them.

    StuE
    Free Member

    I think we all know where this thread is going to go, I love dogs, their owners not some much, with the increase in dog ownership it is becoming increasingly common to have to deal with out of control aggressive dogs. There are few on here who might want to have a read of the definition of a dangerously out of control dog

    https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public

    nickc
    Full Member

    Yeah, pegging it full pelt away is often what you might want to do, but it’s actually not the best thing to do as you tend to encourage the dog to chase.

    weeeelll….It’s become sort of my default way of annoying shit owners frankly. Like most folks, I’m also heartily sick to death in the upsurge of Covid dogs who’re owned by folks who often bought them ‘cos they were bored, and didn’t think beyond a few minutes, and now have a half (at best) trained badly-socialised dog that’s a royal PITA for everyone else…Anyway, when one of the stupid things chases me on the bike, I let it, and the more I hear their stupid owners shouting “bubbles” or “Bimbi” ineffectually at the top of their voices, the harder and faster it encourages me to pedal. My record so far is about 1/2 mile up the TPT…

    nickc
    Full Member

    Don’t tell anyone I do that, BTW,  I know It’s sort of childish

    oldfart
    Full Member

    My strategy with an aggressive dog in 26 years as a postie always stood me in good stead . I’d get off the bike leaving the bike between me and the dog then shout at it to back off . If that didn’t work I’d run at the dog with the bike shouting like a loon that would always freak the dog out and they’d be confused and run off ! 😁

    Not sure how they handle it now they don’t have bikes for weapons 🤔

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I stop and say hello and let them come and sniff me if they want to.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I remember reading somewhere about dealing with aggressive dogs that they are compelled to bite something, so for example holding a pump out to them they will try to grab on to it. At which point the article said you can try for a swift kick to the throat.

    And I also remember seeing something the other day about waving a jacket at them so they grab that. And I suppose try for a kick.

    .

    I think RM’s pic suggests he would be able to reach down and snap its neck in one fluid movement.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    I stop and say hello and let them come and sniff me if they want to.

    Yeah but what about the dog?

    I think RM’s pic suggests he would be able to reach down and snap its neck in one fluid movement.

    Nah, just waiting for it to get spicy.

    I use the Croc Dundee method with aggressive dogs.

    images

    It’s why I only have three fingers on my right hand.

    longdog
    Free Member

    There’s a dog (spaniel of some form) on the farm I live on that’s a real PITA when I’m on the bike. If the workers are in the workshop and it’s with them it will invariably come at me gnashing and barking until one of them shout it back. If the farmers wife is walking it on the lead and I pass it’s like some obsessed snarking gargling choking Tasmanian Devil trying ing to get at me.

    The other week I was walking passed the workshop and it came out so I saw it as my chance to make peace with it. Hi doggo, how’re you doing blah blah blah… Came up to me, I gave it a bit of a stroke talking nicely to it and tall of a sudden the little **** went for my leg, luckily it only grabbed my trouser, and luckily for it ot jist avoided my size 13 hiking boot!

    Getting off in the far side of the bike and shouting at it to go until an owner gets it is usually the best solution, but I have happily sped off before wondering how far the dog will follow me for.

    I’m a dog lover, had rescue greyhounds over the years, but I **** hate irresponsible stupid dog owners, especially after been bitten twice on my bike within a month a few years ago. It really does seem to be worse with the increase in un/badly trained ‘covid dogs’ and clueless owners. I’m amazed how many don’t even have leads!

    Kramer
    Free Member

    Yeah but what about the dog?

    🤣 I knew that was coming.

    It really does seem to be worse with the increase in un/badly trained ‘covid dogs’ and clueless owners. I’m amazed how many don’t even have leads!

    It certainly feels that way. I don’t go many places on the bike other than the trails, the worst interaction I’ve had off the bike is muddy paws up the jeans which is a **** pita.

    Sadly most of the aggression I’ve dealt with has been towards the hound when out walking with her.

    Drac
    Full Member

    Yes, often involves greeting them, giving them a pat and asking the owner how old their dog is.

    zippykona
    Full Member

    I like dogs and I think they know that.
    I have had 1 incident in my entire life.
    Going through life expecting trouble generally leads to it.

    rone
    Full Member

    As with  Bears, Mountain Lions don’t run/ride off.  (We have it easy in this country.)

    90% of times just stop and chat, and show no fear.

    Dog will mostly just fade with a stern “no”.

    mjsmke
    Full Member

    I slow down and say hi to the owner (if they’re there). Most dogs here are fine but ocasionally pass an aggressive sounding dog. If the dog starts chasing, I’m off as fast as I can. Not taking any chances. Was bitten when I was 14 and ever since I just ride off to prevent it happening again. It moght not be the best thing for the dog but it can’t bite me if it cant keep up or gets run over chasing me down the road.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    One very important tip I’d add, if the dog doesn’t know you, then don’t try and pat and stroke it.

    Instead, if it’s friendly, hold out your hand palm forward and below its head height for the dog to sniff. This is how dogs say hello to strangers, and it makes them comfortable and less stressed.

    northernsoul
    Full Member

    In most cases the dog just wants a play so I just stop and say hello. Yesterday I came across a delightful collie that stopped and sat by the side of the path as I went past and then carried on again when I’d passed, not a word from its owner other than a word of praise afterwards.

    When a dog is snapping at your heels though it’s a different matter – if it’s a small dog that’s unlikely to chase I’ll usually ride off as quickly as I can. Bigger dogs, bike between the dog and me until the owner appears. We’re dog owners too and very conscious that on the one hand we have a duty of care to the dog and don’t want her to get hurt (e.g. under a bike wheel), and on the other that many people either don’t like dogs, or have never had one so cannot be expected to know what to do if a dog comes bounding up to them barking.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    Bikes ridden at even moderate speed are also behaving in a way that most dogs will interpret as aggressive if they’re coming toward them. They’re big, and heading in a straight line directly at them, without stopping.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    I usually say “hello dog” to the well behaved ones, shout “go away dog!” to the annoying chasing ones as I ride away (and sometimes stop to shout so they stop pursuing when they realise I’m not something for chasing.

    Or when I was cycling home from work some months back and saw a dog that may have been a XL Bully or if not it was something like it, that had two young women trying to stop it pulling them along (to little avail) – it was either both of them hanging onto one lead or a lead each… Anyway, I thought that if it came at me I’d just leap off on the other side of the bike and use that as a shield and if that didn’t work I was thinking well, it’ll be a fight to one of our deaths, probably mine, but at least I don’t have my children with me to try and protect as well.

    I absolutely hate that people can own dogs as pets that are so potentially dangerous.

    edthecarpenter
    Full Member

    Hello,

    We have rescued dogs for 20 years plus. Some aggressive towards people and other dogs, some brilliant with everything life throws at them.
    A dog will show its intent via its body language, for example a dog if a dog is going into hunt/ attack mode the dog will generally be in a crouched stalking position with ears flat back, tail flat (if it has one) hackles raised and make a rumbling growling noise. When a dog is in this state it can be very hard to stop this. You need to break the dogs thought process that’s hard wired into their dna. If you’re on a bike and you can’t out sprint the dog get off your bike and put the bike between yourself and the dog. With luck the dog will stop or crash into the bike braking its train of thought. No need to hit the dog with the bike. Hopefully this will give the owner time to get som kind of recall going.
    if on foot in an area that has dogs likely to chase or harass you you can try shaking on of those chepo blue plastic bags at them. The noise and colour may be enough to distract them. Giving the owner time to get the dog under control
    A playful dog will generally bound up to you, tail and ears raised and yelping.
    All of the above is easy to say but when you’re confronting a difficult dog, it’s scary. If you can avoid direct contact with the dog it’s safest as that’s what the dog wants at that time. It may take direct contact as a fight response or play.
    100% agree that there are so many dog owners out there that don’t appreciate what they have.
    If you unsure about having good recall with your dog, put on a lead.
    owning a dog is one of life’s great privileges but can be a major PITA to others.
    Sorry about spelling and grammar 🤓

    hope this helps.

    tjmoore
    Full Member

    As with Bears, Mountain Lions don’t run/ride off. (We have it easy in this country.)

    90% of times just stop and chat, and show no fear.

    If it was a bear, I’d ask if it really does shit in the woods

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I absolutely hate that people can own dogs as pets that are so potentially dangerous.

    A large part of the problem is that the people who are attracted to owning dogs like that, don’t necessarily make the best owners.

    They tend to be overconfident and have quite a fixed mindset, which is not what it needed.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    If it was a bear, I’d ask if it really does shit in the woods

    You’re thinking of the Pope.

    ocasionally pass an aggressive sounding dog. If the dog starts chasing, I’m off as fast as I can. Not taking any chances

    Except the chance that you might slip a pedal, crash, and then get savagely attacked by a hyped up dog in full on chase mode, but each to their own. 👍

    Pedaling off hell for leather is fine if that’s what you feel you have to do, but unfortunately, as wrong as it is to be in that situation of course, you’re probably exacerbating the chances of being attacked.
    That’s just how it is unfortunately.

    I’ve been chased by plenty of dogs cycling or on a motorcycle. I always stop. Never been bitten…. until tomorrow now I’ve said that no doubt. 😬

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