General Discussion Triathlon Talk » bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do? Rss Feed  
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2015-12-16 9:12 AM


65
2525
, Tennessee
Subject: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
I was on my long ride over the weekend, coming down a hill and a couple of dogs came out and chased me. The owner was out there too, screaming at the dogs to come back but one dog caught up to me and got my leg. I nearly swerved into an oncoming car trying to get away from them. I kept going and they backed off. I was honestly afraid to stop since the dog that got me was still snarling and looked ready to bite again. Thankfully nothing serious happened and I was left with only a bruise, no bleeding.

What do I do now and how do I prevent this in the future? I am certainly NOT riding by that house again. But what do I do when I come up on some dogs that refuse to back off on future rides? I am not terribly confident on the bike yet. I barely had time to react this last time; I am not sure I could have unclipped and kicked the dog without crashing.


2015-12-16 9:47 AM
in reply to: turnip13

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Master
2414
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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Are you comfortable enough with your handling that you'd have been able to grab your water bottle and give Fido a spray to the face? That would probably do the trick. I used to work in the dog daycare industry, and we always kept water spray bottles around, just in case something went wrong and we needed to break up an incident. Work pretty well.
Glad you didn't get any broken skin, but that still must have been scary! Happy to hear you're okay.
2015-12-16 9:50 AM
in reply to: turnip13

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Member
1748
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Exton, PA
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
That is a problem we deal with when riding.
I ride country back roads all the time, have dogs barking on every ride. sometimes they will chase, but rarely.

Some things to know:
You will not be able to out ride most dogs unless you are going downhill. Many dogs can sprint to 30 mph and accelerate to that speed very quickly.
dogs are usually barking/chasing for 1 of 2 reasons, 1) protecting their territory 2) the motion of your feet causes their natural pray instinct to kick in.
Some people will say to spay them with you water bottle- if you happen to hit them it might work, your aim has to be good, and some dogs won't care.
some will say to carry pepper spray or bear spray, I see this as were will you keep it and can you pull it out and hit the dog without crashing.

What I do is diffuse this situation: usually its obvious where the property line is, try to get past that. assuming they are still chase- stop. get off the bike and put the bike between you and the dog. I have done this a couple times, every time the dog has stopped his attack. you may have to walk a little before getting back on to give the dog a minute to relax a bit.

2015-12-16 11:54 AM
in reply to: turnip13

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Member
75
252525
South Texas
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Bear Repellent. Works first time and every time. Keeps on working. Fits in a water bottle holder.



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2015-12-16 12:03 PM
in reply to: turnip13


98
252525
, Idaho
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Carry pepper spray for sure. If you can't outride them, stop and face them. Sometimes dogs will stop when you put your hand up and aggressively yell "stop," but if not, that's what the spray is for. I ride in the country a lot...facing dogs is just part of it. Sometimes it's hard to read how one is going to act.
2015-12-16 12:04 PM
in reply to: jwrichey

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Elite
3515
20001000500
Romeoville, Il
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
It's a loooong story, but we have 2 dog trainers on staff of my tri club. One of them being my wife.

While riding, the bad part is you're moving away from the dog. So, in there mind, you doing one of two things
1. Playing with them
2. submitting them as dominant and trying to get away

Unfortunately, both of those things encourage the dog to keep coming after you. Personally, we follow these rules
1. Keep going as long as you are going faster and they can't get to you
2. If they start getting close start yelling at them in a dominant voice, but still keep going.
3. If they get you, continue to scream and act crazy and dominant and try your best to get the upper hand by any means necessary.

All situations, and all dogs are somewhat different. It's really hard to tell if they are playing or they are legit a mean animal out for blood. Don't take a chance!


2015-12-16 12:10 PM
in reply to: turnip13

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754
5001001002525
Across the river from Memphis, Tennessee
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
I've used a squirt from the water bottle to good effect more than once.
2015-12-16 12:50 PM
in reply to: turnip13

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Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?

I would start by seeing if I could identify the owner, and talk to them about not having their dogs roaming the streets if they can't be controlled.

I personally wouldn't use pepper spray.  Probably a 50/50 chance that in the moment...I end up spraying myself, losing control and crashing.  I've tried the water bottle trick and that has worked on at least a couple of dogs.

2015-12-16 1:08 PM
in reply to: turnip13

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?

Good suggestions on water bottle squirting and putting your bike in between you and the dog if you're being out-run. I've done both successfully. I personally wouldn't be comfortable with mace, especially knowing I'd have to be super quick-thinking with something fairly foreign, and avoid spraying myself like Jason said. For many of us, reaching down to grab a water bottle is second nature on the bike so I'd suggest that was your first line of defense. 

It sounds like the owner was aware and was trying to wrangle the dogs, so that's good. But in other places - like farms and ranches where I ride - farm dogs are on a mission to protect their property and the owners all but encourage it. So there's not much you can do in that case, unfortunately, except re-route yourself. 

I've had tiny chihuahuas match my 20+ mph sprints before, it definitely gets the heart rate up real fast!

2015-12-16 2:16 PM
in reply to: lisac957

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Pro
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Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?

Also......once you are off your bike, you can do some SERIOUS damage to dogs, cars, etc. with a bike shoe in your hand.  That information just flew into my head....I have no firsthand knowledge of it.

2015-12-16 2:20 PM
in reply to: turnip13

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Expert
1215
1000100100
Austin, TX
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
I bark back. It is a quick, loud bark that simulates an alpha dog. It sounds like "BAH!"

The majority of the time the dog stops right away.

Past that, I am a dog guy and tend to play with them so long as there is not the risk of them getting run over by traffic, so I don't have any other useful advice to offer.


2015-12-16 3:33 PM
in reply to: turnip13

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Extreme Veteran
959
5001001001001002525
Greenwood, South Carolina
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?

I ride back country roads and ran into this issue a few times.

Stay calm and don't panic. Hitting a car head on will end up worse than dog bite. Some dogs will back off and some are in full speed mold to catch you. You can usually tell one from the other. Don't try to out ride the dog in full speed. Come up with defensive plan and go into action. I have found that using a commanding voice will have the dog back off. You usually end up in a staring contest as the dog is sizing you up. Start walking bike away but keeping eye contact on dog.

I have dog repellent on the bike which I only used on one situation.

Contact owner first. Contact police if you are not satisfied by response of owner.

I also avoid roads where are know there are aggressive dogs. No reason to put myself in harms way. Pay attention to surroundings. This year I was biking the race course a few days before the race and was surprised by a dog out of no where. I should have been watching out better since this was a new area. I contacted race director and they contacted owner. The dog was kept up on race day.

Glad you are okay.





2015-12-16 3:53 PM
in reply to: GODAWGS

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Coach
9166
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Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
i have often slowed down and faced the dogs if they are small, in a different case when the trail was narrow and there were no options, I had to hop off my bike and use it as a shield between the dog and I while the owner tried to get control (and yelled at me!)
2015-12-16 3:54 PM
in reply to: #5156804


4

Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Does anyone make a pistol holster that attaches to a bike? I've been thinking about fabricating one, but haven't followed up on it yet. I'd have no problem putting a .45 between an attacking dogs eyes...
2015-12-16 5:46 PM
in reply to: andrewschock

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538
50025
Brooklyn, New York
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Do these approaches work the same on hipster skateboarders here in Brooklyn?
2015-12-16 5:55 PM
in reply to: andrewschock

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Master
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Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?

Originally posted by andrewschock Does anyone make a pistol holster that attaches to a bike? I've been thinking about fabricating one, but haven't followed up on it yet. I'd have no problem putting a .45 between an attacking dogs eyes...

OK you probably are a great shot at the range but I doubt it while riding and aiming at another moving target behind you.  If you mean scaring them off with the noise, maybe.  But I think you'd have higher odds of success just tossing a food item.



2015-12-16 9:17 PM
in reply to: spudone

Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Farm dogs around here, people carry WASP spray, better distance and easy to aim.
2015-12-17 7:51 AM
in reply to: TJHammer


65
2525
, Tennessee
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
This is all great advice, thank you! It helps at least having an idea of what to do when I end up in that situation again. I think I would be one of those klutzes who would spray herself in the face with something, but getting off the bike and facing them an squirting with water bottles are things I may try in the future. My husband suggested getting me a spare compact air pump and mount that I can whack them with and blow up a low tire with too. (right now I only carry CO2 cannsters for flats)

Originally posted by TJHammer

Do these approaches work the same on hipster skateboarders here in Brooklyn?


I would pay money to see this!
2015-12-17 9:42 AM
in reply to: TJHammer

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1502
1000500
Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Originally posted by TJHammer

Do these approaches work the same on hipster skateboarders here in Brooklyn?


For that you cary a can of PBR. Just throw it and they will chase after it every time.
2015-12-17 10:05 AM
in reply to: andrewschock

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Elite
3515
20001000500
Romeoville, Il
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Originally posted by andrewschock

Does anyone make a pistol holster that attaches to a bike? I've been thinking about fabricating one, but haven't followed up on it yet. I'd have no problem putting a .45 between an attacking dogs eyes...


I haven't seen one, although a .380 usually fits nicely into a bento box. However, I wouldn't shoot a dog. 9 times out of 10 the owner is more to blame than the dog is. There are other sensible things you can do before you need to shoot a dog
2015-12-17 2:55 PM
in reply to: turnip13

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Pro
5890
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, New Hampshire
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
Water bottle for the dog and Pepper Spray for the owner. Some people are just not fit to have animals.

On a serious note, call animal control. It's not about to get the dog removed from the owner, but you do want the incident on record. Animal Control will remove the dog and ban the owner from animal ownership if this happens repeatedly.

In the heat of the moment, try to get away if you can (I know, easier said than done) and if see you can't, spray water in the dogs face. Another thing you can do is to toss the bottle at the dog, won't hurt it, but will distract it long enough that you can get away.


2015-12-17 3:27 PM
in reply to: andrewschock

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Master
3127
2000100010025
Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?

Water bottle usually works, but I've had it not work, too.  As noted by others, a call later to animal control may be warranted, esp. if you were bitten.

2015-12-17 7:21 PM
in reply to: #5156893


71
2525
, Ontario
Subject: RE: bit by a dog on a ride...what do I do?
The advice I got when I first started to bike with clipped in pedals was to avoid routes with dogs or the times they'd be out. A more experienced rider told me the routes she had developed by her trial and error where the dogs lived and didn't. As a beginner it was great just to avoid the problem by avoiding routes where dogs lived
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