Dealing with dogs whilst cycling

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )

Postby julesb » 27 Oct 2008, 5:59pm


I have never had a problem with dogs either, but then I am a dog owner and have little fear of them. Maybe I just haven't met the wrong dog!
As a responsible owner it does annoy me when a dog is not trained correctly or restrained when necessary (usually the smaller variety).

Here is an idea- get a bigger dog (Great Dane perhaps; orig trained to run along side coaches, or was that Dalmatians?) and train it to run with you when biking. This might make other dogs behave, or at least go for your dog and not you!

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Postby mountainman531 » 28 Oct 2008, 11:40am

There's no point reporting it to the RSPCA, there's no cruelty to the animal.
Dog warden if there's no injury, police if there is.

I used to go past a farm where the dog ran along inside the fence but then got out and chased. Eventually I discovered that if I slowed down and growled back at it it stopped and shied away. Pschology, dogthinks what a great game, bark and chase and make strangers go away, doesn't know what to do when you retaliate. This sort of behaviour can be trained out of a dog at an early age but irresponsible owners want the mutt but not any hassle! Rather like some parents........

peanut wrote:they can be a real menace can't they.
The short answer is if a dog isn't under control then the owner is contravening the law and you would be entitled to call the local authority dog catcher and have it taken to the dog pound .
That doesn't help with the immediate problem though does it.

I love animals and wouldn't see them come to harm but when self preservation is urgent and the dog isn't under proper control then I think it is necessary to do whatever is necessary to preserve life and limb.

Personally I would try and outrun them but if that was not possible I would wack them on the muzzle with my pump. If there was a persistent offender I'd contact the owner and tell them that if they don't control their dog then you will report them to the RSPCA etc

I would have no compunction over using a pepper spray if I thought my life was threatened.
If you can't get away or have no deterrant with you you should get off your bike and use it to keep the dog at bay. Gradually back up to a wall or hedge to protect your rear and hope that help comes

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Postby Phil_Lee » 28 Oct 2008, 5:21pm

Many years ago I was attacked by a pair of dogs that regarded the lane past their garden as part of their territory.
I'm not sure if my being on a cycle had anything to do with it.
They were large dogs (not sure of the breed, but smooth-haired, grey, and about the size of a Dalmatian).
The lane was badly surfaced, so outrunning was not an option.
Thankfully, I was wearing an old leather motorcycle jacket which protected me, so I won the battle with only bruising, but it was an extremely unpleasant experience.
Without the jacket, my arm (at least) would have been badly savaged, but using my protected arm to block the leap of the leading dog enabled me to get a solid kick in.
The second one backed off when the first yelped loudly and limped away.
I love dogs, and I really hope it wasn't too badly injured, but it really was them or me, and if I'd gone down I would have been in real trouble.
The owner got some kind of control order from the police after I reported it (and showed them what the dogs had done to my jacket). A kid wouldn't have stood a chance.
I think this kind of incident is rarer since the dangerous dogs act.