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Old May 25, 2014, 11:59 PM   #1
bbqbob51
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Riding my bicycle, dog charges me, I'm armed...

This past week I was out for a bike ride and 1/4 mile from my house a big black dog charged me from the left side. The people that own this mutt also have another big dog and they are always tied out in their front yard. When anyone walks or rides a bike by the property they bark, growl and struggle to free themselves. They are restrained not with chains but with rope which doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I should add that this is a rural setting and the house is located across from the elementary school.
When this incident occurred I was riding home and the dog jumped out of the bushes trailing the rope, snarling and snapping within a few inches of my left foot. I yelled, 'GO HOME!" which made him back off but he came after me again and when I repeated the order, he finally stopped chasing me. I was a bit shaken by this and I think it was fortunate I was going about 18-20 MPH at the time because if I was going slower or walking I might have been in a very unpleasant situation.
Has something like this ever happened to anyone here and how did you handle it? I have my CCL and was carrying a Ruger LCR in my pocket while I have no desire to shoot any one's dog, I would if the attack had gotten serious. A lot of things go through my mind like the close proximity to a schoolyard and ball field as well as the idea that it's not entirely his fault that he has idiots for owners. He and I would never have been in this situation if he was properly leashed. I can't figure out why people have pets and leave them tied out all day
I did call the animal control officer and reported the incident and since then the dogs have not been tied out but I can hear them barking from inside an out building. Thankfully it did not get out of hand but I wonder what would be the best way to deal with it if the dog had not backed off. Should I keep riding? Dismount and put my bike between me and the the dog if possible while pulling out my handgun? I don't think it would be a good idea for me to fire at him while still riding because just seems too reckless to me. What do you think?
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:19 AM   #2
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Is the possibility of carrying a small can of pepper spray available? That works wonders on aggressive pooches when you don't want to shoot - the exposed mucus membranes are inflamed on contact. I had to use some a few months ago on an aggressive pooch in my own driveway.
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Old May 26, 2014, 01:45 AM   #3
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbob51
What do you think?
Very few dogs will outright attack a full-grown person who isn't running away and acting scared. Even aggressive dogs that are kept tied up all day.

I think the main issue is that you were on your bike. Many dogs don't see a person on a bike as a person, they see it as a different creature altogether. I'd be willing to bet that if you'd gotten off your bike as soon as the dog saw you and stood there assertively, he wouldn't have touched you.

Dogs are pack animals who respond well to calm, assertive authority. It's amazing how much control you can have over an aggressive dog if you're not threatening but you also act in an authoritative manner.

That said, if you're ever in a situation where you need to defend yourself against a dog, a handgun is a very poor weapon to use. Dogs are fast and they're also small targets, so the chance of multiple misses with collateral damage is high. Instead, I agree with armoredman that pepper spray is your best bet.
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Old May 26, 2014, 04:58 AM   #4
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You called the wrong department

This/these dogs are tied in an area where they can attack school children. You should have called the PD instead of animal control. The PD would have enforced the leash law and if the animal went after the officer it would have been shot.

I have a neighbor that was letting their dog run. Everytime I would turn the corner on my Triumph this POS would run out into the street. When a child would ride by on a bicycle the dog would go after them. I asked my neighbor about his non complying with the leash law and he tried to pick a fight.....he was lucky . . . . . I called the PD the dog is now on a chain and if it gets loose and goes after someone the PD will shoot it.

Last edited by Spats McGee; May 26, 2014 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Removing bravado
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Old May 26, 2014, 06:54 AM   #5
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I had a dog that was a escape artist and got out one day . She bit a University professor that was riding his bike on Country roads in this very rural area . The guy had the police on the way before I could get to them . The Cop took his report and looked at me and said You know there is a unenforced leash law in the County . Then looked at the bike rider and said . Have you ever ridden out here before? The guy said no . The Cop said well I live out here and looked up the road and said you better get some pepper spray . I apoligized and we all went our seprate ways then I reenforced my dog pen .
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Old May 26, 2014, 08:45 AM   #6
g.willikers
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psalm7,
You were lucky, or more to the point, your dog was lucky.
Most places, if your dog chased someone and actually bit them, it would have been put down.

Maybe I've been lucky, but I've been chased on my bike by snarling, chomping dogs, too, without harm.
I've just stopped riding, and told the beast, in a friendly, but loud voice to stop that.
And, so far, they always have.
Kind of like we're just playing, but I don't wanna' any more.
Their attitude changes and they either make friends or lose interest and trot off back from where they came.

Some dogs just like to chase things.
As soon as whoever they're chasing, bike, car, whatever, stops, so do they.
It's also worked when a large Doberman came charging out of the bushes when I've been on foot.
Wound up having a tug of war with my tee-shirt.
Same result lots of other times, too.
I kind of like dogs, and would be very reluctant to hurt one that lives around people every day.
Doubt if many of them actually deserve that.
Haven't met one that did, yet.
So, go easy on them, unless it's a wild one; they're easy enough to identify.
It's probably someone's beloved pet.

They do sense when someone is an actual enemy, easy prey, or a playmate.
That's not to say that I don't still carry spray and a knife when walking, but so far have never needed them.
I don't carry a firearm, mostly because it's too danged heavy when going on a walk.
Hard to keep my pants up as it is, being a bit on the skinny side.
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Last edited by g.willikers; May 26, 2014 at 09:02 AM.
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Old May 26, 2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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had a similar encounter yesterday. was walking my dog on her leash on our property when the black dog from the north adjoining property charged over a small rise (hilly mountain terrain) and attacked us. this was it's second attack, first was in Feb, tore my pants, but broke no skin. drew my gun and had it pointed at it as i fell backwards, and it ran off. today, i yelled at it to go away, it didn't, i fired a warning shot into the ground, and it ran off. reported this to animal control again. next time....dunno.

keep your dog on your property or under your control. it's not my job to fence my property to keep your dog off it.

shows the importance of being able to draw and fire with one hand. was carrying my Colt Commander condition 1. you aren't always able to use 2 hands.
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Old May 26, 2014, 10:21 AM   #8
bbqbob51
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Thanks for the advise everyone! The suggestion of pepper spray is a good one and I always insist my wife carry it but don't myself because of the handgun I carry. I think I will rethink this in light of this recent situation. I know how this world works and once you fire a gun at someone or their pets, no matter how justified, your world will change.
Hartcreek, I think you are correct I called the wrong department and this did occur to me a few minutes after talking to the animal control guy. The problem here in rural Maine is the limited coverage by the Sheriff's department and/or the State Police, they sometimes just don't show up for a long time, if at all for non emergency situations. Of course there's no guarantee they A.C. Officer will show up either! I also forgot to mention that the owner of this dog used to be the animal control officer in this town.
I have encountered dogs before on my bike and they have barked and run around me but never came at me this aggressively before. G. Williker's comments about dog behavior are generally right on. Problem is this incident happened so fast it was hard to consider this stuff. When that bastard charged from the bushes it was on me within 1-2 seconds.
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Old May 26, 2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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I walk almost every day & I've had a couple close calls with aggressive dogs. I always carry OC & a knife & a large stick. I would not use a hand gun for reasons stated in an earlier post.

I also didn't run let these dogs know I was not afraid.
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Old May 26, 2014, 10:55 AM   #10
Shadi Khalil
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Like the others said, pepper spray. I and my wife both carry the Kimber (only kimber product I will use) Pepper guns that gives you two shots of pepper balls.
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:02 AM   #11
g.willikers
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1_DAB,
Have you tried going over to the neighbors house and make friends with this dog?
This sometimes works real well.
There used to be a dog like that up the street, who looked and acted mean.
I made friends, and instead of growling and snapping at us, he'd actually trot over to say hello.
Worth a try, at least, before you are tempted to shoot it and make an enemy neighbor.
Folks usually really like their dogs.

Years ago, I had a nasty looking, but very sweet Shepherd.
When he had his winter coat, he could pass for a wolf.
Whenever he saw another dog, with a person attached or not, he'd make a run for it.
Not to hurt it, but to play.
He scared the crap out of some people, who didn't know him.
He just thought everyone in the world just naturally wanted to play with him.
I was really glad no one over reacted and shot him.
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:17 AM   #12
g.willikers
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Another example.
A fellow in our archery club had a genuine wolf, all 185lbs of him, that he raised from scratch.
The beast's idea of fun was to run at someone, often me, grab them by the shirt sleeve, if they had one, or their forearm and drag them down to the ground.
Not to eat them, but to lay on them and lick their face.
Some folks, who didn't know him just about had heart attacks.
But he never hurt anyone, just wanted to say hello in his own sweet way.
What a monster, though.

One more.
A good friend had a Bull Mastiff, 150lbs worth, that I used to "baby" sit for, sometimes.
And rescue from animal control when he got loose, which he did a lot.
The dog's idea of fun was to sneak out of the house and lay in ambush behind the bushes in the front lawn, that bordered the sidewalk.
When an unsuspecting person would stroll by, he'd leap up and give out with a huge Mastiff bark.
Talk about heart attacks.
You could clearly see his happy face when he got one.
Nutty dog, but not a threat, except to folks' cardiac system.
It would have been a real shame if someone took it personally and shot him.
They would have had to either go into hiding forever or face the wrath of everyone in the neighborhood.
That big, goofy mutt was well loved.
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Last edited by g.willikers; May 26, 2014 at 11:23 AM.
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:29 AM   #13
1-DAB
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Their dog belongs on their property.

Not on mine putting holes in my pants.
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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Be Prepared

As a young lad, I use to ride my bicycle everywhere and once got attacked and badly bitten by an Irish Setter. To this day, I still carry the scares on my legs and in my heart. I made a promise to myself, that I would never let another/any dog, bite me. I don't care how big or small they are, it will never happen. I will take whatever action I can, to keep from getting bit.. ...

Remember, the problem did not start by "you" riding your bike. It started with the owner not properly controlling his dog. There are always consequences to these actions. ....

Be prepared and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:32 AM   #15
Geezerbiker
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Buy a small boat horn and blast it right at him the next time the dog charges you. About 90% of the time this works.

I don't ride bicycles but I've been a motorcycle rider for 40+ years and I've found that most of the time a dog is going to chase you, it get's near the street and waits for you to go by before chasing you. Like a stalking wolf. Anyway I've always watched for that behavior and when spotted, I get close to the center line than when the dog enters the street, I aim right for him like I'm going to run him over with my air horns blasting. After a couple times of this the dog runs the other way when I come by.

Many years ago there was a farmer that had a couple dangerous dogs guarding a pole barn full of hay and these mongrels would come at me at an angle that made it really hard to use this tactic. So one day I ride by there with a couple of friends on bikes. I went ahead about 100 yards and they went into attack mode when the dogs chased me. It worked that one time but the real solution was a neighbor shot these dogs after chasing his daughter on a horse...

Tony
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:41 AM   #16
g.willikers
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It's worth remembering that dogs get loose, and dogs don't know from property boundaries.
No doubt a vicious dog that means harm deserves what it gets.
But, like I said, I've never met one that was truly that way, including some really scary, cold eyed guard dogs.
I've had dogs chase me on my bike, and even on motorcycles, who got a real good chop on a shoe or a pants leg.
But as soon as I stopped and had a little conversation with them, all was well.
Dogs just like to chase things.
Must be in their DNA, left over from their ancestral wolves chasing deer and cave dwellers.

Here's another situation to ponder, though.
Packs of feral dogs.
They're out there, sometimes made up of abandoned vacation pets.
Whole different thing.
Have there been any reports of them in your areas?
If so, now there's a good reason to go armed.
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Last edited by g.willikers; May 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:47 AM   #17
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Years ago, I had a nasty looking, but very sweet Shepherd.
When he had his winter coat, he could pass for a wolf.
Whenever he saw another dog, with a person attached or not, he'd make a run for it.
Not to hurt it, but to play.
He scared the crap out of some people, who didn't know him.
He just thought everyone in the world just naturally wanted to play with him.
I was really glad no one over reacted and shot him.
This. This times 1000. I have a similar dog with a similar situation. She's a large Shepherd mix and many people think she's scary-looking. Often they comment that she looks like a wolf. She's extremely fast and athletic and loves to run. She specifically likes to take off after joggers when they run by. If she's not on a leash and I'm not paying close attention, she'll try to run with them.

And to someone who doesn't know anything about dogs, it might look like she's attacking the joggers: She sprints up right next to them with her mouth open and her tongue and teeth hanging out. But she loves running and loves people, so people who are running are her favorite.

I rarely have her off-leash where joggers are around, and she's well-trained in recall, but it still happens once in a while when I'm walking her off-leash in the woods. Most people up here in the Pacific Northwest are dog people who can handle dogs, but I'd be pretty angry if someone shot her because they mistook her friendliness for aggression.

OP, the fact that you were considering shooting a dog that was chasing you on your bike tells me you might need a little more familiarization with dogs.

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Old May 26, 2014, 11:49 AM   #18
g.willikers
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Beautiful, and even more wolf looking than mine was.
Or was I his?
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:54 AM   #19
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Threads about dog attacks usually end up nowhere good. I'm glad people are playing nicely here -- thanks!

For those who understand dog body language, I have been watching this video since it came out a couple of weeks ago. Have to say that I cannot figure out what the dog is thinking. The dog's body language, to me, looks friendly and like he wants to play... Right up until he grabs ahold of the kid and tears into his leg.

What do you think? Is it better to err by defending yourself early, and perhaps offending the neighbor in a completely unfixable way? Or better to risk a mauling by waiting to see what is going on?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C-Opm9b...ient=mv-google
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:57 AM   #20
1-DAB
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as i noted, i have a dog. she is either inside, or on a leash outside with me. that's her two options. impossible to fence our property ($$$$).

your dog, your responsibility. sad that dogs have to suffer from improper attention of their owners.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:05 PM   #21
g.willikers
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In the beginning of the video there's no obvious way to know what the dog is doing.
It probably didn't know, either.
Any more than knowing if that car coming down the cross street is going to stop for the red light.
That cat was the biggest surprise.
Doubt if the presence of a firearm would have been as helpful as that cat, though.
The dog was all over the poor kid.
Might have to go out and get me an attack cat.
Here's another link to the video, in case the other one doesn't work.
http://www.tmz.com/2014/05/14/cat-sa...-attack-video/
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:09 PM   #22
Pahoo
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Sharing your dog !!!

Quote:
OP, the fact that you were considering shooting a dog that was chasing you on your bike tells me you might need a little more familiarization with dogs.
I'm not the OP but this is bull. I can tell the difference between a poisonous snake and harmless one. I give both plenty of space. Now I'm suppose know what dogs will bite from those who won't. How about dog owners being more familiar with the laws and their dog's bad habits. Most of the time, the problem is with the owners who feel the need to share their dog with us, on any level.
My dog will not chase you or keep you up at night or even crap in your yard. In part, that makes me a good and responsible neighbor. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Last edited by Pahoo; May 26, 2014 at 03:00 PM.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:10 PM   #23
bbqbob51
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Quote:
OP, the fact that you were considering shooting a dog that was chasing you on your bike tells me you might need a little more familiarization with dogs.
Theo, This dog didn't just chase me. He charged me from the side and I heard his teeth snapping at my foot. It didn't bark a warning, just snarled and went after me and came within a few inches of me. Like I said, I was going 18-20 MPH and don't really know if he just missed me or it was his way of warning me but I do know I should be able to defend myself if any creature (2 or 4 legged) if they mean me harm. It's not my responsibility to become some kind of dog whisperer to keep myself safe because of an irresponsible dog owner.
Why I originally started this thread is I really don't want to have to shoot a dog but was looking for feedback and experiences other have had and how they handled it.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:14 PM   #24
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i once get lost in the woods during the 05 vermont bear season and i ended up in someones yard and i asked a woman on her porch for directions back to green river rd.
she gave me directions and was on my way.but her pit bull followed me.i knew the dog was no match for my .308 so i felt no fear.i said in a authoritative voice go dog and the dog left.

i must admitt that without the rifle i would have ran to a tree and climbed.it was knowing i would not be attacked that helped me be so relaxed and asertive with pit bull.

99% of the time if you command the dog to leave asertively,the dog or animal with leave.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:15 PM   #25
g.willikers
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Snakes are easy to tell apart.
Reptiles pretty much all behave as their species is designed.
The dangerous ones are always dangerous and the benign ones are always benign.
Dogs act like individuals, no two exactly alike, whatever the species of dog.
No way to actually tell if that mutt running at you wants to play or bite.
It would be a shame if dogs were treated like snakes, though.
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