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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasnt really gonna ask but my friends and family keep asking. What would I have done differently?

About 2 weeks ago a friend and I were out riding when a pack of wild dogs, about 7 or so, came across a field. I have been chased by dogs before riding and it didn't really bother me. But these dogs did not stop. One of the dogs got me in my right calf. I was full of adrenaline I didn't even know I was bitten right away. After having to ride 15 miles back to the truck I went to the ER. It was not a hard bite, more of a nip. Few hours in the ER, and many shots later and more to come(rabies) I will be all good.

out in the Arizona desert I have come across many different animals, bobcats, javelina, coyotes, snakes, cows, wild horses, and so on. But They all tend to mind their own business. These dogs didn't. I think back, what if I threw my water bottle at them? would that distract them? what if I fell off my bike? There are a lot of what ifs.

Where we were riding I didn't think about the wild dog issue. It is a known problem. I do not generally carry while riding and I do not want that to be the discussion.

What would you have done?
 

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jcd's best friend
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There isn't too much you can do. If you stopped, the entire pack would have attacked you. I think you did the right thing to pedal fast and get out of there. Did you report the incident somewhere? It's 50/50 whether something would be done but you never know who will go out there and investigate.

You can probably cross post this into the Arizona forum and see what they think. Give them details and if anything, it will be warning to your local riders.
 

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Against a pack I would definitely do the same as you did and ride as fast as I can. Against just one if it persist I might stop and stare him down.

If the wild dogs are an issue in that place I would take some extra measures like pepper spray or something else that helps you fight back. I mean, at the expense of sounding a bit crazy, you are fighting for your life and so they are, do not hold back, they certainly won't.
 

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It's a tough situation. Number one thing is to ramp up your awareness. If you don't notice anything until they're right on you, you simply don't have time to do much of anything about it.

Bear spray or Halt! (made specifically for dogs, smaller can is a bit easier to deal with) can be useful if you have it in an accessible location to carry it, but even then, you probably have to stop to deploy it effectively.

Dogs are definitely problematic. Many years ago when doing wildlife research, Halt! was part of my research gear, specifically for dogs (not even wild ones, just loose dogs, as there wasn't much of anything else to be concerned with in Ohio). When I was in grad school, doing wildlife research on ranches in TX, I was told by more than one rancher that they lose more cattle to wild dogs than to coyotes or any other wildlife.

I've had luck with using an air horn to deter single dogs when commuting. It's not that it drove them away necessarily. Just that it surprised them and got them to pull back just long enough that I was able to ride away. A pack of 7 (presumably wild) dogs with different motivation for chasing you? Not sure that it'd make much difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I never actually thought about pepper spray. I think I would strap it to the bars vs in a pack or bag. I would not have had time to get to it.

One dog is easy to control. A pack is a different story, thus the term pack mentality. I grew up with many dogs. friends have asked if I'm afraid of dogs now. No, I know my dogs and their limits. we do rough house and play and scratches happen. We had wolf hybrids and St Bernards. I was taught what to do if a dog is attacking you, but not a group of dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you go to the ER for a dog bite it has to be reported. There is an officer out looking for a dog that matches the description. Animal control has contacted me as well as the AZ dept of public health regarding Rabies. They want to find the dog to put it into quarantine for rabies. however by this time if it did have rabies it would be dead or dying by now.
 

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Wanna ride bikes?
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I've been chased by a single dog a couple times, most recently last week. (80-90lb Rottweiler) I was in the wrong gear and had a rider in front of me so really had no where to go.

I yelled in the biggest voice I could muster but that did nothing. I too didn't want the dog to take me down by the leg so ultimately I had to jump off the bike and face the dog, (this all happened very quickly). I put the bike between me and the dog and yelled again. This time it startled the dog and he backed off 25ft. I starred and waited, no way I could get back on the bike and ride off.

After a few minutes the owner of the dog caught up to us and very slowly and calmly petted the dog. Never called him or scolded him the entire time. Didn't put a leash on him, just petted. This made my blood boil. After another 60-90 seconds I called out and said "are you going to put a leash on him?" I heard some mumbling. I repeated it again and he said "yes I'll put a leash on him, have a nice ride." I had to leave before I said or did something I would regret.

I'm pretty sure that guy was a new dog owner and high on something. Way too calm and unconcerned that his dog almost used me as a chew toy. This in a public park with leash laws where MTB is legal.

The other bad encounter was a German Shepard that slipped his collar. Again I had to stop quickly and use the bike to block. That dog was REALLY trying to get to me. Luckily the owner was close.

Even if I had pepper spray or a knife in the pack, there would not have been time to get to it. Not sure there's much you can do unless you have spray in a holster on your hip ready to go.

Pack of dogs? Keep riding and do whatever it takes to stay vertical and moving.
 

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I've been chased by a single dog a couple times, most recently last week. (80-90lb Rottweiler) I was in the wrong gear and had a rider in front of me so really had no where to go.

I yelled in the biggest voice I could muster but that did nothing. I too didn't want the dog to take me down by the leg so ultimately I had to jump off the bike and face the dog, (this all happened very quickly). I put the bike between me and the dog and yelled again. This time it startled the dog and he backed off 25ft. I starred and waited, no way I could get back on the bike and ride off.

After a few minutes the owner of the dog caught up to us and very slowly and calmly petted the dog. Never called him or scolded him the entire time. Didn't put a leash on him, just petted. This made my blood boil. After another 60-90 seconds I called out and said "are you going to put a leash on him?" I heard some mumbling. I repeated it again and he said "yes I'll put a leash on him, have a nice ride." I had to leave before I said or did something I would regret.

I'm pretty sure that guy was a new dog owner and high on something. Way too calm and unconcerned that his dog almost used me as a chew toy. This in a public park with leash laws where MTB is legal.

The other bad encounter was a German Shepard that slipped his collar. Again I had to stop quickly and use the bike to block. That dog was REALLY trying to get to me. Luckily the owner was close.

Even if I had pepper spray or a knife in the pack, there would not have been time to get to it. Not sure there's much you can do unless you have spray in a holster on your hip ready to go.

Pack of dogs? Keep riding and do whatever it takes to stay vertical and moving.
Lol, so what you are saying is dogs don't like you?

Encounter with dogs in remote places, that is understandable, in public places infuriating.

That is why you always kick first, ask later, doesn't matter where you are or if its your sister's dog. People forget to treat dogs as the animals they are, hence the issues.
 

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Pack of dogs? Keep riding and do whatever it takes to stay vertical and moving.
This is why I think step one needs to be to increase your awareness. Once they're already chasing and are on your heels, what you say is your best bet for sure. Your time to prepare is gone unless a few specific conditions exist.

MAYBE you could spray behind you as you ride IF:
* you are riding something very nontechnical such that you can manage the bike one-handed
* the spray is accessible and usable with one hand

But I can absolutely see some scenarios while mtb'ing where it's just not going to be possible for you to keep riding and stay vertical while being chased by dogs. Slow, technical trails. You're exhausted. That covers a lot of territory for me, at least. You're going to have to dismount and use the bike as a barrier/weapon to at least give yourself some time/space. Maybe, if you have it and it's accessible, it might give you time to retrieve/use your spray at that point.

It's not a guarantee, of course. I don't think anything is in all honesty.

Riding in groups with a few people will serve you well, but you'll have to stay fairly close together for that to be sufficient deterrent. Riding solo is going to put you at much increased risk from any potentially predatory animals. Dropping your buddies (or being dropped) is effectively the same thing.
 

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for dogs, the most effective deterrent is firecrackers, the louder the better (that's if you can get to them in time to light and throw). i have seen the most fierce shpeherd dogs run away from a decent firecracker.

second place for effectiveness but way easier to access/use is one of those flashlight/taser combo devices on the handlebars. they usually come with a bar mount too. most dogs will run and the others will keep barking but won't come near you.

third place is a tie between bear spray and the ultrasound dog device. these are hit and miss. might work for lone dogs but definitely won't scare away a whole pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my biggest plan is to not ride that area again. That is a simple fix. just a few days later another friend had issues with dogs but he was on a road bike and could out run them. my problem was they were on me right away. I was not able to pedal away, some came from the front and some from behind. it was just too hard to pedal and kick and I think kicking led to being bitten.
 

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Dealing with dogs is the main reason I quit riding gravel. I had a little quick access frame bag with some dog spray in it (never actually used it even though I did get chased by a bunch of different dogs). As someone else said, it's just too hard to get the can out while you're moving.

I ended up realizing that the adrenaline of fear when escaping from dogs is not relaxing or fun so I quit riding in those areas. I'll do some roads through WMA or National Forest now and then, but that's it. Shame, because I think gravel is pretty cool when not being treated like a mechanical hare.

Luckily I've never had a dog problem on singletrack.
 

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my biggest plan is to not ride that area again. That is a simple fix. just a few days later another friend had issues with dogs but he was on a road bike and could out run them. my problem was they were on me right away. I was not able to pedal away, some came from the front and some from behind. it was just too hard to pedal and kick and I think kicking led to being bitten.
You should have gone all Jonathan Winters on them.

Sucks that you have to avoid riding an area but it does sound like a bad situation.
 

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9 lives
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Get more horsepower ;)


I've never been chased by an animal while riding in the forest. I have seen brown bears at the side of dh trails and have seen coywolves and heard them howling nearby on local trails.

I have however, been chased by a Canada Goose this spring on the road. I hissed back at him and I pedalled away unscathed. :thumbsup:
 

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Riding in groups with a few people will serve you well, but you'll have to stay fairly close together for that to be sufficient deterrent. Riding solo is going to put you at much increased risk from any potentially predatory animals. Dropping your buddies (or being dropped) is effectively the same thing.
Also, you'll need to all wear these: Sleeve Style Neck Pattern Black-and-white
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I tried going Jonathan Winters on those dogs then one bit me.
 

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Your riding partner is obviously faster than you.... work on that or ride with slower people... You don't have to be faster than the wild life, just faster than your partner.
 

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Your riding partner is obviously faster than you.... work on that or ride with slower people... You don't have to be faster than the wild life, just faster than your partner.
This is similar to why you should always carry a knife when scuba diving in areas with sharks. If a shark threatens, cut your dive buddy and swim like hell.

I'm liking the idea of frame mounted SRAM AXS wirelessly actuated bear spray.
 
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