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Loser
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During a recent ride I met the worst dog owner - my nomination for the worst ever.

We come to the top of a hill where three guys are stopped, as I reach them I notice their dog - one of those smaller sheep herding dogs (Australian Shepard maybe?). When the dog sees me he jumps 3' straight up, I say "hey pup" and ride along. He looks friendly, but obviously amped up.

The dog lowers its body and slips in behind me. I look down and he's nipping at my calf, not biting, just small nips.

I immediately stop and look over at the owner in disbelief. He looks back and says, "Don't worry he's just trying to herd you".

Hmmm, don't worry?

I remain still as the dog eyes me. the owner just watches. I say "Are you going to restrain your dog?"

He answers, "ah he won't hurt you."

I ask again, this time a bit PO'ed, he grabs the dog's collar and I head off shaking my head.

I suppose the dog was being gentle, but he still had his teeth on my calf. I love dogs, and my dog is not exactly perfect, but I know that and I take measures so that I have control of my dog when she's in the woods with me...

I considered what else I should have said, but I think the owner got the point. I cosidered giving the dog a kick, but I really think a kick to owner would've been more appropriate.

John
 

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In that case the owner needs a session or two with the "Owner Whisperer". The Owner Whisperer would use non-passive persuasion with a healthy dose of physical influence to convince the retard dog owner not everyone trusts his dog as much as he does. The Owner Whisperer does love dogs, but hates stupid, irresponsible dog owners.

You handled the situation well though. Glad to hear you didn't get any serious bites.
 

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I'm a dog lover, have two myself, i know for a fact they can't be trusted off leash, and so they never get to ride with me, if i did have a dog capable of being off leash he'd have to obey me and respect everyone else. It's not in good form for your dog to run up to other people, unless those people invite him. bah i really do wish i could ride with my dogs, i've seen people do it all the time and think it's great, their dogs look to be having a good time as well.
 

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A well handled situation for sure.

I have a slightly different situation with my dog when I take him riding. He gets out of the way of bikes which is good. Doesnt force himself past on tight singletrack - again good. Will not run up to members of another group or anything, but he MUST be in the lead of our group. And if I am not second, he has a tendancy to slow down and nip at the person second in line to allow me ahead.....needless to say most of the time I ride solo with the dog......
 

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Dirt Eater
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I think you handled it alright.

I own a Border Collie with really strong herding instincts. She owuldnt actually bite you, but jus tnip to get your attention. I think you were right to ask the owner to at least recall the dog. If you had tried riding on, the herding my have gotten more intense, and either you or the dog may have gotten hurt.

I run with my dog on a leash, but dont ride with her.
 

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ravingbikefiend
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Australian Shepards and Border Collies have this irresistable urge / instinct to herd anything that moves and those small nips really aren't meant to inflict injury but to coerce you into going where the dog wants you to go. A well trained herding dog should know that humans are not to be nipped at under any circumstance and I think that the fact one is on a bike can throw of their sense of what's right and wrong.

With that being said, the owner of such dogs needs to enforce some strong discipline and have their dog well trained if they plan on taking them out on the trail where they are going to be driven mad by all these fast moving two wheeled "sheep".

I once owned a Border Collie named Mac who had to herd everything that moved although wasn't nippy towards human beings... I spent countless hours training him and I have never owned a more obedient dog. If he was told to stay he wouldn't move a muscle until he was given another command or hand signal and nothing could disturb his focus when he was working.

The local kids used to come by as they had developed a game where they would pretent to be sheep and Mac would spend the afternoon herding them until the kids were all lying in a well organized and exhausted heap and he'd by lying at the perimeter with a tank full of gas just waiting and making sure none of his little sheep tried to bolt.

When I'd tell him he was done and how good a dog he was he'd know he was off duty and knew he could make with the petting and cuddling the kids lavished on him.
 

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Borders ARE awesome dogs. Ex-boyfriend had a purebred that was the best dog ever. Now I have a border cross. He is a great bike dog... follows along behind or to the side and even when encountering other dogs ignores them as he is busy following (herding?) me. He never runs in front of me. Has never nipped my calf, either. I can't believe someone would WATCH their dog snap at a stranger and not be all sorts of apologetic.

I walk my dog off-leash all the time, it is the only way for him to work off enough energy as we don't have a yard. He never approaches people he doesn't know, has never chased wildlife (even when rabbits bolt out from under his feet) and always comes when called. However, he is very protective and often is agressive to other dogs when they approach me. Thus, he always gets recalled and leashed when other dogs are around. I can't count how many times people have watched me leash him, and yet when their off-leash dog spies us and hurtles toward us they say "oh, its all right... he/she is friendly".

Here's a thought, folks... just cuz YOUR dog is friendly doesn't mean mine is.

People really just have no clue sometimes.
 

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Loser
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Exactly...

MtbRN said:
I walk my dog off-leash all the time.... I can't count how many times people have watched me leash him, and yet when their off-leash dog spies us and hurtles toward us they say "oh, its all right... he/she is friendly".

Here's a thought, folks... just cuz YOUR dog is friendly doesn't mean mine is.
I have a Jack Russell Terrier. She's an awesome dog, but has a serious Napoleon complex. Instead of leashing her, I pick her up whenever other dogs are around. I've actually gotten pretty good at riding while carrying her. If I pick her up and the other dog just walks by, she's no problem at all.

Like you, I can't count the number of times I've had my dog in my arms while someone elses "friendly" dog is jumping up on me trying to get to my dog. So while this uncontrolled dog is jumping on me, my dog is snapping at the dog that's jumping. Yeah, nice relaxing time in the woods. As in your example the people are saying, "don't worry he's friendly..." uh yeah, you see what's going on here?

John
 

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this behavior "oh, don't worry, she's friendly" is a phenomenon of the last ten years or so ... I think it occurs now that people consider their dogs 'people' ... I hear that same poop all the time .. while the dog has 1) jumped up on me or 2) nipped my calf or hand (like your story) or is barking aggressively and showing some signs of thinking it is threatened and needs to protect its group by attacking me as I cross paths on the trail

I think that people don't grow up on farms anymore, don't have any association with animals in general other than their pets and have simply lost the cultural knowledge of what a dog is and how it really behaves. It is clear they do not "see" the aggression or malbehavior of the dog. It is pretty clear that because the dog is nice to them, they extrapolate that the dog is nice to everybody. It also is clear that people have not a clue as to how to train a dog either.

Dogs are domesticated wolves from perhaps about 100,000 years ago. For sure by roughly 20,000 years. People just don't get the 'wolf' personality parts, even though they are clearly present. Lots of dog owners now seem to have completely lost the ability to interpret their dogs behavior, really to the detriment of the dog.

It isn't a dog problem, it's a people problem. I have no idea how to "train" people so their dogs are well behaved on the trail. But this is a real and IMHO dramatically growing problem.

Two years ago, after a boxer started to aggressively approach me (and boxers rarely do that, as a breed, IMHO) ... the owner started to lecture me oh how I "needed" to behave in front of their dog! I wasn't doing anything except walking by almost at right angles to the guy and his dog!

It's weird out there, and I don't know how to deal with this problem without appearing confrontative. Which just sucks. I am not on the trail for fights, I am there to relax. But if your dog is biting at me, what the hell are we supposed to do?
 

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ravingbikefiend
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Bad dogs generally come from poor owners who haven't got the skills / discipline / time to properly train their pets so that they can function socially. For as much as I love our dogs I draw the line at poor behaviour and a lack of obedience.

Some breeds are more work than others due to their temperaments and breeding and people should recognize when a certain breed is not the right one for them. Border Collies. Jack Russel Terriers, Minature Pinschers (they're really a type of terrier), are examples of highly energetic and highly intelligent breeds that take much of one's attention and a firm hand. All have their own rescue organizations which speaks volumes about the people who bought them and then realized they couldn't deal with the cute little puppy.

We have a Shih Tzu and a Minature Pinscher and they are diametrically opposed in temperament when it comes to non-family / friends.

The Shih Tzu loves just about everyone she meets and has never showed any signs of aggression towards anything be it a cat, a dog, or a human.

Our Min Pin is a headstrong and very protective little lady who has no idea she's only a foot high and will stand down any stranger that comes to the door and takes issue with strange dogs, cats, and even birds that infringe on her territory.

The Min Pin came to us as a middle aged dog and because of some mistreatment and teasing had developed some aggressive behaviour around food and her "wubbies" which are her toys.

It has taken a long time buut now she can be fed and not spend her whole meal growling and snapping at anyone who passes (except her sister the Shih Tzu) and will most often relinquish contraband when she's told to drop whatever it is she isn't supposed to have.

She (the Min Pin) still does not always recognize anyone but me as the Alpha so is less compliant with the other people in our house but continues to get better over time.

And people who mistreat dogs or any animal deserve an ass whupping of the hghest order.
 

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ravingbikefiend
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My nomination for worst dog owner would be my brother in law's old neighbour who would leave his dog (a puppy) chained and neglected in the backyard save for the beatings he would give it when it wouldn't stop barking. It would of course stop barking when it's master came out because it was so happy to see him but that did not prevent the beatings.

My BIL's brother used to to a rather scary individual (he looks like the Undertaker from WWE) and used to run with some rather nasty bikers... he pulled up at their house just as the neighbour was administering another beating to the hapless puppy and instead of coming in walked straight over to the neighbour's and into the back yard.

The owner had no problem giving the dog up when he was confronted by the 250 pound bearded and tattoed guy who simply said "this isn't your dog anymore", promised him a world class ass kicking if he ever beat another animal, and took the dog away.

The dog was given to a good family who made sure it had a long and happy beating free life... my brother in law said his neighbour never owned another dog.
 

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over 50 years of cycling
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dogs good, owners bad

I also am a "dog person", I own one now and have had one more often than not over the decades.

Doesn't matter if its a "good dog" if its a crappy owner. Which that was.
I usually tell them(usually yelling and fuming by then) "You train it or I train it and my methods will probably not be as nice as yours."

I don't have time with a dog nipping at me, potentially causing a crash or resulting in me needing to get a rabies shot series, to apply Dog Whisperer techniques (HIGHLY recommended series to rent the DVDs or see on cable, BTW).

Dogs will usually back off to just miss a swinging foot to clear them off. They seem to have bad depth perception if you use a straight out TaiKwonDo style kick, which can train them pretty quick, getting a straight out kick to the snout. The pepper spray I carry for cougars and bears is my next level of escalation. Used on the owner if they protest and get cranky about people not putting up with being nipped.

That nipping may not hurt a tough sheep or cow, but people's skin is a lot easier to puncture and odds are good that owner has not taught their dog "soft bites" either.

Last time I had to deal with a bad dog/owner situation was on a trail where a pit bull owner was getting his jollies letting the dog pin down mtn bikers. I ALMOST had to hurt that dog and the owner was SHOCKED when I finally had to flick out my trail knife and almost skewer his dog before he suddenly regained the ability to control his dog again. Oddly, he was angry at ME for a show of force.

Owning a dog makes me LESS tolerant of badly behaving dogs. I currently own a long haired chihuahua(wife's choice), which have a bad reputation for being anti-social and untrainable. NOT true. These pocket pals are headstrong and highly intelligent but CAN be trained...albeit not nearly as easy to train as a border collie. Its most of the owners that are the problem.

I love Border Collies, but most people that have them should not own them. They need to be worked HEAVILY which includes not only a LOT of mileage a day....making them good biking dogs, but they need to have TASKS to keep them occupied....i.e. need to be trained.

just my opinion though.
 

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Ride lots...
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I was riding my local loop yesterday when I saw something that surprised me so much I almost crashed--a woman walking a dog and the dog WAS ON A LEASH!!!!! I know, you probably think I'm making this up, but it's true.

I always see people walking their dogs and most people don't even have a leash with them, let alone on the dog. I have several dogs that always chase me and their owners are either too stupid to notice or too stupid to care.

Last Spring when the rattle snakes were coming out, I had to dismount and walk around a particularly aggressive rattler that was in the middle of the trail and was refusing to move. I rounded the next bend and came upon a lady walking a black Lab and a German Sheperd and were heading the other way--towards the rattler. Neither dog was on a leash but I noticed she had 2 leashes in her hand. The dogs were all over the place running around in the bushes and such. I warned her about the rattler around the next bend and that she may want to leash her dogs for their own safety. She says, "Nah, they're OK, if they're dumb enough to tangle with a snake they deserve to get bit."

I was shocked. I just couldn't--and still can't--fathom the stupidity involved in such behavior.
 

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In many places it's an offence to allow a dog to "worry" or "rush at" a person, regardless if it bites them or not.

Irresponsible dog owners get on my nerves. I own a large staghound, which as well as being our pet, is also used to hunt hogs. He is quite protective of my wife, and being a sighthound loves to chase things.

One day she was out walking, and our dogs (her little sheltie cross included) were both on their leads as usual. Another woman on the path ahead of her had let her dog off. It rushed at my wife, probably innocently wanting to say hi. My wife shouted a warning, the other woman shouted back, "Oh he's fine, he won't hurt."

"Yes, but mine WILL!" she replied, but the other dog rushed in regardless - my dog strained at his lead, trying to get at what he thought was an attacker. He weighs 40kg, and my wife weighs about 55, she really had to strain to hold him off.

The other chick got a fright, with her lab nearly being turned into chop suey, so she keeps her dog on the lead nowadays.
 

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In my mind, I can do it!
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Whats worse are people that don't restrain their own kids... I think that this phenomenon of irresponsible people that don't apply basic discipline to their own kids are probably the same irresponsible people who don't apply basic discipline to their pets. They think that chaos is ok and they don't understand why others get frustraited with their lack of control.

:madman:
 

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over 50 years of cycling
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perspective

iviguy said:
Whats worse are people that don't restrain their own kids... I think that this phenomenon of irresponsible people that don't apply basic discipline to their own kids are probably the same irresponsible people who don't apply basic discipline to their pets. They think that chaos is ok and they don't understand why others get frustraited with their lack of control.

:madman:
Which brings to mind the classic trail scene....
Hiking/walking Family with range of kids from toddlers toddling randomly to young kids cutting the switchbacks and running back and forth knocking people off the trail, a COUPLE of Big Dogs off leash and out of control, and as you approach on your bike and SLOWLY try to carefully thread through this mess.....they glare at YOU, for being one of those "damn mtn bikers, are just a hazard on the trails!"
:madman: :madman:
 
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