Attacked by Dog Yesterday While Bike Riding

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3,855
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
A couple of weeks ago, I found a hill in a neighboring county that I like to ride up. Yesterday, when I reached the top of the hill, I was charged and bitten on the lower calf by a 50-lb shepherd mix. Normally, I can outrun dogs, or, they just want to chase or race me; not bite. This time, the dog was vicious, and was bent on sinking his teeth into me. I was unable to get away from the dog, because I had just reached the top of a large hill, and was too tired to outrun him. The owner heard me yelling at the dog and came outside. I heard him yell at the dog, and I turned around and went back to have a word with him. He did not know I'd been bitten, and thought I had come back to yell at him for the dog chasing me, so he hollered "Y'all ought not to come up here and bother us. That's why we live up here - we don't want to be bothered." I responded that I had every right to ride on the road, as it's a public road. I then told him that the dog had bitten me, and showed him my leg. I also suggested that he keep the dog inside or tied up. He apologized, and grabbed the dog by the collar to drag him inside. At that point, one of his other dogs started attacking the dog that bit me. At this point I was thinking that this guy has probably trained these dogs to be aggressive and vicious. He went inside and got some peroxide and a bandage for me, and came back out and apologized and gave me his information. I called the county this morning, and the dog last had a rabies shot last month, so, probably OK there. I also had my GP call in a script for antibiotics. The wound is not that severe; worst part is a puncture to my calf about 1/4" deep from one of the dog's canines. Not a good situation; the guy has a 4-yr-old granddaughter who witnessed the aftermath of the attack. Hate that she now has that memory. But I would really hate for her to be hurt by the dog. If I had a dog that attacked someone like that, I'd get rid of the dog, one way or another. A dog can't un-learn that kind of behavior. But, I know the guy won't get rid of the dog, won't tie it up, and won't keep it in the house all the time. Therefore, somebody else (probably another cyclist) is going to get bitten. My worst fear is that a dog could cause me to crash at high speed (that's how I learned to endo my motorcycle, lol). If you've ever ridden a road bicycle, you know it's hard, if not impossible, to get one stopped quickly from speed (not much rubber on the road). I plan to start carrying a pistol with me on my bike rides. I ride in some deserted, rural areas, and I don't want to take the chance of running into a pack of vicious dogs and being defenseless. Unfortunately, the story of the dog on the hill who bit me is probably not going to end well. I like the hill, and plan to continue riding up it. Next time I ride up that hill, I will have my Model 36 Glock .45 with me, and will use it to defend myself if necessary. I'd hate to do that, as I grew up with dogs, like them, and would never take the killing of an animal lightly. But, sometimes, with a vicious animal, there is no other choice. I can only hope that the owner will learn from the experience and at least start tying the dog up. From his initial reaction and words, I can only assume that this was not their first encounter with a cyclist on that road. Unfortunately, my suspicion is that nothing will change, and someone else will be bitten. It won't be me, though.
 
Messages
13,027
Location
Middlesex County CT
Quote:
But, sometimes, with a vicious animal, there is no other choice.
Did you call the dog warden? If there are multiple complaints, something might be done. Not saying not to carry, but shooting it isn't the first thing i would do. My friend's son was attacked and the dog was quarantined until the owner produced some paperwork. The owner has to be inconvenienced or held liable before his behavior might change.
 
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Messages
7,256
Location
USA
I have kicked dogs away that folks let loose in the town park who want to "play". The owners are not happy but its your choice to let your dog off leash. My buddy carries mace.
 
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2,011
Location
War Eagle
45 cal packs a heck of a punch and has a lot or recoil that might cause you to crash as easily as the dog would. Why don't you carry something like a 38 caliber pistol which has way less recoil to bother you on the bike. I bet the result to the dog will be the same.
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Messages
3,855
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
See above - I called the county and the dog is current on rabies vacc. I don't want to have the guy's dog hauled off. But, if he refuses to tie it up, and it charges me again, it is nobody's fault but his if the dog gets killed.
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Messages
3,855
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
I wouldn't attempt a moving shot. If I see the dog again, I will stop, get off the bike and draw the pistol. I will turn around and start moving in the other direction and attempt to get away. But, if he charges, I will shoot as a last resort.
 
Messages
300
Location
SE Michigan
Reminds me of an incident on my motorcycle. A dog peeled out of the owners driveway to chase the guy riding in front of me, and ended up squarely under my front tire. It happened at the speed of light, so I didn't have time to do much but pull a stupid face in my helmet. The dog was like riding on grease, and I almost wiped out right there. I managed to get pulled over, and had a mad dog owner run up on me. Look man: I'm sorry your dog bit it, but he ran out in front of ME on a public road. I love dogs too, and felt bad about the dog but not so much about the owner. I eventually just got back on my bike and left, It was going nowhere explaining to the owner that HE was responsible had I had any damage or injuries. If your dog is trained to do this (or naturally prone to doing it) you need a good fence, or have it tied up.
 
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2,024
Location
.
Please forget the handgun, if you have to use it things won't end well. Instead, try ammonia in a water bottle. A splash in the face of any dog will stop them in their tracks.
 
Messages
677
Location
USA
Illinois... Anti-gun speech. A firearm is the best way to stop an animal bar-none. The next-best is pepper spray. Shouldn't go around telling people what they should and shouldn't do! If someone did that, we'd have more Merkava's running around telling us to use SuperTech synthetic oil and change every 3k miles!
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Messages
3,855
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted By: Danh
Please forget the handgun, if you have to use it things won't end well. Instead, try ammonia in a water bottle. A splash in the face of any dog will stop them in their tracks.
You're right. [censored], if I were to be forced to shoot the dog, i could potentially end up in a gunfight with the owner. These are Tennessee country folk, and are definitely armed. I'd almost certainly be outgunned. But, an ammonia water bottle ain't gonna stop a charging dog. At least, I'm not willing to risk that being my only defense. I've thought about whether I'd fire a warning shot. But, that would probably be too dangerous. Fired into the air, it could come down and injure or kill someone, or damage property. If fired into the street, it would likely ricochet either back into me, or end up through somebody's window.
 
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677
Location
USA
No, not really. Most bicyclists I know wear Go-Pro's or the like and with that video, if he ever used the firearm, it would prove (or disprove) a legitimate reason to engage with deadly force.
 
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5,928
Location
Waterloo, ON
Full strength red pepper spray bear repellent. That will stop him in his tracks. If the owner gives you a hard time let him have it as well..
 
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Messages
6,156
Location
Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
... Unfortunately, the story of the dog on the hill who bit me is probably not going to end well. I like the hill, and plan to continue riding up it. Next time I ride up that hill, I will have my Model 36 Glock .45 with me, and will use it to defend myself if necessary. I'd hate to do that, as I grew up with dogs, like them, and would never take the killing of an animal lightly. But, sometimes, with a vicious animal, there is no other choice. ...
You're probably better off with a can of pepper spray or mace in that situation....
 
Messages
13,260
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Bluestream
Full strength red pepper spray bear repellent. That will stop him in his tracks. If the owner gives you a hard time let him have it as well..
yes i'd go with pepper spray. It sounds like he was nice after he found out you were bit. If he does not contain his dogs i'd call the sheriff.
 
Messages
5,133
Location
chicago, Illinois
You have the right idea john! This dog owner is going to behave exactly as you imagine in the future he has learned NOTHING, as he is obviously irresponsible, and doesn't care about the damage and consequences he "unleashes" upon others which have the right to use public thoroughfares without fear of injuries or threats. I would bring a gun which allows for an easy moving shot without recoil issues. Do not listen to those who claim you will appear to be the "bad guy" if you shoot and kill any dog which is trying to attack you. Kill it and know that you will be saving another innocent bystander from harm or injury. The law should be changed so that when a dog attacks and injures in any way that a class one felony charge can be brought against the owner and that the significant prison time, very large monetary penalties and destruction of the dog will result. Only then will these obnoxious pet owners take notice and start being serious about controlling their animals and preventing innocent human beings from being threatened and injured.
 
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MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,957
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
I wouldn't attempt a moving shot. If I see the dog again, I will stop, get off the bike and draw the pistol. I will turn around and start moving in the other direction and attempt to get away. But, if he charges, I will shoot as a last resort.
I bicycle as well and I would too. I carry a .38 Special since I bike out in the country as well. You are defending yourself and have every right to do so. Fortunately here in town, we have leash laws and anyone with a dog has to have 4 foot black cyclone fence.
 
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Messages
129
Location
Panama CIty, Florida
Dawg jist naturally hates a bicycle; they'll chase one every chance they git. Can't break 'em of it, neither. --- Quote from Kentucky country resident after I'd been chased by a dog while on a cross country bicycle trip. I was chased up to 7 times a day and that's only counting dogs big enough to be trouble. I took to carrying a 30 inch length of 1 inch dowel rod under a bungee cord that I could reach while seated. Made a few animals unhappy, but I didn't get bit. Outrun, you say? On a 10% upgrade with a 75 pound bike? Sure...
 
Messages
6,156
Location
Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: mahansm
Dawg jist naturally hates a bicycle; they'll chase one every chance they git. Can't break 'em of it, neither.
Not every breed does, but certainly mine does. They see you as an aggressive predator because you are moving fast at them or their general direction, that's why dogs attack in general... I think that needs to be kept in mind somewhat, irresponsible owners or not...
 
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