Doggy Defence


Iritatingly, a dog has bitten a hole in one of my rear panniers. I have had to fix it up with the last of my duct tape, but it won't be so watertight now. It could have been worse. The delightful hound could have bitten my leg. So. Now I feel I need a weapon against "man's best friend". But which? This has been a favourite topic amoung cyclists so here are the options I've heard.

1. Squirt dog with water from your water bottle.

2. Hit it with pump, length of bamboo, truncheon, or bit of metal. (I'm keeping my eyes peeled for something suitable.)

3. Whip it with a horse whip or an old inner-tube.

4. Hit it with a machete (I know two cyclists who carry these). Perhaps more effective at getting the owner to control it, fearing the crazed gringo waving a machete around.

5. Shoot it with an air-gun, or a gun that fires plastic ball bearings (or an Uzi for all I care!!)

6. Mace it.

7. Zap it with a cattle-prod or a tazer.

8. Buy a Dog Dazer. A battery powered devise that emits a high-pitched sound that they don't like.

9. Throw rocks. I do this already. It's what the locals do so quite a good strategy. Sadly I don't have anywhere very good to store the stones and there isn't always time to pick some up.

10. Use physcology. Shout at it (suprisingly effective, especially if you use Spanish). For example "a tu casa!" Aim straight for it (dogs only attack from behind). Get off the bike (then it will recognise you as a human rather than a bike).

11. Ride the adrenaline rush and try and out run it. Not always possible.

Do you know something that works better?

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  1. I just ¨kick it in the head¨. Hope all is well. James B.

  2. I commute along a lot of paths that are used by dog walkers. If you find a solution then please let me know. I'm constantly having problems with dogs.

    I am slowly finding out what doesn't work though.

    Top of my list is Hi viz / bags or flashing lights. Anything that gets you noticed on the road also seems to make you a threat to the dog.

    Pedalling quicker just causes them to chase you.

    Dog dazers seem to either do nothing or have the opposite effect irritating the dog and causing it to attack.

    I find the best solution is to ignore the dog completely but if it gets too close jump off the bike and put the bike between you and the dog.
    I like the stones idea but I think i'd rather throw them at the owners than the dog.

  3. If you are stationary or can't outrun the dog on your bike then putting the bike between you and it is a great idea. The dazer only works from a distance but this could keep them there - which is what you want! The problem is if there is more than one! Then its much harder to keep the bike between them and you. Postmen and women are advised to use the mailbag as an object to give to the dog to bite if it attacks. Cycle tourists could perhaps use a pannier. Failing this - if it does go for you be prepared to give it your left forearm if you are right handed so you can then beat it off (ie. punches to the throat or gouge eyes). This is much better than it biting any other part of your body. Dont try and pull your arm from its mouth. Instead push the arm into its mouth to force it to gag and in doing so release your arm. Another strategy could be to keep a drumstick to hand which is very strong to force this down its throat whilst its attached to your arm or use as a weapon. Try to also make yourself look big and never turn your back on one. If you're going to walk away always walk slowly backwards. Only run if you can see an exit like a gate. I hope this is not too alarmist! (PS. love the blog!)


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