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Old 2014-04-19, 12:27 PM   #31
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Ldlux - appreciate your perspective of a non-dog owner, especially as its expressed w/o anger and with a sense of humor.

As a unicyclist I ride a lot on trails in a park where the dogs outnumber the people. Most are off leash. I find that I can ride around the majority of the dogs, and the ones I can't are just curious; a quick dismount and a pet and we're all happy. But this is an ideal environment - the dogs here are being taken out for exercise, they are primarily off leash, and they are under very little stress. Dog fights in this park are rare to nonexistent.

Problems arise with dogs when they don't get excercise, are bored, or under stress. Unfortunately, it sounds like you live in a community where many people who only want pets for part of the time buy them and pen them/leash them/leave them unattended for the rest of the time. You're a solution to their boredom and lack of exercise: novel, and not too slow, like a pedestrian, or too fast, like a bike or car. Perfect entertainment. If you stop and make friends with them you may make the problem worse. But then at least you'll have a friend.

Re the mace - for most dogs any distraction works fine. Try a squirt bottle of water.

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Last edited by Samstoney; 2014-04-19 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 2014-04-19, 12:41 PM   #32
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Was trying to write an appropriate reply (within my limited knowledge of the english language) to express what i think about the situation and the thread itself for some time now.

Today fortuna was nice to me and Samstoney wrote a reply that did express all i wanted to say very nicely.


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beim Umfallen nicht Auffallen."

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Old 2014-04-19, 02:53 PM   #33
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I usually have no problem with dogs in town, but further I go outside into the villages, more often some dogs start to chase me. Usually dismounting is enough, but it depends on situation. We had some unpleasant encounters in Romania, but there you can find big packs of wild dogs. You can read more under Animals here: http://www.romuni.eu/post/5577225418...ry-part-2-last
You can have also some more reading on dogs on this forums:
Some people wrote that ultrasonic dog repellers work. I was using just a whistle, which was not enough for some dogs and barely better than correctly timed shout.
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Old 2014-04-20, 06:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by ldlux View Post
The goal here is not punishment, it is to get the dog to back off so I can continue riding without fear of injury.
Dogs have crazy-sensitive smell. They can smell your fear. Clearly Idlux lives in a place with a lot more loose dogs than most of us encounter. My assumption is that Music City is Detroit (Motown), though Motown moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, so he could be from there. Or is he in Tennessee somewhere?

I haven't noticed being chased by a dog in years. Mostly I ride in on my local bike path, which is parkland, in which most people with dogs are obeying the rules; nearly all dogs are on a leash. When I ride remote trails, I often encounter people with unleashed dogs (legal or not; I'm not sure), but those dogs are almost always well-behaved. Some will run up to me, but I always make friendly noises and continue to ride predictably.

Dogs like to chase. If you keep riding, you're keeping it interesting for the dog. Stopping can put a quick end to a lot of chases, though you don't know if an aggressive dog will try to attack you. Note that this is recommended for bicyclists as well, though they are easier to hide behind.

When I was learning to ride, my friend had an English Sheepdog. This nutty dog always wanted to bite the whitewall tires on our old Schwinns. We just figured if she accidentally got her head run over, it would make an impression and she would maybe stop trying to do it. But we knew she was basically playing, so we weren't too bothered by it. It helped us learn to feel confident on our Schwinn Giraffes earlier.
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Old 2014-04-20, 10:27 PM   #35
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Sadly, all dogs can bite, but only a few bite with regularity.

I have been bitten a number of times, one instance resulted in 200 stitches.

I have given up three dogs for human aggression and one dog (recently) for dog aggression.

I have been chased on uni, bike, tandem, and on foot. I have also been packed on by a group of dogs running free, a few of whom I knew.

Water squirting works if you get them in the eyes and nose, so you really gotta aim and wait for the white of their eyes.

In all reality, you are just as likely to crash when trying to avoid or scare off a dog, so your best bet is dismount and threaten to throw something at the dog.

I was just in Guatemala and I had a bunch of dog problems, in my neighborhood and in the city, pretending to throw something or yelling did nothing, so I resorted to carrying a two foot length of flexible plastic pipe.

Now that worked like a charm, crack it couple times on the ground and wave it around, and the dogs were out ta there!

I love dogs, but any dog can bite, be especially aware when passing a dog and their owner!
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Old 2014-04-21, 03:23 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
Now that worked like a charm, crack it couple times on the ground and wave it around, and the dogs were out ta there!
I wonder if any sort of weird loud noise would do the job. Would a clown-type horn be playing the stereotype too much? They sell them at the £1 shop in town, complete with bike fittings... Could make a sweet dog repellent
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Old 2014-04-22, 05:03 PM   #37
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When I was a child, I was bitten in the face and subjected to the rabies series of shots by a dog that "doesn't" bite so I appreciate statements by people who feel the need to defend themselves. It is also true that most dogs are not so aggressive that bites actually occur; however, owners who let their dogs roam freely are not being considerate of their fellow earth mates.
While training & socializing my dog, Max bolted from my grasp with his leash dragging behind. He knocked over a 50ish woman riding a bicycle and caused her great pain. It cost me a bouque of flowers and much embarassment. I still feel bad that my dog hurt someone else.
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Old 2014-04-23, 05:33 AM   #38
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For dogs, eye contact is threatening, especially if it comes from a towering one-wheeled monster. Sometimes it even elicits eyeing / stalking behavior. If you see a dog intently watching you on your uni, and he begins to approach in what looks like a stealth posture, looking away can help to de-escalate the situation.

Mail carriers often have pepper spray for handling situations like these while they work. There's nothing wrong with defending yourself, especially from aggressive carnivores, though I've never had to do so while unicycling and don't own any pepper spray, and actually most of my dog confrontations have been pretty entertaining. Watching someone's dog go ballistic as I roll gently past is way better than hearing yet another "Look, honey, it's a u-ni-cy-cle!"

I actually like dogs a lot, but unicycling is not a good way to make friends with them.

Last edited by song; 2014-04-23 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 2014-04-23, 02:22 PM   #39
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I ride a lot in a local area that's *infested* with off leash dogs (mine included), and I have noticed that the dogs seem to have no idea what to do with a unicycle. On foot or on bike, they ignore me. On a unicycle, they lose their mind. Most seem to want to just check me out to figure out what I am, and a few want to play with this new "creature".

One thing that I have found really helpful (and a trick I learned from horse packers while I was backpacking) is to simply talk to the dogs as they approach. The horse packers explained to me that the horses don't recognize people with big backpacks as "people", but as soon as they hear you talking normally, they get it. I've found the same to work with the dogs - especially those barking or engaging in stalking behavior.

I don't yell at 'em or even give 'em a command. Rather, I just try a friendly, "Hi, pup!" or "Hey, buddy. Let's go. Out of the way." Even talking normally and calmly to their owners works.

It doesn't always stop the need to dismount, but generally I see a lot more normal and friendly behavior from the dogs after we've established I'm a person.

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Old 2014-04-23, 06:11 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by ubernerd View Post
the dogs seem to have no idea what to do with a unicycle. On foot or on bike, they ignore me. On a unicycle, they lose their mind. Most seem to want to just check me out to figure out what I am, and a few want to play with this new "creature".
Actually, the other day, as the sun was setting, I came across a raccoon who was up early. Even though he was closer to me than raccoons usually like to be, he stopped climbing his tree and stared at me on my unicycle with what I could swear was not a look of fear, but of extreme confusion.
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