Author Topic: Dogs & "Halt"  (Read 3610 times)

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Offline vanick

Dogs & "Halt"
« on: May 13, 2005, 06:51:08 pm »
Has anyone actually used "Halt", or some other spray device, to successfully ward off a nasty-looking dog chasing your bike?  

Here in Virginia, ill-mannered & unrestrained dogs are a fact of life.  In a lot of cases, those terms apply to the dog's owners too.  My immediate, impulsive, response when faced with a threatening dog is to stand on the pedals & sprint.  I've still been bitten once on the foot, put some holes in my Sidi but not in the important stuff stuff inside.  I've also learned that at least sometimes, the action of the feet twirling around on the pedals is what gets the dog all excited in the first place, and if I simply stop pedalling, the situation diffuses.  But if it doesn't diffuse, that strategy makes it that much easier to get bitten....

I'm getting ready for a trans America tour pulling BOB, and I don't think I'll be sprinting away quite as easily as i can on my lightweight, unloaded road bike.

I have some concerns with using a pepper spray or whatever:  (1) possible loss of control of the bike while fooling with a spray can with one hand, & trying to ride/escape at the same time; (2) what happens if the prevailing winds, bad aim, or whatever cause the spray (or some of it) to end up in your own eyes or in the eyes of another rider who happens to be nearby?; (3) what about Bubba the dog owner, who comes out with his belly & pickup truck to chase down whoever's messin' with his dog?

I know a lot of people carry this stuff, but haven't heard a lot of success stories about people actually using it.  Any out there?

Vacyclist Nick




Offline jkm4_72

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2005, 12:13:33 am »
I was bitten a year ago and have carried Halt ever since.  To answer your questions:

1) It takes practice to ride and shoot at the same time.  It gets much harder if there is traffic or more than 1 dog.  The effective range of the product is about 6 feet.  Every time I have managed to hit a dog, it has stopped chasing and started sneezing and wiping its head on the ground.

2) I have gotten some of the spray on me occasionally.  It's not something I want to repeat, but it was not enough to have to stop riding and the effects were completely gone within 5 minutes.

3) I view the use of Halt on troublesome dogs as infinitely preferable to other means available such as kicking the dog, beating it with a frame pump, or throwing rocks at it.  You have every right to defend yourself against a dog and if an owner disagrees with you it's time to call in the law.

There are other methods of dealing with dogs, including yelling at them or just getting off the bike.  Of course it is also impossible to know what dog will respond to what deterrent. One dog I sprayed once and it left me alone for the rest of the year...others I have to spray every time I ride past their territory.  The dog that bit me still chases me, but when I get off the bike and walk it completely loses interest.  Sprinting is also an option, but the dog that bit me has routintely paced me at 25mph.

I leave on a 2500 mile tour in 2 days and will be carrying Halt.


Offline DaveB

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2005, 12:18:28 am »
I've had mixed success with Halt.  A couple of times when I've actually been able to hit the dog with the spray, it stopped like it hit a brick wall.  Other times the wind, my speed or failure of the dog to "cooperate" made me miss and the Halt did nothing useful.  I once came across one dog who must have been sprayed in the past. He growled aggressively and chased me but stayed just out of range. Very frustrating.  I've concluded Halt isn't a universal fix but is sometimes useful.  

As for Bubba, carry a more potent pepper spray and keep it as a last resort.  One other way to handle Bubba is to whip out your cell phone as soon as he seems threatening. He'll think you're calling the cops and will probably think better of the confrontation.    


Offline vanick

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2005, 12:30:57 am »
Thanks for the input, I guess I'll order up some Halt for my impending west-to-east tour.  I sense I won't need this stuff between Oregon & the Kentucky border, is Halt available on the road at places like WalMart or the like (which I never shop at locally)?  I haven't seen it around here in the bike shops (central Virginia), but I haven't asked for it & might have missed it.

Nick


Offline DaveB

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2005, 02:10:05 pm »
I don't think Halt is available in Wal-Mart although some of the strong, personal-defense pepper sprays are.  They certainly work on dogs too but are overkill for the application.

I've purchased Halt from my bike shop and by mail order from Nashbar.  

BTW, why don't you think there are any dogs between Oregon and Kentucky? :)  


Offline vanick

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 12:05:49 am »
There are lots of dogs between Oregon & Kentucky.  Been there, seen them.  Somehow, though, the ambient dog owner in the west seems more responsible & apt to train his or her dog to be a good citizen.  Where I live (Virginia), and in places like West Virginia and Kentucky, there seem to be plenty of (sick in my book) people who take pride in harboring mean dogs.  Dogs that are trained to attack.  I could be ambushed by a crazy dog at an point on my cross-country tour, but I bet I'll have more irrational confrontations east of the Missippi.

Nick


Offline cyclist

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2005, 09:23:57 pm »
Well try not to sprey up wind. And god forbid, but if you should get the sprey in your eyes,or some one elses by accident. Belive it or not, Use milk to flush the eyes, milk nutralizes the chemical. Now some tricks i have learned as an alternate solution to hault. Is cold water. ,Or and air horn. However, i do not recomend using the horn in amish country. No need to explain why i,am sure.


Offline jeek

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2005, 11:12:24 pm »
Please do explain why not to use a horn in Amish country.


Offline cyclist

Dogs & "Halt"
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2005, 08:51:30 pm »
Never use an air horn in ,or around amish people. As we all know amish main source of transportation, is by horse and buggy. The audible from the horn will startle the horse, putting the rider in great danger. And we do not want  that to happen.  :)