View Full Version : Loose, Aggressive Dogs

07-18-2003, 10:01
In some other posts, hikers have mentioned that they were more concerned about loose, aggressive dogs than bears. How much of a problem is this? How do you protect yourself against dogs?

Blue Jay
07-18-2003, 11:00
When you see a dog look for a defensive position in front of a rock or large tree if possible. Dog people often have another one to circle around behind you while the first one attacks. Use your hiking stick to jab, if you swing and miss you get the teeth. Jabbing does the most possible damage to the dog with the least possible damage to your stick. Dog people ALWAYS yell "don't worry he's friendly" as a distraction. After the attack, if possible, it is important to then counter attack the actual source, the dog person. Unless we drive them from the trail they will just attack someone else, possibly a child.

07-18-2003, 11:49
I have come to understand that my participation in this forum is counter productive. In an attempt to ammend this I am deleting my posts and have requested to have my account deleted

07-18-2003, 12:11
I don't know if I've ever heard the term "dog people" before. I'm not a big fan of people that don't control their dogs, though. I often hit golf balls in an open park near my house. Invariably, a "dog person" comes out to the park and I end up having to exit or get bitten. Golf clubs also make very effective weapons, however.

07-18-2003, 12:26
I'm hoping my bear spray will also work on the dogs. I don't want to cause friction with other hikers, but if a dog comes growling up to me on the trail that dog is going to get a face full of bear spray, regardless of proclamations of "he's all bark and no bite" by the owner.

Blue Jay
07-18-2003, 12:40
Very good Braaad (how IS Todd anyway), you got your point across in under a thousand words.

07-18-2003, 14:04
LOL Dont you just hate how them dog people always stand there with that (bleep)eatin grin on their face while their mutt gnaws on your leg?! lol Ive read that some bear sprays are ineffective against dogs ,they pretty much just shrug it off. But Mail carriers have a diferent type of spray especially for dogs. This is just what ive read but I thought it worth mentioning. Streamweaver

07-18-2003, 14:53
When i go jogging at home I often carry a little hand spray with a home-made mixture of amonia and water. Dogs HATE amonia. One spray on the face and they will NEVER mess w/ you again. However, it's a home-made contraption in a small window-spray bottle. Not exactly trail-hardy.

07-18-2003, 16:23
household ammonia or reagent grade ammonia?

steve hiker
07-18-2003, 18:22
I used bear spray (UDAP) on a couple of dogs in Nantahala once. However the lead dog (who I sprayed) came back for seconds about 10 minutes after retreating. When he came back he was rubbing his face on the ground trying to get the stuff off as he walked, but advanced straight toward me anyway. His buddy stayed a few feet behind him. When I hit lead dog with a second shot of the stuff and they retreated again, I quickly packed up and hiked a few miles up the trail.

Spooked me that this dog would shrug off the spray and come back. I sure didn't want to be around when they came back for a third visit, since it was getting dark and I didn't look forward to fighting two dogs in the dark.

07-18-2003, 19:22
just good old amonia from the grocery store. The container said it was 100% pure amonia. sure smelled like it too - i'd see stars when my nose got close to the bottle.

"steve hiker" that story kinda freaks me out. After spraying dogs with my amonia cocktail (which i've done several times while running) the dogs wouldn't even think about coming back and the next time i came running by they remembered me and stayed away.

I'm losing faith in my bear spray. :-(

07-18-2003, 19:34
Common pepper spray or CS (tear gas) works on dogs.


steve hiker
07-18-2003, 19:39
dionalaniz, what mixture of amonia-water did you use?

07-19-2003, 00:29
I don't scientifically measure it out. I just kinda pour some amonia in and then a bunch of water. I'd estimate 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water. I swear, the dogs HATED it and would seriously fear me the next day i would come jogging by. But the delivery mechanism was terrible. Just a souped up window sprayer. The only reason it worked is because all the vicious dog encounters I've had while jogging involve the dog first stopping about 8 feet a way to bark and snarl and "scope things out" before shooting in for the kill. That allowed me to pelt its face w/ amonia. Guess i've been lucky.

Why some people leave mean dogs loose on their front lawn i'll never figure out.

But really steve, that story about your bear spray has me spooked. I always imagined that my can of UDAP would just freak the living daylights out of any wet-nosed mammal. That it had such a pathetic effect on a dog spooks me and makes me question its worth. :-(

07-19-2003, 01:12
The ammonia smells like urine to them......

steve hiker
07-19-2003, 05:07
What about using pure amonia? Would it permanently injure the dog, such as causing blindness if shot in the eye? I wouldn't want to seriously injure someone's pet that was just being a little too aggressive, but on the other hand, if it is truly a dangerous dog (like some of the feral mutts or a bulldog), then I'd want to injure it for my own safety and others.

07-19-2003, 08:27
I used the same ammonia/water concoction when I drove a delivery truck hauling feed and groceries for my father's store in rural souhtern Virginia. Most the people to whom I delivered had dogs and some were pretty aggressive. I used an old liguid soap bottle that would spit a sizeable stream at the dog. I mixed it with water but don't know the mix. A small squirt gun worked well too. Dogs would usually leave me alone after that. None were every seriously injured.

The worst bite I got, however, was from an old beagle owned by a minister. He sneaked up behind me and chewed on my achilles tendon for a while. I had left the ammonia in the truck because I thought the dog was harmless!

07-19-2003, 09:38
While doing a thru-hike, is it necessary to carry something like this for protection against dogs and other wildlife?

Lone Wolf
07-19-2003, 09:58
Loose, aggressive dogs aren't a concern on the trail. Worry more about humans.

steve hiker
07-21-2003, 14:30
Dogs USUALLY aren't a problem, but when they are, I'd rather be prepared. Reading AT thru-hiker journals, most hikers have had run-ins with aggressive dogs at some point. Most use their trekking poles, which works fine with one dog. But in my case there were two, and I wasn't about to just stare one down while his buddy circled around behind to bite me in the ass.

Then there is the occassional problem with packs. Here's a couple posts from another board:

"My dog and I had an incident with three VERY wild dogs when I was a kid. They didn't see us (even Yoyo sensed that he should lay low and KEEP QUITE), yet it was one of the most frightening events of my life. These animals were beasts - plain and simple. They were huge, too, and very wild looking - matted, but not mangy. They were definitely NOT domestic animals. They appeared to be rather healthy - unlike strays around dumps, etc."

"I saw a TV program years ago about wild dogs in the north GA mountains. There was a NFS ranger that referred to them as being far more dangerous than the bears. Some friends of mine hunted a large tract of timber land in middle GA for many years. They had numerous encounters with wild dogs on that property. The dogs were quite aggressive."