Chasing cyclists(5 Posts)
I have had my two rescue dogs 18 months now, and my lo for 11months. They have been very challenging but I thought we were managing well and working around some of the issues we had with the dogs. DH and I took them out for a good run on our local national trust land earlier, popular with dog owners, walkers and occasional cyclist and horse riders. We go here quite often and initially had issues with our dogs heading after runners and cyclists but thought we had got over this by using a ball to distract, training and treats. Today my younger dog dashed after a cyclist. The cyclist tried to go faster which encouraged my dog further and then he got off and tried kicking and putting his bike between himself and my dog. I know my dog was in the wrong but he had such a rant at DH and now I just feel depressed about the whole thing and like never letting my dogs off the lead again. She is a 2/3 year old with a lot of energy though and I am not sure lead walks will do it. It has just really knocked my confidence.
Anyone any experience of this? Any ideas how I can work with it or around it?
Unfortunately you were in the wrong with the cyclist and the only thing to do is apologise profusely and try to regain control of the dog as soon as possible.
You will have to keep the dog on a lead in areas where there might be cyclists until he is better trained, however there are many places like footpaths where bicycles are not allowed so there should be plenty of opportunities for off lead exercise.
In terms of training distraction and reward are the way to go but it may take a bit longer before the command is really strong. I suggest the next time you use a friend on a bicycle to test whether the dog is ready to be off lead next to bikes. Your friend can be primed on how to react (i.e. stop cycling, fold arms, turn back on dog) and you can use a long line to teach the dog that you always have control of the recall.
I can understand where the cyclist was coming from - I'm both a cyclist and a dog lover, and I have been chased by dogs before. One that particularly stands out in my memory went running and snarling after me. The only reason it didn't savage my legs was because I was going down a bloody big hill at the time. Dog clearly wasn't under control as the owner was running after the thing shouting its name.
You'll have to put it on a long lead until it can be trusted and / or avoid areas where bikes are likely to be. Cyclists can cycle on some paths, and these are not always obvious to non-cyclists (I never spotted the little NCN signs until I started cycling!) so have a look online for local cycle maps before you decide where / where not to go.
Yup, my Weimaraner, Max, goes crazy when he sees a bicycle, howls and whines at them. I've accepted that he'll never be let off lead if there's any chance of cyclists about. I take him running with me, though, so he still gets lots of exercise even if its on lead.
When I'm cycling I'm always really careful to give dogs a wide berth and cycle slowly past them, even if they are on a lead. More than once I've had a dog lunge after me and escape its owner more, and it's scary.
I've also been bitten twice when I've been out running, by dogs not on a lead which ran after me. That's not so scary but it's still very annoying. Again I give them a wide berth.
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