mutt deterrent


July 22, 2014, 10:58 AM
I am looking for advice regarding "nightstick" style pieces of wood.

I am trying to lose weight and part that entails cycling. When my wife and I walk in our neighborhood I carry a shovel handle for a mutt deterrent. I was thinking of making a shorter version to wear in a "holster" strapped to my calf for easy access on the bike.

I know WV law says no black jacks, saps etc. My question is: Would law enforcement look at my set up as a illegal?


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July 22, 2014, 11:12 AM
Why not just get a police baton? (Or maybe a can of bear spray?)

July 22, 2014, 11:13 AM
A retractable baton should meet your needs. I use a 21" ASP.

July 22, 2014, 11:13 AM
walking stick or cane.attach it to the bike in a pull out tube attached vertically to the fork tubes

July 22, 2014, 11:27 AM
Why not just get a police baton? (Or maybe a can of bear spray?)
Because my version is free, and usually all you have to do is show them the stick and they run. You cannot do that with bear spray.

July 22, 2014, 11:28 AM
walking stick or cane.attach it to the bike in a pull out tube attached vertically to the fork tubes
I thought about that but I was unsure of how easy it would be to get out. I may have to experiment with it.

July 22, 2014, 11:36 AM
Pepper spray in a bike mount (

Another on Amazon (

Dogs will typically attack from behind while you're riding, it's instinctual. That means you'll always be spraying downwind. Pepper spray is very effective against dogs- I've seen it.

July 22, 2014, 01:13 PM
usually all you have to do is show them the stick and they run
I highly doubt most dogs are running from the stick. No, they're running from you and the fact that you've confronted them. Most dogs don't understand weapons, but they do understand people's body language. And when a person confronts a dog with dominant aggression (with or without a weapon), they almost always back off. The weapon usually only serves to give the person confidence, which the dog can sense.

I'm with Mainsail that you should try pepper spray. If you still want to use a short stick, just attach it to the bike in a place that would normally hold a bike pump. You can probably even use a bike pump bracket.

July 22, 2014, 02:45 PM
I agree with pepper spray on bike or wrist mount. Pay the $10 and be ready for 4-legged and 2-legged predators.

I would have to say that strapping a baton onto your calf is going to bring attention to yourself -and some uncomfortable riding. If you believe that just waving a stick at an aggressive dog will do it, then just use your bike-mounted pump and let us know how that works out.

July 22, 2014, 03:59 PM
bear spray might get you busted for animal cruelty issues, as it's over kill,and specifically made for bears.check your state laws about what mace is allowable for personal use.a cane,or walking stick is easier to justify.

July 22, 2014, 04:24 PM
Some years ago a buddy of mine was a letter carrier. He carried a squirt bottle of straight Bo-Peep Ammonia in his bag. He told me even the biggest, meanest German Shepard was not ready to tangle with the ammonia. Much cheaper than pepper spray and just as effective. Now as to those who say watch out for animal rights people, I say people have the right not to be attacked in public places by unrestrained "pets".

July 22, 2014, 04:26 PM
Ooh, ammonia to the highly tuned olfactory organs of a dog would be quite a deterrent.

July 22, 2014, 04:36 PM
Don't know if it's legal where you are but my dog is terrified of the sound of a cheap stun gun. The sound of bug zappers also send him hiding under the bed.

July 22, 2014, 05:27 PM
A good firm NO need to harm a dog for doing their job.

If it persists, knock on the owners door and rap THEM on the nose.

Sorry guys, any thought of harming a dog just rankles me (I like them more than people :D)...

I have been able to quiet the most aggressive dog by simple commands and calmness

Good boy !

July 22, 2014, 05:35 PM
Just pretend your Rick Perry, Governor of TX. and carry your wife's/daughter's 380......

Just jokin.....:) 45 works better. :)

July 22, 2014, 05:51 PM
Pepper spray is what you want. Trust me.

By the time the dog is close enough to hit with the stick, it'll be close enough to take a chunk out of you. Various pepper spray pattern sprayers will give you at least a 10' stand off distance. Also, pepper spray is effective against dogs. It really throws them for a loop and when hit with it they'll usually stop what they're doing and start trying to smear it off by sticking there face in the dirt.

I DO NOT agree that a gun is the best thing to use against an aggressive dog. I would MUCH rather hit the dog with pepper spray/mace that is proven effective against them that will not permanently kill them or severely injure them. Can you think of any legal repercussions from killing someones dog, justified or not, by shooting them? I can. Also you might get hit with all manner of things like discharging a firearm in city limits etc. etc. I know some will say "better that than get eaten by a dog" but the truth is, I'd recon pepper spray is actually more effective at stopping them than a bullet can be if it doesn't hit CNS. Large angry dogs can and will fight through being shot. They don't understand television and unlike humans, a dog doesn't know it's supposed to lay down and die when it gets shot.

Overwhelming the pooch who uses it's eyes and nose far more than you do with pepper spray will make them settle down in a hurry. Look it up, there are many videos showing this to be true. To some extent this effective can happen with other animals like bears to. I for one would MUCH rather have a can of mace in my hand if a dog was after me than a darn stick of any kind, and in truth the mace would probably be better than a gun.

Leave the silly stick at home and get yourself some pepper spray!

July 22, 2014, 08:25 PM
5 cell Kel-lite but I am still fond of Cocobolo for wood shampoos.

Art Eatman
July 22, 2014, 09:28 PM
Mace or pepper spray.

The trouble with a stick is the old "Swing and a miss! He's bit!"

July 22, 2014, 09:31 PM
bear spray might get you busted for animal cruelty issues, as it's over kill,and specifically made for bears.

It's the same stuff as regular OC, just in a jumbo size can that releases a heavier, farther traveling stream.

July 23, 2014, 03:34 AM
I've talked to some folks that informed me pepper spray didn't seem make any significant affect on the dogs in there situation. No personal experience so far though.

Now the meter readers I've talked to say umbrellas work very well and seem to really confuse the dogs.

July 23, 2014, 08:20 AM
I was about to second the collapsible baton idea, I've got one (not that I carry it) but it comes in a holster and is very rugged. However the bear spray ideas seems good too, and I don't believe there's any permanent damage so if worst case scenario you had to hit a dog with it, they would eventually recover and going back to their owner the owner might think 'hey I better keep a closer eye on him'.

Also, the taser idea, while I wouldn't make it my only option, seems like a good thing to try. Every dog I've been around has been scared of the noise of a good one, but I would have a backup in case you come up against one that isn't. :)

July 23, 2014, 08:29 AM
My Mom always carried aluminum salt shaker with about a dozen pennies in it. She would shake it and it worked really well.

July 23, 2014, 09:02 AM
While riding your bike, have your wife toss a melon at you at about the height of a dogs head and try to hit it with the stick you plan on carrying. Now remember that it might take multiple hits to make the animal stop.

While riding your bike, try to hit a moving target multiple times with a squirt gun from concealment one handed.

Now take a can a Bear Spray that is mounted on your handle bars and spray in the direction of said animal.

It is hard to get a good strong swing with anything, one handed and stay on the bike.

It is hard to draw from concealment and take aim one handed and hit a target from a bike.

The Bear Spray is the best option.

If the animal is not under someones control or leashed, it is fare game while attacking/being aggressive towards you. Screw the animal rights people.

Glock Doctor
July 23, 2014, 11:02 AM
I bred, raised, and trained American Pitbull Terriers for more than 35 years. I've owned some outstanding animals; and I'm, pretty sure, I know dogs. My suggestion would be for you to use a decent quality pepper spray - The same kind of product that is used for defense against human attackers.

Because a dog's mucus membranes are on the outside of its nose, the animal's: nose, eyes, and mouth are particularly susceptible to pepper spray. This stuff is, 'da bomb'; and I'm sure it will work! (You won't end up getting in trouble with the police, or having your carry permit yanked for being, 'trigger happy' either.)

And this is complete overkill:

PS: I like your screen name; it's one of my favorite verses!

Rick R
July 23, 2014, 11:36 AM
I'd avoid any clubbing type weapons with the way state code is written. A walking stick or cane is a different matter with the knee problems you've been having. ;)

Seriously, we see in colors and smell in black & white compared to dogs who see in black & white and smell in technicolor. Good pepper spray works very very well and as a plus dogs remember who had that stuff and avoid them like the plague.

July 23, 2014, 11:47 AM
As a teenager riding bicycle to school, I carried a squirt gun loaded with household ammonia. A spritz in the face sent them running.

July 23, 2014, 12:30 PM
Pepper spray.

July 24, 2014, 01:27 PM
just a note-

off the top of my head, as best I recall-

Pepper Spray (capsasum <sp?>) is good for dogs, but Mace (CS tear gas) is not as effective. I think CN tear gas is better for animals than CS.

Point being, make sure it's effective for four legged critters.

July 24, 2014, 02:28 PM
Air horn. Seriously. The shockingly pound sudden blaring noise of an air horn going off has tremendous impact on dogs. I know of several kennels/boarding facilities that use them to break up fights should one break out.

No need to hurt an animal. No need for guns, clubs, or pepper spray. I'm not going to wound a dog unless I absolutely have to. Heck, I'd give a dog at least as much leeway as I would a human.

July 24, 2014, 03:06 PM
You probably already have skunk scent as a cover scent. Make the dog pay, and then make his owner pay when he goes whimpering home smelling like a skunk.

July 24, 2014, 03:26 PM
I know WV law says no black jacks, saps etc. My question is: Would law enforcement look at my set up as a illegal?
WEST VIRGINIA CODE ‹ Back | print page Print 61-7-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Blackjack" means a short bludgeon consisting, at the striking end, of an encased piece of lead or some other heavy substance and, at the handle end, a strap or springy shaft which increases the force of impact when a person or object is struck. The term "blackjack" shall include, but not be limited to, a billy, billy club, sand club, sandbag or slapjack.

Wellll, all club like objects, whether homemade or purchased, looks like they could fall under that interpretation if the officer so wanted in spite of the definition requiring "lead or some other heavy substance" and "at the handle end, a strap...".

Best advice is pepper spray with a stick designed to avoid the definition under the law as a blackjack/billy club.

July 24, 2014, 03:59 PM
Technically stick/baton-like bludgeons fall under the "billy/billy club" so yes they likely count for purposes of that definition.

However, if you go to the next part (61-7-3 ( it says all aforementioned weapons are only illegal if carried concealed.

(10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried.

So open carry of even a purpose-made baton is lawful. Though it's still probably better to go with just a non-weighted stick to avoid alarming people.

July 24, 2014, 04:33 PM
i know from my brief experience as a paperboy that ammonia works. I used ammonia because pepper spray was not available to me. Since it is now, I carry it as part of my "go away NOW" toolkit for humans and critters.

I'm a dog lover, too, and would rather blast Fido with something unpleasant and painful than let him get hold of me and perhaps be put down for his troubles.

July 24, 2014, 09:16 PM
A tire pump. A multi-tasker bicyclers have been using for decades.

July 24, 2014, 10:00 PM
Ahhh, very good, burrhead.

A bike tire pump doesn't have to be terribly sturdy if the intent is to drive off a dog if it is used with pepper spray.

July 24, 2014, 10:47 PM
I have said it before and I will say it again: While I have no doubt ammonia is effective, pepper spray is fairly cheap and far preferable to ammonia, both in ease of use (Aeresol fog, v. thin spray) and container (small spray can v. squirt bottle or whatever else). I can appreciate saving a penny or two here or there, but at the end of the day pepper spray is far more effective and doesn't have the potential for permanent harm that ammonia has all while being reasonably priced.

Dmitri Popov
July 24, 2014, 11:13 PM
To get an accurate answer we need to know what part of the state you are in. (In regards to any legal ramifications)

I would personally carry a couple things. Pepper spray as a first resort, ASP in case an escaltion of force is required, and lastly I would carry a pistol.

Check Gall's for a holder that would allow you to easily carry and retrieve the Cap-Stun and/or baton quickly from the bike.

July 25, 2014, 06:57 PM
Cold Steel Shambok.

July 25, 2014, 09:23 PM
Impact weapons are fine, but they require you to let Fido get close enough to hit him. In regards to the sjambok, there's a real chance doing Fido some real, serious, and lasting damage which could land you before the judge. Pepper spray eventually fades, but only the thickest dog wouldn't take a lesson from a noseful of it.

July 26, 2014, 08:10 PM
They go all the way to nearly 60 inches. I love mine at 36 inches so far but I carry pepper spray and my 38 .

July 27, 2014, 04:35 PM
A tire pump. A multi-tasker bicyclers have been using for decades.

Yup. I've often thought about it with my Cannondale touring bike (a 1995 T400 with a whole bunch of upgrades like Ultegra barcons, LX deraileurs, Brooks B17 etc...) which has a nice full length frame pump mounted under the top tube.
That taking a whack with that would hurt!

July 27, 2014, 06:29 PM
I've used my tire pump to stave off farm dogs several times over the years. I just waved it them, they got the idea.

My ex-brother in law was a meter reader for ComEd, he always carried pepper spray, got bit twice.

Vodoun da Vinci
July 27, 2014, 08:27 PM
Used to run service calls at people's homes and have had numerous confrontations with everything from a 200+ pound St. Bernard to 10 pound terriers and pit bulls in between.

Pepper spray. Dogs have sensitive noses...never had one get past the spray and require beating except to run screaming with head dragging on the grass and run straight into a tree and knocked himself out.


July 28, 2014, 11:30 AM
Also keep in mind that if you have a single persistent dog you can dismount with the bike between you and the dog as a shield and use the pepper spray from that position.

As to ammonia, no. We've discussed ammonia before and as Timbo said there's not much reason to use it when pepper spray is available and the spray bottles today you'd put ammonia in aren't very reliable AND the concentration of ammonia that might get into a dog's eyes could actually injure them. There's no good reason to use ammonia these days.

July 28, 2014, 12:28 PM
Don't forget that you can legitimately carry a large bike lock with you clipped on the bike and those are very solid items.

Not directly related, but interesting -

July 28, 2014, 04:18 PM
Also keep in mind that if you have a single persistent dog you can dismount with the bike between you and the dog

I've done this several times. I then used my bike (between me and the dog) to aggressively move towards the dog and scare it off. I had pepper spray at the ready, but didn't need to use it.

July 28, 2014, 09:02 PM
I've talked to some folks that informed me pepper spray didn't seem make any significant affect on the dogs in there situation. No personal experience so far though.

Now the meter readers I've talked to say umbrellas work very well and seem to really confuse the dogs.
There is no magic bullet. It is possible to encounter a dog that for some reason doesn't respond to OC, but it's rare -- lots more stories about dogs being stopped cold than shrugging it off (after a couple of attacks on my dogs in a couple of months I started carrying OC -- it's been several years now, but haven't had to find out for myself how it works).

July 28, 2014, 10:59 PM
I've had much experience with dogs therefore read the comments with interest. All of the methods will work with MOST dogs, but would get you hurt with the breeds about which you need to be concerned. For instance, I have seen a Staff/Pit take a full can of pepper spray in the face - even though blinded he was able to tear apart a standard wood fence in his enraged state. Without a vehicle nearby for refuge it is likely he would have killed the guy. Dogs of this genre will not be deterred by ammonia, pepper spray, etc. They will not back down - period. You don't have time for a 'first defense', 'second defense', etc. You get one shot. Forget the sprays. The only sure defenses I have seen are: (1) A suitable handgun, or (2) A 1" hickory stick. The handgun leaves too much hesitation time which will not be available to you, but the stick can save your life. It has mine more than once.

July 29, 2014, 01:01 AM
In city limits shooting a dog will likely get you arrested. A couple years back I actually had to shoot a dog that came after my mom and I as we were walking along at the farm. Out there it was legal enough and when I drove over to the adjoining property to tell the people what happened, they were understanding and happy we were ok. I don't think that would fly in the city, at all.

I also disagree somewhat with the idea that there are breeds that one should be more concerned with than others. While I agree that certain breeds can certainly be more aggressive, any breed can be vicious and a threat if the circumstances are right. I think you were just saying that those breeds are the worst in the spectrum of potential dog attacks, which is likely true and in which case I do agree. But I do not agree if you were saying that pits or any other breed that people typically identify as dangerous are automatically threats. I worked for a shelter for a number of years and I can count on one hand the issues we had with pits/rottweilers/dobermans or what have you. The list of mutts and other assorted dogs that were vicious is substantially longer.

As a side note, in close quarters give me a mean dog over a mean cat any day... not a single dog ever sent a coworker to the ER on that job, but a 8 pound cat sure did.

July 29, 2014, 03:39 AM
I'm more of the full sized bike pump camp.

I used to run and ride alot and it's funny to watch a dog try to bite you when you're riding...their heads follow your feet as your feet go in circles...generally if you pedal fast and long enough the dog gives up as I believe they are concerned with territory usually.

But is is hard to pedal fast when you're waving a pump around, so if you're really worried about getting bit I'd recommend getting off the bike and placing yourself on the other side of the bike from the dog, although I've never had to do this...I just kept pedaling and using the pump to fend off the dog until the dog decided to give up. When you're out running it's harder to keep moving, and if you're on foot I'd recommend a walking stick or "cane". I've had to use a scrap 2x4 laying around but it's hard to run with.

Good luck on your bike riding.

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