Water attack by...dog!?

Defending yourself against an out of
control dog should be done with all zeal. You can’t know what’s wrong with a dog that attacks you. Your paddle, your knife, your air horn, handgun, flares…whatever you got on hand. The dog owners don’t come into the equation when it’s you and your boat on the water. Protect yourself at all cost against a wild, dangerous animal.

Low-brace practice, with a twist
If the dog was truly aggressive, which the growling would indicate, you might be able to stick a blade out on top of its head and put your weight on it, making sure to keep your edging ready to change in a split second.

Maybe a little water in its snoot and lungs would make it reconsider the attack. If not, a blade wedged in its maw should do the trick (unless it’s a mastiff type). Better to lose a paddle than an arm…and of course you would make the owner give full restitution for it.

While I have not had an aggressive dog encounter on the water, I do know someone who had to fight off a pit bull in the Denver area, while paddling on the South Platte River. This is one of those times when the “packers” (as in “heat”) might have a chance to do some real good for the general public!

Me too
Those of you who are farmiliar with my many bad experiences with dogs while paddling probibly are thinking “bet THIS one didn’t happen to Turtle”. Actually it did! I had a black lab leap off a 4’ riverbank on a local river and paddle furiously after me. He was growlong and snapping during the entire persute,but I outran him. Now I hug the opposite shore when paddling by there,ready to sprint.


my thought too
seems like a well-placed, well-timed brace off the dog’s head should do the trick

The current thinking
is that the dog is confused by seeing a person upper, but not a person lower. This applies to cyclists, and now I guess to kayakers(I do both). Some dogs will be fine once they see the person with legs. Which is fine on a bike, you just have to stop and put a foot down, or dismount(a friends dog is like this, goes nuts until I stand up away from the bike, I get back on it barks again). Don’t know what to do in a kayak, except to out run it, or splash it with a beaver tail slap in front of it’s nose. And when a person says of their dog “he’s freindly, he won’t chase\hurt you” that usually means; drop a gear and get ready for a nice sprint with the dog of a stupid owner on your wheel.

time to work with a dog or take to dog

– Last Updated: Sep-06-11 12:27 PM EST –

behavior specialist instead of spending the day with one's online trading...I think.

Use the blade/paddle to both…
keep away from boat and use it to push off from to gain momentum…(probably already said).

Right and wrong

– Last Updated: Sep-08-11 10:29 AM EST –

I agree with your point about wild animals but what you said about half-a-human is bizarre. How does anyone know what the dog is thinking? The owner of the dog in our civil case said something quite similiar and we knew he was lying to us because because the plaintiffs attorney asked how often he had a telepathic link with dog...after objections...he asked could the dog talk....objections...write....etc etc... We added 26K (20 plus 33% for the lawyer) just because of that.

I’ve seen it first hand
We were at the Ramcat put in at the Yough waiting for the rest of our group to show. We were there for an hour and our retriever was happy and just hanging out. Then a guy came down the hill with no legs. He was propelling himself very well on his short stumps. Nick went bananas barking and growling at him. It was embarassing and I had to get him out of there. I felt really bad.

Try reading up on dog behavior.
Nobody knows what the dog is thinking, and the dog can’t tell us, which is why this theory will change in the future. Which is also why I started with “The current thinking”. I agree, the dog owner is responsible for controling the dog, if they can not control the dog, then they are liable for what ever damage the dog does. If a dog attacks a person on a bike(or kayak) because he doesn’t know what it is, that is the responsibility of the dog owner for not having control over the dog.

“Inside of a Dog” is a good book to start with.

On this planet Humans Are in Charge
I have seen plenty of dogs react badly to whole people, so I can only wonder about the time invested in reading a book with half-people theory. When people use these theories to defend themselves in court, it does not end well-my only point.

Dog owners should spend more time learning to control dog actions rather than rationalize dog actions.

But you can’t just see it through…
…only a legalistic lens. =<br />

It’s an interesting theory, and while not 100% provable, it does seems to account for some things I’ve seen in my many years of cycling.

Just because some irresponsible dog owners lawyer-up and attempt to use a theory for their own benefit, does not mean the theory sucks… only that ppl who suck will grasp at any straw.

Sadly. =[

No kidding
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard an owner say, “Oh, my Poonsie loves other dogs/other people/wouldn’t hurt anything” while the horrid thing is baring all its teeth inches away from me or my dogs (who are always leashed).

I know that I cannot know everything my dogs think, even though often enough it appears that I’m right. But NOT ALWAYS. Even if I did, I would not dare to presume that someone else’s dog is trustworthy. Amazes me how some people think that just because their dog is (supposedly) friendly with other dogs, mine will automatically like being run at by their unleashed, untrained dogs!

Yes, these owners should be trained through their pocketbooks. It’s the only thing some people understand, besides brute physical force/violence.

My new favorite saying: “ppl who suck will grasp at any straw”

Well I apologize if I have offended you…what I meant to say that any explanation of what is going on in a dogs mind spoken from the witness stand is bizarre and offensive because no one will ever know.

Most importantly, however, even if the theory was studied and proven beyond any doubt, non-owners (not on the dog owners property) should not have to change their behavior for the sake of the dog.

No offense taken.

Yup – paddling along a peaceful river…
and this crazy dog comes running down to the bank barking like crazy. Caught it on film at about 2:50


Actually, the dog was harmless – more annoying than anything. The water was shallow, but it never can any closer. If it did, I wouldn’t have hesitated to teach it a lesson with the paddle.

Sometimes people need a little training too. I was running Zoar Gap a couple of years ago, and a tuber flipped right in front of me. Of course, he wasn’t wearing a PFD, so he grabbed the nearest thing that he could to keep his head above water – the side of my boat. I did a brace to keep from going over, and it scared the sh*t out of him. He thought I was trying to hit him with the paddle. I was just trying to keep from going over. He let go and took his chances with the rapid.

Not the same trip, but you can see Zoar Gap in this video at 1:20. I’m at 1:36. TommyC1 is doing some surfing at 1:08.


As far as I am aware of, most states
have laws stating that dogs must be on a leash and in control when off their respective properties. A dog park would likely be the exception as it’s enclosed.

I’ve had dogs come to the waters edge while paddling and the owners were in the yard. They say, “They won’t hurt you.” To which I respond, “You better hope they don’t!” Most of the time they’ll call them back.

While walking, I have had dogs run barking at me and acting aggresive, and the owner is in the yard watching. Sometimes smirking. I let them know immediately, that if their dog does any harm to myself or others with me, they had better have very good insurance coverage as I will sue them. At which point the owner calls the dog back, cusses at me all the while finally restraining the dog. I also use trekking poles while walking.

I guess some people feel powerful with an agressive dog.

I have a Shitzu, and though she’s very friendly to most, she’s been known to snap at some people who are afraid of any dog, but reach down to pet her. Then it’s into her cage while they’re in my home. Sure, it’s her home, but I’ll not risk injury to others for her unacceptable behavior.

Unleashed dog marking his territory
while we were unloading - on my pile of gear on the grass. That was really nice. Owner left shortly after while i was walking over to my gear from the car. I am not happy anymore when i see unleashed dogs at our launch area.

Lots of dumb owners out there…
It’s sad that some of them only respond to the possibility of a lawsuit before they’ll ‘do the right thing’ and restrain their obviously untrained pooch. =[

And it goes beyond that… they obviously don’t care about their dog’s safety either.

I’m sure plenty of ppl, being attacked/mauled by a dog, would do whatever it took to get said dog off of them… even if that meant kicking the dog and breaking a few of its ribs, or clubbing it over the head with whatever heavy object is available (golf club, baseball bat, tree limb, rock, etc).

I just don’t understand what’s so incredibly DIFFICULT about restraining one’s dog if it’s in full-on bark/growl/threaten mode (as opposed to ‘love dog’ mode, where you might get licked to death). I’ve owned several dogs, never had a problem with shutting doggie down when doggie was getting authentically aggressive.

Maybe you’re right, perhaps there’s some feeble-minded ppl out there who just get off on making other ppl afraid.