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Authorities investigate whether wild dogs that attacked a Hunter cyclist were rogue pets


Authorities suspect a pack of domestic dogs may have been responsible for giving a Newcastle mountain biker the fright of his life.

The ABC understands the dogs were initially suspected to be wild but may actually be a pack of domestic dogs.

Jason Poole had planned a ride up Mount Royal in the Hunter Valley on an isolated trail near Lostock Dam during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

But he never imagined the turn it would take.


“I came around the corner and there was a very aggressive large sort of cattle dog-style looking dog but blended with a bit of a mongrel,” he said.

“And it just started barking at me really aggressively.”

Then suddenly, a pack of dogs emerged from nowhere.

“Thankfully, I was on the bike. I had been pushing it the last bit up the hill because it was so steep and I just went absolutely flat out for the lead dog.”

The dog moved, but then the chase was on.

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‘I thought I was morning tea’ A man’s bike escape from vicious dogs near Muswellbrook
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Mr Poole said he kicked one of the dogs amid a frantic scramble to reach safety before the chase continued for about 200 to 300 metres.

“Purely because I thought it was going to grab my ankle or my calf, or worse, the tire and I thought if I lost momentum, I could be in real strife,” he said.

‘Full attack mode’

Mr Poole said he did not give much thought to the what-ifs at the time but has been pondering about it ever since.

“Later, I thought, ‘What if I’d been a walker? What if I’d had a bike issue or something?’ It was pretty intense,” he said.

“It was full attack mode.”

After checking his fitness apps, Mr Poole said he was tracking at about 50 kilometers per hour.

“My normal revolutions would probably be 80 revolutions per minute, I was hitting 109, my heart rate peaked,” he said.

Mr Poole said there was no mobile phone reception in the area.

“I could have been on another planet. There was no one to help in that situation,” he said.

Stunning scenery but no return trip planned

Local land management authorities have attempted to control the wild dog situation in the Hunter’s high country but it is believed this attack was likely not feral animals.

The NSW government agency Local Land Services has declined to comment on the incident.

It directed the ABC’s questions to Dungog Shire Council, which said they were investigating the attack.

“This was the first complaint of its kind received by council from this area in recent times,” a spokesperson said.

As for Mr Poole, he is not planning another trip to Mount Royal again — yet.

“If you take the dogs out, it was excellent,” he said.

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