Gary L. Griffiths
Fox pepper spray does a better and more instant job of warding off the attacking dog than bullets
Assuming you carry it. Do you? I don't! Did he?
Yep - from long experience with show dogs, I ALWAYS
carry poop bags and pepper spray - everywhere even when not dog walking. Fox Pepper spray cools human aggression also and the poop bags are in a little plastic container.
We showed Mastiffs - the last two here -
Katie - 205#
And my "Little Dude" Charley - 250#.
In my experience, dogs don't have good size perspective until up close and several dogs charged Charley and me growling aggressively until up close - when they would literally skid to a stop, sit, and look like "Whatever you say, sir". Only once did things go south (didn't get enough warning to use pepper spray which had worked with larger dogs)) - in a National forest Campground where dogs are required to be on leash - we were walking around the grounds when a tiny (doubt it weighed over 10#) charged out past Katie to the biggest dog and attacked Charley - who promptly picked it up in his mouth and was shaking it. A couple of near-teen aged girls were sobbing so I retrieved the little mutt for them and, when I took it from Charley's mouth, it bit my hand - then a serious (and costly) problem for me because I was still practicing surgery and surgeons don't operate if they have any open wounds on their hands.
I dropped the little mutt and he, of course, again attacked Charley - and I opined -"He's all yours, Charley" - end of life for the attacking dog.
The girl's mother was extremely apologetic - admitting it was their fault but they didn't have their dog leashed because "it was too little to be any threat to anybody". It did bite me, however.
Now I'd had over two and one half decades of showing dogs in shows of over 3000 dogs and well understood you NEVER
interfere with a dog fight - I had somehow failed to understand that was a dog fight - albeit very one sided - but, I was the one that got the dog bite.
The dog fight in that story was located in front of the attacking dog's yard - doesn't excuse the owner failing to maintain control it - but, dogs are territorial and any owner owes it to their dog (as well as other dogs and people) to obedience train them so the handler is ALWAYS
in control - the owner of the attacking dog clearly didn't control her dog and is the real culprit here.
It was reported the attacking dog was a Bullmastiff and its picture was in our local paper - From its appearance, I have more Bullmastiff genes in my system than that dog had. Furthermore, I don't ever recall seeing any Bullmastiffs at any shows nearly as big as that dog was and he looked all black (not a Bullmastiff color) and his head looked like a terrier head - in Denver, he would have been called a Pit Bull - though I think that term is way overused - he was a large mixed breed dog.
Our laws require dogs out of their yards to be on leashes and UNDER CONTROL AT ALL TIMES - WHICH HE WASN'T - AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT LIES WITH THE OWNER/HANDLER.
A good argument can be made favoring the owner of the dog who was attacked shooting the attacking dog but, in my opinion, it could have been better handled with strong pepper spray - effective (in my experience) and more safely for all involved.
Discharging a handgun on paved streets risks missing the target dog and ricocheting bullets can take unpredictable courses. And fast moving dogs are easy to miss - particularly when the other hand of the handler is holding the leash of a dog in a dog fight - Pepper spray has a short distance where it effectively endangers anyone.
The victim dog required 7 staples to close its wound - meaning the laceration was probably less than 1 1/2" long.
In summary, we really don't know the attacking dog was "vicious" or territorial but we do know the owner is guilty of not having her dog under control - as the law requires. Gut feeling goes with the victim dog's owner but, I feel it could have been handled much better and effectively - without questionable legality of discharging his gun in city limits - where using lethal force really only covers protecting human life.
We can all identify with him but I feel strongly he could and should have handled it better and more safely with strong pepper spray - as I noted, I have enough experience with it and it has never failed me.