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Old September 15, 2008, 03:04 PM   #1
jacob
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I was attacked by dog and shot

I had a major dog confrontation recently. It was a large muscular dog, maybe 90 or 100 lbs, some sort of boxer/bulldog type. I was walking at night along a sidewalk in town. I turned to see this Hound of the Baskervilles running directly toward me, taking a long angle across the street. It was maybe 60 or 70 yards away when I first saw it, but running fast. The only noise I heard was the sound of its claws clattering on the pavement. I had pepper spray in my pocket, but I did not even consider that. I did not really plan ahead that I would shoot. I thought about the bright light that I had, but realized my battery had drained. By the time I considered my situation, the dog had almost completely closed the distance. As I said, I did not think to draw or shoot. However, when it got to within 10 feet and did not slow down, my instincts took over. I suddenly realized it was not just trying to scare me. It still had not barked or even growled. The next thing I realized, I heard my gun go off. I had quickly drawn and fired without taking time for a careful aim. I simply did not have the time to line up sights, and I do not have night sights anyway. The dog stopped on a dime, turned and ran directly whence it came. It did not yelp, bark, or limp. I probably missed, although I suppose I may have hit it on top of the back or grazed it. I looked the next day for a blood trail but did not find any. I did find my one ejected casing. I think that dog would have killed me, or at least seriously maimed me if I did not fire. I do not think pepper spray would have had any effect. At best, the dog would have felt the effects of the spray 10 or 15 seconds after it had landed on me. It seems my quickdraw training paid off in that my hand went right to the grip, and I did not fumble for a proper grip. I fired one-handed as I had trained. I also realize that if I want to actually hit what I am aiming at, I need to use the sights. In this case, however, it happened too fast. Usually a dog will pull up short and stand there barking and growling. Not so with this varmint. I had been practicing a quick draw/fire followed by a more carefully aimed second shot. Interestingly, there was absolutely no acoustic trauma. It was a 9 mm. I had previously forgotten to replace my hearing protection after checking my target, and my ears rang for a while. It hurt. Not so when my adrenaline was pumping with this dog. I heard the shot, but it was not all that loud, and my ears did not ring. There was no temporary hearing loss at all. After I shot, I immediately called the police to report it so that I would not be in any trouble. After some discussion, the dispatcher said I could go home. One policeman met me there. He did not ask to see my gun, although he asked what type it was. I told him I was coming home from a gym, and he asked me which one. I wonder if he will tell them that I go there armed. He had two concerns. One I was also concerned about - where the bullet went. I told him I would have preferred a 12 guage in that situation, which would have limited that problem, but it is not practical to carry. I of course would have preferred that the bullet's energy be absorbed by the dog's chest. I did not say this, but it was a case of a very low probability of downrange damage or injury in that area vs a near certainty of my being ripped to shreds if I did not shoot. His second concern was whether or not I had a permit from the state to live. By that, of course I mean a CCW permit. If I did not have that, then it would have been preferable in the eyes of the law if I had died, since my only way of escaping unharmed was to shoot. It really bothers me that I need to get permission from the state if I want to be equipped to stay alive. I need to practice more, so that my muscle memory will not only help me draw quickly, but so the first quick shot will have better accuracy. Other than that, I would say that it went okay.
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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woah... glad you made it out okay, both legally and, more importantly, physically...

Any idea as to why a dog would just charge you like that from 70 yards away? Thats the only thing I cant get my mind around, but from my understanding of your story i'd say you were justified in shooting... Those dogs can mess you up quick...
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:27 PM   #3
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dogs are predators

Some dogs simply love to chase and bring down prey. They are, after all, closely related to wolves. I love dogs, but not the ones who attack. I have a very gentle dog. As a runner and bicyclist, I have been threatened by a great many dogs. There are hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits resulting from dog attacks every year in the United States. This thing crossed the street from quite a distance. I was not even running at the time - my calf had given me some trouble and I was walking the rest of the distance home. They are even more likely to chase if you are on a bike or running. Perhaps the reason I did not act sooner with this dog was that I had previously been chased by so many that I had gotten used to it. As I said, they usually pull up short, unless you are on a bike and then they like to go for your legs if you let them.
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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If you actually started your draw when the dog was within 10 feet and he intended to attack, you would never have completed the draw, much less the shot. He must have been farther out or moving slower. But I can imagine it seemed he was that close.

Regardless, I'm glad you came out of it alright. I've been attacked by dogs a couple times and it ain't no fun.
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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Hard to say

It is hard to say how close it was. All I really know was that it was the last possible moment, and that I did shoot quickly. It was angled downward - he was that close. He had not started a leap, however.
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:35 PM   #6
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Is this in an area you frequent?
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:37 PM   #7
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fairly frequent

It is a way that I sometimes run to the gym to lift weights. I should frequent it more, then I might not be such a scrawny weakling.
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:47 PM   #8
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A big,muscular boxer-bulldog might well have been a pit bull.Hindsight is 20-20 If it really was a dog at large that will hurt people,too bad you didn't kill it.
Was in court once and another case came up.A guys pit bulls were loose in a park.Chewed up a girl.This nut said it was the bicycles.Real sweet dogs,just don't like bicycles.We should understand.He was quite upset when the judge ordered the dogs destroyed.
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Old September 15, 2008, 04:14 PM   #9
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A guys pit bulls were loose in a park.Chewed up a girl.This nut said it was the bicycles.Real sweet dogs,just don't like bicycles.
I see a trend starting with a couple of posts, so I'll stick my .02 in. Let's not be "bully breed" bashing, cause it just ain't true.

NO dog is naturally mean or prone to attack. The ones who do that are trained to or allowed to. It doesn't have to be a large dog to "mess you up quick". I've seen terrible injuries from something as small as a wiener dog.

ANY dog can be dangerous if you encroach on its territory, frighten it, or give it the "chase" signals.

FYI, I know from where I speak - I own a pit/sharpei mix that's as harmless as a butterfly, and I know of others.

So, that out of the way...I'm glad you weren't injured and I'm glad the dog wasn't, either. You might want to try and find out who owns it and talk to them about the incident.

As for the distance/time element...no one will ever know how close the dog was or how fast you drew - that's lost in the swiftness of the incident. Things like this are often viewed after the fact in slow motion - you see every little detail clearly, but the time frame is distorted.
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Old September 15, 2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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Black Lab

I had a black lab corner me and I had to shoot it. I was in his backyard.
He was about 18 inches from me. Shot him across the bridge of his nose and out the bottom of his mouth. He almost disappeared he left so fast. He lived but was not happy.
I don't blame him for trying to bite me but I think he doesn't feel the same about being shot.
Drawing and getting the first shot off weather it hits or not is very important.
And that is what you did. Good job.
Most thugs would have done the same as the dog.
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Old September 15, 2008, 04:48 PM   #11
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actually I would have preferred to hit the dog

Keltyke - actually I would have prefered that the dog was injured or killed. That way there would not have been much possibility of my bullet hitting something else on ricochet. As I said, I wish the bullet's energy was absorbed by the dog's chest. Also, that was a very dangerous dog running loose. I would have preferred to end its threat to others as well as me. I just found an article put out by the American Veterinary Association. It said there are 4.7 million dog bites each year in the U.S. 5% of emergency room visits are from dogbites, it said. Children are most frequent, followed by the elderly and mailmen. I hate to think of that dog going after a kid. I do not care so much that it was a boxer/bulldog type as I care that it was big and vicious. I would not go talk to the owner. I have been threatened by dog owners as their dogs are roaming off their property and harassing me. The best thing for the public safety would have been if I hit the dog.
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Old September 15, 2008, 05:02 PM   #12
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I do not think pepper spray would have had any effect. At best, the dog would have felt the effects of the spray 10 or 15 seconds after it had landed on me.
Having been there, done that, (except for actually shooting at a dog) I can tell you that pepper spray would have bought you a few extra seconds. You could have simply deployed the spray as you side stepped away from the dog.
True, pepper spray is not the solution but it can buy you a little bit of time.

A good swift kick may have been a good idea as well. An animal that is charging has a tough time changing course at the last second.

The dog you described would, in my humble yet amateur opinion, have been trained to attack like this. An instinctual attack would have led the dog to try and attack from behind.
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Old September 15, 2008, 05:29 PM   #13
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instinctual attack from behind...

Spacemanspiff - the dog did attack from behind, at least until I turned around. I do not know how far away it was when it started its run, but I turned to see it coming from behind from a pretty good distance. It was dark and somewhat hard to gauge speed and distance, but it started from behind.
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Old September 15, 2008, 06:13 PM   #14
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As a former employee of a utility co. in NC, I can tell you that the pepper spray is NFG.

A co-worker and myself were attacked by a little (20#?) wire-haired terrier mix and each of us unloaded our issued cans of pepper spray. The dogs head was a mass of brown foam and it still kept attacking. We both had on high leather boots and no damage was done, it was proof enough to me that the stuff doesn't work.

We sprayed that dog on a number of other occasions, so he didn't learn either or maybe the stuff just didn't bother him enough to over-ride his attack instincts.
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Old September 15, 2008, 06:33 PM   #15
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I had a black lab corner me and I had to shoot it. I was in his backyard.
He was about 18 inches from me. Shot him across the bridge of his nose and out the bottom of his mouth. He almost disappeared he left so fast. He lived but was not happy.
I don't blame him for trying to bite me but I think he doesn't feel the same about being shot.
Would be VERY interested to hear this story. How in the hell did you "had to shoot it. I was in his backyard." Just from your statement seems you may have been in the wrong and shot a dog needlessly. God help you if that had been on my property and my dog. Hope you brought a spare mag so you could try to extricate yourself from a VERY bad situation YOU had just caused.
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Old September 15, 2008, 07:20 PM   #16
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NO dog is naturally mean or prone to attack.
Much as I love dogs, that simply isn't true. With the massive amount of poor breeding that goes on with dogs, breeding for narrow heads in working dogs, for example, like dobermans, pitbulls, rotts, you get bad dogs. While I firmly believe the breeders should be shot on site, the rest of humanity considers dogs property, not people, so, the dogs suffer.

Been around a couple dogs that were just flat out killers. Bouvier(SP?) for one, and, the owner had to put it down...
Quote:
First and foremost, the Bouvier is a herding dog that possesses certain inherited instincts. It will be the owner's responsibility to channel these traits positively.

The Bouvier -- a versatile, intelligent and agile breed -- is not a dog for everyone. By virtue of its size and strength, it is essential that the owner be capable of providing the dog with kind and consistent training.
It's an 80 pound, lightning quick dog that charges with the bob and weave instincts of Archie Moore. The owner knew dogs, but, this one was too much, and, had to be put down. He went to nice, loveable rotts after that...

This might explain how the breed became as it is:
Quote:
The Bouvier originated in Flandres. These Flemish farm dogs were influenced by Dutch, Belgian, French and American breeding. Bouvier is French for "cattle worker."

The breed was strongly influenced by both world wars. Many dogs were lost because of limited food and poor living conditions. They became military dogs at this point in their history.
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Old September 16, 2008, 06:33 AM   #17
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How in the hell did you "had to shoot it. I was in his backyard."
I wondered about that, myself. If it'd been MY dog, I'da said, "Good boy!" Then I'd be asking you why you were in my back yard? You shoot my dog in my yard?

"jacob", if I read your original post right, the dog was not growling or barking, it was simply running towards you. Admittedly that's a scary scenario, but you don't really KNOW it was going to attack, do you? Did you know the dog? Was it a proven attacker? In the aftermath, is there a leash law where you were? If you truly believe the dog is dangerous, you should call the Humane Society or Animal Control in your location.

You negated the danger and no one got hurt. That's ALWAYS the bottom line in ANY gunfight, even with a dog.

If you're concerned about ricochets, maybe you should spend more time at the range...?
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Old September 16, 2008, 07:23 AM   #18
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I think jacob adequately conveyed the scenario and I would have to agree that the dog was not simply running up to him. I probably wouldn't have waited as long as he did.

Good job, jacob.
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Old September 16, 2008, 07:39 AM   #19
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but you don't really KNOW it was going to attack, do you?
Would you want to wait around and find out?
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Old September 16, 2008, 07:58 AM   #20
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Would you want to wait around and find out?
No. I'm just bringing up some pointers. Setting up straw men, if you will. It wasn't your shoot, or mine. If the OP can't stand having his actions critiqued, then he acted wrongly.

If possible, I would have sought shelter first, or used the pepper spray, if I had it. Pulling the trigger is always the LAST resort.
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Old September 16, 2008, 08:07 AM   #21
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There is a simple way to decide what a dogs intentions are if you have a pistol.
Squat down and extend the pistol out as far as you can reach. The dog will try to bite the nearest thing to him. If he bites the pistol,pull the trigger and you don't have to worry about missing or where the bullet went.
If the dog stops before that, No Harm Done.
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Old September 16, 2008, 08:17 AM   #22
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Dogs chase things, people overreact - this is a great example of when someone used unnecessary force simply because they panicked.

People who carry guns should not panic............
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Old September 16, 2008, 08:21 AM   #23
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Oh yeah... totally overreacted

Why dont you google image search dog attack victims and tell me he wasnt justified...
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Old September 16, 2008, 10:21 AM   #24
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There is a simple way to decide what a dogs intentions are if you have a pistol.
I like it "ken", I like it!
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Old September 16, 2008, 10:39 AM   #25
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Quote:
There is a simple way to decide what a dogs intentions are if you have a pistol.
Squat down and extend the pistol out as far as you can reach. The dog will try to bite the nearest thing to him. If he bites the pistol,pull the trigger and you don't have to worry about missing or where the bullet went.
If the dog stops before that, No Harm Done.
That has to be some of the poorest advice I have ever heard.
You have never been attacked Right?? I have, so I would tell folks to never follow that advice.



If the dog was a pit, a rottweiler, or other large dog it could have you by the throat before you could react at an arms length. It could even kill you after you fired and hit it assuming you were fast enough. By Squatting down you are making you face, neck, and head more vulnerable, you are also encouraging a dog to attack by placing your face at eye level. A dog will perceive this as a direct challenge to fight.

If a dog is running at you you hold your ground stand up tall to make yourself appear larger, yell and stamp you feet, this will make many dogs stop and bark rather than attack. Most dogs aren't attack dogs and are just posturing. But if you think the dog is actually going to attack, and it keeps coming, you should probably trust your instincts. Its better that they grab a leg than your face and throat. You then have a chance to shoot if the dog doesn't break off the attack.

Jacob the fact that you trusted your instincts is probably what saved you from a mauling. When a dog is warning they will bark, the fact that the dog was charging you from behind and not barking means it was going to bite you. In my state the fact that the dog was at large at night/ or attacking off of a 6 foot lead, and the fact that you were not a criminal on the owner's property engaged in illegal activity, would have made it a good shoot. I suspect the law is the same in your state.
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