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Old July 5, 2009, 08:47 AM   #26
Creature
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So how much injury are you willing to suffer before a firearm comes into play, exactly?
Enough to justify using deadly force. A dog "bite" is not quite the same as a "mauling" which implies multiple bites, severe lacerations ... and major, perhaps life threatening, damage.
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Old July 5, 2009, 08:53 AM   #27
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By this logic...

.... you should let the BG stab you at least once, to see if he really wants to hurt you, or if he's just trying to get your attention. Also, you'll have wounds to show the DA...
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Old July 5, 2009, 09:00 AM   #28
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Creature, If my most adored and loved personal pet pit-mix so much as brushes a tooth on anyone not on my property I am fine with her being shot dead...
I am not one to put levels of force on levels of aggressive transgression. Levels are too relative.

In this case I wouldn't fire 3 "warning shots"... heck I likely wouldn't fire any but if I suffered a "nice attack" I may pop one off!
I wouldn't likely remember the pistol for dogs... Step in front of the leader and attack... Something about a human brain over the dog brain leaves me the winner. I love a good scrap with a viscous dog/s...
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Old July 5, 2009, 09:02 AM   #29
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I think you did just fine. BillCA echoes my thoughts, so I won't go into any of that.

My only critique would be fumbling with the safety. All my carry guns have no safety to deal with. They are revolvers, Glocks, or a P89 DC. I'm not saying you need these types of guns, but I'm saying I need mine to all be the same. No safety, or all have the same type of safety.
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Old July 5, 2009, 09:08 AM   #30
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.... you should let the BG stab you at least once, to see if he really wants to hurt you, or if he's just trying to get your attention. Also, you'll have wounds to show the DA...
A dog is not asking for "your money or your life.". Its a dog. Acting like a dog.

In this case, it was a couple of dogs that were marking their territory. I also doubt that these dogs even intended on directly attacking. I would bet that they were intent on merely barking and making a lot of noise...especially since the "offending pack" out numbered them. Besides that, a dog is also is unlikely to cause a lethal mortal wound with a single strike like your knife example.
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Old July 5, 2009, 09:15 AM   #31
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Dog bite vs knife stab

The odds of serious injury from a single bite are significantly lower than the odds of serious injury from a single stab wound.

On the other hand, the odds of there being only one bite aren't all that good in the case of a charge attack. When those aren't bluffs, they will often as not lead to an attack in earnest.

A single bite is more likely to occur defensively, when you encroach on the dog, or do something that hurts the dog (had experience with this as a kid, with my grandparents' arthritic hound - he wasn't mean at all, but small kids don't know their own strength, and it's easy to cause pain on an arthritic body). The dog will snap in warning, the bite may or may not be that damaging, and the dog will typically retreat.

A dog charge for bluff, to mark territory, doesn't normally leave the territory.

A dog charge, snarling and serious, is often precursor to a mauling, and not a single bite. Having experience with dogs, if I read the indicators that a mauling is in the works, if I have a firearm, it will be used.
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Old July 5, 2009, 09:18 AM   #32
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relative pack size

there was a news article yesterday or the day before about a small child being attacked by a pair of dogs, while the child was with others.

Just because your pack is larger, does not mean an aggressive dog will not attack.

Again, I love dogs, and particularly large breed dogs. I am very pro-dog. But that also means I respect what a dog is capable of doing. Downplay the threat at your own risk.
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Old July 5, 2009, 10:04 AM   #33
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Just because your pack is larger, does not mean an aggressive dog will not attack.
In this case, the two dogs never actually attacked. Whether that was because of the OP shouting at them and his subsequent warning shots fired, we will never know. But one indicator to me that the dogs had no intention of physically attacking was when the OP pointed out that the dogs stopped when he shouted at them. They barked and made it clear that the pedestrians were close to their territory. A pack of dogs will hesitate to attack another pack that is larger in number and physical size.

The OP has yet to say what the property owner said, if anything, about the incident. Are these dogs socially adjusted to their pack and simply "marking" their territory? Or are the dogs known by the owner to be vicious and unpredictable? Doubtful since the owner feels comfortable enough to allow these dogs to be unleashed on an unfenced yard.
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Old July 5, 2009, 10:14 AM   #34
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One would hope you are correct...

... about owners being sensible enough not to allow vicious dogs to run loose. Where I grew up, most dogs ran loose. Probably wasn't legal, but it was the norm. Semi-rural Maine was pretty dog friendly, at the local level.

However, I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are a lot of idiot dog owners out there. I've run into them in parks, on trails, on streets. They either don't know how to control their dog, or don't care how their dog acts. Some of the worst ones seem to think that an aggressive dog reflects cool points on the owner. Interestingly, most of this last group seem to be in their late teens to early 30's, and favor wife-beater tanks, sleeve style tattoos, and Fast and Furious style cars, at least at the parks I used to frequent in Florida.

In the OP's case, you probably have a point. The "pause" may have indicated the end of a bluff charge. For that matter, the property may have an invisible fence. (Not all dogs running loose are actually running loose, at least not if they don't like electric shocks...)

The warning shots in this case may have been overkill. Then again, given that the OP was trying to ensure the safety of a group that included kids and a grandmother, I won't fault him for erring on the pro-active side, since he seems to have ensured a safe backstop for his warning shots.
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Old July 5, 2009, 10:27 AM   #35
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Dont get me wrong. I wasnt there. I didnt have to make that call. The OP felt in danger and thats no small matter.

But often times, animal and human interaction that is hostile is often based on misunderstanding on both parts.
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Old July 5, 2009, 10:34 AM   #36
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You know the guy who gets along with the dog everybody else is scared of?

That would be me.

Always has been. Dogs just like me. I guess they can tell I like them. I'm that guy who can pat the dog that never lets strangers near it.

I've also had to take positive control of boxers, rotts, pits, shepherds, dobies, and even a mastiff when dogfights have gone past the dominance stage at the park, primarily because a lot of large dog owners don't seem to have a clue what to do in those instances.

In one case, had to break up a tiff between two boxers that was taking place between the legs of an older man, who was scared half to death. One of the boxers was his dog...

Somehow, I've managed to avoid getting bitten, though I've had a few scratches.

Just saying, I have a lot of experience at observing dog behavior, and dog-human interaction. I have to assume I'm not the only one, so I'll give people some benefit of the doubt when they feel threatened by dogs.

But the more I think about this case, the more I wonder:

How close was the OP's group to the dogs' yard? Did the group move away from the yard at all, giving it a wider berth, when they became aware of the dogs? Did anybody in the group have any past experience with the dogs?

As always, there's info that we don't have, that could make a lot of difference.

But in fairness, when the adrenaline is up (and especially if guarding kids), it may be hard to take note of a lot of pertinent factors.
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Old July 5, 2009, 10:37 AM   #37
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I recall jogging unarmed at night along the ocean at Daytona Beach years ago and having TWO dobermans race at me in what I read as "attack mode" only to have them called off as they got dangerously close to me by their apparent owner who was smoking back among the vegetation approximately 75 yards away.

But I digress! I just wanted to point out that in a recent report I reviewed of shots fired by the NYPD during a recent year that JUST UNDER HALF of all shots fired were a combination of accidental discharges PLUS shots fired AT DOGS!
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Old July 5, 2009, 10:41 AM   #38
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My only concern is the 3 shots. Might deplete too much of my ammo in a pocket gun, but it worked for you.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:17 AM   #39
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Glad it worked out okay. I'm not upset with how the dogs acted or how you reacted. It worked out without anyone getting hurt. I believe you should confront the owner and insist he keep his dogs restrained. Most cities have laws that demand a dog owner to keep his dog under control at all times. Most owners don't realize their 50 pound playful puppy that is good with kids, well behaved, and non-threatening doesn't quite look the same to a person being charged.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:19 AM   #40
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I'll start by saying I have grown up with pretty big labs and lab mixes, I love dogs, and the only 2 dogs I was ever really nervous around was a very big very playful boxer who didn't seem to have that natural restraint/boundary when playing, and my grandmothers ****zu who hated me and constantly was nipping my ankles.

Across the street from me is what i would call a 40lb mutt. Very playful, and gets out quite a bit. Has definitely given me a start when I hear her running up behind me but as soon as I turn and see it is her I am not worried. But down the street my wife and I were walking one night and there was a similar sized dog, another mutt i think, that was coming at my wife and i and our 2 dogs VERY aggressively. We hadn't had any issues with dogs before so I hadn't bothered bringing a whoopin stick, so I got my wife behind me with our little 15lb killer terrier (yes she really is way more dangerous than my big dog on a normal basis), made sure i had a good handle on my bigger 60lb lab shephard mix and tried to scare the dog off. I was loud aggressive and swinging a newspaper I had found, not really at the dog but just around trying to be 'bigger'. My big dog was very defensive and we kept slowly backing away staying between the bad dog and my wife. A stranger actually stopped and got out of her car to help me try and outnumber and scare the dog off but the dog wasnt backing down and was snapping so my wife and i started quickly walking away while the stranger kept the dogs attention. When we were far away the lady got back in her car. From that point on I carried an aluminum broom handle, which while it wont stop a dog, im pretty sure it could be painful enough to dissuade, but as soon as I finally get my CHL in the mail I will be carrying.

2 different dogs 2 very different situations. You HAVE to be able to read the body language and decide. Assuming this guy was not close to these dogs' yard he had no reason to assume they were bluffing and totally did the right thing IMO. I would agree that the safety issue needs to probably be worked on, but on the warning shots, what difference does the number taken really matter?? I mean if capacity was an issue that is really the only problem I see with it. The ditch was a legitimately safe backstop so I guess I don't have a problem firing 3 shots. As far as waiting untilt he dog bites?? Please give me a break. I might wait until the dog got very close because I would first be more confident they aren't bluffing and second closer they are the bigger the target.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:35 AM   #41
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To the OP. Please respond with size & weight information but NOT the breed.
The dogs weighed in between 50 and 60 pounds per with the height of a medium sized labrador. I should've included that information, sorry.

Quote:
Well, considering there was kids involved, it's understandable that you wanted extra precaution, but I have to say that warning shots just waste ammo. What if the dogs didn't back off and continued to engage you and your warning shots caused your gun to jam? Also too, it's the Fourth, is it possible that the dogs were just freaked out a bit from the fireworks and just running around?
While it could happen, it worked in this case. Yelled, dogs hesitated. Fired, dogs fled. Plus I didn't have to explain to a neighbor why I killed his dog, and there will be no court case, etc. The outcome worked, so I'll take my chances with the 1 in a million "gun decides to jam for the 3rd time in it's life after over 1200 rounds during the warning shots".

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Did these dogs ever actually leave their owner's property?
They absolutely did leave the owners property. The closest one was in the street when I fired.

Quote:
I think the fact that there were kids in the OP's party probably has a good bit to do with his reaction. I don't think I'd pull a gun on a dog if I knew it was owned and not diseased or something (a wild dog running at me is going down for sure), but I can't say I wouldn't pull if there were kids at risk, even if the dogs WERE spoken for. Protecting kids comes before everything else.
This is absolute truth, although I'm not going to get mauled myself over not wanting to hurt neighbors fluffy either. Had it not been for the children, and the fact that they were split up and I couldn't protect both of them at once, then I wouldn't have been so quick to draw/fire.

Quote:
My only concern is the 3 shots. Might deplete too much of my ammo in a pocket gun, but it worked for you.
I agree. 3 warning shots was probably 2 too many. Every time I have trained for carry/SD it has been to put 3 shots center mass and re-eval. Kind of a "pulling it once mean it's worth pulling 3 times". No I didn't have to fire 3 shots, and I think that warrants a little wrist slapping. I still had plenty of feed left, though. Pistol held 14 rounds. I fired three rounds because that was how I've trained to do it. 1 wou'dve worked and saved ammo but my response was semi automatic.

Last edited by 5whiskey; July 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:46 AM   #42
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Creature, you're doing a whole lot of assuming.

Quote:
The OP has yet to say what the property owner said, if anything, about the incident. Are these dogs socially adjusted to their pack and simply "marking" their territory? Or are the dogs known by the owner to be vicious and unpredictable? Doubtful since the owner feels comfortable enough to allow these dogs to be unleashed on an unfenced yard.
The neighbor was out of town. The neighbor is also new. I've never seen his dogs before. I think it may would be safe to assume that the dogs were not running lose on purpose, they probably found a way to break out of their containment. I never said they "stopped in their tracks" when I yelled either. I said they hesitated... that being and meaning one began to slow advance and the other started headed for another person that was with me... which was about 25' behind me. I am not going to let a kid get scratched, much less mauled, by someones fluffy for fear of responding.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:52 AM   #43
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They absolutely did leave the owners property. The closest one was in the street when I fired.
Okay, then I must have missed something. How close did that one dog get to the closest person in your group? Why fire the three shots if it appeared that your yelling stopped their advance?
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:54 AM   #44
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You didnt call 911 and report this? Why not?

Your failure to do so raises my left eyebrow

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Old July 5, 2009, 11:57 AM   #45
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2 dogs makes this situation much worse. They were only 1 short of a pack.
I agree entirely that two dogs makes this situation much worse. Having more than one dog brings out the pack mentality of dogs, and dogs, by instinct, will do things in packs that single dogs would not do.

Regardless of the actual definition of "pack" (if there is one), as far as I am concerned, two dogs make a pack since pack behavior can be brought out with just one other dog. Locally, there have been some very well-publicized human deaths resulting from two-dog attacks.

Quote:
The ditch was a legitimately safe backstop so I guess I don't have a problem firing 3 shots.
It was probably as safe as the OP was going to find, but three shots means three times the chance for a freak accident. What if there had been a stone or a piece of steel covered with a fine layer of dirt in the ditch that was hit by a round? A ricochet does not leave the surface at the same angle as it hits it. Thus, it might hit a stone at 45° and leave at 10°. Hard to calculate angles, collateral damage, etc., while facing down dogs. Just another thought for the after-action review.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:59 AM   #46
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My neighbor's pit bull charged me this week (Tues) as I walked past the house. When a dog comes hard charging off the porch, hair standing up, stiff legged, teeth bared...I figure I'm going to be bitten.

I'd been cutting grass so i did not have mt pistol on me...only a pocket knife. A loud stop command worked. Then a command to "get back" as I advanced did the trick but he was still growling and barking...from in the yard (he did advance to mid street).

Dogs are hard to deal with. This family is new to the neighborhood. I spoke with the owner half hour later to suggest putting the dog in the fenced back yard. We'll see.

Glad you didn't get chewed up! Dog bites are ugly and HURT!

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Old July 5, 2009, 12:21 PM   #47
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Legitimate critques on here are great. Monday morning QBing is a bit questionable. 5Whiskey had split second to act, which if you've been a shooting situation then you know that is about all you get.

Love dogs, have a GS and two Rots (one still in training). If they decide they want you, you belong to them. It is instructive to watch a rot whip a small animal side to side, breaking it's back and neck.

If you've never experienced a dog bite, you don't know what you're missing. Years ago, Sergeant said, "Throne (well he actually used my real name) we have a burglar in that house. Sheriff is bringing his dog. You kick the door to let the dog and handler in."

I said, "Sure" (stupidly proud that I had a reputation as excellent door kicker which I learned in the Oakland academy)

Deputy and dog showed up, I kicked door and stood the heck out of the way, facing the outside wall, not moving. Saw dog out of corner of eye enter house then immediately back out and lung at me. Pain like you never felt, my gun arm went numb (or I swear I'd have shot him before the handler got him off) Was a full two weeks before I got the feeling back in my arm enough to draw my pistol and get off front desk light duty!

Moral of story: If I see dogs running at me and think they are going to do me again, or a child, no warning shots. I won't fault 5whiskey for what he did. Just be glad it was 4th of July and all the sounds blended in! (Best time to commit a 187 lol)
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Old July 5, 2009, 12:26 PM   #48
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Just be glad it was 4th of July and all the sounds blended in! (Best time to commit a 187 lol)
By that you are inferring the 4th of July is the best time for committing murder...because of the background firecrackers?
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Old July 5, 2009, 12:28 PM   #49
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As the owner of some pretty "high prey drive" bulldogs, I have seen some brutal "yard fights" over many trivial issues. One thing I learned is the pack mentality is ruthless. The head honcho dog and a "lesser" dog can get into a fight and as soon as possible, which ever dog is on the losing end is at risk of death if others jump in the fight.

I do not own human or dog aggressive dogs but the prey drive is too much for me to allow little kids in the "dog yard" without super tight supervision... These dogs home in on a squealing playful toddler as if it were a pig or other target critter and it could get me on TV and right into prison. Responsible dog handling is required with all dogs but too many folks overlook the prey drive, pack attack mentality other other hereditary and genetic instincts. While my dogs are trained, they are from working lines of high drive breeds. You can never train out or water down a genetically created trait.
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Old July 5, 2009, 12:38 PM   #50
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I love a good scrap with a viscous dog
Hogdogs, I think you missed your calling. You should look into the wild world of Animal Control.

I liked the rodeo events with vicious animals too, it was the best part of the job.
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