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Old October 3, 2011, 02:10 PM   #1
federali
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Four-Legged Threats

Most of the emphasis here and in other forums is on two-legged threats against a CCW, the muggers, robbers, rapists, etc. Sometimes the threat can be in the form of a dog.

Just a few days ago, a 60-year-old woman, walking for exercise near a senior center in North Merrick NY, perhaps a 15 minute drive from my home, was set upon and severely mauled by two pitbulls. It seems, that at least twice yearly I hear or read about someone mauled by a pair of pitbulls somewhere in Metropolitan NY. Pitbulls are especially prevalent in high crime areas and they seemingly always attack in pairs, indicating that they must belong to somebody.

In this incident, arriving police officers shot and killed one dog but the other escaped and is being sought. In selecting self-defense calibers, most any will do just fine against a dog. However, I'd think twice about using anything less than a .380 ACP. I've never shot a pitbull and I hope I never do but it's my understanding that they are not easily put down unless the brain or spinal column is struck.

If you have had to defend yourself against a dog(s) out to re-arrange your body parts, share your experience with us. We may learn something valuable.
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Old October 3, 2011, 02:36 PM   #2
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When I go for a walk I carry, and it is more for dogs than people.
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Old October 3, 2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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This thread, like any of the others about dogs, is doomed to a lock. Folks just can't seem to remain civil and on topic, even though it can be a worthwhile topic.

That being said I have dispatched exactly one 'pitbull' who had turned calf killer and cow mauler along with what was likely a litter mate. One got away clean. The other I plugged with a .22 Stinger in the heart lung area from a Marlin rifle at about 25 yards or less. She took off like greased lightning for about another 25 yards kind of listing to one side, and then flopped down dead as dirt. I would usually use a larger weapon, but there was a reason at that place and time to be concerned about something bigger flying through a dog and ending up where I didn't want it. I myself have a 24" at the shoulder American Bulldog and a half grown American Staffordshire Terrier mix that is currently 14" and getting thicker by the day almost. Both are wonderful family dogs. We have lots of room inside and out, and I am not without dog experience. They are not dogs for first time owners, too active and strong willed. If my big one wanted to put the hurt on a guy you better be fast and good. He is fully powerful enough to drag a man down who is unsuspecting. Working dogs are simply not bred to be human aggressive. It is taught, or inappropriately bred. I do not count protectiveness as aggressiveness. Long story short, I killed one with a small caliber and killed it effectively. I used a small caliber for a reason, and would have used something larger otherwise. I have had to dispatch other dogs and think a .22 Mag is pretty effective out of a rifle. .357s or something starting with a 4 would be my choice if given a choice for an aggressive one. Almost any center fire rifle would do the deed just fine.
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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In the course of my LE experience, I did have one eye-opening experience with a pit bull. On a weekend day shift, with no dog catcher on duty [yeah, I know, the PC term is "Animal Control Officer", but I don't do PC], I got dispatched to pick this animal up. The dog was very friendly and gave no problems...right up until I got him to the pound, where he was greeted at the door by a cat that was roaming free. The dog went from Lassie to Cujo in an instant, and to make a long story short, all nine of that cat's lives were rendered null and void. This was before we had TASERs, and the pepper spray I hosed the dog down with in an effort to save the kitty may as well have been water. Later, I got to thinking: If that dog had been mauling a person, shooting would not have been an option due to the obvious fear of hitting the person. So, to that end, the pocketknife I now carry on duty is a Cold Steel 6" Voyager. If shooting an attacking dog isn't in the cards, and you don't have a TASER, a large knife might just be the better option.
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Strays are a bit of an issue in my area as well, sometimes pits, sometimes other breeds.

When I walk either solo or with a dog I carry a walking stick that used to be a rudder handle - very sturdy and good reach - as I have for years, long before i had a carry permit. I still carry my ccw with me now, but for both 2-legged & 4-legged threats (maybe less so for 2-legged) I would respond first with the stick.

For most dogs, a simple poke has been enough to get them to move off. In a few cases, a solid whack on the butt was called for - but have not yet felt the need to put one down.

In the case of an obviously viscous and dangerous animal with intent to harm - I would not hesitate to react other weapons at my disposal.
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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Pepper spray can work but it has to be real strong stuff. I have taken care of pests on my place, usually a call to the pound guy he comes and picks em up.

Main issue is when one of my females come into season. I have a in grtound fencer keeps my dogs in but the strays do come onto the place, if my males dont take care of it then I do one way or the other.

Any dog can do terrible damage with their teeth, I would not hesitate to dispatch any animal showed evil intentions towards me, my family or any animal I own. Steers cost a grand each these days. Huge loss to lose just one.
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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As a now disabled veterinary technician of 15 years and having a wife that is a current vet tech, I will only comment once. I love animals, I swerve out of the way of them in the road and brake for all of them. I have helped put down 100's of animals for health reasons and have teared up during every one of the euthanasias.

A vicious, attacking dog can be stopped without killing it. The question is how much pain and bites are you willing to endure to stop the dog and restrain it so it is unable to continue attacking. The average person has no idea how to restrain an attacking dog so in their case, resorting to shooting it is probably their best bet.

In my case, I have a very bad back and would still attempt to restrain the dog before I pulled my gun to destroy it. If it came down to my life or the dog, of course I would shoot it but only as a last resort. I can get very word aggressive when talking about animals as I am very passionate about them. So, as I said in the beginning I will only comment once so I don't turn this thread into a locked one. Be civil people...
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:47 PM   #8
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[A vicious, attacking dog can be stopped without killing it. The question is how much pain and bites are you willing to endure to stop the dog and restrain it so it is unable to continue attacking. ]

None. As for me a vicious dog should be killed.
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Old October 3, 2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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Nocturnus31 wrote:
Quote:
The average person has no idea how to restrain an attacking dog
Why don't you enlighten us?

I have personally seen an extremely inbred Dalmation cause more ligament/tendon damage with a sudden and unprovoked single bite to the hand/wrist than a previous power tool accident did.

Passionate about animals or not, deciding to roll the dice on possible maiming is not what I want to be considering in my head while fending off a vicious dog attack.

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Old October 3, 2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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I have dispatched two dogs. One a yellow cur hit by a car... I put it out of it's misery. The other a rather large pit. Chasing a robbery subject who ran through an open air drug sales den. The dealers protection was the dog. This dog attacked me and latched on to my gunbelt. Man! what power! I shot him six times two that should have been heart/lung shots, one penitrating his snout, one through his right eye, and two to his skull. I tribute my accuracy to the fact that he was hanging off my belt. The dog let go and ran under a car. Eventual the ASPCA ( dog catchers) came and removed him.

Being a gun nut I was curious to know if I had hit him, and what damage the rounds had done. I was told to come back in the morning and speak to the vet. I did, and was told that the dog had to be put to sleep as he was in some discomfort from losing an eye... It would have survived being shot 6 times. I got to see the wounds I wasnt very impressed. Dogs are hard to kill...
The vets advice was that in the future take a head shot from under the chin into the brain. (easier said than done) Dogs are hard to kill...
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Old October 3, 2011, 04:13 PM   #11
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Pepper spray for dogs, lead spray for people.
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Old October 3, 2011, 05:20 PM   #12
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Also,

As the thread starter, I'd like to add as we would not use deadly force against another human being unless absolutely necessary, so too would we not use deadly force against an animal unless our lives are at stake, or we're at risk of serious injury. I've been snapped at by yappy designer dogs and with no thought of an armed response. I love dogs more than I love some humans. However...
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Old October 3, 2011, 06:34 PM   #13
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I jog a lot at home and for PT at my job and my biggest concern is dogs when I jog at home.Before I used to just carry a 4 inch folder and then I realized I don't want a dog that close especially when it seems most people in this area love the Pit bull breed. I love animals too but if it comes down to me or them believe me its gonna be them.9mm should stop most of the canine breed.
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Old October 3, 2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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There is a story where Abe Lincoln killed a dog with a pitch fork. The owner asked why he didn't use the other end of the pitch fork, Abe replied "because he (the dog) didn't come at me with the other end".

I don't like shooting dogs, but I'll use the fork part (gun) not the handle end (pepper spray) if the dog comes at me with the biting end.
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Old October 3, 2011, 07:58 PM   #15
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dog bites

This is a very serious issue. Almost 4 million people per year suffer dog bites, and more than 800,000 need medical care for treatment (Centers for Disease Control figures). About half of those needing medical treatment are children. The majority (60%) of fatal attacks involved Rottweilers or pit bull breeds.

I agree with a prior poster who did not feel he should accept injuries in attempts to restrain an attacking dog, as opposed to attempting to inflict serious injury or death on the animal. Excluding a firearm, suitable lethal or non-lethal weapons to end a dog attack are debatable, and I have found few reliable statistics. At the very least a walking stick or cudgel should be available. Reports of the effectiveness of pepper spray are quite variable; for myself I would consider bear spray. There are a number of videos that have shown bear spray to be effective in discouraging black bears; however, those bears did not seem to be intent on harming the humans who sprayed them, and in a dog attack the anmal does intend to cause serious harm to a person. A handgun beats other alternative defensive measures.
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Old October 3, 2011, 08:05 PM   #16
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There are times when a handgun is a very appropriate response to a dog.

That said, spray and sticks have one major advantage (and not just from the dog owner's point of view): they almost eliminate the possibility of collateral damage.

Glenn Dee said his accuracy was stellar because the dog was latched onto his gun belt. That was an entertaining way of saying he probably wouldn't have scored so well against a maneuvering dog - which is probably true for most of us. In such a case, where are those rounds going?

If I inadvertently spray somebody, unless they have a serious allergic reaction, it won't really harm them. Annoy them, yes; debilitate them (for more than several minutes), no.

I could possibly hurt somebody pretty badly with a walking stick, but the odds of a bystander being inside its sweep are pretty slim - with the exceptions of another victim I'm trying to help, a good samaritan trying to help me, or the dog's owner trying to corral the dog. Even then, the odds of my scoring a full-on hit on the other person aren't that high.

Bullets, on the other hand...

So, a lot might depend on where the incident occurred.

And it's never bad to have options. In the Navy, we called that concept either a "layered defense," or "defense in depth."
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Old October 3, 2011, 08:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
This thread, like any of the others about dogs, is doomed to a lock. Folks just can't seem to remain civil and on topic, even though it can be a worthwhile topic.

That being said I have dispatched exactly one 'pitbull' who had turned calf killer and cow mauler along with what was likely a litter mate. One got away clean. The other I plugged with a .22 Stinger in the heart lung area from a Marlin rifle at about 25 yards or less. She took off like greased lightning for about another 25 yards kind of listing to one side, and then flopped down dead as dirt. I would usually use a larger weapon, but there was a reason at that place and time to be concerned about something bigger flying through a dog and ending up where I didn't want it. I myself have a 24" at the shoulder American Bulldog and a half grown American Staffordshire Terrier mix that is currently 14" and getting thicker by the day almost. Both are wonderful family dogs. We have lots of room inside and out, and I am not without dog experience. They are not dogs for first time owners, too active and strong willed. If my big one wanted to put the hurt on a guy you better be fast and good. He is fully powerful enough to drag a man down who is unsuspecting. Working dogs are simply not bred to be human aggressive. It is taught, or inappropriately bred. I do not count protectiveness as aggressiveness. Long story short, I killed one with a small caliber and killed it effectively. I used a small caliber for a reason, and would have used something larger otherwise. I have had to dispatch other dogs and think a .22 Mag is pretty effective out of a rifle. .357s or something starting with a 4 would be my choice if given a choice for an aggressive one. Almost any center fire rifle would do the deed just fine.
Couldn't have expressed it any better. Pits and Am Staffs make for great family dogs. I had two American Staffordshires, male and female, best dogs I ever had, probably won't ever have something that friendly, kind, loving, and faithful. Bring them up properly, love them, be their leader, and you'll have the perfect dog. I have decided not to have any more of these dogs because we have Breed Specific Legislation over here and it's a pain. They have to wear a muzzle, and you can't let them free anywhere.

I have never had to shoot a dog, but I've been close. Didn't happen on duty, but some time I went for a run and passed by a fence. Inside was this gigantic mastiff, big enough to jump the fence and make a snack of my poor a*s. I wasn't carrying at that time and to be honest, didn't consider to carry when going jogging. I just learnt to avoid that kind of encounters by using alternate routes.

Different story was in one of my former peakeeping tours. I lived in an area which was known for having rabies-infested animals, and you can't take chances with that. My pistols was always with me and ready to go. Happily enough, I never had to use it.
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Old October 3, 2011, 10:52 PM   #18
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When I was about 8 I watched my grandfather drop an aggressive stray on our farm with a single .22 LR shot to its head at probably 40 feet or so.
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Old October 4, 2011, 12:36 AM   #19
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most should be able to discern the difference between a serious, dangerous situation and a dog being a dog situation(in my opinion). there is nothing wrong with sending the dog to the other side in any dangerous situation(even before it gets that far). I have never had to do it myself. It is upsetting when I read about what some of these animals do to toddlers and/or infants. It can make me angry. I have seen the ferocious power of dogs over the years: just being stupid when they run in packs, killing the neighbor's cat(s) while I of course hold my dog's collar(I used to be a paperboy). My dog never got taken away.

It is possible to underestimate and also to overestimate a dog's or some dogs' danger(and some choose the safe, side of caution route and don't take a chance: I tend to agree with this in reasonable situations), but usually you can tell if the animal is just acting tough because it's his/her property, in the car, etc. That being said, sometimes a person's fear of the dog or situation can be a factor. I have never been scared of dogs, but I remember this one girl in college used to 'babysit' a pitbull(she was a "townee" and didn't go to school herself). This pitbull would look at you and something wasn't right. I have to give that mutt, purebreed, or whatever she was("Tyson") the pyshocological award for sure. She would look at you and it would go downhill as you locked eyes with her - I have never had this happen since. The last straw to me was how her 2yr old would stroll around in diapers or even naked sometimes briefly and the dog actually seemed to be looking at the tot like food. I told her straight out, to GET RID of this animal. She didn't babysit it anymore. None of this was over-exaggerated that's how I remember it. the kid part was her observation, but the first part was me. Dogs can be dangerous, and people that don't understand this are usually the ones that have accidents with them. They are loving pets and domesticated animals and also parts of the family. They are also animals and see things differently. Just because they are loyal to you and your friend, doesn't mean they won't think the new baby is ragdoll or want to lash out at the toddler in the house. Smells can change their behaviors. PLEASE, JUST DON'T BE LIKE THIS ex-CCWer:

http://www.patriotledger.com/news/co...V-is-reporting
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Old October 4, 2011, 03:02 AM   #20
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OCT2011 News - taser used

http://www.kval.com/news/local/130940098.html
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Old October 4, 2011, 07:12 AM   #21
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younggunz, I agree with you in general, but am a bit confused about the part about things with "Tyson" going
Quote:
downhill as you locked eyes with her
.

Locking eyes with a dog is a way of establishing dominance, and can often go very wrong with alpha-type dogs. It's not one of the body-language signals you want to send, in the vast majority of cases, as it is actually likely to increase tension and chance of attack.
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Old October 4, 2011, 08:18 AM   #22
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I used to volunteer at a pound near where I live and they had several pits at that time that were seized fighting dogs.

Still had to feed and clean up their cages though, but no one wanted to go anywhere near them due to how aggressive they were. Still, had to be done so I open the cage of the first, he charged teeth first - so I popped him in the nose, hard. He backed off, fairly stunned then tried again with the same response from me. After that he and I were pretty much good buddies until the day he was put down. And I was the only one who could go anywhere near him.

With pack oriented animals, its a dominance thing. Granted, if a random dog on the street is coming after you, you are likely not going to take time to play Cesar Milan.

But as far as responding with a firearm, Mleake put it pretty well, bullets have a way of doing things you don't want them to do - no matter how good you are.
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Old October 4, 2011, 09:00 AM   #23
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The discussion so far has focused largely on single animals, but we should all remember that the behavior of dogs changes when they form packs, even small packs of two or three. Prey-seeking behavior becomes much more pronounced, and they coordinate attacks by circling and surrounding.

The choice of club, pepper spray, knife, or firearm will vary with situation and availability, but one universal is that you need to get your back against something - a wall, a car, even a good sized tree will help - in order to keep the attack in front of you, so you only have to defend in one direction at a time.
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Old October 5, 2011, 08:24 AM   #24
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I agree w/Tailgator. Most have some inclination of knowing this but sometimes people are clueless on this issue. You might not be scared of dogs, never had an issue, & so-on, but this willnot stop three dogs on a warpath from attacking you. It can happen.

MLeake, I can't explain it. I have never been frightened of dogs, and I have never had a bad experience worth mentioning. I have thought about the dominance thing in the past w/Tyson. Was it somehow possible that tyson was declaring her dominance over me? I know it sounds silly, but that dog somehow got in my head. She looked like she was about to attack on multiple occaisons. The owners weren't very good owners and they had "incidents" with Tyson in some forms and others. I do not more info than that except that I do know they got rid of the dog, as my girlfriend told me that. One of their major reasons was the dog was "out of control" but again I am not sure what if any incidents played out with Tyson. Her lack of being trained and controlled, and/or dominated might have been a reason this dog was dangerous. I do believe the dog was a danger(at least to that young tike).
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Old October 5, 2011, 09:11 AM   #25
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younggunz, I'm not saying the owners shouldn't have established dominance over their dog early on. I am suggesting that "locking eyes" will either work, or fail in a catastrophic way.

Normally, what's suggested is avoiding direct eye contact, while maintaining full height, and moving slowly away in an arcing path. Direct linear movement and staredowns are considered provocative. Getting shorter (squatting) is not recommended, as the height difference is a cue to the dog that you might be bigger than it should mess with.

OTOH, if I'm trying to get a shy dog to approach me, then squatting and looking slightly away from it, while holding my hand out and low, might work.

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