View Full Version : caught a thief in the act, my dog was attacked, perimeter defense

May 5, 2008, 10:56 PM
About 4 years ago, when I first bought my place, I caught 2 jitterbugs trying to steal my car radio. This was before I had a dog. I only stopped them by luck when I went out to get a bag out of my car. I opened my front door and when I did, I saw a bicycle in my driveway. Realizing that there was something wrong, I stepped back inside and grabbed my pistol (keltec 9mm) which was next to my keys on the bookshelf by the door.

I stepped outside again and as I did so I chambered a round and "cut the pie" to round the corner to my carport on the side of my house. I noticed a flash of movement and began clearing the carport, then my car, and then went into my back yard where I was shocked to see two black males that were in the process of jumping my back fence. I instinctively assumed a good firing stance (just in case they turned and fired), but they kept going. I never saw a weapon. I'm certain that they heard my pistol when I chambered a round and that's why they jumped the fence and ran.

I called 911 and brought my bags in. A minute or two later (it was that fast) the police arrived and told me that there had been a rash of car burglaries in the neighborhood and where around the corner investigating one when they were dispatched to my house. The thieves left their bikes in my yard and the cops let me go get them from the station when no one claimed them.

Shortly after that thieves stole my mower from my back yard. a month or two later my girlfriend at the time decided that my $400 bicycle was in her way and she put it out in the carport where it was stolen too. A few months later one of the bicycles I recovered from the thieves was stolen from my back yard.

I got a yellow lab after that I kept on a trolley/runner set up after that. He wasn't quite as athletic or hard headed as my current dog (described in the locked thread below)and didn't he get loose nearly as often. My neighbors behind me had pittbulls and one of their dogs jumped the fence into my yard and attacked my lab. Both dogs were so badly hurt they had to be destroyed. I started thinking about an electric fence then since it would not only keep my dog in and thieves out, it would also keep horny males out when Hershey goes in heat.

Anyhow, it's a real situation that I had to deal with decisively and having a guard dog has prevented any repeat of the incidents described above.

May 6, 2008, 05:39 AM
Gees, cant you take a hint? MOVE!

Where we use to live it was a lot like your neighborhood. It was a pain, but I packed up and moved to a little community(8 houses) 6 miles from town. We have not had a problem since. ;) knock on wood. Plus I have a big dog out back, and a pixxed off dog in the house

I don't like cities. There are to many people(without any common since). The police have their hands full. They are to busy dealing with domestic violence issues, fender benders, and drunks. Neighborhood watch is a thing of the past, unless your neighbors are nosy( I welcome that)

May 6, 2008, 08:44 AM
Car burglars are in just about every city. I live in a city with very little violent crime yet, we get hammered with car burglaries. The overwhelming majority of these are committed by boys ages 14 to 19. In Texas, its legal to shoot thieves at nighttime and there have been some young car burglars slain while in the act. Someone ought to explain that to the kids who go prowling at night.

Some neighborhoods get hit harder than others. Based on what you said, I would definitely move. I especially detest neighborhoods where alot of people have pitbulls. These animals pose a danger, especially to children, the elderly and other animals. I have absolutely no use for them.

May 6, 2008, 10:08 AM
I graduate in a year and will be selling my house and moving then. This was the only place I could afford after my divorce and I'll end up selling it for twice what I paid for it, but when you decide to go back to college in your 30's while you're raising 2 kids some sacrifices have to be made.

May 6, 2008, 10:31 AM
when you decide to go back to college in your 30's while you're raising 2 kids some sacrifices have to be made.

Been there, done that.big dogs are good.
best of luck to you.

May 6, 2008, 03:07 PM
you slice the pie and cut the cheese. get it straight:D

May 6, 2008, 03:19 PM
ISC, if you get into more than you bargained for, call me. I am not that far from your place.

May 7, 2008, 01:41 AM
If that's an offer to feed and water Hershey when I go away on orders I may take you up on it. I spend so much time on active duty teaching classes that I am beginning to impose too much on my friends to take care of her.

Seriously though, its not that bad of a neighborhood. The nice thing about where I live is that the kids I mostly have to worry about aren't interested in anything beyond a smash and grab. Fortunately, a loud dog and motion activated security light seems to scare them away.

I have an alarm system in my house and signs are posted to that effect. I am considering installing an additional circuit on the alarm strictly for my gun room. If I go with the electric fence I may install a lockable doggy door that will allow my dog to come into the gun room from the outside for shelter and added security for my collection.

I wonder if I'd be better served by having a dog inwith access there or a motion sensor. I couldn't really do both.

Sigma 40 Blaster
May 7, 2008, 06:25 AM
This may not help but I have to ask if you have a storage building that you can lock for big things like mowers and bikes? Possibly put a heavy duty padlock on as well? Along with good exterior lighting? For a problem like that maybe even some cameras.

Also sounds like your area is BADLY in need of a neighborhood watch program or something. We have a few tweakers and generally worthless human beings around who like to steal, I have seen evidence of them trying to steal my riding mower (tried to pry out the ignition switch), cut the steel cable lock I have on my shed, and just prowling in general.

Other than that I keep my valuables in the house close to me, definitely nothing outside that I want to keep. Lock things up as well as you can. Force them to work or make as much noise as possible to get something.

May 7, 2008, 07:25 AM
You can be like the guy on DEA last night... He kept a loaded AK-47 in buy his front door with a loaded pistol by his bed.

May 7, 2008, 09:31 AM
the problem in my neighbor hood is that although most of the residents own their homes, about 2 blocks away is a "apartment complex" where everyone has their rent paid for by the government. My neighbor hood is a decent middle class residential area, but the aprtment/projects down the road is running the entire area down.

I would rather have potential thieves avoid my property entirely than come in my yard and be locked out by security measures. I started this thread and the previous on in hope that a member could offer another idea for a passive defense tactic. I just hope that it doesn't get locked like the other one.

I have a 20 foot conex in my back yard and a motion activated security light. The conex is very secure, but it is a PIA for my kids to get in and out of so I have them bring their bikes inside the house. the mower stays in the conex.

Don H
May 7, 2008, 12:43 PM
I caught 2 jitterbugs trying to steal my car radio
Is "jitterbug" a local/regional term for "thief" or "druggie"?

May 7, 2008, 01:51 PM

n. a gang member; a juvenile delinquent. Also jit.


Its a commonly used colloquialism in urban areas.

Don H
May 7, 2008, 03:45 PM
Thanks! Learned something new today!

Sigma 40 Blaster
May 7, 2008, 10:10 PM
Short of booby trapping I'm not sure what else to advise. We also have a block or three of homes down the road a bit, with plenty of junkies and tweakers strolling around looking for something to steal. My son's tricycle was stolen after we forgot to take it in the house one night. I'm not sure what you could legally employ in the way of passive defense, electric fences, surveillance equipment, leave a TV on at all times in the house, leave lights on...there aren't any magic tricks that will de-victimize you.

Secure your possessions, secure your home, develop at least a watchful relationship with neighbors...have a good offense planned out just in case. Also keep a round chambered so next time there will be no noise to alert anyone that you are armed.

May 7, 2008, 10:39 PM
I chased a pitbull that belongs to the neighbor accross the street out of my yard today. I saw him jump the fence from my next door neighbor's yard into my yard. When I grabbed a stick and ran after him he jumped the fence into my front yard and ran to the his home accross the street. He's a juvenille dog and I think he was just wanting to play with hershey ( I don't know if she might be going into heat, but that might be possible.

I watched him climb the fence both times, and an electric fence would have stopped him.

May 8, 2008, 01:16 AM
I'd be putting up 12 foot chain link, barbed wire at the top, cameras with constant survey, and, if I could afford it, a home security system with patrols.

Have you given serious thought to a very high fence, and rotts? given a choice between shooting a young dog, and the young dogs owners, guess which one I'd pick...You might be able to reform the dog...

The Tourist
May 8, 2008, 01:42 AM
Sorry guys. A rottweiler says one thing, and one thing only to me.

It's a guy who can't do his own fighting, so he sends a dog.

May 8, 2008, 02:04 AM
That's fine with me, I'll let somebody (or something) else do my fighting for me any day. Preferably a whole bunch of somebody (or something) elses.

But as far as the OP goes, damn that sounds like a lousy place to live.

May 8, 2008, 02:05 AM
C'mon Tourist! Dogs are about as close as you can get to having a sentry gun! I say get a whole pack accompanied by landsharks and bear traps :D

Back on topic though, do you have any motion lights?


I've heard good things about this wireless security unit, it inconspicuously alerts you in the house when someone approaches it--may provide you with a few more seconds to get the drop on a bg if someone comes within 15ft of the transmitting unit. Works inside of cars too :)

The Tourist
May 8, 2008, 02:36 AM
C'mon Tourist! Dogs are about as close as you can get to having a sentry gun!

I'm a dog owner, myself.

The problem is that I have known more pansy muscle dog owners than I have guys who do their own fighting.

And training a dog to fight is animal abuse as far as I'm concerned.

Three weeks ago I went to our local bike shop, and ran into a guy with a new pup. He showed me some pictures on his cell phone of other pups he had. I showed him pictures of my dogs from my wallet. The most dangerous man I know also owns a dog--a Pomeranian.

None of the pictures in that entire motorcycle parking lot were muscle or show-off dogs. Frankly, those dogs are for pimps, bangers and Enzyte clients.

Edit: And I have good reason to think so.

During the gasoline shortage of the 1970's, I lost my job. To save the tankful of gas I had in my car for job interviews, I walked every morning to a local Stop n' Rob for the morning paper and coffee.

One morning as I left my neighborhood, I saw a teenage kid on his porch with a black lab--that he had trained to attack. For fun, he said something like, "Sic 'em, boy." Within seconds I was facing the dog, baring his teeth.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I faced the dog, called the kid a wussy and challenged him to face me right then, right there in the street.

As most of them do, he called the dog back, and went inside, where I believe his mommie fluffed and folded his undies and poured his a bowl of Sugar Smacks.

May 8, 2008, 02:57 AM
The problem is that I have known more pansy muscle dog owners than I have guys who do their own fighting.

Well yeah. If you can defend yourself and your property with no help then why would you need a big dog?? :confused: :confused:

The Tourist
May 8, 2008, 03:04 AM
If you can defend yourself

Well, my gym is open 24/7, if you're a girlie man, go lift something. If you can't hit anything, go to the firing range. If your self esteem is lagging, get to a dojo.

But for pete's sake, do your own fighting. Don't punish the dog for your cowardice.

Gee, I'll bet Michael Vick wishes some of those dogs were still alive, especially in his cell block on "date night."

May 8, 2008, 03:54 AM
buddy, without getting too personal here, it's clear you should be spending your money not at a gym but on a good psychologist.

You're a classic case of "big man on outside, little man on inside." You may want to resolve those issues pronto before they get you in trouble.

May 8, 2008, 05:35 AM
I have this guard dog. People laugh when they meet him. He's a fuzzy litlle guy that loves to lay on the footrest of my recliner. But nothing and I mean nothing gets by his ears. Any skulking about and he lets me know pronto. I alway tell my friends, He's got the ears, I got the teeth.

May 8, 2008, 09:48 AM

You're getting just a mite personal, calling folks cowards for wanting to own working dogs that do the job they've been bred to do.

For the record, I don't own a dog and don't mind being called girlie -- since I am a girl -- so I really don't have a dog in this fight. But insulting the manhood of everyone who disagrees with you is Just Not Right.

We've had a bit too much of that on TFL lately, folks who think it's okay to hurl blanket insults at other people or groups of people. It is not okay. Please don't do it.


Let's try to keep this thread on-topic. The question is: what specific things can a homeowner in a bad area do to reduce the risk of property crime or worse?

If you can stay on topic, please post here. If you want to talk about something else, do it elsewhere.



May 8, 2008, 10:35 AM
To repeat: If you can stay on topic, please post here. If you want to talk about something else, please do it elsewhere.


May 8, 2008, 11:40 AM
thanks pax, I spend quite a bit of time on base teaching MOS-T and BNCOC classes so I rely on my dog for security while I'm out of town and my friends stop in and check on/feed her daily. Hershey is a very happy and playful dog if your escorted into the yard, but is incredibly territorial about the yard. That's exactly as it should be.

I'm thinking about putting up a 6' privacy fence as an alternative to the electric fence.

1) no potential for legal liability (small concern, but a concern)
2) keeps Hershey in and the horney dog accross the street out
3) allows me to load my vehicle for range trips without being observed

1) expensive (I could buy a NICE new M14 or 50 gun safe for the cost)
2) It would be alot of work
3) it would prevent Hershey from seeing my driveway and front yard to alert me about intruders

May 8, 2008, 05:44 PM
Dogs have a good sense of smell and hearing. I'm sure even if your dog can't see out to the front of the house, she can still alert anyone that comes close. I have a friend who owns a small dog that knows EVERYONE who comes to the house just by the sound of their car engines, and voice. The only time he EVER barks wildly is if there's a stranger anywhere near the house, be it in the front or back yard. If he knows you, he'll keep quiet but come up to you wagging his tail.


May 8, 2008, 06:46 PM

I recommended a Rott because some of my fondest memories in protection work were with my bosses Rott, Dax. Dax was the most loveable, sweetest, attack trained dog you would probably ever be around. During a 3 day power outage in 82 we hunkered down in a restaurant, providing 24 our protection to our place of employment, and a few hundred grand. Somebody shot a gun across the creek, and, we heard a knock on the door. I got elected to go, it was very dark, and, I was covered by two or three guys with battle rifles, AR 15's and M1A's, and, I took Dax with me, off lead. I opened the door, and, it was a police officer. We exchanged comments about the gunshot, I told him it wasn't us, and then he looked down, and saw Dax. Dax was solid black, and, all you could see were the canine teeth in the dark. Dax was ready, but, he had assessed the situation, and, while alert, was just watching and protecting. He said something like,
"It looks like you're in good hands." Looking at Dax, and went on his way.

That same dog would jump up on your lap on the couch, and you'd have a 120 pounds of lap dog. The owner of that dog was one of the best martial artists I've ever trained with, a trained by the United States trained killer: a Green Beret, who reupped in Vietnam and Korea until both conflicts ended. He LOVED war. Now, that was his solution to a similar problem, except he actually had a kennel full of pups in the back yard.

Some genius drug addict jumped his rather high, 8-9 foot fence, and, Dax didn't take kindly to that. Dax bit the guy in the butt. Apparently the more the guy tried to escape, the harder Dax bit. Finally the guy stopped moving, Dax eased up, and the police came and took him away. The man's girlfriend had been raped in her house, in another town, and, she no longer had that fear with the rotts around. Since it's Florida, a short haired dog is a good choice. Otherwise my favorite are Great Pyre mountain dogs.

By the way: I've been in the ring with Dennis Alexio, 70-2
world full contact heavyweight champion at one time. 15 rounds of 'sparring' where he only broke the end of my rib. The owner of the Rotts was NOT someone you'd EVER want to mess with...

Just because some bad people own a breed, it doesn't mean the breed or bad, or doesn't do the job it's intended to do...

Rotts are VERY smart, provided they haven't been over 'dobermanized': i.e. bred to a point where they have a small, narrow head that limits brain size.

And Tourist: I started boxing and martial arts in about 75, and, stopped active sparring, boxing in about 95, when I had to get my nose opened up, since I could no longer breath out of it. I've fought my own battles for a long time, and, I'm pretty much over that at this point, though I do enjoy working out in our local Gracie gym every once in awhile.

Dax's owner was someone who killed people, legally for a long time. Not anyone I would ever want to face...

The only down side for ISC is dogs need love, and, having to leave them for extended periods would be hard on them...

May 21, 2008, 09:28 PM
If you're not an experienced dog owner then axe the plan on purchasing a working dog for protection. Please.

And why in Hades would I resort to using judo/jujitsu with some zombie/hobgoblin when I can "release the hound", so to speak???:confused:

I was "assaulted" while in high school by a tough guy while I was walking my own 62 lb Pit Bull. I released the leash. Game Over. Crushed hand. Lots of crying. Breaking stick to pry him off and I beat feet. That day was a good day. I wake up laughing from time to time dreaming/remembering it. I'll never forget that jackasses face nor his panicked screams. Nor will I forget others laughing at him. Nor will I ever forget the gentleman who grabbed me through me in his truck and took me home before the aftermath of it all. Get real, dude. Dogs are a first line defense. They get injured such that you can live.

You're also confusing gamebred Pit Bulls with Personal Protection dogs. NOT the same thing. What Vick was involved in was bloodsport not self-defense.

And I don't think he'll have many problems behind bars. Though I could be incorrect here. He's not a loudmouth, he's very athletic and he's got a huge following I'm sure with the Blacks in prison. He'll be protected. As would you if you were a famous individual.

May 21, 2008, 11:35 PM
My neighbor across the street confessed he was on his way over to complain about my dogs barking late the night before and found a couple of guys trying to steal his radio out of his Jeep - that's what the dogs were barking about. He wanted to give them a medal - he's a retired Lt Col - Army.

Tonight we had a bear in the yard - but he didn't stay - guess he didn't feel like playing. :rolleyes:



They aren't the least bit vicious and are well mannered -


Works for us -


May 22, 2008, 03:14 AM
Wow!:eek: Those are some massive dogs.

May 22, 2008, 10:23 AM
Wow! Those are some massive dogs.

Yep - little sister Katie (brindle) weighed in at a dainty 199# last October at her annual check-up while big bro Charley was an even 202#. Their bark is their only weapon - other than image (which is everything for some).


They even guard the trailer when camping in the summer - their defense strategy is, if strangers aren't intimidated by size and bark, drown'em in drool.


May 22, 2008, 03:05 PM
did you have to get a second job to feed those pooches? sell all your guns? they could sit on the BG and he'd be toast ...

Odd Job
May 22, 2008, 03:15 PM
Indeed, that Charley is only 5lbs lighter than me!!

May 22, 2008, 11:53 PM
Thanks, guys - actually, they eat about half what you might think but, it's still quite a bit - they're worth it. We've had Mastiffs going on three decades and showed them some years - got titles - mostly in obedience - but now, we just enjoy their company. These two have had obedience training from day one but they just think it's a fun walk.

Katie: "I'm a lady."


Charley: "When does pre-season begin?"


Some think we indulge them???

Even "little" sis Katie outweighs me 15# when I'm fully dressed (5# of which is a Colt government model 45 and spare mags). Everybody in our neighborhood knows them by name - even those who can't remember "Bonnie and OJ".;)


May 23, 2008, 01:24 AM
OJ, those sure are beautiful dogs.

This thread has gotten quite a ways away from its original topic, so I'm closing it now. Thanks to all for the interesting discussion.