View Full Version : Multiple Dog Attackers

January 30, 2011, 10:06 AM
There are some vicious dogs near me that seem to continue to threaten people. I have been temped to report but I am afraid if I take action then I will be seen as excercising vigilante justice. I know others have called the police in the past but it's been a while and by the time they show up the dogs are put away so no citation is issued.

Is a 357 enough to stop a large dog. I am worried that with five shots that may not be enough to stop two dogs especially if I have one or more misses.

WARNING: Discussions about the relative merits or disadvantages of various dog breeds are off-topic for TFL.

This thread is about self-defense against dogs, NOT a discussion about which breeds are "good" or "bad".

If you want to talk about dog breeds there are forums for that on the web.


January 30, 2011, 10:42 AM
.357 should work well on a dog. just keep calling the cops, get video if you can. if you end up having to shoot the dogs it will help you immensely to have a record of previous behavior.

January 30, 2011, 10:42 AM
Yes the 357 is fine for such a use, but no round is going to help much if you miss.
When I was a very young boy I lived in a remote area and there was a pack of feral dogs that became a problem. Several men from an area of about 5 miles square got together and hunted them all down. All were killed. My dad used a Winchester 22 caliber pump rifle. He used hollow point ammo and shot 2 of them. He said one took 5 rounds, but another dropped dead at the shot.
I was not with the men, so I can only say what I was told. My dad said the one that dropped was the first one he killed and he shot it "just like a deer"
He used to shoot his deer with a 300 Savage and most times he hit them in the center of the chest.
I can only assume he didn't make as good a first hit on the second dog, but he did say the 1st one was a lot bigger than the second one.
My friend H.S. killed a mad Pit Bull inn Nevada and shut him off like a light. Shot at close range with a Mossberg M-500 with #4 Buck.

I killed a very large dog several years ago with a 308 rifle when it was chasing my horses. Dropped him like lightning.
I also killed two dogs when I was in my 20s both of which weighted about 70 pounds. One with a 44 magnum with a 265 Keith bullet and one with a 357 mag with a 158 grain hollow point. Both went down instantly.

In every case that the dogs dropped instantly, the thing that they had in common was a good shot placement.

January 30, 2011, 12:18 PM
I have been temped to report but I am afraid if I take action then I will be seen as excercising vigilante justice.

Reporting them isn't vigilantism.

Have you thought about talking to the owners? They just might prefer to build a fence to losing their dogs.

January 30, 2011, 12:36 PM
In every case that the dogs dropped instantly, the thing that they had in common was a good shot placement.

I seem to recall good shot placement being an important factor in ending hostilities or unwanted frivolity.


January 30, 2011, 01:01 PM
I had to shoot one while on a call a couple of years ago- 'dogbite' call of course. I was basically out on foot looking for victims & complainants and as soon as I found them the dogs-which I hadn't found yet-found me.

I heard snarling and barking off to my left rear and as I turned to face the racket, I saw two large dogs charging me at full speed from the middle of the street. A big Pit Bull was in the lead with a big brown Shepherd mix coming alongside and damn, they were coming fast! As they closed the remaining 20 feet the Pit had lowered its body, preparing to lunge.

I drew my Glock 22 and yelled ‘STOP!’ as I blocked the sights on bottom of the Pit Bull’s chest- a smaller target than it sounds like. There was no time to do anything but shoot and I found myself shooting one-handed. At 12 feet I fired two shots, which made it flinch but did not stop the charge. I compensated for the dog’s movement and triggered two more shots. It then started yelping, bleeding and flipping around the yard like a porpoise so I shot it once more through the shoulders. The other dog decided discretion was the better part of valor, and evaporated into thin air. I had planned to simply shift the gun across to him and keep firing, if Cujo #2 kept on coming. I have no doubt I would have gotten chewed on by both of them if I hadn't opened fire. As it was I had blood on my pants from the double-tap into the pit; he was that close.

I estimate the time from threat recognition, until the last shot was fired, at five seconds tops. My cursory examination of the dog revealed at least three holes in its front chest and shoulders, and the finisher which exited behind the off-shoulder. The load was 165 grain Golden Saber. They are hard to stop when committed to an attack.

January 30, 2011, 01:13 PM
Get yourself a can of Halt or Back-off spray as your first line of defense. It's what mailmen carry. They deal with a lot more dogs than you do and they don't have an option to use a firearm. When was the last time you heard of a mail carrier getting killed by a dog? At least you get the option of the handgun as a backup in case the spray fails.

A 357 should go right through a dog from any angle. The question is what will it hit and eventually stop in. Same question for any shots you take and miss. If you are in an urban area and you shoot at the dogs and end up up killing a child in the house across the street when you miss you'll be spending a long time living in a cage.

Keep calling animal control and reporting the dogs. Every time you see them. It's their job to deal with this. Eventually either the owner will get tired of dealing with animal control and will keep his dogs confined or animal control will get tired of coming out and will take the dogs.

January 30, 2011, 01:24 PM
if they are truely vicious and deadly, shoot them. if they are just some neighborhood ragamuffins, yell at them and go home

January 30, 2011, 01:28 PM
It is imperative that you take the initiative and report the residence of the owners of the dogs to the police.

You don't have any legal right to kill these dogs if they are simply threatening people as they walk by the owners yard but the dogs stay on the owners property.

You cannot trespass to create a situation where you might think you are justified to shoot them.

If you report the situation to the police and they cannot approach the residence to talk to the owners they might take matters into their own hands.

The bottom line here is you cannot report the dogs if you simply feel uncomfortanble with them in the neighborhood.

There needs to be a situation where you thought they were actually trying to or might have hurt someone.

Most dog owners-like me-are considerate of other people but like all people-there is a very small minority that put their dogs in situations they don't have the xxxx's to deal with themselves.

These owners are sad,sad people.

Definitely call the police on the standard line-not the 911 line- and start the ball rolling to get the police over there and tell the owners to keep their dogs under control.

Use the phone-not a gun-firing a gun in a neighborhood when you really did'nt need too-can get you in jail for several years.

January 30, 2011, 03:23 PM
before I went blasting away at the dogs personally I would call animal controll instead of the police and maby talk to the owners. Shooting the dogs seams to open you to a number of legal issues eg.... discharging within city, reckless endangerment,animal cruelty and im sure there is more. Not to mention who's to say the dogs are wrong after all they are animals and animals are agressive at times for reasons we dont see. The issue is the dogs I agree, but the cure is the owners. Just as you are responsible for the actions of a child you may have the owners are responsible for the actions of a pet they own. I wouldnt open fire on them unless a human life was in imediate danger.

January 31, 2011, 08:42 PM
To answer your question, .357 is sufficient for stopping a dog. I've only seen a dog shot once, and it was with a Smith model 65. My dad & I had come across a small pack of feral dogs during a hike in Alaska. Dad shot one when they took a mean interest in us, it spun around & yelped until it finally collapsed, and in the meantime the rest of the pack ran into the woods. The whole incident was very quick, maybe a few seconds.

I think those circumstances & that of having a neighbor with roaming dogs are different. I don't think I'd pull a gun on a dog in town unless it was already biting me, for fear of getting arrested & sued. I'd talk with the owners, talk with other concerned neighbors, and talk to your local cops to see what they'd recommend. But from what I've seen, usually nothing gets done unless children or elderly people get involved.

My preferred dog defense is strong pepper spray. A collapsible baton is also nice, but they need training to get good with. If it came down to using a gun, I think a snub .357 is plenty. I'd even settle for a six-shot .38 like an old Colt.

February 1, 2011, 06:32 AM
You should speak with the home owners first.

I have a German shephard, and would want to know if my dog
was threatening someone. (I dont leave it out, myself)

If nothing improved, I would then call the police.

ALWAYS carry pepper spray when around the house.

Discharging a weapon in an urban setting can go SO BAD.

It should be a last resort, ALWAYS

If something goes awry, the anti gunners WILL have you
as a media whipping boy.

I had a coyote in my yard about 3 months ago (it thins out the cats
in the neighborhood) My wife says..."get the gun!"

There was no way, unless it was charging me, for me to shoot at it.

If I had an arrow, I would have.

February 20, 2011, 12:39 AM
Sadly I can't have a lot of faith in the recommendations to talk to the owners -- they will be rational people -- or call animal control -- they'll take care of it. People who let their dogs run and become nuisances rarely care about the problems their dogs cause, and animal control has never cared to do their job when I have called them in several locations.

My neighbors are trash and let their dogs run. Animal control has been called dozens of times, even when they come out and find the dogs running they do nothing but give verbal warnings. Two summers ago two of the dogs went after my toddler, the only reason they did not get her is one very, VERY protective springer spaniel taking them both on until I got there.

I broke it up with three shots into the ground from my Glock. I naively thought I would look like a good neighbor for not shooting them and the owners would do the right thing. They just called me a liar. The dogs came back a month later and attacked my dog again, I shot them with .22 birdshot and they have not been back on my property since though they still run often. Animal control was called each time.

If you truly feel threatened in an area where discharge is legal, I'd shoot them. But only in that scenario.

February 20, 2011, 01:14 AM
A few years back I had a problem with a neighbor’s dog. When ever it was loose, it would run up to kids and growl, showing it’s teeth. At the time, two of the kids it harassed were my son and daughter. I called the police just to get it on record. Police told me there is nothing they can do about it, the call needs to be made to animal control. I said fine, if the dog ever does it again, it will be shot. I had a cop at my front door with in minutes. I told him the same story. Cop says I’d get arrested for discharging a firearm with in city limits. I told him I’d love to see a jury of my peers sentence me for protecting my children. Never saw that dog or the cop again.

My suggestion. Call the police to get it on record. Call animal control if your city / county has one. If that doesn’t work, do what you feel is best for the protection of yourself and loved ones.

Carne Frio
February 20, 2011, 01:22 AM
Bear spray, like UDAP, works fine for unfriendly dogs. I have used it many times.:D


February 20, 2011, 01:25 AM
.357 is more than enough, a .380 is enough for most dogs and you get a couple extra shots.
valid point was made about a 357 going completely there. shouldn't be a threat to anyone else as you're shooting downward. of course there's the rare chance of a ricochet hurting someone...
soft point 38 spl would probably be better.

Ben Towe
February 20, 2011, 04:19 AM
If you live in a rural area and the dogs are coming on your property and threatening you, then shoot them. I might call the neighbor and give one warning. If it's a suburban or urban area call the police and give them three options: a)Take care of the dogs. b)Get animal control out there to take care of them. c)You will shoot the dogs the next time they get off the property.

Chances are good they will handle it.

February 20, 2011, 08:12 AM
in many states, such as Michigan, the use of a gun on dogs is specifically written into state law. It is lawful to shoot threatening dog, and the "use of deadly force" criteria does not apply. If it is not on the owners property, and it is attacking you, you probably may shoot it.

February 21, 2011, 04:36 PM
We can kill the strays herein Iowa but I prefer to use a bb gun on them cause I cant tell if the dog is someones pet or not. I know what it is like to lose a pet and sure dont want to bring that onto someone else so a bb gun does the trick. I shot a couple dogs in the rear end, never saw them on my place since.

I used a stick one time, shook it and said go get the stick and tossed it, he went and got it then ran off with it.

February 21, 2011, 08:23 PM
Years ago I helped my uncle kill off a feral pack of dogs attacking his livestock. We used 22 rifles and they were very effective. The two I killed both dropped with a single 22lr to the neck just above the shoulders.

Shot placement is key.

Rufus T Firefly
February 21, 2011, 10:42 PM
We keep a Crosman 1377 Pellet gun for various low nise purposes. Perhaps if they are just annoying, maybe a few pumps that are unlikely to cause harm to the animal might train them to avoid your area. Like..."I get hit with something every time I go to that house". If the owner won't train them perhaps you can. A yelp and a run never caused major harm or lawsuits.

If the animal attacks you and you can prove it, by all means protect yourself. Just don't give the legal system a reason to take your weapon or your permit. A dog is not worth it.
Keep protected.

Smilin Jack
February 22, 2011, 01:04 PM
Well I find that even asking "the law" will usually get different answers from different officers but in the city that's what you're going to have to do. Just move to the country where life is good and you can "shoot, shovel and shut up". Problem solved.

February 22, 2011, 03:01 PM
.357 works, so does a F-150.

February 27, 2011, 05:56 PM
I've only seen one dog shot in my life. It was a small mix breed that had wandered into our yard and been adopted into our family. it was a young, friendly dog no more than maybe 20lbs. One day, a few of the neighborhood hoodlums decided to start trouble and called the police, claiming the dog had bit him. The police arrived and were asking my mother and I questions (I was about 10 years old at the time) when one of the officers heard the dog barking in the backyard, some 75 feet away. The officer drew his revolver - probably a S&W 38, but I'm not sure - and shot the dog from the front of our house. The dog had not charged him or made any aggressive move other than barking at what it perceived to be a stranger. The bullet hit the dog in the side of the abdomen and exited near its hind leg. The dog ran and hid in his doghouse until animal control officers arrived on scene to take it into custody. It was still hurt and hiding in the doghouse when they grabbed it with their noose and dragged it down our sidewalk, choking it to death as they went. In my opinion - it was an unjustified, poor shot made by an ignorant police officer. Better ways to handle the situation.

Rufus T Firefly
February 27, 2011, 10:34 PM
We would have 100% of all LEO's looking out for us. We would have a president that ACTUALLY CARED that we all have jobs. If life was perfect, your dog would be alive. But things happen and people slip thru the cracks. Perhaps that LEO did not have the temperment to understand people love their pets. At the same time, some people only see things and present them thru their own eyes. Perhaps you did not post all the comments pertineant to your dog being shot. It seems to me their might have been alot of witness's but I think we got the "sugar coated" version. If not..... I am sorry. But you are missing some facts in the story. Have a clipping from the local paper? That was a weapon discharge by an officer and would be investigated even if it was just a dog.....

February 28, 2011, 04:35 PM
I saw a dog was shot by a shotgun. Nephews <large dog> , was in his yard on a chain. Guy was walking up and down the block screaming about his wife etc. Dog barked, guy got gun and shot dog, dog had number 6 shot under his skin all over his front, head and legs. Dog lived, guy went to jail.

I had a dog was a good watch dog, a guy was in my house, didnt know him he came with someone else, guy takes his 38 out to show it off, dog grabbed his whole hand gun goes off hitting my dog in his jaw. Dog runs into bathtub till I got the bleeding stopped. I thanked the guy for the new 38 I just got, he left empty handed. I got 100 for the gun. Dog lived to be 10.

Ben Towe
March 3, 2011, 12:53 PM
Markj, you are lucky the guy didn't get a good lawyer and ruin you. He could have done so easily.

March 3, 2011, 01:05 PM
I have been temped to report but I am afraid if I take action then I will be seen as excercising vigilante justice.

Reporting would not be vigilante justice.

Shooting the dog pre-emptively would be vigilante justice.

Shooting the dog that was attacking you would be self defense, and justified in most places. New Jersey, Chicago: YMMV.

March 3, 2011, 01:10 PM
Ben Towe "Markj, you are lucky the guy didn't get a good lawyer and ruin you. He could have done so easily."

Funny I don't see that at all.. The man pulled out a gun at a strangers house..The dog was defending his master.. What I see is the guy was lucky he didn't go to jail for reckless discharge of a firearm...

March 3, 2011, 02:07 PM
Markj, you are lucky the guy didn't get a good lawyer and ruin you. He could have done so easily.

No, he wouldnt go to the law, he was glad he got to leave in one piece and not full of holes himself.

Now I for one would never take my gun out to show it off in a strangers house. No matter who it was brought me. Good way to get shot, specially in that neighborhood.

March 3, 2011, 02:40 PM
A few years ago I was out walking my beagle early in the morning ... I live in a very quiet town on a golf course where nothing ever happens ... we're cruising along when I see movement about 100 yards away ... three dogs, with a huge shepherd in the lead, are barking their heads off and making lunging moves .... Shiner of course is ready to head for the barn ... the dogs finally charge ... like an idiot I had left my regular carry gun, a PM9, at home and all I had was a 3-inch folder ... I pulled it as a thought flashed through my head .. "this is gonna hurt." I yelled at them ... bad dog, go away ... at the top of my lungs ... about 20 or so feet from us they suddenly veered into the bushes and were gone ... I just stood there, stunned at the suddeness of the attack and the end of it ... we staggered home ... I had no idea who owned the dogs, tho I later spotted them in the yard of a house we've passed a million times with no problems ... turns out the family was keeping the shepherd a few days for a friend, he was the ringleader and his two toadies were dogs that lived at the house ... needless to say, I don't leave my gun at home any more ... a close call ... dogs are NOT to be messed with; if I'd had my gun, I'd have done my best to kill all three ...

March 3, 2011, 08:00 PM
... by dogs who veer off at 20 feet, does not qualify as being attacked, in my book.

If I shot at dogs who did that, several of my neighbors would no longer have dogs. And, I'd probably be much more well-acquainted with my local Sheriff's office.

March 3, 2011, 08:25 PM
".357 works, so does a F-150. "


Silent Bob
March 7, 2011, 09:56 AM
Back before I carried a gun and walked to work I was chased by a loose <large dog> in kill-mode into the back of some random dude's pick-up truck parked alongside the street. Was lucky that truck was there. Even if I was armed with something like say my Colt 1911 that would have been a nerve-wracking experience to engage that charging canine psychopath. A pack? Oh God.

March 7, 2011, 10:52 AM
The instructor of my CCW class related to us his run in with a <large dog> at his outdoor range just the day before our class. Apparently the dog showed up out of nowhere and became threatening to people at the range. He came out and managed to back the dog up to the edge of his property and thought he would be able to end it without incident.

He said he took his eye of the dog and then it charged. He said it took 4 shots from his weapon to put the dog on the ground, and a fifth to the head to finish it off. Two shots straight to the chest and two in a couple various areas I don't remember.

.45 1911.

March 8, 2011, 04:21 PM
thanks for your imput, MLeake ... seeing three dogs charging at top speed, snarling and snapping, would perhaps have changed your "not there" opinion ... is the idea to wait until the dogs are actually chomping on me before taking action? If I had had a gun that day, I would have taken the first shot at about that distance, since I had three targets to worry about ... I'm glad they veered off, but how long exactly do you suggest waiting before taking action? 18 feet? 10 feet? 5?

March 8, 2011, 06:18 PM
... would I have faulted you for drawing down? No. For firing? Probably not.

But you weren't attacked, as it turned out.

March 9, 2011, 08:53 AM
atlctyslkr I see that you are in GA close to me. First I want you to know dogs are a very big part of my life, but I don't condone vicious dogs--unfortunately some owners are irresponsible and the dogs have to pay. I can understand you not wanting to call animal control or the police because if they are anything like it is here it's hard to get something done in a reasonable amount of time (that's because they are so overwhelmed) and you make enemies out of your neighbors as well. But if it were me I'd have to step up and try to go the route some members have already mentioned. Report the dogs and get documentation. Perhaps you could speak to the AC Officer about keeping your information confidential. I was also going to mention the bear spray (I haven't tried it but it was recommended to me today) I have pepper-sprayed an angry dog before and it did not work. I know you are in a difficult situation, but what if one of those dogs gets a hold of a child or another innocent dog? Please reconsider reporting them...that way you will be covered if you do have to shoot the dogs and there will be no chance of missing and hitting an unintended target.
My well wishes are with you. I'll be quite now.

Hiker 1
March 13, 2011, 10:39 PM
Is a 357 enough to stop a large dog. I am worried that with five shots that may not be enough to stop two dogs especially if I have one or more misses.

My grandfather dropped a big <mixed breed dog> with a single shot (hollow-point) from a scoped .22 rifle at about 30 feet. One shot turned its lights off instantly. It's all about placement.

mega twin
March 14, 2011, 08:26 AM
A dog,if really attacking,can do 20 feet in less than a second.
You had better be on target way before then,as it is a lot different than the 21foot rule for humans.

Eagle Eye
March 26, 2011, 10:28 PM
Three dogs come on my property and cause damage. I'm not talking about BMs...I'm talking tearing up 6 feet of drainage pipe and about 25 square feet of turf to get to a squirrel or some other prey hiding in the pipe. I have found a pellet to the butt will send them away for many months. I use the pointed pellets that are intended for small game. And by the way, I get one careful shot out the back door, usually from about 100 to 150 feet. If I take two or if I step out, a neighbor is sure to report me for illegally firing the pellet gun. But I have spent as much as $100 twice to repair the dogs' damage, so they don't get more chances and I don't take chances.

I would not dare kill a dog unless it had its teeth in me. Otherwise I would be accused of cruelty to animals and would be fined at the least. Simply being off it's owner's property is not sufficient. It must post a threat to life according to Kansas law. Having it chew on me would hurt like hell, but I would have more evidence than my word that it was charging with intent to kill. I think I could hit it with my eyes shut if it had a jaw clamp on my leg. And unfortunately I would quietly dispose of the carcass, for those who hurt of kill someone's beloved pet seem to always suffer from the law or the owner -- even if the pet is a stray that the "owner" claims because he feeds it sometimes. I have read of too many victims that have taken appropriate action and then are victimized for protecting life, limb and property.

Sorry. I hate for someone's dog to quietly disappear, but I hate court costs and vengefull owners even more.

March 29, 2011, 01:06 AM
When I was a kid my across the street neighbor had a springer spaniel that was mean as hell. He used to chase me every time I went out into the front of my yard or in the street while riding my four wheeler. This lasted for years. One day I went over there to talk to the neighbor. When he came outside, the dog came outside. The dog growled & bit me. The neighbor put him to sleep. To this day I get along with dogs, I like dogs. But just a hint of aggression from one and I'm ready to kill it. If that springer spaniel was still alive I'd kill it with my bare hands.

Point I'm making is don't let that dog dictate where you feel comfortable in your own neighborhood. Do what you have to do. A 357 will get you there.

March 29, 2011, 01:33 AM
I've seen the aftermath of dog attacks and there's no way I'm letting one get a bite of me, if I can prevent it.

March 29, 2011, 05:59 PM
I am a little hesitant to answer, I am a walker,(& well over 60 yrs) and have had some encounters, some have ended well, and some have not!! THIS IS PURELY HYPOTHETICAL !!, (when all else falls) a well placed CB .22 short at 710 fps (the lowly .22 short) will dispatch a pit bull mix, very quick & with very little noise, and (if you practice a little) you will not miss a step, If one were to do this, and it is nothing to be proud of!!! but, after you have exhausted all other avenues, it may be your only alternative, I am a dog lover and would rather see the owner take responsibility, But my Grandchildren take precedence over an unruly dog. Just my opinion.

March 30, 2011, 03:38 PM
Dogs can hurt a person,


poor man was killed by strays.

Be carefull out there

April 15, 2011, 06:03 PM
how about a suppressed 22lr target pistol with a reflex site and subsonic ammo?