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Old April 8, 2014, 12:18 PM   #51
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about a month ago, i was walking on our property with my dog, and here come the 2 dogs from the adjoining property. i had seen them before, they have crossed the fence line repeatedly, but i let it go, as they didn't bother me. this time however, the black one barked and charged at me, and i tried to get between that dog and my dog to protect her. in so doing, i drew my gun and had it pointed at the black dog. the black dog tried to bite me on my left knee, put three holes in my pants, but didn't break skin and then backed off as i fell backwards (gun still in R hand, leash in left).

lessons: know how to shoot one handed, you don't always get a chance to put both hands on your gun. think about what a gun shot will do to your life.

i haven't met the owner, but didn't want to cause strife in the area. i did call animal control and they came out and talked to me and the dog's owner. haven't had that dog confront me again. animal control did say i had the right to defend myself with reasonable force from a vicious animal. and if i had to shoot one, to call them to come get the body.

caught the dog on my property again, called animal control again, haven't seen the dog on my property again.
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Old April 21, 2014, 10:56 AM   #52
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Have you ever been spooked by dogs before? I've been charged before and probably wouldn't shoot right away either figuring I was a bluff or a bored dog. If he actually bit you probably would have shot. Most dogs are pretty opportunistic. Ive found the best way to get dogs to like you or back off is to be friendly or get meaner and louder than them. Either way it confuses the prey instinct
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Old April 21, 2014, 01:03 PM   #53
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Can't help you with your mind set, especially if you are a dog lover. However, shooting a dog, especially a moving one with a handgun is hard. With the increase of criminals using pit bulls as weapons, we have trained to shoot dogs.

Using a 5 g water bottle and a long rope stretch it out and one person run with it to pull the jug forward in a simulated charge. A second person serves as the safety... establish a no shoot line. In the excitement sometimes its hard to shut off the shooting as the jug comes past your feet. The safety also is the one that call "dog" "dog" "dog" signaling the shoot situation.

Hitting the bouncing water jug was a challenge. All did much better when we switched to SG. However, the point is that you only have what you carry at the time so be good with it.

I have no problem shooting a problem/dangerous animal running loose. However, even I would feel a little bad about blasting the dog in his own yard protecting his home, because I did not make arrangements with the tenant before entering the property.
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Old April 23, 2014, 03:50 PM   #54
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Dogs are like grasshoppers or bicyclists...

...OK by themselves, even cute, but get a bunch together, and there's gonna be problems...

To the OP: Think of this incident as good experience. I think you reacted in a trained, disciplined way, and should not doubt yourself. Fact: The dog did not bite you. Fact: You did not shoot.
Self-defense is by definition RE-active. By your description, it happened quickly, surprising you. You drew down, but did not shoot. The threat was neutralized without lethal force. That's a GOOD outcome and good judgement (even if it was just luck).

Look, a dog can move much quicker than you can, and it takes time (at least 1.5 seconds) to make tactical decision. If the dog had moved in for the bite, you would have fired. Maybe you would have been bitten, but again, self-defense is reactive.

A large dog is a lethal weapon, capable of inflicting deadly wounds or great bodily injury. Such a dog exhibiting aggressive behavior is an imminent threat.

I encounter dogs daily at work. I'm no expert, but I'm not a hater (we had an aggressive rescued pit bull as a beloved pet until it died a couple of years ago).

The vast majority of dogs I encounter are well-socialized. A few weeks ago, I grabbed a man walking a large husky and the dog did nothing (daddy had started to run away from me, which is a "no-no"...).

I've been bitten once, shot one, and have peppered or whacked many. I suppose I could learn more about canine psychology, but I don't feel a responsibility to become the "Dog Whisperer".

If confronted by an aggressive dog, I really do not want to injure it, but if my safety or that of others (or wildlife) appears threatened, I will use force as necessary to stop the threat, including lethal force.

I think the OP did OK, used restraint and avoided shooting the dog. If he had used lethal force, it probably would have been justified, but certainly would have been complicated and expensive.

The rental agreement should probably be reconsidered to include a clause about safe confinement of animals. I might consider making more noise at the truck before I approach a property, or calling out before entering a gated area. Definitely, advance notice of visiting the property might have avoided the problem, and proof of such notice would have been helpful if a shooting had occurred.

As much as we love and anthropomorphize our pets, the law considers them property, and there is a pretty low bar for destroying them. However, I agree that there have been incidents of LEOs using lethal force against dogs that appear to have been avoidable: Lethal force must ONLY be used when there is no other reasonable option (but this can happen in a split second).

I think it's a shame for a dog to be killed while defending its own yard, but have much less sympathy for dogs being aggressive off their property, in public areas or towards other animals. That said, if you have a legal right to be on the property, you have a right to defend yourself, but judgement and restraint are vital.

Last edited by R1145; April 23, 2014 at 04:26 PM.
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Old April 23, 2014, 04:21 PM   #55
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I'd say great instincts you made the right didn't shoot and the dog didn't attack no reason to doubt yourself..if things had gone different and the dog lunged closer or differently and you knew without a doubt he was going to bite you I bet you would of pulled the trigger..good job
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Old April 24, 2014, 04:45 AM   #56
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I don't have any wisdom to share with you David. I can tell you that years ago I was forced to shoot a large, aggressive dog that was on our property and within a whisker of lunging at my grandmother. I didn't doubt my decision then, and don't now.

As to advice; Since no one was hurt there isn't any reason to second guess yourself.
may God eternally bless the American Rifleman--- as long as one stands, resolute, liberty shall not perish.
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Old April 25, 2014, 12:09 AM   #57
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This is really interesting. Many of us feel we can pull the trigger to protect our lives, but how many of us have actually faced this situation and know for certain that we can do this? I doubt very many.
Since this is the second post as to the ability for most people to defend themselves in a FOF I felt the need to respond. Never underestimate the natural instinct for self preservation that exists within most humans. The idea that many would not have a clue, need experience, would likely freeze-up, or are just chest thumping is a misconception. A scared human is as dangerous as a scared animal and if anything may overreact. There are many criminals who can testify to to it as well, at least the lucky ones.

It's not to say that some people won't "pass the test". I have posted on that actually happening to someone I know. Long story short: Old lady with a revolver, home invasion, Pulls her gun, does not shoot. Bad guy takes the gun from her and shoots her with her own gun (she lived). I knew prior to her incident that she had her gun more for scaring than actual self defense.

What I will say in support of my view is that there are several stories that can be found with a Google search about how some armed Citizen turned the tables on a bad guy. However finding as many stories about someone (like the case I referred to) who froze, hesitated, or was just to afraid to defend themselves are much more rare. IMO it's even more likely that someone would draw when they shouldn't have and sometimes provoke gun play in the worst way that may have been avoided. Whether it was bravado or panic it was not good timing to say the least.

IF I had anything to add to my previous post about the OP and a Pit Bull it would be that training beyond a basic pistol course ( some advanced Classes) can help in preparing you for Many things on two legs and I can see how something like an animal can throw someone for a loop. Knowing when or when not to use force gos beyond a two legged animal and it's important that this discussion came up IMO.
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Old April 28, 2014, 09:56 AM   #58
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Dog Defense

A few things to consider.

1. As a property manager I understand the liabilities that go along with ownership of rental properties. Assuming that dog is allowed on the property by lease the tenant would be served with a warning regarding control of the dog or its removal from the premises. If the dog is not allowed by lease and it was visiting I would send the tenant a note regarding the dog not visiting in the future. If it was an uninvited guest animal control should be involved.

2. Having been torn up by a dog myself I can tell you that they are perfectly capable of causing lasting harm or death to a human. My outcome was a few extra holes and shots but could have been worse. They are every bit as much a threat as humans.

3. Pepper Spray or bear spray works on dogs very very well.

4. Retreating triggers their predatory instinct and may make them chase when they otherwise would not have. Pack dominant behavior and standing your ground will get you further than retreat. The only time you should retreat is if you have a reasonable expectation of reaching safety before being harmed. They cover ground way faster than we do so keep that in mind.

5. 3 yards is as close as one should get to you in an aggressive manner.

Finally a question for you OP. Were you pre announced? If the tenant was expecting you they should have had the dog under control. If I am in my yard and someone walks around the house my dog is going to go greet them. They stand a much bigger chance of being licked to death but I had no reason to believe someone was coming around the corner therefore I wouldn't have leashed her or had her inside.

Just some food for thought. Glad it ended the way it did.

Kindest Regards, Vermonter
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Old April 30, 2014, 06:24 PM   #59
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First off, glad you came out of it fine and didn't need to shoot the dog.

Next, I've been startled by dogs and such in the past and man, when they surprise you, it's a scarey thing. I jumped, yelled/growled, yes growled back as a reaction, not premeditated thing, it was part of being scared, a growling yell that I guess meant that I was scared and I was ready to fight if I needed too. It was a little primal for sure. I was not thinking anything at that point. I think if I was carrying I would have initially forgotten I even had a gun on me. Still, maybe I would have drew as well. I know the hairs were standing up on my neck too.

I have to say that I have done my fair share of hunting growing up. I know what it's like the first time you see a deer you just shot and he is alive at the moment, and you gota finish him off. Killing isn't easy, even game animals, it's something you get over and something you get used to so you can do it if you need to.

If you were attacked physically and you come to realize your in a fight for your life, I think you would find it much easier to get all midevil on your attacker. But standing a few feet from someone or an animal and pulling a trigger isn't exactly the same thing as being in a rolling fight for your life.

Anyway, the only way to get used to pulling a trigger on the living is to do it. I suggest you start with game animals. Bird hunting for Dove is easy. Move on up to bigger birds and then on to mammals if you want, say preditors like Coyote, they are a challenge. And then there is deer, elk, etc. Mostly though, I'd stick to hunting what you can eat, and eating what you kill. It's a pretty natural thing once you get started you won't think a thing about killing an animal as long as your doing it for the table and not just for kicks.
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Old May 3, 2014, 08:19 PM   #60
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Anyway, the only way to get used to pulling a trigger on the living is to do it. I suggest you start with game animals. Bird hunting for Dove is easy. Move on up to bigger birds and then on to mammals if you want, say preditors like Coyote, they are a challenge. And then there is deer, elk, etc. Mostly though, I'd stick to hunting what you can eat, and eating what you kill. It's a pretty natural thing once you get started you won't think a thing about killing an animal as long as your doing it for the table and not just for kicks.
A domestic animal and a wild animal for food just seem so far apart to me. Naturally speaking my brain realizes very quickly what the threat is and most hunted game is just categorized differently as you are purposefully looking to take one for food. While a domesticated animal can be a lethal threat, generally speaking people just don't kill them with ease even if they were an avid hunter. The brain is just naturally wired that way in most normal people.

Put shortly taking a life for food and taking one in self defense are just too different to be combined IMO.
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