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Old May 26, 2014, 12:21 PM   #26
besafe2
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Pax no one likes dogs more than me, but if it's me or the dog it's the dog. I will defend early.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:38 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by g.willikers
Beautiful, and even more wolf looking than mine was.
Or was I his?
Thanks! Yeah, she gets a lot of attention when I take her out. Most of it positive, but there are still some people who will cross the street when they see us coming. Which I find hilarious; if they came up to her she'd lick their hands and flop on her back for belly rubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
For those who understand dog body language, I have been watching this video since it came out a couple of weeks ago. Have to say that I cannot figure out what the dog is thinking. The dog's body language, to me, looks friendly and like he wants to play... Right up until he grabs ahold of the kid and tears into his leg.
I'm not a profession dog trainer and it's hard to tell from the video, but I think it's a form of animal aggression. Dogs have been bred from the very beginning to be in tune with humans, that's the biggest thing that sets them apart from wolves (or any other animal; dogs are even smarter than chimps when it comes to understanding simple cues from people). That said, I don't think the dog in the video saw that kid as a human: Remember what I said about how some dogs don't see people on bicycles as people, but instead as weird, wheeled animals? I think this is the same thing: This dog probably isn't used to kids to begin with, and since the kid is riding a tricycle it's even worse.
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What do you think? Is it better to err by defending yourself early, and perhaps offending the neighbor in a completely unfixable way? Or better to risk a mauling by waiting to see what is going on?
It depends. By myself, I'm confident I can assert enough authority to make almost any aggressive dog back down without resorting to weapons. But I have a 6-month-old daughter who will be walking soon, and that's a different thing altogether; some dogs don't see kids as people, but instead as some kind of small animal. Also, in the unlikely event that I get attacked by a dog, it's even more unlikely that the dog will inflict any serious damage before I can stop the attack. But my kid is different: an unbalanced, aggressive dog could inflict a lot of damage very quickly.

Luckily, I have a very good solution to this: My dog pictured above. She might be sweet, but she doesn't take crap from aggressive dogs and she's protective of my daughter. She's been attacked by big, aggressive dogs before and she's come out on top. So my dog adds an extra layer of security when I'm out with my daughter. And in my house and my yard my daughter is even more protected: I have another dog who's not great with other dogs but excellent with my daughter. If an aggressive dog (or other animal) got into my yard and managed to go after my daughter, my two dogs would take care of it (or at least delay it until I could respond).
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Old May 26, 2014, 01:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahoo
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Originally Posted by Theohazard
OP, the fact that you were considering shooting a dog that was chasing you on your bike tells me you might need a little more familiarization with dogs.
I'm not the OP but this is bull. I can tell the difference between a poisonous snake and harmless one. I give both plenty of space. Now I'm suppose know what dogs will bite from those who won't. How about dog owners being more familiar with the laws and their dog's bad habits. Most of the time, the problems is with the owners who feel the need to share their dog with us, on any level.
It's not bull at all: Dogs often chase bicycles because they don't see a person on a bike as a human but instead as an animal to be chased. If you get off the bike and square off with the dog authoritatively, and make a firm, commanding sound (but not frantic or upset-sounding), 99.99% of dogs won't attack.

Now, there's nothing wrong with being armed (gun, pepper spray, etc.) just in case, but a weapon usually just gives a person the confidence to deal with aggressive dogs in an effective, non-violent manner. See green_MTman's post above, post #24: His gun gave him confidence and the dog sensed that and backed off.

But I agree that dog owners need to be more responsible. Just because a person doesn't know how to deal with aggressive dogs, it doesn't mean it's their responsibility to do so: The responsibility lies with the dog owner who let the dog off-leash in the first place.
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Old May 26, 2014, 01:07 PM   #29
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A spray bottle with household ammonia is a good deterrent. spray near their nose and it will turn them around. I had a paper route as a kid and I carried a squirt gun with ammonia every day . Every time I used it , it changed their mind about trying to bite me. And it doesn't cost $15 every time you spray it.
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Old May 26, 2014, 01:19 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by bbqbob51
It's not my responsibility to become some kind of dog whisperer to keep myself safe because of an irresponsible dog owner.
I agree 100%. I was simply pointing out that there are better ways to deal with that situation than shooting the dog. But of course the responsibility lies with the irresponsible owner who let their dog chase you in the first place.
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Old May 26, 2014, 01:29 PM   #31
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This has happened to me more times than I can remember.

This is my strategy.
The comment about making the dog "see" you as human is a good one.

1st- determine the angle the pooch is taking, more often than not it is possible to just crank up and outrun the dog. They won't chase more than a few dozen yards usually.

If that is not possible, Stop. Dismount and hold the bike out, using it as a shield between you and the dog, stand tall, stamp your foot and YELL at the pooch.
The dog will stop and keep it's distance when challenged. Slowly back away until the owner shows up, or often once you are away from it's "territory" the dog will not pursue.
It is been my experience that this works 90% of the time.
One very few occasions I have had to strike the dog (sharply, but not violently)with a wheel, which has always sent them into retreat.
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Old May 26, 2014, 02:19 PM   #32
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It is wholly the responsibility of the owner to ensure their dog, when not on their own property, does not cause a mess, nuisance or danger to the public.

The OP doesn't sound like he wanted to play with the dog. The OP could had fallen off, or swerved away in shock into oncoming traffic, not to mention getting bitten. Would any of those be the OP's fault? I personally don't think so.

It is not up to members of the public to learn how to correctly interpret dog behaviour.

As a dog owner, I would recommend they do but by no means are they obliged to get comfortable with dogs: rather it is my job to ensure my dogs don't give anyone cause to feel uncomfortable with dogs.

I love dogs. Mine are family members rather than pets and I certainly don't want to shoot someone else's.
But plausibly threaten my child, wife, dogs or myself and any aggressive dogs is going to get a face full of mace in short order.
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Old May 26, 2014, 02:38 PM   #33
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I have been a veterinarian for over 30 years. I have never treated a dog that was hit by a car and was owned by someone who took responsibility for letting the dog get in the road; it was always the driver's fault. If you shoot a dog, you are going to be blamed in the same way that the owners blame drivers and the relatives of armed robbers and burglars blame people who defend themselves. You may be right and still be vilified personally and in the press, you may be threatened, you may be sued and have the expense of defending yourself, just as those things happen in a defensive shooting of a human.

You can say that people are responsible for their dogs and I would agree fully and enthusiastically, but the same kind of mentality that makes excuses for all the other ways that they disrespect others sees no reason that they should take responsibility for their dogs.
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Old May 26, 2014, 02:59 PM   #34
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well put tailgator. and a factor in why i killed an innocent rock and not a vicious dog yesterday. just didn't want to deal with all the paperwork and hurt feelings if i didn't have to.
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Old May 26, 2014, 03:07 PM   #35
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I'm going to put another vote out for pepper spray. Other than as a means of absolute last resort, I don't even consider my gun as a response to an aggressive dog. Then again, I don't blame the dog for it's bad behavior: I blame the owners. 99+% of attitude/behavioral problems are a result of poor handling by the owner. And in the rare cases where the issue is with the animal, the owner should be responsible enough to have the poor critter euthanized.
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Old May 26, 2014, 03:24 PM   #36
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FWIW I have used the Kimber branded two shot over & under pepper blaster several times, once on an idiot owner of an attacking dog and three times on charging dogs that were the victims of idiot owners. It is my go to defense when ever I am walking my two Airedales. People often ask me why I don't simply allow my dogs to handle business, and I then have to explain to them that even if they do "win" the fight why take any chance of them being injured in any way.

What I like most about this product is that it is not an aerosol powered device, it actually uses a pyrotechnic charge for each barrel. It even comes with a warning about being too close to the assailant when discharging, stating IIRC that within less than two feet it may cause permanent eye damage(which I personally consider a plus if the assailant is a human trying to harm me or mine)and the possibility of blow back cross contamination. I have used it at 5-10 feet distances and under what I considered a pretty strong headwinds and I did not not get any airborne cross contamination.

A direct face hit at approx 5 feet made a huge raging Rottweiler nearly turn inside out and run away while doing face plants and yelping like it had been set afire. A direct face hit at approx 10 feet caused the idiot owner of said huge raging Rottweiler to behave in much the same manner except instead of yelping like he was afire and running away, he was rolling on the street vomiting heaving choking snotting himself and attempting to make some reference to my mother and how he was going to kill me. I told him I completely understood picked up his Louisville Slugger and while briskly walking away with my Airedales explained to him that he would not be killing me today or with this bat.

As to people who say their dogs don't bite and are friendly. I say how am I supposed to know that when your dog is charging me while I am walking two large protective tough as nails dogs and your dogs seem intent on attacking me or my dogs. If your dog is off leash and off your property you are 100% in the wrong and the outcome good or bad is 100% your responsibility.
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Old May 26, 2014, 03:39 PM   #37
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Ban Bicycles !!

Quote:
99.99% of dogs won't attack.
Sorry, If I'm not warm and fuzzy on that one ......

Quote:
As to people who say their dogs don't bite and are friendly. I say how am I supposed to know that when your dog is charging me while I am walking two large protective tough as nails dogs and your dogs seem intent on attacking me or my dogs. If your dog is off leash and off your property you are 100% in the wrong and the outcome good or bad is 100% your responsibility.
Totally agree but might change when they pass a ban on riding bicycles cause leash laws don't work. Dogs got to be dogs and can't help themselves. ...
Perhaps the theory is that you can't fix a dead dog but you just might be able to fix a mauled kid. As stated earlier,, I got mauled as a kid and I turned out okay. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 26, 2014, 03:55 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahoo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theohazard
99.99% of dogs won't attack.
Sorry, If I'm not warm and fuzzy on that one ......
Ha, you don't like those odds?

But you're right, every once in a while there are dogs that will still attack no matter how good you are at handling them. That's an exceedingly rare situation, but it does happen. That's why it's always good to have some kind of weapon as back-up.

I'm from DC where self-defense is illegal. You can't carry any kind of weapon, not even pepper spray. So joggers and walkers often carry sticks. So far, carrying a stick isn't illegal there, and a stick does a decent job at fending off an aggressive dog.
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Old May 26, 2014, 04:20 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theohazard
…joggers and walkers often carry sticks. So far, carrying a stick isn't illegal there, and a stick does a decent job at fending off an aggressive dog.
BubbaStik FtW. I walk with a cane because of chronic pain issues and I can tell you, these are great. Comfortable to walk with, made in the U.S.A., and built like tanks. Cold Steel's City Stick isn't bad, either, but it's nowhere near as classy and it costs twice as much.
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Old May 26, 2014, 04:37 PM   #40
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I think from your opening statement that you wisely recognize the issues involving a gun in the scenario. Having shot a few dogs in the attack mode, you will be surprised how hard it actually is to get a good contained shot on an attacking dog, even if it is practiced with a full size service handgun. Never forget that you own every shot fired and that every shot eventually lands some place. My agency will opt for a shotgun (and/or fire extinguisher) when a dog shoot is anticipated for a one shot hit. Normally the sound alone is highly effective. Had the animal had hold of you, I would not have hesitated for a contact shot anyplace on the body.

As you pointed out, you were upset and probably did not have the most stable shooting platform (especially with a LCP) which would have resulted in some misses. I have broken a few bike pumps on the heads of dogs while riding. What I have found most effective is a pipe (or expandable baton in my back carry pocket...tends to rust from sweat if not wiped down) the size of a bike pump carried where the pump goes. Other riders have told me that an air horn also works well, but I like my pipe.....which I have threatened to also use on the irresponsible owner who took issue with me denting my pipe on his animal's head
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Old May 26, 2014, 05:03 PM   #41
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Quote:
I agree 100%. I was simply pointing out that there are better ways to deal with that situation than shooting the dog. But of course the responsibility lies with the irresponsible owner who let their dog chase you in the first place.
Theo, I do appreciate your input on this issue especially considering your experience with animals as a veterinarian. I started this thread because I was seeking alternatives to using a gun because I have no desire to use one on a dog. As I stated I did not draw my firearm and it never got to that point as he did obey my command to go home. I can just imagine what would have happened if it had escalated to the point where I felt the need to defend myself with deadly force. The owners would probably post pics on Facebook of their dear departed gentle dog and how he would be alive today if only evil gun people didn't carry firearms around, etc. It indeed could have opened a can or worms!
What stunned me was how quickly he charged me with no warning and thankfully he didn't bowl me over. What do you think about his charging me with his head down and going for my feet? He never jumped up but kept a low profile the whole time during the encounter.
My sister-in-law has an English Shepherd that is very unruly and his way of greeting you is to just run at you and jump on you. He's knocked down more than on person doing this. Her dog means no harm but I know him but it shows how easily someone could get hurt by an unrestrained, though friendly dog if caught by surprise.
I went out for a ride today and their dogs were no where to be seen. I could hear them but it appears the owners did get a talking to about their dogs and are keeping them out of sight. I still will not rely on them to continue doing the right thing so I am going to get myself some pepper spray and be aware.
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Old May 26, 2014, 06:02 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbob51
What stunned me was how quickly he charged me with no warning and thankfully he didn't bowl me over. What do you think about his charging me with his head down and going for my feet? He never jumped up but kept a low profile the whole time during the encounter.
Quick correction: I'm not a veterinarian, that's TailGator. But I do have a decent amount of experience with dogs, mostly from working with my own, but also from volunteering at an animal shelter.

Remember when I said that some dogs see people on bikes as strange, two-wheeled animals? Well, it sounds like this dog not only saw you as an animal, but also as a pack animal to be herded. Herding breeds often snap at the legs and flanks of the animals they're herding.

Keep in mind that I'm not a professional or an expert, but if I had to make an educated guess I'd say this dog was motivated by a combination of anxiety (from bad ownership and being tied up all day), territoriality, and the fact that you were on a bicycle. Add in a little bit of herding instinct (purely a guess; I don't know what breed[s] the dog was), and it's not surprising he went after you.

There are several ways to deal with this situation: Keep riding and outpace him (what you did), pepper spray him, whack him with something like colbad suggested, or get off your bike and take charge of him like Jo6pak suggested. I don't think you were ever in any serious danger of getting anything worse than a minor bite (though that can be pretty bad if the dog isn't properly vaccinated), but it's still unacceptable for a dog to bite a person, however minor the bite is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbob51
My sister-in-law has an English Shepherd that is very unruly and his way of greeting you is to just run at you and jump on you. He's knocked down more than on person doing this. Her dog means no harm but I know him but it shows how easily someone could get hurt by an unrestrained, though friendly dog if caught by surprise.
I know it's hard to do with a big dog, but the best way to deal with a friendly dog jumping on you is to ignore it. Even turn your back on it. The dog is looking for attention, and any reaction you have will encourage it. Keep ignoring it completely until it calms down, then give it attention on your terms, not the dog's terms.
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Old May 26, 2014, 07:33 PM   #43
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I love dogs but 1-DAB I would call my attorney for legal advice and if the advice is what I believe it would be I would call Animal Control back. I would arrange for Animal Control to accompany me to the other dog owner's home for a serious talk. I would advise them that with 2 attacks already documented that should there be a third attack the call to Animal Control would be to pick up a carcass. My uncle ran a horse boarding stable and one summer several dogs started chasing the horses which were on stable property. My uncle called the county sheriff and they sent Animal Control out to locate the dogs and their owner. The owners were informed that should they chase the horses again my uncle could legally shoot them. It did happen again but my uncle being a dog lover called the sheriff's office again. This time a deputy and a state Game Warden showed up. The dogs' owner was informed that if my uncle didn't want to shoot the dogs next time, they would do it for him without hesitation. The owner left the area shortly afterwards.
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Old May 26, 2014, 07:36 PM   #44
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Quote:
Quick correction: I'm not a veterinarian, that's TailGator. But I do have a decent amount of experience with dogs, mostly from working with my own, but also from volunteering at an animal shelter.
Oops! Should have gone back and re-read the posts to see who was really the Veterinarian.
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Old May 26, 2014, 07:56 PM   #45
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My sister was nearly attacked by several dogs, so I ordered her some Fox Labs pepper spray. This was just last week.

Hopefully she takes it seriously and carries it. I bought her the training unit too and a little holster for it. She is what one would call an "optimist" and frankly self-defense is probably not on her list of concerns! She lives in her own little world, I've tried to get her out of sunshine and butterfly land but it just isn't possible.

I've read pepper spray works very well on aggressive dogs, and people.
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Old May 26, 2014, 08:09 PM   #46
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I like dogs, we have 2 of our own a pure bred German Shepherd and a mixed Lab. So it isn't that I hate dogs. I used to deliever LPGas and delivered to a farm one day where the farmer's Blue Heeler sat and watched me fill the tank. As I headed to the house to hang the bill on the door the dog came after me and chased me back to my truck. Despite my yelling at the dog to back off it kept coming. I gave it about a 2 second blast of LP right to the face. It flipped the dog over and it took off running. Funny thing is it never bothered me again when I delivered there.

I know someone will try to make a funny about the dog not wanting his owner to get a bill, but it sure as hell isn't funny when a dog is moving in on you despite being warned off and the only reason it stopped was frigid LP shot in its face. Some dogs are just *******s like some people and they need to be put down, or kept tied up or penned up. I guarantee you that if my wife and I are out biking and a dog attacks us and bites at our pants it will get shot. Plain and simple. My community has a lease law and dogs aren't supposed to be loose. The reponsibility for me having to shoot the dog is entirely on the dog's owner, not me.
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Old May 26, 2014, 08:41 PM   #47
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that's why i called animal control each time (2 attacks, 1 trespassing). to build a record and get them to talk to the owner.
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:36 PM   #48
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Tailgator, I have to say one time I did see a dog hit by a car, and the owner said it was his fault and the dogs fault. I was the driver, had no place to maneuver to avoid the dog, ended up with my '79 Mercury Capri sitting with the rear wheel ON the dog.Got off of him, and the owners came running out, madder than heck...at the dog, and the man of the house for letting him escape again. I felt bad for quite a while, but believe it or not, the dog survived, and I saw him playing in the street again...*sigh*
Just recently I had a pit bull come at me as I was getting out of my car coming home from work. He seemed playful at first but went straight to aggressive...and got gassed. OC is part of the uniform...last sight I saw of puppy was him making full speed ahead for parts unknown, and I have not seen him back since.
I have to echo many posters by saying, while I love my dogs, I make no effort to understand any animal, domesticated or otherwise, that may look like it is attacking me or mine, and I will use any means necessary to stop said attack, whether it be chemical agents, striking weapons or deadly physical force. If the owner does not want his/her animal injured, then it is the owners responsibility to keep said property secured.
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Old May 27, 2014, 06:53 AM   #49
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As best I remember TN law is you can shoot a dog on your own property to defend a person or live stock . I rode bikes as a youngester (late 70's early 80's) and when dogs chased me I would holler at them and even get off my bike and challengen them . Always having more Bravery than sence . I don't recomend any one doing this but it worked I knew some " bad dogs " that would go hide in their yard when I came by . Like I said earlier in this thread I have a dog that bit a rider and its not easy to keep a smart dog put up she got out of a 5 ft welded wire fence. She will not bite any one walking but a bike or loud car and she is on it .
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:37 AM   #50
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Quote:
Tailgator, I have to say one time I did see a dog hit by a car, and the owner said it was his fault
Thanks, brother - I am going to write that one down.

I am not sure that the dog that chases a bicycle is really herding. It is closer to predatory behavior to chase a moving object. The real problem in those situations is to judge whether it is play/rehearsal (the two are the same, in the same way that children play to learn) or an actual attack. Both can happen; I had a whippet who could and did chase down a rabbit, then ease up at the last second to let the rabbit get away, just for the fun of the chase. My central point was that in dogs we are dealing with animals that have their own mind, and they are not entirely predictable. I can almost always judge a dog's intent, but "almost" can be a very big word, and I am still occasionally surprised by a dog.

In the case of the dog that charged you when you went to the house, it could very well have been an instance of territorial aggression, in that the dog saw you approaching the area that he considered the den of his human family/pack. That same whippet greeted a repairman with a big wag and a tennis ball dropped at his feet when he arrived, then barked ferociously when the fellow started disassembling the garage door for repair.

Dog behavior is fascinating, and often needs to be seen through the prism of packs that include their human pack mates, and dens and territory that they see as belonging to their pack/family. But hopefully not belaboring my point, they are not little automatons; they are not entirely predictable even to experts. Caution and preparation for attack is called for when they threaten.
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