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Old May 27, 2014, 09:10 AM   #51
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My wife had a pitbull before I met her. It was a member of the family type of dog, played with her daughters, slept on the bed, and so on. Well one day for no apparent reason it turned on the older daughter and bit her on the upper back part of her leg and simply would not let go. They hit the dog, yelled at it, and when it finally let go it sat there with what my wife said was a kind of *** just happened look on its face. They simply could not trust the dog after that and it was put down that same day. Just as I would have done if that was my dog.

Dogs can be unpredictable and they definitely have a mind of their own. Just like people I believe they can snap, or have momentary lapses, and when they do bad things happen, including vicious attacks.

I generally have good experiences with dogs. I greet them with a friendly, non-aggressive tone and things most often go well. On the other hand my son has a pit bull and I have never done anything to that dog. Yet from the first time I met it it goes defensive and growls at me while manuevering around. I refuse to go into my son's home without that dog being in the kennel and I have told him straight up if that dog comes after me or my wife I will shoot it dead.

Last edited by SocialAnarchist; May 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM.
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Old May 27, 2014, 09:10 AM   #52
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What Jo6pack said

yes they should be controlled by the owner. Most will instinctively chase if you run. Childhood friend got a nasty bite trying to outrun a loose dog, teach your children well.

that said I've often wondered if police are given any training in dealing with dogs. certainly serious threats have to be dealt with in kind but shooting someones yapping standard poodle (video i recall) doesn't do much for community relations
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Old May 27, 2014, 01:23 PM   #53
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Since this is a thread about TFL members' personal experiences with dogs, I'll tag along:

I like dogs and have owned many over the years. I have considered them to be members of the family.

Pet members, dog members, but members.

I have never had a dog that bit a human being. Had I ever had one that did so without severe provocation, the dog would have been put down post haste.

I have been attacked by individual dogs a half-dozen times in my life and bitten twice; once seriously.

My wife has been attacked once, which resulted in a hospital stay and a facial scar which she will carry to her grave.

I like dogs. But if a dog shows me or mine anything I interpret as serious threat, I will not hesitate to take whatever action I can to ameliorate the threat.

Aside from individual (in science we refer to them as 'anecdotal') reports, here are some stats from the CDC:

This information was posted on the American Humane Society's home page, but they have since taken it down.


Show me the data
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Old May 27, 2014, 02:27 PM   #54
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^^^ From the article:
".... having a dog in the household is associated with a higher incidence of dog bites."


But back on topic, like others said, pepper spray is probably the best defense in this case. It would probably teach the offending dog a lesson too.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:35 PM   #55
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Many many years ago I was a paper boy, I rode a bike delivering papers. A big mean dog gave me heck all the time so one day I placed a baseball in my pocket. When that dog run out to bite my leg again I put that hardball on top of his head. The dog dropped right there, guy came running out yelling I killed his dog. Cops came, I told my tale, he got a ticket for his dog bitting me. Dog was knocked out, but he never chased me again. No need to kill the dumb animal, only a training session
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:57 PM   #56
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Before I became a gun owner, I often had pepper spray. Trusted it until one pit bull came back for seconds after sneezing out the first blast.
I'm not saying I wouldnt use spray again on a dog, but I sure feel better if I have more than one defensive option.

The last time I had a dog charge at me, I only had a pistol on me, and came quite close to drawing and firing. Was a German Shepard that was being walked down the street by two teenagers, not on a leash, it ran up my walkway to my steps at my front door.

Ok, that actually wasnt the last time, now that I think about it. I was leaving my place to go to my night job and right as I got to my truck a dog came barking and charging at me. I flashed my light on it, and pulled out the pepper spray. Dog kept circling and lunging so I gave it a good spray. Turns out it was the dog of my roommates ex wife who lived a few blocks away. The dog was simply coming 'home'.

Personally, I have no qualms about shooting a dog thats trying to attack.
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Old May 27, 2014, 07:02 PM   #57
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Don't trust Ammonia !!!

In an earlier reply, someone mentioned the use of a squirt bottle with ammonia. I too was under the impression that it would work as I know it would work on me. Well, the dog came in, I gave him more that one shot. He wiped, shook his head and snorted. Then he came right back for more. I was the one that had to back off before the bottle ran dry. .....

In a previous thread, someone mentioned Wasp spray. Gees, that stuff is really nasty and I don't know if I could even use it ....

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Old May 27, 2014, 08:02 PM   #58
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You're on a bike, you outrun the dog. Steer into the dog's lane and use your bike as a fence (or throw it at the dog), then grab your boat horn, pepper spray, or gun and deal with a dog that doesn't have the sense to back off. I love dogs, but if they come at me they have to deal with my reaction.

I don't recommend things like wasp spray because they can get you into legal trouble if you have to deal with a human threat. No point in prepping for both scenarios. And always report an aggressive dog to the authorities, you could save a life or at least wake up a dog's owner.
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Old May 27, 2014, 10:09 PM   #59
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Bear spray.

You know what? I'm an older woman, have had orthopedic injuries in the past, and absolutely don't care if some dog charging at me is friendly or not. I live in a rural area, but we have leash laws. If your friendly dog charges at me, my reaction is going to be exactly the same as if the dog were vicious because getting knocked down because a friendly dog is tangled with mine is going to have similar consequences to me as an aggressive dog attacking.

It is legal for me to walk my dog on public roads on a leash. It's not legal for the irresponsible and inconsiderate to let their dogs run loose.

I've noticed while my distress has no effect on irresponsible dog owners, a visit from Animal Control does. So does having their dog come home covered with bear spray, which is nasty stuff and transfers from dog to human at a touch.
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Old May 27, 2014, 10:23 PM   #60
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Thanks for all the opinions and good advise. After pondering this a bit I think it is best to develop a strategy before any attack. Its seems like it's nearly universal that pepper spray is a good thing to have on you if evasion, intimidation or making nice fails. It also seems like it is still a good idea to have a means to end the attack if the dog fails to back down and that still comes down to having a firearm or possibly a sharp stick.
I for one would not use the firearm unless the dog actually bit me or attempted repeated to bite me because of the repercussions involved with an irate dog owner, his lawyer or the general public. The gun really has to be the last resort whether the threat is 4 legged or 2 legged.
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Old May 27, 2014, 10:40 PM   #61
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My good friend Joe

My buddy Joe when he was a young kid worked for PG+E as a meter reader.

Joe gave me a can of Halt, way back in the 1970's. That's what PG+E supplied to their meter readers as a dog deterrent.

That was the 1970's, before I had never heard much of pepper spray.

Joe swore by it, and he's now retired from PG+E.

Pepper spray works, and is time tested. I love dogs. In fact I despise Coyotes but don't think I could hunt them. They just look too much like dogs.

I once watched a Coyote consume a rabbit........they ain't nothin like dogs!! Still don't think I could shoot one. Even tho they so richly deserve it.
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Old May 27, 2014, 11:53 PM   #62
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I'll shoot a coyote, varmints. BUT, this isn't about coyotes.
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Old May 28, 2014, 05:11 AM   #63
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I always carry pepperspray for dogs. Unless its an extreme situation, this is generally all I need.
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Old May 28, 2014, 06:41 AM   #64
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Another example.
A fellow in our archery club had a genuine wolf, all 185lbs of him, that he raised from scratch.
The beast's idea of fun was to run at someone, often me, grab them by the shirt sleeve, if they had one, or their forearm and drag them down to the ground.
Not to eat them, but to lay on them and lick their face.
Some folks, who didn't know him just about had heart attacks.
But he never hurt anyone, just wanted to say hello in his own sweet way.
What a monster, though.

One more.
A good friend had a Bull Mastiff, 150lbs worth, that I used to "baby" sit for, sometimes.
And rescue from animal control when he got loose, which he did a lot.
The dog's idea of fun was to sneak out of the house and lay in ambush behind the bushes in the front lawn, that bordered the sidewalk.
When an unsuspecting person would stroll by, he'd leap up and give out with a huge Mastiff bark.
Talk about heart attacks.
You could clearly see his happy face when he got one.
Nutty dog, but not a threat, except to folks' cardiac system.
It would have been a real shame if someone took it personally and shot him.
They would have had to either go into hiding forever or face the wrath of everyone in the neighborhood.
That big, goofy mutt was well loved.
In the words of the immortal bard: horse poop.
What if that had been a kid walking by or an old person.
A pit bull attacked a child on my parent's street corner and my mother who was home at the time had to knock it off with the butt of a shotgun and then emptied the shotgun into it to stop.

In my life I've had a pit bull, a giatn bird dog, two weiner dogs and a mamoth caucasian mountain dog that have all been attacked by other dogs while walking.
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Old May 28, 2014, 10:42 AM   #65
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Like I already said, no telling with any animal.
I choose to not jump to conclusions, but be ready just in case.
That's why I carry spray and a knife.
But, so far, have never even come close to needing either one.
And I am an old person.

As for dogs attacking dogs, that's more common than dogs attacking people.
Must be a territorial things against competition, going way back.
I grew up with a 100lb Boxer.
He was absolutely intolerant with any four legged critter than came anywhere near us.
But he would let the neighborhood kids do anything.
Ride on his back, take food right out of his mouth, or even pick up his big jowls to take a peek inside while he was trying to take a nap.
Completely trustworthy with kids in every way.
One of the sweetest mutts I knew was a female Pit.
Really, there's no telling, but our reaction to the dog has much to do with what they do.

For example, when we first moved into our present neighborhood, on the next street there lived a very large male Rottweiler.
My first encounter with him was when I was walking by and he came charging from his front lawn right at me, full tilt.
The home owner was busy trimming trees, looked up when his dog took off, but showed no real concern.
Taking that as a clue, I quickly asked what the beast's name was, had just enough time to call it and pat my chest, as it leaped through the air, seemingly straight for my throat, only to land on me and proceed to wash my face with his huge tongue.
We became great pals, and I'm very glad I didn't automatically assume the worst, right off the bat.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”

Last edited by g.willikers; May 28, 2014 at 10:55 AM.
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Old May 28, 2014, 10:44 AM   #66
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Pepper spray would be best IMO. To use deadly force may put you in a worse situation than a dog bite.
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Old May 28, 2014, 12:03 PM   #67
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I have not ridden a bicycle in years, . . . but if I did, . . . I would stop the bike, . . . use it as a detraction for the dog long enough to get out my handgun.

Then, . . . it's a fair fight, . . . both on the ground, . . . facing each other, . . . he has canine teeth, . . . I have a .45.

If he is smart enough to obey "Stop", . . . "NO", . . . "Go Home" type commands, . . . all will be well.

If not, . . . Rin Tin Tin, Bullet, Lassie, and all the others are not worth me getting bit.

On a side note, . . . I have a 30 something friend who rides a lot. His latest dog vs rider story was it was a BIG mutt, . . . and would not quit trying to get him. He pulled his little snubbie .357 and put one in the dirt beside the dog, . . . has never had a bit of trouble on that road since.

My opinion is the muzzle blast from that little short barreled rascal gave that dog all the auditory overload he ever wanted, . . . and he decided my friend was no longer fair game.

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Old May 28, 2014, 12:12 PM   #68
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I’ve been sewn up two different times from dog attacks. Probably have been bitten a half a dozen other times, but didn’t get ripped up enough to need the needle and catgut. The two times I made a trip to the doctor were when I was attacked while riding a bike.

Learned a lot about dogs while working in door to door sales one summer and by the end of my tour, I became somewhat astute on sorting out Fluffy from Fangs whenever I encountered them. I would have been bitten many more times, if I didn’t have a bulky hard sided sales case; the case had some impressive scars by September.

I’ll not pretend to give advice on which is the best defense – spray, high capacity pistol, voice commands – I’m sure each has their own merits in specific situations; however, I will say my personal experience makes me believe you DO NOT want the dog(s) to be close before action is taken.

Things happen really fast once the dog is trying to drag you down or jumping for your throat.
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
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Old May 28, 2014, 03:01 PM   #69
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It is entirely one thing to have a dog stop and behave when you command it and another to have it charging you snarling and barking. Having been a route propane delivery driver, and a furniture delivery man in my younger years my only piece of advice is NEVER take any dog for granted. Even a normally docile friendly breed will become aggressive if they are protecting their young, OR they believe their masters are in danger. Trust me a charging, ****** off, St Bernard is quite impressive looking. Thank God for the door I closed inbetween us.

My feeling is if a dog is running loose and attacks you you have every right to defend yourself up to, and including, deadly force.
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Old May 28, 2014, 03:32 PM   #70
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If a dog gets up under the wheels of your bike, you're toast. Sometimes, for reasons known only to them and God, they don't stop. I wouldn't want to be holding a loaded handgun when or if that happened, if you were lucky enough to see the dog before he impacted you.
Pepper spray is a good option, if you have time to pull it to confront a canine and a safe option if you land on it in a crash.
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Old May 28, 2014, 04:05 PM   #71
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It's a no-brainer

Everyone has a right to self-defense.

No one has a right to allow their dog to attack people who are simply going about their business.
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Old May 28, 2014, 09:30 PM   #72
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The best deterrent I've found so far when I'm on my bike is my water bottle, it's funny what a squirt of water in the face does to a charging dog. I haven't needed it very often, but it always buys me some time to get down the road a ways while the dog tries to figure out what just happened.
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Old May 31, 2014, 08:35 AM   #73
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An update.

For a few days after the incident the dogs were kept out of the yard, I heard them barking somewhere inside a building and assumed it was an out building they had in their back yard. That didn't last long, I road past their house yesterday and they were again tied outside and were barking and straining against their restraints. It appeared they were tied with rope or at best a long leash and the black dog was going nuts. He was alternating between barking, growling and biting at the rope. My wife took a walk earlier in the day and she told me they were going crazy, barking and growling at her so it appears that it's not just the bike that freaks them out. She does not carry a firearm but she does have pepper spray on her.
I think the owners are hopelessly clueless when it comes to their dogs so it seems like there is still a threat of them getting loose again. It's their business how they treat their dogs but I also hate to see dogs ignored like these dogs, it has to be part of the reason these dogs act the way they do. I am now pondering whether or not to talk to the Sheriff's department about my concerns. I am not only worried about myself but my wife too, not to mention the kids at the school across the road.
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Old May 31, 2014, 09:27 AM   #74
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A lot of problem dogs are the result of just being bored.
They are so cared for that they have lost their needs and talents for finding food, finding shelter, finding mates - doing much of anything other than taking naps and looking for trouble.
Everything is provided for them and they just use any excuse to find a challenge.
A person on a bike to chase down, an animal or human wandering into their territory, just about any excuse to let their instincts go to work.
If dog owners would let their pets use up some of that steam, every day, that might go a long way to curbing their appetites for misadventure.
But most folks are reluctant to even take their pets for a decent walk, let alone do something really active.
A slow stroll out just long enough for them to take a poop doesn't cut it.
So, like as been said, most of the problem with problem dogs is the owners.
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Old May 31, 2014, 09:39 AM   #75
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If I felt I or others around me were in danger and all I had was a gun then I'd certainly shoot a dog if I had to. TWICE in three years here I was prepared to shoot neighbors' dogs (two different dogs). We have TONS of loose dogs in this semi-rural area.

One time a huge boxer/pit mix was ripping my wire fence apart behind the house. AT FIRST I thought he was after my crippled old pug to rip him apart. Then I realized he belonged to my neighbor across the street. So I yelled and kicked at the dog (gun drawn) but he didn't try to bite. Then I realized he seemed terrified... it was the thunder from an approaching storm. I wasn't sure yet but he didn't seem to be attacking... he was desperately seeking a place to hide from the storm. I holstered the pistol, took the pug inside and went around the long way with pepper spray. The dog quit tearing up the fence and came to me. I didn't need to spray him. I took him home to thankful owners. I'm glad I didn't hurt him... very nice/friendly dog.

Another time my next door neighbor's lab mix approached as I walked my little pug, not just barking, but growling with her teeth bared. She'd been particularly aggressive for a few days. All I had was my pistol. I talked to my neighbor explaining the situation. I told him I won't shoot her but I still needed to defend myself and asked if he preferred, should it become absolutely necessary, I use a cattle prod or pepper spray. He said he understood and suggested pepper spray because if she needed an attitude adjustment it'll be longer-lasting. I carried the spray but never needed to use it. It doesn't matter anymore because I can't walk more than a few yards and the old pug can't walk at all anymore.

A few years ago I did shoot and kill a pit bull... shot it right in the brain. Now, I loathe killing or hurting anything. I even try to catch and set free bugs from my home. But this was a special case. It was definitely one of a pack of three that stalked me a few days early and this time it had a neighbor's pet dog by the throat in a lock. When I tried to break it free it just tightened it's bite. I took very careful aim and BANG!! And I've never felt bad about it because I know darned well that pit bull would have eventually attacked someone if it hadn't already. I suppose I was a bit hopped up on adrenaline at the moment too. It was about 3AM, pitch black (no street lights and no moon), and the dog being attacked sounded like a lady screaming. I thought maybe a woman was being raped or murdered. I didn't actually see what was happening until I was with about ten feet of the dogs.
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