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Old February 22, 2006, 12:26 AM   #1
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Problems with dogs....advice sought

My poor dog has been attacked for the second time in the past two years. She is a 60lb greyhound, and both times she was attacked completely unprovoked. This last time a few days ago, we were walking on a sidewalk across the street from a 150lb st. bernard sitting in its front yard. This dog (unleashed), bolted across the street and attacked my dog with no warning. Before the owner and I could separate, pretty significant damage was done. She will be ok, but it took a $500 trip to the vet to fix her up (which I will recoup by any means necessary).

Anyway, since this seems to keep happening, and too few seem to understand the concept of leash laws...I want to take steps to prevent this from happening again.

I live in a suburb of Houston, TX.

1) If I have a CHL (which I currently don't, but will look into one), could I use deadly force on a dog to protect my dog? Would I have to wait for an attack to begin (contact and biting), or can I take down a dog charging at us on public property (unleashed, which is illegal here).

2) Replace "dog" with say a child or myself being the one in danger. Would it be legal to draw and fire in this scenario?

3) Would I be better off equipping myself with pepper or bear spray? Are there any legal issues I would need to worry about in using this to protect my dog? I was looking at getting a can of alaskan bear spray, as it seems to be wicked powerful and have a strong stream. Any problems using something like this vs. something weaker like standard pepper spray?

Thanks for any insight!
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Old February 22, 2006, 12:40 AM   #2
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no you cant protect your dog with a weapon. it isn't like a kid no matter how much some animalnatzi's want it to be.

this said you can protect your self. any big dog charging me gets drawn on.

obviously you cant say the neighbors lasa poo charging you made you in fear of your life . you also cant go around pepper spraying every dog that rushes and barks in their yard.

i have sprayed many dogs and all of them ran away once they got a snout full. it is very hard to hit a dog with either a handgun or pepper spray.

i need to emphasize this. it is very difficult to hit a dog with a hand gun or pepper spray while it is moving. this only gets worse when your other hand is holding onto your dog.

so i would carry both. if the dog is charging you can reasonably say this big dog was charging me and i feared for my life but once a dog fight ensues you loose part of the truth to that statement. during a fight is a good time to deploy pepper spray.

finally ,you are responsible for every round so if you hit the road and ricochet into a person you are responsible.
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Old February 22, 2006, 01:12 AM   #3
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That's b.s. I know it won't be changed, but you should be able to protect your own dog or cat or any other animal from another's dog with deadly force.

People are going way over the deep end with this 'animal rights' garbage.
Animals if owned are property. We may love them, but they are property. You should have the right to protect your property.

I read a man put his own dog to sleep by shooting it. He was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. Complete b.s.
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Old February 22, 2006, 01:41 AM   #4
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See what kind of leash laws the city has. In most cities animals can not run around loose and must have a liscense and shots. If the animals owners are violating the laws by letting thier animals run around free report them. You might also check the laws as they pertain to walking sticks...Cold Steel has some that might be useful.
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Old February 22, 2006, 01:46 AM   #5
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Are you in Harris County or in the city? How far away are nearby houses? IF you are going to shoot, you might want to have shotshells in your gun. Unlikely to kill the dog but it will certainly discourage him.

However, if you discharge a weapon within a certain number of feet you may have problems with the sheriff.

More useful is to have animal control come and take the other dog away. If it is often out unleashed, you just have to call and they will come and get it. They're pretty responsive.

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Old February 22, 2006, 02:07 AM   #6
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You want to be legal. The first thing is to buy training and obtain your CHL. Your instructor will advise you of SHOOT/DON'T SHOOT. I suggest a heavy walking stick. An Irish Blackthorn with a copper end ferrule is my choice. A good water pistol works well too. Fill it with vinegar and add some Thai or Habenero pepper sauce, aim for the eyes. If everything goes downhill, there are unarmed defenses still availible if you are aggressive. One thing to do is to grab the dags lower jaw and dislocate it. Hit the nose as hard as you can with your closed fist. Grab the ears and twist as hard as possible. Choke the dog. Kick it in the ribs as hard as you can. Gouge the eyes out with a improvised weapon. Carry a pocket knife.multi-tool? Punch some holes in the dog. I have been there and done that more than once. I have the vet bills to prove it and my ER bills too. I suggest researching the local vicious animal ordinances and copying them. Call 911 and report any vicious animal. A barking dog is not worth 911. A maw full of fangs 3 feet away is worth a bullet. Call 911 and a friend to take your dog. You also need EMS for you. Some idiots do not comprehend that if you die, their pet just bought them a murder charge.
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Old February 22, 2006, 08:35 AM   #7
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Sir William ---

Some of your advise is seriously bad and risks parts of your anatomy that are hard to replace --- and thinking that you are going to get a firm enough hold on an atacking dog's lower jaw to dislocate it is folly --- you will get bit, on the hand and it's dam hard to repair some hand injuries, same for punching them on the nose ---

As somone who has been hands on breaking up and handeling many an aggressive dog I can not advocate anyone untrained ( or trained folks as a first line of defense for that matter) get a hand or wrist anywhere near the muzzle of an aggressive dog if you can avoid it, kicking and striking weapons are a much better idea.

In addition as a general word of caution your own dog may well bite you as well --- they are under attack, have a huge adrenaline dump and are going to be mroe or less firing at will --- just a warining as I meet people everyday who state that their dow would never bite them or anyone, obviously for good, well trained dogs this is the case, however even these dogs under the right stress will resort to defending themselves.

Now to address the posters questions of what to do:

1. Pre-attack / you know it is comming --- first off don't lose situational awareness and don't use flexi-leads unless you are in a very safe area as these put your dog way out beyond your control and observation, plus when the chips are down they will break, and are hard to hold onto, so in other words don't use flexi leads. If threatened, I would reccomend putting your dog up out of the fight zone if possibe -- carrying is an option for some --- parked cars are another -- this will keep an attacker from getting close --- I would rather pay to repaint the hood or roof of a car than to sew up my dog, The second thing I chose to do is put myself between the threat and my dog -- in this way if it's a problem them I AM threatened as well deadly force is indicated if need be. Backing out of the situation and leaving his "turf" is probibly the best first option, however if you are dealin with an extreamly aggressive dog you may well not have this option as it may happen quickly or he may pursue you. Like I said if he is coming at you and between you are between him and your dog then you are threatened, use of a bite sticck as described below, or pepper spary may be the next step to prevent attack, after that neutralization if need be with your weapon may be an option you chose to utalize because you have run out of others --- obviously like all things it's situation dependant and presuming that you are carrying a good weapon, with good carry ammo and feel the shot is safe (i.e. you are not shooting wildly at a moving dog 100 yards off in a crowded park) then you would have a very defensable shot in most jurisdictions as YOU were also threatened and had exahusted other options of deterrance / defense.

Though I do not have the referances, there have been several instances of situations like this I have read about and they typically workout ok for the person who makes the shot, as the circumstances typically speak for themself, again like and self defens shooting if you come off as a yahoo who likes your bang stick more than common sense you are going to have a problem however in most reasonable situations --- even ones where a neighbor reterived a weapon from home to stop an attack things were fine from a legal perspective, though there are no guarantees.

2. The attack is on --- first don't panic and evaluate the situation, stupid as this may sound in some dog fights at the shelter I have stood by for a a few minuetes while we got people and equiptment becuse little harm was being done --- a very common thing for an aggressor to do is come up and growl, grab some flank or neck skin and hold on --- the attaceked dog may submit and try and roll or may hold their grond and stand still and growl, however this is a relative stand off between the two dogs --- there is little harm being done as there is little chance of vital anatomy being damaged -- the WRONG thing to do in this circumstance and I see it all the time is for one person to grab, usually the attacked dog and try and pull / wrench it away --- the attacker takes this as the fight being on and will offten escalate things and roll or take a full neck hold so in this situation, if possible get two people and a pry stick to break things up as you wrenching your dog away without a method to contain or controll the attacker is just going to stimulate his aggression and once his bite hold is broken he is going to want to take another so you must either be able to controll him or occupy that bite with something other than your or your dog's anatomy.

Obviously getting a second person is not always possible and some attacks are savage so then you have to do it yourself, the best single thing is a stout stick --- Animal Controll Officers carry ASP batons for this and they work great if permited in your area --- what works best is prying the attackers jaw off with the bite stick and then "working" him away by letting him bite the stick and hopefully back away from you as you threaten him with this, though you are at risk here and your dog will be darting in and out between you or trying to protect you so you can imagine how hard this is going to be by yourself, most maladjusted pet dogs can probibly be eventually driven off however the serious problem dog, the fighting dog or the mis-trained protection dog is most likely going to stay at it untill some other person is able to physically contain them or they are made physically incapable of attack --- yes there are instances where a dog has to be physically neutralized beause of it's agression --- if you have to, you have to, make shure you shot is safe, esp. if you are at short dastances relative to the attacker, you and your dog. .

BTW for the poster who mentioned prosecution for shooting a dog to put it down, if it was done an an apropriate manner he will liekly beat that wrap unless they want to nail him for discharging a firearm in a city limit or something as gunshot dispatch though unapealling is listed as conditionally acceptable method to euthanize an animal, i.e. The American Veternary Medical Association recognizes it as acceptable if other alternatives are not available, depending again on the circumstances this should be enough to get him in the clear unless circumstances make it appear to have been an act of cruelty and not euthanasia.
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Old February 22, 2006, 08:41 AM   #8
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As well as all the above advice..

Sue the owner of the St B. for the vet bills. You will get them.

Call animal control on anyone who allows their dog to run free.

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Old February 22, 2006, 08:50 AM   #9
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My kids, dog, and I ususally go for an evening walk around our neighborhood several times a week. We live out in the country and some dogs aren't restrained properly and get loose. Everytime we go out I have my Sig P220, spare mag, surefire, and an ASP. Most likely the ASP will be used if needed on an aggressive dog.
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Old February 22, 2006, 09:16 AM   #10
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Isn't it legal to use deadly force to protect your property in Texas? If so, does it extend to both theft and vandalism/destruction of property?

If the greyhound is your property... protect it.
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Old February 22, 2006, 09:53 AM   #11
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I think the best thing to do is get a strong defense spray such as pepper spray or mace. The bear spray thing should work too. I would go with a spray that sends out a mist rather than a stream. While the stream has more range, the fog covers much more area. Dogs, with their sensitive noses, will most likely turn tail and run.

I am a dog lover and I really would not want to shoot anyone's beloved pet when a non-lethal option is available. I'm sure you will probably get a lawsuit from the dog owner as well and he will spin his side of the story. As it was mentioned, a moving dog is a very hard target to hit. Think of how many people you could be endangering in the neighborhood with stray shots. If you can carry a gun, you can also carry a personal defense spray. While it is not as macho, it will deter most dogs. Go ask your postman what his experience is. I'll bet they don't carry guns to shoot agressive dogs.

If a dog is not deterred by the defense spray and it is causing serious injury to my dog, I would shoot it at point blank or contact range to avoid any chances of missing. This would obviously be the very last option. If the dog was attacking a person, I would still consider using the defense spray first since there would be a risk of shooting the bite victim. They would recover a lot faster from a dose of pepper spray than a bullet wound!
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Old February 22, 2006, 10:36 AM   #12
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sje- The EXACT thing happened to me a few years ago. My wife and I were walking our JRT in my neighborhood, when out of nowhere a chow mix came running from a backyard and attacks our dog. I kicked it till it let go, then it just stood there growling and barking at us. The owner was outside and I started yelling at him, he yelled back and had it not been for our wives, the situation would have come to blows. I called the police, they told me to call animal control. Animal control said they would walk the neighborhood and see if the dog came out; it didnt. I started carrying a gun, and did wind up having to pull it on the dog in front of the owner when it came after my dog again. I didnt know if it was legal or not, I really didnt care at that point to be honest. The man hauled *ss off his porch and grabbed the dog pleading with me not to shoot it. We had a talk after the situation decompressed and he agreed not to let his dog run loose.
My recomendation is to protect yourself. Maybe borrow a friends dog that can hold its own in a match. I hate to sound cruel, I certainly dont condone dog fighting; but you would be in your rights if you were walking a Pit, or an American Bulldog, on leash of course, and it happened to "tie up" with your problem dog and taught it a lesson. Then you wouldnt have to worry about gun laws, and whether or not you can legally shoot.
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Old February 22, 2006, 10:57 AM   #13
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Thanks for the responses all.

I am in both Houston and Harris County (outer parts on the west side). Basic suburbia neigborhood, houses everywhere. The dog was unleashed and just sitting on its property (owner was outside doing yardwork). We even walked by once without incident, second time it came charging from about 25yds away. I was slow to respond (wasn't sure if was just coming to say hello, it didn't bark or growl on the way in). Once the attack began, I was pretty helpless...a 150lb dog like that isn't something a normal human can subdue. Luckily, the owner had some control of his dog and was able to get him to back off verbally after a few seconds.

The owner is supposed to pay me today. Once the check is cashed, I plan to contact animal control and my HOA.

Anyway, the gun idea is probably a bad one. I will be looking into some sprays though. Any recommendations on brands I could buy online?

Thanks for the responses. Just getting pissed looking at my drugged out dog right now. Looks like franken-dog with all the stitches and shaved patches on her body. Poor thing is too nice to even defend herself...last time it was a small pack of pit bulls, this time it was a dog three times her size.
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Old February 22, 2006, 11:59 AM   #14
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No guns needed

Buy some pepper spray, but STAND DOWNWIND!!! I would also like to know why every dog in the hood is pickin on your dog? Do you dress it up in sweaters & boots or something?? Bye the way if there should be leash laws for dogs, then there should be one for kids too!!!
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Old February 22, 2006, 12:54 PM   #15
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Is this a pepper spray board?

Yes, carry the non-lethal options - and even employ them first - but saying the gun is a bad idea is absurd. The gun should be on you as well.

Arm yourself with all tools that will aid you in your defense. I could be a pissed off dog chewing your pooch for lunch, or a human attacker bent on God knows what. But having more than one option available is not a bad idea in the least. Especially of the alternate options step up in effectiveness should the prior option fail.

Learn to use the weapons you've chosen, and carry them as often as possible.

Know your target and beyond. But by no means is concern for stray/ricochet bullets reason not to carry a firearm or even employ one if necessary. Learning the four rules is part of learning how to use your new weapon. If one is unable to adhere to the rules - then yes, stick to the pizza seasonings only.

If you’re serious about protecting yourself; if you’re serious about protecting your pooch or anyone else you love, get a pistol and learn to use it. Carry it with you as often as you can. One day, you may be glad you did.
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Old February 22, 2006, 12:57 PM   #16
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Consider a video camera in the neighborhood -

Consider a video camera in the neighborhood - also a Have-a-Heart(? spelling) live trap on your own property - if a neighbor's dog shows up in the trap call animal control to remove it.

Finally consider also a large enough fenced yard area that there is no need to annoy the neighbors by walking the dog around the neighborhood to do his business - depending on climate, stools in your own yard can be doggy dooleyed or washed down to fertilizer.
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Old February 22, 2006, 01:45 PM   #17
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The laws on defending your dog are going to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but here's something to consider if you need to shoot an aggressive dog: The ricochet.

You'll most likely have to shoot down at a dog, and in urban areas, the ground is most likely paved.

I say this because of an incident that occurred here a few years ago. We approached a house occupied by a wanted felon. The man opened the door and turned his pit bull loose on us while his girlfriend was standing on the porch. The dog was moving very fast and my lead officer fired on the dog and missed, hitting the concrete sidewalk. The round, a 9mm Winchester Ranger +P+ HP, ricocheted and struck the girlfriend in the jaw with sufficient force to penetrate and chip bone.

Just some food for thought, should you find yourself in a similar situation.
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Old February 22, 2006, 02:20 PM   #18
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I wouldn't use a gun to defend your dog. I would use a baseball bat though to defend my dog. I agree with GHT's comments as well as the pepper spray advice.

I might even approach the owner and rip him a new a-hole.
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Old February 22, 2006, 02:39 PM   #19
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dont expect bear or pepper spray to stop a dog 100% of the time. heck, it doesnt even deter bears 100% of the time.

use the spray to give yourself and your dog time to get away. also consider delivering a good square kick to the attacking dog while its distracted.

a knife is a good option as well if you have to grab the attacking dog and pull it off yours. a 4" blade would do well to slice into the attacking dogs body.

today i seem to not feel much sympathy. if you dont have your dog on a leash, and its aggressive or attacks anyone, in my humble opinion, it doesnt deserve to live. and its not the dogs fault, the dog is just being a dog, its the owners fault for not keeping it secure, where it can be a dog on its owners property.
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Old February 22, 2006, 02:56 PM   #20
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I might even approach the owner and rip him a new a-hole.

I completely agree with slinger!!! A dog is its owners responsibuility. Just like owning a firearm. I think all new dog owners should have to take a course in dog behaviors. You train the owners, not the dogs. Dogs are dogs. They will do as much as thier owner lets them get away with. Alot like a child!!!
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Old February 22, 2006, 03:09 PM   #21
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seems to me just firing the gun would scare off the dog and let the owner of the dog know that you mean business.

you never know when you could be mobbed by a pack of dogs.
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Old February 22, 2006, 05:42 PM   #22
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Spiff ---

A+ and amen, aggressive dogs that get put down either in the street or in the pound have 98% of the time been failed / messed up by their owner, then if they are running in the street their owner has failed them a second time --- in keeping them under controll.

Sad but true.

No one I think is advocating a shoot first aproach but for some rare cases it may come to this.
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Old February 22, 2006, 06:35 PM   #23
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I would use a gun to defend myself from a dog attack, if I felt the dog could do some damage to me (that is, something bigger than a dachshund). Dog bites can be really nasty, cutting tendons and ripping muscles and other unpleasant things. I read that the woman who had the "face transplant" needed that new face after being mauled by a labrador retriever, which is normally considered one of the more passive breeds. And then there's that woman who was mauled to death in San Francisco not too long ago.

Dogs are predators and have the appropriate equipment. They also have an instinct to chase down prey, so running can be a very bad idea unless you have some place to escape into before the dog catches you.

I wouldn't use a gun to defend my dog because the chances are too high of screwing up and hitting my dog, or some person, or something else.

Pepper spray is a good choice, if you can deploy it so it doesn't hurt you or your dog in the process. Who knows, the owner may be such a jerk that he tries something against you while you're coughing and sputtering. For that reason, the spray wouldn't be my first choice, though for dog-on-dog I like it better than the gun.

A stout walking stick seems like the best idea to me. You get more reach than trying to break up the fight with your own hands (a really bad idea, since you'll need to bend down, and thus put your face in danger). Also, you have more control over a stick than you do a gun or a spray, and you may be able to use the stick to keep the dog away from you long enough for it to give up or the owner to retrieve it. A sharp downward strike on the aggressor's back should get the dog's attention or even break the spine. A whack at his legs might break one or two. Be careful about a diagonal strike, as you might hit your own dog. Sticks are also useful against two-legged foes.

I love dogs and have always had them, but if it looks like my dog or I will suffer serious injury from an attacking dog, I will do my best to avoid those injuries in any way necessary.
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Old February 22, 2006, 07:18 PM   #24
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If you wouldn't normally allow yourself with in arms reach of a badguy to use a stick (most of you are armed with a pistol all the time to avoid this very thing), do not be so willing to employ inferior weapons against an animal built to do more damage than a human.

A pissed off 75lb dog - not a massive dog by any means - is not an animal you want to irritate with a poor swing from a "walking stick." If your ___ caliber handgun isn't a "one shot man stopper," I doubt your best Babe Ruth swing isn't a "one smack dog dropper."
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Old February 22, 2006, 07:28 PM   #25
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It's one thing to wip out a gun and start shooting out in the woods in a dog confrontation situation. It's another to start shooting in a neighborhood where children may be out playing or someone else may be walking. A handgun permit may be easy to get where you are but the implications and responsibility of using deadly force cannot be taken lightly. I live in a county in rural Georgia that is quickley becoming populated with subdivisions and explosive growth because of proxmity to major interstates. Guess what???
NO animal laws at all. They run loose at will. If you shoot and get caught guess again?? It's Jail time for cruelty.
I was driving to work the other day and saw a three legged dog eating a dead buzzard beside the road.
I ride a bike so I have started taking a Marksman air pistol. It shoots a bb just hard enough to run most dogs off. Never used pepper spray can't help you there.
Other than that I guess a stick is the only option. Not right when a stray dog has more rights than you. He can poop in your neighbors step and nothing happens. You try it!!!
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