The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 30, 2011, 10:06 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: March 6, 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 613
Multiple Dog Attackers

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

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

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

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

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


Last edited by JohnKSa; March 13, 2011 at 11:08 PM. Reason: Added Warning.
atlctyslkr is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 10:42 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2006
Location: Pueblo, Colorado
Posts: 2,664
.357 should work well on a dog. just keep calling the cops, get video if you can. if you end up having to shoot the dogs it will help you immensely to have a record of previous behavior.
I don't collect guns, I accumulate them.
bigghoss is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 10:42 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 2,233
Yes the 357 is fine for such a use, but no round is going to help much if you miss.
When I was a very young boy I lived in a remote area and there was a pack of feral dogs that became a problem. Several men from an area of about 5 miles square got together and hunted them all down. All were killed. My dad used a Winchester 22 caliber pump rifle. He used hollow point ammo and shot 2 of them. He said one took 5 rounds, but another dropped dead at the shot.
I was not with the men, so I can only say what I was told. My dad said the one that dropped was the first one he killed and he shot it "just like a deer"
He used to shoot his deer with a 300 Savage and most times he hit them in the center of the chest.
I can only assume he didn't make as good a first hit on the second dog, but he did say the 1st one was a lot bigger than the second one.
My friend H.S. killed a mad Pit Bull inn Nevada and shut him off like a light. Shot at close range with a Mossberg M-500 with #4 Buck.

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

In every case that the dogs dropped instantly, the thing that they had in common was a good shot placement.
Wyosmith is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 12:18 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,975
I have been temped to report but I am afraid if I take action then I will be seen as excercising vigilante justice.
Reporting them isn't vigilantism.

Have you thought about talking to the owners? They just might prefer to build a fence to losing their dogs.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 12:36 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 11, 2007
Location: "State of Discombobulation"
Posts: 1,333
In every case that the dogs dropped instantly, the thing that they had in common was a good shot placement.
I seem to recall good shot placement being an important factor in ending hostilities or unwanted frivolity.

BikerRN is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 01:01 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 5,206
I had to shoot one while on a call a couple of years ago- 'dogbite' call of course. I was basically out on foot looking for victims & complainants and as soon as I found them the dogs-which I hadn't found yet-found me.

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

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

I estimate the time from threat recognition, until the last shot was fired, at five seconds tops. My cursory examination of the dog revealed at least three holes in its front chest and shoulders, and the finisher which exited behind the off-shoulder. The load was 165 grain Golden Saber. They are hard to stop when committed to an attack.
May a person who is relocating out-of-State move firearms with other household goods? Yes.
Sarge is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 01:13 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: June 1, 2007
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 1,093
Get yourself a can of Halt or Back-off spray as your first line of defense. It's what mailmen carry. They deal with a lot more dogs than you do and they don't have an option to use a firearm. When was the last time you heard of a mail carrier getting killed by a dog? At least you get the option of the handgun as a backup in case the spray fails.

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

Keep calling animal control and reporting the dogs. Every time you see them. It's their job to deal with this. Eventually either the owner will get tired of dealing with animal control and will keep his dogs confined or animal control will get tired of coming out and will take the dogs.
Wuchak is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 01:24 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
if they are truely vicious and deadly, shoot them. if they are just some neighborhood ragamuffins, yell at them and go home
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 01:28 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Posts: 4,092
It is imperative that you take the initiative and report the residence of the owners of the dogs to the police.

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

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

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

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

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

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

These owners are sad,sad people.

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

Use the phone-not a gun-firing a gun in a neighborhood when you really did'nt need too-can get you in jail for several years.
B.N.Real is offline  
Old January 30, 2011, 03:23 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: February 15, 2010
Location: Louisville Ky.
Posts: 137
before I went blasting away at the dogs personally I would call animal controll instead of the police and maby talk to the owners. Shooting the dogs seams to open you to a number of legal issues eg.... discharging within city, reckless endangerment,animal cruelty and im sure there is more. Not to mention who's to say the dogs are wrong after all they are animals and animals are agressive at times for reasons we dont see. The issue is the dogs I agree, but the cure is the owners. Just as you are responsible for the actions of a child you may have the owners are responsible for the actions of a pet they own. I wouldnt open fire on them unless a human life was in imediate danger.
The most powerfull weapon a person owns is in their own brain
Puntmefar is offline  
Old January 31, 2011, 08:42 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2008
Posts: 208
To answer your question, .357 is sufficient for stopping a dog. I've only seen a dog shot once, and it was with a Smith model 65. My dad & I had come across a small pack of feral dogs during a hike in Alaska. Dad shot one when they took a mean interest in us, it spun around & yelped until it finally collapsed, and in the meantime the rest of the pack ran into the woods. The whole incident was very quick, maybe a few seconds.

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

My preferred dog defense is strong pepper spray. A collapsible baton is also nice, but they need training to get good with. If it came down to using a gun, I think a snub .357 is plenty. I'd even settle for a six-shot .38 like an old Colt.
Wolfeye is offline  
Old February 1, 2011, 06:32 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Location: Frisco Texas
Posts: 796
You should speak with the home owners first.

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

If nothing improved, I would then call the police.

ALWAYS carry pepper spray when around the house.

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

It should be a last resort, ALWAYS

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

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

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

If I had an arrow, I would have.
dean1818 is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 12:39 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 26, 2008
Posts: 216
Sadly I can't have a lot of faith in the recommendations to talk to the owners -- they will be rational people -- or call animal control -- they'll take care of it. People who let their dogs run and become nuisances rarely care about the problems their dogs cause, and animal control has never cared to do their job when I have called them in several locations.

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

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

If you truly feel threatened in an area where discharge is legal, I'd shoot them. But only in that scenario.
spaniel is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 01:14 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 1,816
A few years back I had a problem with a neighbor’s dog. When ever it was loose, it would run up to kids and growl, showing it’s teeth. At the time, two of the kids it harassed were my son and daughter. I called the police just to get it on record. Police told me there is nothing they can do about it, the call needs to be made to animal control. I said fine, if the dog ever does it again, it will be shot. I had a cop at my front door with in minutes. I told him the same story. Cop says I’d get arrested for discharging a firearm with in city limits. I told him I’d love to see a jury of my peers sentence me for protecting my children. Never saw that dog or the cop again.

My suggestion. Call the police to get it on record. Call animal control if your city / county has one. If that doesn’t work, do what you feel is best for the protection of yourself and loved ones.
Mike38 is online now  
Old February 20, 2011, 01:22 AM   #15
Carne Frio
Senior Member
Join Date: August 28, 2008
Location: Near Fairbanks Alaska
Posts: 806
Bear spray, like UDAP, works fine for unfriendly dogs. I have used it many times.
Carne Frio is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 01:25 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: January 23, 2008
Posts: 713
.357 is more than enough, a .380 is enough for most dogs and you get a couple extra shots.
valid point was made about a 357 going completely there. shouldn't be a threat to anyone else as you're shooting downward. of course there's the rare chance of a ricochet hurting someone...
soft point 38 spl would probably be better.
dreamweaver is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 04:19 AM   #17
Ben Towe
Senior Member
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 1,128
If you live in a rural area and the dogs are coming on your property and threatening you, then shoot them. I might call the neighbor and give one warning. If it's a suburban or urban area call the police and give them three options: a)Take care of the dogs. b)Get animal control out there to take care of them. c)You will shoot the dogs the next time they get off the property.

Chances are good they will handle it.
'Merica: Back to back World War Champs
Ben Towe is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 08:12 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: February 19, 2010
Posts: 117
in many states, such as Michigan, the use of a gun on dogs is specifically written into state law. It is lawful to shoot threatening dog, and the "use of deadly force" criteria does not apply. If it is not on the owners property, and it is attacking you, you probably may shoot it.
flyboyjake is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 04:36 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: October 27, 2005
Location: Crescent Iowa
Posts: 2,971
We can kill the strays herein Iowa but I prefer to use a bb gun on them cause I cant tell if the dog is someones pet or not. I know what it is like to lose a pet and sure dont want to bring that onto someone else so a bb gun does the trick. I shot a couple dogs in the rear end, never saw them on my place since.

I used a stick one time, shook it and said go get the stick and tossed it, he went and got it then ran off with it.
markj is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 08:23 PM   #20
Junior member
Join Date: March 1, 2006
Location: Tampa,Fl
Posts: 4,000
Years ago I helped my uncle kill off a feral pack of dogs attacking his livestock. We used 22 rifles and they were very effective. The two I killed both dropped with a single 22lr to the neck just above the shoulders.

Shot placement is key.
threegun is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 10:42 PM   #21
Rufus T Firefly
Junior member
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: MN
Posts: 174
Before usning a Big Bang. Try a small bang.

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

If the animal attacks you and you can prove it, by all means protect yourself. Just don't give the legal system a reason to take your weapon or your permit. A dog is not worth it.
Keep protected.
Rufus T Firefly is offline  
Old February 22, 2011, 01:04 PM   #22
Smilin Jack
Senior Member
Join Date: December 31, 2009
Location: West Florida Republic
Posts: 131
Well I find that even asking "the law" will usually get different answers from different officers but in the city that's what you're going to have to do. Just move to the country where life is good and you can "shoot, shovel and shut up". Problem solved.
History will never record how many men have performed great deeds because they were driven out of their homes by some unbearable trait of their wives, from which they fled, almost joyfully, to face as an alternative peril and even death.
Major John Reid
Smilin Jack is offline  
Old February 22, 2011, 03:01 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: August 19, 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 349
.357 works, so does a F-150.
spclPatrolGroup is offline  
Old February 27, 2011, 05:56 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: July 1, 2005
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 262
I've only seen one dog shot in my life. It was a small mix breed that had wandered into our yard and been adopted into our family. it was a young, friendly dog no more than maybe 20lbs. One day, a few of the neighborhood hoodlums decided to start trouble and called the police, claiming the dog had bit him. The police arrived and were asking my mother and I questions (I was about 10 years old at the time) when one of the officers heard the dog barking in the backyard, some 75 feet away. The officer drew his revolver - probably a S&W 38, but I'm not sure - and shot the dog from the front of our house. The dog had not charged him or made any aggressive move other than barking at what it perceived to be a stranger. The bullet hit the dog in the side of the abdomen and exited near its hind leg. The dog ran and hid in his doghouse until animal control officers arrived on scene to take it into custody. It was still hurt and hiding in the doghouse when they grabbed it with their noose and dragged it down our sidewalk, choking it to death as they went. In my opinion - it was an unjustified, poor shot made by an ignorant police officer. Better ways to handle the situation.
"If something seems to good to be true, it's best to shoot it just in case." - Fiona, "Burn Notice"
dpetreikis is offline  
Old February 27, 2011, 10:34 PM   #25
Rufus T Firefly
Junior member
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: MN
Posts: 174
If life were perfect....

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10809 seconds with 7 queries