Dogs: the proper response?

Posted by: Blast

Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:49 AM

Sunday I was leading a edible wild plant class when two large Rottweilers came charging down the path towards us barking and growling. They were wearing collars but the owner was nowhere in sight. I got between the dogs and my class and roared at them while swinging my walking stick at them. They tried circling me but I was able to fend them off with my stick. The owner (a young lady) showed up and tried calling them off but the dogs still stood their ground snarling. The lady was finally able to get them leashed and dragged them away while I yelled at her about the leash laws.

A bit later we saw the lady down by the river with her dogs again off their leashes. mad

At the time of the first encounter I was between the dogs and my class, directly behind the dogs was a large hill. The path curved to the left along this hill and was blocked from my sight by another hill so I wasn't able to see if anyone was coming down the trail.

The 5'piece of hickory was keeping them at bay but wasn't chasing them away. The fear of someone (owner or innocent) rounding the corner at the wrong moment kept me from drawing on the dogs...plus I figured shooting dogs in front of a group of vegans would seriously affect future class enrollment.

What say all of you? Was my response appropriate?

-Blast

Posted by: dweste

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Blast
What say all of you? Was my response appropriate?
-Blast


You are a sheepdog and were protecting the flock. The owner was a quasi-criminal jerk; the dogs while probably guilty only of being poorly trained were a danger. Your first instinctive reaction worked. So accept being a hero. Good job!

Posted by: Nicodemus

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:15 AM

It worked, so it sounds like you used appropriate measures.

Then again, option two sounds equally as appropriate to me. Still, you were thinking about the safety of everyone around you.

Good Job, I'd say.
Posted by: Desperado

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:24 AM

Good job. Also good judgement on the shoot, plus the option was still there. Add pepper spray to the EDC for classes. As strong as you can buy it.

Someday I shall share the pics of my two unarmed encounters with German Shepherds. Your wife's cat was easy on you.
Posted by: Eric

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:26 AM

Lets see.

Run towards them (predator) vs run away (prey) - got that one right.
Make Noise (predator) - got that one right
Defending vs Attacking - no real right answer, no one got hurt so you did good.
Extending your reach with 5' of hickory - real good answer.

As long as the dogs were held a bay, shooting would probably be considered excessive. If the dogs had attacked someone, you should use the stick (or your feet) to beat them away from the person and then consider escalating to firearms.

Sounds like everything worked out and I don't see how to improve on the results.

Congrats on a good response in a tricky situation that doesn't allow much time to think.

- Eric





Posted by: comms

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:30 AM

excellent. and good teaching point.
Posted by: RoverOver

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:30 AM

You Handled this situation,Quite Well,For you are here to tell us about it!Speaking for myself in this Scenario-I would have Drawn my weapon,& If the dogs moved in on me,I would have shot the closest one.I normally pack,when hiking,& my 1st and 2nd Round's are usually Rat shot or Glasers.You had a bunch of eye-witnesses,behind you,Vegans or Omnivores,they trusted you to guide them,I think they would back you up regardless!Good Job Sheriff!
Posted by: Eric

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:39 AM

Originally Posted By: RoverOver
Speaking for myself in this Scenario-I would have Drawn my weapon,& If the dogs moved in on me,I would have shot the closest one.


This means you would probably have had to shoot at least one of them and may be both, since most dogs will not recognize a drawn handgun as a threat. Animals are not people and respond to different cues, mostly instinct driven. Not all animals respond to the same cues but in general you need to act like a predator (get large, get loud, stand your ground, or charge) and not prey (retreating, quiet, small).


- Eric
Posted by: RoverOver

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:52 AM

Hey Eric, Get Real!Also,Try that tactic on BlackBear/Cougar/Feral Dogs,You will likely become they're guest for lunch!Wild Hogs as well!
Posted by: Tom_L

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 06:02 AM

Blast, IMHO you couldn't have done any better in the given situation. Based on your description of the event, there was little reason to draw or use a firearm. Shooting someone's dogs without a really good reason might have serious consequences, legal and otherwise.

If dogs are a concern I strongly second Desperado re: pepper spray. It's non-lethal and works very well. Possibly better than firearms for most people.
Posted by: MostlyHarmless

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 07:42 AM

My verdict is that you handled that situation extremely well.


From your description I would also have called in the cavalry (police). The lack of control and judgment that woman demonstrated is dangerous, especially with that kind of dogs. To me, it sounds like an accident waiting to happen. You calling the authorities upon her could prevent her dogs from attacking someone less prepared.
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 11:49 AM


Scary. Ditto on the pepper spray. Perhaps even bear spray, which you can carry on your hip belt if carrying a pack.

That stupid woman. There are a few women and men around here with Rotties and Pits -- one or more -- who look they wouldn't have a prayer of holding onto their leashes if they lunged. And there's a jerk in our local park that lets his two big dogs off leash despite multiple previous attacks and at least one ticket. That owner stays clear of me since I yelled at him and prominently display my pepper spray ever since (I carry to protect my dog from off-leash dogs, his in particular).

Is that some place the woman may frequent? In which case, I'd consider going back with a camera to document the dogs being off-leash as well as her license plate. The police might at least send her a letter saying they've had a complaint and reminding her of her criminal liability.

She keeps letting those dogs run and someone is going to sue her rear off.





Posted by: LoneWolf

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 11:56 AM

Just to echo MostlyHarmless, I think you handled it extremely well.

I too would have called the police. I used to be guilty of letting my German Shepherd run off lead, but he was obedience trained and all I had to do was call him and he would come running. He was also never out of my sight when off lead. In my opinion, this lady was irresponsible in letting them out of her sight. Dogs as big and powerful as a Rott. can hurt you badly. Very well trained ones would not have come after you like that (at least I wouldn't think so).

LW
Posted by: celler

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 12:27 PM

My hat is off to you for exhibiting presence of mind, coolness under pressure, and reasoned action. I hope others follow your example. I agree with Desperado that the addition of pepper spray to your arsenal would have given you an additional cog on the force continuum if that had been necessary. As a dog lover, I applaud you for electing to only use the force that was necessary in the situation.

I am quite angry at the dog owner for putting you in this position. Owning a big dog carries responsibility and if you are not willing to accept that responsibility, give the dog to someone who will. Additionally, it was obvious to anyone (including the owner) that her dogs were not properly socialized and potentially aggressive. Possessing such knowledge, she was criminally negligent in taking the dogs out in public without proper control. People like that give responsible owners a bad name. I pray that this incident was a wake-up call for her.
Posted by: Lon

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: celler
I pray that this incident was a wake-up call for her.


Me too... but I seriously doubt that it was.

There is a beautiful park near my home, but it's hard to enjoy it because of all the idiots and their dogs.
I have witnessed so many bad situations involving dogs, that I am uncomfortable around ANY dogs in public places.

Blast, it sounds like you handled the situation in the best way. I believe you showed the proper restraint that a responsible gun owner should; but I am glad that you had that option (gun) available.
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Lon
Originally Posted By: celler
I pray that this incident was a wake-up call for her.


There is a beautiful park near my home, but it's hard to enjoy it because of all the idiots and their dogs.


Complain to the police and keep complaining. Get your neighbors to complain (give them the contact numbers) and bring your local elected officials into it.

Dogs should only be off-leash in designated off-leash areas, preferably fenced, or in private yards. It's extremely rude otherwise, and dangerous for the dogs and people. Many people are scared of dogs, some for good reason, and it's terrorizing them to have dogs running around loose. People can't tell just by looking at a loose dog, how well-trained and socialized they are.

Responsible dog owners, like myself, resent the self-centered owners who think they can do as they please in public areas. They are a threat to my dog (hence the ever-present pepper spray -- a non-lethal means of defense).



Posted by: el_diabl0

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 02:38 PM

Well-handled for sure. With several "layers" of security, you have the option of escalating your response to match the degree of danger that the scenario presents. I would definitely add pepper spray to your EDC. You would have been justified in using it, and the vegans would not have been upset. (Tell them the pepper spray is delicious with tofu and sprouts) Also, when her dogs come back whimpering, maybe the idiot owner will learn to keep them on a leash.

Question...if the dogs had attacked you or someone else...what is your next move? I would think you'd have to shoot.
Posted by: DannyL

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 02:39 PM

you did all the right things.

Next time whip out your cell phone if you can and get pics, especially of the owner.
Carry bear spray (pepper spray) with your next class ( get the holster to hang it on your belt, not the key chain version..) and hose the hell out of them.
She'll probably be facing a heck of a vet bill if you did that.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:01 PM

Blast - smart move using a stick to deter the dogs. Sticks are also quite useful for deterring annoying and aggressive animals like monkeys in some other parts of the world.

You did a very good job keeping cool - two aggressive Rottweilers is not an easy situation to handle.

As far as shooting the dogs goes ... I'm not sure if your vegans would have cringed or cheered. How do you know that they would not have broken into applause. :-)

Pete
Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:12 PM

Thanks all. My first thought was "shoot the dogs". They were big and very mean-sounding/acting. My wife was attacked by a loose dog years ago and has been terrified of them ever since. This means I can't have a dog, only nice, safe cats. shocked This makes me especially sensitive to loose dogs. Doubly so if my kids are present. Luckily they weren't there on Sunday.

The pepper spray is a good idea, it gives me an option between stick and bullet and also is less likely to upset my students. REI has some nice bear sprays and I have a coupon...

Sidenote: a Rottweiler can shrug off a strong blow to the head.

-Blast
Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:15 PM

Quote:
As far as shooting the dogs goes ... I'm not sure if your vegans would have cringed or cheered. How do you know that they would not have broken into applause.


It would have been interesting to see their response, especially after one commented on the NRA sticker on my truck.

-Blast
Posted by: 7point82

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:16 PM

I think everyone hit the high points. Which were (IMO)...
1) Good job! You seem to have stopped the dogs actions from escalating and had a plan if things had gotten worse.
2) Pepper/bear spray would have been a nice option to have.
3) Next time call the law. The next person that the object of the dogs attention might not fair as well.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:18 PM

Blast,

Well done. I'd add pepper spray to your hiking kit and call it in to the non-emergency number to report it afterwards (and to the good folks in charge of the park.)

T
Posted by: JBMat

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:24 PM

While what you did was appropriate for the conditions...

Did you get the owner's name and/or report her to the 'proper authorities".

In the world of what if's - what if a child had been the target of their attack? Seems to me this woman hasn't clue 1 that her dogs are basically 4 legged weapons.

Good thing you had your staff with you. Like the others, I say add pepper spray.
Posted by: Compugeek

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 03:27 PM

Kudos from me too.

You also demonstrated for your entire class a good response to that situation.

If the NRA comment was non-supportive, you further demonstrated responsible behavior.

And add my vote to the "report it, even this late", even if it's only to get it on the record.

Good job!
Posted by: Paul810

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 04:26 PM

The police "Use of Force Continuum" is pretty much what I think of when it comes to how I should handle a dangerous person or animal. It goes something like this:

1. Physical/Verbal Presence (look and sound tough)
2. Light hand-to-hand techniques (blocking, arm locks, pushing ect)
3. Mace/Pepper Spray/other Less than Lethal
4. Heavy hand-to-hand (punches/kicks)
5. Baton
6. Threat of deadly force
7. Deadly force

It's not perfectly adapted; for example, as a citizen I avoid the hand-to-hand stuff whenever possible, instead preferring the methods that allow me to keep my distance and escape. But, the basic idea is there. If it came to aggressive dogs I would do the following:

1. Aggressive stance and yelling
-if that doesn't work-
2. Pepper Spray them and try to get away
-if that doesn't work-
3. Hit them hard with stick/baton/whatever
-if that doesn't work-
4. Shoot if armed and I feel it's necessary to keep them from attacking

With that said, if I see an aggressive dog latched on to a child's arm or something it's getting a kick to the head and a couple rounds of hot lead. There's no reason to waste time at that point.
Posted by: Kukulkan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 06:17 PM

Query: What were your students doing while you were playing wack-a-rott? It sounds like nothing.

Consider that two rottweilers likely are more than a match for you and a stick, and that once one of them has latched onto you (or someone else) it might be too late to escalate to a firearm.

Given these considerations, I'd suggest that in the unlikely event the situation repeats itself, you should consider asking the students to arm themselves with anything available and to come to your assistance. The dogs were being given the impression that that they were facing only one threat. You and four students are more than a match for two rottweilers and the dogs would recognize that fact as soon as four or five people started yelling and waiving sticks at them.

By the way, my suggestion is not meant as a criticism . . . I think you handled the situation very well. I just don't believe that people can be categorized either as sheepdogs or sheep. Almost all of us have some sheepdog.
Posted by: GauchoViejo

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 06:49 PM

I hear you Rover! Once I had to defend myself from 3 feral dogs. I had my big knife and that saved my bacon, I broke the spine of the leader and the other two run away. One thing that chilled my blood was that none of them barked, not even once. They just came at me at full speed. I was wearing high boots (because of the snakes) and I had rolled my jacket around my left arm, so I was unharmed.
Posted by: HerbG

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 07:31 PM

Can anybody share any personal experiences about the effectiveness of pepper sprays on large aggressive dogs? Does it really halt an attack in its tracks or is there a lag time?
Posted by: Henry_Porter

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 07:34 PM

Possibly...

1. Shoot dog(s) as needed.
1a. No worries, vegans, you don't have to eat or wear them.

2. Pepper spray dog owner as needed.

Seriously...

I can't understand folks who don't take responsibility for their animals and are seemingly oblivious to the dangers and trouble they impose upon others.

I'd say you did very well, Blast.

Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. Reminds me to take at least a good stick with me in the woods this weekend.
Posted by: Lon

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 07:46 PM

+1 ... good comments!
Posted by: clearwater

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 07:53 PM

Looking at it from a dog owners perspective, if my dog
were somehow causing that kind of threat/problem, I would
WANT someone to pepper spray it. It may save it's life
in the long run and certainly will make for more friendly
neighbors if it isn't a threat or nuisance.
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 08:00 PM

Originally Posted By: NightHiker
<hijack>

Getting into the habit of depending on law enforcement (city police, county sheriff, park rangers, etc) for protection is a dangerous mindset.



I don't think anyone expects the police to show up fast enough to protect from an imminent dog attack. The point is to report the owner to the police and hopefully that will prevent such a situation in the future.

It does matter where you live. I've never been hiking on public land anywhere in the country -- local, state or national -- where dogs were not required to be on leash. Whether the requirement is enforced is another matter. In any event, people are criminally and civilly liable for their dogs attacking people.

And in my experience, private landowners have been even more strict about leashes because they've had livestock.

Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 08:03 PM

Originally Posted By: HerbG
Can anybody share any personal experiences about the effectiveness of pepper sprays on large aggressive dogs? Does it really halt an attack in its tracks or is there a lag time?


I have gotten pepper spray on my face because of a leaky container.

That tiny amount of exposure was very unpleasant, and immediately so.

If you hit a mucuous membrane, they'll stop.







Posted by: UncleGoo

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: HerbG
Can anybody share any personal experiences about the effectiveness of pepper sprays on large aggressive dogs? Does it really halt an attack in its tracks or is there a lag time?


I work primarily outdoors, and carry pepperspray as part of my work kit. I have had good results with pepperspray that is ejected in a stream or spray. Foggers, for me, have been useless, because of their susceptibility to breezes. Make sure you hit the eyes, nose, and mouth.

I used pepperspray as a first defense on all dogs, until the day I was caught offguard and offduty, and was chewed up. Since that attack, the pepperspray only comes out for dogs that I think I can punt. Large dogs have gotten lead when their owners were not there to control them.
If you wait until the dog bites, you will not get a clean shot.

Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 08:35 PM

A dogs reaction to pepper spray depends on the specific dog and motivation.

As for Blast's rottwieler encounter, I wasn't there to see the dogs posture, but two rotties would not be stopped by a stick if they were motivated. IMO they were posturing and being very defensive for their person. While these rotties were very protective and may in fact be good dogs, the owner doesn't have anything close to an adequate level of control. Any dog in the rottweiler class that is walked off leash needs to be fully and reliably trained. The fact that she needed to physically pull them away tells me those dogs have no business being off leash in public. They probably need to be socialized with people other than their owner and the owner needs to learn how to control them.

That said, years back I encountered a couple German Shepherds in my back yard. These two dogs had done the barking snarling thing to a female neighbor and while I like GSD's, these two were potentially dangerous. I called LE, explained the situation and the dog's rep, and asked them if they wanted to handle it or would they like me to shoot them ("No, don't shoot them"). Animal control took care of it.

Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 09:10 PM

Notes about calling the police:

1. This particular area is right on the border between two counties. Last year I found a stolen vehicle ditched there and had to call SIX different LEO departments before finding one who would respond. The really amazing thing was the stolen vehicle belonged to a cop and his uniform and paperwork were strewn around.

2. I was just starting the class and didn't want to interrupt it to deal with police. I don't charge for the class, I just accept tips afterwards. Plus, some people had driven over an hour to be there. I didn't want any of them to feel the class wasn't worthwhile (ie. cut into my tips or make them not tell their friends about the class). I'll admit that's a bad motivation, especially if these dogs do hurt someone else in the future. frown

3. The owner of the dogs was gone well before we returned to the parking area so getting her license plate number wasn't an option without interupting the class.

4. There are signs stating dogs must be kept on leashes.

Thinking about it I should have told one of the students to film the encounter. Best case it would have proved the shootings were justified, worst case it would have made an awesome youtube video... eek

I don't think the dogs were just playing but they weren't in full-on attack mode, either. They scared the heck out of one of the students who stood there screaming in fear. Like someone else said, my stick wouldn't have done anything against two Rotts bent on eating me.

You always read about time slowing down in such an event and that is completely true. I remember running through all sorts of analysis and possible actions during the brief encounter. One of the main reasons I got a CCW was due to previous encounters with dogs and I've visualized armed responses to such an incident over and over in my mind. I think that helped prepare me for the real thing and kept me from freezing up.

-Blast, who is getting too old for this sort of excitement.
Posted by: wildman800

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 09:34 PM

Good Call all the way around, Blast!!!
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: NightHiker

You are absolutely right that it does matter where you live, but never let your personal experiences blind you to what's really out there - assume the worst and be prepared for it.



Sage advice. That's why I carry pepper spray 100% of the time, in the city. And bear spray in the woods, always.

And if attacked, I'll call the police, park rangers or whoever the authority is.


Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Blast

You always read about time slowing down in such an event and that is completely true.


I was once attacked on the street by a two-legged perp.

There is indeed a different time perspective. Perhaps because you are so in the moment.




Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 09:52 PM

What you did worked, and it's hard to improve on that.

The use of pepper spray could be a lesson to the owner: doesn't that smell linger? Two large dogs reeking of pepper spray in the Cooper grin. Most people of that ilk only respond (learn) to what affects them personally.

Approaching dogs that don't seem to be attacking may respond to a low, firm 'Sit!' But if it doesn't work immediately, it usually doesn't work at all.

Dogs that have learned how to work together to hunt and one starts to circle behind you are an incredible danger. If I were armed, I would take them down ASAP. The one in front will try to grab the muzzle of a deer/sheep/goat/calf, the circling one goes in for the hamstring. I have often wondered when I hear of a child being bitten in the face if that wasn't the first instinct on how to take down prey.

I am wondering if firing a shot into the ground would be effective at all? Scare them off? Make them worse? But I do suspect that it might kick up the IQ of the owner a couple of points...

Sue

Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 09:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Blast
. . .I don't think the dogs were just playing but they weren't in full-on attack mode, either. They scared the heck out of one of the students who stood there screaming in fear. Like someone else said, my stick wouldn't have done anything against two Rotts bent on eating me. . . .
Someone screaming in fear probably got the Rotties more excited than they would have been if your charge had been calm. Dogs respect calm; if you (or your charge) shows fear the dogs react to that energy. Best thing to do IMO would be to close ranks and ignore them -- maybe even to the point of turning your backs to the dogs. Cesar Millan is big on a calm assertive posture.
Quote:
Calm-assertive energy This is the energy you project to show your dog you are the calm and assertive pack leader. Note: assertive does not mean angry or aggressive. Calm-assertive means always compassionate, but quietly in control.

Watch a true alpha dog interact with a group of dogs and it will tend to ignore the other dogs -- head up but turned away -- no fear, no threat, just disinterest. IME that attitude works for people interacting with dogs too.
Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 10:56 PM

Quote:
What you did worked, and it's hard to improve on that.


Part of me feels like I just got lucky. And to be honest, another part of me feels like I was being coward who was afraid to shoot.

It's been the first (and I pray last) time I had reason to draw since getting my CHL. It's been a real eye-opener.

-Blast
Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 10:59 PM

Quote:
Best thing to do IMO would be to close ranks and ignore them -- maybe even to the point of turning your backs to the dogs.


D'oh! I remember that now from my paperboy days. I learned back then that you were supposed to walk away from the dog while watching it with peripheral vision. Dogs take a direct stare to be a challenge. Given the screams of the student, I think that wouldn't have worked.

-Blast
Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 11:04 PM

Owners need to control their dogs, teachers need to control their students -- bad student. . . smile
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/03/09 11:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Russ
Best thing to do IMO would be to close ranks and ignore them -- maybe even to the point of turning your backs to the dogs.



Unless I had Kevlar underwear on -- granny-size -- that would seem awfully risky.


;-)
Posted by: UncleGoo

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/03/09 11:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Susan
What you did worked, and it's hard to improve on that.

The use of pepper spray could be a lesson to the owner: doesn't that smell linger?

I am wondering if firing a shot into the ground would be effective at all?



Pepper spray does linger. I sprayed a Bichon that was going to town on a co-worker's ankle. The owner could not process my command to "control the dog," but understood "put the dog in the car." She promptly got in the car with the dog, petted it, told the dog it was OK, and wiped the tears from her own eyes, transferring the pepper she'd picked up while petting the dog...made for an interesting report.

Our department policy prohibits warning shots. "GET CONTROL OF YOUR DOG, BEFORE I SHOOT IT!" has been generally effective for me.

Anytime you can walk away from an encounter like this, without injury, it's a good thing.
Posted by: samhain

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 12:23 AM

If your class remained safe, I'd call that an appropriate response.

Nicely done.
Posted by: UpstateTom

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 12:59 AM

Sounds like a well handled situation to me.

Excellent plan on having the 5' stick with you, too.



Posted by: sodak

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 01:28 AM

You did well. The spray might be worth looking in to.

You have more patience than I do...

In a perfect world, you would spray the owner and send the dogs to obedience school and another owner....
Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/04/09 01:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Dagny
Originally Posted By: Russ
Best thing to do IMO would be to close ranks and ignore them -- maybe even to the point of turning your backs to the dogs.

Unless I had Kevlar underwear on -- granny-size -- that would seem awfully risky.
;-)
Depends on the dog's motivation. What it does is break contact and deescalate the encounter. Some dogs bark at a "threat", but when the "threat" ignores the barking and turns away, it's no longer a threat. I was at a GSD breeder a few years back and one of her problem dogs was in the front barking at me thru the fence. I sat down with my back to the fence; the barking slowed and stopped and I could feel her behind me doing the sniff-sniff thing that dogs do. Later I had good physical contact with her and the breeder was surprised because that dog supposedly didn't like men -- it's a trust thing.

Here in our back yard the neighbors had two large dogs they were keeping for friends. Lots of barking aimed at us. We turned our backs and the dogs seemed confused. They were being ignored. Act like an alpha but in a non-threatening manner. Dogs gravitate to a strong alpha; it makes them feel secure.

Rotties are powerful dogs, but in the end they're just dogs, and they have the same drives and motivations of other dogs. I like the breed. When I leave CA and move back to my other home (possibly sooner than later) a Rottweiler will be on my short list.

That said, Rottweilers (just like any dog) need to be well socialized. A Rott that has had no contact with humans other than its owner can be dangerous. It doesn't know anyone other than its small/limited pack and an encounter off leash can be ugly. I suspect that to be the case with Blast's encounter. Two dogs which have not been properly socialized and don't know how to act around other humans.

Watch Cesar Milan make initial contact with a problem dog. It's very enlightening and it's not a trick.

Edit to add text and a link
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/04/09 01:58 AM

"... the students who stood there screaming in fear."

OH, THE TEMPTATION ... WITH A CAN OF BEAR SPRAY IN MY HAND!

Yes, I'm sure nothing excites the killer instinct more than the sound of prey in full hysteria. cry

Would one of the screamers just happen to be the one who made comment on your NRA sticker?

Sue
Posted by: Eric

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 03:26 AM

Originally Posted By: RoverOver
Hey Eric, Get Real!Also,Try that tactic on BlackBear/Cougar/Feral Dogs,You will likely become they're guest for lunch!Wild Hogs as well!


RoverOver - I must not have been clear enough. My main point was that drawing a gun will not be perceived as a threatening action by most animals. So if you pull it out you are most likely going to use it, which is pretty much the point with a gun anyway. With non-feral dogs (they had collars etc.) running loose a more graduated response that worked with the instincts and drives of pack predator worked well enough.

To address the points you brought up I'll trying my sub point again, generally speaking it is better to be seen as part of the predator group than the prey group. Prey runs and running will get you attacked most of the time, especially by dogs. Conversely, there are lots of recorded incidents of people standing off and even chasing off dogs and cougars (to use your examples) by "attacking" or at least refusing to retreat. I could probably even dig up an example of someone chasing off a bear.

I don't know anything that will stop a wild hog short of death.

For what it is worth, I have used the tactics I described on multiple occasions with loose dogs and feral dogs without becoming lunch. I have also seen an 8 pound, declawed siamese cat chase 3 German Shepherds out of "her" yard by attacking very loudly. I have seen a much larger, fully armed wildcat torn to shreds by the same dogs because it tried to run.

Blast did very well in a tough and scary situation. He used his judgement and the tools at hand to resolve the situation at little cost except an adrenaline rush. He also had a viable fall back position.

- Eric



Posted by: James_Van_Artsdalen

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 03:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Blast

It would have been interesting to see their response, especially after one commented on the NRA sticker on my truck.

Vegans, having a problem with an NRA sticker, living in ... Texas? They're going to have an interesting social life.

That was a lot of dog, and they clearly do not respect her either. She's got safety issues for herself and doesn't know it.
Posted by: RoverOver

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 04:35 AM

Hey Eric,I got your 1st/2nd point,It doesn't pertain to me!Read my post again,I PRAISE Blast for his actions!I NEVER said anything about Running away.Note that I carry a sidearm,with Rat shot/Glaser bullets as my 1st&2nd rounds to fire.Warning shots at the dogs,or at their feet,is something they WILL recognize!I've been attacked by Dogs,whilst Unarmed,I know what it Feels like to be bit,I know what 8-Rabies shots at 1 time feels like!Blast didn't ask for any Fecal Matter,of which 1st/2nd points are.He asked whether his response was Proper,& I say Yes,as he is here to tell of it!Hey BLAST,Sorry for the slight Hijacking of Fecal Matter,I felt I had to Defend my posting!
Posted by: Desperado

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 04:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Blast
Thanks all. My first thought was "shoot the dogs". They were big and very mean-sounding/acting. My wife was attacked by a loose dog years ago and has been terrified of them ever since. This means I can't have a dog, only nice, safe cats. shocked This makes me especially sensitive to loose dogs. Doubly so if my kids are present. Luckily they weren't there on Sunday.

The pepper spray is a good idea, it gives me an option between stick and bullet and also is less likely to upset my students. REI has some nice bear sprays and I have a coupon...

Sidenote: a Rottweiler can shrug off a strong blow to the head.

-Blast


Always mind the direction of the wind. If you get it wrong, you will know.....
Posted by: Desperado

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 04:50 AM

Originally Posted By: HerbG
Can anybody share any personal experiences about the effectiveness of pepper sprays on large aggressive dogs? Does it really halt an attack in its tracks or is there a lag time?


I have personally used it multiple times (when I worked for Ma Bell), and it is about 85% effective on untrained dogs.

I encountered one German Shepherd and one mutt that I swear liked the stuff though.


Trained K9's are another subject entirely. Keep in mind it has to be OC. CS and CN do not cause a dog any problems.
Posted by: MostlyHarmless

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/04/09 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: NightHiker

I'm not pointing fingers but I notice a lot of people saying that a call to law enforcement about the owner/dogs is in order. I totally agree but....

Getting into the habit of depending on law enforcement (city police, county sheriff, park rangers, etc) for protection is a dangerous mindset. There's a somewhat sarcastic saying that "when seconds count the police are only minutes away" that's a excellent reminder that nobody else has as vested an interest in the safety of you and your loved ones as you do.


Agreed - however swift the response, the situation will be concluded (positive or negative) when the police arrives - IF they arrive at all.

I guess I should have stated this more clearly: The major point in calling in the authorities is that the silly woman should have a paper trail of negligent and improper handling of her dogs. Even if no action is taken at that point, your complaint is still on record. If and when something else happens, your complaint WILL come back to haunt her at a later point. Hopefully nobody will get hurt before the authorities takes some kind of action...

Never underestimate the power of a paper trail....
Posted by: celler

Re: Dogs: notifiy law enforcement - 11/04/09 11:14 AM

Another option you may consider is snake shot/rat shot/pistol caliber shot shells. Back in the day when I was picking blackberries in the undergrowth in North Carolina, I always carried a revolver and the first two rounds were snake shot followed by four jacketed hollow points. I figured I was most likely to encounter snakes which the shot shell could effectively deal with. In the only agressive dog encounter I had under those circumstances, a shot shell round fired in front of the dog was sufficient to change his mind without the fear of bouncing a heavy lead round into an unexpected place. The shot shell has a very limited effective range. Buy a box and put a few rounds on target to see if this would work for you.
Posted by: el_diabl0

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 01:58 PM

Originally Posted By: HerbG
Can anybody share any personal experiences about the effectiveness of pepper sprays on large aggressive dogs? Does it really halt an attack in its tracks or is there a lag time?


A friend of mine is a letter carrier and he's used pepper spray numerous times. Says it works great.
Posted by: cedfire

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 03:50 PM

Another vote on top of the pile for bear-strength pepper spray. That would get their attention fast. If no luck with that, lethal force all the way.

I've been bitten by an unfriendly dog, had dogs run up to me off leash on various trails, been chased by dogs as a kid, and I am still a dog lover. I have had two German Shepherds, one of which was an adoption from the humane society, another was adopted from an owner who could no longer have the dog. Both dogs had been mistreated and/or neglected. They both needed socialization, patience, and training.

In the end it's all on the owner's shoulders. If this lady can't train and handle two big Rotts she has no business with them as her pets. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners.

FWIW, I think you did a hell of a job. Everyone went home unharmed, but maybe a little shaken up. Big thumbs up. cool
Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 04:09 PM

Quote:
chicks dig big, rugged guys who demonstrate that they're willing to go into harms way for their safety.


Alas, she was a walking stereotype of a college-age vegan chick: Pierced, unwashed, and overly furry... sick In her defense though she wasn't the one who commented on my NRA sticker.

-Blast
Posted by: 7point82

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 05:01 PM

Dangit Blast. There's one more mental picture I could have done without. frown
Posted by: ratbert42

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/04/09 05:06 PM

I've never had a good outcome from trying to get law enforcement or animal control to deal with a dog. I generally get the answer that they can't do anything until it actually bites someone.

I've heard that a shot of lemon juice in the face generally chases them off, but haven't tested that. I've been meaning to get some fresh pepper spray for a long time, but every grocery store sells those plastic squeezy lemon juices.

So far I've been able to out-alpha every dog I've come across. I just get big, aggressive, and bark right back at them. Some day maybe that won't be enough, but it's worked so far. It helps that I'm not exactly roaming the toughest streets in town.

Any response beyond that would probably end up causing more trouble for me than it's worth. Unfortunately, I've pretty much had to adopt a "wait until they bite" approach too.
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/05/09 06:54 AM

I've found that plain water with a dose of sudsy ammonia added is a strong deterrent. Most animals hate ammonia and the small amount of detergent allows the mix to soak into fur instead off just rolling off. And they can't stand to lick themselves clean with the mix in their fur.

Second, if you have time, a little space and the presence of mind you might try throwing things at the dog/s. Dogs get quite alarmed when they get by even small stones. For some reason they can't easily connect the pain of the stone to your throwing it. Hit a dog with a stick and they often fight you. Hit it with even a small rock and they often look like they are very confused. Like they can't connect the sting to any source.

I have been told that pets are legally just property. You have a right to protect yourself from harm that may come from runaway property. Kill a dog in self defense and as I understand it your usually on sound legal ground as long as you had a reasonable reason to fear bodily harm.

But after the fact, because the animal is property, the law is much more restrained about having the animal put down.

It is something like if your neighbors car was left on a hill and it started rolling toward a playground full of kids. You have every right, possibly a moral duty to do whatever you can to prevent potential bodily harm. So if you drive you trusty bulldozer into its path your justified even if the car is destroyed. On the other hand if the car wasn't stopped, even if it ran over a kid or two, the state wouldn't demand that car be destroyed. Destroying the car after the fact won't undo the damage.

Usually there has to be a clear pattern of violence from the dog and usually some remedial attempted taken before the courts deprive someone of their property.



Posted by: benjammin

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/05/09 02:51 PM

You did very well, amigo.

From a self defense perspective (in this case extending to your class as well), you used "necessary force" to control the situation. The staff was effective in keeping them from escalating their attack. Had they pressed you harder, then perhaps drawing the gun might've been necessary.

I certainly would've given the owner a lot of grief. I would also be on the phone to 911 immediately after to report the incident. Too bad you didn't get pictures of the incident. The owner should lose her dogs now, before she or someone else gets seriously hurt. She's demonstrated an obvious indifference/incompetence in proper handling in public, and her reiteration of the violation only reinforces her willful disregard for the safety of her dogs and other people. Had it been me, the outcome would likely have been two dogs in the vet hospital and one big human in the ER.
Posted by: Mike_in_NKY

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/05/09 04:46 PM

For the betterment of the world it would have been nice if the dogs could be given to a better owner and you could have just shot the current owner crazy

I'm just kidding! I think Benjamin summed it up the best.
Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/05/09 05:46 PM

I've been trying to get someone at the sheriff's office to take a report but they don't seem very interested/cooperative. The fact that I don't have any identity information on the lady doesn't help. :-( Hopefully (!) I'll encounter her again out there, this time with a clearer mind as to what to do.

Thanks for all the positive feedback!

-Blast
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/05/09 09:49 PM

"I've been trying to get someone at the sheriff's office to take a report but they don't seem very interested/cooperative."

I've been having problems with the neighbor's dog for several months.

I called Animal Services. They said it's not their problem. They said to call the Sheriff's Dept.

I called the Sheriff's Dept. They said it's not their problem. They said to call Animal Services.

What they're REALLY saying is "So take care of it yourself", isn't it?

Next step, a borrowed pistol and a .38 hollow point.

BTW, I asked my vet yesterday for the best way to shoot a dog in the head. He said between the eyes is the WORST spot, as the skull is thicker there than anywhere else.

He said it depends on how close you are willing/able to get to the dog.

From a distance, try to shoot behind the eye socket but in front of the ear.

If you can get close, esp with a larger dog, put the muzzle of the gun on top of the dog's head and shoot straight down.

He said not to shoot my foot on the second method, expect splatter, and be aware of where the bullet is going if you shoot from the side.

It all seemed like good advice to me.

Sue
Posted by: celler

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/05/09 11:27 PM

If you really want to escalate a bad neighbor situation from passive aggressive to potentially violent, shooting his dog is likely the best way to do it. I assume that attempts at direct communication have not been successful. Have you spoken with your attorney to see what civil remedies might be available to you? Sometimes a strongly-worded letter from an attorney can work wonders and is not as costly as replacing the broken windows and repainting the garage door to cover the graffiti.

I have been shooting since I was 8 years old, qualified as a master sharpshooter while a LEO, and still hit the range as much as I can. I would not be able to hit a dog "behind the eye socket but in front of the ear" while being charged.

YMMV.
Posted by: Desperado

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 01:56 AM

There once was a former US Army MP that had a HUGE female German Shepherd. Very intimidating to say the least. On an evenings' jaunt the leash broke, and said dog moved into a yard about 10 feet. The new (that day) neighbor across the street suddenly arrived on scene with a handful of plastic .380 to save the day. The MP thought the helpful man was an attacker, and screwed a compact .45 into the fellow's ear. At this point, the German Shepherd was laying on her back being petted by a three year old, and a five year old.

Moral of the story......

Make DAMN SURE the owner isn't going to defend himself, his dog, or his neighborhood kids when considering taking hasty action against a dog.


Made for one hell of a tense situation for all but the GSD and the kids.
Posted by: UpstateTom

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 02:18 AM

+1 on you can't hit a charging dog in any particular spot with a handgun. I shoot target pistol, and when I was shooting in the mid 270's wouldn't have been able to reliably make that shot much past 50 feet if it was standing still. Charging I'd be lucky to hit the dog at all.

From what I understand, a handgun bullet can ricochet off a human's head at shallow angles. I would expect the same could happen with a dog's. That, and the relatively small size of a dog's head, makes a head shot a lousy choice for self defense IMO. If I were armed and attacked by a large dog, I'd have one arm trying to keep it off my throat while I was putting bullets into its chest. A contact shot through the lungs with a full load .38 is going to do a lot of damage. I'd expect the exiting round to be potentially lethal, too...would seem to be a rare good use for Glasers.

From a distance? You'd want a rifle. A handgun is a defensive weapon.

Sounds to me like your vet's given you good advice on how to put down a sick or injured dog, but not good for self defense. If you're talking about something else, consider that some people place more value on their dogs than some people do their family members, and react accordingly, for what it's worth.


Posted by: Blast

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 03:40 AM

Latest update: The sheriff's office was dragging their feet so I called park commissioner and actually was able to talk to him for twenty minutes. He gave me his cell phone number and told me if something like this ever happens again I should call him directly and he'd personally drag the appropriate LEO's to the scene. Hopefully he's not just blowing smoke.

-Blast
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 05:00 AM

Mine may not be a popular response, but I'd have shot the dogs. Especially if there were kids in danger.

I love dogs more than just about anyone I've ever met, but at the end of the day they are animals. I value my life, the life of my own child, or even a stranger's child more than the life of a dog which is attacking or acting aggressively in this type of situation.
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 12:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Blast
Latest update: The sheriff's office was dragging their feet so I called park commissioner and actually was able to talk to him for twenty minutes. He gave me his cell phone number and told me if something like this ever happens again I should call him directly and he'd personally drag the appropriate LEO's to the scene. Hopefully he's not just blowing smoke.

-Blast


Good that you persisted, Blast. As important as his assurance on future response is knowing that the incident is on record.

If others fall victim to those dogs (whose owner is putting them at risk) or other dogs in that area, then your earlier report will have established a pattern.

Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 12:26 PM


Susan -- bear spray has a range of 30 feet. It could make a lasting impression on the neighbor's dog.

And on the neighbor.







Posted by: UncleGoo

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 01:35 PM

Follow up with a "Thank you for your time and attention to my complaint" in writing. Once the paper trail is started...well, you know the rest.
Posted by: UncleGoo

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 01:45 PM

Despite the way I've had to handle animals at work, I would suggest that you contact an attorney before resorting to a .38. The attorney can CC the appropriate LE agency, and the local animal control agency, and get things moving easier than you having to explain shooting a neighbors dog.
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 02:14 PM

Okay, here comes the cruelty to animals hit for the week:

For persistently problem animals (be they dogs, cats, racoons, bears, even flies), nothing is more effective at neutralizing them than a good laser hit on their retinas. You can get laser pointers now that have enough power to instantly do permanent damage to any animal's vision. I've even immobilized rabbits in gardens with them, to the point I could walk right up to them and grab them by the ears.

If you want to permanently solve a nuisance dog problem without leaving behind any trace of the attack, I can't think of a better solution than that. It might be more expensive than pepper spray, but you'll only have to do it once per animal.

Okay, bring on the flames folks.
Posted by: Tyber

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 04:02 PM

Ben:

NO need for flaming, it is your opinion and a soltion that works. Doesn't mean we have to agree with it but it works.



Posted by: comms

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 04:42 PM

Benjammin = Brilliant
Posted by: celler

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 06:53 PM

Wow. Just can't see ever doing something like that. I've had to put animals down before. Definitely didn't enjoy it and took some solace in that it had to be done and they did not suffer.

I would have to believe that any qualified vet could figure out what happened to the animal's eyes pretty quickly and if the use of the laser was able to be tied back to you, the cruelty to animals charge is not far away. Not to mention that once the press gets word of it, one of Bill O'Reilly's nerdy producers will prevent you from ever shopping for groceries in peace ever again.

Putting down a dangerous animal to avoid serious injury is one thing. Consigning an animal to live in fear and darkness until someone puts it out of its misery is not in my being, no matter what it has done.

As always, YMMV. No flames intended, just my point of view.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 07:10 PM

I agree. If the dog is bad enough that you would consider blinding it, it should be euthanized -- or shot. Blinding a dog is just mean.
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 07:33 PM


This thread has gotten gruesome.

Dogs are the responsibility of their owners. They wouldn't be loose but for their owners. They wouldn't be vicious but for their owners.

Go after the owners, directly. If you go after the owner through their dog then you may bite off more than you can chew.

There are non-lethal, non-maiming ways of protecting against the dogs.




Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 08:36 PM

Unfortunately, we can't just shoot the owners and if LE is stretched too thin or animal control fails to respond, options can be reduced. The only dogs I'm personally concerned with are those referred to as red-zone dogs.

Interestingly, dogs trained in Schutzhund are typically very safe around people because one of the tests prior to training is for temperament and obedience.
Quote:
"The B tests basic obedience and sureness around strange people, strange dogs, traffic, and loud noises. A dog that exhibits excessive fear, distractibility, or aggression cannot pass the B and so cannot go on to schutzhund.
. . . A dog that shows fear, lack of control, or inappropriate aggression is dismissed. . . ."
I've had a Schutzhund 1 GSD in my face and all I can say is he was a nice dog and would have made a great companion -- fast (I mean really fast) and strong, but in a good way. I could have taken him home for $5K cool but my roommie would have blown a gasket.

A Rottweiler titled in Schutzhund would be a good dog to walk the woods. It wouldn't make the dog any stronger or bite harder, but the control and temperament that goes with the title would mean a lot. Power means nothing without control.

Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 09:19 PM

The dog I am dealing with is not a mean dog, but he is jumping the fence and killing my chickens. They have a hotwire and keep turning it off. This has been going on for a year.

These people are white trash who bought three poor-quality English Mastiff pups from puppy mills so they could become a puppy mill themselves. The dogs are just breeding machines. They have had no training, they are not pets. They aren't bathed, they aren't played with, they get virtually no attention, the yard reeks from the huge poops. I've climbed over the fence to put water in their bucket on a warm day, I've collected newborn puppies from the wet grass in the rain where the male was dropping them immediately after birth, and put them in a crate with a heating pad until the owners got home. I can't walk them home because they have never seen a leash.

I've called Animal Services half a dozen times. The cops have been out three times. They said I have the right to kill them, esp since I am in an agricultural area. The big male charged the deputy and slammed the fence, and almost got shot right then.

I don't want to kill the dog, because the problem comes from the owners. But talking to them doesn't work. Sending the cops doesn't work. A deputy insisted that Animal Services pick up the dog a couple of weeks ago, but the owners bailed it out.

The next step is white fast-drying spray paint on the brindle haircoat. The last step is lead.

There is no cure for stupid.

Sue
Posted by: celler

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 09:50 PM

That is a miserable situation you describe. The loss of livestock pretty much puts you in the right for whatever you must do. A lot of ranchers in your position fight fire with fire with their on trained dog.

I think I would first try the pepper spray and hope for some good cross-contamination to the owners. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 09:58 PM

"I think I would first try the pepper spray and hope for some good cross-contamination to the owners."

If the dog was a housedog, or if they had to transport it in the car, I would do it. As it is, they would just shrug and walk away, because the comfort of the dog doesn't matter to them.

Sue
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/06/09 10:11 PM

p.s. on pepper spray and dogs.

I posted a question on a dog site I visit, and asked if anyone knew how a dog acted after being pepper-sprayed. I faintly remember some article from many years ago that indicated that once a dog was sprayed, he became more aggressive.

The two best responses:

"I have been an Animal Control Officer for over 20 years. Yep, have sprayed a few dogs, and for the few I encounter again, even years later they do not come anywhere near me. Most of the time I can just squirt near the dog's face and drive them off. The one or two I have had to give a full face spray have immediately taken off, snorting and rubbing in the grass (or, in one case, the owner's couch....I got some unholy glee from that!)."

"When I lived in Oregon I got tired of my dogs being attacked while we were out walking, it didn't matter which direction we went someone had a loose dog that would come out and either threaten/rush us, or actually attack. I started carrying pepper spray and I used it on more then one dog. After that when we'd go for a walk the dog would come tearing out of it's yard like usual, take one look at who it was, and head back into their yard. The really bold ones would follow us at a safe distance, none ever came to close again or tried a second attack."

They also mentioned the use of a silent dog whistle as a deterrent, but responses were varied.

Sue
Posted by: LED

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/07/09 12:18 AM

Sue, sounds like the perfect setting for one of those animal reality shows. Isn't there a show with some burly biker guys going around saving abused animals? Might be worth it to send the producers an email and maybe a photo or two. Why not?
Posted by: benjammin

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/09/09 05:51 PM

I've used pepper spray on dogs a couple times, and it renders them literally senseless. They can't see or smell, and so their hearing betrays them, and they perceive any counter aggressive noise as a huge threat and will retreat away from it.

I am sure there are some animals that have such a disposition that they will try and press the attack no matter what, and will not avert after being previously exposed to such a deterrent. However they are will do so at a distinct disadvantage, and should be easy to defeat under such conditions.

The last time I sprayed a dog in the face, his eyelids clamped shut almost immediately, and he was unable to see for a solid 5 minutes because he could not open them.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 12:29 AM

Benjammin: Good post. Solid practical experience ... and it gets the point across. Pepper spray should be fine for most situations involving aggressive dogs. It should not be necessary for people to even contemplate exotic solutions like lasers, and in any case lasers are far too pin-point to be effective in a high-stress situation with an attacking dog.

Susan: Get a chunk of meat. Load it with some sleeping pills, and put it in your chicken coop. When the invading dogs flake out ... you can decide what you want to do with them.

Pete
Posted by: clearwater

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 12:51 AM

Susan-

I am a dog lover, but also am pretty territorial when it comes to
the safety of my own family and animals.

After initial attempts at talking to the owner,
I have been known to lure a problem dog into my basement with a
hot dog and call the dog catcher. In our area the fines escalate
each time a dog is caught loose.

Even the rude doctor down the street got tired of
paying $450 a pop to get her dog back and stopped letting it run
amuck when she wasn't home.

If the animals are being mistreated anyway, you could always load
them in your truck and take them to animal control in another town.
Say they were strays and let them, find a better home for them.
Posted by: scafool

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 03:22 AM

Dogs, I love them, and I hate them.
Pretty strange when I think about it.

Somebody mentioned dogs trying to circle and I have had that happen when hiking. Some dogs don't recognize you as human if you have a pack on.
One of the times a pack of three snarling mutts turned into tail wagging sucks as soon as I dropped my pack.
Another time a tail wagger came out of the end of some farmer's driveway and tried to get me to pet it, and then tried to bite my leg.
The worst I find are the times when a small yippy yappy mutt comes out with one or two bigger dogs.

For years pepper spray was illegal here and was counted as a weapon. Then the posties started carrying it as defence against dogs. After that it became a defence against bears too.

Benjamin is right about pepper spray.
Blast is right about carrying a stave as a walking stick.
Posted by: scafool

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 03:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Susan
The dog I am dealing with is not a mean dog, but he is jumping the fence and killing my chickens......

.....I don't want to kill the dog, because the problem comes from the owners. But talking to them doesn't work. Sending the cops doesn't work. A deputy insisted that Animal Services pick up the dog a couple of weeks ago, but the owners bailed it out.

The next step is white fast-drying spray paint on the brindle haircoat. The last step is lead.

There is no cure for stupid.

Sue

No, No Sue, you don't get to shoot the owners, no matter how tempting it is.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 04:13 AM

"No, No Sue, you don't get to shoot the owners, no matter how tempting it is."

Well, 'ell! as my grandfather used to say.

They do have an escalating fee for returning dogs to their owners, but the problem is getting him there. He weighs well over 100 lbs, panics on a leash, and I don't have anything large enough or secure enough to transport him 25 miles. I doubt that Animal Services will pick him up again.

We shall see. I have my paint by the back door.

Sue
Posted by: comms

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 03:59 PM

A friend was coming by yesterday to borrow up my bike trainer. DW had to leave and called to tell him it would be by the front door. He said he would feel bad if it was stolen.

DW said she would put it behind the back gate. He asked if we still have our lab. DW said, "yes we do."

He asked if the lab bites. Our dog has never bitten a soul and is quite loving. But she pauses for several seconds and responds, "He has teeth."

Trainers in my back seat, having coffee with friend today.

Posted by: Russ

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/10/09 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: comms
. . .she pauses for several seconds and responds, "He has teeth.". . .
Good answer, properly motivated they all bite.

Sue, you need to make lemon-aid with those lemons. Work with that dog so that he guards your chickens rather than attacking them.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/11/09 04:04 AM

The only thing my last chicken needs protection from is him.

Sue
Posted by: LED

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/13/09 12:34 AM

Originally Posted By: scafool
Some dogs don't recognize you as human if you have a pack on.


Unless they were from a long line of wild dogs, is that even possible? Apparently dogs are masters of interpreting human expression, the only animals that understand what it means when humans point at something, etc. Anyway, not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet, but most of the postal workers here carry dog treats as well as pepper spray. Sometimes a tasty treat can be a very effecitve tool in altering a dogs behavior.
Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/14/09 12:44 AM

One of my previous dogs panicked when a friend walked into the house wearing a hat. She had her pinned in a corner, barking furiously. I yelled, "Take off the hat!"

My dog was VERY embarrassed when she realized who The Killer really was. You wouldn't think dogs would be embarrassed, but she was. Apologetic, too.

Treats can be very handy. And many dog owners will preface giving them one with "Do you want a treat (or cookie)?" That might prevent the dog from thinking your throwing motion is a threat.

Sue
Posted by: porkchop

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/14/09 03:11 AM

Blast,
You did an excellent job of keeping your group safe. It's a shame no one else had a hiking stick and stepped up to help you and themselves.

Here's a little food for thought...
Last year one of my wife's co-workers was attacked by 2 dogs on her daily run.

The dogs, Labrador Retrivers, weighed less than 100 pounds each.
They escaped their enclosure, chased her, and attacked her from behind. During the attack they severed her brachial artery and she nearly bled to death from her wounds, which included severe lacerations to her arms, chest and legs. One of the EMT's on the scene was overheard saying that he had never seen so much blood.

These dogs had never so much as barked at her before, she lived across the street and jogged past every day. She knew the dogs and they knew her.

Fortunately, the dog's owner, a registered nurse, was at home at the time of the attack and heard her screaming. Her quick action probably saved her neighbor's life.

The RN's dogs were put down. The jogger is still in rehab regaining the full use of her hand.

The moral of the story boys and girls is that dogs, no matter how much we love them, are only a few steps removed from the pack of wolves or coyotes chasing a deer through a forest near you.

No matter the size of the dog be aware that they may attack you for what may seem like no reason at all.

Does this mean that we should be scared of all dogs? No, but, we should be aware of what they are capable of doing.





Posted by: Susan

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/14/09 09:47 PM

I always cringe when I see some stupid runner/jogger/cycler going merrily down the street, both ears plugged with music, totally oblivious to everything around them. No street smarts. No survival instincts. Dumb.

Sue
Posted by: UpstateTom

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/14/09 10:37 PM

Wow. I've never heard of labs doing that. Defensive? sure. Offensive when not mistreated? I guess you're right, you never know.
Posted by: porkchop

Re: Dogs: the proper response? - 11/15/09 04:01 AM

What makes the jogger/cyclist an even greater danger to themselves is that they are usually traveling in the wrong direction.

I had never heard of labs doing it either. Sure they've bitten people, but chase them down and maul them. That's a new one to me. That was one of the reasons the owners gave for having the dogs put down. Once the trust was gone what were they going to do?