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#206092 - 08/13/10 06:20 PM Big dogs / little fence
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
I've been trying to shed some weight by talking walks around my neighborhood, and about half the houses have dogs in them. The vast majority are either sociable, well contained, or too small to do more than slight damage to my ankles. There are a few houses that put multiple large aggressive dogs (e.g. Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Sheppards) in the front yards with fences that barely clear my waist. These wouldn't be too bad if they didn't go ape**** every time I got within 50 yards of their property on the other side of the street.

I don't trust whatever training or batteries the owner puts in their dogs' collars, and I'm looking for an effective countermeasure for when Killer realizes there's nothing keeping him from me.

This is a built up suburban area in SoCal, so guns, baseball bats, boar spears, etc. are all off limits. I'm looking at a can of Halt dog repellant (1.5 oz) or a walking stick like this one

I'm looking for feedback on these ideas, or any other ideas subject to being able to fit it in the pocket of my khakis.

Edited by Mark_R (08/13/10 06:21 PM)

#206095 - 08/13/10 07:34 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: Mark_R]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1546
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Mark R...a couple of friends gave me a walking stick/staff of laminated wood similar to that found in gunstocks that appears to be very strong similar to your illustration. I am thinking of adding a little more weight to the head. Chris Reeve makes some exquisite (expensive) walking sticks with a titanium end cap(blemished hip replacement ball) Some older gentlemen here in Florida carry golf clubs, with a good "divot" angle like a 9 iron. When I walk I carry a pistol, but usually take a JanSport fannypack water bottle holder with me. I keep a can of wasp spray in the fanny pack... it has a pretty good range with a solid stream....

#206097 - 08/13/10 08:38 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: Mark_R]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Dogs going ballistic whenever someone approaches their territory seems to be pretty normal - in fact, I think many dog breeds require pretty intense training NOT to behave this way. From the barking dog's point of view, anybody walking on the sidewalk (straddling their territory) are successfully chasen away by his bold barking. So each time you pass that property you are in fact strengthening and rewarding those dog's bullying behaviour... now THAT is a great joy to consider, isn't it?

With all the barking and scary dogs around - how many stories have you heard about dogs leaving their boundaries to attack someone outside those boundaries? I've heard plenty of stories about dog attacks, but none with that scenario. An actual attack is not likely, but since the consequences are so dire we discuss it anyway, right?

I am not at all competent by dogs, but I feel at liberty to rehash some advice from some dog trainer:

1) Your best bet is in fact to act like a human in charge. Command presence, command voice and simple commands like STOP and the like. You are enacting the I AM HUMAN AND THEREFOR VASTLY SUPERIOR TO YOU - role.

2) Forget running - you can't outrun 'em. Running is for prey, not for commanding humans. Which do you want to be?

3) Augmenting your command voice and presence with a stick (or a beefy pole) is not such a bad idea. Or spray.

4) I don't think a pole would help much against an actual attack, though. Dogs move fast and you probably only have one chance of actually hitting the dog before he has performed his attack (depending on size and built, the attack is probably a combination of slamming you off balance, biting and twisting).

5) Spray is probably pretty effective against an attack, though.

6) Without firearms or spray, you may probably - with instructions and training - have some success defending / deflecting ONE attacking dog. Against a pack of dogs, forget it.

7) Knife? Too close for comfort, I would say - it would require you to let the dog bite you. Maybe with one dog - but a pack? Forget it. You'd probably need something like a 3 foot cavalry sable, and I don't think that is neither legal nor socially acceptable. Even in California.

Edited by MostlyHarmless (08/13/10 08:41 PM)

#206098 - 08/13/10 08:42 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: LesSnyder]
ireckon Offline

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
I'm in California too. Here are some suggestions:

-Concealed handgun...You need a permit.
-Open carry handgun...Check your local laws.
-Pepper spray...Many people like it, but I don't.
-Taser...Will you keep your batteries fresh always?
-Folding knife...Carry a folding knife even if you carry something else.
-Fixed blade...It's bigger, stronger, faster, but you must open carry it.
-Golf iron or putter...You're walking to go practice your swing, or you're taking the club over to a buddy's house.

There are many more weapons of course, but I tried to provide a list of weapons that are legal depending on the local California laws, your permits, etc. Also, these are just weapons. It would be nice to be able to press a button and be magically shielded from the dog, but there's no such thing. You need to train with your weapons.

About the knives, I prefer to carry one rather than not. A good knife may do the trick if a dog locks jaws onto your forearm. A Taser may work too, but you could electrocute yourself if the dog is already attached to you.

I noticed that one or more weapons on your "can't-do" list may be there because they're socially unacceptable. In that case, you might as well not carry anything because some people will always have a problem with you carrying ANY weapon.

As a practical matter, all I can worry about is the law. Nobody has the time, or the obligation, to comply with all the nebulous social norms that vary from house to house.
If you're reading this, it's too late.

#206101 - 08/13/10 08:50 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: Mark_R]
red Offline

Registered: 02/24/07
Posts: 175
Sorry you're in SoCal...beautiful weather but the self defense options are...limited.

What are the laws about pepper spray there? I've heard it's quite restrictive. If they don't let you carry some serious pepper (10% oleoresin content vs. 0.5% or 1% in Halt) you *might* consider a Taser device...yup, it's expensive, but works on both humans and canines (like the 10% pepper). Nice thing about Taser is that the civvie model is the same voltage and effectiveness as what the cops carry (except for the aiming device). 50k volts is 50k volts.

Of course, in my case, I'm always going to have one more level of defense in case things *really* go south. But SoCal...darn.
When the SHTF, no one comes out of it smelling pretty.

#206103 - 08/13/10 09:20 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: MostlyHarmless]
ireckon Offline

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
With all the barking and scary dogs around - how many stories have you heard about dogs leaving their boundaries to attack someone outside those boundaries?

I've heard of quite a few stories, and have handled one case as a personal injury matter. Anyway, what are you calling "outside those boundaries"? A dog doesn't know that the public sidewalk is not the dogs permitted territory. I'm not sure if you know, but Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, etc., are quite common in southern California. Many of them are mistreated and vicious.
If you're reading this, it's too late.

#206105 - 08/13/10 09:37 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: red]
rebwa Offline

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Darn, I hate to read posts like this as it really reeks of irresponsible owners in leaving the dogs out next to a public walkway unattended and in a fence probably not suitable for the breeds involved, and with that one always wonders if genetics, training and socialization also were over looked. I have about 40 years worth of experience with Dobermans and they basically were bred as a personal protection dog, thus it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to try to attack me in a serious manner. They tend to be barky when someone comes up to the house but mine always have had a good ability to distinguish between a threat and non-threat, and I should add mine are trained, well socialized and genetically sound dogs. Most all of the working breeds that specialize in protection do tend to be more protective of their home turf, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a dog is going to come charging over a fence either. If they were prone to want to be over the fence you are describing they probably already would be. If it were me I’d just walk by in a friendly, regular non-threatening manner and ignore them, but I probably read dogs better than some too.

But again, I’m sorry that your going through this as the owners are not stepping up to the plate for either their dogs or the people walking by.

You might contact your local Animal Control and see if they might go by and have a little chat with the owners.

#206106 - 08/13/10 10:09 PM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: ireckon]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Survival Doesn't know Legal or Illegal!Pack a Piece with Glaser rounds in it.I know alot of the "Paper Shooters" are gonna' give me H,er Hades for this,Like those rounds are so inaccurate,etc.,etc. or you could buy a 2-shot derringer chambered for .410/.45 L.C.,A small can of WD-40 & a Bic lighter can also work.A squirt gun or bottle with Ammonia in it,will work very well!A chat with the local SLO-LEO for your area,& the address of the houses in particular,might or might not get you somewhere but, at least they will know there is a problem there before you take,Extreme measure for your safety!

#206117 - 08/14/10 02:16 AM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: Richlacal]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3088
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Richlacal
Survival Doesn't know Legal or Illegal!

Please don't advocate breaking the law on this forum.

I carry a pistol wherever it's legal for me to do so. I also train with pistol, both for marksmanship and for dynamic situations. If you carry a handgun, get a permit, get trained, and keep training. Shooting once a year (or even once a week) on a static range without drawing from the holster, reloading, shooting from cover, or moving while shooting could leave you at a significant disadvantage. Accuracy, and accuracy under stress in particular, is far more important than the round you carry.

As far as dogs are concerned, I was at a campground with my family and taking my youngest to the toilet when a large dog got loose and charged us. I'm pleased to say that I was paying attention, saw the threat, and moved between her and the dog while beginning to establish my grip. The dog sheared off to go find something else to do. Nobody saw me reaching for my pistol. To the owner's credit, he recaptured the dog right away and chewed on his son for letting the dog loose.

In retrospect, I don't think the dog intended to harm me or my daughter, but in the second I had to react I feel like I did right. I was ready to do what I had to do but stopped when the threat failed to materialize.

#206118 - 08/14/10 02:17 AM Re: Big dogs / little fence [Re: chaosmagnet]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
OK, to respond to your responses:

LesSnyder - I looked up pictures of the laminated sticks and they're real artwork. Probably stronger then plain ones.

Mostlyharmless and Rebwa - I did a little search on dog behavior and it looks like territorial agression as opposed to prey or pack protection is what's driving the behavior. I've had one instance were "NO, BAD DOG!!" worked, so it's not reliable.

ireckon - I do carry a folder most of the time, and have had one disasterous experience with pepper spray, which I'll relate shortly. The folder's too short to do me much good beyond the "sacrificial left arm" technique, but I like the reach of a golf club. I like the reach of a 4 1/2 foot walking stick even more...

Richlacal - What you are advocating is both illegal and likely to cause permanant injury to the animals. I prefer to think of myself as a "nice guy", and I'd like the neighbors and police to share that opinion. I just don't want to get bit.

The disasterous and embarrasing pepper spray incident - Well the new can of pepper gel must of has some residue on the outside. When I wiped an eyelash out of my eye you can guess the rest. I spent half an hour with my face submerged in the bathroom sink. On a pain scale of 1 to 10 that was about a 7, but my eye closed tight on it's own. Getting a tattoo is about a 6 for reference.

I've decided to go the route of a hickory or other wood walking stick. I found some advice on using it for fending off attacking dogs (thrust it, don't swing it). Besides, I've been looking for an excuse to get something more elegant then my beatup old Cascade Tracks aluminum stick.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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