What About Canines?

This is a discussion on What About Canines? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm not sure that anyone has asked this question, and I'm curious. We have all discussed different scenarios, use/non-use of different weapons, etc. So I'm ...

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Thread: What About Canines?

  1. #1
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    What About Canines?

    I'm not sure that anyone has asked this question, and I'm curious.

    We have all discussed different scenarios, use/non-use of different weapons, etc.
    So I'm curious here...

    Say a fella had a trained canine, schutzhund trained for family protection purposes. That individual is pumping gas, or in a parking lot waiting for his wife to exit the store...and he is approached by 1 or 2 individuals who make a definite threat relating to wanting a wallet. The dog automatically alerts and exits vehicle and becomes an attitude changer for the BG(s).

    What might be the realities to consider? Length of attack (I say chew a lot), hold for cops at gun point while the dog stands guard...whatever else.
    Legalities, still considered a defensive weapon, liabilities???????

    What say you?
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I would think it would pretty much follow the considerations when using instruments for you defense rather than an animal.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Your properly trained dog is under your control by command. I've always said that tools and options are good. Your well trained dog could be deployed as a threat, thereby turning a bad situation into a non-confrontational one (on your part). Thing is....unleashing the hound(s) and giving the okay will likely get you one of two things. Your dog getting killed (do you at this point defend your animal with deadly force?), or getting sued by a criminal with a dog bite? Can you call off your canine when the threat has been neutralized? How will you know? Perp(s) turn and run, and your canine kicks into overdrive and chases them down on it's own, not listening to your commands since the game has begun. Natural instinct sometimes overrides formal training. Our animals are only dependable to a certain extent. Extensive training will be involved if you want to depend on them to your expectations. IMO.....in a defensive scenario, your dog could be an aid, but it's an extra tool in your arsenal you'll need to be sure of. It's actually throwing in a variable in a 'what if' situation. Best you don't wind up in jail or being sued by criminals who felt they were in more grave danger from your dog than you even if you were an intended victim. The laws work in mysterious ways, and most of the time, work against us. The criminals know the system better than anyone and use it to their advantage. Imagine yourself in court with the judge telling you to pay a fine or put your well trained dog down while the criminals sit in the first row with a smile on their face. Hopefully, there won't be any subsequent hospital bills to pay.
    IMO....leave the canine out of the mix unless it's at home. At home you and your dog have a castle, and both of your rights are more sound.

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    The proper answer is to call the dog off once they are no longer a threat (have run away / disarmed / or are incapacitated).

    However, you can save on dog chews if you let the dog gnaw on them for awhile.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoResident View Post
    The proper answer is to call the dog off once they are no longer a threat (have run away / disarmed / or are incapacitated).

    However, you can save on dog chews if you let the dog gnaw on them for awhile.
    Much as we'd like to see something like this.....the owner is ultimately responsible for the dog's actions. Adding risk to a risky situation.

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    Hey, I watch "Cops" and it's not always easy for the K-9 guys to call off their dogs. Might take you a while too.
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Hey, I watch "Cops" and it's not always easy for the K-9 guys to call off their dogs. Might take you a while too.
    I think that they do that on purpose...a couple of extra bites are what the dogs live for...my nephew is a canine officer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    What might be the realities to consider? Length of attack (I say chew a lot), hold for cops at gun point while the dog stands guard ...whatever else.
    Legalities, still considered a defensive weapon, liabilities???????

    What say you?
    No need for gun point till the cops come.

    Let the dogs chew but allow the BGs to run if they can. BGs will eventually show up at a hospital for stitches and rabies shots and get arrested there.

    As for liability, the really nice thing is your homeowner's insurance will cover dog bites whereas it probably won't cover you for shooting a BG. And certainly won't cover you for a legal defense. Though it is possible that you could be criminally charged for allowing the dogs to bite the nice men, it is highly highly unlikely.

    So, I say let them chew a little. Let the BG sue if that is their choice (not much you can do about that anyway).

    Your legal expenses for a civil suit against you will be covered by your homeowner's insurance, and if you are wise you should be carrying a couple of million in Umbrella coverage as well (its dirt cheap). Believe me, your insurance company isn't going to give up 2-3 million to a pair of street thugs. They'll defend against the suit.

    So, with little to no risk to yourself, I say, let the dogs feast. Then call your insurer.

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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    My GSD views uninvited guest as a Happy meal

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    A bit off topic, but I deer hunt with a deputy sheriff. Last year he was telling us at the deer camp about a robbery suspect that was apprehended by himself and a canine unit. The escapee had gone into thick cover and refused to come out when the Canine officer demanded, "Come out with your hands up or I will send the dog. He didn't and the dog was sent after him.

    Due to the thickness of the underbrush, the officers were unable to reach the escapee before the dog had a few minutes to chew on him. When they got to him, he had some rather severe dog bites to his arms. When my friend interviewed the escapee at the local hospital where he was being treated for his injuries, he asked the guy, "Did you learn anything from this experience?"

    The guy replied, "Yes I did, when you say I'll send the dog, I should stand up and say, here I am, I surrender."

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    Distinguished Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Good question, ret. Especially in today's climate, with so many dogs on the banned breed list and most homeowner's insurance refusing you insurance if you own a large dog... especially one trained to protect.
    The ideal situation would be to have the BG not move after being engaged by the dog. The more they struggle, the more the dog will tighten or adjust it's grip. And of course a good "out" would be nice. Also, you would want a dog trained in personal protection, not schutzhund. Schutzhund is a sport and doesn't necessarily mean the dog will protect its owner and not run if the BG fights back. It's a demanding sport, but a sport nontheless. It would be like sending a marksman into a hot combat zone. Personal protection dogs are worked in defense, not strictly prey drive. My best guess would be the dog would be confiscated and evaluated. You would probably need a good lawyer to get it back. My ideal situation would be to have the dog diffuse the situation and let the BG take off. I would not want to risk losing my dog. Not the ideal situation, but the one I would choose.
    On the other hand, you can't be charged for "brandishing" a canine. They make good deterants and the BG would have to be nuts to approach you if he sees your dog. And if someone got close to my vehicle, they'll know my dog(s) is in there, lol.

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    Senior Member Array stevem174's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAcanis View Post
    Good question, ret. Especially in today's climate, with so many dogs on the banned breed list and most homeowner's insurance refusing you insurance if you own a large dog... especially one trained to protect.
    The ideal situation would be to have the BG not move after being engaged by the dog. The more they struggle, the more the dog will tighten or adjust it's grip. And of course a good "out" would be nice. Also, you would want a dog trained in personal protection, not schutzhund. Schutzhund is a sport and doesn't necessarily mean the dog will protect its owner and not run if the BG fights back. It's a demanding sport, but a sport nontheless. It would be like sending a marksman into a hot combat zone. Personal protection dogs are worked in defense, not strictly prey drive. My best guess would be the dog would be confiscated and evaluated. You would probably need a good lawyer to get it back. My ideal situation would be to have the dog diffuse the situation and let the BG take off. I would not want to risk losing my dog. Not the ideal situation, but the one I would choose.
    On the other hand, you can't be charged for "brandishing" a canine. They make good deterants and the BG would have to be nuts to approach you if he sees your dog. And if someone got close to my vehicle, they'll know my dog(s) is in there, lol.
    Absolutely correct!
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    I'd advise you check your own state laws...First...To secure a legal view baseline.

    In my current state the use of a canine in specific, no reference to other animals domestic or farming, is covered in it's own section including the view that they are a dangerous being as associated to their owner and/or immediate time frame handler (say you let your neighbor take it for a walk, you directly & personally as owner remain responsible as _in addition_ to your allowed handler on site at the incident).
    Additionally both specific to canines state law _and_ legal precedence both allow for view by courts that if a human being (age and relation to the dog owner/handler are of no matter) wields and/or commands a canine in such a manner as to do harm to another human being then that human is lawfully allowed to "Kill" that canine beast as in defense of human life.
    Further it goes on to state that if the canine is not detained well and properly in such a manner that it places a human being in fear as at any place where the human is otherwise normally allowed to be located then again the canine by law can be seen to be a threat and the human my kill it. This includes on the owners own property under some circumstances (!).

    So here is a scenario...

    Say your name is 'John White' and your youth aged male son is accosted in your front yard (they are 10' from the public easement sidewalk standing on your driveway as your son is standing on your lawn) by some other neighborhood youths. You over hear this with name calling and verbal threats of butt kickery as in the immediate.
    Within your home you happen to own a dog of _any_ breed of _any_ size and as such you open the door to yell some three and four letter interjections; With that dog between your legs...And it stays by you barking.

    At this point you are fine.
    They may call the cops on YOU to report being placed in fer by you and your dog to whihc you'll need to beat them to the 911 key punch as in a game of he said /she said, but by state law view you would be okay.

    Now lets say things went slightly different...

    You open the door to state three, four and even multi-syllabic interjections; And that same dog of no specific breed or size is again there between your legs but it decides on it's own to break and head straight for these kids.
    To your view the dog did this on it's own as a decision to defend either it's 'owner' (your son) or it's 'property' (your driveway).
    The average aged dog being at least as quick as a human being if not quicker and even more fit, is out your door and makes direct contact with the lead bully within say one second which is real world reasonable. Your dog up to now has never shown aggression nor bite action against any being human or canine in it's life prior. It is documented to have been 'Canine Good Citizen' (CGC) certified and even secondarily is working toward becoming a canine therapy dog for use among children or elderly at hospitals/treatment centers. Your dogs name is 'Benji'.

    Guess who is gonna be in trouble, TROUBLE!...If/when that dog makes contact with the bullys. YOU.
    They will say you opened that door and sic(ed)that dog on them. State law has an item toward this alone of people commanding a canine upon another.
    They'll say you threatened to release the dog at them and then immediately released it/commanded it to attack. That is wielding a canine and weaponizing it.
    Now lets say the animal runs at them growling and barking whihc is canine normative. Those same human beings are now placed in fear, even as moments prior they had placed your son in fear. But there is a difference.
    They were just using words. Where as a canine is a weapon with mindset, ability (teeth & claws) and by as detailed action intent as well. Now that animal itself vis a vis you the owner has become a threat to human life. Words are meaningless, but a dog that is real business.
    Now say one of the bullys is carrying a pocket knife in his pant as is these days every third male between the ages of ~ 15 and 60. General purpose knife that normally sees no more use than to cut open boxes on occasion and to cut thread or thin gauge wire.
    Kid pops out his knife now to _defend_ himself as a human being against YOUR dog who is acting as your agent (!). The fight is on as the dog reacts to bite.

    No matter the outcome, YOU as the owner are goign to suffer...Majorly.
    First you better pray that no human beings get so much as a scratch.
    Second you better pray there are witnesses as other than a relative/person who lives within your home to support your own testimony...In the inevitable criminal court hearing and follow on case (mandatory by law).
    Third any damages that the human being suffers you will be on the hook for personally. Any property damages that the human being might suffer you re on the hook for as "treble" (triple) in value/cost. Again state law as directly written.
    Fourth you will be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon as by canine. If the human suffers sever wounding whihc is pretty darn quick and easy to happen when humans are bit by dogs then you very well could wind up down the road being secondarily charged by the DA malicious wounding/malicious assault or even _mayhem_ which is on the books in MA as grave wounding with intent to disfigure and maim. These are felony level crimes. Very serious and expensive to defend against business.
    Then there is the civil component as well.

    So my point with all this?
    It ain't black and white but rather scenario specific evolving shades of grey.

    What might have been a simple nothing can evolve into hell on earth for everyone involved.
    Oh and as to the dog again by state law the dog would be required to be detained for a health analysis/review. The locality is also required to submit a hearing toward the canine itself where they with input from the police would either in the immediate decide to kill the dog (and assess it for rabies/...The brain is sent away to a lab, which is the only sure way to test for rabies!), or hold it in medical quarantine at the owners expense for as long as IIRC ten days even as it might be up to date on it's shots. If no shot records can be produced then it's mandatory death for rabies analysis. If it clears the quarantine the town them by law is required to assess any animal that has caused harm to a human being to be assessed for it's potential of being a danger to society...Again either be put down or _banned_ from town/city limits. This here happens A LOT. I kid you not.
    In my own town it's happened twice just this calendar year alone and each time it is big local news, front page.

    I personally would think it over very carefully before hand as in now toward future What if...Then scenario events as related to a canine and/or use of a canine toward either perimeter defense or even human being self defense.
    Many folk refuse to acknowledge as much holding to the idea of 'my dog is part of my family'. Okay, and that may be true. BUT...Among many if not most states a canine is not viewed to be a HUMAN BEING and as such the laws, regulations and allowances do vary from what folk might otherwise assume and wish to be true, as under given conditions of fluidity and grey.

    I strongly encourage folk to check their own state laws, and town/city regulations/bylaws, as a first step before even beginning to play the IF....Then game as it relates to canines and potential use as either a defensive or even offensive tool/weapon.

    $0.02 Street

    - Janq

    P.S.
    A dog trained in defense/combat technique to which in court a Schunthund dog WOULD be viewed and villified as being even further increases your own liability, both criminally and civilly for damages among my scenario above.
    Anyone with a dog should (it is highly advised) have an insurance rider but especially those who own medium (lab) or large (GSD and Akita for example) to giant sized (Mastiff family variants) canines and especially so anyone who owns a dog among the dangeorus breeds list including again GSA, Akita, and Mastiff variants as well as AST aka 'Pitbull', boxer aka 'Pitbull' (!), Rottweiler, Doberman and most any other dog that is associated with being "scary" or "intimidating" by either appearance, nature or other people commonly wielding them as weapons (see 'Pitbull').
    Whereas say a standard Poodle or a Bouvier is generally not viewed as among these, even as in breed specific circles both are well known to be particularly enthusiastic about defending their pack family against threat.
    Something to think about if not know for sure as it applys to you in your own state, town and lifestyle.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    Years ago while stopped at a light in Newark, NJ, 3 men approached my suv. My dog was in the back seat and the drivers window was opened. One of the guys asked me for money and just that fast I was knocked to the passenger side by my shepard flying over my seat and left shoulder and out the drivers side window. Lucky for me, he still had his leash on as I made a wild stab at grabbing it. Caught the leash in my left hand as he was leaving. He was litterally spitting, growling and hanging out side the drivers door until I regained my composer and rounded him up.

    Needless to say, the 3 men were on they're way home to change their underwear.........

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    Janq,

    I always enjoy your lengthy and detailed replies...you have quite a head on your shoulders.
    While I completely understand and agree with most of what you have explained, I am interested in particular situations such as a real robbery attempt or home break in...

    If in a parking lot, Wally World for example, you were actually confronted by two hooded males with knives demanding your car and wallet. At this point an individual actually directed the dog to 'hit' and take down one of the perps holding a knife. That perp is guarded by the dog as you call 911, but the other perp takes off while fearing for his life. Now as the cops arrive, you place the dog back inside your vehicle, and after a bit of obvious investigation, the perp is arrested and taken away. Do you think that one could still be held liable for dog bites? We do have the Castle Doctrine here in FL. We have the right to defend ourselves with force (lethal force if necessary) against a threat any place that we have a legal right to be. If the individual being robbed was armed...could have shot the perp, but instead, gave his trained dog some controlled exercise...has that 'victim' done something wrong?

    As to a home break-in...
    If one were home at night and as someone kicks in the front door and enter the home, he is met with a vicious attack by a trained dog who actually does some 'serious' damage by the time the home owner manages to call the dog off . Again, the homeowner could have easily shot the intruder, but the dog got there first...the homeowner did not want to take a chance at wounding the dog, so he let the dog get the best of the intruder prior to calling off the dog. The seriously wounded intrudes is on the ground waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The cops arrive and place him under arrest. Would the homeowner face possible charges in his own home?

    What if the home owner had not been home and the dog actually tore into a teen breaking into your dwelling and was seriously injured inside your home, but did manage to escape minus a few pieces of muscle and clothing. The dog never leaves the dwelling...is the homeowner still liable for anything?

    Thanks again for your insight.

    (Curious...where did the handle Janq come from?)

    Respectfully,

    ret
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