Sorry to bring up the dog thing, but this is a bit different

Sorry to bring up the dog thing, but this is a bit different

This is a discussion on Sorry to bring up the dog thing, but this is a bit different within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm not going to argue the legality or moral decision to shoot a dog thats attacking you or someone else. Everyone should already know their ...

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Thread: Sorry to bring up the dog thing, but this is a bit different

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Sorry to bring up the dog thing, but this is a bit different

    I'm not going to argue the legality or moral decision to shoot a dog thats attacking you or someone else. Everyone should already know their own laws. This is about a very narrow part of the scenario: The 1/2 of a second where you squeeze the trigger.

    I was out for a stroll last night when a med-large dog broke away from his owner and started toward me aggressively. The owner did manage to get him under control before I ever drew, but I started wondering: at what point would I pull the trigger? When he is running toward me, or do I wait for him to leap? I know many (most?) dogs will run toward you then abruptly stop and bark/growl without actually attacking. I personally hate to kill an animal unless I am going to eat it or I have to and thus I'd like to give the dog the benefit of the doubt and wait for him to actually attack. (I also believe that if a dog is a pet (not wild) and it attacks someone it is the owners' fault not the dogs). That said, I realized that if I had waited for the attack to shoot, if the dog jumped at me I'd be firing with the dog in the air and his owner as the backstop, as opposed to aiming generally toward the ground as when the dog is still on his feet.

    So my question is this: Shoot early and possibly kill a dog that was only going to bark and growl? OR wait unil I know it's attacking and increase the chances of human collateral damage?

    I ask now so that next time for me (and you) it is already decided because there is no way think all this through in .5 seconds. I like to make desicions now so I dont hesitate (to think) when its time for the show.
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  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    I would never shoot a dog until it was on me, and I mean engaged with me.
    That's just me though, I am really comfortable around dogs, I can alpha them with the canine Jedi thing 99 times out of 100. Plus I've broken up a few fighting dogs in my time, I'm not scared to put my hands in the dogs face...
    I definitely wouldn't shoot an approaching dog unless it had already attacked someone else. Dogs are easily scared creatures, it makes them 'shout' in fear, but not necessarily bite anyone.

    This isn't advice though, just my opinion. Do what works for you but don't shoot a dog that just turns out to be a noisy pet and expect that the owner will say it's no problem.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    I've been attacked by a dog, on a couple of prior occasions. Many times, dogs have simply barked or growled. Rarely, have I had a dog go beyond that. In these two instances, the dogs came at me and jumped me, biting and snapping, actively attacking. In once case, I crammed my hand down its throat ... which surprised the heck out of him. I was fairly sure he'd have health problems later, but I never saw him again. The other, I slammed him to the asphalt and kicked him away. Both failed to re-attack.

    The fact is, only the most-violent and strong dogs can kill a motivated adult human determined to stop the attack. If the dog were other than one of these types, I'd have a hard time shooting in advance. But once attacked, I'd resist with everything required. YMMV, as not everyone's prepared to take the first bite.

    As with our two-legged counterparts, awaiting the attack is sometimes all that can be done. I was prepared to defend, but each of these instances was in the days prior to my carrying. Now that I carry,what would I do? If I knew the attack was coming and was violent, I'm sure I'd draw and prepare myself to repel. But I'm also fairly certain that I'd allow one dog to get to me prior to shooting, particularly given there are people nearby (backstop, and all). Once actively attacking and biting me, though, that's the end of the game.

    Those grousing about the laws can toussle later, but it's going to be hard to deny bite marks up to my arm pits and "first blood", no matter who the witness is.
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  4. #4
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    I personally am not afraid of dogs.
    I am not worried about a dog attacking me as I have worked around larger and deadlier things on four legs than dogs.

    I DO worry about larger dogs when I am walking my Spaniel because she is totally passive and I don't want any larger stray or loose dog getting ahold of her by the throat and mauling her before I can kill the aggressor.

    It's my responsibility to protect my pet when I have her out.

    I carry a FOX LABS stream OC which is highly effective on mean and nasty dogs and I would never hesitate to use it on any "off leash" or stray aggressive animal that approaches my dog. It takes the fight right out of them.

    Were I you...I would buy an OC and keep it with you if you are concerned about dog attacks and encounters.
    Especially if it's a pet and just breaks away from its owner and starts heading for you. Then no problem if you just Non-Lethal stop it with OC.

    Certainly I would be very concerned if I were out walking with small children.

    It's not really very difficult to jump an attacking dog and quickly kill it.
    A large and extremely aggressive animal can do a ton of damage and/or serious disfigurement to a small kid in just a second or two.
    A small kid can lose an ear or an eye before you can jump the dog and kill it because some breeds of dogs will bite and then not let go until they are dead.
    So you may kill the dog but, too late to prevent permanent bodily damage to your child.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post

    Certainly I would be very concerned if I were out walking with small children.

    It's not really very difficult to jump an attacking dog and quickly kill it.
    A large and extremely aggressive animal can do a ton of damage and/or serious disfigurement to a small kid in just a second or two.
    A small kid can lose an ear or an eye before you can jump the dog and kill it because some breeds of dogs will bite and then not let go until they are dead.
    So you may kill the dog but, too late to prevent permanent bodily damage to your child.
    This is indeed much more my concern, although I posted with the intent of giving others the chance to "pre-decide" for themselves. My 1st 2 jobs were for veterinarians and I have wrangled some of the biggest dogs I've ever seen. I don't mind taking a bite or 2, but my kids...

    OC is a good idea, but I can't stand to carry "stuff.' It's chore enough to take my wallet, keys and gun. I probably need to get over this.
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  6. #6
    New Member Array metalwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Certainly I would be very concerned if I were out walking with small children.

    It's not really very difficult to jump an attacking dog and quickly kill it.
    A large and extremely aggressive animal can do a ton of damage and/or serious disfigurement to a small kid in just a second or two.
    A small kid can lose an ear or an eye before you can jump the dog and kill it because some breeds of dogs will bite and then not let go until they are dead.
    So you may kill the dog but, too late to prevent permanent bodily damage to your child.
    I find that it is important to keep yourself in between the oncoming dog an any children or dogs that you are walking with.

    That said, I agree that body language will stop a dog 99% of the time. If you are afraid of dogs, or otherwise unfamiliar with them, it could be a good idea to learn about their body language so that you can use your own against them.
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  7. #7
    Member Array Serenity's Avatar
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    I love watching "The Dog Whisperer" and I'm constantly amazed at how that guy just takes command of a dog situation.

    Now obviously here we are't talking about trained attack dogs, but attitude, body language, posture and simply remaining calm obviously can go a long way to defusing a situation before a gun gets brought unncessarily into play.
    "Friend, I would not harm thee for all the world, but thou art standing where I am about to shoot."--Unknown Quaker

  8. #8
    Member Array Sam Douthit's Avatar
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    My dog who would not bite if her life depended on it likes to bark at other dogs and look fierce. She has been bitten by other dogs and seemingly does not know how to bite back. I carry a gun when we walk and I worry about her. However the only tough looking Pit Bull we ever saw came up to her and they made friends and played and sniffed away just like buddies. You never know. It is true if you shout at a vicious dog it stops it usually. My neighbor shoots all stray dogs because they bother his horses and livestock. I would not shoot or hurt a dog unless all other devices were ineffective.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    OC or an ASP....if it gets too bad--shoot it.

    My neighor's GSD has already demonstrated it is willing (and able) to draw blood on a child (unprovoked). I have my mitigation methods...

  10. #10
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    Lots of variables here...
    Is the owner around?
    Does the dogs appear vicious or protecting?
    Is the dog on his own property (the edge)?
    Is there more than one dog...this is a 'determiner' for me...
    Are you with children?
    Are you willing to absorb the first bite?

    I'm not afraid of dogs...if by myself, I would probably consider absorbing the first bite (if OC didn't back him off), then I would act with more 'power'...

    If bitten once, it is pretty clear to anyone that you were forced to defend yourself!
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    I'm in agreement with most of the others here. There are only a few situations when I would consider using my gun on a dog.

    If he breaks off of actively attacking someone else, and charges me, I would have no qualms about shooting him en route.

    If the dog is obviously rabid and decides he wants a chunk of my arm, he'll get shot on the way.

    If I'm being charged by a pack of dogs, I'll be a little more nervous.

    In about any other situation, I'm fairly confident that I can overpower most any dog long enough to draw and ram my pistol under his ribcage, provided he is actually attacking me. I have a weight advantage, a height advantage, and as long as I don't let him knock me down, we're in my playing field.

    If I'm with small kids, they're going behind me, and he'll have to go through me to get to them.

    I forget where I learned this, but I have heard that on just about any dog, the weak point is his snout, especially on the sides, above his upper jaw. Dogs have lots of very thin bony plates in their sinuses, and not much to protect them, at least on long-snouted dogs. I haven't had to try this out for real, thankfully, but the thinking is that by crushing those bones, an aggressively attacking dog will suddenly have other things on his mind. His owner won't be too happy with you, but that's his problem.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    I own two labs so most dogs don't worry me. I do keep a wary eye on the fighting or guard dog breeds however. They are very strong and can inflict a lot of damage. Heck both of my labs could if they wanted to but labs are mostly gentle people dogs. Bull Terriers, Boxers, Doberman and Shepard's I keep an eye on. If I could, and it would depend on the situation, I would extend my forearm as protection for my neck and face, draw and shoot while taking the bite. I would be too afraid of accidental shooting someone behind the dog. All this is easy to say until it happens to me.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Hmmm. We have lots of valid thoughts here, but I didn't want this to turn into a repeat of the many "would you shoot a dog" threads. It is OK with me if you have decided that you would never, ever shoot a dog. But I was hoping to keep this discussion to the narrow area of:

    -The decision that one would shoot a dog has been made. Relate the scenario to the knife weilding scumbag, most here would shoot him before he started stabbing you. He is a threat and we would take him out. Some study and case laws basically says if he is within 21' then he can be considered an immenent threat. We have no such study for dogs. Would you wait for definate attack, possibly allowing yourself to get bit once or twice or would you shoot a vicious appearing dog as it charged, before you ever get bit but take the chance of killing a dog that would've stopped in his tracks before hurting you. (I would give a dog much more benefit of the doubt than any knife wielding scumbag)

    Keep in mind that this thread is not only for my benefit, but anyone who has for whatever reason decided that they couldn't go hand to hand or play dog whisperer with a dog. (Older, frailer, petrified folks)
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    It's the Breed & Their Behavior

    I've owned & been around big, capable dogs all my life. I don't mean Labradors & Collies. I mean G. Shepherds, R. Ridgebacks, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pitbulls, etc. My decision to shoot (or NOT shoot) a dog will depend ENTIRELY on the dog breed & its immediate behavior. Some dog breeds simply do NOT bluff. And some are both naturally pre-disposed & then TRAINED to meet aggression with aggression. By the time you've decided you can't "Alpha Male" an attacking dog into submission...you can have a genuine PROBLEM on your hands (or your throat). And the MOST dangerous are the ones who AREN'T barking & jumping. It's the one whose ears are up & haunches are low, shifting from side to side with a deep growl, looking for that opportunity to clean your clock, without the slightest idea of being afraid of you.

    There ARE dogs like that in the world. And you'd BETTER have your pistol drawn & at low ready. Because, like the difference between a Pool Hall Bully & a real Street Fighter, they're not gonna' give you a lot of warning time to make up your mind. These kinda' K9s turn the Dog Whisperer into a SCREAMER for sure.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    A true dog attack happens so fast you really only get the fight or flight reaction. You will use what tools you have available to save your skin. Too bad we can't all carry these. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgZZiXPajAc

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