Had to draw my gun---on a dog
This is a discussion on Had to draw my gun---on a dog within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Part of my job involves collecting past due accounts. The following post is what happened on my collection attempt 1 week ago.
My day is ...
September 22nd, 2007 01:42 AM
Had to draw my gun---on a dog
Part of my job involves collecting past due accounts. The following post is what happened on my collection attempt 1 week ago.
My day is planed so that I can arrive at this place about 6:00 pm, this gives me plenty of day-light, and allows most people to be home from work by then. As I arrive in the yard the dog is standing on the front steps (west side of house). The dog turns out to be a medium sized bread - Red Heeler. Said dog is on high alert, barken and fussen, but is staying on the steps. After waiting in my pick-up for about 3 minutes it becomes apparent that no one is home.
There was a mix-up on the original delivery, so we did not have a phone number to contact them, just an address from the prior renter that lived there. It was a 9 mile trip out to this place, so I decided that I was going to check the fuel tank to see how much left if we would decide to repo it. The fuel tank sets on the backside of the house (east side) and I am parked between the dog and the tank.
The decision was made to check the tank, and while I don't carry at work, I aways have a gun in my vehicle, and at the last minute I elected to drop the PF-9 in my front jeans pocket. About half way to the tank the dog comes off the front steps, and follows me around to the backside of the house. I make it to the tank, check over the fuel level, and stand there several minutes hoping the dog will get board and leave me alone. No such luck. I stand behind the tank and keep watching the house hoping and wishing someone would be home and come out, but that don't happen.
I reach down on my weak side and touch my Leatherman while commanding the dog to LAY-DOWN. I command him several times, but as I am trying to make my way back to my pick-up, he is slowly closing the distance on me. I really believe animals can sense fear, and believe me by now I am afraid. My next move - well I remove the 9-mm from my pocket because there is no way to draw down if the dog decided to attack. I hold the gun in the low ready mode, and give the command again to LAY-DOWN while heading back to my pick-up. The dog parallels me, but now he won't come any closer.
Safely back inside my pick-up I now start to write a note to this customer intending to leave it in the mail box, but I am shaking enough that it is hard to write legibly. Before I get the note finished the customer drives up---man do I feel LUCKY they did not drive up while I was holding the dog at bay with my gun! She got out of her Jeep, and I exited my pick-up. The dog goes wild again, she finally grabs it by the collar, but is having a hard time controlling it. We visit for several minutes, and the dog gets away from her. It comes at me and nips my shoe, then it seems satisfied that it has made its point and settles down now.
Do you agree that an animal can sense fear in us??? I know I was glad that I had decided to drop my gun in my pocket. I made the mistake of leaving the cell phone in my pick-up, but who was I going to call anyway.
I should get oc spay, but I don't know if that would have been proper also to spray the dog.
All ends well.
September 22nd, 2007 02:23 AM
Yes, it is fact that a dog can sense fear. Your body chemistry changes when in fear.
Two things for you... telling the dog to lay down was a waste of breath and time. Shouting in a strng manner may help, but the dog isnt going to obey any commands.
OC works on dogs... sometimes.
And what where you collecting? Was it the fuel tank itself, a vehicle or was this a mobile home?
September 22nd, 2007 02:28 AM
Yes, I believe they can sense the fear in us.
I would like to know why you decided to go check on the tank when you were aware that there was an angry dog not only on the premises, but watching you as well.
Was it worth putting yourself in the path of an angry animal to check the tank?
As far as the OC goes... that would have been better than shooting the dog.
Glad everything turned out well.
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!
-- Theodore Roosevelt --
September 22nd, 2007 03:16 AM
It can be very expensive if you shoot a dog in someones yard. The dog is just doing his job and even if you are justified it will cost you big time.
hecks...the next step towards registration and confiscation.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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September 22nd, 2007 03:52 AM
Yah, dogs are masters of body language.
Originally Posted by SleepingZ
Commanding the dog isn't going to get you anywhere. You are better of talking calmly, not making direct eye contact and easing away.
Yes, you should get some OC spray. But as the Big E says, this is kinda a case of looking for trouble and you'd be better off coming back later.
Originally Posted by SleepingZ
As an aside, IMO people need more understanding of dogs. We teach our kids about crossing the street, but there are LOTS of dogs out there and people don't learn enough about them, esp. larger dogs. I think everyone would benefit from spending some time with large dogs and learning about them.
Without trying to get too carried away, the dog was not in a committed attack against you. It is in everyone's best interest that it does not turn into a committed attack.
If the dog has not committed, you might convince it you are not a problem, or get it to back down (appearing too formidable, OC spray, etc.) or leave.
Considering the dog was challenging you on it's own territory, leaving is clearly the best option because that is what it wants anyway. In fact, based on your description, the dog was very restrained. Note that some dogs would have been much more aggressive as soon as you crossed the property line. What this dog did was follow you around and told you you don't belong there.
Some dogs may bite without *committing* often based on fear or upping the challenge. At this stage the situation hasn't tipped yet, and could go either way.
But the thing to be careful about is that once a dog commits to an attack, you are in a serious fight for your life (assuming a dog of significant size). Once it gets to this point, OC isn't going to do you any good.
That said, your best tool up to the point of a committed attack is understanding dogs and not being afraid of them. Understanding them will go a long ways towards not being afraid of them. Direct experience will help as well.
Personally, here is my dog escalation tree:
1) Talk calmly, and slowly back away. Don't look directly into eyes.
2) If dog follows, consider OC spray. Maybe not directly at him, just give him a whiff. If continues, full on spray.
3) Dog mounts committed attack: Firearm or blunt object.
Keep in mind, you can get into situations where you *start* at #3.
I love and have dogs, but people need to understand that dogs are animals and have their own understanding of the world which is not quite the same as ours. Our best tool is to look at it from their perspective because they cannot look at it from ours.
Ok, maybe I got a *bit* carried away.
(Disclaimer: I'm no expert!)
September 22nd, 2007 04:07 AM
Originally Posted by SleepingZ
You were not "holding the dog at bay with your gun."
Not unless you really believe that the dog understands what it means to have a gun pointed at it, and did not want to get shot.
Chances are the command voice is what helped you, but certainly not the gun pointed at the dog. The gun surely made you feel more confident, because you knew that if you needed to you could use it to defend your life. Nothing wrong with that.
I think it might have been unwise to continue with your perambulation around this property when you already knew the residents were not home, and that there was an unrestrained, agitated dog on the premises, and that he was aware of your presence and didn't care for it.
"All ends well," but hopefully there will be some learning going on as a result of this incident. Whatever business you might have hoped to simplify was not worth the potential cost. What if you had had to discharge your gun at the dog? You would have had to explain why you were on the property. Were you in fact legally permitted to enter the property without a resident around to give you permission? Would you like to have to explain that to authorities, particularly after shooting someone's beloved pet?
September 22nd, 2007 08:27 AM
I've been in many yards with pretty bad dogs and I'd walk thru them like I owned the place and never got bit. Once I had a bulldog follow me and just couldn't stand it, so he gently put his mouth around the calf of my leg and squeezed a little, but didn't bite. Later, I laughed about it with the owner and said that he was just testing for tenderness. I finally got bit a few years ago from the rear as I was leaving by a "lap dog", it hurt and made me angry all at the same time. After being bit I dont know if I still have the nerve that I once had......probably a good thing.
In this part of the country the police will shoot a threatening dog pretty quick. Some folks sort of "allow" their dog to intimidate the police when they come to their house. The police win everytime, to me the owners killed their on dog since they didn't attempt to intervene.
Do ya'll remember seeing a video of a woman, she was probably somewhat mental. She allowed her Rottweiller out and it attacked a female animal control officer. I think the cameraman used a baseball bat to get the dog to let go of her. I really felt sorry for the officer.
Other than avoidance, I don't know a good answer on dealing with a potential dog attack. I wonder how an electric cattle prod would work?
September 22nd, 2007 10:28 AM
Ya I remember this video... amazing how stupid some people can be... I was going to say the same thing about this video but you beat me to it...
Originally Posted by ppkheat
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist'
De inimico non Loquaris sed cogites.
Do not wish ill for your enemy, plan for it!
September 22nd, 2007 10:31 AM
Yes, dogs can sense your fear or other things your feeling. It is because of the pheromones we produce.
If this dog was a red heeler, he was just doing his job. They heel. Most of the time it isn't a painful experience, but just a bit annoying. They are breed to work with livestock and the way they get them to move it so nip their legs. When he was walking with you, he was also just doing his job.
Glad everything worked out for you. Next time put some doggie treats in your truck and make freinds with the dogs.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
September 22nd, 2007 12:35 PM
Is "doggie treats" truly a tactically sound, effective technique?
I'm asking whether you should really be counting on the idea that a truly angry, aggressive, attacking dog will have his mind changed by some doggie treats offered to it. Will that just instantly take the dog's mind off attacking you? Or will it more likely just rob you of time to get your gun out?
September 22nd, 2007 12:46 PM
Originally Posted by SIXTO
When agitated like that most normal pet dogs won't even obey their owner even when under normal circumstances it is otherwise obedient.
Exceptions include trained protection dogs and schuntzhund (sp?) trained animals, who likely would not have even barked at you a warning to start but simply observed then attacked.
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
September 22nd, 2007 12:56 PM
I agree that OC does not necessarily work on all dogs.
Quite a few years ago there was a dog in our neighborhood who attacked me twice (I still have the scars to prove it). I was seven years old, on a walk with my sister. We were on the street, NOT in the neighbors yard. We had previously played with this dog and found him to be friendly. However, when he started to approach us he was growling, something we'd never seen before. Then, out of the blue he lunged at me. My sister grabbed me and pulled me back but he still managed to get my entire face into his mouth, from chin to forehead.
My sister screamed and he let go, running back to the house.
That evening my Dad took us over there to complain to the neighbors about what happened. While my Dad tried getting out of the car, the dog attacked him and bit him in the hand. We had to stay in the car until the neighbors came out and commanded the dog go inside.
Trying to be good neighbors my Dad just told them to keep the dog under control or he would have to call the police and make a report that the dog had attacked two people.
The neighbors promised to keep him in his pen.
Thinking that was the end of it, the next week, my sister and I decided to go on a bike ride. I was listening to head phones and on my way up our own driveway, my back to the neighbors house when I heard a funny noise. I turned just in time to see the dog lung at me. He knocked me off my bike and bit through five layers of clothing and into my left side.
I started screaming and he ran away. I was pretty banged up.
My Dad again, went to talk to the neighbors. They apologized and promised to keep the dog under control. Later that month they moved about 200 yards up the road to a house they built and the dog got out again.
This time he trapped seven people in a house and wouldn't let them leave. He would attack anyone who tried to exit the house. The people called the police. When the police officer arrived on the scene the dog attacked him and bit his arm.
The officer asked for permission to shoot the dog and dispatch said no.
He tried OC spray. The dog didn't even flinch. He tried it again and again with the same effect. He hit the dog more than EIGHT times with the spray and the dog didn't so much as sneeze and was just more ticked off.
The officer called in for some help while he went to check and see if the neighbors were home, which they weren't. Then he went door to door and asked the other neighbors if they had had any problems with the dog. When they got to out door they got an ear full.
He also got to see the scars on my face from my first encounter with the dog.
He said, "That's it. This dog is going down."
Animal control showed up not long after.
We never saw the dog again.
I tell that big long elaborate story to say that sometimes, OC spray does NOTHING to a dog and it's time to call in the cavalry. When a dog is determined to do harm, sometimes there's not much that can stop it.
I don't recommend shooting any dogs and I also agree that a dog has no idea what a gun is and won't care what you're pointing at him. If you don't want to kill it (which I certainly don't recommend) then stay out of the yard. However, if you have to do this for your job, ask your employer about any liability you might get for having to defend yourself from a dog, such as if you hit it, or kicked it or something. If you are required to do this for your job, you should have at least some coverage or steel-toed boots to kick him with or something.
September 22nd, 2007 12:56 PM
Mindset is very important when dealing with dogs, (or any animal). Having owned and trained German Shepards for 35 years, sometime with private security companies and somtimes with the K-9 Police services, I can honestly say I have never met a dog I didn't like, and fortunatly, (otherwise I would have never had any sucess at training), can read a dog fairly well. you can tell almost immediatly if a dog is *serious* or not, (very few are, unless trained to be), but some are just MEAN! Just like people. I guess. Had a simular scenario where I had to collect a debt from a man with two Rotties. He was "Proud" of his dogs mean-ness and encouraged their behavour. When I got out of the car they both came running up to me barking, BUT, they didn't try to circle me. A good tell. Stood my ground and showed them they were not thrreatened. ( But still had my back to my car). Within a minute they had calmed to the point I could talk to them in a normal voice, issued a few standard commands, and within a minute after that, they were fetching sticks for me. The guy was some POed when I went up to his door with the dogs frollicking around me vying for my attention. He said something to the effect of "How did you DO that". But it was mostly body language and knowing my subject (K-9 mentality). But you are right, ppkheat, the little ones are the worst. Hardest to train, and impossible to trust unless you are looking right at them all the time.
September 22nd, 2007 02:14 PM
I've been the "doggie treat" once...... Actually not too long ago I watched a Mythbusters episode where they had a trained guard dog in the confines of a fence and their goal was to distract the dog and retrieve an object that the dog was guarding. IIRC I believe the dog was distracted with food treats fairly easily. I think they even had a distraction using a dog-in-heat scent, and the guard dog failed particularly bad on that one? I can't remember the specifics maybe someone else does.
Originally Posted by peacefuljeffrey
September 22nd, 2007 03:20 PM
Geeze..... It was a freaking dog. You probably should of just left. There was a potential for a bad situation, the route you took could have made it worse. Next time just leave. However if it is your right to repo whatever it is you are trying to repo, then having to shoot the dog probably wont be a good idea, but justifiable, seeing as how you can argue that the dog was placed there to defend said property.
Either way, if its not a huge deal, let it be till the situation becomes easier for you.
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