I believe I went to condition red on my walk this morning...

This is a discussion on I believe I went to condition red on my walk this morning... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was walking my dog, Tangle this morning (so named because when I first got her she kept her leash or herself tangled up in ...

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Thread: I believe I went to condition red on my walk this morning...

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    I believe I went to condition red on my walk this morning...

    I was walking my dog, Tangle this morning (so named because when I first got her she kept her leash or herself tangled up in my feet, so...). We were at my usual place in a subdivision near my house. My wife didn’t join us this time so it was just Tangle and I. I have a 5-minute loop on a steep hill and I walk it 4 – 5 times. I’m basically going up or down hill the entire walk.

    Anyway, on our first loop, down the hill, I hear somebody in the wooded lot we are about to go by. Some folks recently moved in with three BIG Rotweilers. As we walked by a wide woodsy path, I saw the owner and the three Rotweilers - they were loose. And worse, they see us! I am instant orange – specific threat identified. One dog trots menacingly toward us with the owner commanding him back. Now the other two come – follow the lead dog I guess. The dog refuses to comply with the owner’s commands and is now getting close and looking really serious. This dog may weigh 140 –150 pounds; Tangle weighs 21 pounds – snack size. The owner is making his way to the road, still trying to voice control the dogs but they aren’t having anything to do with it.

    I hadn’t met the new occupants and had no contacts with the dogs until now. When the lead dog came within five feet, I realized my hand was already on my gun, but the gun was never disclosed to the owner. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I as I understand it that qualifies as condition red. Some say red is the fight; I say it is the fight is imminent and could begin at any moment. Anyway, the owner seemed calm, but I couldn’t read the dog(s) at all. I decided if a dog gets snarly, my gun is coming out. If he bites Tangle or me, he gets shot until he quits. I heard the owner say he won’t do anything; I’ve heard that before. But the dog does seem calm so I move my hand away from my gun. Thankfully, it ended in a friendly meeting all the way around. The owner gained control of his three dogs and we talked about his dogs a bit, and Tangle and me continued walking.

    I must have “debriefed” myself for the entire walk making sure I did the right thing. I think I did. These huge dogs were strangers to me; I had no way of knowing what they would do, and I think I was right in preparing for the worst, and again, I am thankful it ended peaceably.

    This experience answered another issue that has been nagging me for a long time. I had a similar experience in Knoxville once. This time a huge dog broke through the front door of a house and ran across his front yard charging Tangle and me. When the dog burst through the door, I moved Tangle and me as far into the street as we could get in the very short time it took the dog to reach us. When the dog broke the plane of the road, I drew my Glock 23. Same mental trigger again, he bites, I shoot. Then I here a lady’s voice yelling he won’t bite; have I mentioned that I’ve heard that before? It too, turned out to be a friendly meeting. I got to my mother-in-law’s house as fast as I could walk; I could feel the adrenaline rush. As soon as I got there I called the Knoxville Police and reported the incident. Told them about drawing my gun and the whole story. They asked if I needed an officer to come out and talk to the dog owner. I told them I think they’ve learned the lesson and they said let them know if anything else happened.

    Since that incident, I often wondered if I could really bring myself to shoot a dog and if maybe I had over-reacted. This morning’s incident answer that nagging question, because my mind was clear, if the dog(s) started to bite me or my dog I knew in my mind I could shoot. Further, I don’t think I over-reacted either time. If dogs as large as these did attack it would be an extremely dangerous situation.

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    United States Dog Bite Statistics

    From the Center for Disease Control
    Dogs Most Likely To Bite

    The Top 10 offenders in order of most likely to bite.
    Pit bulls
    Rottweilers
    German shepherds
    Huskies
    Alaskan malamutes
    Doberman pinschers
    Chows
    Great Danes
    Saint Bernards
    Akitas

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    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    I don't know exactly what it is, but there is a definite behavior a dog exhibits when its serious. You're obviously a dog person, as am I. Lots of dogs bark and most of the time it is harmless. But in the rare occasion when a dog means business (I've only witnessed this a handful of times) it raises the hairs on the back of my neck. It may be that folks who are around dogs learn to read their behavior or it may be a primal thing (or both). But when a dog is approaching you with intent to attack, you know it. At that point, if I'm carrying a gun, I would definitely have it ready if not drawn (if they are close). If the owners are in the area and cannot control the dog, that's not my problem.

    Like carrying a gun, having a large dangerous dog(s) like that carries a responsibility. And a lot of folks simply do not take that seriously. I know a guy who just bought a pit bull pup. He has no idea how to train it or handle it. It's the first dog he's ever owned or been around. It will be a danger to anyone (especially other dogs) that it is around because he will not know how to handle it. It's not the dog's fault... but it will ultimately be the dog or the victim that pays the consequences.

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    Tangle - seems to me you played that out just fine - I can imagine similar.

    I have an innate mistrust of dogs - just me. Partly because of what I have seen first hand but also just ''because''. I tend to go to advanced yellow in many cases - assuming the animal is a stranger to me.

    Much of this I think is trying (emphasize ''trying'') to read the animal - but I know that an apparent friendly mutt can actually transform rapidly into a different persona even with no provocation.

    So for me - it is extreme awareness and maybe sad to say (from some owner's POV) - if I am threatened I am more than ready to respond. I only have to see the face in memory of a kid who back in mid 60's IIRC was savaged by a Doberman - it was horrific.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Glad it worked out well and nothing happened.

    However, IMHO, I think you were pretty lucky because you waited so long that if the dog had attacked there would have been nothing to do except hopefully drop it before it finished killing your dog (or you). A large dog can cover 5 yards before you can think about it, is there a reason you let it get within 5 feet?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle
    The dog refuses to comply with the owner’s commands and is now getting close and looking really serious.
    This is the point that I would have had the gun out. I would probably shout at the dog, hopefully scarring it off, I'd also tell the owner to stop the dog before it gets shot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle
    I decided if a dog gets snarly, my gun is coming out. If he bites Tangle or me, he gets shot until he quits.
    Once again, by this time you're too late.

    If the dog was not acting agressive that's one thing, however you stated that the dog "looked really serious" and that it was not responding to the owner. You might consider getting a Sjambok or a cane to carry when you walk just to give you a non-lethal solution for these times when you're not sure what's going down.

    Just my 2-cents,
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    kenpotex,

    I know you are right; I know my fairly reserved actions increased the risk. I knew in my mind if the dog bit my dog the chances would be slim that I could incapacitate the dog before mine was seriously injured or dead.

    Still I just didn't see what I needed to see to draw my gun, but it was really close. Maybe I picked up on somthing subtle about the dog's behavior, but it was a judgement call and a very risky one.

    I appreciate everyones' thoughts!

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    Senior Member Array AirForceShooter's Avatar
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    I've had one run in with a pit.
    It didn't give any warning at all.
    The pit was playing with my dog a 100 lb Lab mix that's a real goof and a Dalmatian. The 3 of them were having a great time. The Dla's owner called his dog to go home and everything was cool.
    Out of the blue the Pit went at the Dal. CHOMP!!!
    Blood, screaming dog, fur flying. Pit wouldn't let go.
    2 rounds of .380 hydra shock Pit is down and 129 stiches in the Dal and he's ok. Pit is gone. Dal is still limping a little and probably will for the rest of his life.
    Never trust a Pit, especially the friendly ones.
    So going to condition red around a strange dog is not a bad thing.

    AFS
    Last edited by AirForceShooter; August 8th, 2005 at 12:06 PM. Reason: spelling
    Gun control is hitting what you aim at

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    AirForceShooter,
    It's that kind of thing that really worries me; one minute everything is fun and games and the next minute can be life or death. And, I don't see that it's necessarily predictable.

    As I gave my situation some more thought, I think it's reckless of a dog owner to have three big Rotweilers loose and accessible to the public and think that he can voice control them. When a dog is stimulated, voice control goes down the tubes. They should be in a fence, he couldn't have handled the three of them on leash if something went wrong.

    I may have been a lot closer to catastrophe that I thought, and if it had gone down a little different, I could not have responded fast enough. I was a stranger to the dogs; the dogs were strangers to me - I can see now that my position was much more tenuous than I thought.
    Last edited by Tangle; August 8th, 2005 at 01:50 PM.

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    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    The other day at a county fair the wife and I were watching a police K-9 demonstration. They simulated finding a hiding BG and bringing him down. The police dog would not let go when he attacked the officer playing the BG's arm. His trainer had to pull him off. You just never know even on the best trained dogs so you have to assume the worst and at least keep an eye on them as they approach. I think you did fine Tangle.

    I have a chocolate lab that I would trust anytime with kids, she just loves them. Another dog, forget it! Most of the time she is fine but I have to keep an eye on her. People forget that dogs don't think like we do. Sometimes we can't tell what sets them off, but the dog knows.
    DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.

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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    Until about 7 years ago, I had a beautiful Chow. With my family, she was calm and friendly. With strangers, watch out. She went through my screen door after a mail man, I was there to stop her. She went after some kid chasing a ball into my yard, I was able to stop her. My neighbor, who she had known since she was a puppy, put her hand over the fence to pet the dog when we weren't home, and the dog took a chunk out of her. I still miss that dog, but she had to go.

    I have a friend who had a large rotty that though he was a lap-dog. Sweetest disposition you could imagine. For no apparent reason, an unsupervised 6 year old kid jumped the fence, ignoring the 'Beware of dog' signs, went inside the radius of the chain the dog was on, and stuck his head into the dog's food bowl. The law suit took years to clear, and cost my friend a bundle. The child has had his nose, cheek, and jaw replaced, but will never look 'normal'. The dog was put down.

    I for one will never again own a dog larger than 15lbs. I know, even the little ones can bite, but the chances of them causing serious damage is much less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenpotex
    Glad it worked out well and nothing happened.

    However, IMHO, I think you were pretty lucky because you waited so long that if the dog had attacked there would have been nothing to do except hopefully drop it before it finished killing your dog (or you). A large dog can cover 5 yards before you can think about it, is there a reason you let it get within 5 feet?
    This is the point that I would have had the gun out. I would probably shout at the dog, hopefully scarring it off, I'd also tell the owner to stop the dog before it gets shot.
    Once again, by this time you're too late.

    If the dog was not acting agressive that's one thing, however you stated that the dog "looked really serious" and that it was not responding to the owner. You might consider getting a Sjambok or a cane to carry when you walk just to give you a non-lethal solution for these times when you're not sure what's going down.

    Just my 2-cents,

    I have to agree with Ken. I have a dog, but 1 let alone 3 of em that close my pistol would have been drawn , but maybe along the side of my leg. You would be hard pressed to stop 3 dogs , even with the pistol already drawn.
    Last edited by rocky; August 8th, 2005 at 07:27 PM.

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    I have been carrying when I walk my greyhounds for this very reason. There are people in the neighborhood who pay no attention to the leash laws and let their dogs run loose. Mine are, of necessity, always on leash if outside and not in our fenced yard.

    If you are using Cooper's color code, then the shift from Orange to Red is the shift from identifying a specific potential threat, to having decided it is an actual threat and being prepared to act if a particular triggering event occurs. You don't have to have drawn your weapon to have reached Red.
    - Tom
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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle
    kenpotex,

    I know you are right; I know my fairly reserved actions increased the risk. I knew in my mind if the dog bit my dog the chances would be slim that I could incapacitate the dog before mine was seriously injured or dead.

    Still I just didn't see what I needed to see to draw my gun, but it was really close. Maybe I picked up on somthing subtle about the dog's behavior, but it was a judgement call and a very risky one.
    Like I said, I'm glad it ended well. I wasn't trying to be critical, just stating my opinion (and you know what they say about those... ).

    You might call the police and/or animal-control advise them of the situation (3 dogs, no restraints, etc.). The next person that gets threatened might not be as fortunate.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    QK i onlt have one complainte with you list from CDC ... Its wrong


    Most likely to bite the repair man ?? Damn heel nipper dogs ask the guy who took 42 stiches they like to bite ya from behind when your bent down .. I aint been bit but close couple time and onyl one by a real dog

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    I am not an authority on canine behavior. I have had the opportunity to shoot several dogs (Job related NOT just for fun) They die very hard. I would suggest that you make a decission re. what you should do before they get within "5 feet". Also ALL dog owners will tell you that their dog wont bite. I have seen mothers with baby in carrage allow a big dog to come running up to their baby. HUH ?? My opinion is that owners should be in control of their dog if it is off their property. PERIOD !!------

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