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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm posting because I feel like an idiot, but I just never know what to do in a situation I run into a lot. Most of the time when you run into the same problem, best bet is to just avoid it. This is a little different. My wife and I go for little walks / hikes every day or so for about two to three miles. On almost a bi-weekly basis I end up with a dog (never really the same dog) running at us, growling and barking, staying 6 or so feet from us. We have altered time of day, routes, etc. Comes dow to if you walk around here, you run into this situation from time to time.

The little dogs that I can punt I am fine with, but last night had a pitbull get about 4 feet from me. Plenty of nice pitbulls out there, but this one was not a friendly one last night.

I unholstered my standard / full size glock, aimed down, finger was not on trigger. Owner came out of garage to get dog, but was then shocked by my firearm. I apologised as I was walking away, but also stated that, "Sorry to startle you, but I was sincerely intimidated. You just placed me in a bad situation, please get that dog on a leash." Or something like that. Owner was not aggressive, just acknowledged and told the dog, "get over here." as it stood it's ground 4 feet from where I had been.

I spent a lot of time woods carrying this winter while hiking, and my draw (something I practiced a lot this year) was almost subconscious. If I would have had this encounter in the woods, it would have been a dead 4 legged critter.

I had a moment of hesitation, and it is one of those moments that you know if it was the real deal, you would have made a mistake and been mauled. At the same time, a dead dog and a lot of paperwork and explaining was not how I wanted to spend my summer.

I was carring mace / pepper spray (whatever one is legal) last year. Think I'm going to start again and going to be more willing to spray. 4 feet is way to close for my comfort.

Here is the main point of the post. We train for a situation, but often learn taking action on the training can be a problem. How to you control this doubt that it is not the real deal, because it is the very thing a criminal (or even adog) would take advantage of. What comes after situational awareness and practice?
 

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I hpersonally have zero tolerance for agressive dogs regardless of size. It is an owners responsibility to ensure their animals are safe for the public. If they cannot or will, I will ensure I am safe from their animal. I have shot several dogs, mostly feral, but one cornered me in my yard and I did not hesitate. Its hard, but I have all my fingers and my face. If Mace sounds like a better option, by all means go for it. But always remember that your weapon is for self defense, against both 2 and 4 legged animals ...
 

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I think you handled the situation superbly. With a loose threatening pit bull like that I would have had my finger on the trigger. In your situation I would give the wife a can of bear spray. She should deploy that from a distance while you are at the ready with your sidearm. You can not hesitate in the moment.

Was this in city limits? Suburban area? What are your local laws with dogs? I would have reported it to police before the dogs owner called you in. Document it in case you have to put it down in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
.... If Mace sounds like a better option, by all means go for it. But always remember that your weapon is for self defense, against both 2 and 4 legged animals ...
Always armed when I can be with a firearm (usually a snub). When I hike, something larger. The mace is ment just for dogs, and only dogs. I've been out of the habit of carrying pepper spray (mace?). Came down to a windy day when I realised mace might actually hinder my SD decision making. Need to rethink that and get more liberal with the mace / pepper.
 

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I bike ride a good bit.Last yr i was riding around town.I went down one road,and a english bulldog came at me.I had stopped and was up against curb,and him at my foot.I pulled my gun out.A lady on a porch,saw him and called him back.I told her,if he ever tried to bite me,i would shoot him,and i will.I can't stand that.I'm glad i didn't have to.We have a leash law in my town.If they aren't mean,then i don't care.
 

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...this morning, we had shots fired at about 6:05...four of 'em...could find nothing outside where they came from...looked out the window about 7:10 and saw a cruiser at the cross street a coupla houses down...walked out to talk to him...heard a low growl and about a 100 pound pit was coming at me from my neighbor's house across the street...hand goes to .45, looked him in the eye...he wheeled and ran...cop goes after him...shortly another driving the dogcatcher truck and a third to help herd it were there...they tried for over an hour to corral that monster...ran him up in my neighbor's yard...his hand went to his .45...dog left...dog's been around, I think...I believe someone walked out to go to work this morning and was scared by him and shot at him...no proof...don't know if they ever caught him or not, but at least they chased him a coupla blocks away from the elementary school...kids all over the place...no casualties...
...the cops do the best they can here...but I don't want to be documented and my wounds dressed...I'm not waiting...and sprays are out for me...with asthma like mine, it'd be a suicide...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
...wife a can of bear spray...Suburban area?...
Suburban.

Wife cc ruger lcp. Does not want to carry mace, because she does not react well / as quickly in emergency situations (not terrible, just a confidence thing). Her concern is that she would spray herself or me at the worst time. I never asked here to cc, she wants to. Her plan has been a walking stick / pole during the day, and a larger mag flashlight dusk. The light is nice as it is a homemade version, and is very (as in very) bright. Startles dogs to a stand still (most likely hurts the eyes a bit).

I agree on the bear mace. I've been using the small canasters that are marketed for SD. Think I'm going to get something that puts out a better mist and holster it as a cross draw. My only concern is I don't want to draw the wrong tool for the job. I know LE must make this decision often enough, but frankly I don't have the training of an LE.
 

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I just experience a dog attack last week when my dog was attacked by another dog in the neighborhood on our walk. I would have been justified to shoot this dog as it was attacking my dog. I too experienced a moment's hesitation in which I decided to try to remove the dog from mine without shooting in first. The dog did release mine and I was able to stop the attack without my gun but with only my fists.

Part of me wishes I had shot that dog, because it would never attacked another dog or person again.

But, because of my hesitation and the course of action I took I did not have to deal with any LEO for firing my weapon, or any other legal ramifications.
 

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You brandished and it is illegal. Your presumption of imminent death or great bodily injury was questionable IMO. With a dog and its relatively small profile compared to a human and quick moves it is not the easiest of targets and if it is close enough for you to think danger and think you can shoot, you can also use a good can of bear spray--yes bear spray--will stop a grissly at a distance and surely will stop any large dog--could be illegal in some jurisdictions because of cannister size but so is the improper display and/or discharge of a firearm. If this is a recurring problem, which it apparently is, you should have been more prepared from the getgo---baton as a walking stick, serrated knife with some length in pocket--if you have room for a firearm, you surely have room for other options of defense.
 

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You brandished and it is illegal. Your presumption of imminent death or great bodily injury was questionable IMO...If this is a recurring problem, which it apparently is, you should have been more prepared from the getgo---baton as a walking stick, serrated knife with some length in pocket
Bullocks on the first statement. And if your primary plan is to go against a pitbull with a stick or knife (even discounting the fact that both would be considered lethal force, just as a firearm), you're either Bruce Lee's incarnation or an idiot.

OP: You pulled your firearm because you were in genuine fear for your life/limb from an aggressive dog a mere 4' away. You hesitated, and the dog backed down. Everyone touts the "Tueller Drill" 21 foot range for an attacker with a knife. If you've ever seen a dog attack, you know they're a hell of a lot faster and more aggressive than most punks with knives. If you'd shot the dog, you'd be in the clear but it would likely have cost you a lot of grief.

So, in short, well done.
 

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You cant be the only one who goes on walks in this area... what have and what do other citizens do?

I'd pepper spray the dog before firing unless it was already in the process of beginning an attack. Use it at its specified distance of 8-10' as a repellent... at that point, if it doesnt work, you would be more justified in the eyes of the law in using lethal force to destroy someones private property.

I definitely would have called police to report the dog/owner and inform them that I drew a legally carried firearm, so as to avoid accusations of brandishing.
 

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For anyone who thinks its not justifiable to shoot a dog, I dare you to find a police precinct that will allow you to put on the bite suit and see what it's like to have an 80-pound GS latch on and not let go. Dogs can be vicious and when they latch on they don't let go. You'd better believe I'd shoot a dog if it came down to it.
 

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Years ago I was taking a walk with my dogs. Suddenly a rottweiler came barreling towards us. My bluetick, Jessie, went straight at the rotty. She kept going for his hind legs and every time he lunged at her she was someplace else. Finally the rotty took off, with my bluetick in hot pursuit. I just followed the baying until we found them. She had the rotty 'treed' in a back yard. I snapped a leash on her and dragged her off with me. The rotty stayed where he was. Moral: Guns can make a mess. But a *******'ll make a scene that's pure pleasure to watch.
 

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You brandished and it is illegal.
You think the dog will file a complaint? Yes, I know the owner could file a complaint, but I believe most any police officer would agree with the OP. Yes, it is a good idea to have other options, but I do not think the owner did anythng wrong with the exception of calling the police to let them know what happened.

I am sorry but the idea of brandishing a dog is a bit over the top.
 

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...could you please cite the MICHIGAN law that makes it illegal to draw your weapon in preparation for stopping the threat to your life or safety?

...his perception of danger was spot on...it's common knowledge that pits kill people and often attack leashed dogs, then the defending owner...

...he didn't HAVE a can of bear spray...and some states forbid carrying all but the little keychain-sized mace/pepper spray
...do you know the laws in MI regarding that? http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1586_27094-10953--,00.html#OTHER_WEAPONS__NON_PISTOLS_
...questions one and two

...and (I'm assuming here)the OP is too tall to use a baton as a walking stick...and , as a dangerous weapon, it's illegal for him to do, even if he were a leprechaun

...and since he's legally carrying a gun, he'd be much better off defending with it, instead of a knife...unless he's highly trained with a knife...which few are...

...he did well...

You brandished and it is illegal. Your presumption of imminent death or great bodily injury was questionable IMO. With a dog and its relatively small profile compared to a human and quick moves it is not the easiest of targets and if it is close enough for you to think danger and think you can shoot, you can also use a good can of bear spray--yes bear spray--will stop a grissly at a distance and surely will stop any large dog--could be illegal in some jurisdictions because of cannister size but so is the improper display and/or discharge of a firearm. If this is a recurring problem, which it apparently is, you should have been more prepared from the getgo---baton as a walking stick, serrated knife with some length in pocket--if you have room for a firearm, you surely have room for other options of defense.
 

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Know your state's statutes on use-of-force.

I've had numerous dogs get up-close and personal with me, a few to the point of outright attacking. It's amazing what a swift heel to the head or kick to the ribs will do for most dogs' desire to continue an attack.

But generally where I've lived the use-of-force statutes have been fairly clear: (a) humans are valued more highly than dogs, in the statutes; (b) it is the citizen's right to determine the reasonableness of the concern over the threat of serious injury or death; and (c) so long as the justification based on what's known at the time as indeed reasonable (as might easily be the case with a large, strong, aggressive dog just feet from us that is unmistakably threatening us), as citizens we have every right to prepare to defend ourselves.

"Brandishing," with a dog? IMO, that's not a serious comment. It's fantasy to believe a dog gives a damn about removal of a weapon from a pocket or holster, and it can hardly can be claimed a dog is offended, made unduly or unjustifiably afraid by such an act. IMO, given such an aggressive animal making threatening signs just feet from me constitutes an impending threat that cannot be ignored, I believe a person would have to be an utter fool to be incapable of defending in the next moment. Hence, drawing/preparing. It's little different than, say, a strong-arm robber who keeps coming after told to keep his distance, when drawing to prepare for what's manifestly apparently coming is the only prudent thing a reasonable person can do.
 

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You brandished and it is illegal. Your presumption of imminent death or great bodily injury was questionable IMO
I can't agree.


I unholstered my standard / full size glock, aimed down, finger was not on trigger.
This action in response to an advancing aggressive Pit Bull is a prudent precaution and hardly constitutes brandishing. In my opinion the OP did well here but the neighborhood he walks in sure needs some attention from Animal Control. I'd be making some calls.
 

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I have no problem blasting a dog that's about to attack.

To accuse someone of brandishing just because they didn't shoot is twisted logic.

Even so, I recommend bringing a walking stick when out for a walk. You still might have to shoot, but it's a convenient continuum of force. My primary objective is to enjoy my day, not shoot somebody's dog.
 

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...I walk my dash hound/terriere mix on a leash...twice, on a public sidewalk, I've had dogs half again larger, one a setter, one a mix including rotty...make full court press-type attacks...no warning...and it took several booted kicks to get them off my dog...if I weren't in good health and strong, I wouldn't have had a choice but to shoot them...
...some dogs might respond to a stick either poking or striking...the dog lovers say this...but a fighting dog's more likely to increase his attack and fight through the pain...especially a pit...carry a stick if you like, I do, but I don't rely on it , depending on the size/breed of the dog...one attack happened on the sidewalk directly across from my house...the other one house over, where there are no dogs...a loose dog doesn't have to be in it's own territory to attack...
 

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You definitely did the right thing. I watched two leos trying to fend off a pit bull and that dog was licking off the pepper spray like it was candy finally had to use shotgun to kill it. Not all pits are that vicious but I do not want to be the test dummy to find out.
 
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