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Cathy Moon
21st February 2009, 06:57 PM
Does anyone know if there are any training classes available that teach self-defense/dog-defense against large/unfriendly/menacing dogs, specifically training people like us how to be proactive, how to 'read' strange dogs, and how to defend ourselves and our dog(s) when another dog attacks?

I had another scary incident while walking Geordie in my neighborhood two nights ago. It was a different dog than the last one that attacked, as I have been avoiding that house/section.

I wonder if taking karate or self defense classes would help people prepare for these types of situations, although only a dog behaviorist could help us understand other dogs' emotional states and their intentions. It would be great if there was a class co-taught by a self defense expert and a dog behaviorist.

brotymo
21st February 2009, 08:23 PM
Cathy, I'd recommend carrying pepper spray. It is small and portable and effective against dog AND human attackers. It would quickly disperse attacking dogs without anyone being injured and while keeping your own self from reaching into an altercation. Your own dog might be temporarily uncomfortable as well, but it is highly likely the attacking dogs would scatter. I actually had to spray a pack of little chihuahuas that were trying to bite my ankles and my children's feet when I was strolling them in their double stroller (I had my oldest two children then and at that time they were only 6 months old and 2 yrs old). I had begun carrying the spray because these dogs would run out after me every time I had to pass their house. Usually their owners would call them back. This time they didn't, and I had to spray at them. That sent them scurrying fast!

The other argument I've heard for using harnesses with small dogs versus collars is so you can yank them up out of harms way by the leash safer and easier without the fear of injuring their neck with a collar.

of course, carrying a big stick might not be a bad idea, but it might even provoke some attacking dogs.

I don't really know of any fighting techniques that would be effective for use against an attacking dog. I do know jamming your arm or whatever appendage back further into the biting dogs mouth rather than trying to pull it out is supposed to encourage them to let go instead of hang on. (I actually use that when teaching puppies to stop mouthing. I gently just push back into their mouth and they don't like it, so they let go and they stop biting sooner that way. You never even have to give a verbal correction, they just learn that biting isn't all that rewarding.)

Mindysmom
21st February 2009, 09:29 PM
I like the pepper spray idea. I used to car a personal alarm when we lived on the west coast. It made an absolutely ear splitting noise. I carried it as protection against cougars (I figured I'd never get the opportunity to use pepper spray if I was being attacked). I have absolutely no idea if it would have worked (thankfully) but I did sound it when we had a bear in our back yard and it had no effect whatsoever. Either did throwing stones in his general direction or making any other type of noise - he left when he was tired of raiding my garden. With a dog's sensitive hearing though I'd think it would be painful - at least it would get the attention of those around you.

stewey
21st February 2009, 09:42 PM
I found this product on another dog forum. Mail carrier use Halt.
Maybe it will help.
I hope the link works.
Connie


http://www.amazon.com/Halt-Dog-Repellent-1-5-118464/dp/B000E4Q7BS

Brian M
21st February 2009, 09:52 PM
Hi cathy

On walks as like today we aways have a 4 ft heavy walking stick/cane with us and we always if we can of course walk away or around potential trouble but on walks we meet so many other dogs off lead sometimes its impossible not to meet them head on and just be as watchful as we can for any signs of aggression and as we have three girl Cavs it would be so difficult if anything did happen .One of my colleagues at work was out last month walking his Labrador and two rottweilers attacked ,they were guard dogs on a trading estate that had escaped and he virtually had to pick his labby up over his head ,both he and his dog were badly bitten ,both are OK now and the police have been involved but to my knowledge both dogs are still there.
My son Luke who always comes on walks with me he is 13 and has been doing Shotokan Karate for the last 4 1/2 yrs hes 1st Kyu and took his black belt last year but failed ,currently he trains 5 days a week totaling 9 hours and hopes to retake his black late April ,but I wouldn't fancy his chances or mine against a rotty or pit bull ,so we just hope nothing will ever happen and do our best to be fully aware of our surroundings.

Best Wishes
Brian

Sabby
21st February 2009, 10:40 PM
Like Brian said Self defence or Martial Arts are a gamble with a dog. I have been practising Martial Arts for over ten years and managed to protect myself against a drunken guy before but I wouldn’t fancy my chances with a dog. Far too unpredictable.

merlinsmum
21st February 2009, 10:43 PM
I've heard people say to take a choke chain out with you and you can spin it to frighten an attacking dog - but to be honest in the heat of a situation I think thats a bit tricky. The pepper/deterent spray sounds a good idea. I was told that if you were ever attacked by a pit bull/staffy type dog that locks their jaw - the only way to unlock the jaw without professional help is to twist its man bits - which is fine if its a boy! but not a bitch - so don't know how true that one is.......

It would be good to know how to deal with a situation in order to be more confident around dogs that "may" attack

brotymo
21st February 2009, 10:44 PM
I posted part of this under Claire L's thread about her feeling like she is in jail, but the more I have thought about it, the more I have to dismiss the idea of a stick being ANY use if a dog truly comes to the point of attack. I have no formal training in dog behavior, this is just my experience and why I say this:

I have had the opportunity (or should I say scary task) of trying to stop attacking dogs before. I was walking Kaya on the leash about 3 years ago. She mostly ignores dogs unless they show her agression. Well, this little (stupid) fluffy dog of some sort, (I think perhaps a long-haired chi) came growling out into the road, barking at us and came right up into Kaya's face. Kaya probably felt that I was being threatened. The dog came RIGHT up under her nose, and Kaya grabbed it instantly by the back of the neck trying to pick it up and shake it (how she kills the moles, rabbits and opossums that come in our yard). The dog attempted to fight back, and of course I was frantically trying to get kaya to let go and she was trying to perfect her grip. Thankfully she was on a leash. None of my whacking, screaming and yanking did ANYTHING to stop her. I knew I had to get her off before she had a chance to shake her head. I ultimately had to grab her around the chest and physically heave her 100 lbs up off the ground and that was the only way to give the other dog a chance to escape.

About 15 years ago, I had two male dogs who got in a fight once. Both of them were good sized dogs of about 75-80 lbs. , so that made the situation difficult to deal with. They were best buddies that smelled a female in heat and got into a fight. I tried EVERY type of hitting and whacking to stop them. I pulled, I broke a broom handle over them and then I even whacked the one who was really hurting the other over the head with a shovel! (I was getting desperate) Being in law enforcement and having just arrived home from work, I was armed with my 40 cal. Glock pistol and by this time, one of the dogs had the other by the throat. I drew the pistol and fired it into the ground right by their heads. The deafening shot and ringing in all our ears was awful! (I see the importance of hearing protection on the firing range!) He let go for a split second, so I grabbed the "underdog" and tossed him out of the yard over the fence. My point is, fighting/attacking dogs just don't really feel the pain of hits and whacks, and they are totally focused on their victim. I don't believe even a big stick is enough unless you can scare away the dog BEFORE it attacks. If you have a stick and it attacks ANYWAY, then I think your stick will be useless to end the agression.

On the other hand, the intense burning of the eyes, nose and mouth of pepper spray will stop it! It will stop an attacking grizzly bear. It is sold as "bear spray" to campers/hikers. On that note, I am going to start carrying my pepper spray again just to be safe. Many of your close calls have gotten me thinking.

Daisy's Mom
22nd February 2009, 03:30 AM
Brotymo --

Do you have to go to a gun store to buy pepper spray? Or will an ordinary store like WalMart carry it? I used to have some Mace-type spray, but luckily, it has gotten VERY old (probably 20 years) and I'm sure it's no good and may even be dried out. I would like to get some pepper spray based on your advice.

tara
22nd February 2009, 04:37 AM
Laws vary by jurisdictions (at both the state, county and local levels), but no, one usually does not need to buy pepper spray at a specialty store. I carry a form of pepper spray that I purchase from my local bike store.

Even before I ever owned a dog, I always carried pepper spray with me when I would take my children on walks. I've never encountered a dangerous situation or an aggressive dog, I just consider it necessary protection for my children. Now I consider it the same protection for Holly. In the event we encounter an aggressive dog, my focus needs to be on the safety of my children and Holly. I just don't think I can effectively do this with anything other than an immediate, debilitating, physical deterrant imposed on the offending dog.

brotymo
22nd February 2009, 05:15 AM
Hi Daisy's mom, like tara mentioned in her post, you can find it quite a few places. You can order it online, or most gun stores carry it. My local Prescription Shop pharmacy even sells it. I am not sure about Walmart.

Sabby
22nd February 2009, 10:22 AM
Correct me if I am wrong. It is illegal to carry pepper spray in the UK. I don’t even think you can buy it anywhere, that’s why I made sure I kept mine from when I used to be a Meter Reader. If I would be stopped by police I could get arrested.

heather r
22nd February 2009, 08:25 PM
Our trainer recommended carrying an air horn while walking the dog. She got the dogs in class used to sound by having us give dogs a treat when air horn sounded.

It might not stop all dogs or others ,such as coyotes, but it should be a big legal help!

Heather R

Brian M
22nd February 2009, 08:27 PM
Hi sabby

Yes you would be locked up thats why we have a large walking cane its about all we are allowed in the UK (no sprays of any kind but I am not sure about hairspray :))and even that I think could in certain circumstances be classified as a dangerous weapon ,though I do have a Glock blank firing which makes one very loud noise and at home an assortment of pre 95 deactivated guns IE an Uzi and AK47 plus a Thompson SMG and others and though they cannot now fire if I hit anything on the head they would feel it ,but if I did that I probably would not be able to post for poss 15 years so its a good set of legs for us or just be as aware as we can be and keep out of trouble.:)

tara
22nd February 2009, 11:05 PM
I don't work for a pepper spray company, but I just wanted to clarify that pepper spray is legal in all 50 continental United States. There are 4 states that have specific use or purchase regulations -- Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin. It's also important to check your local (city, county) laws to see if the use of pepper spray is regulated or restricted in any way.

Zippy
22nd February 2009, 11:54 PM
A safer and effective thing to carry is a plastic container of lemon juice.

It's not illegal anywhere, looks like a tennis ball and if you squirt it into the eyes of dogs or people, it stings but doesn't cause any permanent damage.

A dog will/should run away yelping.......their own tears will dilute it and as I stated, it's not dangerous.

Pepper spray isn't only illegal in some places but if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, it can blow back onto yourself and your dogs, causing respiratory problems and major tearing....the recovery time is longer too.

If you do any permanent damage to another pet or person, you can be held liable too.

Children can carry lemon juice along to the playground (with the cap off of course) to spray on bullies and such. It gives them time to get away.

Pepper spray is illegal in Canada unless purchased as 'dog repellent' or 'bear repellent' but the law will hold you responsible for damages/ assault.

Yes, I carry 'dog repellent'.......but I'd use lemon juice on another dog. :)

brotymo
23rd February 2009, 12:02 AM
A safer and effective thing to carry is a plastic container of lemon juice.

It's not illegal anywhere, looks like a tennis ball and if you squirt it into the eyes of dogs or people, it stings but doesn't cause any permanent damage.

A dog will/should run away yelping.......their own tears will dilute it and as I stated, it's not dangerous.

Pepper spray isn't only illegal in some places but if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, it can blow back onto yourself and your dogs, causing respiratory problems and major tearing....the recovery time is longer too.

If you do any permanent damage to another pet or person, you can be held liable too.

Children can carry lemon juice along to the playground (with the cap off of course) to spray on bullies and such. It gives them time to get away.

Pepper spray is illegal in Canada unless purchased as 'dog repellent' or 'bear repellent' but the law will hold you responsible for damages/ assault.

Yes, I carry 'dog repellent'.......but I'd use lemon juice on another dog. :)

That is a good thought, but wow, you'd need a perfect aim, and you can't get much force behind a squirt of that stuff once the bottle is emptied a bit.

I am well aware, personally of the effects of pepper spray as well as CS gas and even the taser gun. I've had them used on me as a mandatory part of my law enforcement training, so I do know what the victim experiences. I've had to suffer CS gas (they put you in a room with it and yank off your breathing apparatus. You have to try to put it all back on while you are suffering!) and get pepper spray as well as allow yourself to be tasered (probably my least favorite). That way if I ever had to use any of those weapons, I could honestly testify in court that I knew exactly what I was inflicting on the victim. I did worry that one day they would be expecting us officers to get shot as part of training so we'd be familiar with that, too!

Zippy
23rd February 2009, 02:14 AM
Oh to heck with my perfect aim, I'd be squirting it all over the dogs' face, just to make sure I got it in the eyes!! ;)

I don't find them hard to squeeze juice from, you can always buy a couple.....my kids always went to the park with them, even though they were also in groups.

Also taught them that if they ever needed help and a shop keeper refused to help them, just grab a 2 litre bottle of pop and wing it straight through the window.

The shop keeper will then be more than happy to call the police for ya, keep you in the shop and once explained to the officer, the most you'd have to do is pay to replace the window....maybe.

A great tip for ladies/kids/anyone who needs help.

Some people don't want to get involved, so a bit of encouragement can be a life saver. ;)

I don't envy you being sprayed and tasered!!! :eek::eek:

Stay safe out there! Good going! :rah::rah::rah:

brotymo
23rd February 2009, 02:42 AM
Hey Zippy, I left that life long ago. I was in law enforcement 5 years, and then became a mom. The two didn't go well together with me, and it wasn't hard to set my priorities!

Zippy
23rd February 2009, 06:03 AM
Agreed, one of my daughters trained for the Force but decided to not join after the training. She's now on her post-graduate degree, we're glad cause we were very concerned about her safety...... :)

I do admire those who put their lives on the line though!
Just not my baby! :luv: