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Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Posted by robertz6 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 12:40

I have been thinking about a recent dog attack in my area and would like a few opinions to a hypothetical situation.

Please limit your answer to two sentences.

You, a middle age adult are dressed in jeans and light jacket find yourself in a flat grassy area with no features, buildings, fences, etc., for 500 feet. The area is unknown to you, as your car broke down and you are looking for a phone.

You have no objects that could be used as weapons such as a firearm, knife, piece of wood, horn, spray, or even backpack.

Two dogs run towards you, one looks like a doberman, the other large light colored dog might be Dogo Argentino (a dog you saw a picture of recently in a dog magazine). The dog are running towards you, about 30 or 40 feet away by now.
They are not barking, but may be growling some.

What is your response?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

This assumes there is not a person with the dogs, right?

I would turn away from the dogs with my arms up close to my body and start walking steadily toward my car, or whatever "safe" thing is closest.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

I wish I could answer you with confidence, but I know what is often recommended and can tell you it didn't work for me. I have friends who have two pair of nice rat terriers. Their purpose is to go to ground for rodents since it's rural, and they also are warnings of tresspassers. But their actions are intimidating. I decided once to go ahead and get out of the car, since I go there often, and avoided direct eye contact with the apha, who is the most aggressive one. He came up behind me, and I relaxed, remembering not to show fear. It was then he took a hellish bite on my calf, through my heavy jeans. It didn't even break the fabric, but drove it into my flesh and I was quite painful and took a long time to heal. Obviously it didn't work. I have also (since I used to carry mail) done the stand my ground and yell at the dog, but not advance on it. That usually worked for me, or at least brought an owner to the door quickly to intervene. I really think two or more dogs have a different mentality than a single dog, but the last thing I would do is show fear/run from it or advance toward it. If all else fails, and the dog is large, protect your neck.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Pull out my concealed carry(legally) pistol and wait for any sign of aggression by the dogs.

At the first sign of true aggression(not fear aggression) I shoot either or both dogs.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

I sure don't take directions well, do I? Sorry.

Act like I'm not afraid even though I'm wetting my pants, and stand my ground looking as large and un-prey like as possible.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Put your arms across your chest (to keep your hands away), stand perfectly absolutely still and do not look at the dogs.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Well, I was going to have 91 dialed on my cell phone, ready for the last 1 if all heck broke loose, but you say I am looking for a phone, so I must not have one.

In that case, I am with Jakabedy; walk toward my car, but more slowly, and do not make eye contact, as Elly suggests. Have my car doors unlocked before the dogs approach and protect my face, neck, throat, and vital organs if attacked by going into a fetal position with hands locked behind my head.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

I would stand tall and in a stern voice command them to sit,
and as previously said never look them in the eye until I know their not going to attack...Great question !!!!


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Not sure if I can keep this as short as you would like.

A few years ago my neighbors 3 aggressive pitbulls got out and surrounded me. They did that thing that wolves do when they hunt, where they start to form a circle around their prey (me).

I backed up slowly, being careful to never let one get behind me, until I was at the safety of the house. <-- I guess that would be my answer.

I did have a large, rolling garbage can, which I tried to keep in front of me and move at the dogs as they shifted forward. After that and two other aggressive attacks while walking in the neighborhood (1 pitbull, 1 huge male lab), I have since quit walking altogether.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Both of what christine and quasifish said..........start giving commands in a firm, hopefully calm, voice. Then, if possible, start to slowly back up toward some type of shelter. I'd never turn my back on an approaching animal since you then become prey.

I'd also probably take my jacket off and use it a something between me and them if they came closer. And if i went down I'd keep it around my neck. Problem is, with those 2 dogs, if you ever go down, you're probably done.

I'd never leave my car in a strange place without something in my hand. A car always has (should have) a lug wrench so there's no reason to be weaponless, but most people don't think they'll ever need a weapon.

What was the outcome of the attack in your area?


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Thanks to all for their replies. Especially those who managed a response in two sentences. But I also was interested in those who reported a personal encounter.

In describing the situation, I left out one sentence. Before the dog encounter, two women with shotguns held you up and took wallets and cellphones. Unfortunately, Mac, when they found your Kimber Ultra, they also took all your clothes, boots, and hat -- thinking that you must have a bunch of Krugerrands hidden somewhere.

I will have to rethink my guess on what to do. And what can you call it except a guess? My plan would have been to fall to the ground facing the dogs, curl up slightly, move hands up to the throat, and whine softly. Not a great idea if you are 100% the dogs will attack. But my idea was to simulate a Omega dog/person, and not be attacked at all. Since no one else had this plan, I'll have to rethink it.

The encounter that led me to pose this question was not fatal. A pit bull living 500' away bit one person and small dog, and injured a second small dog seriously. The dog had no rabies tag and was taken to the local quarantine. There the chip identified the owner as someone other than the current owners. Just to make things confusing. The pit bull was outside at times, tied up and sometimes not tied up. It once crossed the street to greet me and my relaxed/friendly dog without a problem.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Thing is with dogs,some have the potential to react differently in different situations, depending on the stimulus. I read the responses, because evidently we have someone new move in on the road, and not only am I seeing enormous dog tracks on my property, several times I've seen two dogs roaming in tandem coming up from the road along our drive, near the buildings and then disappear down the wooded grotto. They are a large dobe and a sturdy, adult pit bull. I have chickens either of those dogs could get to by breaching a fence, and I have a small dog myself...less than twenty pounds. I don't have any breed prejudices, but I would be no match for these two, should they ever surprise me, and my dog wouldn't stand a chance unless he outran them. These dogs are collared, and evidently somebody who is 'new to the country' thinks it's just fine to let them roam. I hate to *ell have to arm myself just to hang clothes or feed the chickens, and if one has mega-dogs they certainly ought to know better.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Why on earth would you command a strange dog charging you? No. If you have your wits about you, maybe throw treats in its path. If you have treats. But even moving could escalate the situation.

To be safe AVOID contact, avoid confrontation, make believe you are non-threatening creature. Challenging a charging dog? You have watched too much Cesar Milan.

I teach dog safety. I work with dog trainers and behaviorists. Believe me.

I recommend those of you with children to look further by googling this subject.

Here is a link that might be useful: HSUS


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

I suggested it because I've been in the situation, and it works. I'm not talking about a calm 'sit', 'down', 'stay' command but one that is a firm, confident, and loud command. In the past I've used such words as 'hey, back-off, no and stop'. Just depends on the moment what comes out of my mouth.
One incident was a GSD that came charging, growling at me from a narrow side street as I walked near my home, late at night.
The other was a dog that came charging me and my small dog while we were in a dog park. He definitely wasn't in play mode.....hair up on the back, head low, and growling. I gave the same utterance I give to correct my dog and the dog immediate turned, made a circle and headed in the other direction.

If a dog has decided to attack and bite, there's no stopping it......except maybe with a gun or stun gun. I now carry (legally) either one of these when walking my dog.

This post was edited by annz on Sun, Mar 3, 13 at 12:37


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Get back in my car as soon as possible if I'm close to it.

Otherwise, similar to other responses, back up to my car & get in it. Avoiding looking in the dog's eyes & if I speak at all it is to speak in a strong voice.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Years ago, I was a paper delivery boy(circa 1957). I was 11 at the time.

On my route was a homeowner(female) who was extremely antisocial. She had a rather large cocker spaniel---who was also extremely antisocial.

She would command the dog to attack anyone walking on her section of the sidewalk.

I have no idea if adults ever tried to complain/get the city to intervene. All I knew was I was continually at risk.

Now, for all you trainers out there, this happened way before Cesar/etc. I had grown up in farming communities and learned to deal with animals as necessary.

Anyway, after all the avoidance techniques I could come up with, I decided aggression was the only tactic left. The dog was getting more and more aggressive---simply because I was not being equally aggressive.

The dog actually grabbed my pants leg one day. I had begun carrying a section of ax handle about 24" long in my paper bag and grabbed it. I cracked the dog on its head, which made it turn loose of my pants leg. It then leapt at my face. I backed off and decided I had one option left. The next charge offered the opening and I shoved my hand into the dogs mouth and as far down it's throat as I could.

The dog choked to death on my hand as the woman screamed at me.

The police were called, neighbors congregated, and I was finally exonerated---due to holes in my pants and witness accounts matching my story.

The only other attempted attack on me by a dog happened when a German Shepherd decided to jump the owners fence and have me for lunch. It came in low and flat, no growling or posturing---just pure attack intention.

I had nothing to use for defense other than my anger(I was trying to walk off being mad), so I channeled all that anger into the posture and growl I assumed as the dog got to within 6 feet. I still get goose bumps remembering that encounter. The dog quickly decided I was much more of a force than it was and actually turned, tail between legs and slunk away.

Now, that was a once in a lifetime(hopefully) encounter. And I had always had an anger management problem---I was mad at my wife and was walking off the anger instead of allowing it out at home. I walked over 10 miles that day---about 7 of those miles after the dog encounter.

So, my response to the dog's intended attack was way more than would have been possible normally. But, it does show dog attacks are never the same and need to be dealt with on an individual basis.

The OP's question was rather silly---that sort of thing described would probably never happen. And I do not carry a Kimber---I carry a .40 caliber revolver called a Pit Bull, made by Charter Arms.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Handymac, I wish I would be able to act in such a manner if attacked by a dog. You were indeed fortunate in both incidences. I admire your ability to face both attacks.

My question is, why do so many people say their dog is "just being friendly" when the dog is clearly aggressively coming at me and my dogs? They never seem to take responsibility for their animals.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

A good many humans have no idea about the actual habits of animals or how those animals react to different situations.

Or, and this is the most important part, how a human should react to what an animal does.

Many people humanize animals---really a bad thing to do. If the humanized animal is one like my neighbors dog the consequences are minimal. He is a lapdog mix(I call him a Froufrou) who is the cutest darned thing you will ever see. He has no bad habits and has actually alerted the family to an intruder.

animals need to be treated like animals. But, that treatment needs to be applicable to the type and breed of animal. I did not treat our horses like I treat our dogs, did not treat our cats like our bird, and so on.

On top of that, there is the fact not every animal of a type/breed is the same and cannot be treated the same.

I know people who refuse to come into my house because they are positive my guard dog will smell their fear and attack them because of that fear. I have other friends who think because they come in one time, three months later the dog still' knows' them. And still others who believe dogs are psychic and can tell if a human is a bad guy or a good guy when they meet.

That shows people just do not/will not/cannot really understand, and that translates into their reactions becoming what they want to happen, not what is really happening.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

handymac, our resident badass lol.

(Apologies if anyone is offended by my bad language....)


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

That's funny. :-)


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Well, I'll definitely file the 'hand in the throat' in my memory bank. Something I would never have thought of, and hopefully will never need.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

That is a memory I do not like having. It was a spur of the moment thing---since I had no other defense. It is only tempered by the support of her neighbors afterwards. Some told stories of how that dog had bitten children.

That was the beginning of my realization that most dog problems are created and caused by humans, not the dogs.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Anger can be a big help, I suppose, but I was afraid it was going to get me killed. I can remember two incidents in which I reacted toward a strange dog in an aggressive manner. The first was when I was 17 years old, walking home from school during my first weeks in the big city. I could hear some boys getting closer to me as I walked along the main street, and it was time to turn left on my block to get to my house. As I turned, one of the boys followed me, talking a bunch of crap. When he placed his hand on my butt, I whirled around toward him and pushed him hard on his shoulder and told him to leave me alone. He must not have been too serious about making trouble for me, because he and his friends laughed and joked about me "attacking" him and they continued on their way. Then, halfway down the block, I ran into the big black dog that ruled our block and kept all of us from getting mail delivery whenever he was loose, which was quite often. He came at me, barking, and I yelled at him, saying something like, "I don't need YOUR crap today!" and told him to "go home!" He did! I remember that he seemed a bit put out at me, like I had over-reacted and ruined his game by escalating it on him.

Another time, another city and state, I was walking my dog. A dog that barked at us a lot on our walks got loose and came at us. I was so angry. He was running at us, and there I was with my sweet Jessica on a leash. I dropped her leash, figuring she should run away, and I got between her and the running dog. I was not thinking rationally, like HandyMac. I did not know if this would be helpful or not, but I took a deep breath, widened my stance and moved my arms out from my sides, and roared at that dog with the deepest and loudest sound I could make. Like a lion. Guttural and throaty. I cannot remember the dog's precise reaction, but it did not attack us, and I was able to gather Jessie (who had not run) and walk away. I remember keeping an eye on the dog until we were around the corner and away.

Both times, these were gut reactions. I was not educated in dog behavior. For all I knew, my behavior could have instigated an attack. It was fear and anger that motivated me.


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RE: Posing hypothetical Dog Encounter Question

Calliope -

my instinct would be to make friends with the dogs, assuming you have the time and dog skills. But given the info you related, you first might want to have a friendly authority person (law enforcement, animal control, someone else) check things out and make sure the animals do not belong to a meth maker taking up temporarily resident in a abandoned house.

Dogs often sense fear, worry and uncertainty in humans, and react with the same feelings plus aggression in some cases.

You may wish to have an acquaintance give his or her opinion of your dog skills. My opinion is that only about one out of four people who wish to pet my dog has the necessary skills to safely pet an average dog. And my dog has never been a threatening dog. My latest pet is a high energy pooch who dances around a lot. The last dog was a relaxed, friendly seventy pound herder.

When my last dog got old and had reduced hearing and vision, I got in the habit of asking folks who wanted to pet him if they knew how to pet an older dog. Guess how many both said they knew and actually KNEW. Kids were the worst, the last four who asked -- one said she didn't know (hoo-rah), and the other three said they knew and immediately put their hand on the dogs head or back.

The local pet chain store does not help things much. I've never seen even one of the employees ask permission to pet a animal. They just assume they know enough to safety pet all animals, I suppose. And none of them bend down in front to make the encounter at the dogs level; the way I try to get the neighborhood kids to.


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