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Just a "What If" Thing To Think About

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Bob 2 years, 6 months ago.

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    I've got a different kind of question for you. This is just something that I was thinking about the other day and I really can't figure out how I would handle it if it came up.
    Say one evening I'm jogging down the road out in the country and someone's Pitbull comes after me showing very serious intentions of attacking me.
    Say I pull my gun out on the mean mad dog and hear someone yell from his front door while holding a rifle..”You (so and so) if you shoot my dog I'll kill you where you stand!”, but he doesn't take the responsibility to call his dog back and leaves the dog confronting me, while I'm holding my gun on this mad crazy Pitbull.
    How would I handle a situation like this.
    If I don't shoot the dog, the dog would kill me, but if I shoot the dog, the owner will try to shoot me from where he stands on his own property, and it would be a really bad situation if I shot this guy from the street, while he is on his front porch. Especially considering that a stray bullet might go into his house and hit another member of his family.
    (Note: This never happened, but is just a situation that I conjured up in my head, although someones Pitbull did come after me while I was jogging down the road once, but the owner called him back right away).




    OMG man you should be a Fiction writer. What a dream. First off if you were jogging in the country you probably live close by and KNOW that this house has a pit bull and a crazy with a rifle, So why would you put yourself in that kind of situation. No answer for this story, it is what the moment brings and what training you might have had. Happy dreams!!


    Jacob Paulsen

    Bob, this is a tough one for sure. In considering what is smart and what is foolish I might offer a few ideas.

    1: Calling out verbal warnings to the dog and the man will not only potentially help the situation but potentially help you later in a court room. Shouting things like “I think it is going to kill me” will go a long way. As it were dogs are easily scared by loud noises as well so the louder you shout back the better your odds.

    2: While I generally discourage warning shots, the noise factor of the gun firing will probably scare away the dog and potentially will prevent the dog owner from feeling overly defensive to the point of shooting

    3: Distance is a factor I would hopefully have the presence of mind to consider. Odds of hitting the dog right in front of me are high but the odds of the homeowner and I connecting from a distance is far less likely.

    Lastly, the more I think about this the less likely I think this could really happen. Things happen quickly and if the dog reaches you and doesn't immediately attack the odds are low that it will at all. If the dog takes a long time to reach you then the distance to the homeowner is likely very far and he doesn't pose a big threat.

    It is sometimes a good exercise to think of the What If scenarios but I frankly think that it is very difficult to ever predict all of the circumstances that really play into a spur of the moment decision like the use of deadly force.

    Hope that helps and I'm sure other readers in the forum may have additional opinions and thoughts that will help!



    How is this situation any more unrealistic as any other situation that might be on a training video?
    Gosh sake, I didn't say I was attacked by aliens! (:
    I live in the country, and I've lived in my house for the last 15 years, but no, I don't know all of my neighbors and they do get different dogs over time, so I wouldn't know if they had a bad dog until I had a bad experience with it.
    The fact is that I was attacked by a dog one night while jogging. The person's yard was fenced in, but when the dog seen me coming, he jumped the fence.
    Fortunately, the dog's owner was responsible and ran out on the porch and called the dog back. I was holding the dog off by shining my Maglite in it's eyes. It won't attack something that it can't see.
    I know that there are plenty of people who are not responsible with their dogs because I had to take a warrant out on another one of my neighbors who kept letting his Pitbull run loose and get into my yard.
    Also I have heard people threaten other people who might have hurt a dog for barking at them on their own property or on public property.
    I don't think that the hypothetical situation is far fetched at all. I just put together the two things that I've already seen happen.
    Just because it is not your standard “thug in the parking lot” story, and you don't feel that you have an answer, doesn't mean that it can't happen.
    I think that it is a good idea to “think outside the box” when putting together situations in your mind. The situation that you experience may not be “in the box”.



    Jacob, you have some very good suggestions.
    I especially like your first suggestion of getting very loud and vocal. That will bring other people out of their houses and may even cause the dog to hesitate.
    The fact is that something similar to this did happen to me.
    I was jogging at night (in winter it gets dark early) and a big angry dog jumped its owners chain link fence when he seen me going by.
    I happened to have a very powerful Maglite and every time that the dog got close to me, I would shine the light in it's eyes. This would cause the dog to stop and back off and try another side of me, which he would get the blinding light in the eyes again.
    This kept happening until the owner heard the dog barking, snarling and growling, came out on his front porch and yelled for his dog to come back.
    I thanked the owner and very much appreciated that he was a responsible dog owner and not like the one in my hypothetical scenario.

    Good lesson is that it's a great idea to always walk with a powerful light available. Even in the day time, a powerful Surefire or CRKT tactical light could blind a dog and keep it off of you until the owner came or you had a chance to shoot it.

    Local deputies have told me that if a dangerous dog is trying to attack me, to go ahead and shoot it. I've had to call the police several times on a neighbor for letting his Pitbull run loose and get into my yard. The dog had my wife trapped in a corner of my garage one time. Of course, she was getting ready to knock its brains out with a shovel so it wisely decided to leave her alone.

    Also, I have seen people who would threaten other people with physical harm if they thought that person was going to hurt their dogs, even if the dog was aggressive with the person and the person had every right to be where they were.
    All I've done is put these situations together in order to make a scenario, that I believe could realistically happen and be very difficult to know exactly what to do.
    In my case, I was actually right in front of the owners house when his dog attacked me, so if this scenario would have happened, there would have not been a lot of distance, since the front of the house is fairly close to the road.
    Had I not been carrying my Maglite, the dog would have bit me, I'm sure.
    The big problem is not shooting the dog as much as it is knowing what to do with a person that is threatening your life from his own property while you are walking on a public road.
    I don't think that this is far fetched at all, and could happen in many other scenarios.
    Running away as fast as you can, after shooting the dog, is probably the only answer. You would just have to hope that you wouldn't get shot in the back, but a moving target is hard to hit, especially at night. Then call 911 as soon as you are clear.
    A warning shot may work to scare the dog, but you could get yourself into a whole lot of trouble by firing your weapon, even in the air, if you are not actually shooting an attacker that causing an immediate danger. That bullet has to go somewhere. It has been known for a bullet from a warning shot to go into the air and come down on someone's head and kill them. I would be scared to do that.



    Jacob Paulsen

    Bob, thanks for the follow up. These are really good things to think about!



    BOB & Jacob what about secondary non lethal items?? Is it legal to carry pepper spray/foam in BOB'S state?? He said it was dark out so how would the home owner know he drew out his pepper spray/foam?? Yes I would yell out too very loudly but calmly!!Be very verbal but clear on your intentions!! Yell at the dog buy also clearly state to the home owner you fear for your life especially if being charged by a very big dog bearing it's teeth. Tell the home owner to call the dog off and if it's dark out then either shine a light with a strobe setting on high in the dogs eye and verbal tell the home owner in very very clear words that you don't want to hurt his dog and your intentions of defending yourself. If you have a light on and it's dark it gives the home owner with a weapon a target to shoot at and possibly him seeing you draw anything causing him to shoot you but if you illuminate the dog quickly or if you can't then ide yell to the owner your gonna defend yourself because of fear for your life. I know a charging dog bearing it's teeth and barking & growling is an unnerving, scary thing but it maybe a bluff and animals can sense fear, I would stand my ground and face the threat because you can't outrun a dog, it will be on you in seconds. At the last minute the dog may stop short and not attack ! But I would definitly pull out some non-lethal item I/E pepper spray/foam and spray the living shot out of it if the dog closed within my security zone around me! This zone differs from person to person . I'm an animal lover and would rather pepper spray than go guns on killing a dog and possibly having an unintended gunfight with a pissed off owner. If you pepper spray the dog and it bites or still attacks it won't last long because of the spray. I've been pepper sprayed and foamed repeatedly in my ( retired career now) to qualify carrying it and being able to perform medical assistance once the perp, is in custody incase of an allergic reaction. Also if theirs a leash law, etc and if your personaly attacked you can take the owner to court, also would look good on you that you went non lethal even when you feared for your life. I guarantee the court & jury will be on your side and the homeowner in deep shit especially if he threatens you with a loaded weapon while your telling him to call the loose dog back or you will defend yourself. You may have to revert to deadly force but I'm betting the pepper spray will incapacitate the dog pretty quick ( I know it shut me down and my partners.
    Just food for thought is all



    You have some good suggestions and I didn't think about pepper spray, etc. I believe that does work good on dogs.
    In reality, I did shine a bright Maglight in the dog's eyes and that stopped him in his tracks (I carry a 1000 lumen Surefire PX3 Fury Tactical with me now). He then tried to get me from a different direction and I spotted him again. That worked until the owner called him back. So there are times when non-lethal will work good.
    My situation here is strictly hypothetical based and expanding on what did happen to me.
    When I go walking now, I carry a 45 compact XDm with me.
    One has to be careful using the phrase “I fear for my life” because it has been used so much that the courts look at it as an excuse to shoot somebody. I would rephrase it to sound more natural.
    The fact is that if a dog is attacking you with apparent intentions of doing you harm, you have as much right to stop the threat using lethal force as you would if you were being attacked by a thug.
    If the dog owner is going to try to shoot you from his porch (for killing his dog) when you are NOT threatening his life, he is committing a felony.
    There is only one reason to use a gun on another human, and that is…”Immediate, Immanent and Unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to oneself or other innocent persons”
    So shooting someone's dog, because the dog is attacking you, is not a good reason for the dog owner to draw a weapon on you.
    But actually being shot at from a near by porch could be a reason to draw your weapon and stop the threat although it is a given that you would be responsible for every round that entered the house and possibly could hit an innocent person within, so you would be much much better off, if it would be at all possible, to duck and run and just “get the hell out of Dodge” calling 911 right away.

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