Dogs are a common and serious threat.
In Michigan, the man faced a neighbor's pit bull. From cbslocal.com:
The dog apparently charged at the man and each time he tried to retreat, it would lunge at him. The man told police he fired three “warning shots” into the air to try to scare the animal off and when that didn’t work, he fired a single shot striking the dog on its left side.I had a similar situation happen a decade ago, with two large and loose dogs. Dogs will usually back down. I was alarmed enough to draw my Glock, but I never fired it, and slowly, I retreated from the dogs until they were far enough from their home territory that they stopped the false charges and left. It was retreat a step, face down a false charge, repeat, constantly at the ready to stop a "real" attack. It took about five minutes. After, I was able to determine what house the dogs returned to.
I finished my run, and an hour later took time to have a talk with the owner, who assured me that the dogs were only sweet, peace loving animals. I like to believe that I convinced him that he could have serious legal problems if his dogs bit someone. I was always glad that I did not have to shoot either dog.
I have found that a large stick is effective against dogs, but I did not have my stout, four foot walking stick with me that day. A stick makes a defensive weapon that allows a lower than gunshot use of force. Basic stick fighting techniques are simple and easy to learn, and most places, even urban centers, allow you to carry a walking stick. Cold Steel sells some nice ones. A friend who is a postal carrier says that pepper spray gives mixed results, based on extensive experience.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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