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pepper spray for protection from dogs?

 
Judith Browning
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The downside to living in a small rural town with really no regulation about pets and farm animals on your property is that there are waaaaaaaaay too many dogs....most behind a chain link fence or in doors...some who live on a chain and some who in spite of a leash law are loose on the street.

Steve and I were attacked by a pit bull on our sunday walk...it never made contact due to the fact that my husband was carrying the bag with the frozen lamb ribs that we had just picked up from our son's freezer...I had the bag of lettuce from our son's garden and you can guess which was more effective against a crazy pit bull I yelled for the owner who had absolutely no control over the dog but finally caught it.

As of yesterday both dogs (there was a second one on a chain) are out of town...the sheriff's dept was involved and we found that there is a difficult to enforce leash law here and an ordinance against any pit bulls in town, fenced or not. So, that's all taken care of.

The town has a history of this...we were even warned early on about the safety of walking by certain homes.
This is about the third time we've had this sort of encounter and I've finally given in to the advice of others and am now armed with pepper spray.

Just wondering if any other town dwellers have better ideas for stopping an attacking dog? I don't want to harm and can't get angry at a dog whose owner is really the one responsible for it's behavior.



 
Troy Rhodes
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Good pepper spray is effective against most dogs.

Past that, about your only option is a handgun. That's a big step to take, but in some circumstances, that's the only thing that would keep you from being severely injured.

You have to weigh the rights and responsibilities and consequences. This is a real concern. Do a google image search for dog bite injuries.


I'm pro-dog, and I'm anti-lazy/bad owner. I do some remedial training for aggressive dogs.

If you are injured, you may have legal recourse, but the bad owners often have little or no resources.
 
Rene Nijstad
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Lots of loose dogs here too, but mostly smaller and not such aggressive breeds, never seen any pitbulls around here. That aside, I have had good results with taking the lead when dogs come at me by simply calling them to come. So as soon as you see a dog run to you call it, with enthusiasm, so the dog gets all confused. Mostly they don't come even close and just bark a bit, some actually come and let you pet them. Warning though... If you show fear I don't know if it's effective.
 
Judith Browning
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Troy Rhodes wrote:
Past that, about your only option is a handgun. That's a big step to take, but in some circumstances, that's the only thing that would keep you from being severely injured.

You have to weigh the rights and responsibilities and consequences. This is a real concern. Do a google image search for dog bite injuries.


I'm pro-dog, and I'm anti-lazy/bad owner. I do some remedial training for aggressive dogs.



This would have been a time when I wouldn't have argued about shooting the dog...the attack went on for what seemed like forever and he wouldn't let my husband leave...everytime he turned his back the dog became even more aggressive and even more so when the owner came out.....
 
Judith Browning
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Rene Nijstad wrote:Lots of loose dogs here too, but mostly smaller and not such aggressive breeds, never seen any pitbulls around here. That aside, I have had good results with taking the lead when dogs come at me by simply calling them to come. So as soon as you see a dog run to you call it, with enthusiasm, so the dog gets all confused. Mostly they don't come even close and just bark a bit, some actually come and let you pet them. Warning though... If you show fear I don't know if it's effective.


This is our usual method also, at least telling them they're a 'good dog' if they are only in their yard barking. A friend takes a pocket full of doggy biscuits on his walks and has made friends with many town dogs. I think pits are a whole different thing though...I don't think they are willing to be my friend
 
Judith Browning
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I'm pro-dog, and I'm anti-lazy/bad owner. I do some remedial training for aggressive dogs.


Troy...Have you had good luck with this training? I ask because another neighbor just recently had to put down a dog in his care because she kept attacking other dogs...she had spent a couple years on a chain and he thought he was going to be able to rehabilitate her with kindness....
 
Rene Nijstad
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Judith Browning wrote:
Rene Nijstad wrote:Lots of loose dogs here too, but mostly smaller and not such aggressive breeds, never seen any pitbulls around here. That aside, I have had good results with taking the lead when dogs come at me by simply calling them to come. So as soon as you see a dog run to you call it, with enthusiasm, so the dog gets all confused. Mostly they don't come even close and just bark a bit, some actually come and let you pet them. Warning though... If you show fear I don't know if it's effective.


This is our usual method also, at least telling them they're a 'good dog' if they are only in their yard barking. A friend takes a pocket full of doggy biscuits on his walks and has made friends with many town dogs. I think pits are a whole different thing though...I don't think they are willing to be my friend


Hi Judith,

I will never call them a good dog, unless they calm down first. What I try to do is establish control over the situation, by trying to fool them in 2 ways: by commanding them to come to me and by doing that with enthusiasm pretending that I am part of their pack. But as I say, in dealing with very aggressive dogs I don't know if that's effective enough. Maybe somebody who has actually trained such dogs knows more about what to do
 
Troy Rhodes
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Judith Browning wrote:
I'm pro-dog, and I'm anti-lazy/bad owner. I do some remedial training for aggressive dogs.


Troy...Have you had good luck with this training? I ask because another neighbor just recently had to put down a dog in his care because she kept attacking other dogs...she had spent a couple years on a chain and he thought he was going to be able to rehabilitate her with kindness....


I don't have a bunch of experience, but some. So far, all positive outcomes.

But certainly, I know enough trainers that I can say with confidence, most dogs can be helped. Kindness is helpful and necessary in training a dog. But without systematic goal driven training, it is unlikely to fix anything. I use clicker training, or positive reinforcement training. NOT punishment based training.

If you are interested, there are a lot of resources in the clicker training community. Karen Pryor started it all. She invented the techniques that are now universally used to train dolphins and whales, and other "difficult" to train species.

Here's a tiny sample when I did a google search for clicker training for aggression:

http://www.clickertraining.com/taxonomy/term/106

kikopup youtube channel will give you some idea of what is possible of clicker training in general.

https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

 
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