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Suggestions for safe walking
Old 12-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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Suggestions for safe walking

Tonight my wife and I were walking and all of a sudden a pit bull showed up . Our Springer Spaniel was also with us and the Pit was trying to get at her. Anyone used a stun gun for things such as this. We have been walking in the same neighborhood for years and never once had a problem. Now I will not walk without some protection. Need suggestions from others that have had this problem. oldtrig
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
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We've been in that situation, too, even with our gentle Doberman. Stun guns work, I'm told, especially the kind with an 18" baton-like shape so you don't get bit yourself. But they can have legal issues associated with them state by state. Some resemble flashlights so are less likely to freak someone out.

Pepper spray is an alternative, but seems to me in the heat of the moment you're likely to spray your own dog or yourself. Seems to work for the mail man.

I decided against a stun gun as too much risk for the benefit. If we still had our dog and there was a nasty biting dog in the neighborhood I'd probably carry spray and use it freely the moment that bad boy approached.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:41 PM   #3
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I read water meters for several years, and often encountered stray mutts. I had three incredibly effective defenses...

#1 was "Halt", it was a small pressurized container of pepper spray specifically for defense against mutts...sprayed about 12 feet. I saw it a couple of years ago in an Ace or True Value hardware store.

#2 was my stainless steel, double D-cell battery, flashlight...one good whack and the dog was done!

#3 was my aluminum covered meter book....about 4" wide, 9" long, and 1 1/2" thick...about 1# in weight. Ya crack a mutt with that one and they're done....forever!

So since your not gonna be reading meters, I'd say you're best bet is the "Halt" pepper spray (or similar). I've had a few strays wander up and scare the bejeezuz out of me here on the homestead, and I've found Raid Wasp & Hornet spray to be VERY effect!!! A nice 20' stream of wasp spray does wonders!

Oh, and those wonderfully playful strays that tried attacking me, always remembered our previous encounters and stayed well away from me. And the doberman watchdog that the gas meter reader nailed, ran and hid from anyone carrying a meter book!
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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...If we still had our dog and there was a nasty biting dog in the neighborhood I'd probably carry spray and use it freely the moment that bad boy approached.
That was SOP for us meter readers...spray at the very first sign of the mutt approaching.....first strike. (unless you were pretty certain that the pup was a friendly character....and we could almost always tell)
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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That was SOP for us meter readers...spray at the very first sign of the mutt approaching.....first strike. (unless you were pretty certain that the pup was a friendly character....and we could almost always tell)
What was your success rate in aborting the attack?
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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I will probably go with the spray. When it happened tonight I was so pumped up I could have probably chocked the hound. I have read that if the dog is trained then there is probably nothing one could do. These dogs in our neighborhood I do not think are trained killers I had noticed this dog before and he was always tied up. I am thinking he somehow got loose. We have a lease law but what good that does when a dog is in your face. I reported it to the law and I hope they contact the owners and the problems goes away. Now I will wonder when I walk so I need protection. Thanks for the tips. oldtrig
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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What was your success rate in aborting the attack?
I never got bit! The closest one ever got was a German shepherd with a bad attitude, about 6 inches from my left arm...right arm came to the rescue with the flashlight and cracked it in the head. While it was reeling from that, I doused it with about a half container of the pepper juice....the other half went to it's sibling right behind it. Those puppies never bothered me again!

I never had a repeat offender after using pepper spray once on a dog....I truly believe they remember....for a long time! I know that dobie that the gas meter reader nailed never forgot, and never took another chance with any meter reader!

One other time I did have a smallish mutt gnaw at the back of my boot, and spun around and launched his furry butt across the front lawn. As I turned around, I saw the owner standing in the doorway....she says "don't worry about the dog, he won't bite you"...I was thinking "D*mn straight lady...at least not now!"

(you can get "Halt" dog repellent spray here)
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:30 AM   #8
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You could carry an expandable baton such as those sold here:http://www.expandablebatonsonline.com/

Although sold for use on people they will work on a dog as well. I actually did use mine on a dog once. When the owner got huffy about it I just told him "Be grateful I didn't shoot him".
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:09 AM   #9
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We always carried pepper spray when we lived in a place where there were semi-controlled pit bulls around, although we never had to use it. I would not worry about hitting your own dog if things got ugly. The stuff is non-lethal and should not do any lasting damage, unlike an enraged pit bull. I would also not be shy about delivering a full force boot if necessary.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:05 AM   #10
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Plus 1 on the Halt pepper spray. When I moved into my neighborhood 20 years ago it was full of loose dogs, several of which would attack my dog on a leash. The Halt did the trick on 90% of them. One caveat is that the dogs return home wiping their faces, then the owners come after you. You are suddenly the meanie who attacked their dog. In cold weather keep the Halt in your pocket so it is warm enough to shoot a good distance.

An oak replacement shovel handle as a "walking stick" works nice, too but is a little awkward to carry all the time.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:23 AM   #11
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In a pinch, I've used my .7 l stainless-steel water bottle as a baton. Filled with water it makes a pretty solid mass.

I think I'd prefer pepper spray, though.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:00 AM   #12
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Plus 1 on the Halt pepper spray. When I moved into my neighborhood 20 years ago it was full of loose dogs, several of which would attack my dog on a leash. The Halt did the trick on 90% of them. One caveat is that the dogs return home wiping their faces, then the owners come after you. You are suddenly the meanie who attacked their dog. In cold weather keep the Halt in your pocket so it is warm enough to shoot a good distance.

An oak replacement shovel handle as a "walking stick" works nice, too but is a little awkward to carry all the time.
I suppose pepper spray might work on an attacking pitbull. But very little else short of a gunshot will affect them.

I owned one, and watching his pitched battles with raccoons (once 2 of them) convinced me that these guys will let nothing stop them. Once my son accidentally cut deeply into the muscle on this dog's head with a machete blow. Doggie kept right after his quarry, even with blood pouring out of his scalp. I doubt he could even see.

My experience as a pit bull owner leads me to be very wary of them. For example, I won't live in an apartment where dogs are permitted, just on the chance that someone will have a pitbull.

Ha
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:21 AM   #13
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I suppose pepper spray might work on an attacking pitbull. But very little else short of a gunshot will affect them. ......................
Probably true. Where I live it is mostly generic labs, spaniels, etc that are just poorly trained and supervised. Even with them some of the crazier ones would come back for a second shot, though it did keep them at bay.

The beauty of the spray is that you can slip it in your pocket or purse and there are no ricochets.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:07 AM   #14
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Tonight my wife and I were walking and all of a sudden a pit bull showed up.
I agree with the suggestion of carrying pepper spray. But since you're dealing with a pit bull, I wouldn't mess around with those tiny $10 sprays. Order a $40 can of bear spray and you'll have a longer reach and significantly more duration. In other words, if you're actually worried for your safety, or the safety of your dog, spend the extra few bux.

Remember that the time you'll need this stuff the most will be a time you have no or little warning. So, don't bury it too deep in pocket or purse.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:38 AM   #15
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Tonight my wife and I were walking and all of a sudden a pit bull showed up . Our Springer Spaniel was also with us and the Pit was trying to get at her. Anyone used a stun gun for things such as this. We have been walking in the same neighborhood for years and never once had a problem. Now I will not walk without some protection. Need suggestions from others that have had this problem. oldtrig
You should report the incident if you haven't already done so.

The measures above may all work well, but you still have to execute in the heat of the moment and not hurt yourself or your pet. That's not a trivial thing.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:32 AM   #16
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I have been seriously bicycle riding since my first paper route at 9, both commuting and bicycle touring, much of it at night, in 'bad' neighborhoods, or in the middle of nowhere, most of it by myself. I have been chased by hundreds of dogs (German Shepards, Dobies, Pit Bulls, pack of dogs), and as a slow rider with bad knees (12-15 mph) outrunning them is not an option. Most merely wanted to escort me to the edge of the property line (by their definition), and most of those who got too close stopped in their tracks when yelled at. Only 2 have required an application of bike pump (hard enough to surprise, not hurt them). I cannot imagine using a stun gun on a dog, or needing to.

On a related note, many years ago I read an article in a cycling magazine on tests that the RCMP conducted with the effects of pepper spray on trained attack dogs (cannot find an online reference) in mid-attack. They said it did not even slow them down. This amplifies my concern / expectation that it works fine on dogs that are not really a threat, not so well on a truly determined one.

My BC playing with the young pit bull from next door :
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #17
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Sort of off topic, but the best thing I have found for dogs chasing you when biking is yummy dog treats. The dogs are shocked when you toss them a few liver snacks or for determined ones which might not notice a little treat, a nice hot dog or two (if you plan to do a training session in advance). I made friends with all the dogs on my country bike route using that method and none chase me anymore, but wag their tails and hope for treats.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:03 PM   #18
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Sounds like the bikers have done well in getting along with the neighborhood puppies. But I think OP's situation where a pit bull is getting aggressive with their dog, on leash, is a little different.


There was a child mauled by a pit bull here in Chicagoland recently and it makes you think twice about befriending a dog of this breed you don't know. You never know if it's one that's been trained to kill or not.

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sec...cal&id=7156284


I'm glad the police officer involved had more than a weenie or liver treat, at least in this case.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #19
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Sort of off topic, but the best thing I have found for dogs chasing you when biking is yummy dog treats. The dogs are shocked when you toss them a few liver snacks or for determined ones which might not notice a little treat, a nice hot dog or two (if you plan to do a training session in advance). I made friends with all the dogs on my country bike route using that method and none chase me anymore, but wag their tails and hope for treats.
This kinda reminds me of the park where the hikers would take off their backpacks (with food inside) and toss them to the bears when confronted. The bears quickly learned to chase the backpackers to get the free food offerings.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:29 PM   #20
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Iīve tried pepper spray and ultrasonic. They are useless in a serious situation, or when itīs windy or rainning. A stick? You have to be very sure of yourself when handling it. In the end what solved the problem in my case was the disappearance of the aggresive dogs. Complaining or filing charges is all very well ....after the fact. And then only so if persons are bitten. Tahtīs is the sad fact here in rural Spain.
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