How to survive a vicious dog attack pre/post disaster.
Challenge: A hurricane blew through your town and it ends up being the largest and most devastating one to date. The damage is so severe that the National Guard orders a post storm evacuation for your town, similar to that of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Because your home appears untouched and you have met a basic level of disaster preparedness, you and a few neighbors decide to stay put.
During your daily rounds you have noticed multiple stray dogs. After a few days pass some of these animals clearly begin to form a small pack. The following day walking to your back door three rough-looking and most likely very hungry dogs are snarling in your path. In your pocket you have a tactical pen and mag lite flash light. What do you do?If you were suddenly threatened or attacked by a hostile dog do you know how to avoid or curtail the confrontation? Or more importantly what to do if you are wounded? A nice stroll around your neighborhood can lead into a trek from hell if approached by a vicious dog and you are indecisive or uneducated on such encounters.
It’s not just criminals who have to worry about the lightning-fast reflexes of a German Shepherd police dog. Criminals alone aren’t singled out by guard dogs as the lone pray. Dog attacks happen quite regularly in today’s modern society without the need for a crime or criminal to be present. At one point in time most everyone’s lives, we have at least felt threatened by a dog to the point of feeling uncomfortable.
Millions of people in the US annually fall prey to dog attacks. In many of these cases the victims injuries have led to urgent medical attention and in some cases even death. Here is something we fail to take into consideration though, if society as we know it took a few steps back (earthquake, weapons of mass destruction, tornado, Financial collapse, insert dilemma here) what would happen to many of these dogs?
Man’s best friend may be let loose in great numbers in communities all across the nation, including yours. If you had to abandon your home, as sad as it may sound, Fido might not be around when you leave, or even purposely left behind. With owners, fences and borders gone this underestimated threat is something one should deeply consider safeguarding against.
Man’s best friend
When we look for the ultimate and K-9 stopping power we usually look to the German Shepherd. They are the number one choice for police agencies around the globe and for good reason. We know that the German Shepherd, trained or not, can be a threat to our self-preservation. But there are several breeds that pose all of the threat of a German Shepherd if not more. You see a great majority of dog breeds, even the scary looking ones, are far from mean and often mild in nature. And more often than not under normal circumstances if you fall victim to a dog attack, chances are the pooch was only trying to defend a loved one or territory they believed to be theirs. But the other end of the spectrum is many dogs that are very dangerous.
Just because you don’t see them in your neighborhood doesn’t mean they are not there. Oftentimes homeowners own dangerous dogs they refuse to introduced to society. These dogs do not get daily walks around the neighborhood because they are not meant to be friendly with strangers unknown to family. These dogs are trained to guard and attack. They are living, breathing bodyguards and security systems, and they pose the greatest physical threat to our self-preservation.
Luckily for us the folks who own these dogs are often not only financially stable but morally responsible. Chances are, under normal circumstances, if you are attacked by a guard/attack dog you are trespassing or committing some sort of crime that forced the trained animal to act. These dogs in Elite Form (ex-military, X police) can be purchased by civilians for protection be at home or business, but they often are quite costly in comparison to breeds not trained at such a high level. The types of dogs you were more likely to see are ones sought after for both guard dog and companion.
Compiled is a list of the top 10 most dangerous dogs that you may encounter. This also serves as a list of dogs you may want as they are the most commonly used to protect your home and family members. This list is ranked in order of my personal preference. Not everyone should be a dog owner, especially so if you would look to buy one simply to guard your cache. I like the old phrase “dogs are people too”. Point being, they are family and need to be treated like family members… not a tool in your arsenal.
The Pitbull: the most common of all canine threats.
The Pitbull poses the greatest threat right now and for good reason. The breed has killed more humans in today’s day and age than any other breed of dog. With the Staggering death total comes a nasty reputation. While typically found in the inner city this animal is in many neighborhoods across the country and even in rural areas. There is a good chance someone in your neighborhood owns one. The problem with pit bulls is that they are without a doubt more unpredictable than other breeds. Some believe they are unpredictable because they have been bred generation after generation for a growing level of viciousness and aggression.
It is also believed that pitbulls may have a genetic chemical imbalance, further advancing the argument that they should be limited to responsible owners only. While they make great companions, A Pitbull’s unpredictableness, coupled with great strength, size and speed, make them a poor choice for many dog owners. Any owner not responsible enough to fully curb and control A Pitbull’s actions should not own one.
Alas this animal has been adopted by a subculture of people only seeking out the breed because they are told it is a “killing machine” among the canine world. For these reasons, a lot of terrible people have adopted, abandoned and flooded the adoptable K9 population with this breed. Visit any inner city (and even Suburban) Humane Society across the Nation and you will see that the majority of the dogs up for adoption are in fact Pitbull’s left by previous owners.
So while pound-for-pound, the Pitbull may not be at the top of the canine and food chain, the Pitbull is the dog you have very good odds of encountering be it jogging around your block or during a town-wide evacuation or disaster. Not knowing how to properly defend oneself against a vicious dog (or a pack of dogs (yes dogs run in packs given the opportunity) would be most unpleasant way to die.
Why fight if you can flee
The number one way to come away unscathed by a k9 attack is to avoid the attack entirely. For starters are you sure that the dog is even aggressive? You may be perceiving threats when in reality the dog is trying to play. Just because a German Shepherd is running at you full speed doesn’t mean he’s going to try and tear you to shreds. He may be curious or want to play. Do not ever let a running dog alone be a Telltale sign of aggressive behavior.
Paying attention to the animal’s body mechanics can easily tell you if he’s poised to strike. Is the dog snarling or showing his teeth? Is his body tight and rigid? Are his ears pinned back? Or is he barking, bouncing and ears flopping or up? The first indicates a foul mood while the latter means he may be playful or curious.
If the pooch is displaying aggressive signs (rigid body, snarl) he may not attack. If he has not charged yet he may be weighing out his options or just simply trying to stop you from advancing into his territory. There are things you can do to diffuse the situation.
1. Avoid making eye contact. Staring down your opponent in a fight is a form of intimidation. Well staring down a canine is not any different. You will more than likely threaten the dog and prompt fear or anger. Both bad emotional responses if trying to avoid a dog attack. Look away or not directly in the eyes of a hostile pooch.
2. Avoid making any erratic movements with your limbs. This can also be construed by the dog as a sign of aggression.
3. talk nice but don’t smile. The dog may think you are barring and your teeth. Do not shout.
4. Try a few basic commands such as sit, down or stay. If he listens you have a time advantage to make your next move.
5. Do not turn your back on the dog under any circumstances. Showing your tail is a sign of weakness and may actually entice the dog to attack.
6. Don’t run. Dogs have an instinct to chase their prey and you’re not going to outrun any dog powerful enough to cause great harm. They will be on you in a Flash.
7. Standstill. Don’t move. If you think the dog isn’t terribly aggressive you can even let him approach and sniff at you.
8. If the dog takes his eyes off you then he may no longer feel threatened. Back away with no sudden movements. Move slowly.
9. Deceive and distract them. While brEaking step number two, offer them treats, snacks or even a ball or Toy. Who knows what items you may have in your pocket that may be of interest to the dog. Just make sure to move slow enough and fully show the item you have in your hand. Throw the item away from you. If the dog goes after it you may be able to retreat safely.
These steps may work and it never hurts to attempt to diffuse in a fight. But if not and you must fight then you should know how to defend yourself against these at times unpredictable beasts.
Avoid physical contact it possible. A bridge between non contact and contact is pepper spray, or dog repellent. The problem being… it’s a projectile. Pull it up too early and you miss your target. Pull it out too late and you are attacked before spraying. Have you ever tried to hit a small moving Target coming towards you at 20 miles per hour?
Hitting your mark gives the desired effect but a charging dog may speed through most of it and simply become more irate. The key is to bring the dog to a halt so it can take the full payload of the spray. Unfortunately this guarantees you and the dog will be very close to one another possibly even making contact. At best the spray works and the dog flees. At worst, you are in for a dogfight. But if you make contact with the spray, you may instantly have an edge when fighting as the dog may be irritated and even disorientated from the spray.
The kibble hits the fan
So you have failed to avoid the confrontation and/or your spray did not give the desired effect. Rover leaps for you and the dog fight starts. The first thing to do is separate the dog’s teeth from the flesh. Put something between the two. If you can wrap up a forearm with a jacket or some sort of padding you will have the dog focused on a body part that is somewhat protected while keeping your dominant hand free. While staying upright (you don’t want to be on the ground with the dog) use whatever you can to work on softening up the dog and hopes to end the fight. This may be a great time to deploy another application of your pepper spray.
Grab whatever you can find. If you must, go for an improvised weapon such as a rock or stick. Protect your vulnerable body parts such as throat, face, stomach, groin and chest while going after theirs. A sturdy Stick is an excellent choice and not just for beating the animal with it. If the stick is thin and sturdy enough, jamming it down the dog’s throat is an excellent way to engage. There is a good chance that the dog will choke. Not being able to breathe can cause the dog to panic and release your arm back to you.
The whole time you are attacking you should be focusing on areas like the throat, neck and back of the head. These areas are the best for striking so long as you have a blunt object such as then stick or Rock. Hitting those areas with enough pressure can stun the pooch, hopefully long enough for you to make your next move.
It blows to those areas have no positive effect and you are without any other weapons you still have options. Grab the dog by one rear leg and pull up with all of your might. From here the dog may either be on its back or in midair if it is small enough. If it’s on its back, it’s weak spots are bit more vulnerable and you can drag it. Another option when a holding its hind legs is to begin to spin in circles (like the Olympic hammer throw) until you have enough momentum to launch the dog. The g-forces should keep the dog’s mouth from reaching you and the release can deliver quite the blow and stun. The entire time you are engaged you should be shouting for help, that is of course if you think you may get the attention of any nearby Samaritans.
All hell breaks loose and you find yourself on the ground.
So far we are assuming we are without a gun or blade. Now you are at the worst case scenario possible. Canine attacks are more than painful, they can be incredibly powerful, very vicious and driven with enough Force to end someone’s life in minutes. If you are on the ground the dog has gained an advantage that may very well result in your death.
Those vulnerable parts we talked about are that much more accessible to the dog now, and he clearly wants to rip the entrails of your esophagus out through your neck. Duck, cover your face and roll once on the ground, while given the dog your forearm to chew on. It’s by far better than him chewing on any other part of your body. Otherwise your injuries may be so severe that properly defending yourself becomes the possible.
With your free hand latch onto its face and squeeze as hard as you can. Reach for an eye and drive a thumb or index finger into it, popping it or pulling it out if possible. If it’s an unneutered male, grab and yank its testicles as hard as possible. If the dog has yet to stand down, grab it with both hands and attempt to sever the blood flow to his brain and hopefully you can choke it to death. At this point you need to do what ever you must to stay alive. Its hard to think of these things, especially as a pet owner and lover, but the hard reality is that the animal wants to kill you.
That is, the worst case scenario, unless of course you were unarmed against let’s say a pack of multiple dogs. You should at the very least be armed if you hope to successfully fend off an attacking K9 such as a pitbull or Rottweiler without suffering defensive wounds to yourself.
Clearly a well-placed shot with a gun permanently resolves the issue, but for all intents and purposes we do not have access to a gun. If you carry a heavy fixed blade, one well-placed stab can open up a dog quite easily. Stabbing and twisting a heavy blade not only is incredibly painful to the canine, but you most likely will hit multiple organs and a lot of muscle as well. The fight is over and you may not have a scratch on you.
If you only knife is a smaller pocket knife, well you are still in good standing. As mentioned previously, just give the attacking animal your wrapped forearm. He will almost always take the bait. After he locks on, take your folding knife and continue to stab over and over again, aim for his throat, upper shoulder, eyes, jaw or the belly/armpit area. The fight is almost over. This dog won’t make it another minute and you will most likely hit a vital organ to boot.
Packs of dogs
After widespread disaster in a community, it’s dogs can begin to band together and form packs. Dogs are in close genetic relation to wolves and coyotes and can even mate together, so it’s only Nature’s instincts that have them banding together as well. With Hunger nipping and food hard to come by, a pack of dogs can become very dangerous and aggressive. Fighting off three dogs is no different than one, the only difference is that while attacking one, two more might be tearing into your flesh. You would be hard-pressed to escape unscathed, even with a heavy blade.
Dogs in packs can be intimidated as well as when in solitude, so killing the alpha male or female first might get your point across. Nabbing the meanest and toughest dog in the pack might scare off the others. If you can spot the Alpha it would not hurt to go for him first. Prior to engaging in an attack, screaming like a madman while flailing your arms may assert your presence as well, but chances are any dog sizing up its prey won’t be fazed by intimidation tactics.
An excellent choice of weapon when dealing with a pack of dogs (or even wolves for you North Western States) is a shotgun with 00 buck Shotgun Shells. The noise is much louder than a typical handgun and The Buckshot offers a better spread and the option to possibly hit more than one target with the same shot. Between the noise and devastating stopping power of a 12 gauge buckshot, it’s hard to think that any dog or group of dogs would linger around even if there was a 35 ounce T-bone steak behind you. Just reload quickly and fire off multiple shots.
Locate an and apply pressure to the wound as soon as you can and wash the wounded area thoroughly and warm soapy water. Scrub near the bite mark and then cover it with sterile dressing. Even with modern medicine dog bites can be extremely dangerous. Open wounds can lead to infection. If you can, visit a medical professional even if you can successfully treat an infection. Most doctors have dealt with similar injuries in the past and know the best course of action for treatment. They offer a better level of care than you can provide yourself.
If its a post disaster scenario or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may be threatened by a dog fully capable of ending your life. These attacks are quite the issue Nationwide and the last thing you need is to fall prey to one. Hopefully one could diffuse and aggressive dog and avoid the situation entirely. But if not, hopefully the tactics we discussed in this section can be used to protect yourself. If ever you find yourself squaring off with a killer canine, alert local authorities and let them know what has transpired. They will recover the animal dead or alive and have it tested for diseases.