Pepper spray on dogs

luvumore

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Mar 25, 2013
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First of all, I'm NOT a dog lover. Never have been. It's probably due to some dog owners who are ignorant don't leash them, let them bark all night, etc. Anyway, I'm a runner and I constantly have to deal with dogs running up and almost tripping me because they're not on leashes or they are on leashes and people let them get to close anyway. As annoying and dangerous as that is, my main concern are the ones that growl and try to bite. Is pepper spray effective on dogs? I don't want to just scare them because that can make them more aggressive. (I have scars to prove that) I'd like to disable them long enough to get out of harms way
 

bagnshoofetish

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Feb 12, 2006
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You can't rely on people to be responsible with their animals so my advice would be to not go running where you know dogs are going to be. Pepper spraying them is cruel and punishes the dog not the owner who actually is more deserving of the punishment. Dogs aren't bad. But owners can be.
 

girlsnstilletos

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Jan 24, 2014
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I am a big time dog lover and own 3 large mixed breed rescues, and have owned many more and been part of many rescue organizations. However, based on some previous episodes with dogs I've have with them not in control, I think it's a good idea to carry pepper spray just in case you *really* need it! You never know when or where or if a dog could attack. I would defend myself and my dogs if I needed too. I would try to avoid any areas you have had bad experiences in if you think the dogs could live in around there. There is a street near us we stopped walking on because one of the dogs behind the chain link fence in the front yard was huge and vicious. I was very concerned if that dog got out it would be very bad! Anyhow, do what you need to do to protect yourself from canines and humans alike. I'm personally more concerned about humans causing me harm than a dog. I'd only use the pepper spray I felt I was truly in danger though, not the ones who are almost tripping you. That's not the dogs fault, that's the owners fault! A least pepper spray won't cause serious harm to a dog if you must use it. At least it would keep them at bay til you could escape. One more thing, make sure you stop running if a dog is chasing after you and face them and say 'NO!' with a strong voice so you don't look like prey to them. Sometimes that's enough to get them to stop.
 

gazoo

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Aug 26, 2006
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I carry pepper spray for when I am running/walking. I'd been charged repeatedly and randomly in various neighborhoods and feel safer since carrying the spray.

Having been bitten by a family member's dog, I won't take chances. The recovery from that bite took months.
 

cvw1004

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Apr 1, 2008
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You can use body language to make yourself less threatening to a dog you think might be about to attack. Our behaviour can be interpreted as a challenge by a dog. You need to reduce the challenge by making your profile small. Stop moving, turn sideways, cross your arms over your chest to keep your hands out of the way and do not make eye contact. The dog should lose interest if it feels you are no longer a threat, but is still likely to come, may jump up and sniff you. Try not to panic as scent gives them info. I appreciate this seems counter-intuitive, but it does work.

I would only use the spray as a last resort as an alpha type dog probably wouldn't stop if you sprayed it and it could make things worse.

We had to learn the above techniques when we took on our rescue dog. He had not been socialised as a pup and is very protective. Even now after 5+ years we have to ask visitors to adjust their body language. Once he understands they are not a threat, he totally ignores them. HTH
 

BritAbroad

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Jun 9, 2012
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The H-rabbit hole
First of all, I'm NOT a dog lover. Never have been. It's probably due to some dog owners who are ignorant don't leash them, let them bark all night, etc. Anyway, I'm a runner and I constantly have to deal with dogs running up and almost tripping me because they're not on leashes or they are on leashes and people let them get to close anyway. As annoying and dangerous as that is, my main concern are the ones that growl and try to bite. Is pepper spray effective on dogs? I don't want to just scare them because that can make them more aggressive. (I have scars to prove that) I'd like to disable them long enough to get out of harms way
Nothing frustrates me more than irresponsible dogs owners, I'm a large breed dog owner of two Personal Protection security trained dogs. So if you are running in an area where it is not a designated off leash area then would I be wrong to assume that you may have similar laws to where I live and that it is against bylaw to have a dog off leash in a non off leash area? Where do you live?
Also, it is against the law here, even in an off leash area, for a dog to chase a member of the public in an aggressive manner.
If you are running it can trigger a prey drive in dogs so if you're running and a dog gives chase aggressively, for your own safety, stop running immediately. CVW1004 has given very accurate advice on how to proceed.

It would be much more appropriate, and safe IMHO, that if such laws exist in your area to simply report the matter and have it dealt with legally, especially if this is happening with specific dogs and your post makes it sound like this is a regular occurrence.

As for 'disabling' a dog with pepper spray, please be aware (though as a non dog lover you might not be concerned) pepper spray can permanently injure a dog. So if you are running wielding an aerosol, I'd advise it only be used in the most dire of circumstances and not reactive to an irresponsible owner who's dog runs up to you and is of no imminent threat.
My friend's dog was sprayed as a joke whilst on his own acreage property by guys who were antagonizing him through the fence and it burned his eyes so badly it turned them white and nearly blinded him completely. The attached pic is of him after he was sprayed and the resulting damage.

So is it effective? Yes, you can potentially permanently blind them.
Will it disable them? It depends on your aim, also, be aware of wind direction and the potential to get dosed yourself or for you to harm people who are nearby.
My best advice is to deal with it legally, if this is indeed regular problem on your running route, as spraying someone's dog (especially a leashed dog) could rightly or wrongly lead to some aggressive owner confrontation.
 

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vinbenphon1

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May 2, 2013
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I agree with 'britabraod' about being careful with the pepper spray and only use it as a last resort. But I would much rather blind a dog than loose my face or leg… But yes, be prepared to deal with aggressive owners (make sure you have enough pepper spray left to use on them :smile:
In Australia these types of dogs (as pictured above) are banned and it is illegal to breed them. But there are still enough of them around.

I think telling OP that she shouldn't run or that she should go somewhere else is inappropriate. Parks are public land and even if it is a 'dog friendly' park, the owner must have complete control over that dog. They do not have the right to let their dog chase or act aggressively towards other dogs or people.
 

BritAbroad

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Jun 9, 2012
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The H-rabbit hole
I agree with 'britabraod' about being careful with the pepper spray and only use it as a last resort. But I would much rather blind a dog than loose my face or leg… But yes, be prepared to deal with aggressive owners (make sure you have enough pepper spray left to use on them :smile:
In Australia these types of dogs (as pictured above) are banned and it is illegal to breed them. But there are still enough of them around.

I think telling OP that she shouldn't run or that she should go somewhere else is inappropriate. Parks are public land and even if it is a 'dog friendly' park, the owner must have complete control over that dog. They do not have the right to let their dog chase or act aggressively towards other dogs or people.
I completely agree with you, if I'm being attacked by a dog I will defend myself appropriately with as much force as needed to defend myself from being bitten.
Last month, my neighbor's Dachshund was loose in their yard with no gate, I was walking to work and she ran out after me barking. I stopped walking, she didn't stop and bit the back of my leg. I pinned her to the floor under my boot with significant force that she couldn't escape and bite me again.
Her owner came over and was surprised that she had bit me and apologized. I don't know why he was surprised, she's always been aggressive and they are always having to grab her if people walk past because she goes wild and she's never leashed on her property so she's free to run off it if they don't catch her in time.
I required sutures, thankfully I work in the ER and got them when I got to work.
I pressed charges with Animal Bylaw. I don't care that she is a small dog, she caused me harm and I needed medical treatment. Now she has a record and subsequent attacks could lead to more serious legal consequences than just a fine.

I have my dogs under control 100% of the time, I put a lot of work into training them from day #1 and they do not bark or lunge at people or other dogs, whether they are leashed or at the dog park. Even if dogs bark at them they are indifferent.
vinbenphon, the dog picture above is the sire of one of my own dogs.
I'm not a fan of banning breeds, all breeds potentially can and do bite, all dog owners should be held legally accountable for their dogs if they cause harm to other dogs or people out in public. Without getting off topic into breedism, I do not want to get bit by any dog of any breed or size.

Yes, without question the OP should be able to exercise in public without risk of being bitten.
 
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vinbenphon1

Member
May 2, 2013
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Western Australia
My first thought when reading this was 'a dachshound really' but then I have been bitten my a maltese terrier and a German Shepherd, so I know its not breed related, but owner related. Unfortunately, the Australian government thinks one way to reduce the incident of dog attacks is to eradicate what they call dangerous breeds. I guess that is easier than holding people responsible for their dogs.

In Melbourne last year there was an incident where a man passing through a park was chased by a dog and he obviously thought the dog was going to attack him, so he stabbed the dog. Dog needed stitches but was ok. It was the owner that the guy then had to worry about and the public outrage over the injured dog was out of control. Everyone wanted to inflict some sort of violence on this guy. No one was angry over the fact that the dog was not leashed and that the owner clearly had no control over his dog. The guy shouted for the owner to call his dog back and to get it away from him first.. so I thought the stabbing was justified. I would do the same. Imagine if you were taking your child out for a walk and something like this happened.
 
Sep 11, 2006
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I would suggest that if you pepper spray a dog intent on attacking then you will just aggravate the dog and make the dog react even more aggressively.


I'd also be wary on legal grounds. How do you prove to the owner the dog was going to attack you when they raise a complaint that you pepper-sprayed their dog?


I think it's opening a complete can of worms that could cause you more problems.
 

vinbenphon1

Member
May 2, 2013
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Western Australia
its difficult to consider legal issues as OP doesn't say where in world she is but usually If a dog attack's a person, that owner has no legal rights (unless on its own property, and even then it would be limited)… The only legal issue for OP or anyone that defends themselves agains a dog attack is how quickly the dog can be put down...
 

girlsnstilletos

Say NO to IVORY
Jan 24, 2014
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I completely agree with you, if I'm being attacked by a dog I will defend myself appropriately with as much force as needed to defend myself from being bitten.
Last month, my neighbor's Dachshund was loose in their yard with no gate, I was walking to work and she ran out after me barking. I stopped walking, she didn't stop and bit the back of my leg. I pinned her to the floor under my boot with significant force that she couldn't escape and bite me again.
Her owner came over and was surprised that she had bit me and apologized. I don't know why he was surprised, she's always been aggressive and they are always having to grab her if people walk past because she goes wild and she's never leashed on her property so she's free to run off it if they don't catch her in time.
I required sutures, thankfully I work in the ER and got them when I got to work.
I pressed charges with Animal Bylaw. I don't care that she is a small dog, she caused me harm and I needed medical treatment. Now she has a record and subsequent attacks could lead to more serious legal consequences than just a fine.

I have my dogs under control 100% of the time, I put a lot of work into training them from day #1 and they do not bark or lunge at people or other dogs, whether they are leashed or at the dog park. Even if dogs bark at them they are indifferent.
vinbenphon, the dog picture above is the sire of one of my own dogs.
I'm not a fan of banning breeds, all breeds potentially can and do bite, all dog owners should be held legally accountable for their dogs if they cause harm to other dogs or people out in public. Without getting off topic into breedism, I do not want to get bit by any dog of any breed or size.

Yes, without question the OP should be able to exercise in public without risk of being bitten.
I'm a little curious why you have two Presa Canario's (it looks like) for personal protection? They are gorgeous dogs btw. That should keep people away from you for sure ;) I agree, no dogs should be banned because of their breeds, it's the ignorant owners who create vicious animals and allow them to attack people. I happen to live very close to Detroit and there are many very irresponsible pitbull owners which give them a bad name. Lots of dog fighting rings, it's sad and terrible. That being said, when we were searching for rescues in abandoned crack houses you see on the news, we carried a lot more than pepper spray for our safety. Most strays are cautious and run away. It's usually the dogs which have owners who are 'trained' as guard dogs tied up outside with little to no socialization are the ones which concern me the most. Its a sad life for those dogs. It's a whole different world in Detroit. Unfortunately very few dog owners train their dogs like you have. We were actually much more worried about the humans who could be in those houses, not dogs.

Any dog who came after me and attacked me, and broke the skin on top of it, I would definitely press charges as well. It doesn't matter if it's a small dog or not. I don't want to get attacked by any dog, would be most concerned about an *aggressive* large powerful breed dog which is capable of causing great bodily harm or death, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to defend myself.
 
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bagnshoofetish

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Feb 12, 2006
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...I think telling OP that she shouldn't run or that she should go somewhere else is inappropriate.
I don't. Sure the all parks are public but if you are well aware of any danger in one of them why would you insist on going just to be defiant? If you knew there were loose dogs in a specific park and there were already some incidents with aggressive dogs there would you send your children there telling them, "hey its a public place. screw them"? No. You still need to take precautions to avoid any place you know is not safe enough for you. Yes owners are responsible for their pets but you cannot rely on them all to be responsible. Thats just tempting fate. I didn't tell the OP to stay out of parks. Just to stay away from the ones where she knows there could be danger.

I like boxermoms advice for this spray if you want to carry something with you.
http://www.healthypets.com/directsto...FY0WMgod-isAAg
 
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luvumore

Member
Mar 25, 2013
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We have a beautiful city park that literally runs miles and miles through our town with a bike path that stretches the entire way. And yes we have a leash law. Unfortunately about once a week I encounter aggressive dogs and/or dog owners who have no clue. I don't think I should have to avoid the park due to their incompetence. We live outside of city limits so on the days I don't want to drive 9 miles to run in the park , I run the roads out here. The 5 miles I run has a house with an aggressive Great Dane. It's ridiculous to suggest someone avoid an area due to the possibility of an aggressive animal. I'll protect myself anyway possible and then go after the owner full blast. Sorry, this is a hot point for me. Especially when I see that the majority of pet owners are responsible and have delightful and well behaved dogs. Then along comes the inevitable moron. Ugh!