Have you thought about protecting yourself and your dog from an off-leash dog? I am a dog lover, and having some thought for your animals and how they might get you into a situation where you’d need to defend yourself against a dog attack is an important part of Active Self Protection.
Original video: https://get-asp.com/trny (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
What does this dog attack teach us about protecting ourselves against four-legged threats?
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. The lady here had a split second to consider what to do to protect herself and her dog, and it showed! I don’t know if she could have seen it sooner, but the sooner you see problems, the more options you have to solve them.
- Those who own animals like dogs need to think about how those animals fit into their defensive plan. Most dogs are not professionally trained and not capable of defending you or even itself. A dog attack can become a personal attack in a real hurry, and make no mistake a dog can kill you (even a fairly small one). If you have a dog make sure you think through how you’d defend yourself first if your dog got into a fight, and then how to protect your dog (a valuable property, to be sure) from aggression.
- To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way.
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. If this woman had a gun on her, she still needed to fend off the dog attack before she would have the time to actually get to her gun.
- As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. You must know how to fight on the ground and not panic if the fight goes to the ground! You must have skills from bottom position, from top position, and in the scramble. You must be able to regain your feet and fight from wherever you find yourself. Too many fights require this skill to ignore it! A dog attack will often end up on the ground because the dog is so much smaller than you are that it will knock you over to attack you better.
- Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats, and can be effective against a dog attack. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight and you can get exposed if you use it, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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