A dog attack is no joke, and your Active Self Protection must include defense against dogs who could get violent. I am a dog lover (and an American Bulldog owner!) and hate to see a dog shot, but this is the kind of instance where a firearm is the appropriate tool against a dog attack for sure. NOTE: please read the news story on this one…the officer was responding to a dog attack complaint when he came up to the house.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video of the dog attack with all the details from local news: https://get-asp.com/qi8i
How do I protect myself from a dog attack?
- First aid skills are important, whether it’s a dog attack or a human attack. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. Here the officer is fairly badly chewed up by the dog attack, so having a first aid kit on his person would have been a great idea to start some wound control before EMS arrived.
- 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. A dog attack is no joke emotionally, so being able to process it and stay mentally engaged to defend yourself is important.
- 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. In this dog attack the officer had to use his hands to fend off the first attack, which is not uncommon!
- Whether you’re LEO or CCW, you need to know what force options you have available and when to abandon one and move to another. (“force options” are a better model than the older “force continuum” model) You need to know when your pepper spray is the best option, or when to abandon it (or the TASER) in favor of your firearm in a split second decision. The best way, of course, to learn and embed these options in your mind is to train in force on force scenarios with the options and then respond to the situations appropriately. In this dog attack the officer had been badly bitten in the first attack, and so going to the firearm against that threat was very wise and certainly justifiable.
- While we know that shooting with both hands on the gun is best for recoil control and putting fast, accurate shots on target, we also know that it’s not always possible to do. We must train and prepare to use our firearm with both our gun hand and our guard hand in case of injury or incapacitation. This dog attack certainly showcases that need.
- Keep your firearm ready to fire. Some people carry their firearm with an empty chamber, but doing so is not recommended for several reasons. First, it assumes that you will have both hands available to you to draw your firearm, which isn’t necessarily the case. You might have a hand engaged or injured. Secondly, it assumes that you’ll have time to chamber a round in a gunfight, but gunfights are won and lost on tenths of seconds. Third, it assumes that you’ll have the dexterity to chamber a round under duress, though in the moment many times I have seen people fumble their chambering attempt. Keep your defensive firearm ready to fire, with a round in the chamber!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)