A dog attack is no joke, and though we don’t see too many of them on video at Active Self Protection, this one definitely showcases some of the challenges you might face if attacked by a dog. This is scary, but it’s also how fast real-life defensive encounters happen!
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: https://get-asp.com/js3c
More details on the dog attack and its aftermath from local news, including an apology from the dog owner who screams in this video: https://get-asp.com/e9mr
What can self-defenders learn from this dog attack?
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. This dog attack started in a split second for sure! On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! Getting training against a dog attack in particular is difficult to find, but Force on Force training in general is helpful for stress inoculation and decision-making.
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. In this dog attack the second officer thankfully didn’t take a shot with his partner as his backstop!
- Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. The white dog put a couple of significant bites on the officer in this dog attack, and getting shots on target quickly saved him from injury.
- In a gunfight, movement is your friend. The officer didn’t stand still for the dog attack here! You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a deadly force encounter because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.
- Our goal as self-defenders is to stop the threat. We are not vigilantes and we are not out to kill, we seek to stop the threat against us. Shooting to wound will not stop the threat reliably, and neither will shooting an attacker in an extremity. The only reliably means to stop an aggressor who means us death or grievous bodily harm is to put shots in the center of their available mass to cause nervous system collapse or bleeding out. (exsanguination is the technical term) In this dog attack it meant two shots to center mass of the first dog, then reassessing the second dog and NOT pulling the trigger. Great work by the officer!
- The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves. The backup officer responded to this dog attack as best he could, and because he didn’t have a decent backstop he didn’t shoot. Good work.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)