Not All Threats Walk on Two Legs: German Shepherd Shot in Self Defense

Defensive Gun Use

In Palm Coast, Florida, 69-year-old James Armes was walking his puppy when two German Shepherds approached in a reportedly aggressive manner. The man turned to go home, but when the dogs started coming after him, he pulled his .380 pistol.

Armes shot one of the dogs as it lunged for his left calf. The dog collapsed as the other ran off. Mr. Armes, who was licensed and carrying legally, went home and called 9-1-1.

The dog’s owner, 40-year-old Michelle Wisher, told police that the dog had gotten loose from her backyard (it’s illegal in the area for dogs to run loose without a leash). Neighbors also informed the police that the dogs had been loose and aggressive multiple times in the past.

For these reasons among others, the shooting was determined to be justified self-defense.

“This is an unfortunate tragic neighborhood situation. While we never want to hear about the killing of a pet, pet owners must be responsible and watch over their animals,” said Sheriff Rick Staly.

He’s exactly right. Although sad, this situation could have been a lot sadder if the dog, fully capable of inflicting serious or even deadly injuries, had continued its attack. Especially if the second dog joined in.

This is a kind of defensive gun use that anti-gunners tend to gloss over. Although they can save your life during a home invasion, dogs can be far from harmless, and can be both unpredictable and extremely powerful when they become aggressive. Although these self-defense shootings don’t always make the news, it’s fairly common for a gun to tip the scales between life and death during a dog attack.

Have you ever encountered a serious four-legged threat? How did it play out?

comments

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    I love how the author is “staff writer.” Lol. Probably to prevent unwarranted retribution from all the unconscionable dog lovers out there.

    1. avatar luigi says:

      nah i love dogs but that was justified

      now if only you could shoot the neighbor’s loud cats without legal and internet retribution
      i need to invest in a suppressor

      1. avatar bobo says:

        I trapped a COW-worker on this in a very well made logic loop

        cats should be on a leash like dogs at all times…because they have to get rabies shots like dogs and can attack or cause harm plus communicate disease I started

        but cats are wild animals! they should be able to go out at night or the day!

        If its a wild animal—well then where can I get a hunting license for them??

        BUT ITS A PET!

        you just said wild animal…or is it a pet that the owner takes responsibility for 24 -7??? make up your mind??
        One I can hunt, the other I cant and you have to keep inside24-7?

        loci loop, stuck…reset brain=fried!

        1. avatar Animal Lover says:

          bobo is a bastard. Cats are harmless. Quit being a dick. I wish you were my coworker i would have you crying like a little girl.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Cats kill vermin. Not dems but mice/rats.

        3. avatar Nigel the expat says:

          @neiowa

          Lol at the caveat. 😉

        4. avatar jjimmyjomga says:

          cats are songbird killing machines – they should not be outside to hunt freely. The USFWS has done extensive studies on domestic and feral cat effects on native songbird populations and its pretty dramatic.

      2. avatar Rick Hess says:

        CO2 powered (I am now on some enviro-wackjob shit list) pellet or BB gun. Follow the 3 S principle, shoot, shovel, shut-up.

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Any angry dog lovers shouldn’t be angry. I personally also own German Shepards and love them, but an angry aggressive one is not to be taken lightly. They’re very strong, smart, fast, and work well in teams. It’s on the owners responsibility to make sure they have proper fencing and secure their areas so they cannot escape. Owning such a breed, like owning a pit bull or other strong dog, is a responsibility. It’s not like owning a chihuahua. And when I say proper fencing, I mean real fencing, not waste high chainlink. A buddy of mine who has a Belgian Malinois had his chew through a steel kong kennel.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        And if you turn your back on an aggressive animal they will attack. I have been caught out in the open by an aggressive dog and two bulls. Standing my ground and talking rough to them got me out of bad situations. I was probably just lucky but I knew that if I turned my back it was all over. Glad the gentleman wasn’t hurt.

      2. avatar Bill says:

        You cannot compare German Shepherds to pit Bulls..
        There a totally different kind of Dog….
        Yes German Shepherds are big strong fast and one of the very smartest of all Dogs they are bred to protect. Pit bulls are bred to kill and are a real danger.
        I do agree and I carry if any Dog go after you with intent to hurt you I would have to pull weapon, with one difference I would shoot one in ground or in Air before killing the Dog.l

        1. avatar Rick Hess says:

          Never fire a warning shot, fire to stop the threat. If a 4-legged animal attacks, it deserves the same attention as a 2-legged animal that attacks. Shot the damn thing until the threat is neutralized. Yep, I love animals pretty much as much as the next person, but damned if I’m going to let myself or loved ones be attacked and not defend.

        2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          “Pit bulls are bred to kill and are a real danger.” Only in the sense that pit-bulls are terriers and terriers, of course, are “bred to kill”. Despite their reputation (which always seems to me to be similar to the “evil black rifle” hysteria) pit-bulls—like other terriers—can be loyal, loving, entirely trustworthy pets.

        3. avatar daniel says:

          If you fire into the ground or air you just admitted it wasnt a deadly threat. Plus genius what goes up must come down and people are killed or wounded every year by geniuses like yourself or New Years eve morons shooting into the air. Took reports during the day on Jan 1st as well as July 4th or 5th for bullet holes in house roofs, car roofs etc. If you fired into the ground or air and told me it was to scare the dog…off to jail you would go. Do what you suggest and you better be sure that nobody could possibly see you or that you live somewhere without a law on discharging in public

    3. avatar Karen Grefsrud says:

      I want people to remember just because the dog is small and cute. REMEMBER ALL DOGS CAN AND WILL BITE. I Had a Chihuahua attack me while I was riding my bike and I had 13 stitches in my ankle.

      1. avatar Rick Hess says:

        Chihuahua’s and other small animals can cause serious harm to you. Best to punt them into the next city block. Vicious little dogs piss me off, usually because the owner will tell you that “cuddles” would never harm a flea. First, kick the crap out of the little dog, then the owner.

  2. I’m one of them (the dog lovers). We have a regular contributor who wishes to remain anonymous.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Can you shoot any mouses, too?

      1. avatar Autofill says:

        I’ll use pepper spray, thanks.

        I have no need to create a lifelong enemy by shooting someone’s dog when the dog is just doing what comes naturally.

        The guy in this story is going to come home one day to a burning house. And his neighbor will have a convenient alibi.

        1. avatar New Continental Army says:

          I agree with your point, in that pepper spray can be a useful derrent to angry animals but it isn’t always the case. This should really be a lesson to everyone in self defense but also to responsible animal ownership. I own a couple of Shepard’s I specifically trained to attack… but I also live way out in the sticks where most people are too afraid to go, and have very good fencing. Many people get these dogs, or other kinds of dogs like Pitts and Malinois, and live in the city with little yards, and don’t take them out much. Then get shocked when they tear Shit up or try to escape. These types of breeds aren’t meant to be apartment pets. They’re meant to have a daily job and expend a fair amount of energy per day.

        2. avatar UnPC Aussie says:

          There was a recent case in court down here of a dog attacking 2 cops, one ended up getting seriously injured and pepper spray was entirely ineffective in deterring the dog from the attack (they also missed when they tried to shoot it but that is beside the point).

          Pepper spray is a tool in the escalation of force but, particularly with an attacker you can’t reason with, it shouldn’t be at the top of the pyramid.

        3. avatar daniel says:

          Pepper spray even with a perfect hit is not instantly effective. Since many sprays actually only are good within 6-8 ft ask yourself how fast a dog bent on biting can cover 6 feet while you wait the one or two seconds for it to take effect. Even on people it takes a second or more before the effects really set in and people generally dont have large portions of their faces covered in fur. I know some sprays claim 20 feet but actually go out and try your spray to see how it patterns……you might be disappointed in the results

      2. avatar jwm says:

        You have an m16?

        1. Havermeyer taught us to use a .45 to shoot mice.

      3. avatar GunGal says:

        Shoot a mouse? Sure, proper caliber would be with a BB gun. Had mouse living under my bed. Not afraid just startled both of us.
        One day, no appearance, gone never be seen again. I believe our Golden Retriever, Chili, caught and ate the mouse.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Dan,

      I have video of my dangerous encounter with two psychotic German shepherds that nearly resulted in their demise. It might be really helpful to expand on this article and illustrate just how dangerous large dogs can be on the loose. Any interest?

    3. avatar Gralnok says:

      Same here. Dogs, depending on their size, can be serious threats. However, a less lethal solution would have been ideal, here. I carry two guns, my main carry pistol, and a little derringer loaded with ratshot. If two blasts of ratshot and the accompanying auditory assault doesn’t convince the animal to leave me alone, then I will feel justified in shooting to kill.

      Alternatively, a good tire-thumper can be purchased for cheap at any truck stop. Mine is solid wood and cost about $7.00. This would also be good for less lethal defense against aggressive dogs.

      1. avatar Little Dogs says:

        It wouldn’t do a thing to a pittie. Cops are trained not to shoot them in the head as it may not penetrate or deter. And if one locks on they aren’t letting go. Thump away. Pepper spray nose, mouth, eyes will almost always work but no guarantee there either.

        1. avatar Gralnok says:

          Well, I’m more concerned about coyotes over big dogs. Also, I figured that a loud bang and lots of pain would be more of a deterrent. If they are really interested in mauling you, then that’s where the carry gun comes out.

      2. avatar Gralnok says:

        EDIT: I have no idea where I got the $7.00 figure from. eBay has them for about $20.00.

    4. avatar fuckyou says:

      I see you sadistic pricks decided to pull the masturbatory bullshit machismo article about shooting a cat with a bb gun.

      1. avatar Rick Hess says:

        A pellet gun is much preferred, but a serious BB gun can do the same job to send any feral cat to its 10th life handily.

        1. avatar Broke_It says:

          You really wouldn’t like what I did to this uppity lhasa apso. It got me first, but all its piss and vinegar couldn’t save it from me stomping its life out. Love your animals? Then keep them the fuck off of me.

  3. avatar MarkPA says:

    I used to live in northern NJ, 25 miles from NYC. One day while heading to the shopping area of town I saw 5 black bears crossing the road behind the grocery store. If they could be there they could just as well be in my neighborhood where we went for walks.

    Since NJ is a GFZ there was no means of protecting ourselves from dangerous fauna. Bears are no surprise in NJ. With very little hunting in the rural areas and no provision for defense in suburban areas the bears will migrate to where the food is easy.

    We need to make more of a case for carry in self-defense against dogs, bears and rabid animals.

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Progressive loons would justify your mauling death by claiming “You are the invader. They are just doing what comes natural to them. Its your fault for being human.”

  4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I have to imagine that executing lethal shot placement on a dog moving toward you aggressively is no small feat.

    Makes me wonder if the dude had police training.

    1. avatar achmed says:

      “Police training” LOL – the average cop shooting at a dog sounds like Dien Bien Phu.

      1. avatar PATRON49IFT says:

        Yeah or an Iraqi wedding celebration.

      2. avatar Dz says:

        Rob M is that you? Haha

    2. avatar RA-15 says:

      Sounds like someone doesn’t get enough practice at the range.

  5. avatar Adam says:

    As a animal lover it’s always sad to hear about these events, but the Sheriff is right when he says that the owner are responsible for keeping their animals contained. If I were in this mans shoes I would have do e the exact same thing, especially since there two agressive dogs. You might be able to fight off one dog but you can’t fight off two.

  6. avatar Ron55 says:

    Had a situation once while mowing my yard , I was using my push mower and as I came out from getting under a rhodie tree I caught site of my new neighbors dog running towards me with teeth bare and snarling. We had already had an incident where this dog had attempted to attack my 90 y.o. father in law. As it came at me I twirled the lawnmower to use as a way to stop the dog. After it ran back to their property I called the sheriff, they came out, seen how many feet it had to run to come at me. They cited the owner and were then required to chain the animal.

  7. avatar David Walters says:

    I own German Shepherds and am very responsible regarding them behaving both on leash or off leash (very rare). But as my dogs were growing up and I was walking them we were attacked several times by other dogs.

    I have a CCL here in Texas and I EDC, especially on walks with the dogs due to the many attacks we’ve sustained. But I’ve never had occasion to use it to defray an attack as I have a hierarchy of defense weapons to use first.

    In order of lowest detrimental to highest detrimental to an attacking dog they are 1) hand-held, Marine, signaling horn (available at most sporting goods stores and certainly available at boating accessories stores), 2) Pepper spray, 3) folding knife and finally 4) a firearm. All are readily accessible to my free, non-leash-holding hand during our walks.

    The marine signaling horn is almost totally reliable in stopping an attack. It’s so loud that it scares the Dickens out of both dogs and they both lose interest in fighting. I’ve only had to use the pepper spray once. I’ve never had to use the knife or pistol.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Holy utility belt (to carry all that stuff) Batman!

      1. avatar David Walters says:

        All but the firearm fit easily within the pockets of my shorts or trousers. Of course, the firearm is holstered.

      2. avatar Nigel the expat says:

        No smoke grenades, flash bangs, or tasers? 😉

        The bat-belt comment did it 😀

  8. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    My brothers German Shepard fit that description. Aggressive but also at times timid enough to put in a crib with a baby. That said as an animal lover put in the other dog owners shoes. I’d have no trouble shooting the animal.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    I always carry a SabreRed pepper gel thingy. And a knife. Mostly have a gun at the ready. Keep your aggressive dogs off the street and folks won’t like me have to shoot them.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      I’m pretty sure the “21foot rule” applies to any 50lb carnivore with a mouth full of fangs. Good bet it moves a lot faster than a MS13 POS barbarian with a knife. And perhaps even more of a predatory nature.

  10. avatar Geoff PR says:

    As a 10 year-old kid in Oklahoma, one kid thought it would be funny as hell to sic his dog on me as I was walking home from school.

    Fortunately, it was a ‘rat dog’, so the bite I got didn’t do any real damage. The kid who sicced the dog on me wasn’t so lucky. The family was kicked out off the military base both our parents were stationed at the time.

    About 15 years back, I was on a late night bike ride when a good-‘ole-boy thought it was funny to sic his dog on me.

    I never knew I could pedal that fast!

    I didn’t get bitten, but it was right then and there I decided I would carry…

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Geoff PR,

      “I never knew I could pedal that fast!”

      That happened to me in high school. That experience, coupled with my recent experience in a neighbor’s home with their psychotic German shepherds reinforced my decision to always be armed. And it was a good thing because I had to draw down on those very same psychotic German shepherds a few months later when they got loose in the neighborhood.

    2. avatar Rick Hess says:

      That happened to me when I was biking to work at the shipyards in Pascagoula. Lived in Gautier, MS, so it was about 12 miles. The road was dark and I encountered a black lab a couple of times. Pedaled like I was going up a steep hill at the Tour de France. I decided to take action, and loaded a squirt pistol with a 50/50 water/ammonia solution. The next time rover came out to try for a little bite, I started spraying until I heard an anguished scream from said dog. Evidently I got him in the face with the ammonia/water mix and he never came out to great me ever again. Ammonia works wonders, as long as you don’t end up spraying yourself.

  11. avatar JR Pollock says:

    Stun batons are very effective against dogs in a lot of cases. Most of the time, the crackle is enough to scare a dog. Just make sure to use the industrial alkaline 9v batteries.

  12. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The only time I fired a round on duty was at a charging Rott. I unofficially fired the first bean bag round for my agency.
    Hit the Rott right in the chest at about 10 feet.
    He yelped and ran off.
    Was glad I didn’t kill it.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      Tom, I apologize, but I just had to make a comment yesterday on your “I’m old school” comment… 😉

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/07/ttag-contributor/cc/#comment-4016942

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Hahahaha.
        Good stuff Geoff!

  13. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    We love our dog and make sure she doesn’t get loose. It sounds like the owner of the shot GS shouldn’t own a gold fish.

    My biggest worry when jogging outside, is a loose dog. Fortunately, I have a good jogging holster.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Jogging seems to me to be the best reason for open carry. Want your doggie to live?

  14. avatar Confidential says:

    Where I live the neighbors all have large dogs. They have not been told there is a great invention called a leash. We have cats and dogs. They all stay on our property , are well behaved , bother no one. A few years back there was a large dog that was killing our cats , attacking our dogs. I told the owner if I caught it killing another one of our cats , I would shoot it. The response I got was ” I will shoot you ” some people are just plain irresponsible. That said , I’m glad that said dog no longer resides in my area. I won’t call it a neighborhood because neighbors are supposed to respect one another ” not the case here ” my point is respect your neighbors and they will normally respect you. Keep your pets safe. And your neighborhood respectfull. The man mentioned was justified in this case.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      In a situation as you describe, chatting up the neighbors with “I will shoot your dog” is not very smart. 3 S’es are shoot, shovel, and SHUT UP! My kid brother had problems with neighborhood dogs killing his chickens for sport. He requested the neighbors keep their dogs off his property, which they laughed at. Then he got a pump 12-guage. The neighbors then began having trouble with missing dogs. But he had never threatened their precious pooches. His property has been unmolested by dogs for years, now.

      1. avatar Blackorchid772 says:

        Haaaahaaa good answer to the problem. I love my 3 dogs. But I keep my 3 loveables in the house are hard. Only in the front on the way to the car. Always supervised in the front yard. 1 pitbull 1 Morkie, and 1 Brussels Griffon

  15. avatar Frank says:

    I have a GSD as a service dog. He is normally not aggressive. However, if someone is a threat,,,,,,,,, If someone who is a threat pull a gun at my dog, they will not live long enough to pull the trigger. I would empty my mag into them.

    1. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

      Okay, there. Just understand that if your dog attacks somebody, they try to kill it in self defense, and you empty your gun into that person, then your ass is going to prison for a very, very long time. You might think your animal is a family member, and whoopee for you, but if your best friend or relative threatened someone’s life by attacking them, they would need to be shot, too.

      1. avatar the ghost of ironicatbest says:

        What ever “iron cat beast” says is right on.

  16. avatar Bob says:

    shooting shouldnt have happened. 70 yr old man without the physical capabilities or reactions necessary to handle the situation pulls gun and kills the dog. Totally the fault of the dog’s owner. If you cant responsibly control or contain your animal(s), you shouldnt be allowed to own them. Period. This was supposedly a ongoing problem.

  17. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    I have a neighbor down the street who has a pitbull that has gotten out of his control a few times over the years and has antagonized some neighborhood kids and pets. A couple of years back the dog attacked another dog that was owned by a friend of his who was staying at his house. I heard from another neighbor that this guy’s friend’s dog needed several thousand dollars worth of surgery after it was attacked. My neighbor still has the pitbull.

    I’ve talked to him a couple times about making sure he has control over his dog. He does not know that I carry. If he’s lucky, he will never find out, but it won’t be because he is smart.

    1. avatar David Walters says:

      I hear there’s something called, umm, poison or something like that.

  18. avatar RAN 58 says:

    I was fishing on a riverbank with my wife and two young daughters several years back. When we were done we headed out on a trail to our car, where a pitbull type dog blocked our path, challenged us, growling, and snarling. I pulled my .45 out, aimed it at the dog. I then yelled out “If you own a pitbull you better call him because he is threatening us and getting ready to be shot.”
    I heard some guy yell the dogs name and the dog ran in the direction of someone who was camping out of their car. When I turned around I saw that my wife had her .38 out and the girls behind her. I kept my .45 at the ready until we were back to our car. All ended well.
    I love dogs. And have owned German Shepherds, Boxer’s and Toy Poodles (don’t ask). And haven’t had to shoot one yet thank goodness.

  19. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This entire article matches my entire experience almost verbatim. The only exception: I was not walking a dog and I did not shoot since the German shepherds stopped about 12 feet away.

    I believe the German shepherds coming at me only stopped because of my body language: as they rapidly closed on me I stepped FORWARD and drew my handgun to shoot them. When they saw me step forward in a strong, confident posture, the lead shepherd promptly put on the brakes. Had the dog continued another quarter second (about 2 feet) I would have lit it up.

    Since my event, those dogs have been loose, menaced people multiple times, and bit one person. Why the owners can still own them is beyond me.

    1. avatar David Walters says:

      Just imagine what may have happened if, instead of full-grown man responding forcefully, you’d have been a 10 year old child who ran.

      As the owners remain irresponsible and as the dogs have already bitten one person…it’s likely coming.

      Call the Sheriff next time.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Oh, I can completely imagine if those dogs set their eyes on a 10 year-old. (I may or may not have a 10 year-old child.)

        And, I have called the Sheriff all three times that their dogs have been loose AFTER they bit the canvasser. The first time, the owners happened to get their dogs inside before the deputy arrived and the deputy did nothing even though he could see their tracks in the snow crossing to other yards. The second time a deputy never arrived. The third time a deputy arrived and did nothing more than call the home owner and ask them to get their dog/s inside.

        The maddening aspect to this is that I have video (with audio) of those dogs being loose two times and menacing people and it doesn’t matter to the local Sheriff. They will not act until those dogs attack someone — and then it is too late.

  20. avatar Satan’s helper666 says:

    69 that’s old he lived a long life anyway. So wouldn’t matter if he died. Sad that such a great breed has a shitty owner. Dog never would of been shot by an idiot old person of it didn’t have such a ass stupid owner. I say let’s kill the owner too! Humans suck ass.

    1. avatar Sal Chichon says:

      I’m glad the dog wad shot. It was a pest. Too bad the other one didn’t get ventilated as well.

      1. avatar Tom Chapman says:

        Yeah let’s put down your mother too.

        1. avatar David Walters says:

          Uncalled for.

        2. avatar Sal Chichon says:

          You are exactly the type of person who should not own guns, or dogs for that matter. That said, I’m glad I hurt your little feelings. 😊

    2. avatar David Walters says:

      Troll much?

  21. avatar Animal Lover says:

    I have 2 GSD and they are scary. it takes all my power to handle them sometimes. They like to jump up on me when they get excited. My guess is the GSDs werent trying to attack but play. My family has experienced this also. My uncle thought my dogs were trying to attack him until i explained to him that they like to jump up and say hello. I can see how someone would be terrified in that situation.

    1. avatar Blackorchid772 says:

      They lunged at his calf. They had a reputation for being aggressive in the neighborhood. That is according to the article. You can’t wait to see if it wants to play. Especially with an unfamiliar dog.

    2. avatar David Walters says:

      Untrained and undeterred GSDs do tend to jump up on just about anybody they even sort of like as some sort of greeting. It’s funny and cute once. It’s not funny at all when they send a 5 year old neighbor child slamming into the concrete due to the forceful “play”.

      Luckily, it’s a very simple bad habit to fix. Just take the dog’s paws in your hands the second they touch your chest and squeeze the Dickens out of the for two seconds or until they yelp in pain. Their feet are very sensitive to that sort of pressure and it only take a few times for them to never jump on you or anyone else again.

      1. avatar RuralDirtEater says:

        A stern knee to the chest along with a stern word like DOWN or BACK OFF [trainers I’ve talked with say polysyllabic words are better to use for commands] a couple of times takes the wind out of them and also is very uncomfortable to any large dog. I have 4 Great Pyrs, Golden, and a retriever/mutt mix all 50# +. I’ve trained them all that way. In the up position, the dogs never see the knee coming and associate the position to a person as uncomfortable/painful and stops. IMHO, squeezing their paws could make them associate a person with pain and become aggressive, or while squeezing they could potentially become aggressive and bite or snap.

  22. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    The closest I have ever come to DGU was at the dog park. A guy exceed the number of dogs one person is allowed to bring (2) by 4. They were all 65lb+ Stafford-shires. Two of them were so aggressive that he had them leashed and even then could barely control them. The other 4 surrounded my dog and looked of fairly ill intent and I am the sort of guy that is rarely afraid of dogs so I don’t come to that conclusion whimsically. I had my 5.25″ .357 with me and felt under-gunned – kinda wished I had an auto. After a quick calculation I just waded in speaking with as much gravitas as I could muster (to the dogs) and pulled my dog out. I knew they could have easily killed us both as I probably wouldn’t have got a chance to draw it they had attacked me. Luckily, they didn’t attack and I politely explained the reason for the rule that one person wasn’t supposed to bring more that two dogs, especially large aggressive ones. Since he had six deadly weapons, in my opinion, I didn’t think having a pissing contest with him was a good idea.

  23. avatar the ghost of ironicatbest says:

    I like dogs but you can’t have them running around fukin shit up and not expect them to get shot. I’ve had some mean damn dogs, loved them immensely, but if they attacked someone that wasn’t in my yard I couldn’t get pissed if they got shot.

  24. avatar Blackorchid772 says:

    It’s sad the dogs owner was so careless. Her dog didn’t have to die. If she simply would have been more diligent about maintaining her yard. I would be inconsolable. If I carelessly lost my pet forever.

    1. avatar David Walters says:

      I agree and it sounds like you’d be / you are a responsible, caring dog owner who would tend to feel responsible for your dog’s aggressive actions which might result in their injury or death.

      But I assure you that even after just using a marine signaling horn or pepper spray on a aggressive / attacking dog I have then received threats to my health, finances and / or life.

      Now, I did have one instance where another dog was attacking my 3 – 4 month old German Shepherd puppy and I kicked the attacking dog and got a death threat from the neighbor / owner in response. The Sheriff’s deputy who took my complaint then took care of that situation with a citation.

      I never saw his dog loose again.

  25. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    German Shepherds run hot and cold.
    Collie-Shepherds are much more sane.
    Stick with the Lab Crew.
    Shelties and Malamutes are great as well.

    1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      Yeah I’ll stick with my German Shepherds. Don’t come back here and you’ll never see ‘em. Don’t have pose a threat and you’ll never experience them. Collie, nah.

  26. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Just to dispel that Labs are fluff and puff, my female Lab pinned a German Shepherd in a fight and I had to pull her off. The Lab did not start it, but she finished it.

  27. avatar Mark N. says:

    I love dogs. I am a mess when I have to put one down. I am fortunate in that I have never been attacked, or bitten by a dog except while rough housing (and of course that doesn’t count). And I try very hard to keep mu dogs under control but they have escaped out the front door on a few occasions (which they think is just the greatest thing as they go tearing around the neighborhood until I can corral them).

    That said, dogs running loose in a pack are a threat to society and all that they come across, whether it be another dog, a cat, sheep, or children. Not far from here (Ranch Tehama where that guy went off his rocker and tried to shoot up the school and anyone else he ran into), there have been a number of instances of loose pitts chewing people up, killing one of them. Tore the ears of a nine year old. Yeah, I’d shoot too.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Mark N.,

      And I try very hard to keep my dogs under control but they have escaped out the front door on a few occasions (which they think is just the greatest thing as they go tearing around the neighborhood until I can corral them).

      I have a pitbull that did the exact same thing three times. When I first acquired her, I anticipated that she might get loose and ensured (through training and socializing) that she is delightful even to strangers. Two times that she got loose the neighbors took her inside because she was so friendly. The third time my neighbor simply walked her over in spite of how super friendly she was. She was never a threat to anyone.

      The point being: train your dog to be nice to friendly/approachable strangers — it is a great insurance policy and greatly reduces the likelihood that you ever have to use your homeowner’s insurance policy (your personal liability aspect of your homeowner’s insurance for your dog attacking someone unprovoked).

      1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        Same as people, some dogs are just assholes.

    2. avatar Matt(TX) says:

      That’s the problem with (big) dogs. If they escape and there are two or more, they revert to ‘pack’ behavior. I own two German Shepherds and a Belgian Malinois. I have to be very firm with them. I am the Alpha at my house and they are EXPECTED to behave. Otherwise the big boy might think he can make his own decisions. I still have to make some accommodations. Like only walking one at a time, again with two or more they start to think they can do what they want. You really need to start them young. Two of mine are rescues and are not as well behaved as I would like. Still they are my hairy sons and daughter. I sleep well knowing that no one will get past 3 pair of very upright ears and the view through the window is scary.

      1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        Agree on the pack mentality. Outside I have two large German Shepherds and an epic Catahoula/Bulldog that tops any dog I’ve owned for stamina, strength and athleticism. They behave differently when they’re separated. Like running my wildlife, one individually will stop when I tell ’em two, if it’s two or three of them they get, uh, caught up in the moment. One of the three will turn sometimes, but mostly they’re off into the wild green yonder.
        But it’s not just large dogs. I have three Chihuahuas that live mostly inside and they’ll try to join into the fray, given the opportunity. One of them, the smallest of the three, thinks he’s the policeman of the bunch, working for me. So when the big dogs get rowdy, little Buster has heard me fuss at ’em in the past so he thinks it’s his job to jump in and restore order. Funny to watch, he’ll jump up and bite my big black shepherd and just swing from the fur on her neck. She just ignores him, he’s lucky she’s good natured.

  28. avatar RetroG says:

    I rode my bike to a summer job as a teenager, right past a large dog that would run off their property and aggressively chase me on the bike. I took to carrying ammonia water in a squeeze bottle. It got a face full a couple of times and learned not to chase me. But I knew the situation in advance and was unable to carry at that age and in that state.

    If I were in the shooter’s situation, I might have fired a warning shot to try to scare them off, or I might have shot one (or both) of them. Hard to tell exactly what without being in the moment.

    1. avatar Ruth A Kelley says:

      I own a german shepherd its very disqusting to me that owners are to ignorant to know your own breed we all know what our dogs are capable of. Some people to ignorant to admit it. I was also attacked by a pit bull again ignorant owners that tied it outside in 20 degree weather .

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    I was a professional dog trainer before I went to law school. Some of the GSDs I trained were fully capable of tearing a man apart with ease. One sneaky 120-pound giant jumped one of my trainers and chewed him up badly; he needed over 100 stitches. If he didn’t have backup, that guy might have been killed.

    Restrain your animals, people.

  30. avatar Nona says:

    I have a German Shepherd he dose not have a mean bone his body my cousin also has one he is not mean or aggressive either, it’s not the dogs fault I blame the owner it’s all how they are raised my other cousin has a dobie she loves people as well

  31. avatar Kimberly Koontz says:

    I was attacked by a German Shepard at an animal shelter. I was trying to put him back in kennel after taking him for a walk . I don’t blame the dog, he was traumatized . The animal control officer lied to my daughter about what happened, they never took my name or anything. The hospital didn’t call the police like they were suppose to. The whole situation was a mess from start. The animal shelter wouldn’t even return my email asking if the dog, after 10 days was showing any signs of rabies. So glad I didn’t get sick. To this day nothing from them. I still have a bill with the hospital, going to send it to the county. Should interesting if the county was not told about the dog bite at their shelter.

  32. avatar jwm says:

    When I was 16 I was surrounded by a pack of pets let out to ‘play’ for the day. Being the focus of attention of a dog pack is quite scary. They kept circling and working up their nerve. Finally a shephard type came in low and fast and aiming for my legs.

    I fired one shot from a .22 rifle at near contact range. The bullet, a 40 grain solid, went in the top of his head and came out the bottom. He was drt and all his buddies took off.

    I love dogs. But I love myself more. 2 legged, 4 legged, winged or no legged. If it threatens me I deal with it.

    I’ve seen me do it.

  33. avatar Gralnok says:

    I have to agree with both sides of the comment aisle.

    I love dogs. Dogs, for the most part, are far more useful than cats, more affectionate, and more deserving of a second chance. As such, and as I said in a comment above, I would do anything NOT to kill someone’s dog unless I absolutely had to, or the dog was a persistent problem. I have my carry gun, but also a little derringer loaded with ratshot, so I have a less lethal choice. I’m pretty sure, .22magnum rat shot would hurt a lot, and the sound would bring attention to the situation, but it wouldn’t be lethal.

    HOWEVER
    If anything happened to my little terrier, I’d go ballistic. Threats to my dog, my friends, my family, are not taken lightly. Someone nearly hit my dog when she got out once. They kept going. As soon as I got my dog safely into my car, I hauled ass after them, intent on running them off the road. However, they got away and I never saw them again.

    1. avatar Cornholio says:

      If you chase someone down because you were too stupid/lazy to keep your dog locked up I would hope the people you terrorize put a few in you.

  34. avatar george lortz says:

    Florida here also. I had a large German shepherd that was a big cuddle bear. My neighbor in back had a mean-ass Akita. As I was walking my dog, leashed, around the block, the Akita popped out of his garage and made a bee-line for me and my dog. My dog just rolled on his back, but I foolishly (?) stuck my hand in to try to seperate them. Mayhem and blood ensued. This was before Fla. had it’s CCW law. So I did the next best thing; I stabbed the Akita. Meanwhile, his owner was running to get him. Long story short, I got stitches and both dogs were next to each other at the same vet. When my wife went to pick up our dog, the story came out, and the vet mentioned there were some odd wounds on the Akita. My wife feigned ignorance, and that neighbor moved away soon after. Nice to know that if it ever happens again, I have my carry permit.

  35. avatar Wade says:

    A number of years ago, a friend who owns a tree farm, happened to find several skeletons of dogs near an oil well shed on his property. Later in the year, he happened to see the field oil worker who tended the pump house and asked if he knew what happened. The engineer said that when he had stopped to inspect the oil pump some time before, a pack of dogs, let by a German Shepherd, emerged from the woods and began to act aggressively, circling his Jeep and lunging at him. He scrambled to the safety of the pump house, drew his WW11 bring-back Luger, and shot each dog as they tried to attack him through the shed’s doorway. My friend carries a side-arm ,now,when working on his isolated farm.

  36. avatar skiff says:

    Years ago, I was walking my American Staffordshire Terrier when a toy dog came out of nowhere and bit me on the wrist. I was carrying my Glock 19. The little dog just didn’t know who he was dealing with. If the dog only knew, if the owner only knew … lol. I did file a complaint with the police.

  37. avatar Dee says:

    Hogwash! So every postal carrier is suppose to carry a gun now? That’s ridiculous! Pepper spray or a stun rod would have worked just as well. I, for one, don’f feel safer walking into a mall knowing everyone is packing. Nor do I feel safer walking down the street knowing anyone can pull a gun on me if they get irritated for some reason. Put the guns away!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      The ones that will pull a gun on you cause they are irritated are going to be armed regardless of the law. After all, murder is illegal.

      But you go ahead and believe that disarming the decent folk makes you safer. The dude that wants to rape and murder you will appreciate your help.

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Do you think your “feelings” are an important factor in other people’s decisions about arming themselves?

  38. avatar Joatmon says:

    Neighbor to one side of me has chickens and ducks. Neighbor on the other side of me has a dog that’s boxer mix with what I think is staffordshire terrier.
    The dog routinely gets accidently let outside and kills my neighbor’s animals.
    Last week the neighbor with the farm animals had said dog not let his 2 kids, ages 7 & 10, out of the house. Dog stood at their door barking and jumping baring teeth. Video taken by neighbor was shown to the police and the dog was taken.
    I love dogs and have one myself but some are hard lessons.

  39. avatar Dawn Wood says:

    I keep my dobie on leash and she protects me from dog attacks and bicycles hitting me, but not from gun shot; however, we did have 3 loose German Shepherds circle and attack us before the owner got there to chase em off. And a few days ago My dobie got off leash and chased a bicycle rider, I whistled and she came right back to me, perfect display of obedience, but I try not to let my dog off leash, ever… somebody will shoot her.
    It’s legal so anyone who carries a gun will shoot a dog off leash and out of containment. Scary society we live in, be careful of errant gun fire….

    1. avatar jwm says:

      ‘I’m afraid to leave my house for fear I will get hit by a stray bullet. Blood in the streets, I tell you.’

      Where have I heard that line of crap before……

  40. avatar Rachel J says:

    I have 4 dogs, one is a GS. He is the most beautiful, loving animal ever. People instinctively move out of his way based on his intimidating looks, but then they fall in love. It’s part luck, but mostly hard work that made him this way because if he had stayed in the home he was in, he too would be aggressive and unruly. I put the blame on the owner who doesn’t have control or containment of her dogs and truly wish that people would be more responsible when owning a large, strong breed. My biggest fear is someone hurting my boy because of stories like this, but I don’t blame the man for protecting himself and his dog. 😞

  41. avatar Dawn says:

    I own a German Shepherd that was born in Germany. He is a big baby. He weighs 120#. He loves everyone, especially kids and other dogs. But, if someone would break into the house, that’s a different story. But, he would never act like that dog did if he were ever to get loose. He would want u to pet him. I guess it’s all in the way they’re raised.

    1. avatar James69 says:

      +1

  42. avatar Dawn says:

    It is so sad that a beautiful dog had to die because of an irresponsible owner. 🙁

  43. avatar James69 says:

    Fake news. We all know a .380 won’t stop anything.(per the experts on here) It’s only good for shooting mice. Now as soon as Heizer Defense builds a 6.5 creedmore single shot pistol we’ll all be safe from 0 -600 yards!

  44. avatar Joseph Murphy says:

    I feel sorry for the dogs. Sounds like they never had a chance and the owner is at fault. The shooting I get which was justified. I would of defended myself to. You cannot take these dogs lightly. GSD’s are very smart, athletic, professional working dogs and extremely loyal. Again the problem was the owner. Obviously the owner didn’t have proper fencing. And she never fixed the problem of them getting out.
    Sounds like they weren’t trained at all or limited training. If one or both were aggressive it should of been dealt with before any of this happened.

  45. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Animals can be a problem. Intestingly enough, the only time I’ve ever unholstered was doing my daily 5 miles with my GSP on a rural bike path- she was on solid point on a high point in the old RR bed and I didn’t want to get off the trail to flush a bird so I just shoved her down the embankment to flush it herself. Against all protocol, but I was lazy. There was some tussling in the horse weed patch and she came barrelling back up the embankment to me with a PO’ed coyote on her tail. I cleared the Glock 43 but the coyote turned tail when it saw me and took off across the plowed cornfield.

    I had an old friend who was attacked by a rabid fox while trout fishing in NE IA. No weapon, it was a riot hearing him talk about “dueling” with it with his fly rod until he finally stumbled over a healthy sized branch, grabbed it and beat it over the head, killing it. Sent the carcass to ISU and it was crazy rabid. Luck guy. I always pack even on my own lake lots when I’m working there. Usually the Glock, not much of a gun but certainly better than none.

    BTW (and off topic)- yesterday afternoon we were rehearsing 1812 Overture for our annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert at the IA Statehouse. 100k+ people attend, BFD all the way around. Come to the cannon parts and I was tempted to put in a few 9 mm rounds appropriately for kicks but no one would’ve been too amused… The IA National Guard artillery was great at the gig. Finally have turned the 105s to shoot over and across the audience. I love the concussion and thump beneath the stage- makes one realize they are alive.

  46. avatar m. says:

    if u keep your dumb-ass dawg on a leash, there won’t be a problem

    1. avatar DMH says:

      Maybe your Mom should of swallowed!!

      1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        should HAVE. Dumbass.

    2. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Well- I don’t have a dumb-ass dog and there wasn’t any problem. I don’t need a leash but you need a muzzle, at least on your keyboard…

  47. avatar DMH says:

    More propaganda bullshit for gun lovers.. After reading this story, many of you probably went and jerked off to your Guns and Ammo magazines…

    1. avatar jwm says:

      dmh. Thanks to folks like you we will have trump in office for 2 terms. And he will load all levels of the federal court system with conservative judges.

      You keep being you and we’ll handle the rest.

  48. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    .380 ACP for the win! This will be the next ‘caliber du jour’, 6.5CM can go suck it!

  49. avatar Schlomo Scheckelwitz says:

    How it really happened:

    >old man walking his mouthy Chihuahua
    >passes by yard with German Shepherds minding their own business
    >Chihuahua has little man syndrome and begins barking viciously and charging at the German Shepherds
    >German shepherds are like lol dude wat and peacefully walk over just to sniff the little guy and see if he wants to play
    >senile old man has dementia attack and starts mag dumping spraying bullets everywhere irresponsibly

    I hope the police take his guns and he is put into a nursing home. He is an obvious danger to society. No marks on him or his dogs. “They were charging right for me!” Sounds like he was looking for an excuse to shoot something.

    1. avatar Zookeeper says:

      Gee whiz folks we have someone with a crystal ball that can see when they weren’t even close to the action!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. avatar Mastro says:

    I love dogs and bring my Bernese to the dog park almost every day (its location was a factor in us moving here)

    Most of the dogs there are great- but there are a LOT of rescue pit-bull mixes there- often owned by reed-thin young ladies who can barely control them.

    Anyway- I carry there- just came back there now- had a .380 since its summer.

  51. avatar gsd owner says:

    I have two German Shepherds and I wouldn’t be angry at someone injuring or killing them in self defense if they thought their life was in danger. It would be my fault for letting them get free in the first place.

    1. avatar Matt(TX) says:

      I was out front with the girl dog (rescue GSD) and a cowboy rode by. We live some what outside of town. She launched off after the horseman. He gave it the spurs and took off at speed. If he had jumped off the horse and shot her he would have been well within his rights to do so.

  52. avatar Gazzer says:

    I saw a chihuahua kill a German Shepherd once. It got stuck in its throat…

  53. avatar Zookeeper says:

    I unfortunately have been attacked and bitten by a dog on a couple of occasions neither of which were my fault or taunted by me. Once was riding a bike as a kid a Collie decided he wanted a bite of me as I passed his home on a city street. The other time different city and years later I was bitten by a friends dog while mowing my own yard.
    I have owned German Shepherds all of my adult life, but have always kept them fenced in my yard. I agree with those who say you responsible 24/7 for your animals and their actions. If you are attacked by a loose dog, I see no difference in it or a coyote, wolf, or any other animal, and you have the right to defend yourself. I feel the gentleman acted appropriately in defending himself. What if it had been an 8/9 year old returning from playing with a friend?

    As for “Animal Lover” and “neiowa”, you may not know or care but your free roaming cats have all but decimated the songbirds in many parts of the country. Felines also can carry several diseases like any other animal, two of which can be deadly to humans!

  54. avatar Jackson says:

    My kids were out playing in yard one day. I hear a scream from my 6yr old daughter. Two stray dogs in the yard. One of the two dogs had the kids backed up against the barn (150ft from the house). I ran out out and the dogs turned their attention on me. I yelled at the kids to get inside the barn and close the door, which they did. One of the dogs came up to me growling showing it’s teeth so I slowly backed up and got back inside the house. Ran and grabbed my 30-30 with a few rounds, and went back outside to see if the dogs were still there, which they were. The one dog started coming after me again so I shot it dead. The other dog ran off.

    Called the animal control Sheriff’s dept. and told them what I just did. It was a large Dalmatian dog with a collar. Sheriff deputy said don’t worry, you did the right thing. They took the collar off the dead dog and ID’d whose dog it was. Later the Deputy told me they fined the dog owner as this wasn’t the first time it had gotten loose and caused problems. But certainly the last time.

  55. avatar Enufistoomuch says:

    Been chased by dogs as a kid and was bit once. I dearly love dogs but I fully understand some dogs are vicious. Most dogs seem to like me and I like them but If a critter attacks me I shoot it, simple as that.

  56. avatar Sean says:

    As a lifelong German Shepherd owner this story makes me sad. I understand that the person was defending themselves and justified. The GSD owner did a piss-poor job of training and controlling their pets.

    I have been pursued by MANY dogs over the years, breed doesn’t matter. In my experiences the smaller ankle biters are more prone to attack but the bigger breeds cause more damage. I ALWAYS have a kimber pepper blaster with me when mountain biking, I also ALWAYS have a 4 inch knife if the pepper blaster doesn’t work.

    Typically speaking the best way to address these threats is two make yourself physically intimidating, speak loud and gruff, and be very commanding. When that doesn’t work you can swing a stick down square on their head in an emergency, and don’t do it lightly.

    If you talk to insurance or medical professionals you will learn that terriers, specifically Yorkies, and dachsunds bite more than any other breed but due to their relative size most people don’t report it.

    And fuck cats, murderous disease ridden bastards that decimate local wildlife. Plus, who else intentionally steps in a shit box? WTF is that about?!

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