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Hanover Fist writes:

My wife and I walk with our three-year-old daughter to the local dog park to run around and play with the dogs. The park is divided between large and small dogs and we tend to stay in the small dog area so she doesn’t get bowled over by an over enthusiastic Rottie or Great Dane. However I know that any size dog is capable of attacking and I always carry when we go to “play with the puppies”.ย I carry my usual choices for two-legged threats when at the dog park, a Taurus TCP with CorBon hollow points, or a M&P 9c with 124 grain +P Gold Dots (depends on the weather…Texas heat). What are your thoughts on a dog-centric carry load?ย Am I making the right choice?

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    • Agreed; exactly my first thought after reading the article.

      As a general rule, going directly to guns would be…overkill.

      • Suggest ratchet down another notch. Get product:SprayShield Animal Deterrent Spray, it’s an aerosol
        spray with citronella in it. Works like a hand held mace spray. I pet sit and walk dogs for a living. Have it with me if I’m with dogs. It worked on every dog I’ve used it on. If you are dealing with aggressive dog don’t wait until it right up to you. Spray from 6/8 feet. It does not hurt the dog, just smells gawd awful to them. Last thing you want to do is actually injure someone’s dog. I used it on one of my own dogs, Becker, neutered male 4 yr. old Golden Retriever, who was being a jerk to a newly arrived foster dog. Only spritzed him one time, after that all I had to do was point the canister at him for “a major attitude adjustment” You can find it in some Petsmarts but not all, so make it easy on yourself and order.
        from BTW, my experience has been that tiny dogs hate toddlers. Small kids can get even a nice dog hyped up. I require all my Goldens to sit before allowing anyone to pet them. Harder to lunge from a sit. Stray dogs are always a possibility so when my husband goes for a walk I make him take the Spray.Shield.

        • Yup – we used this for training. I never had to actually squirt it at the pooch, just shoot it past his nose, like a warning shot across the bow.

      • Agreed as well, also bear sprays too. Something to remember, some pepper sprays mist, others stream. Some have UV marker dye in them as well, but the thing i would go for is capacity. You get 2 or more dogs in a fight you want to have enough to hose down all participants if you cant aim for specific individuals. I would much rather clean pepper spray off my dog then bury him.

    • I started carrying pepper spray after an almost-incident I experienced while out walking my dog recently. I came upon a local society matron who was freaking out over another dog that was humping her dog and wouldn’t leave, and she was so torqued she was screaming everything including the f-word. By the time I got close, she had managed to stuff her dog into a car and drive off, still screaming. I wanted to be able to help but didn’t want to shoot a dog just for being too horny. The dog didn’t bother my dog, so it wasn’t necessary for me to do anything, but it made me prepare for next time.

    • Pepper spray is good as a back up; but if you have a strong wind and the dog/s is upwind of you; then you’ll get a face full of pepper spray and you’ll be blinded as the dog/s turn on you.

      This was a scenario one night a while back where four pit bulls run out of the dark and jump my Chow as we are on a walk. I pull my Glock 30, (compact .45ACP); and charge into them taking aim at the first dog in front of me. Just as I’m drawing up the slack in the trigger, BOOM, the dogs scatter and run off, without even growling at me. and my dog wasn’t hurt.

      So Yeah, pepper spray is good as an option, but don’t depend on it.

      • You should only use a stream product if you want results.

        If you don’t have the S/A to anticipate and notice the wind direction, maybe you don’t have the S/A to be walking the dog, either.

        • Seriously? What a dumb argument. You shouldn’t have to monitor the wind direction and speed to walk your dog around the block… that’s like saying if you haven’t done a comprehensive traffic analysis then you aren’t fit to drive to the grocery store.

          be mindful of where you’re at, what’s going on around you, and go about your business, but trying to hype yourself up every moment that you’re doing something is just going to tire you out. carry the stream pepper spray so you dont have to worry about wind, and also avoid sounding pretentious and condescending to other people who are sharing their experiences.

  1. I dunno…. little target, moves quickly….. I’d want more than one projectile coming out of my muzzle at one time….

  2. I’d go with a light saber, it’s a more elegant weapon from a more civilized time.

    Short of that, I’d personally go with .45ACP hollow points. Big holes in puppies should do the trick.

        • Yeah, and then they put me on guard duty out at the Death Star’s perimeter watching this stupid little exhaust shaft. The maintenance guys came out and said they needed to remove the grate for cleaning and to install a filter.
          “Don’t worry” they said
          “We’ll have it back in place tomorrow” they said
          “Nobody ever comes out here anyway” they said

    • +1

      Also why in the holy hell is this guy taking his kid to a dog park? He should take the kid to a kid park, then he won’t have to shoot anyone’s dog. People don’t like it when others shoot their dog, and may be inclined to shoot the shooter in return…just sayin.

  3. Pepper spray honestly, you wont miss and its a good FIRST deterrant. Not to say you shouldnt carry also anyway. I live next to a dog that is about the equivalent of The Beast from The Sandlot and while he is semi friendly and i can hand feed him a treat, I am always prepared for him going Kujo but hope that it doesnt happen.

      • Ha I bet that would be some super tactical tier 1 pepper spray. Wind is a good point, the time Ive used it, wind was not a factor and it was very much at bad breath distance, so much in fact that its close enough to still affect you a little as well.

    • Unless there were to be dog / kid interaction and you miss the dog.

      Pepper spray first. I KNOW it works.

      Everything else is back-up.

  4. Dogs usually scare pretty easy from loud noises. Any load bang should do the trick. My father in laws neighbor used to take take of nuisance dogs with a bb gun. One time a dog that he hit the the bb gun came back, and all he did was replicate the sound of the bb gun and it ran crying.

    With that said, I have been charged three times by dogs. Twice by German Shepards and once by a Rottweiler. A neighbors Rott killed my dog many years ago. My dog got pushed into a yard from an abondoned house. I did not shoot the dog (which I regret) because I was in city limits. When the police showed up they had AR15’s. So if you ask the police, based on my account, you need an AR15.

    I think any gun should do.

    • “Dogs usually scare pretty easy from loud noises”

      No No and HELL NO. A dog fully committed to an attack will not BLINK at a gunshot. I have been the guy making the loud bang, do NOT risk life and limb on that theory. A 1911 going off 3 feet from a dog on dog fight did not cause either dog to even hesitate and rang my bell for 2 days. My next action was a swift size 10 1/2 steel toed boot to the ribs of the main aggressor that STILL didn’t phase either dog. I had to nearly beat the aggressive dog to death before he let my dog go($$$$$). After that I had pepper spray near the back door in case it happened again.

      Some dogs may flinch at a loud noise but when the adrenaline starts pumping all bets are off. Pepper spray should ALWAYS work because they can’t attack what they can’t see. A pepper sprayed dog flails like it’s on fire(almost comically in hindsight). The downside is that you end up spraying BOTH bodies in the tangle(daughter/dog or dog/dog), still better to be pepper sprayed than mauled any further. It’s also easier to explain to the police than firing a “warning shot” within city limits or risking hitting anything other than the dog.

  5. Remove the bacon from your pocket and fling it.

    That picture up top is hilarious, by the way. I was nearly in fear for my life and almost cleared leather.

  6. Rhodesian Ridge Backs are good size doggies that were used to hunt lions. Real African lions. Not these overgrown house cats we have here. Pepper spray first. If that don’t work, flamethrower. Or pick up the next guys chihuaha and throw it to the ridgeback. While he’s snacking, run like hell.

  7. If you are in the small dog area, why not embrace your inner field goal kicker? I have no idea how any adult could submit dominance to something that small. Just grow a pair and boot the little bastard, it isnt some extinct specie of super wolf.

  8. Why carry dog specific. If you are going to carry, carry to stop a human as you state. Little dogs get the boot or use you EDC knife for bigger variants. Be prepared to get dirty if you don’t want to shoot.

    • ^This. Pepper spray or the citronella seems a better option. If you shoot someone’s dog the next round chambered had better be an effective anti-personnel round because you are going to have to deal with that dog’s owner. Any word on how well Tasers work on dogs?

  9. If you shoot the dog you will probably have to shoot the owner too. Kinda like the rules for hunting with dogs. Rule #1 – Do not shoot the dog. Rule #2- if you shoot the dog you will have to shoot the owner.

    • Yep, if someone shot any of my dogs, they would seriously increase their chance of getting shot, if not shot, at the very least pistol whipped severely…by my wife.

    • Typically in these kinds of attacks, most of the movement is going on from the shoulders forward, the dog isn’t exactly running around in circles. A 30-40 pound dog (or bigger) even if they’re only stationary for a second at a time, from 5 yards or less away, is a very easy target. Any contact will dissuade it immediately; one need not shoot it in the face to stop an attack.

  10. Nepalese Kukri is what a real man would carry (ala scene in Apocalypse Now when Kurtz dies)…woops that should be for TTAK … LOL

  11. I think this is a silly subject, so I’m hereby declaring this a dog thread.

    Savannah squirrel watching:

    Convinced there’s a squirrel on that branch just out of reach. She was actually grabbing the pine needles in her mouth and pulling down on the branch:

    Tired of chasing squirrels, so she just flopped down where she stood, in the middle of the woods (zoom in):

      • I really don’t know. The vets changed their mind at least a half-dozen times as she grew up. Now they tell me they can find out with a $75 DNA test, and I’m not sure I care that much. Some girls I knew when she was young conferenced and came up with “Florida Brown Dog.” So that’s what I tell people.

        The title of this post amused me, because my best guess is she’s got some Ridgeback in her. She’s clearly crossed with something though, because she’s 25-30# light for a Ridgeback, and they have longer noses and not-curly tails.

        • Ah- we have a foster dog that resembles Savannah (facially, coloring, tail, etc). We think she’s part Ridgeback also, but definitely crossed with something smaller. She weighs ~25 lbs. very sweet and loyal puppy.
          That would make Paige ( the foster) Tennessee Brown Dog. I like it.

  12. Assuming you are in decent physical condition, you should be able to stop the attack of any small dog with a powerful kick. (I would characterize “small” dogs as around 35 pounds and under.) And when I say “kick”, I don’t mean flipping your foot at the dog or a martial arts kick. I am talking just like you are trying to kick a field goal — a 50 yard field goal at that.

    A Taurus TCP in .380 ACP may not be enough for larger dogs. I would definitely carry your 9mm +P at a minimum. And if you ever encounter a really large determined dog, be prepared to put multiple rounds into it and sustain injuries until all the bullets finally shut down the dog.

    Remember, the horror of being injured (or possibly sustaining injuries) that stops many humans immediately does not work with animals. And the pain of gunshot wounds that often stop human attackers immediately rarely stops attacking animals immediately. That means an attacking dog will continue to attack until they are physically incapable. And that takes time when their gunshot wound comes from a handgun.

    • My Permit-to-Carry instructor was a retired cop. He told the class that from his experience 9 mm is ineffective on dogs, for the reasons you listed. Before we go off on dogs and cops again, the context was apprehending gang-bangers with guard-dog Pitbulls and Rottweilers. According to him, that was one of the reasons they switched to .40 S&W

    • “Remember, the horror of being injured (or possibly sustaining injuries) that stops many humans immediately does not work with animals. And the pain of gunshot wounds that often stop human attackers immediately rarely stops attacking animals immediately.”


      How many hunters on here have seen a deer take a bad shot and take off?

  13. I like to take my German Shepard to the park to play with the children. What round should I carry in my Glock 10mm should the little ones get aggressive with my dog? Will
    this work with their yuppie owners as well?

  14. How about first learning how to handle dogs? What is it with modern people today that they can’t seem to learn how to handle animals? Has this society gone full retard to a point that we can no longer handle domesticated dogs, horses, etc? Maybe so, because the guy with the most successful show on how to handle dogs on TV is a guy from rural Mexico.

    First, let’s all agree that cops provide wonderful examples of how not to handle dogs, regardless of which end of the dog the cops are dealing with. So we can start with “look at everything cops do to/with dogs and let’s not do that.”

    Second, don’t run. Running triggers the prey drive in dogs.

    Third, grow a pair. When I was young, I had to kill dogs that were set on me by a dope dealer with just feet and fists. Not pleasant, but certainly not impossible. There’s a large spectrum of reaction to a dog attack before we get to “front sight, squeeze…” I find that most any dog can be swiftly persuaded to back off by a swift kick. Want another option? Go get a ASP baton. Rap that across a dog’s snout and he’s going to back right the heck off of you.

    Lighting off a sidearm in a dog park in a situation where there are probably going to be people running towards you to help handle the situation is a tragedy in the making. Don’t do it.

    • “Want another option? Go get a ASP baton.”

      Wouldn’t you know it, that’s also illegal in NJ from what I understand… our self defense options are SEVERELY limited in this state.

      • Illegal but not hard to get. I may or may not have known people growing up who may or may not have orderd collapsable batonsand buttetfly knives from bud k no questions asked.

      • Is it illegal to carry a cane in NJ. I have a walking stick to go with my pepper spray here in CA. Both are legal and not as likely to get you put in jail if your encounter does turn hostile.

        Make no mistake about it. If it was legal I would add a gun to my selection. But not as a first resort.

        • It wouldn’t surprise me to have the cane considered “for unlawful use” if you didn’t actually have an injury or disability.

          Our pepper spray is limited to 3/4 oz. or less…

        • @ mark_anthony_78

          That is why Reno is a day trip drive away for most central CA residents, also, pepper spray for people is limited, but bear spray is not…. And I would wager just as good or better, considering it is a higher potency.

        • UDAP bear spray is my friend (although it’s probably past its expiration date now) ๐Ÿ˜‰

          My brother, not so much, he tested it on himself once. Not directly in the face, but just the edge of a cloud that the wind blew back at him and thus rendered him a sobbing eye-watering mess for 45 minutes.

    • This. I haven’t met a dog yet that I couldn’t calm down or scare away. If I had to carry something for dogs, it would be the same thing I would carry when I go camping…Bear Spray.

    • This +1. I’m a dog person, though. Most dogs who charge me change their minds and lick me. And most dogs don’t want to charge me anyway.

      Smaller dogs, jack russel or smaller stop if you charge them instead. Medium, throw sand or a rock. Kick if necessary. Big dogs, kick like hell. Don’t let them get you off your feet. If they do, use your knees to grapple them and squeeze their ribs from behind. Use a choke hold on dogs with longer snouts, better chance of taking them down, the longer snout acts as leverage and a guard to stop your forearm from entering their mouths.

    • Ya know, I got bit up by a pack of ferals a decade or so ago. If you want to handle them with some thrown sand or something or even a kick or two be my guest; I had them on both legs and my left ass cheek with two more from the front…

    • *this. If not an ASP, something similar will do the trick. A friend of mine was on a long distance bike ride out in the sticks, and was being chased by a rather agressive ( not playful) dog. Didn’t have an ASP, but the portable bike pump extended enough to whack the dog on the jaw. Didn’t kill the it, and the dog quit the attack after that.

  15. Laugh all you want, but in many rural areas feral dogs are a menace and are killers. Last year a lady had her face chewed off by a pack of dogs not 20 miles from here. I bet she wished she had a pistol with her before she went on that walk.

    • Yea, I know. I’ve had to shoot several when we were farming.

      But we’re talking about a dog park here. I kinda doubt we’re going to see too many feral dogs running down people in a dog park. Women, kids and dust bunnies posing as dogs? In large abundance. Not a good tactical situation for lighting off a handgun.

      • You are of course correct and I am in complete agreement with this. I was merely commenting on the danger of feral dogs.

  16. Pepper spray.

    I’m not one to downplay the damage a small dog can do (I had a coworkers who was bit on the leg by a small dog and proceeded to have a stroke due to a fat embolus), but your first step should be pepper spray as to avoid legal issues by PD not being happy about a discharge in public.

  17. I can’t stand parents who just bring their kids into the dog park so their kid can play with the dogs. In that environment the dogs just want to play with other dogs. Buy your kid a dog if you want her to have one to play with. Carrying in a dog park “when you go to pay with the puppies” because you are concerned about the dogs potential behavior is ridiculous. If you are that concerned don’t go into the dog park in the first place. If you go in a dog park you assume the risk for you and your kid. Bring plenty of rounds. If you shoot my RR you better get me as well. I carry, but not for the dogs…

    • First off I want to thank all of those who have given constructive advice. I carry all the time and I just thought I would ask for advice with regards to this specific situation. I will definitely be adding some pepper spray to my pocket from now on based on your comments.

      I am quite comfortable with dogs and know how to behave around them. I also think that it is important for my little girl to know how to behave around them in order to be a better person. We cannot own a dog right now, but a puppy is definitely in our future.

      For those critical…um…people who seem to think that they need to tell others how to raise their children…DIAF. My daughter is quite popular at the dog park and when we skip a day everyone asks where she was. The dogs love her and their owners are always glad to see her. I am just glad we don’t have jerks like Ben, CharlieFoxtrot, or Vendetta in our neighborhood. You guys sound like a lot of fun to be around. You guys want to tell me what I should feed her tonight, or are you late for your SEIU meeting?

      • Youre one of those guys in walmart who lets their screaming bastard run the aisles without a care in the world arent you?

        • No. I don’t shop at ChinaMart, and my kid would catch a whooping for behaving like that. You are one of those guys who goes round calling children you haven’t met bastards aren’t you.

          Stay classy.

        • Well, in his defense, if they’re running around screaming, they’re little bastards, and I don’t have to meet them or their parents to know that.

  18. Do you have a dog? If not, just don’t go in. I take my dogs to a leash-free “dog park,” which is separated by a fence from the people park. I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would take a toddler or a little kid in there. It’s an area (in fact, one of the few areas in most towns) for dogs to be dogs, and that includes running around and rough housing. Yes, it’s the responsibility of dog owners to ensure that their pets are well socialized and behaved. Still, as you say, there is always a remote chance that some weird set of stimuli will set an animal off, and whey they are running around and playing with other dogs their psychological state is very different from what it would be if they were out calmly walking on a leash. And you are going to create a situation in which your kid is potentially in danger, then shoot some dog to fix it? In all leash-required areas, you would have a perfect right to instantly shoot a dog that the owner fails to control, even for a moment. But you don’t have an unfettered right right to enjoy other peoples’ dogs, so I would say you should take some responsibility for keeping your kid out of harm’s way if you go to one of the very few places that dog owners are free to enjoy.

    [Glad to see some other express related thoughts while I was writing this rant]

      • “Some topics bring out peoples’ inner “Michelle Obama”?” Are you fvcking kidding me? You ask a question about which rounds would most effectively kill a person’s pet in a situation that you created? After getting serious responses from people who have taken the time to explain the illogical and irresponsible nature of your question, you flame people and tell them to go die in a fire? If you don’t have a dog and there is the most remote chance that someone’s dog is going to attack your child, please, stay away from the dog park with your kid and your pistol. What is that saying we repeat here time and time again? Avoid stupid places, with stupid people doing stupid things? This would fall into the category of a stupid place to bring a small child. Grow up.

        • Where is this hysteria coming from? You guys are acting like anti-gunners here. You are acting like I am going to the park just rearin to shoot a dog. Just like the anti’s claiming all carriers are just rearing to shoot someone. Stop and listen to yourselves for just a moment.

          I have no desire whatsoever to hurt someone’s pet. I live in a fairly small town and the group of people at the park all know each other fairly well. Stop acting like progressives and assuming you now the entire situation and that you know better than me when it comes to the choices I am making with my family.

          Again, are you going to tell me what to feed my kid, or what time she should go to bed, or what public parks she should visit? Oh wait…

        • Dood, I’m the exact opposite of hysterical, and I would never solicit advice to parents as I am childless. You set yourself up for these responses. Ask a troll question, get troll answers. Explaining to someone that the situation is irresponsible on your part does not equate to anyone being a liberal or an anti. By all means go wherever you want, but understand there is implied risk at an off leash dog park, you are putting your kid at risk by entering the gate. If everything is cool at the dog park, why would you ask what kind of bullets would work best to shoot a dog. I’ll give you a legit answer: whatever you’d use on a human, and aim for the shoulder.

      • If you want to risk having your 3 year old get hurt, that’s none of my business. But if you then risk discharging a weapon close to me and my family, then it becomes my business. I wouldn’t go as far as some others to say that I will shoot you if you shoot my dogs, even over a situation that you created. I value human life over dogs lives. Regardless, if you are popular at the dog park, fine. Have fun. Just be a farking man and take full responsibility for the risks you are taking.

        • “But if you then risk discharging a weapon close to me and my family, then it becomes my business.”

          Does this apply at the grocery store? How about in a restaurant? Walking down the street? Driving in the car next to your family? Feinstein, is that you?

        • Big difference. You get attacked at the grocery store, you didn’t create the situation. Not much question (in my mind) as to whether you have the right to shoot. Of course, you would still be responsible for stray bullets, but that is the case any time anyone discharges a weapon.

          Now, if you knowingly create a situation, then things are different, both from a moral and legal perspective. If you take unneeded risks and create a bad situation, then shoot your way out of the situation you created, sorry, you don’t get to claim moral high ground. I think you will understand this point once you calm down a bit and think it over.

    • Just as I don’t let my horses visit nose to nose with horses they don’t know, my dogs don’t get physical with dogs they don’t know.

      Dog parks are bad news all around. Avoid!!

      • [Off topic]

        Hey Mina, I read most the content on the Anonymous Conservative’s web site. He may very well be on to something. I used his techniques on our resident malignant narcissist that stops by my office a couple of times a week to sour my morning and it sent her packing in less than a minute ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Great to hear! I have been practicing online vs some strongholds of Liberal group think and boy do his techniques work.

          Working backward from ‘techniques work’ it has to mean ‘theory good’, yes?

          I am pleased to hear you are on board. Please go share the joy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. Watch your damn kids. Then you wont have to worry about them getting “bowled over”. You are after all in a dog park where dogs are allowed offleash to play. My god… The common sense.

  20. If you shoot a dog at a public park for anything short of mauling you or your family . . . likely as not you will end up in jail. Best case scenario, you spend the following months fighting a civil suit. When you walk into a dog park, in most states there is an assumption of risk, meaning you know or should know the inherent dangers associated with the usage of that area, namely that dogs will sometimes fight and someone could get stuck in the middle of it. Most places put a big sign in front that says as much.

    There is no reason you should ever need to do this. Dogs don’t just “go off” anymore than firearms do. There are always behaviors before a fight breaks out that are easy to see if you are paying attention. Unstable dogs tend to exacerbate underlying character flaws in every dog, so beware the high-energy but submissive dogs, as well as the overly unfriendly dogs that react immediately to anything coming near it. If you see lots of unstable behavior, leave. Just leave. More to the point, get to know the “regulars”. Every dog park has them, the people who show up on a daily basis and know most of the dogs on sight. They will be able to tell you who to watch out for.

    Finally, your three-year old shouldn’t be in a dog park unless you have one parent there to watch the dog, and another to watch the child like a hawk. You may think that you have taught your kid well, but I can tell you from experience that kids have a knack for setting dogs off, and I can’t even begin to count the number of parents who don’t pay enough attention to what their kids are doing. Inevitably they will try to pet the one dog that doesn’t get exercised much and is on a hair-trigger, or will grab the dog in a place or way the dog isn’t used to, or any other number of things. What your kid doesn’t realize is that while YOUR dog is used to it, nobody else’s dog has that experience, and might likely interpret the actions as a threat. Your best protection is being aware of any tension in the park, and leaving when it seems to be getting worse.

  21. In addition to the TTAG rule “stay away from stupid dogs doing stupid things” – pepper spray should be your first choice b/c studies show it is more effective. And fewer consequences for all involved. That said – The Post Office uses 0.33% pepper spray. FORGET THAT – Virginia legal 10%! will teach an important lesson to the canine involved. Hey… Your beef with the owner will be the same either way.

  22. Shout, kick, pepper or bear spray, hollow point, in that order with not a lot of time between.

    Most likely, you will never get to the hollow point stage. I was a professional dog trainer specializing in “bad dogs.” I never had to kill one, although I was sorely tempted to beat the hell out of their owners from time to time.

  23. When I took the pepper spray instructor class from Ed Nowicki, one of his co-instructors was a captain from a drug task force. The captain had long experience with aggressive dogs while serving warrants on drug dealers. He had seen dogs hit w/”.357, .45, 9mm. .38, and 12 ga.” he said pepper spray worked best. Just the week before our class, they’d served a warrant and were charged by the dealer’s pit bull in the house. 12 ga. buckshot to the hip and the dog was still coming when the captain fired his pepper spray. It turned immediately, ran under a bed, and stayed there until the vet came to treat it.

  24. ‘Round these parts, they don’t let humans under 12 human years old into the dog run anymore. Damned inonvenient when you are responsible for amusing both 4 and 2 legged animals.

    • they donโ€™t let humans under 12 human years old into the dog run

      They probably couldn’t stop them from crapping on the grass.

  25. I kind of like the idea of socializing your child to dogs in this way, but it’s a “dog park” for a reason: it’s for dogs. I’m far from an expert, but I’d say you’d be in legal hot water if you shot a dog there (OK, fine, lukewarmish water) if the dog was doing anything short of actually biting. Would it be worth the consequences if you thought your son or daughter was in danger? Absolutely. I just think we need to acknowledge the differences between this and a human-on-human self-defense scenario (likewise, we should probably acknowledge that a canine life doesn’t have the same inherent value of a human life). Laws will definitely vary, but I would check into it ASAP.

    Can’t you find a “human” park that dogs frequent? Or find a friend that will let you dog-sit? For what it’s worth, our local dog park’s rules say: “Bringing children under the age of five into this facility is highly discouraged. Children 12 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult.”

    If the dog is a legit threat to your child, it’s going to be extremely close to the child (otherwise, you’d be shooting a dog every week or so), not just chasing, growling or barking. I’d say one bite makes it justifiable. So close that a firearm isn’t something I’d be keen on using for fear of hitting the child. I’ve seen play-fighting at our local dog park and there’s no way I could get a clear shot if I thought I needed to. Pepper spray will probably affect the kid too, but at least the damage won’t be permanent. You’d probably do more good physically getting in there with your hands and feet than anything else than you would with a gun. Grab the dog’s hind legs, lift ’em up off the ground and start dragging backwards. Other owners should will soon be there to help.

    All that said, back to your originally query: If you’re concerned about dogs in your neighborhood or at the aforementioned “human park,” and are intent on a ballistic deterrent, Rick Perry is famously a fan of a laser-equipped LCP. I’m thinking different… maybe this would be a good use for the Judge? .45LC leaves a big hole and I’d think a .410 shotshell (or maybe that funky disc ammo that Hornady/Winchester make) would be even more effective. We’re talking point-blank here, so there’d be no concern for spread.

  26. I don’t own a dog. Just 2 cats. But – my neighbors on the corner the next block down do have 2 large pit bulls that apparently have run of the place. One of them was the same dog I had a surprise encounter with several weeks back.

    Okay. First and foremost, if I actually had to shoot a dog, said pit bull or otherwise, I’d use a rifle. But being as animal control is only a block away a nice phone call explaining why I’d hate to have to go through the hassle of lighting off a 7.62mm rifle in a reasonably peaceful part of a medium sized town because the eediot owner thought the pits would stick to their lot and not threaten me or other neighbors would more than likely solve the immediate issue.

    As for walks in the woods (wild dog packs) and such, an open-carried AR might indeed be a wise choice provided it’s legal, and at the very least a pistol (Glock 20 for me).

    Dog park? No idea what that is. But this I do know – dogs will be dogs and little kids will be little kids, and that’s just the way it goes. I got bit by a German Shepherd as a 9-year old (yes, I was alone, yes it was a different time back then and all that) once on a walk around the block because I made the mistake of running when I saw them coming. Had to do the rabies shots and all that. No fun. So, I learned not to run. I’m not gonna judge anybody about their kids and dogs, just gonna point out that you do assume an element of risk by putting them together in a dog park. Simple as that. It’s a very low risk, but there nonetheless. Your call. But you, the adult, are responsible for controlling both your kid and/or dog – period.

    In that case I’d carry a regular CCW pistol. It just all boils down to reasonably perceived risk, something that’s pretty subjective. Wild dog packs aren’t as common in most urban areas as they would be in semi-rural wooded areas (Detroit may be a major exception, and a few other places I’m sure).

    Pepper spray sounds pretty effective though I’ve no experience with it.

    Finally, I’m sorry to say I have to agree about the police shooting dogs way too much. But I don’t think it’s directly relevant to this particular article. More like what we ought to do with the offending officer in question. That’s neither here nor there, though.


  27. Thanks again for the constructive advice from those that gave it. If I felt there was any explicit danger I would not go thee with my family.

    That being said ANY activity carries certain risks and I simply wanted to get others opinions on my options should the worst happen. I think that a deterrent spray is the best thing for me to add to my pockets and am researching that presently.

  28. This post reads as if you hoping that there will be an incident so that you can shoot an evil small dog and be seen as a superhero in your child’s eyes. If you must go to a dog park, bring dog spray, electric cattle prod, 5′ wood staff made from hickory, etc.

    • Where in the hell do you get that from? Project much? I didn’t even use the words you claim I am using. Saul Alinsky-like typing detected.

      • “Am I making the right choice?”

        I think some people are applying your final line to the entire idea of going to the dog park, when I believe you’re referring to gun/caliber choice.

        • Ahhhh, I see the ambiguity there. No I was speaking in terms of equipment, not child-rearing.

          The LAST thing I would want to do is hurt someone else’s pet. I also love dogs and want my daughter to learn how great dogs are also.

          Who kicks a dog kicks his own soul towards hell.
          — Will Judy

        • That’s certainly what I had an issue with. I wasn’t nor would I ever tell you how raise your child.(nor would I resort to ad hominum name calling either). However I have no problem responding to someone’s question who appears to be uninformed on dog park etiquette. I saw a perfect example this weekend: a child came in with his parent inside the enclosure. No dog with them. The child was about 3- 3 1/2 feet tall AND WAS MUNCHING ON A BAG OF DORITOS. Sure enough a dog came over and tried to bury his nose in the bag. The kid jerked the bag away and the dog tried to get it. In about ten seconds the kid was surrounded by dogs playing/trying to get the chips. Kid was knocked over and left the park crying with scratches on his face. Who’s fault was that? Lots of dog owners hightailed it out of there probably not wanting to get involved with animal control.

  29. I don’t have children but I have dogs and have had experiences with dogs that were very much interested in taking a chunk out of my wife. I kneed the thing in the ribs and when it turned grabbed it’s lower jaw and shook it as hard as I could. I got a little chewed but it beats blasting a hole in the floor or a loved one

  30. My dogs won’t be going to a dog park. My dogs are trained to be friendly, playful, and for protection of the family. I specifically train them to not be afraid of gunshots. I start with a .22 with no leash , then the same with a leash. Continue up using ‘louder rounds’. By the time I’m finished, they do not fear the sound of a gun. They have been pepper sprayed before by our mail carrier. I wasn’t upset with her at all. My dog immediately stopped being ‘over protective’ and stayed away from her. For dogs Pepper spray all the way. For those who “shoot ’em with a pellet or bb gun. I’ve had to dig out that pellet and had dogs blinded. I’m a dog owner you don’t wanna “be afraid for my life or my property” Castle Doctrine and all.

  31. Avoid stupid places, with stupid people, doing stupid things. That would apply to dog parks and the ilk that frequent them. Dog parks are the shallow end of the dog owner jean pool.

    You are just asking for a world of hurt, shooting someone elses dog. Since you drew and discarged your weapon, another amred citizen would likely be in fear for their life, so have fun being down range.

  32. Back in my paper route days (yeah, yeah, dating myself), I rode a Stingray bicycle with a banana seat. I carried about a hundred papers and a squirt gun with lemon juice in it. Stopped every dog but one, which got put down after giving me scars still visible 40 years later. After that I switched to bleach.

    • You and I both. Same bike. Two different routes, each about 45 customers on the daily, about 60 each on weekends. Man, how I hated Sunday editions.

      Same deal. Also tried vinegar. Worked pretty well, until I met the two Dobies (one at a time) set on me by the dope dealer who didn’t want to pay up for umpteen weeks of the paper. That wasn’t pleasant.

      Hearing that the doper was busted by the cops after I said something to other adults on my route… that was pretty sweet.

  33. Lots of good advice here, some very questionable advice too.

    Citronella spray is a training aid not an attack deterrent/response. I would not waste the time even trying it as it has virtually no effect once the fight is joined.

    Pepper spray (OC) is always good. Dogs tend to be very susceptible to it and it’s non lethal and safe for non combatants to be exposed to. Also, it’s less likely to provoke a 2 legged attacker or the police.

    Follow the basic advice offered to anyone and avoid stupid people places and things. This includes taking a toddler to a dog park, it’s just such a bad idea that exposing a child that age to unknown animals is too big a risk. There have been times at our dog park I’d have like to have pepper sprayed a toddler or two off of my dog. Strange little kids and strange dogs don’t mix.

    That said, if you’re keeping to the little dog park the advice already given about giving a dog the boot is a far better idea than shooting; practically, legally and socially. Small dogs aren’t apt to keep up biting in the face of a real attack by an adult human male.

    Finally, if shooting dogs is what you’re after they actually die pretty easy. What you’re already carrying would get it done. They are thin skinned animals with easy access to the vitals from the front and both sides. The real difficulty in killing them with a handgun lies in their constant and unpredictable movement.

    Col. Cooper said it best: Offer the dog your hand, pistol and all. When it lines up to bite the offered hand he is perfectly aligned to be shot down his length.

    Cooper reports that he was later asked what to do if you don’t have a gun. His answer, reportedly, was to call 911 and inform them that a mauling victim was in need of assistance at. . .

  34. To answer the question in the title that seemed to get left out of the story, it is a hound dog. They are actually good dogs if socialized and trained properly.

  35. Devil’s advocate here, you put yourself and daughter in harm’s way so why worry? I’m hoping the post was met as a joke because you make all gun owner’s look like we are searching for trouble. This post alone would condem you had chance occur you shot fido. Besides in Texas most dog owner’s are probably packin’ so I doubt you’d make it out alive…. Tone it down and re-think the situation. I carry in NM but rarely think about fido or the local cat, its the owner’s you need to worry about. I would never go to a dog park and let my child play with a pet someone else own’s just asking for an issue. I don’t wish to offend but you’re putting your daughter at risk and inviting a lawsuit should something go bad. In our PC sensitive world any post like that will probably get you flamed. FYI, your selection of weapons and ammo will work fine on fido (the cat too!)

  36. Like already stated, have some sense and take pepper spray and quit being a dumba** taking your kid to a dog park, unless you are also taking a dog which you didn’t mention.

    You’re lack of cognitive reasoning and jump to even mention “what gun is best to shoot someone’s pet” is exactly the reason we responsible owners have a bad reputation.

  37. You need a gun for a small dog. And if it is attacking your child, well think about it, your not Kirsten Weiss, your more likely going to hit your kid than the dog. You didn’t think about this much did you. Never go full retard.


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