My daughter and her "best buddy"
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My daughter and her "best buddy"

I’m allergic to dogs. Not horribly, but my throat will get itchy and my eyes burn. The saliva is really the biggest issue; dog spit leaves me with a welt wherever a nose or a lick touches my skin. Not a big deal, we had an outdoor dog. But as my daughter got older, I noticed she would go outside just to pet and play with our pit bull, Lola . . .

I decided I’d vacuum once a day and avoid the dog’s nose so she could come inside and be with her “best buddy.” Lola became a permanent fixture in our home. She slept by my daughter’s bed. My little one was extremely good at letting Lola out when she went to the door, first thing in the morning and right before bed.

I liked having the dog around. Lola would growl or bark when deer came near our garden, scaring them away, keeping my broccoli and tomatoes from getting eaten.

The three-car garage blocks the sound of vehicles approaching the house. I can’t see the driveway from any of my windows. Lola would bark whenever she heard a vehicle coming up our road, making sure I was aware that someone or some critter was on my ten acres.

Last week, Lola noticed something odd outside. Once my daughter let her out, I grabbed the vacuum to do my daily pet dander elimination to keep my allergies in check. When I put away the vacuum, Lola wasn’t back. I looked at the clock and realized it had been 15 minutes since she’d gone out.  That wasn’t too long — considering the size of our property — my daughter was yelling for her. Repeatedly.

Lola never came back.

Three dogs had wandered off the horse ranch a half mile or so away, attacked Lola and killed her. A wildlife specialist investigated Lola’s death. After tracking their footprints in the fresh snow, he suggested I telephone the sheriff. With tears in my eyes, trying to console my little sweet pea, I made the call.

I told the dispatcher what had happened. He suggested I make a report. And then added: “I can’t tell you how to do this. But that’s your property your dog was killed on. You have the right to protect your land.” I said “I understand.”

I hung up and impatiently awaited the sheriff’s deputies. When I answered the door I told them I had a California CCW permit and was armed. They thanked me for telling them and took my statement. They echoed the dispatcher’s message. “Protect your land. You know what to do.”

Nothing will bring back my daughter’s best friend. All I can do is watch and stay armed while my kids play on my property and hope they aren’t attacked. Lola’s death made me realize that I relied on her as much as she relied on me. It’s time for me to learn to do her job too, but I doubt I will do it as well as she did.

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  1. gah, thats horrid.

    Plug em next time they show up, and if the owner comes up ranting and raving, making threats, plug them too.

    • I live in a very rural area, we had a pack of “feral dogs” running the area. Chased a kid that got off the school bus. I decided to do some predator calling one day. Before I got to my stand I was attacked by 3 dogs. 12ga with #4 buck dispatched 2 of them, wounded 1. Next day driving by a neighbors house I see wounded dog limping. Moral of this story is they weren’t feral, they were pets on the prowl! Anyway I ended the threat!

      • I am really worried that it is going to come to that at my house. An elderly couple just bought the house across the street and have two German shepherds that are every bit of 120 pounds each … which wouldn’t concern me very much one way or another … except that they are the most unhinged dogs that I have ever encountered and the couple have absolutely no ability to physically restrain them.

        To give you a sense of how unhinged those dogs are, I stopped over to help them with something. The husband tried talking through the security door first. One of those dogs promptly moved him out of the way and was actively trying to attack me through the storm door. After he managed to somehow close the security door, he locked one dog in a bedroom, put the other dog in a kennel, and let me in. As I walked past the kennel, that dog lunged at me and did everything in its power to get through the kennel … and repeated the same as I walked past on the way out. Keep in mind that I am really good with dogs and have no fear at all.

        Unfortunately, I feel like it is only a matter of time before they squeeze out of a door or work their way through the spindly wire fencing on their tiny outdoor kennel. And to make matters worse, the bus stop for school is right in front of their house.

        • Mr. sense,
          I am not a lawyer.
          If I could offer you a piece of personal advice.
          Don’t ever leave your house unarmed.
          Don’t ever go in their house again.
          If you do go back over into their house, you may have to shoot one.
          That would make for bad neighbors and put you on shaky grounds
          in any civil or criminal trial.

          If you don’t trust the dogs, then don’t go in their house.
          I love dogs and I try to make friends with every dog I meet.
          The dogs in my neighborhood know me as their friend.

        • I would suggest that you contact the local school board and inform them of the situation. If they choose not to move the bus stop to a safer location, and a child is mauled by one of those beasts, it would not be on your conscience, at least. I second the suggestion of never leaving your home unarmed.

        • What I did not add in my original post was that was one scary time! I was in the woods and could here the dogs growling and getting closer but could not identify a target. Got to a clearing and had to make a stand, those dogs would have killed me if I hadn’t been armed with a shotgun!

        • Glenux and Alex,

          You both have great suggestions.

          Before the neighbor moved in with those dogs across the street, the only time I would go outside unarmed was an occasional trip to the mailbox or to take out a bag of garbage in my pajamas or something along those lines. And maybe once or twice a month I would not have my handgun strapped to my side in my home while my children played outside.

          Not any more. If I go outside for anything now, I am armed. If my children go outside to play, I am armed.

      • And some people wonder what on earth anyone could need a semi-auto rifle in .223 for, other than being at war with other armed people. I bet it’d be real effective at protecting oneself from a pack of angry dogs/wolves/coyotes/(small) hogs.

  2. You can’t be everywhere all the time.

    RIP Lola…

    Prepare. Be vigilant. Do your best.
    Be kind to yourself.

  3. Yep. If a burglar showed up at my house, the cats would probably show him the safe and wish him a nice day.

      • Well if he’s too dumb to figure out how to crack the combo on a Stack-on safe they’re probably the most valuable commodity in the house.

        I should probably invest in a better safe.

        • Crowbar would be a waste of time. You know in the movies when the burglar takes out a stethoscope and listens to the tumblers to crack the safe? With Stack-on you don’t need a stethoscope. In fact you can probably hear the tumblers in the next room if you mute the TV.

        • I have a Stack-On pushbutton one-gun “safe” that can be opened by dropping it. Zero tools required.

          It might be slightly better (i.e., requiring tools but still by no means a “safe”) if it were bolted to something.

      • Malamutes are awesome and misunderstood. They have, AIR, the largest fraction of wolf DNA of the recognized dog breeds. My sister had a malamute. Her having a >100lb semi-wolfe that though she was its mother was reassuring.

        So, I met Naya as a pup, when visiting my sister for a work event. I got dispatched to take care of the pup, so sis could stay on site. So we bonded, there was feeding, and watering, and walking, and the pup didn’t entirely understand the housebroken thing which we handled.

        Next day I’m taking the pup for a walk when this rangy red-boned hound jumps off its porch to book across the street at us … and pulls up short. Puppy got behind me, all 12 pounds of her. But her teeth were out. I wouldn’t have messed with that.

        Years later, stepping in the front door visiting, I feel a bit of a freeze, then better. The limbic brain processed before the exec function … I looked up, to the landing half a staircase high, at the other end of the living room, where the mostly-wolfe’s targeting system was spinning down. She recognized me as a friendly.

        They’re very dominant. Very smart. Naturally tend toward a “high lookout” when they’re relaxing. This is not a goofy play toy, but a partner.

        • “They’re very dominant. Very smart. Naturally tend toward a “high lookout” when they’re relaxing. This is not a goofy play toy, but a partner.”

          Reading this thread and doing a bit of research, I discover the Malamute is a sled dog. When reading that article, they mentioned Malamutes being used in the sport of ‘Bikejoring’.

          Clicking *that* link, I discover that’s the sport of a sled dog or dogs on a harness pulling a mountain bike.

          Cool! Jim wasn’t kidding, a Malamute is much more than a companion, they can be companionship, protection, and transportation. A dog that strong could cover some serious ground in a day..

      • My parent’s 40lb dog doesn’t take crap from coyotes, deer, wild turkeys, and unfortunately skunks. It’s not about the size, more the attitude. He comes home every now and then beat up though.

        That said, occasionally he gets in over his head. He tangled with a panther once and nearly got himself killed.

        • My parent’s 40lb dog doesn’t take crap from coyotes, deer, wild turkeys, and unfortunately skunks. It’s not about the size, more the attitude.
          The Shetland Sheep Dogs are sort of that way.
          I have a Sheltie-Foxhound and she is a big dog in a smaller package.

      • My 100lb malamute takes no shit from the pack of coyotes that roam near my place.
        I had a Collie-Malamute and he did not take crap off of any dog or coyote. Well, except the Lab who was the master of passive-aggressive.

    • I have a 100 pound pitbull that’s about as sweet as they come but she makes one hell of a show at the front gate. If you stuck your hand in she would lick the crap out of it but no one goes within 5 feet of the gate when shes there.

      • That’s how my 90lb Sheppard mutt is too. You ring the doorbell it sounds like a hellhound coming for you. But then you open the door… and he’ll jump up and try and give you a kiss on your lips…

        • We has a Lhasa Beagle mix, brought it home from the shelter in my pocket, grew up to a whopping 24# with 125# of teeth. He’d defend the wife with everything he had and he had a lot, he was so fast the vet wouldn’t get within 3 feet of him. Made for some interesting visits.

  4. Back in the old days, in the 1980’s, I had a neighbor across the alley who had trouble keeping his dog in his yard. A very large rottweiler with a mean disposition. One morning I stepped out of my back door and this pooch was visiting my yard. He took exception to my presence in my own back yard and came at me. I stepped back into my house and picked up my 12 gauge. I racked a round into the chamber as I walked out the door. This was a clever hound who recognized superior firepower. He left in a very big hurry.

    Ten minutes later there was a furious pounding on my front door. A rather large and unpleasant woman, my neighbor from across the alley, informed me that she had seen me chase her dog out of my yard at gunpoint. She went on to warn me that if I hurt her dog, her husband would come to my house and get me. I calmly assured her that if her dog came into my yard again I would indeed shoot it and if her husband came to my home and attacked me I would shoot him also. The look on her face was priceless.

    She never visited my home again, her husband never paid me a visit and somehow the two of them figured out how to keep their dog in their own yard from then on.

  5. I can’t even begin to tell you how many dogs me and my family have shot, on our ranch. We live just a few miles out of town, and folks either dump dogs off to starve, or they come from town to hunt our sheep and goats. Either way, they get on our property and start trying to kill livestock. Have even shot several of the neighbor’s dogs, after warning them. Sad deal, but it happens. Choot’em.

  6. Years ago I heard my daughter screaming outside and when I looked two dogs were near her. I grabbed the .22 and ran outside. They were busy tearing apart her cat so I told her to go towards the house and shot the one dog in the head, the other took off so I hit it 3 times and dropped it. It was still alive so it too took a headshot. Her cat was dead so I left it for a bit and loaded up the dogs and hauled them up the road a bit and dumped them in a ditch.
    I buried her cat and told her it had run away as it was scared.
    For a week or so afterwards I heard the asshole neighbor calling for the dogs and asking if anyone had seen them. I’d gone over before when they were loose and on our land and he had told me to get the f**k off his property. So I figured I’d leave well enough alone and not say anything.
    My daughter to this day thinks the cat ran off. First cat I ever saw that would follow someone around and even let her feed it dirt one day.
    I kept the 22 around mainly for armadillos, but it did work on the dogs.

      • Armadillos like to dig holes in inconvenient locations and, last I heard, a fair number of them carry leprosy.

        • Armadillo’s are a pain , If they are just snuffling around out in the back areas I usually leave them alone, only the ones that come near the house get dealt with.
          They like to dig in areas you do not want them, flower beds, foundations, sidewalks and such so not need their help. While not as bad as pigs which really did a number a few times on the property ( at least hogs taste good ). I did make a mistake once and grabbed one by the tail to toss it over the creek. It instantly sprung up, kicked out and left some nasty gouges in my belly. That is what kills them when your car passes over them, they sense it and jump. They are stupid, if you miss and the projectile hits near them instead of running away they often stand making an even better target. And if you hit one it’s boing boing boing as they jump around.

  7. “I’m a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I’m no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won’t hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat.”
    ― Muhammad Ali, The Greatest My Own Story

      • Cassius Clay was neither Sunni or Shia. The sect of Islam he joined has brought peace, responsibility, education and prosperity to many lives. Though it’s not my thing I respect his right to practice what he wishes.

        If you are a Christian see if you can imagine Jesus saying what you said.
        If you are a gun owner see if you want to be painted by Hillary as an irresponsible dangerous person who belongs to a terrorist organization, the NRA.

        Now back to dogs. I can tell we love them!

        • The sect he joined was the Nation of Louis Farrakhan, who, in case you haven’t noticed, is a giant racist POS.

        • Clay was a great fighter, and a stupid follower of a dumb sect of islam.

          ALL ISLAM = the enemy of the Judeo-Christian West.

  8. Had two dogs run wild on my street. Called the law and an hour later he shows up. I asked him what I could do if he can’t be here and I should do what he would do. And we know what that is.
    Keep dogs under control so we don’t have to .

  9. Any dog – even a “friendly” one is invaluable as long as it barks at anything out of the ordinary. It can stay alert so you can focus on other things and of course their senses are much better than ours.
    I feel for you Sara, that you have such an unfortunate allergy, but get another dog as soon as possible. Preferably a shelter adoption: you’ll never meet a dog more thankful for a home.

    • I seem to recall hearing that there are breeds which do not trigger allergies like yours, might be worth looking into! Seems like poodles were one.

  10. It could have been your child walking outside instead of your dog. I’d feel about as guilty for smiting those mongrels as I do when flushing a toilet.

  11. I’m not saying you should lure those other dogs back onto your property to shoot them….

    Actually, yeah I am.

    • A little hamburger, a little antifreeze, mix thoroughly and place strategically.
      The dogs won’t be back!

      • They now add a chemical that makes antifreeze taste bitter to prevent animals from drinking it. It is a law in a few states but most manufactures had switched to adding it for all states. I do not have a problem at all with that. The stuff taste sweet so animals are drawn to it. And it is not a pleasant way to die.
        I avoid poisons, they often take out the wrong animal or work their way along the food chain as scavengers eat the carcass.

  12. Heartbreaking. Sara, my heart bleeds for you.

    I love my yellow lab, and we keep her on leash as much as possible, even though we live in the sticks. The leash is for her protection. Very very few comply with the county leash law. There are cougar and moose in these parts, but cars, dogs and people pose a much greater danger. The only time I have ever drawn my gun was just a few steps fom my door to defend against a charging pit bull. No shots were fired, but the dog is no longer a danger. The owner “relocated” his dangerous dog.

  13. Sad story, and I’m sorry for your loss. You never get over the loss of a good dog. I’ve lost a few really good dogs and cats too, and I still think about them. If the time comes when I stop thinking about them, I’ll know I’ve stayed too long at the fair.

    I’ll see you again, Wolff, Rocket and Storm. Not for a while, I hope, but we’ll meet again.

      • No they are not on the other side. Human beings have souls and are God’s children. Your Fido…not so much.

        • People come to the earth to learn how to love unconditionally. Dogs already know how, so they don’t have to stay as long. And yes, we will all meet again.

        • Marc’s understanding of Christian doctrine is, I believe, the correct one. Your pets don’t have immortal souls.

        • Larry, I don’t disagree, but I nevertheless will call out Christians who don’t understand their own religion.

          The rest of you, if you don’t believe me because I’m one of those damned atheists, ask your pastor/priest/minister.

        • Except for that little thing called Papal infallibility: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” – Pope Francis

  14. Losing a great pet really sucks. Sorry Sara.

    I have a dog for the very reason that Sara just encountered: my dog is an alarm system and a life-saving distraction in the event that coyotes or stray dogs come onto our property while my children are playing outside. While it sucks that those dogs killed Sara’s dog, they might very well have come after her child had the family dog not been outside. In other words Sara’s dog may have literally saved her child’s life.

    Our dog is exceptional and we really like her a lot. So of course I hope that she dies of old age. Nevertheless, as much as we like her, she is expendable if it comes to that. And our dog may have already helped in this regard. Last winter, my older daughter and our dog were in the back yard after dark when two to four coyotes approached and started their, “Hey, we just found dinner, come over here everyone!” vocalizations. My daughter and our dog assumed attack posture while the coyotes continued to size them up. Fortunately, the coyotes broke off after about 7 seconds. Had my daughter or dog been out there alone, I suspect the coyote pack would have attacked. Had the pack attacked anyway, I am hopeful that our dog would buy enough time for our daughter to make it to the house … or for me to provide ballistic intervention. (Yet another reason to home-carry.)

      • I would hope his daughter is now old enough to carry a youth-sized pump-action .410 loaded with three-pellet buckshot when she’s outdoors.

        Uncommon, she learned a valuable lesson about predators. That should stay with her when she encounters the two-legged variety when she starts dating… 🙂

        • Geoff PR,

          She is old enough to handle a .410 shotgun now … I really like that idea of three #00 buckshot rounds. I’ll have to seriously look into that. And yes, dating is just around the corner … ugh!

      • ACP_arms,

        It is funny that you should mention .44 Magnum:

        I have been thinking about a coyote load that would stop a coyote and be a responsible choice given that neighboring homes are well within 200 feet of most parts of my yard. (I am NOT talking about hunting … I am talking about something that I can use to shoot coyotes that are attacking my children.) So far, the best that I have come up with is a watered down .44 Special cartridge that would launch a 180 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of about 600 fps. That should be quite capable of dropping a coyote instantly at close range. And yet the report would be fairly quiet and the slow velocity means that any misses or pass-through shots should drop into the dirt pretty fast. And even if a round did hit a neighbor’s house, it would be minimally dangerous to the occupants.

        Got any other suggestions?

        • .223? i kid.
          pretty sure a good spring piston rifle in .22 would do the job.
          are those polycast rounds loaded in .44?

        • Only thing I can think of is a .22lr bolt gun with subsonic or low(er) velocity standard ammo.
          I really can’t comment more than that as I don’t know hole lot about ballistics
          out side of the charts from ammo makers and ballistics by the inch.

          That looks like good load you have come up with though.

        • tsbhoA.P.jr,

          I don’t think the spring-air .22 rifle would do it … some of the coyotes are well over 50 pounds around here. (They are coyote-wolf hybrids allegedly.) That is why I was thinking of a 180 grain, .43 caliber bullet. It has enough diameter and weight to put a 50 pound coyote down in short order, even with an impact velocity of 550 fps or so. And yet it should pose minimal risk to anyone’s home if an errant round happens to go where I don’t want it to go.

          As for bullet construction, I was thinking of plain lead pills with the largest meplat diameter possible … in other words the lead bullets in “Cowboy Action” loads. Now, if I could find a full wadcutter for .44 Special, that would be ideal. I’ll have to look for that.

        • Dood, your neighbers houses are close enough that even at reduced velocity a .44 caliber 180 grain load poses a lethal threat to anybody in their houses.

          For yotes in your situation I would use as light a shotgun, someone suggested a .410, as possible.

          Don’t discount air rifles. A .22 caliber springer will deal with any yotes at yard ranges.

          Some folks in my circle who were not gun people asked my advice when they retired to a lakeside community here in CA. After looking at their place and it’s proximity to neighbers and why they needed or wanted a gun and we came up with a youth model .410 pump gun. Short and light enough for 2 retired age non gunnies to be comfortable with and powerful enough to see them thru a crisis.

  15. Im pretty sure that an animal owner is financially liable for damage that their animal does off of their own property.
    If cows get out and cause a car wreck the owner of the cows is financially liable. If sheep get out of a pen and eat the neighbor’s crops the owner of the sheep is responsible. If a dog gets out and bites the toddler next door the owner is financially responsible. Am I mistaken? Does this not apply in the loss of Lola?

    • Dogs are considered personal property, so it should be no different.

      Here’s the catch though. How do you define, in legal terms, the value of a lost pet? Lost crops or livestock are easy, it’s whatever the replacement cost is, but how do you do that with a beloved pet?

      • IIRC, the courthouse value of a dead dog is the depreciated value of a live puppy (as in ‘you would be very lucky to get the cost of a puppy in exchange for a used dog if you sue’)

        Now, if you could get compensation for a claim on a young child’s pain and suffering…

    • Some states are “open range” and cattle are entitled to be on the road. And your property, too, unless you fence them out.

    • Any such speculation is silly, unless you have a video of the dogs killing yours, the owner will just deny his dogs were involved, and you have no actual proof. I nearly killed a pair of Rotts when I first moved in where I am now, since I kept finding them in my garbage where the cans had been tipped over. Fortunately, common sense overtook me, and I realized that of course they were in the garbage, it was all over the street, but that did not mean they tipped the cans over. Turned out they were lovely dogs, only ones I ever met who were trained to respond to the command “go home!” spoken by anyone. Suspect the real culprits were ‘coons, problem stopped without ballistic intervention.

  16. I am so sorry that your daughter lost her buddy. Like others here, I have lost beloved dogs and cats. I bigger than what asn adfult might feel.hope you can replace the dog with a new pet and I hope that the offending dogs in the area meet with their just end. Your daughter has my prayers and best wishes, her loss is bigger than what an adult might feel. Give her some extra love.

  17. In the rural areas that I grew up on, the rule was to shoot any dogs on your land. Once they started to run in packs, there was trouble.

    This is why silencers need to be cheap and easy to buy. Sara could sit in her backyard with an AR in 300 Blackout and nobody would ever know…

    • Yeah, except I wouldn’t wish to wait months until the paperwork went through. She mentioned she has 10 acres. That screams “scoped AR” to me, ready to go tomorrow, while your daughter is still with us. Pyss on the noise. Get ya a nice shovel and the scenario is complete.

  18. Sorry about the loss of your family member, look into a poodle for a replacement; pure bred ones supposedly don’t cause allergies.

  19. My kid sister has a chihuahua. Way back when, we very afraid that a hawk or wandering coyote might snatch the little guy up. Sorry to hear about your doggo, Sara.

  20. I have 2 pitbulls , I have a 5 foot chain link fence all the way around the back yard and locked gates. We also have a 5 acre hobby farm in Western Washington. They are not allowed to roam at either location, Dogs need fences and borders, its just a cold hard fact

    • Some dogs need fences. The one I had in high school (who is now my parent’s) has roamed free since he was born, fitting for a descendent of a stray.

      He’s friendly, and is mostly bark, unless you are aggressive toward him or any of us (he nearly killed a wild turkey that attacked mom once).

      He always returns home, and is for the most part a welcome sight around the neighborhood (it’s very rural). And, thanks to be a roamer, there’s no skunks or coyotes left in the area as far as we can tell, although the panther did get the best of him.

  21. Sara, you are wise to be very careful with the neighbor dogs, which have already exhibited pack behavior and predation. You should file a complaint with county animal control and get them on record as “dangerous animals”, right now. Next offense and they will be destroyed, or go to a kennel far away at owner expense. The life you save may be your daughters.

    Get another dog, Sara. Better, two. Your daughter will get over her grief faster, and you will have the best home protection system available.

    Check out a short-haired breed, like Rhodesian Ridgebacks, or one of the low allergy breeds, like Giant Schnauzer.
    German Shepards would be a good choice but shed like crazy.
    Avoid Akitas – great for protecting against other dogs, but like a loaded gun unless you train them very carefully.

    Livestock guardian dogs like the Anatolian Shepard are becoming popular, for their natural bred in instinct to attack coyotes, and protection against feral dogs. See: Anatolian Shepards, Akbash, the short haired Kangol.

    ANY dog capable of fighting other dogs will require careful training, and you will be liable if they wander, if your property is un-fenced.

  22. That sucks. My grandma and my dog both passed away while I was studying in the Middle East; I really miss my dog! 6 years on and I still dream about him periodically.

    Yeah, I definitely agree, get another dog, or two. In Kyrgyzstan they have a type of sheep dog whose name literally translates to “wolf strangler”. Not sure if you can get those here, and truth be told a highly independent shepherd species may not be what you want.

    I am currently reading “The art of raising a puppy” by the monks of New Skete. I highly recommend it and their “how to be your dogs best friend”. No anthropomorphizing of dogs, and they appear to be perennial favorite books.

      • How so?

        I’m not sure either way to be honest. I like their books but I haven’t checked out their order much.

    • The first thing to remember when training dogs is that they are pack animals, and you should use those pack-animal instincts to maintain control of them.

      A dog/wolf pack has certain rules and hierarchies, and you need to make it clear that your husband and you are the Alpha male and female (the leaders of the pack). A good training book will teach you about the ways to show dominance in your body language and in the way you act around them. Once the dogs understand that you are the most dominant one in their pack, then they will accept subordination to you, will want to please you, and training them will be much easier. Conversely, a dog that believes it is dominant over its human owner(s) is completely unmanageable.

      The pack hierarchies will also ensure that the dogs will treat your children like they would treat the puppies of the Alpha dog. So they would never think of hurting your children. Since you and the dogs are part of a pack (which is basically a large familial group), they will also tend to protect you and your children from anyone trying to harm you.

      My dogs have learned that all humans are friendly if I let them come onto my property. They bark at people or other dogs that come near the property, thereby giving me a heads up before they could hurt me. I don’t think they would actually hurt an unwanted stranger, but their barks are so intimidating that a bad guy would surely look for an easier target somewhere else.

  23. My condolences on the loss of your dog.

    My best friend lost his pitbull “Ila” to cancer. She was a great dog. Fortunately, he was able to rescue another pitball named “Hans.” It may be best for your daughter to get another dog or two. Pitts can be wonderful companions.

    And I agree to have the incident thoroughly documented. It makes if a self defense defense shooting against these dangerous animals is ever necessary in the future.

  24. All I can say is at least your local law enforcement is okay with you handling the situation as needed. I know I’d need one of my children to be in danger before I could resolve a bad dog owner issue. Note I said bad dog owner.

    We have a not-so-friendly black lab that gets loose a lot. I’ve been trying to get my wife to carry. Before the youngest kids were born, she was walking out oldest in a stroller with our Keeshond. She’ll bark, but won’t defend. She ran into the lab, and it backed down. But I tried to get the wife to understand that carrying isn’t just against 2 legged aggressors. There’s no way she could’ve run away with the stroller fast enough, and no way our dog would defend her.

    It wasn’t enough to make her carry unfortunately. She still thinks she’s okay in suburban utopia.

    I’m truly sorry for your loss. I am a dog lover to the bone. I’d hate to have to put someone else’s dog down, but I’d do it without hesitation. At least your PD will let you defend your “property”, not just human life.

    Sara, just know Lola waits across the Rainbow Bridge.

  25. Something I’ve done for my own dogs but may or may not work for other situations: electric fencing. You can get the traditional exposed wire types for less than a hundred bucks worth of stuff and they do a decent job of keeping large animals both in and out of the property.
    The kits are pretty easy to setup and don’t harm the dogs. After a few brushes with the wire all mine have learned to give it a wide berth.

    Full disclosure, I don’t have any nearby neighbors or kids and my dog fence isn’t near any roads. Having bumped into the wire myself a few times, it does hurt like hell but there’s no permanent damage. You have to keep the grass low and regularly inspect it. But once everyone learned to respect the fence, life with my dogs got a lot easier,

    • $100 for an electric fence? Between the wire, power unit, posts, and insulators I have a hard time imagining you did a whole yard for $100. Was there a fence already in place you just added it to?

      • Yes. I was just counting the Electric part. I had a welded wire t-post fence that I attached it to (the main problem was my dogs digging under that).

        The energizer ran me $50, a few bags of insulators and the wire another thirty. I recall the whole Amazon order came in under a hundred and I still have wire and insulators to spare.
        It’s been about two years since I set it up and so far no escapes, only one broken wire (after a storm).

        Right now it’s just on one side of the house and the back yard. I’d imagine it will cost a bit more to do a whole ten acres. Posts are cheap tho. The wire fence runs about a dollar a foot here.
        Still, it’s cheaper than the electric collar systems. Those also don’t do anything about other animals.

        • have friends with an invisible fence to retain their brittainy spaniels. it took the squirrels one day to figure out exactly where they could taunt the pooches from a safe vantage point, down to inches.

        • @Fred, I used to train dogs for a living (before I went to law school) and did electric fence training with a portable fence charger. Once the dogs were fully trained, electricity was no longer needed. Just make sure that the charger is noiseless, or the pups will very quickly figure out when the fence is off or on. They are damn clever little beasties.

  26. A terrible thing for your daughter to have to learn at that young an age.

    Now she knows clearer *why* you carry…

  27. Since I have jerks for neighbors, I finally put up a big fenced in area for my dogs. The Collie-Malamute liked to wander off, but he was harmless to humans and most other animals. I did have more of a problem with the neighbor’s dogs which were not harmless coming on my property and picking a fight with my dog ( which was a bad idea). Somehow, this usually all became my fault of course.
    My dog on your property bad. Your dog on my property great.
    The fence has solved a lot of problems and the jerk neighbor’s dogs and jerk neighbors no longer come over in our yard.

    • My dog on your property bad. Your dog on my property great.

      I’ve got a neighbor who lets her dogs run around loose (and this is in a forty acre subdivision). One of them comes over and shits in front of my door. A quarter mile bathroom run!

      Given that she herself would trespass on her horse until I read her the riot act (and her defense of her actions was that I must not be from Colorado), I doubt she’d much care about leash laws.

      • WTH was I thinking? No leash laws here, however the covenants state you must keep your animals under your control.

  28. There’s lots of comments about which dog is bigger, badder, tougher, etc. on here. The problem is that three on one odds is a losing proposition no matter what kind of dog you have. That’s why the display of pack mentality is so dangerous. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to get the biggest baddest dog you can find. Instead, get a dog that’s appropriate for your household and deal with the pack separately.

    Sorry for your loss, but very glad your daughter wasn’t outside during the attack.

  29. We have a couple of ankle biters living in a suburban environment. They pose zero threat to anyone if they slip out, yet they will bark like crazy and warn us of strangers approaching as well as a real dog. Add an alarm system and driveway monitor we have ample redundancy. A EDC on your person is pretty dam effective and a lot easier to control than a couple of big dogs. I still love big dogs cause they are so much smarter than the ankle biters.

  30. Dogs in packs can and do get into sport killing, it comes with owning dogs, correcting it is on the owners. Killing the neighbors dogs out of retribution because they killed yours is never the answer and will make enemies out of them over night. The best option is to fence up with 5-7′ welded wire since its going to be next to impossible to get the laws changed and require offenders to fence in their own land.

    Those who seek out and murder someones pet are begging for a lifetime of problems and retaliation, especially when quality GPS tracking and logging is inexpensive.

    That said there should be a severe price for these situations and it should come out of the owners, not the dogs.

  31. It was probably a pack of poodles. Those damn dogs are viscous. On a serious note losing a dog isn’t easy when you realize how important they are to you and your family. I know even though I don’t think my dogs would run away I still walk them on a leash since there are several dogs near our house that travel together and I’d hate for anything to happen.

  32. poor puppies just trying to have fun as the animal huggars would say! its OK to give our country away to the Immigrants because the Democrats are in the need for votes , so it’s got to be the same for puppies being malicious! personalty get rid of them any way you can do, like a dead neighbor did he paid a bounty for them, course got him in trouble!

  33. I’m so very sorry. That is terrible.

    A couple(wild?) dogs attacked my sisters cat many years ago in Charleston. The only thing that saved her life was a desperate swim across a pond back to my sister’s house.

  34. One of the most glaringly obvious idiocies permeating the idiot infested Dystopia currently passed of as America, is that there is some sort of meaningful difference between whether you kill or injure someone with your gun vs. your dog.

    In any society even remotely resembling civilized, if you have a gun and is so bloody incompetent you cannot keep it from shooting someone, you are at guilt. Not your gun, as it has no moral nor legal imperative. And things are in no way, shape nor form any different whatsoever, if the implement you are too incompetent to handle properly, is a dog. No matter how many imbecile backmarkers raised on Lassie, and told that “rescuing” random yap trash without having a clue how to handle them, is somehow nicer and more feelgood furry, than rescuing a neglected AK from the gun shop.

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