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  1. #1
    right to defend ourselves and our dog being attacked
    We've been kicking around the idea of buying a Labradoodle and we've come across some videos on you tube of pit bulls attacking and even killing dogs and it got us wondering. What exactly is our right when it comes to defending ourselves and our dog in the event of a dog attack? So for humans, we have the right to defend ourselves and even using deadly force when necessary and allowed under certain circumstances of the law. Of course, I realize each state has different parameters of when deadly force can be used so to provide context to my question, we live in CA. I'm no lawyer but as I understand it, in CA you first have to try and avoid the conflict and have a duty to retreat. If you're not able to retreat, I believe you have to basically say stop and then if the treat continues, you have the right to use deadly force. Again, I'm no lawyer.

    So when it comes to a dog attack, you can't necessarily retreat like if you're out walking because you can't outrun a dog. If a dog is attacking you and is clamped down on your arm, or leg, or whatever, what can you do within the extent of the law to stop the dog attack? If the dog is attacking your dog, what can you do within the law to stop the attack? Now I will say that if I'm out with my kids and dog and if a dog attacks my kid, I won't even hesitate to stab the dog to death because I would be carrying around and 3in pocket knife or so if I'm walking my dog with my kids. My kids life is undeniably more important than an attacking dog's life and I will not hesitate to use the knife and deadly force to stop a dog attacking my child.

    Please note that this is not a question about how to tell the owner of the attacking dog to be a responsible pet owner, of whether pit bulls should be banned or not (I used a pit bull example because that's what came up on you tube as the most common aggressor), or whether Labradoodles are good dogs, etc. I think you get the point. I'm not trying to start an off topic war of words. Just curious to know what my rights would be. Thanks.

  2. #2
    right to defend ourselves and our dog being attacked
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Pawtucket, RI, US
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    Consult your localities around you. Different districts will have different pet laws. I know one locality, near me has outlawed PitBulls all together.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    right to defend ourselves and our dog being attacked
    badshoehabit's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 02, 2011
    Tyneside, UK
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    A view from the other side of the pond.

    In the UK we have the Dangerous Dogs Act which bans the ownership of certain breeds (including pitbulls and pitbull-type). To defend yourself or your property - and in UK law a dog is 'property' - you can use 'reasonable' force which very much depends on the circumstances. A farmer/landowner is allowed to protect their property (sheep as well as fields) and may shoot a dog running free. An ordinary dog owner could be justified in injuring/killing someone else's dog which attacked, though gun ownership is rare here. It would probably be fists or a knife, depending on what, if anything, was available. It's often difficult to trace a dog which has attacked but any dog deemed to be dangerous can be legally destroyed. If armed police were available they may shoot a dog on the rampage.

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

  4. #4
    If another dog attacks your dog and you or your dog is injured, the other dog owner can be held responsible for all medical/vet costs from that attack. Animal control will also require to see the dog kept on leash and other things as well. If the other owner doesn't want to pay for things, then you can take them to small claims court (no criminal thing here).

    If your town/city has leash laws and the other dogs owner didn't have the dog on a leash, they can be fined for that (again nothing criminal).

    If you were to attack (fatally if necessary) another dog that is attacking you, your child or your dog, you will still have the ability to have the other owner pay for bills as long as it is properly established that the other dog was attacking you. Things get tricky in this scenario with he said, she said things.

    Generally, keep your dog on a leash and KNOW where you and your family are walking and ensure that it is safe of aggressive dogs. If you find aggressive dogs where the owner isn't being responsible, report it to Animal Control and avoid that area.

  5. #5
    right to defend ourselves and our dog being attacked
    Jonzjob's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2010
    Ex Nr Carcassonne S France. Now NW Wiltshire England
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    Mid 2010 MBP 13, 8 gig mem, 2 int disks 500gig SSD, 1Tb SSHD . 2010 iMac, 8 gig, 2 Tb SSHD
    I was in the situation a long while back where I was based in West London in the IBM Specialist Centre for a year. When I walked to work each morninge I passed a house on the edge of a golf 'pitch & put course'. There was a doberman living in the house and the prat of an owner used to let the dog run out and follow a minute later. Several times that dog raced at me snarling and growling, bared teeth, the lot. I'm not frightened of dogs, but this one scared me, big time! I told the owner about it and he just told me not to be so stupid. He had a limited knowledge of the English language from the obscene way he used it. I told him I would report him to the police and got more abuse. After that I carried a 10" kitchen knife in my bag.

    I phoned the police and reported that not only was the dog dangerous, but that I had the knife and would use iton the dog if I had to. He said that it wasn't necessary and I could be proscuted. I told him that if he didn't do something about it then he would be proscicuting me and that I would rather face the law for carryng the knife than meet that dog attack without it. I gave him the address and put the phone down. he had all of my details. I never saw that dog again
    Never forget that you are unique, just like everyone else.
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