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This is the second time this season that me and my dog have been attacked by dogs, not under control or running loose with no leash. The first happened on Dec 19, a lab off the lease bit me and my dog. Then again today we were bitten by 2 mixed lab/boxers.

We are at Key West NAS Famcamp. This has been the worse season for dogs running loose. This time I picked up my dog just to have one dog jump up and snatched him through my arms. No medical attention this time but the one in Dec required a trip to a vet for severe bites to my dog. I am thinking about wearing a tool belt with a hammer. Would carry some thing else, but the military frowns on that.

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Check with the staff at the fam-camp, there is probably a reporting process for dealing with problem animals and people, sometimes just having the military police drive out and deal with it like they would for an on-base problem.


Also check with them about what you can do to protect yourself, some bases may have issues with some sprays and you don't want to make things worse.


A friend came up with a simple solution for his needs, a long multi-cell flashlight with a dog-poop bag dispenser taped to it. He took it out day or night since it had the bags attached and it wasn't as obvious a weapon as a baseball bat or club and less unwieldy to use than a walking stick. An inexpensive aluminum bodied multi D or C cell flashlight would be my first choice.


For small hands a C light:



Bighger hands can deal with a D and more heft:





Matching bag carrier:


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Let us know what happens with the staff of the campground.

Dogs terrify me! I also agree with the pepper spray. It doesn't injure but the attacking dog wont forget what happened and hopefully it wont attack others after getting a face full of fire! Take good care of yourself.

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I went to the campground manager this morning, and let her know I that I had typed a letter to the base commander. Giving the dates of the incidents and what happened. I would like to see a policy in place that if an animal attacks a person or another animal, they be required to leave immediately.


Stan, the military police/security were called both time and a report was made. I have some medical bills from the first attack and went to get a copy of the report. I was told by their JAG that I had to fill out a FOIA form, which I did.


1st incident, I had to go to the emergency room to be cleaned up and my pet had to go to a weekend vet where he was cleaned up, given some medication for pain and infection.


2nd incident didn't require any medical attention for me other than medical personnel that arrived cleaned up my elbow. My pet had 5 to 6 places where he was bite with one about 1 1/2 long. We had some of the medicine from the 1st incident to give him this time.


They don't stitch up dog bites any more for animals or human, said they have to heal from the inside out.

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I've had 'loose dog' problems all over the country since I like to go for long walks/hikes outside campgrounds. After a few incidents, I started checking out legal options for my own protection. To my surprise, I could be arrested in many places for carrying self defense items like pepper spray or telescoping batons. Now I just carry a standard hiking pole with a sharp metal end. I really don't want to hurt a dog like that, but if it's a question of him or me ...

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Ron, It sounds like they have an ongoing problem there, if there were two reports and the base commander didn't take any action either he didn't see them or has decided the fam-camp is not on his interest list.


I'd follow up on your letter with a visit to the commander's office and a chat with someone there other than the boss. I don't know the structure there but on Ft. Huachuca the place to go would be the base commander's executive assistant, usually a civilian. They are usually long term employees and very familiar with local base politics and the power structure, that gives them a lot more ability to fix a problem with no bruised egos which all too often happens if the commander has to bust a few heads.


I went looking for DoD wide pepper spray policies and didn't find any one rule so it looks like that is set by local policy unless I missed something.

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I've had 'loose dog' problems all over the country since I like to go for long walks/hikes outside campgrounds. After a few incidents, I started checking out legal options for my own protection. To my surprise, I could be arrested in many places for carrying self defense items like pepper spray or telescoping batons. Now I just carry a standard hiking pole with a sharp metal end. I really don't want to hurt a dog like that, but if it's a question of him or me ...

Its looking like dogs have more rights than people do! The first way to protect yourself is to very carefully look up the state's laws about dogs.


I used to raise angora rabbits when I lived on my own property. One day while I was in town, two dogs came and attacked my rabbits. They were gone by the time I got home. I had to shoot two of my favorite bucks because thier feet were ripped off. I never found out where the dogs came from. Then, months later, I looked out my window about saw two pitbulls under my rabbit cages! I screamed at them but they didn't leave. I got my gun, went out and screamed again. The big male started charging at me and I shot him. The other was young and silly, a mostly grown puppy. I let her go unharmed. The police came with the owner, they made him take his dog and leave quietly.


Acouple months later, I got a summons to court for shooting the dog and some kind of mischief. Nobody wanted to tell me my rights!

The case was dismissed, but the whole time, nobody wanted to tell me my rights if I as a livestock owner had the right to shoot. I did I found out on my own by looking at the state laws. Livestock owners have the right to shoot to protect. The system cared more about the dog than me!

So read your rights! It will save you alot of trouble!

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I'm not a big fan of sticks. You have to be too close and they are unwieldy in close corners in many cases. And I've done some training in stick-fighting. I'd much rather use pepper spray if I can. Steel batons (the telescoping kind) will generally be more illegal than the spray. I also carry a suitable knife with me at all times - as a last resort; it is an every day carry item for me. As noted in previous threads of this nature, I have had dog issues in the past. I love dogs, but uncontrolled dogs and aggressive dogs can definitely be a problem.


As to legality of pepper spray, you do have to research it, but in general pepper spray (at certain levels of capsaicin) is legal most places (but not all). Take a look HERE, and HERE.

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Also...and I believe I have mentioned this before...a small can of wasp or hornet spray is as or more effective than pepper spray and not illegal to carry anywhere. You could play dumb if asked about it and say that you are afraid of wasp bites... As far as the damage it could do to the attacking dog....who cares?


An air horn is also a not bad deterent but ...I mean who carries an air horn with them...lol

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I used to train advanced obedience for years with our local club and I am used to dogs with a bit of an attitude but the biggest problems we have had are with large dogs attached to small kids that can't handle them. As they are being dragged over towards me they keep screaming "he's friendly" and their dog might be but I am walking a Cattle Dog with an attitude. He is under control and on a leash but he is dog aggressive and I will not fault him for taking a chunk out of someones dog that invades his space and family.


People need to understand that keeping their dog under control will keep them safe.


If I ever am attacked by a breed capable of doing me permanent harm, the owner will not need to worry about that particular dog attacking someone else......I don't dial 911 until it is over and done with.

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I am happy that you and your pups are OK.


I have three bird dogs and these dogs hunt. We have been stocked by mountain lions (twice), had a pack of coyotes try to lure out my boy, Rusty (the guardian of the pups and me), we have been attacked by a pit bull (in the city) and another dog that I thought was a feral dog. Each time, we were unharmed.


Here is what I do. Take if for what it is worth.


1. FIRST AND FOREMOST - Always, always be aware of who and what is in the immediate area. My eyes and ears are always looking and listening for the threats, especially when out in the field. I do this, with or without my pups with me. I live in the city and the threats are here too.


2. Carry the most lethal weapon that is legally allowed, for the area. You decide what is right for you. As a 16-year Navy Seal vet once told me, never bring a knife to gunfight, you will lose every time!


3. When in the field, I am armed with a side by side shotgun, loaded with birdshot, which is not very effective against mountain lions, unless fired at point blank range. So, I carry a back up handgun. I carry 00 buck and slug rounds for the shotgun. These round are in my hunting vest, at chest level and easy to access. I carry a small bowie style knife, in a sheath, on my belt, with me.


4. When in the city, I carry a walking cane and a hand held device, each capable of delivering 2,000,000 volts. I carry pepper spray, but prefer not to use it unless it is a wind free day. The stuff can blow back into your face and, it hurts eyes, nose, throat and lungs, really badly! I carry a large pocket knife, clipped to my belt.


BTW - My three dogs are secured to me via a waist belt. Their chains are only about 16" long. Rusty is on my left side and the two females are "daisy chained" together on my right side. The belt can be dropped from, my waist, with one quick pull on the belt release. My hands are always free to defend against and/or attack an assailant because I do not hold a leash in my hands.


And, yes the dogs are extremely well trained to NOT break from a heel position, even if birds (or a cat) enter into their hunting zone.


5. When in the country I carry a six foot walking stick, with a 12" spike on one end. The spike is a great help, when walking on rough terrain, because I can stick it into the ground to anchor the walking stick. A six foot walking stick, with a 12" spike, is also a very effective spear like weapon.


6. Become one with your pups. When I hunt with my pack, I watch their ears and noses (and body language) to see if they are hearing noises and/or smelling scents that I cannot. Long ago, man and dogs formed a simbiatic relationship with each other. Our dog's hearing, sense of smell and instinct to survive are far superior to ours. Our pups will warn us of the threat, before the threat is upon us. This buys us the necessary reaction time to defend an attack.


Lastly, it is sad that so many dog owners are so irresponsible, but they are. We have to deal with it and prepare ourselves accordingly.

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I think I'll just carry Jim Dromi on all future dog walks! :D



Maybe I should start a security "dog protection" service. I have had my fair share of scary moments. :rolleyes:


I forgot tell about the range bull that chased us down, while in the Rhino. My real guard dog is Sadie (English Springer Spaniel). She is alway watching my back (she faces rearward when riding in the Rhino) and saw the bull charging us and was barking up a storm as the beast was gaining on us! Although the Rhino, with its 450cc engine, could not out run it, the bull ran out of gas before the Rhino did.


When I metal detect, I always take Sadie. She sticks next to me like velcro and is always looking for approaching critters (four, two and no legged critters).



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  • 1 month later...

My DW and I Park Host quite bit. Our campers totally buy into the belief that ALL DOGS should be on leashes; except their's of course. They have a million and one excuses. Needless to say we have had several attacks and it would not be "Friendly" to carry a stick or spray, but golly. We HAVE to have our legal sized clip boards which are pretty discouraging for dogs.


It is a shame that dog owners sometimes aren't as responsible as most dogs.

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A clipboard! You are too kind.


I have seen the injuries (on people and dogs) inflicted by dog bites. I do not know how the doctors stitch the skin back together because the flesh is ripped and torn to pieces.


Years ago, when I rode a bicycle, I carried a RED drinking water bottle in one of my water bottle holders. The bottle top plunger was always in the up position (ready to drink from). The bottle was filed with water and a very small (I do not recall the mix ratio) amount of liquid cleaning ammonia.


For some reason, dogs loved to chase and bite bicyclist. When a dog would charge me, I would grab the bottle, nozzle down and, swing it at the dog in a long arc. The water solution did not need to strike the dog! The dog's nose is so sensitive that it would stop in its tracks as soon as it picked up the ammonia scent.


A WORD OF CAUTION: In today's world, this technique could get you arrested for animal cruelty.


BTW - the bottle was red so I never tried to drink out of it. The drinking water bottles were white.

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Just to summarize, I carry a pointed walking stick and I will defend myself and my dog to what ever extend is necessary.


We also park host and are amazed at the number of people that do not feel the leash laws or requirements apply to them and their pet. I give them one warning to leash the pet and the next call is to the ranger.



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We have dog owner problems. Those owners that think they're dog is the greatest, friendliest beast in the world and are shocked when their dog does something "he's never done before" like snarl or attack one of my family. Then there are the ones that are sweet, friendly dogs but just in case the owner keeps them on shock collars instead of leashes, so when the dog attacks the owner is SHOCKED at the behavior and 9 out of 10 times doesn't have the shocker remote to stop the dog.


Most dogs we come across will back down with a command (check out dog commands). We carry PetSafe Spray Shield spray with us, which may or may not be legal in some areas. We also carry a small, nicely powerful spraying squirt bottle full of apple vinegar. Works on cats, bad little chipmunks, and one raccoon so far, but not sure if it would stop a dog. We generally don't use a stick because most dogs we've met think the stick is a weapon (it is) so bites at it. Great to save your leg or arm, bad if you're trying to knock the thing out. We have picked up a few self-defense (mostly Krav Maga) moves to work with animals. We'd go for more projectile but that is a whole mess of legal issues, permits, etc.


By far, my favorite is knowing the law and informing the dog owner of it and the lawsuit pending if it happens again. Each state and county, and sometimes city, has their own laws. I look them up. Almost always the attacked isn't allowed to defend or attack back. Sad. Very very wrong. But!!! Those are the places where the attacked gets the right to sue the person silly. Amazing how that threat will shut up a rude dog owner who thinks his dog can run free in a campground, trail, or anywhere dogs are required to be leashed.


So far we've had no dog bites but have had dogs chase us down while we're on walks and threaten to eat us. Even had three break through our screen door to try attacking inside the RV. One even ate my long curtains. The dog owner refused to replace them.


My daughter is now terrified of dogs, hates them with a passion. Pity, stupid, careless dog owners have ruined it for her.

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When we were kids we broke up many a dog fight and threatening dog with a simple water hosing. Don't see why that would not work with a water gun... especially one filled with cold water OR as previously mentioned apple cider vinegar! There are many compact models that are quite powerful. Could be fun when not used on agressive dogs too!



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