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Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 27
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada
Styles: Chito-Ryu, Shotokan, McHapkido

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:00 am    Post subject: Dog Attack! Reply with quote

I am a dog lover and dogs love me. It is, in fact, one of the things people notice about me. I'm like the frickin’ dog whisperer. One of the greatest fears for many people is getting attacked by a dog. Why is everyone so afraid of fighting a dog? Why aren't we afraid of fighting each other?

The way I see it, the big difference is intent. When we fight on the street, we know, or at least we THINK, the guy on the street or in the bar just wants to knock us down and take our pride or money. Maybe he wants to prove himself or reaffirm his ego... we know what his intent is and it doesn't involve the city morgue. What is the dog’s intent?

Do we know? Do we even think we know? Yes, most of us assume that dog wants us dead. It’s going to fly at you with raging teeth and keep going until you don't move anymore. Is this true? Most of the time, no, it is not, dogs are just like we are. A trained guard dog or police dog is just like a trained Martial Artist.

Trained Guard Dogs or Police Dogs

We have been taught to approach a fight a certain way and we have been trained to expect our adversary to respond in certain ways. The same goes for trained dogs. They are taught to attack people, grab the arm and haul them to the ground. Keep going at the arms or legs until the trainer says the magic word.

A trained dog expects you to run. When he grabs at you he expects you to fall and yell and stuggle because thats what happened in training. He doesn't expect you to fight back, hitting and kicking, causing HIM pain. He expects to be the one in charge and calling the shots. As soon as you hit them, most dogs will stop and think, "Whoa, he just hit me and he's not scared. What’s going on here? This isn't the way it's supposed to work!"

When it starts, you are the one in unfamiliar territory. You've never fought a dog before, how is this going to work? The dog, however, has been trained for this, he's comfortable, knows this situation and knows how to handle you. Once you hit him, the tables are turned. Now the dog is confused and in an unfamiliar situation and the playing field is level and you can fight him the same way you do a human. As a martial artist, this is YOUR territory! At this point, it is just like a street fight. You might be faster or stronger with better timing or he might be. The winner will depend on the individuals - person and dog.

True story: I was touring in Northern Ireland and decided to go check out a local castle. Turned out it was privately owned, complete with guard dog. Yay. I walked through the W-I-D-E open gate and checked out a sign with the name of the castle. I'd like to point out, that there were no other signs. Nothing to indicate it was or was not a tourist attraction and nothing to say private property or BEWARE OF DOG.

So as I'm walking up the driveway, I hear manic, frenzied barking and this large German Shepherd comes tearing out of the yard. I've been to a few tournaments and been in a couple of "dangerous situations" so I didn't panic. I put my camera away and just focused on the situation. Fight time. I started to back off and brought my arms up beside my head in semi-boxer stance, saying HEY! NO! DOWN! HEY! The dog lunged at my leg and I reacted, simultaneously pulling back and hitting him. I wasn't quite fast enough on the pullback but I did have that leg out of his mouth before he had a good grip. At any rate, as I twisted and pulled back, I brought a hammer strike down on the side of his head... HARD. It didn't put him out, but it stunned him for a couple of seconds and it shut him up.

I kept backing off slowly, now saying in a soothing voice "hey, boy... it’s ok... I'm leaving... it's alright... blah blah". This only lasted for a minute or so before he went back to his barking and snarling, so I went back to my bellowing. He sounded mean but didn't come at me again and I continued to back off. At this point the caretaker came out and called the dog off. He made up some story about kids stealing the BEWARE OF DOG signs. The caretaker looked confused at the fact I was still standing.

What about the dog that’s not trained to attack, but for some reason, here he is, running at you, teeth out, about to pounce?

Untrained Canine Encounters

Most of the time we think we know a person’s intent when they attack. What if we KNEW this person intended to put us in the ground. No, really. He's coming, fists or knife out and he wants you DEAD. How do you treat this situation? Well, tell you the truth, the same way you handle the dog. Be calm, defend and counter and best of luck to you.

However, most of the time, even the surprise dog attacks have their reasons - they don't include killing you and they are usually the same reasons we have street fights. Territory, fear, mental instability. The thing to remember is that we are animals, too. A trained fighter can react just as quickly as the dog and is just as strong. There is no reason to fear the dog more than you fear the person.

True story #2: I know a fellow martial artist who was attacked by a dog. The dog took a running jump at him. He sidestepped, putting a well timed fist into the side of it's head. The dog was dead before it hit the ground. I was not present for this encounter and my friend has no witnesses so he may be exaggerating, but it was in the local rag-newspaper, so he DID kill a dog that attacked him.

At any rate when dealing with an attacking dog...

Dealing with an Attack

1. DO NOT PANIC. If you freeze up, the dog will just have it's way with you and you're toast.

2. Maintain a confident aggressive stance. Make yourself large.

3. Yell or BELLOW at the dog. HEY! DOWN! BAD! NO! Whatever, as long as you're using low, loud authoritative tones.

4. Don't run. Ever. ALL dogs are faster than you over short distances, except maybe chihuahuas.

5. Flowing from the above, do not turn your back, or even turn sideways to a dog. You look more vulnerable. Stay Square on to them.

6. Stay on your feet. Try not to get into a wrestling match unless you and the dog are in the same weight class.

7. Other than that, Aussie rules and it is the same as sparring with a human. Don't give him an obvious opening. Defend, watch, wait and counter.

I succeeded in "handling" a dog. My friend fought and won. You can, too.
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KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27219
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the submission.
Patrick O'Keefe - Administrator
Have a suggestion or a bit of feedback relating to Please contact me! Articles - Awards - Member of the Month - User Guidelines
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Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 73
Location: ok, usa
Styles: shotokan karate, kito ryu jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my law enforcemet career I have worked with several trained police dogs and you are making a dangerous generalization about trained bite dogs. I agree that trained bite dogs are a lot like trained fighters, but like trained fighters they are not all the same. Some dogs are rookies and may not be used to someone fighting back. They may quit, but they may not. In fact have have seen green dogs go berserk on their target when attacked. Some are gnarled old veterans and it doesn't matter what you do they will stay in a fight until they die or they are called off. Some are trained hard and some are soft. I would also remind you that in most states it is a serious crime to assault a police dog.
A computer beat me in a game of chess once but it was no match for me in a kickboxing match
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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Posts: 22
Location: Alabama USA
Styles: Karate Kendo

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Article Snazzed

Keith Cash
Alabama USA - Karate Kendo
Certified Professional Instructor since 1990
Seminars: Safety Protection Self-Defense
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 1300
Location: Newcastle, England
Styles: karate of some form

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Approaching this from an Animal Behaviour P.o.V (which I some experience in) I agree with some of the article and disagree with some of the article.

First off, facing off against a dog can work. BUT it is also just as likely to trigger an attack if he thinks he can be the Alpha.

Don't assume that hitting a dog will cause it to stop and think, thats a bit niave. If you stun it, then, fair enough. Dog's are ruled by instinct and training. Both would tell it to fight harder if you retaliate, until the point that it knows its beaten or one of you dies.

Don't think you are faster than it. A dog will out sprint you and EASILY out last any human on a long distance run. African Wild dogs are said to have two speeds, running and fast forward, they literally wear down their prey before tearing it to pieces. Normal dogs are the same, its how they hunt.

You are spot on in saying don't turn your back. In a confrontation, this will trigger an instant attack that the dog will be almost unable to stop itself carrying out.

Nice article.
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28059
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very interesting article. I have never heard martial arts advise on defending against dog attacks. Well written. anything on big cats??? lol
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Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 292

Styles: Daido Juku Karatedo

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well written, and very interesting considering i've been attacked by a dog also. Here's what happened:

I was with two of my friends, we were walking to 7/11 when out of no where this huge Rottweiler came walking in the middle of the road out of the side houses, it stopped like a Deer would and looked at us for a second, I told my friends to stay calm but they took off running, which triggered the dog to run after them..but instead it came at me because I didn't run, i'm used to being under a lot of pressure at tournaments and stuff. It jumped for my neck, I swiftly side stepped and grabbed it by the throat with one hand, while pinning it to the ground by the other. We found its owner a few minutes later.
A New Age Dawns
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Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 359

Styles: Now : MMA/luta livre/Thai , before :Kung fu,kick boxing , boxing, amateur wrestling

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a puppy collie once and a big german sheeper atacked I faced the enemy dog to defend mine, and kicked on it´s head, the dog did not fall and atacked me again and again ,and I moved in circles to don´get caught.... I didn´t get hurt , but fighting a big strong dog may be a real problem. about a minute later...the dog´s owner ( a drunk) called the dog several times , and the animal slowed down .I called the police because that jerk had his criminal dog without a rope , going alone on the neightborhood.And they took the dog to analalize it...the animal was pretty sick , I was lucky-------
I do hate hit an animal...I am friend of the fact when I walk on the street I pet any dog close to me...
´´ The evil may win a round , but not the fight ´´
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 1709
Location: Oregon
Styles: (Past)Judo, Yang Family Tai Chi, (Current)Shito-Ryu Karate, Kobudo(Tonfajitsu)

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know... I've seen some pretty fast chiuahuas...

Try to take the legs out from under it, the dog has fewer attack options available on the ground. Usually you can pin a dog on the ground fairly easily when it's on it's backprovided you weigh more and are bigger(I've seen dogs that weigh more than I do... wouldn't try it on a mastif.) If you can straddle the sides of the dog, keeping your knees tight against it's sides so it can't wiggle. Do a cross block across it's neck and pull the scruff on both sides to the ground, usually the dog's done. This is more dangerous because you have to get in close but can be quite effective. I also hate to say this because the attacks can cripple the dog and I've had one, but tall dogs like danes sometimes tend to have bad hips and legs. A broken limb on a smaller dog doesn't inconvienence it too much, but it's vital for a horse like a great dane. Having a pet that likes to wrestle is good because you can practice pinning the dog without worring that your going to get your face taken off if you do it wrong.
There's no place like
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 1949
Location: Parts Unknown
Styles: Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Backyard Kali, Satsui no Hadou

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

topdawg wrote:
I would also remind you that in most states it is a serious crime to assault a police dog.

This is true and I would most likely never have a need to, however there is no way I would just let it chew on me without trying to kill it.
My fists bleed death. -Akuma
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