Defending Against Dog Attacks

WARNING: The following article concerns itself with protection against the normal dog attack. The Author and this publication make no claim that the defenses demonstrated will work 100% of the time, although they have been used successfully by the Author. The techniques are also not meant to be used against security or attack dogs since they are trained to ignore pain and distractions. Lastly, the reader should be cautioned that the application of these techniques to any innocent pet out of maliciousness is against the law and can lead to criminal prosecu- As summer stretches before us and as we begin our outdoor lives once again, the prospect of being the victim of a dog attack is all too real.

Most of us know or have heard of someone who has been attacked by a dog. As martial artists, we have the skill to fend off an attack if educated properly in what techniques to use and when to use them.

According to statistics provided by the Department of Disease Control, an individual has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog each year.

Although the risk of such an attack is relatively small, as martial artists we should be prepared to defend against such a threat. The breeds considered the highest risk for biting by the DDC are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, Huskies, Alaskan While this Author believes that dog attacks can be successfully defended against and has DONE SO against such attacks in the past, the fact remains … if the dog is a trained working dog or attack dog… it would be Maiamutes, Doberman nearly impossible for the average Pinschers, chows, Great person to defend himself against Danes, St. Bernards, and Akitas. Although ANY such a dog without weaponry…

BREED that is unsociable (not exposed enough to people and other animals), diseased, hurt, or protecting its territory or loved ones may bite a person.

In case studies performed by the DDC, National Center of Health Statistics and other agencies, most of the dog attacks involving an unleashed animal take place on the property where the dog lives. In all other cases, the dog or dogs were loose and attacked the victim who happened to be passing by.

That certain types of dogs present a higher risk of danger than others, particularly if the dog is a trained working dog or attack dog. Such canines are taught to ignore distractions like gunfire or physical assault and will take their prey to the ground where they will continue to attack until they are called off by the owner or trainer. In my opinion, it would be nearly impossible for the average person to defend himself against such a dog without weaponry and for the martial artist to survive such an attack without above average strength and physical skills. In the interest of being humane, and as a dog lover myself having four dogs of mixed Pit Bull-Mastiff origin (actually, my son’s dogs) as a part of my family, I would advise anyone who is at risk of being bitten by a dog to carry pepper spray and to refrain from using weapons that might harm the dog and infuriate some owner. In the case of our family dogs, Argus, Millie, Maggie and Myha, they are part of a new breed in progress of warrior canines being developed in California called American Bandogges. I have no doubt that they would be able to inflict much damage to any man, be they martial artist or not. BUT, should you manage by some miracle to harm one of my babies, you would have to deal with me. I am sure other dog lovers feel the same way about their dogs.

With this caveat regarding owners, you should be careful to use the following defenses only if attacked and seriously threatened by a dog and have no opportunity for escape. Even in this instance, you must be physically fit and able to match the dog’s aggressiveness and confidence with your own in order to succeed.

The defenses I am presenting here are for the average dog attack where the dog is untrained and unaccustomed to auditory and physical assault.

Such dogs will, by personal experience, turn tail and run if you counterattack effectively. Even the simple act of pretending to pick up a rock to throw at them will cause some dogs to scurry away.

Taotoshi on a Dog?

One of my first experiences with a dog attack occurred when I was taking Judo from one of my first instructors in the arts, Sensei Yoshitoshi Moon Watanabe. I was a young, shy, skinny kid in junior high school but I was very good at Judo. The attack came from a German Argus Sanchez is part of a new breed in progress being developed in California called the American Bandogge. The breed is affectionate and loyal to family but can be lethal to any stranger who enters his territory or tries to harm his family.

While this Author believes that dog attacks can be successfully defended against and has DONE SO against such attacks in the past, the fact remains … if the dog is a trained working dog or attack dog… it would be Maiamutes, Doberman nearly impossible for the average Pinschers, chows, Great person to defend himself against Danes, St. Bernards, and Akitas. Although ANY such a dog without weaponry…

BREED that is unsociable (not exposed enough to people and other animals), diseased, hurt, or protecting its territory or loved ones may bite a person.

In case studies performed by the DDC, National Center of Health Statistics and other agencies, most of the dog attacks involving an unleashed animal take place on the property where the dog lives. In all other cases, the dog or dogs were loose and attacked the victim who happened to be passing by.

That certain types of dogs present a higher risk of danger than others, particularly if the dog is a trained working dog or attack dog. Such canines are taught to ignore distractions like gunfire or physical assault and will take their prey to the ground where they will continue to attack until they are called off by the owner or trainer. In my opinion, it would be nearly impossible for the average person to defend himself against such a dog without weaponry and for the martial artist to survive such an attack without above average strength and physical skills. In the interest of being humane, and as a dog lover myself having four dogs of mixed Pit Bull-Mastiff origin (actually, my son’s dogs) as a part of my family, I would advise anyone who is at risk of being bitten by a dog to carry pepper spray and to refrain from using weapons that might harm the dog and infuriate some owner. In the case of our family dogs, Argus, Millie, Maggie and Myha, they are part of a new breed in progress of warrior canines being developed in California called American Bandogges. I have no doubt that they would be able to inflict much damage to any man, be they martial artist or not. BUT, should you manage by some miracle to harm one of my babies, you would have to deal with me. I am sure other dog lovers feel the same way about their dogs.

With this caveat regarding owners, you should be careful to use the following defenses only if attacked and seriously threatened by a dog and have no opportunity for escape. Even in this instance, you must be physically fit and able to match the dog’s aggressiveness and confidence with your own in order to succeed.

The defenses I am presenting here are for the average dog attack where the dog is untrained and unaccustomed to auditory and physical assault.

Such dogs will, by personal experience, turn tail and run if you counterattack effectively. Even the simple act of pretending to pick up a rock to throw at them will cause some dogs to scurry away.

Taotoshi on a Dog?

One of my first experiences with a dog attack occurred when I was taking Judo from one of my first instructors in the arts, Sensei Yoshitoshi Moon Watanabe. I was a young, shy, skinny kid in junior high school but I was very good at Judo. The attack came from a German Argus Sanchez is part of a new breed in progress being developed in California called the American Bandogge. The breed is affectionate and loyal to family but can be lethal to any stranger who enters his territory or tries to harm his family.

Grasping the dog’s front legs, I threw the dog down with the Judo throw called Taotoshi and continued to throw the dog two more times as it leapt at me in the same manner until the dog finally turned and ran. Yes, the throw worked and it worked only because the dog was leading with its paws in an attempt to leap and push me down. It would not have worked oth- erwise. To perform the movement, you would grasp the forelegs of the dog while pivoting to face in the same direction, pulling its forelegs forward and around while extending your leg to block its lower legs. The dog will go over by its own momentum with some help from your hands pulling strongly in a circular movement forward and around your body. Once on the ground (and you must be VERY QUICK about this), you can follow-up by striking the dog’s face, ribs or legs and breaking the dog’s limb; or if the dog offers no further danger to you after being thrown, just allow it to scamper away. Another effective movement involves the use of an umbrella. The quick opening and closing of an umbrella combined with a thrusting forward motion will scare most untrained dogs, keeping them confused and at bay. You can also use the point of it to stab at the dog’s body and head to discourage it from coming closer. Remember, however, not to use the umbrella as a club as it will most likely break upon impact, leaving you weaponless. If the dog should come forward in a slow aggressive manner, you can wrap your blocking arm in the tail of your jacket and offer this as something for him to bite on as you take your pen or keys out of your pocket. As he clamps onto your
jacket, you can jab the instrument into the dog’s nose or one of its eyes to discourage any further attacks.

If you are a strong kicker, you can deliver full body kicks to the dog’s body and head to dissuade the dog from continuing the attack. This can be accomplished either by heel kicking the dog full in the chest as he leaps at you, or by side-stepping his attack and delivering a good roundhouse or side-thrust-kick to the dog’s head or body. In order for your defense to be effective, you must be wearing strong sturdy shoes that will penetrate the dog’s body enough to hurt it.

If in the event the dog bites your pant leg as you are kicking him or bites low on your body, you can clamp his head down tightly to the ground with your knee as you capture one of its legs with both hands and lever the leg in a lock against the joint by corkscrewing the leg to the right, pulling in with your fulcrum arm and pushing down against its shoulder. Even if you don’t dislocate the shoulder or break the limb, the pain caused by the movement will cause the untrained dog to run away (note: since the elbows of dogs are always in a flexed position, it is best to attack the side of the elbow with a corkscrew motion instead of trying to lever back against it while pushing downward to dislocate the shoulder).

Lastly, one could also argue that you might be able to secure what is known in Judo/Jiu-Jitsu circles as a figure 4 choke to the neck if you can get behind the dog. However, given the mobility of the dog’s neck and the flexibility of the dog’s body, I would not recommend it. Your arms or face may be bitten in the process unless you are very skilled in this technique.

Hopefully, I have given you some food for thought for dog defense. There is no replacing skill and physical conditioning when it comes to defending yourself against man’s best friend gone awry. If you have both of these qualities and a strong will to survive, you CAN prevail as I did.

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