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#414099 - 01/09/09 06:32 PM Self defense and my dog
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
There probably isn't a good answer to this, but I thought I'd run it up the flagpole anyway ...

I live in a seedy neighborhood with major drug problems. It's what got me interested in MA. I'm a real homebody with a telecommuting job, which means that most of the time I'm out and about, it's because I'm walking my dog.

He's a 7 and a half year old border collie-chow mix, about 65 pounds of gorgeous fluff. He has a little arthritis. And he's a medical service dog dropout (read: impeccable manners and temperament) who didn't make the cut because he's too vocal. Among those who don't understand dogs, his barking has given him a vicious reputation. Stop and offer him a hand, and that barking gives way after a couple minutes to undying love ... you know how dogs are.

I have no illusions about him coming to my defense in an attack. That was tested once and he barked ferociously from behind me. I wonder about his safety in a SD situation. Border collies were bred to manage sheep, which means that they respond to any flurry of motion by frantic circling, barking, and nipping. That nip could be helpful, but I'm more worried about him getting trampled by coming too close. All of which is complicated by the fact that I use an over-the-shoulder leash, so I can't just drop the leash and fight without a moment's grabbing and bending over to twist out of it. We're physically stuck with each other.

Is there any behavior I could teach him to offer a more convincing bluff? Or maybe some MA system or moves that wouldn't involve my doing so much jumping or twisting that would jeopardize him?

I offer gratitude and milk bones in advance ...
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

#414100 - 01/09/09 06:57 PM Re: Self defense and my dog [Re: screamingflea]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
i understand your concerns, and share them as well. i am the proud 'father' of a french bulldog. She is obscenely friendly to any and all humans and dogs, and knows nothing but love. She is also completely unbiddable, and has to be kept on an extendable leash when being walked, as left to her own devices, she would happily scamper off into the sunset tracking keen smells and chasing squirrels.

If I were to be attacked whilst walking her, I would be terrified of her getting hurt, but also terrified of letting go of the leash, as she could easily run into the road (she thinks cars are friendly ), or just get lost.

i have no easy answers for you, but I can tell you that I never walk her in after dark, am always very watchfull for suspicious looking people, and happy to change my route/ double back to avoid them, and I am completely unashamed to say I walk her armed with a spring lock knife, and if truly physically attacked, wouldnt miss a beat in using it.

Not legal or even good advice, but I love my dog, and I love being alive to walk her.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#414101 - 01/09/09 08:35 PM Re: Self defense and my dog [Re: Cord]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Flea, there is also the option of moving. I refuse to teach my dog to be aggressive. Like Cord, I wish her only to know love.

However, you may wish to contact your local police department and see if they can recommend someone who trains security dogs if you wish to go that route. You can also train the dog to avoid running away, etc. Check or watch the Dog Whisperer - that guy is a friggin genius, and I have already put into action some of his methods with success.

Good luck.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#414102 - 01/10/09 01:02 PM Re: Self defense and my dog [Re: MattJ]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Thank you Matt.

I am planning a move, but it's going to take several months at least. I'm on a tiny fixed income, and my destination is 3 time zones away. I estimate a cost around $5-10K. In the meantime I'm doing other proactive things like join the Neighborhood Watch, making more of an effort to get to know my neighbors, and ... take martial arts.

I think there may be a command in Schutzhund for a dog to show extremely aggressive body language while standing in place; hackles all the way up, snarling, barking, the whole deal. I saw it on TV once with an "animal actor." I'm not sure where to look for that training, or if it's really a good idea. I like my above measures better. And I'd hate for dawg to endanger his own life by misinterpreting an action of mine as a command to go into that.
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick


Moderator:  Cord, Dedicated1, MattJ, Reiki 

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