When I was 15, I went on an exploratory walk with my older brother. We ended up on the woods that overlooked a major busy road.
As we were walking about, wondering exactly where we were, yet at the same time enjoying the exercise, we suddenly heard barking-the sound of two dogs barking-and the barking grew louder. It was not a very friendly barking, either. We weren’t sure which direction it was coming from, as we looked about.
Then finally, two big German Shepherds crashed through the brush and came straight towards us, letting out their deep base barks-woof woof woof!
My brother’s exact words were, “Don’t move.” The dogs came upon us, continuing to show off their ferocious-sounding barks, big ears pointed straight up. We stood still, and I folded my arms in the event that the dogs might be tempted to lunge at dangling hands and chomp them off.
We just stood there, wondering what to do. Were the dogs going to attack or not? Where were their owners? Where had they come from? How long was this going to go on? Should we just stay here forever? What if the dogs did decide to attack? But something told me that if they wanted to lunge for us, they would have already. The dogs seemed content just holding us at bay.
Finally, we heard a man’s voice calling out to the dogs, and very soon, the man appeared, instructing the dogs to quiet down. He was an older man, maybe about 50 or so, and he asked us something like, “Did you know you’re on private property?”
My brother said there were no signs and that we had thought it was public woods, that we had been walking along the highway and decided to climb the hill and go into the woods. The man said he owned the woods, and I think my brother commented that there should be a private property sign somewhere. Then we left.
It wouldn’t be till about six years later that I was introduced to my first dog, a half German Shepherd, half Great Dane, named Sheeba.
Protect yourself from a charging dog.
1) Never run. What person in his foolish mind thinks he could outrun a dog? Did you know that German Shepherds can run up to 45 mph? If you are fairly close to the entrance of a building, and a dog is coming at you from a far enough distance, and you can judge that at your top speed, you could get to the door, open it and go inside and then close the door, before the dog could reach you, then go for it. But if you’re in an open area, like on a street, you’ll never be able to outrun a dog, and any fleeing will intensify its chase and bite instinct.
2) Wouldn’t it be great if there existed self-defense schools to learn how to fight off a dog? Over 800,000 Americans every year get bitten by dogs. There has got to be a way to effectively fight one off without baseball bats and other implements that aren’t always on hand. A woman who shows dogs once told me you can stop an attack by punching the dog in its liver. Easier said than done when you don’t know quite where the liver is, and the dog is leaping at you. However, I’ve also heard that a good punch to the snout will temporarily disable a dog.
3) Always carry pepper spray. A blast of pepper spray will stop a dog dead in its tracks, and this is your best bet. Pepper spray will not kill or injure a dog, but it stings like mad. Do not hesitate to use it if a dog is charging at you, even if the owner is in sight. There are countless cases of owners who stand by and do nothing, while their dog attacks. And sometimes, the dogs will ignore frantic owners calling the dog away.