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I was wondering what would be the best way to protect yourself against a dog attack. I am interested to know what unarmed options there are on the following scenarios:

  1. Against a single rabid dog.
  2. Against a pack of dogs.
  3. Against a fight dog (pitbull, rotweiller, bulldog etc)
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A long sharp knife is best. Also steel-toed boots for kicking out their teeth. – Juann Strauss Nov 4 '13 at 13:41
Armed or unarmed? – Btuman Nov 4 '13 at 15:45
Also, what does "against a scared dog" mean? sounds a wee bit abusive – Btuman Nov 4 '13 at 18:30
Please let me know if my edits to your question are fine. I tried to make the question a little more focused. Clearly, weapons are a trivial answer and thus I specifically removed those. – Sardathrion Nov 5 '13 at 7:37
I'm not sure if dogs can smell the fear or you or not but they can certainly detect panic, if the dog isn't rabid - it makes sense to keep calm (this is from my experience with aggressive dogs) - Of course if it attacks first you better be ready to snap its neck or kick it in the face. – Reno Nov 9 '13 at 8:12

11 Answers 11

I'm not sure how much you need to analyze this one. Avoiding scary dogs would be a good start.

Dogs attack in a straight line, and they use their teeth (and size/bulk). Other than striking or grabbing the dog's sensitive areas (nose, eyes, throat), you have little option but to bludgeon it with whatever technique you can safely deliver.

Of course this is assuming that you have no option than to beat on the dog. Animal handlers will have a whole range of options they would try first, but that would be best discussed elsewhere (animal handling techniques would be off topic here).

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A long sharp knife is best. Also steel-toed boots for kicking out their teeth.

Don't bother trying to run away because dogs are faster. They also rarely respond to simple pain. As someone else said, it's a good idea to wrap an item of clothing around your non-dominant hand to act as a sort of "shield". Stab the eyes and then cut the throat. Kick the teeth out and hope and pray you don't get bitten in the gooleys. Because then it's game over for you.

I faced a rottweiler once while walking home from school. I managed to kick his canines out, which probably saved my life, or at least saved me a trip to hospital. If I had a knife I would have killed it, but it's probably not a good idea if the owner is a neighbour.

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  1. Face the dog and stand your ground. The worst thing you can do is to run. The exception is if the dog is far away and you can get somewhere a close a door before he can reach you.
  2. Speak or yell at the dog in an authoritative tone.
  3. It is usually effective to pick up a stone to throw. Dogs instinctively understand the gesture and when they see you bend over, they will run. If there is no stone available it doesn't matter ... the dog doesn't know that; bend over and pretend. Raise your arm and pretend to throw the stone.
  4. Dogs are impressed by size. If you have a briefcase, lunge forward and swing it at the dog. If you have a jacket, pull it off and swing it at the dog.
  5. Dogs are territorial. Keep moving ... without running. As soon as you are out of their territory they will probably leave you alone.
  6. I have heard, don't stare at the dog's eyes because it makes him feel threatened. Don't know if that is true.
  7. If you have a good-sized stick I would strike the dog as hard as possible on the top of its skull. I have no experience with this, but that would certainly be better than hitting his body or elsewhere. This would apply if the dog is very close and attacking or about to attack.
  8. None of this will work with every situation.
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"Advocating getting injured" is NOT crazy; sometimes you must take a smaller injury in order to prevent a larger one. This is a fundamental of martial arts. It's better to lose an eye than your life. Unfortunately, the advice to get bitten and then to step on the dog's paw is idiotic and childish.

Apparently Specnaz training against guard dogs involved switching to south paw and indeed using a jacket or whatever in your secondary (i.e. right hand). The point of switching was in order to confuse guard dog's which are trained to go for the right hand, which is most people's primary attacking hand.

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First off if you are attacked by a pack of dogs/wolves make sure you are up a strong tree and stay there and call for help. No martial art can help you against being attacked by packs of wild animals. Unfortunately in real life creatures/people do not each attack in turn so it is not like in movies where you can first fight one then the other opponent. So get up a tree or get yourself in a corner, or some palce you can (a) avoid the fight or failing that (b) only need to fight against one opponent at a time.

Fighting a rabid canine or a well trained "fighting" dog will be pretty much the same. At least with one animal you can focus on it. Unarmed is always risky and being bitten is bad, but always keep your more crucial areas well protected, a bite in the arm or leg would be better than the throat, face or groin.

Wrap your jacket or sleeves around your weaker arm so you can use it as something for the animal to take, use the other hand to attack the animal. I would go for crushing the throat as soon as possible and if I can get the animal down i would use my body weight to hold the animal down. But here it can be very difficult as you have a strong fit opponent with sharp teeth, and it will basically be fearless if rabid or well trained.

As slugster said there will actually be a lot of better things to do than attack, so try looking for things on animal behavior and controlling animals.

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Some of the above comments are good; some are not so good. I've had police officers tell me what to do, and I saw one of my MMA friends restrain a dog with a Rear Naked Choke, so here is my experience and knowledge:

  • Wrap a shirt or jacket (Preferably a durable, leather jacket) around one arm. If he bites that arm, shove it all the way down his throat, behind his teeth. The dog won't be able to close his jaw, but he won't want to release — dogs are generally too stubborn for that. You'll have a free hand. The other hand will need medical attention afterwards.

  • The best position to be is behind the dog. From there you can apply a Rear Naked Choke. You can choke a dog with it too. I've seen this successfully done in a street fight situation, but I wouldn't recommend it too much, unless you're good at getting position.

  • The best tip is to avoid fighting with any animals whatsoever. They're ultimately better equipped to deal with violence than you are. Generally, animals are armed. Their claws and teeth are good weapons for them. We have our brains instead. Please use that and avoid any harm to animals.

I hope this helps.

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Punch, grab ears and pull them as hard as you can. Gouge eyes, groin and stomach kicks to the rib area. Use your body weight to take down, knee to neck, rear chokes work well also.

To separate two fighting dogs a stick is a nice tool to have but if you only have your hands never get close to the dogs mouths NEVER! But you can grab both rear legs from behind and pull them apart. I have thrown big dogs 10-15 ft using a swinging motion. It stuns them and they forget all about what they where doing. Very effective.

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The method I used against a German Shepherd when I was younger was to raise my hands as if to cover my face and bring my elbows in nearly touching. The dog jumped up with his paws to my shoulders and I then opened my arms out quickly popping one of his shoulder joint. It couldn't walk properly after that and limped off yelping.

I don't know if it was being friendly or attacking, but I didn't want to find out. I was about 14, and I'd use the same method again if it ever came up.

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Boxing their ears will work on some.

Here is a quit tip on dog mouth anatomy. Their jaw muscles are on the bottom closing up to the top. If you find your hand in it's mouth. move it back as far as you can and grab the bottom jaw. They won't be able to closer their jaw enough to draw blood.

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Let the dog bite your forearm or shirt and when it try's to pull back stomp on the front paw's or leg's dog problem gone it will yelp in pain run away or keep a safe distant You.

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-1. Advocating getting injured is crazy. – Sardathrion Nov 25 '13 at 9:54

Put a wooden 3 inch dowel vertically on 5 gal bucket. Every day add a bowl of water and lift with only fingers from ground to chest 15 minutes per arm. When the bucket Is full of water switch to sand then lead. Takes like a year but once u can lift the lead filled bucket to your chest you can control any man or animal with just the strength of your hands. Its called dragons claws. I found it in a free kindle book about qigong on amazon. That's what I started to do until I found jin. Jin follows qi and you unlock it to enter the qigong state. Stand with arms out to sides until muscle failure. When muscles are failing simply relax and let your mind intent hold them up.
Then you are trained to enter the qigong state. This jin makes your qi invincible or hard as steel. If you don't know how to manipulate qi like an expert look for it in one of my other answers or just research it. You can move things with just a normal supply of qi . Sorry I talk so much but I solved your problem for yas.:-)

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Pretty darn irrelevant to the question. – Sean Duggan Apr 4 '14 at 19:39
So do you pour in molten lead into the buckets or do you pile it in chunks? what size chunks do you need to use? does the lead poisoning affect the size of your qi? what if I need need much more than a normal supply of qi - where do I get more? Is there a qi discount coupon I can use? thanks – Lubo Antonov Jun 12 '14 at 12:50

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