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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,080

    Default Re: Approached by Group of Barking Dogs on Public Roadway - Options

    Quote Quoting gardening123
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    Hi everyone, thanks for all of your thoughts and insight on this. I have also been doing some additional research into PA dog laws, and dog behavior in general.

    Its unfortunate that it occurred, to be sure. I've decided not to walk past that house for a while, which is a shame as its a nice area to walk in. Its a further shame because the only reason I'm avoiding it now is due to the fact that I don't want to encounter the dogs again and possibly be forced to act in a defensive way.

    I have subsequently purchased a canister of UDAP bear spray, the large and powerful bottle. I sometimes walk on the Appalachian trail and in other more remote locations and after this incident, I don't want to be in a situation where I am not prepared should the dog (or whatever animal), be more aggressive. The ethics/legality of deploying a spray is confusing. Several of you felt it might have been warranted, several thought it wouldn't have been. What is the standard...that the dog has to be lunging at you attempting to tear into your arm or leg before you can spray? That seems crazy. I also think spraying at a barking animal that's more than 6-8 feet away from you is off as well. Closer than five feet, and seeming it will get closer... maybe more justified? I suppose like many things there is a gray area. I hope I'm not in that situation again.

    As far as the letter idea I mentioned, I was thinking of mailing a certified mail letter outlining the incident in bullet points, i.e. "on such as such day at such and such time XYZ occurred involving your dogs", and also sending them a copy of the PA Dog Law fact sheet. I don't want to involve law enforcement at this point.
    My objection to the use of the pepper spray was the suggestion that you start spraying when the dog was 10 feet away. Closer than that with a dog that appears aggressive rather than playful would be justified. Your description of what happened with those dogs appeared playful rather than aggressive to me.

    Also, I would talk to a vet about spraying a dog with bear spray. Something intended for a bear might possibly be too dangerous to use on a dog.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Approached by Group of Barking Dogs on Public Roadway - Options

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    My objection to the use of the pepper spray was the suggestion that you start spraying when the dog was 10 feet away. Closer than that with a dog that appears aggressive rather than playful would be justified. Your description of what happened with those dogs appeared playful rather than aggressive to me.

    Also, I would talk to a vet about spraying a dog with bear spray. Something intended for a bear might possibly be too dangerous to use on a dog.
    Hard for me to see how 4-5 good-sized dogs circling around and in front of you, unrestrained and barking, would be considered "playful", but...

    Bear spray is something I have thought about in the past, but this incident has made me think again about assuming something animal-related "wouldn't/couldn't happen to me." There was a record bear harvest in PA in 2019, 4,653 black bears taken legally in hunts. About 80 of those were from my county alone. I walk in urban areas and I walk in remote areas near streams and rivers and on trails like the AT. Any number of potentially dangerous animals could be encountered.

    I would consult with a vet on the bear spray, but only to confirm that it would be effective to stop a dog. If there is no duty to retreat from any attacking animal and I genuinely feared for my life in light of what I know now, why should a person be bothered if the spray is "too dangerous"? I would only care if it works to keep me and anyone with me safe from unprovoked bodily harm from bears, dogs, coyotes, mountain lions etc.

    https://www.pennlive.com/life/2020/0...t-of-2019.html

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,575

    Default Re: Approached by Group of Barking Dogs on Public Roadway - Options

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    My objection to the use of the pepper spray was the suggestion that you start spraying when the dog was 10 feet away. Closer than that with a dog that appears aggressive rather than playful would be justified. Your description of what happened with those dogs appeared playful rather than aggressive to me.

    Also, I would talk to a vet about spraying a dog with bear spray. Something intended for a bear might possibly be too dangerous to use on a dog.
    Well, I can answer the danger component...

    I have a friend up in Alberta who I met while hiking the West Coast Trail on the west coast of Vancouver Island, a wild, difficult, and extremely popular trail. This trail takes 5-7 days for most due to the obstacles and is deep in bear county, among other large predatory wildlife.

    One night while talking around the fire Chris and his wife, my friend, were telling us about the time he bear sprayed himself. He was converting a storage room in their house into a nursery. This room was where he stored the outdoor gear and the like. He accidentally knocked a can of bear spray off the shelf and it discharge the whole thing into the room. It led to him crying and blowing snot everywhere while standing in a tub of neutralizing agent (I don't recall what it was) in his underwear in his front yard being decontaminated by paramedics. The sheetrock and carpet in the room had to be replaced.

    The moral of the story is that Chris was, at the end, okay. He suffered mightily for awhile but came out with a story that had me and Perone else around the fire laughing so hard that some of us fell off of the logs we were sitting on.

    Since spraying a dog would not happen in a confined area my guess is that there would not be any long term damage. Also, bear spray canisters have a range of about 30-50 feet, depending on the manufacturer, since you really don't want to wait until the bear is that close. Also, with bears, it's recommended that you wait until they adopt an aggressive posture prior to deploying the spray lest you upset them. Bear spray, as I've noted before, is not a 100% deterrent. It's also wind dependent. In other words you may spray yourself and Chris says that really, really hurts.

    You should confirm that you are permitted to carry bear spray in your area. Not all municipalities permit it or other sprays.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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