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.