Letter Re: Advice on Surviving a Dog Attack?

Dear Jim:
The New York press recently reported on two pit bull attack on police officers. In the first incident, the companion officers, according to one article, fired 26 rounds in an effort to subdue the attacking animal which they finally did.

Your site ran an article on the danger of feral dogs in the case of TEOTWAWKI. What is the best method of dealing with an attacking dog without endangering the life of the person being attacked? – JH

JWR Replies: Dogs–domesticated, feral, or wild species–can take a lot of punishment before they are out of the fight. The best defense against a dog is not Pepper Spray or other ineffective repellant sprays. Nor is it a handgun, since most commonly handgun chamberings are under-powered for the task. At short range, a repeating shotgun loaded with #4 buckshot is the best choice for canine defense. Beyond 20 yards, a semi-automatic centerfire .30 caliber rifle is best. BTW, I do not consider .30 U.S. Carbine adequate (since it is essentially a pistol class cartridge), but 7.62 x39 Russian will do, since it has about the same energy as .30-30 Winchester. IMHO, the.308 Winchester / 7.62 mm NATO is the best and most sure stopper for both two legged and four legged predators in North America.

The greatest danger would be an attack by a pack of wolves or feral dogs on open ground. Climb a tree or climb on top of a large vehicle if need be, but don’t try to fight off multiple dogs at ground level, or odds are that you will lose. Just like with bears, your safest way to deal with them is from inside a vehicle or a building. In any confined space you will of course need proper hearing protection, preferably electronic ear muffs. One inexpensive brand that works remarkably well is the DeTune Model EO9240R, available from Law Enforcement Targets. Regardless of the brand that you buy, be sure to get a pair that has a noise reduction rating (NRR) of NRR-24 or higher!