You are jogging or biking or just walking and you turn a corner into a neighborhood and suddenly you see an unfamiliar dog – and he sees you. Sound familiar? It has happened to many of us. Sometimes nothing happens – the dog ignores you, or maybe he asserts his turf rights and loudly challenges your presence, but does not attack you. Sometimes he follows you until you are clear of his area of responsibility.
Sometimes you are not so lucky – sometimes he runs toward you, not barking much, mostly growing – he means business! What to do? Run for it? If you are already running, maybe so, although you may be reluctant to turn your back on such a menacing display. Riding a bike? I once was pulled off a bike by a big German Shepherd who grabbed my pants cuff. And if you're having a leisurely stroll, you probably do not want to break into a full-on run for your life.
You could pick up a rock or a stick to threaten the dog. And some people carry a walking stick which could have been used as a weapon. Some carry pepper spray, maybe because they are becoming educated to the need to protect them from two-legged assailants.
Good choices – some better than others. Let me offer an alternative; a stun gun. Really, a stun gun to subdue a dog? Why not – we know that stun guns generate extremely high voltage with tiny amounts of current. In electricity, it's the current that kills, not the voltage. This is why stun guns are not lethal and do not cause permanent damage.
We also know that both of the stun gun's electrodes must be in contact with the person we are trying to subdue. None of us ever want to actually come in that close contact with a human, although we are prepared to do so if necessary. But a dog? First of all, if he is attacking your legs, you will not be able to reach him, and if he is attacking your face, your instinct may be to throw up your arms in a protective way, and forget the stun gun!
Introducing the stun baton, the working parts of a stun gun attached to a baton, or long rod. The baton's length puts some distance between you and those teeth.
As a dog lover, I hope never to have to spray or shock one, so in addition to the pepper spray I also carry, when I'm in an area where I may encounter a dog, a stun baton. So far, dogs have been scared away by the sparkling, crackling sight and sound, without my having to touch them.
Man's best friend? Yeah, most of the time.