Bad advice from celebrity trainers & humane societies gets people & animals killed
by Merritt & Beth Clifton
(See also 16 real-life tips for surviving a dog attack [2021 edition])
If the expert geniuses passing out advice about avoiding dog attacks as celebrity trainers and on behalf of animal advocacy organizations really knew what they were talking about––and yes, Cesar Millan, Robert Cabral, and Victoria Stilwell, we are talking about you, among many others––the U.S. and Canada would not have had 102 dog attack fatalities in the 800 days preceding this update.
More than half of all the fatal and disfiguring attacks on record in the U.S. would not have occurred in the past 10 years.
Humane societies alone would not be adopting out more dogs each year who go on to kill people than the total number of fatal and disfiguring attacks on record in all but four years, for all dogs combined, from 1833 through 1991.
Since 2007, 55 former shelter dogs are known to have killed people.
Same tired tips
For Dog Bite Prevention Week 2018 the American Humane Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, and U.S. Postal Service again offered essentially the same lists of tips for avoiding ordinary dog bites and minimizing the damage that they have offered since Dog Bite Prevention Week originated in 1956––but for at least 720 people in 2018 alone, none of those tips would have helped.
These people were attacked by dogs, often several dogs at once, who were hell-bent on mauling, maiming, and/or killing their victims.
Among the dogs were 623 pit bulls and pit mixes, and 72 other dogs of closely related breeds, including Rottweilers, boxers, and a variety of pit/mastiff crosses such as the Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, and Cane Corso.
Of the 5,714 humans who have been disfigured by dogs 1982-2018, 4,346 were disfigured by pit bulls; of the 763 deaths, 446 resulted from pit bull attacks and another 109 by Rottweiler attacks. Pits and Rotts, together with their recognizable mixes, make up about 7% of the U.S. dog population, but account for more than 70% of the fatalities and 80% of the disfigurements.
How fatal & disfiguring attacks occur
Many of the human victims were disfigured or killed while trying to protect their pets from dog attack. The approximately 4.4 million pit bulls in the U.S. appear to be killing nearly 7,000 other dogs per year, severely injuring more than 12,000, and killing at least 1,300 cats.
(See Pit bulls killed 30 times more animals in 2018 than human crime.)
When a dog does not just bite, but attacks with intent to maul, maim, and kill, observing the usual rules for escaping injury no longer helps––especially if the attacking dog is of a breed selectively crossed for centuries to have low inhibitions against conflict and a high pain threshold, the better to injure and kill other animals in fighting and baiting.
(See The science of how behavior is inherited in aggressive dogs, by Alexandra Semyonova.)
Shedding light on the situation
Among the more naïve reader inquiries recently reaching ANIMALS 24-7 was, “Would a laser light protect oneself against a pit bull?”
No. Pit bulls (and dogs generally) don’t tend to care about lights.
Dogs in general evolved to hunt and scavenge by night as well as day, and “see” mostly with their noses.
A pit bull or other dog of fighting and baiting lineage will kill you whether he can see you or not. If he has to close his eyes to do it, he will, and not worry about it, because his eyes are not how he is locating you.
Weapon success rates
We have been logging fatal and disfiguring dog attack data for nearly 37 years now. Based on actual case data, a firearm has about an 80% success rate in stopping a charging pit bull, but with a high rate of accidentally killing or injuring other people nearby, as occurred on June 21, 2017 when a ricochet from a police round fired at a charging pit bull killed 17-year-old Armando Garcia, who was reportedly 40 feet away and out of view of the officers who were trying to stop the attack.
A fire extinguisher has about a 70% success rate, with no risk to bystanders. A bite stick––meaning something a dog can be induced to bite instead of a human or animal victim––can usually be used safely by anyone who has an appropriate object to use as a bite stick and keeps his or her head.
Knives and blunt instruments have negative success rates, meaning that the people using them are more likely to increase the severity of an attack than to help themselves or help others get away.
Blunt force usually fails
The most frequent mistake made by people trying to stop a dog attack, contributing to serious injuries almost every day now, is attempted use of blunt force, typically by swinging an object such as a baseball bat or a golf club at the dog.
Unless the swinger has major league bat speed, power, and ability to make accurate contact with a rapidly and unpredictably moving target, the dog will easily dodge the attempted blow, the person swinging the blunt object will be off balance, and the dog may then pull the person down to inflict severe or fatal injury.
Use the blunt object as a bite stick
The correct way to use a bat or golf club, if one happens to have one, is as a bite stick, held in such a manner as to keep the dog at maximum distance from oneself. A walking cane, a broom stick, a fence slat, or any other long, sturdy object can do the same job.
It is also futile to pound on a dog’s head to try to make the dog let go of someone else. Most animals, including humans, respond to a blow to the head by clenching their teeth. This is why prize fighters wear mouthpieces. Among pit bulls this tendency is even more pronounced.
To make a pit bull let go of something, it is necessary to pry the dog’s jaws apart with a break stick, meaning a relatively sturdy object such as a tent stake or a screwdriver — and to do this safely, the person doing the prying should be behind the dog, with face out of reach of a quick snap.
Knives are next to useless
Many people carry a knife, but a knife of any sort is next to useless against a charging dog, especially a pit bull.
One could hand Zorro himself a knife, throw a pillow at him, and he might be able to effectively stab the pillow maybe one time in 10. Most people could not do that well, lacking the wrist strength to drive the knife through the pillow cover.
A charging dog is coming much faster than a pillow, and the number of places where the dog can be stopped by slashing or stabbing are very few — and even if one happened to hit one of those vital spots, momentum would carry the dog on forward.
A dog meeting a knife blade will already be no more than arm’s length away when the knife strikes, so will be on the user, probably slightly injured and even more infuriated, in a split second.
Dogs don’t recognize knives
Merely showing a dog a knife, moreover, means nothing to the dog. Dogs have no experience with knives, and no understanding of what they are. At best a dog may think a knife is a toy, and that the user is about to play “stick.”
This may prevent an attack, but only if one throws the knife over the dog’s head and the dog runs after it. Taking that chance is obviously not recommended.
Cyberspace is, to be sure, full of stories about how people allegedly stabbed pit bulls and other dogs to break off attacks, but close examination shows that in every case the dog was attacking someone else, or some other animal, and that because the dog was fixated on the original victim, the person with the knife had the luxury of being able to stab from behind, sometimes repeatedly, as the knife struck bones and failed to penetrate deeply on the first effort.
Grab a fire extinguisher
ANIMALS 24-7 recommends fire extinguishers as the safest and most humane tools for interrupting a dog attack, since using a fire extinguisher does not require closely approaching the dog, a fire extinguisher does not have to be aimed very accurately to have a deterrent effect, a fire extinguisher does not quickly run out of ammunition, a fire extinguisher does not produce an erratic ricochet, and a fire extinguisher is normally non-lethal, even if discharged directly into a lunging dog’s throat.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy
But if the fire extinguisher is exhausted while the dog attack continues, the empty cylinder can be used as a shield, a bite stick, or even a club, as appropriate.
Besides the deterrent effect of the fire extinguisher’s contents, which tend to make animals quickly short of breath without lastingly harming them, most animals, including most dogs, retreat from the snake-like hiss of a discharging fire extinguisher.
Carrying a fire extinguisher while walking, jogging, playing, or working outdoors is awkward, but there should be a fire extinguisher in every kitchen, near every fireplace, in every car, near the driver in any bus, truck, or taxi, and prominently and visibly located in every public building or place of business.
Other spray devices
Among the other popular non-lethal devices used to stop dog attacks, pepper spray and Mace must be relatively accurately directed, and are typically carried in small containers meant for use at close range. Bear spray, pepper spray and Mace have about a 40% success rate in stopping pit bull attacks.
Pocket sprays such as Mace, pepper spray, ammonia sprayers, and similar devices try to replicate in miniature the fire extinguisher effect, but in truth a spray can of almost anything would work about as well.
Part of what makes fire extinguishers effective is that the foam comes out under pressure and rapidly expands, so that the volume actually helps to form an olfactory and visual barrier between the dog and victim(s). Nothing in a small container can have a similar effect.
Tasers & tranquilizers
Tasers are often useless against fur-covered animals. Tasers don’t deliver a shock unless the tasering device sticks to the target person or animal. Contrary to makers’ claims, they work about as well on thickly furred animals as tossing a ping pong ball.
Tranquilizer darts must be placed very accurately to be effective, difficult to achieve when a dog or other animal is in attack mode, and then the tranquilizer can take several minutes to work, during which time the animal can do significant damage.
Hair spray, bug spray, cigarette lighters, jabs in the eyes, etc., among other ill-advised frequent recommendations, all might work on a human attacker, but the odds are excellent that they will be worthless against a charging pit bull.
Pain does not stop a pit bull
Remember, pain is not a deterrent to a pit bull. If you have seen pit bulls fighting, you would know that they will fight on to the death even after losing ears, legs, and having their guts trailing on the ground.
Forget about trying to inflict pain. What you have to do to stop an attack by a pit bull is create a distraction compelling enough to jolt the pit bull out of the idiopathic rage syndrome — the kill-or-be-killed mindset of the fighting dog, which pain only intensifies.
Fire extinguishers work. Sometimes a sudden unfamiliar noise works. Even throwing a pan of cold water on the dog is more likely to work, though, than a cigarette lighter or a jab in the eye.
Push instead of pull
Once a person is bitten, what can be done depends entirely on the severity of the bite.
I learned from the late Humane Society of the U.S. investigator Guy Hodge many years ago to push against a bite, instead of pulling away. This forces most dogs to open their mouths, and enables the victim to avoid the sort of ripping injuries that result from pulling away from a dog’s serrated teeth.
While Hodge’s advice has served me well in many situations, it may not be universally applicable to all dog bites––especially the gripping bites of pit bulls and other dogs of fighting ancestry.
The first bite disables
In fatal and disfiguring attacks, quite often the first bite disables the victim to some extent, and pulls the victim down. The victim may then not be able to push against the bite, or hunch up and protect his/her face, or do any of the other things that are conventionally advised.
Most dogs bite defensively, and will bite, let go, and retreat, but pit bulls and other “bully” breeds bite offensively, and will not let go. Instead, they bite and shake. This behavior produces the degloving injuries that are so frequent in pit bull and Rottweiler attacks, in which skin and muscle are stripped from the bone. The only effective defense against that attack mode is to prevent the attack from occurring in the first place.
Bite sticks & break sticks
One way to do this is to use any accessible object as a “bite stick,” to thrust into the dog’s mouth.
While the dog is biting the “bite stick,” the dog will not be biting anything else.
Be aware that a “bite stick” is not the same thing as a “break stick,” the pointed instrument that dogfighters push between a pit bull’s teeth to make the pit bull release a bite, or tent stake, screwdriver, etc. that you might use to free someone else or an animal from a pit bull’s grip.
Your best weapon is your brain
Quick thinking is of premium value in any emergency situation, along with having a bit of good luck.
In one instance in 2003, ANIMALS 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton was driving home from playing softball when he saw two pit bulls pursuing a bicyclist, then redirecting to a small female jogger.
Either dog probably weighed as much as the jogger did, and her evident terror encouraged the dogs to leap at her. They tore her shirt, and scratched her enough to draw blood, but had not actually gotten their teeth into her flesh when Clifton stopped, jumped out of his car, handed his bat to the jogger (basically as a placebo), stepped between her and the dogs, and offered his fielder’s glove as a “bite stick,” but then had the sudden inspiration to order “Sit!”
Lightning struck twice
Incredibly, the two pit bulls broke off the attack and sat. Clifton told the jogger to walk away slowly, while I kept the dogs sitting, but instead she dropped the bat after a couple of steps and took off sprinting around a corner, which meant hr was no longer between her and the pit bulls.
The pit bulls rocketed diagonally across the corner property to attack her again. Cliftyon roared “Sit!” again, having nothing else he could do. The pit bulls skidded abruptly to a halt and sat just long enough to enable the jogger to escape.
Clifton called animal control at that point. Both dogs were impounded and the owner was fined.
Obviously the “Sit!” command won’t always save the day, but it did that time.
Sharon Yildiz says
This is an excellent article with all the questions I’ve seen about pit bull defense answered in one post. I just got a recumbent trike, and plan to buy and carry a fire extinguisher on it at all times.
Jeff Borchardt says
Good work Merritt. After sharing my story with people that will listen, I am always asked what they could do to stop an attack like the one on my son. I will direct them to this blog post in the future.
So much of the information in this blog post could have saved my son’s life, short of just avoiding fighting breeds all together.
Merritt Clifton says
Jeff Borchardt’s son Daxton, whose photo appears with this article, was killed by two pit bulls on March 6, 2013. A very thorough report about the attack is at:
Bill brothers says
I have found one of the most useful tools is an extendable baton. They are useful to deter an attack, as a bite stick , or as a bludgeoning device. Unfortunately, often only animal control and police personnel are allowed to carry them (depending on state or local laws).
Trish king says
I recommend that my clients take an umbrella with them. Opening an umbrella in the dog’s face can sometimes have a deterrent effect. And it can be used as a bite stick, if necessary.
I like the idea of carrying a large strong umbrella. Will test it out against the neighbor’s three aggressive pit bulls.
I also purchased a horn which makes a very loud noise.
I am also thinking of carrying a wasp spray that can shoot a foam spray up to 20 feet. Hoping the smell and visual effect deters attacks.
Gail Rosbach says
Good article, don’t agree on the Bearmace however. Living in Texas where pit bulls roam free, I always carry it. It has worked for me on four separate occasions with pit bulls. The cans are huge, also make a loud Pop and hissing noise, and the contents spray out 35 feet so you can get them before they actually attack. I will say though, that I have never used it on pit bulls that are already attacking so I can’t say it would work in that situation. I don’t let them get that close to me.. I spray them as soon as they start to approach and are within 20-30 feet .
Jamaka Petzak says
Thank you for this invaluable information. Sharing to social media.
Not a great article IMO. I have to wonder if Clifton’s vegan animal rights agenda isn’t biasing him against using lethal force against the poor pitties. The best solution is the 100% solution: kill the dog at the time of the attack so it doesn’t live to attack again.
Merritt Clifton says
As I pointed out, if the object is to avoid getting mauled, a firearm has about an 80% success rate against a charging pit bull; a fire extinguisher has about a 70% success rate. No attempted use of lethal force other than a firearm has a rate of success greater than the rate at which it contributes to the severity of the mauling.
I read somewhere that one sure way to stop a pitbull attack is to choke the animal with a leash, or maybe the sleeve of a shirt. Cut off its air until it faints. Seems like a good plan to me. When walking my dog I’ve always got the leash handy. When walking alone I make sure I have something with me that could be used as a choke device. Hope I never have to attempt it. Of course, if you are the injured victim this method could prove impossible.
Merritt Clifton says
The inherent risks in trying to choke an attacking dog are that it necessarily involves very close contact, and requires that the person trying to choke the dog be stronger, with better leverage. In addition, choking a dog with a leash, shirt sleeve, etc. runs the further risk of clamping the muzzle closed, when the goal is to get the dog to release the grip. While choking an attacking dog can succeed under certain circumstances, for example if one is not the primary object of the attack and is trying to rescue someone else, a method such as using a fire extinguisher or bite stick that keeps the dog at arm’s length or farther away is much safer.
Kory Nelson says
Experts confirm that Pit Bulls were specifically bred with suppressed body language signals as to their rising levels of aggression in order to give them the “first move” advantage in the fighting ring. This is why there are so many reports of “surprise attacks”. So, if you have an unfamiliar pit bull approaching you, your child, or anyone, you can not afford to wait to see what happens as they approach, just because you don’t hear them growl, or don’t see them bear their teeth. You should become prepared early to take action – getting a physical object between the pit bull and it’s intended target, such as getting behind a closed door, behind a trash can, etc. While the use of a firearm may not be desirable, you should be prepared to take that action before they lunge and bite/hold, as the damage will be severe.
Merritt Clifton says
I’ve looked at the success rate of fire extinguishers several times over the years, always finding about the same result. For example, fire extinguishers were used successfully to break off attacks in seven of nine recent instances of use that I found in a quick file search. A similar quick search in May 2013 found fire extinguishers had been used successfully in five cases out of seven. The more significant statistic pertaining to fire extinguishers, though, is that in May 2013 I found that 172 of 246 fatal and/or disfiguring dog attacks (70%) during the preceding five months had occurred in places where there should have been a fire extinguisher somewhere nearby — and only in those seven cases did somebody use a fire extinguisher. Meanwhile, pepper spray was used 21 times and failed to stop the attack 13 times.
Bob Cronk says
Why not write about how to read dog behavior.. such as the fixed stare, the way the dog is wagging its tail?
Merritt Clifton says
Because relying on “how to read dog behavior” tips is precisely why we have the present epidemic of fatal and disfiguring dog attacks, particularly by pit bulls and other bully breeds. Pit bulls, for instance, notoriously wag their tails with enthusiastic joy while dismembering a hapless victim whose first “warning” of the presence of the pit bull came when the pit leaped a fence, ran through a doggie door at a stranger’s house, jumped out of a parked car to attack a passer-by on the sidewalk, or in some cases even leaped off a second-floor balcony to attack.
Pit bulls have been bred for centuries to go directly from repose to all-out lethal response, without giving warning signals, in response to sounds or scents that a human may not even recognize. This is because the pit bull who hesitates at the scratch line while giving warning signals is soon a dead pit bull, who does not pass along his genes.
No amount of “how to read dog behavior” advice can overcome the consequences of normal dog behavior having long been systematically bred out of pit bull lineage.
Mary Ann Redfern says
Excellent! Thank you, Merritt.
Lorraine Chittock says
Wheel barrow, wheel barrow, wheel barrow. EVERYONE should be taught this method to break up a dog fight. Has worked every time for me. Mostly on German shepherds. Have never needed to try it on a dog attacking me, but I can see how it could be successful. Please Google if you don’t know. In brief, you grab the dog’s rear legs and hold them up. It confuses and changes their balance/orientation. More complicated with more dogs obviously but it’s something you can do while just carrying a leash wherever you are.
Merritt Clifton says
The “wheelbarrow” technique works if you are not the person or animal under attack; if you are, you are at the wrong end of the dog to use it. Using the “wheelbarrow” technique also requires being strong enough to lift the dog, and being in close enough proximity to the dog that the dog can whip around and bite, though most don’t immediately redirect from the initial subject of their attack. Further, using the “wheelbarrow” technique with a dog who uses a grip-and-hold attack method, meaning any pit bull, Rottweiler, or other “bully” breed, can mean that the person lifting and pulling is actually helping the attacking dog to tear the victim’s flesh from bones.
Lorraine Chittock says
As I said, I’ve never used it while under attack. What I do know is that in the under 10 times I have used it while said dog is attacking another dog, the attacker has never swung round to bite me, which was once the case with tail pulling. And in a pack situation, which was when I first began searching for a solution and remember asking for your ideas, you are just doomed if you’re solo. Unless, as you wrote at the time, you might manage to put a bicycle or something else between yourself and the attacking dog or the attacking dog and the victim to help the dog/person.
I saw a video online in which a pit bull was attacking a cat on a public street. Someone lifted the pit by its hind legs, trying to pull it off the cat…but the dog just continued mauling from its new vertical position.
I won’t link such a hideous thing here, but you can find it online if you look.
Jamaka Petzak says
RE-sharing, with gratitude.
Hillwalker Stone says
Merritt, thank you so much for this timely article. I have been thinking a lot about how to protect myself and my small dog. Best article I’ve read on the subject.
jerrie yehling says
Please tell me what type of fire extinguisher…..I mean the grade, or perhaps even the cost, would determine if it will spray long enough? Are there any lighter or more compact ones that have enough spray or power? It needs to be something I can handle; I am older and and not that strong anymore. . I have seen how quickly pits can rush you. I’ve been around dogs all my life and not the fittest and strongest dogs I’ve know can or will rush like that. One rushed my fence, hitting it, after i got a young woman and her two dogs inside my fence to protect them from the pit. It was jaw-dropping how quickly they will rush you. The thing backed up and came on like a rocket. We think of doing this or that to protect ourselves, but in the real situation i was just stunned.
Merritt Clifton says
Any fire extinguisher recommended for keeping in a car, a workshop, or beside a stove or fireplace will do as well as any other, but all such fire extinguishers will of necessity be larger and heavier than purse-sized spray devices meant for use against a human attacker. Reality is that a charging pit bull is much harder to stop than a human assailant, moving much faster, with a much smaller potential target area if you try to use a weapon that requires accuracy to deploy. The biggest advantage of a fire extinguisher is that it puts out a lot of foam very quickly, and you don’t have to be very accurate to use it effectively. But a fire extinguisher is not meant to be something you carry everywhere you go, just something you should have handy at home, in your car, and most other places where most people spend a lot of time.
Susan Blais says
Thank you VERY much for these tips. It’s a REAL shame that this has to be written as attacks are happening in record numbers with no end in sight. This should be a MANDATORY Poster and hand out at EVERY Shelter, Rescue Organization, Veterinarian Offices and anywhere else dogs are accepted/housed or up for adoption including ALL Dog Events including Dog Shows etc.
This may just help save someone a lifetime of heartache.
Thank you. I was mauled and mangled, and it happened SO fast, there wouldn’t even be time to grab a fire extinguisher. One second a dog wagging tail, and before I could say “nice puppy” it was on me. I did push away, and attempted to crab crawl backwards to get under the truck. TG it apparently was tied, and redirected towards my bf, who broke a pipe wrench over its head and it never slowed it down. I thought I was eviscerated, and it was dark, but I felt the blood pouring out of me, and we drove to the hospital. It hurt more than giving birth to my ten pound son with a broken hip. The 60 pound dog was strong enough to lift me by my side and shake me like a rag doll. Apparently the owners laughed.
Suzanne Taylor says
I just recently thought about the knife solution and asked the question on Amazon. Someone wrote back to just go for the mace, not knife. I carry a brand of mace called Kimber, which shoots out at 15′ and is compressed like a bullet. We also keep it at our horse and carriage stop. I wondered if the bear spray would be better, but now I think I’ll go get a fire extinguisher and just leave it under our cart. Thank you for your diligence.
Frank Avila says
Hi, your article was very informative. Have you tried the K9 Stun Shield? I would really like to know what you think. Good or Bad. Thank you. See it at K9 stunshield.com
Merritt Clifton says
Frank Avila is identified at the web link he gave as the developer of this gadget, which appears to be basically an electronic cattle prod formatted as a blunt instrument which might also be used as a bludgeon or bite stick. As we gather from the web site that this gadget is not even in production yet, obviously we have had no experience with it. Gadgets in general are useless as mammary glands on a male monkey, since one has to have the gadget at hand when an emergency occurs. Most people who are attacked by dogs have no expectation that any such thing is about to happen, so are not going to be carrying weapons just in case. Successful response to a dog attack, meanwhile, as to any criminal assault, usually requires making the most effective possible use of whatever is already nearby. Fire extinguishers are, or should be, already nearby in most of the places where dog attacks occur, while almost any object can be used as a bite stick to keep a dog’s teeth busy instead of one’s flesh and bones.
Walking in the woods, I usually carry a backpack, which in event of a dog attack I would use as a shield over my left arm to be put between me and the attacking dog. With my right arm I would take a baton or possibly a small knife to attack the dog on the side, while he’s biting my backpack, in order to discourage further attacks, because in the woods it is unlikely for me to carry a fire extinguisher; it’s just too heavy. I mean, are knives are really so bad to have negative efficacy? Is what you are saying that no-knife is more effective than a knife?
Merritt Clifton says
A backpack makes an excellent shield against an attacking dog, especially a pit bull or Rottweiler, whose attack modus operandi is to bite, hold on, and shake. If the dog bites into the backpack, the backpack becomes thereby an improvised bite stick. But in order for the shield/bite stick to continue to be effective, you have to maintain control of it, to keep it between yourself and the dog. A 50-pound dog is going to be able to shake the backpack hard enough that a 150-pound person will have all he/she can do not to lose his/her grip and become vulnerable again. Letting go of the backpack with one hand (especially the stronger hand) greatly increases the likelihood of that happening, and then stepping out from behind the backpack to get close enough to stab the dog effectively from the side is really just stepping into harm’s way, putting your wrist––one of the most vulnerable parts of your body––within just a quick redirecting head-snap of the dog’s jaws. This sort of thing is precisely why trying to use a knife in such a situation is worse that not having the knife. Using a knife against a dog is at best like trying to use one big tooth against two jaws full of big teeth; requires exposing hand, wrist, and forearm to a bite; lowers your face into closer proximity to the dog’s jaws; and your chances of stabbing effectively between the dog’s ribs on your first try are relatively slight, while the chances are rather high that the dog will redirect when poked with your weapon. Almost always, when you hear about someone using a knife successfully against an attacking dog, the scenario involves striking from behind, while the dog is fixated on attacking another person or animal.
Weapons, even firearms in the hands of experts, are more a placebo than an answer to the problem of bully-breed mayhem. Carrying weapons tends to give people a false sense of security. Reality is that even firearms in the hands of experts stop a charging dog with the first shot only about 80% of the time — which means that the only real answer to stopping bully-breed mayhem is effective political action that stops breeding more & more bully-breeds, stops campaigns to popularize them, and ensures that those bully-breeds who remain in homes stay there, instead of running amok in streets, parks, other public places, and other people’s homes and yards.