Dog Day Afternoon… (dogs bite)…. Defense strategies

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by ray ., Jul 12, 2021.

  1. Hi everyone

    Yesterday my photographic exploration in LA county was cut short before it even got started. I was attacked by 2 aggressive dogs, each around 35-40 pounds. A girl ran out soon after they started and began yelling at me, asking questions about what I was doing there and why, all the while as the attack continued. She called the dogs off but not until I had 2 dog bites on each leg.
    Initially I thought the girl was homeless and the dogs were protecting her chosen area, but she may or may not have been working security for the building on the other side of the train tracks...

    Posted below is the photo I took before wandering in a little more to get a better view of the car on the tracks and the area beyond. I didn't get far. I probably stepped across the tracks, not even sure. Somehow in trying to fend off the dogs I went partially down. Camera was covered with dust, partially damaged, also seem to have lost my glasses. The one saving grace was that the dogs weren't pit bulls or the equivalent. After it was over, though I felt fine, one bite showed some swelling so I decided to head home to the ER.

    Up until a couple years ago my german shepherd went with me on photo outings, both for companionship but also because she served as eyes in the back of my head. Now she's too old to go. No doubt the presence of her younger self of a few years ago would have prevented the incident there yesterday.

    So what if anything do you do to protect yourself when out wandering with a camera, especially when alone? A baton of some sort might help, but I'm not sure how convenient they are to carry. Ideally a younger shepherd would be my choice, but having 2 dogs at once just isn't practical… Suggestions?
  2. Scene of the crime (to the left, and back) IMG_7028.jpg
    bnelson likes this.
  3. Almost anyplace there are rail tracks they are a no trespassing area. That said, you shouldn't have been attacked and probably have a court case if you wanted it. I've had dog problems while bicycling and the worst is when you get two together as they know how to hunt that way. Baton is good.
  4. I did consider a possible follow up on wrong doing if the woman was in fact working security for whatever company might be in that building, but then again I'm not sure what proof I have of the incident. I did call paramedics 45 minutes later to where I was a mile away, at which time a fire truck also showed up. The only real assistance they offered were some basic questions to determine what condition I was in and offer to drive me to the hospital. I ended up just driving home to the ER.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  5. So sorry this happened to you. I just rely on my instincts. I grew up in New York City and have lived in San Francisco since then, so those instincts are honed. In general, I wouldn’t want to go out with some sort of defensive or offensive tool and I know the risks are real but small. In special cases, I might consider being more proactive. Statistically, I’m more likely to have trouble by being in a car than by walking around with a camera. I try to be safe but not afraid.
    Jochen likes this.
  6. I might look scary, thats all.
    I doubt whacking and bluntly stabbing with a monopod to be my thing, but maybe it is worth pondering?
    Facing dog trouble outdoors kind of regularly, I might end buying pepper spray.
  7. Wow Ray, that really sucks, I'm so sorry to hear that. I know that I've gotten asked to leave one of the train areas in LA down by the river. It apparently is private property. The guy was really nice and when we told him we were just taking photos he just said "no problem" but this is private property and you need to leave.

    In California, if a dog bites you in a public place, or even on private property if you have been invited, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the damages. Strict liability the way I understand it means, there is no need to prove causation. The fact of the bite is enough. Do you have to get shots and go through all of that?

    As far as your question, as you know, some people carry pepper spray and also watch where you go.
  8. It is really is about the owners.

    They are using the dogs as offensive weapons'.

    Mystery to me why folks would want a Pitbull, or Rottweiler, other than to intimidate folks .Lets be honest, they are not the sharpest pencils in the box. Breeds, bred for aggression,and lack of intelligence.

    Weak scared people like them.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  9. Pepper spray should do the job - on both dog and human. For a little more power, bear spray.
    bnelson likes this.
  10. I’d be wary of trying anything against guard dogs- strays are different.

    As Barry says, be careful where you go.

    mickeysimpson and luis triguez like this.
  11. Except for a wonderful German Shepherd, all of my dogs have been bull breeds of one sort or another: bull mastiffs, bull terriers, America bull dogs, pit bulls, presa canarios. Unlike many breeds, especially toys, bull breeds being extremely tolerant of children, will even patiently suffer physical harm, although often not so forgiving of deliberate abuse by adults. The gentlest dog I have ever owned was a large red nose pit bull, seconded by a very large bull mastiff.
    However, you can not hide your fear of dogs by acting tough. Fear produces an odor which dogs can detect. All dogs, no matter their size, given the chance, tend to be bullies.
    If you do not live in a blue state where such protections are prohibited, I would recommend a small pepper spray attached to key chain. A child’s water gun would also work, but not practical for casual carry, especially when carrying camera, etc.
  12. By the way, at the turn of the last century, the pit bull was the all American dog. Rim Tin Tin’s only competition as a canine actor was a pit bull.
  13. This is more typical of the Pit Bulls I've encountered.
    Monterey 20b_Monterey Bay Boatworks_Skip Jack_1.jpg
  14. All it requires is research to avoid dispensing misinformation. I suspect this is more a case of disinformation, however, which is the willful dissemination of falsehoods. Research, here, becomes an antidote to disinformation, if one is willing to give facts some influence.

    Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, with mostly age and felony history, but also strength and interstate travel restrictions imposed by most of them.


    • Pit Bulls – 3,397 attacks and 295 deaths. It appears on the PPP (Perros Potencialmente Peligrosos i.e Potentially Dangerous Dogs) list, it is the most ...
    • Rottweiler – 535 attacks and 8 deaths.
    • German Shepherd – 113 attacks and 15 kills.
    • Presa Canario – 111 attacks and 18 deaths.
    • Hybrid Wolfdog – 85 attacks and 19 kills.
    bnelson likes this.
  16. Of course by far, the majority of dogs are friendly folk, and deserve the reputation as man's best friend.

    luis triguez likes this.
  17. "As Barry says, be careful where you go." Hi Milla : )

    Yes, think I might hit the more posh areas of town a time or two until the fear fades a bit. No doubt I'll find other issues there though- most likely boring subject matter! In any case I'll probably back off a bit but not totally on the sketchy zones. I have a 3 foot long hard cardboard roll that's light and easy to stick under my arm I may or may not take for rare instances, but yeah, it would only be for use when all else fails. A good hard whack on the head of a dog with clear aim to rip me apart seems better than just letting it happen. Then again this is the first time I've ever run into a willful concerted dog attack, so odds are it won't happen again anytime soon.

    Defense of pit bulls is warranted, I think maybe that was in response to Allen's post. I only mentioned the breed because of their relative strength compared to the dogs I encountered.
  18. Correction: *2 foot* hard cardboard roll
  19. I drove by the area yesterday and photographed the building adjacent to the tracks from across the street (see photo below). You can see where the fence around the building is broken (arrow). I saw the girl walk through that opening when I drove away on the next street after the attack last week. Google shows the building belongs to LBA Realty Fund. I called the company and talked to someone about what happened, and that the fence around the building was broken. LBA apparently rents out space in the building. She stated they have security for the building but wasn't aware the fence was open. She also stated they don't have dogs on the site, so this leads me to believe the girl with the dogs was transient. Yesterday I also saw 2 teenage boys walk through the area along the tracks with no issues. I'm thinking the girl with her dogs have moved on and I'm going back with a stick and pepper spray next week to see if I can find my glasses.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021

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