Can I beat up a dog?

A friend of mine told me that when he was in high school, somebody set an attack dog against him, and he grabbed the dog’s mouth and started pulling his jaw and the dog was basically powerless, and started yelping (the dog, that is), while the dog’s owner was begging him to stop.
I was thinking that all that a dog would have in a fight would be his teeth, and the ability to knock me down if he was big enough and I wasn’t prepared for his attack. Is there anything keeping me from kicking the crap out of a german shephard, malamute, etc… other than being knocked over by inertia, or a lucky chomp?

We had a lengthy, very good thread on this some time back.
You might try searching for it.

I’m guessing this thread is the one Mr. Slant has in mind.

(The trick was searching for “canine”, since “dog” was too short a search term.)

Ew, creepy. But I guess this is a death match thread instead of a “can I legally beat up a dog” thread.

Yeah, I’d say a human engaged in a death match could take a dog. You could break its neck far more easily than it could damage you without the use of its teeth.

There was another thread about human vs. cat. I figure human wins, if it’s a death match. Will the human get scratched and bitten? Yes. Will the cat be quickly turned into a pretzel? Yes.

They have claws, too.

We once boarded a dog at our kennels that had attacked a burglar who broke into a home while the family was sleeping. Among the injuries to this dog was quite a bit of damage to the claws on his paws, especially the hind feet. One hind paw had one claw nearly entirely broken off – it was embedded in the belly of the burglar. Besides bites, he received major gouges in his abdomen. While a dog can’t disembowel a victim like the big cats can, this dog obviously tried to do so.

The general rule of thumb in an unarmed deathmatch like this is that the more massive animal wins. Carnivores have a slight edge, but not by very much. And humans significantly outweigh most dogs, so the human is definitely the favorite.

That said, upsets happen, and even if you win, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get off unscathed. So it’s a really good idea to avoid testing the question.