Viciious dog legal question

On the route I jog, there’s this big black lab which is loose sometimes.

3 or four times the dog has come after me while I’m jogging.

I take care to be on the other side of the road, but it comes off it’s property and right across the road after me.

I stop, and face it, and back up slowly.

I’ve run this route 100 times and only seen the dog 3 or 4, but each time I do it seems a little more agressive.

Today I saw it, and for the first time, I was really worried. The guy who owned the dog came out and yelled at it, and it backed off. If he hadn’t, it might have been a real problem.

I don’t want to tangle with it.

I’m thinking of buying some pepper spray and running with it.

Ultimately I think this is safer and less cruel to both me and the dog, then if I get forced to fight it. I don’t want to get bit, and I don’t want to hurt the dog.

This is really the only good route for me to run.

I think it’s the neighbor’s fault for not keeping his animal safe.

I live in PA. What I want to know is if there are any legal consequences if I do spray this dog if he does come off his property and out in the road after me.

I found a lot of sites by looking up “pennsylvania dog ordinance” on google (without quotes). You might want to look for your specific county, it seems as if the laws are by county.

here’s an example [PDF] of the west town PA dog ordinance. Here’s a snippet:

Doesn’t mention anything about pepper spray, but you have a right to protect yourself from this guy’s “personal property” which he unlawfully letting “run at large.” You could complain, or do the pepper spray. Just be sure the pepper spray won’t do any permanent damage to the dog or else I’d be sad :frowning:

I was told by the police, that if you carry pepper spray as a civilian, and you the police question you about it, your safest bet is to say that there’s an animal in the area you’re afraid of, because they frown on the whole “spraying other humans” idea.

I had heard somewhere (could be wrong) that pepper spray doesn’t work on dogs (I belive the reason had to do with dogs not having tear ducts or something). Anyways weather it’s true or not, you may want to go to a pet store and pick something up there. That way it’ll be legal and most likely humane.

Take a look at this site.

I go upstairs and consult the Better Half, letter carrier for 19 years. “Somebody in GQ wants to know if the pepper spray works on dogs. Does it?”

He puts his magazine down and rolls his eyes. “Pfui. No. It’s useless.”
“Well, he’s jogging three or four times a week and there’s this big black Lab that chases him, what should he do?”
“Dog biscuits work well on some dogs.”
“A bribe?”
“Yeah. Depends on the dog.”
“And for the others?”
“Carry a big club.”

Apparently some letter carriers stash a sawed-off pool cue in the bottom of their mailbags for dealing with the occasional dog that’s not amenable to bribes. This is, of course, totally against the rules–if a letter carrier does get caught smacking billy-o out of a dog on his route with a sawed-off pool cue, he gets in big trouble. They’re just supposed to stop all the mail on the block until the dog is confined, not deal with Jaws mano a mano.


What would tear ducts have to do with it? Pepper spray acts directly on nerve endings, and is taken in with exquisite speed by mucous membranes, such as those around the eye and inside the nose. Dogs are no exception. Some dogs, of course, will ignore the pain, just as some humans do; and, of course, it takes a few seconds to take effect (during which the dog will get a firm grip on your leg).

Have you considered communication with the dog’s owner?

Where the hell do you live? In many places it’s perfectly legal to carry pepper spray with the intent to spray humans with it (in self defense, of course).

As for spraying a dog, be warned: One time I sprayed a Husky with 10%, 2 million SHU police strength OC. Sprayed him good too, got him right in the eyes, and in the shnozola with a good, long burst.

It didn’t do a damn thing to him!:eek:
He still ran off with my newspaper!
(just kidding!:stuck_out_tongue: He was chasing my wife and growling at her!)

At the time I was a full time police officer, and we had just switched from carrying cs/cn tear gas spray, to OC pepper spray. During training we had to get sprayed with the exact same stuff I sprayed that dog with. It burned my face something fierce! But that dog didn’t even flinch!

If you can legally do so, buy a hand held stun gun, the kind with the little “Frankenstein” type electrodes. You won’t have to shock him with it. Every dog I’ve met freaks out at those things and runs away.

Speaker lives in Canada. He’s correctly stated the law here: pepper spray can only be legally used against animals, not against people.

Since I used to have a paper route I know that this stuff will work on at least some dogs. I had a dog come after me, after I sprayed him he would always hide behind the house when I went by. The problem is being quick enough to use it. I was bitten a few times before I could even react. I would avoid the tear gas because of the dispersal. Go for a liquid stream device that uses caspacian. Aim for the eyes nose and throat. You can also complain to animal control.

BTW: Bribing the dog will work sometimes or get a dog that will follow you to deal with the other dogs.

I am totally inept at the linking thing but I can tell you where to get the information you need. In a thread in IMHO started by Dinsdale titled ** Kids walking at night, YWalker** posted a link to Safety and First Aid for Walkers. On that page are two items you may find pertinent. One tells you how to avoid a dog bite, the other is a link to an item called the K-9 Swat Rod. It’s a fiberglass rod that transmitts whatever force you use to swing it accross a very small area of the dog’s body. It hurts the dog and he runs away. It won’t cause permanent damage and it’s light and easy to carry. It’s kind of like **Duck Duck Goose’s ** sawed off pool cue idea, only lighter and easier.
I’ve attempted to post a link to that page.

Sorry if the link I have provided does not work or is not allowed.

SCYLLA, have you thought about talking to the guy? I’m not much of a jogger (“Run when chased,” is my motto), but I do walk a lot and I had a problem with a dog coming over his fence and across the street to harass my littler dog as we walked by.

So one evening when I thought the owner would probably be home, and leaving my dog behind (and at a time when I hadn’t just been chased, so I wasn’t pissed off), I went over there and explained the problem. She was kind of snarky, but I told her that I was sort of worried the dog would bite either me or my dog. I told her that if I continued to have problems, I would have no choice but to report the dog to animal control (said very regretfully) or spray it with pepper spray (said even more regretfully), which neither it nor I would enjoy. She said it wasn’t a problem because “he won’t really bite,” but I reiterated that it was a problem, because it certainly appeared to me like he would. She said she’d “try to do something,” which I felt was the best I was going to get since she seemed to be trying to avoid taking responsibility or losing face. So I just told her that I’d really appreciate whatever she could do, and thanked her for her time. I was totally nonconfrontational, but I let her know there was a problem and that there would be consequences if it wasn’t taken care of.

Next time I went by, the dog was tied up and couldn’t get out of the yard.

So if you can keep your temper, even with someone who will act like this is just nooooo problem, or all on you, or whatever, then I’d suggest as a first step speaking to the owner. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get an apology and a promise that it will never happen again. Even if you don’t and the problem continues and you have to escalate your problem solving by involving animal control or dealing with the dog directly, at least you will be able to say you tried to work it out with the owner first.

If “bear spray” works on bears, it oughta work on dogs.

Yeah, but it’s the other 10% that result in the headlines on CNN. :smiley:

To track the bears that are immune to bearspray, look for the bear poop that smells like bearspray, and contains hiking boots.

Though your basic question has been answered, I wanted to second pkbites’ suggestion to carry a stun gun for dog defense (assuming they’re legal to carry on your city)
Pepper spray is notoriously ineffective againsed dogs, especially the Rottweiler breed, for some reason.
With pepper spray and the ‘carry a big stick’ methods you must also wait till the dog gets close enough to use your defensive weapon againsed them. That is not true for stun guns.
I can “DZZZZT” once or twice from a half block away and dogs literally flee in the opposite direction.