Knife VS Bad Dog?

Dec 15, 2000
Heard a local news story about a woman who was killed by two dogs in her own apartment complex. These dogs were 122 pound Mastiffs (spelling?) mixed with another breed. They mauled her for 5 minutes and the owners could not pull the dogs off.

Just made me wonder how effective a knife would be against a bad dog, Pit Bull, or whatever. Would one even stand a chance? And what kind of knife would be a desireable weapon.
Knives kill people just fine, and dogs would be no different. Whick knife? Look at the ones designed to kill people and use one like that. Aim for the face, neck or arm pit area. Trying to "disable" the dog by poking at the paws, although "humantitarian", will likely ensure your swift demise.

"Come What May..."
One of my best friends was attacked by a very large German Shepherd some years back. He stabbed the animal in the side with an Air Force survival knife, mortally injuring it. I wasn't present, so I'm not exactly sure what organ(s) he hit, but he told me that the attack stopped as soon as he stabbed the dog.
You can definitely kill a dog with a knife especially if it is long enough but knife fighting is up close and personal and a dog has a lot more "blades" than you do. If it is a big dog, one might have to sacrifice an elbow or something to get the space to stab the animal or fatally slash it. With a dog, a large fairly light stick or spear would allow the distance to hurt the animal while keeping it from wounding you.
Wow! did the article say what she did to piss these dogs off so much?

As far as which knife, I'll have to walk through my neighborhood and kill a bunch of dogs then let you know what works best.

P.S. I'm just kidding about the killing dogs part. One or two should be plenty
There are no "bad dogs", but there are people who make dogs "bad", get rid of these people.

I was charged once by a Doberman/Shepherd cross while out jogging. Fortunately, I had an empty beer bottle I had picked out of a snowdrift (it was spring, and beer bottles are one of the two most characteristic things to appear, the other being unmentionable). It was one of those Zen moments where you react without thinking, and the bottle shattered right between its eyes and sent it yelping back up its driveway. I then set a world record in running. My impression from that and other less dramatic incidents involving aggressive dogs is that most dogs if challenged will back off. Also, your demeanor has a lot to do with being challenged; dogs (and other predators) can tell if you are fearful and/or ready to kick the living daylights out of an assailant. Of course, if you are truly outsized, i.e., facing a grizzly on the Kitimat River, your demeanor may not be a determining factor, in which it is important to have a backup plan, such as levitation, prayer, a Rigby .416, etc.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jimmy Thach:
Wow! did the article say what she did to piss these dogs off so much?

I'm sure she was doing something totally provocative and outrageous like maybe minding her own business and walking to her own apartment.

Semper Fi

Funny, if the story had been, "someone's Uzi went off unexpectedly and uncontrollably and killed someone", I don't think we'd get a response like "did the article say what the victim did to piss the Uzi off so much?".

Make no mistake, I am not in favor of gun control of any form. If a gun is used to kill someone (outside of a self-defense/etc. scenario), take away the gun, prosecute the owner (or whoever pulled the trigger, obviously). If a dog kills someone (outside of a self-defense/etc. scenario), put the dog to sleep, and prosecute the owner (maybe put them to sleep too).

They mauled her for 5 minutes and the owners could not pull the dogs off. If you own something that ends up hurting someone else, inadequate training-with/control-over said item on your part shouldn't be a defense, it should be a prosecutable offense.

Sorry, I'm feeling rather uncharitable this morning; probably the result of long-term bladeforums deprivation.

Carl /\/\/\ AKTI #A000921 /\/\/\ San Diego, California

Think this through with me ... Let me know your mind
Wo-oah, what I want to know ... is are you kind?
-- Hunter/Garcia, "Uncle John's Band"
I read about this story too. The owners were drug dealers or running a drug lab (the story wasn't too clear on this) in their apartment and the dogs were "trained" as guard dogs by some guys in prison. (Just how they managed to train attack dogs from prison was also not clear in the version of the news article I read.)

The woman who was attacked was entering or leaving her apartment next door to the druggies' apartment and the dogs attacked her.

Faced with dogs like that, I'd sure want more than the pocket folder that I normally have on me. Scary!


Paul Neubauer
A tool is, basically, an object that enables you to take advantage of the laws of physics and mechanics in such a way that you can seriously injure yourself.
postal workers are some of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to dog bites. Maybe we've got some around here that can share their insights. Their union has funded studies on the problem because it's a huge cause of occupational injury for them. My understanding is that a big aggressive and determined biting dog often inflicts more of a crush wound than a simple laceration. The bitee can quickly go into shock and forgets all about that puny knife in the hand. Better a knife than nothing, IMO, but better still a stick or pepper spray when it comes to fending off a dog attack.
This incident happened in my area. There are a number of falsehoods in the above posts. Here is the real story.

The dogs were technically owned by two guys in prison (Pelican Bay, a max security place on the CA coast). A woman who lived in the country raised them from puppies, but did not train them to be vicious; in fact, one of the owner/prisoners berated her about not doing so. Due to a dispute over money, as the bitch had eaten several of her litter after they were whelped, the woman in the country refused to take care of them anymore. She was actually unable to take care of the animals properly, and had the male permanently chained to a stake in the yard. The vet had to give the dogs shots through a fence.

The present caretaker, who lived in the apt. complex and was holding the dogs when they killed the young Lacrosse coach, then took over raising the dogs. The woman is not being charged with any sort of drug violations. There has been no accusations of her training the dogs to be vicious. The male dog has been euthanised, the female's fate is being debated.

The dogs are a half breed of a Canary Island cattle dog and an English Mastiff. The former is very aggressive, and the latter fairly passive. The mixture is known for aggression. The half breed has been described as looking like 'pit bulls on steroids.' The tenents in the apt. complex where the dogs were have nearly all expressed some sort of fear for, and incidents of, frightening behavior on the part of the dogs in the past, although no previous attacks have taken place. The most aggressive incident was when the dogs went after a mail carrier, but as a former letter carrier, I can state that this does not necessarily mean the dogs are aggressive to others.

The young woman who was killed was known to the dogs. She was entering her apt., and did nothing consciously to aggravate them. The dogs are known to be very territorial, however, and the young woman lived near the dogs' apt.

As for a knife to defend yourself with, make mine a Mad Dog Panther. Not that I would expect it to do me much good, as the dogs will use their weight to knock you down and then go for your throat and face, which makes stabbing them somewhat problematical. The ideal weapon would be a Claymore mine.

This is a sad case, and brings up a variety of knotty questions. Should certain breeds or half breeds be banned? Even if the dogs have not displayed agression? If a dog of a suspicious breed attacks someone, no matter how minor the injury, should the dog be euthanised? I am glad I don't have to decide.


Its not the dogs that bother me its the owner. Clearly, if you cannot control a potentially dangerous situation and fail to take steps to avoid a problem you deserve to suffer a comensurate penalty. So if everyone in the building was concerned about these dogs; the caretaker of the dogs should have had plenty of cause to be concerned. They didn't act; someone was killed, and now the caretaker should be charged with reckless manslaughter.

I see no difference between this and the guy who kills someone with his car bacause his advance age and failing vision have made him an unsafe driver.

First of all, I would like to say that I love dogs. However, if I am attacked by a dog, man, or any animal, I am going to do anything I can to defend myself.

I am a runner and I used to carry chemical spray - just made dogs mad. I have been attacked by dogs several times. Never injured though.

For years I have carried a folder with a 3" serrated blade with thumb stud, and clip. It is an imported knockoff of a Syperco. I can pull that that knife, open it and have it ready for action VERY quickly. I would use it any way I had to to defend myself. Since the knife blade is so short, it would not be the best tool for stabbing. Since it is serrated, I would probably do more damage by slashing. There is no good way to defend yourself against a dog. They are unpredictable and can be very fast and very vicious. One thing I do know. Try to stay on your feet. Use any object a tree, vehicle, trash can, etc. as a shield if you can. Protect your throat and neck. Dogs will go for the throat if they get you down. I had a guy tell me he slashed a dog's throat one time when he was out running but he said it was a lucky first slash - killed the dog immediately.

Dogs scare me - when I see one, I very quickly but without drawing any more attention than I have to I draw my knife and try to take another route. I had one dog attack me on a run. He ran out of his yard right in front of his owner, chased me from the sidewalk into the street and commenced to chow down on my ankle. He was small enough that he could not have gotten me down. I was yelling at the lady to call her dog off but he would not respond to her commands. When I started kicking the daylights out of him she started screaming at me and told her kid to go call the cops. I told her to make sure to tell them that I was defending myself against her attacking dog. The dog finally backed off after I had kicked him several times. He did not break my skin but his bites hurt. That whole attack was the fault and responsibility of his owner.

In a situtation like these, any knife is better than none. I have no specific knife recommendations but....

Your survival knife is the knife you have on you when a survival situation arises.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gary777:
Heard a local news story about a woman who was killed by two dogs in her own apartment complex. These dogs were 122 pound Mastiffs (spelling?) mixed with another breed. They mauled her for 5 minutes and the owners could not pull the dogs off.

Just made me wonder how effective a knife would be against a bad dog, Pit Bull, or whatever. Would one even stand a chance? And what kind of knife would be a desireable weapon.