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Minimum caliber for dog protection

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Boulder, Apr 26, 2011.

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  1. Boulder

    Boulder Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Boulder, CO
    I have a 32 H&R Mag S&W 332 that I'm considering for dog protection during jogging. What do you guys think of this caliber for dog protection? It is the lightest J-frame I own at about 10 oz. and would prefer it weight-wise to my 442 .38 Spl at 15 oz.

  2. Fred40

    Fred40 Member

    Mar 31, 2008
    I would think that would suffice for your average dog.

    A really pissed off Rotty might have other ideas though.
  3. Jamie B

    Jamie B Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Southern Ohio
    Depends on the size and ferocity of the dog.
  4. Remo223

    Remo223 member

    Feb 19, 2011
    betwix the muddy mo and moon river
    The most famous dog guns were the "velo-dog" revolvers. They were very small caliber. However, these were for very unusual situations. On those antique "penny-farthing" bicycles aka high wheelers, even a tiny poodle could kill you. So you only needed a gun to keep an average dog from getting close to your front wheel.

    Your situation is completely different. You don't need to protect yourself from little dogs. You only need to protect yourself from the very dangerous and deadly dogs. But I'll tell ya what, those kinds of dogs are not easy to stop with any gun.
  5. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Well it depends on the dog of course. Considering the majority of dangerous attacks occur with heavily built animals like pit bulls, rottweilers, and similar breeds that appeal to a culture that wants something perceived as the most dangerous, the minimum would be something suitable for human defense as well.
    Because of the culture drawn to such animals, it is also such animals that are often the most poorly raised, or raised intentionally vicious.
    The skull of many of these animals is quite heavily built, and the slope of the skull allows for many lower momentum rounds to get deflected when they impact at a less than optimal angle.

    If you shoot some punk's aggressive dog they might also react in a way that requires shooting them as well. Further necessitating something suitable for a human being.

    If you just want piece of mind in having a gun obviously you don't need much, but if you want something to actually stop the most likely of threats you need a typical service round. The .38 special is already on the light end of those. It is not unheard of for such animals to take multiple rounds from responding police officers seemingly unfazed after the first shots.
    Some of these are animals that won't even stop an attack for an owner and a large bar or stick is often used for leverage to pry their mouth off something. You want to be able to kill something that won't even stop biting when its teeth or even jaw are being destroyed from a pry bar.
    Two or more of such animals is exceedingly dangerous to a single human being, and so each round takes on even more significance in performance.
  6. DM~

    DM~ Member

    Jan 6, 2011
    upper mid west
    I once was hired by a city to clean out some packs of dogs... I stopped two dog attacks durning that time.

    The first was a VERY pissed off german shepherd. He came at me in full attack mode, i had a S&W M-48 22WMR in my coat that i pulled out and fired one shot. He came to a slideing stop, nearly knocking me off my feet. I hit him squarely in the head. The second g. shepherd that was with him, sized things up and went the other direction.

    The second was a st. benard, and i had a small pocket auto, chambered in 22LR. He turned at the first shot and took 4 more hits to the body, dropping at about 15 or 20 feet away from me.

    "Personally" i'd feel very comfortable with 32H&R with full power loads.

  7. PcolaDawg

    PcolaDawg Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Pensacola, Florida
    I was attacked in my backyard by a pack of three larger than mid-size dogs. They were true mutts. I was very fortunate that I had my 642, that it had a CT grip, and then it was just becoming dark enough for the laser to show up real well.

    I also had plus p hollow points in it. I put the laser on the leader of the pack and squeezed off a shot a lot earlier than I might have if I didn't have the laser helping me. Snub nosed revolvers aren't exactly known for their accuracy.

    Anyway, one shot and the leader went down, and it's two companions left so fast it was like they were vaporized. After two years, I saw the two survivors for the first time a couple of weeks ago. And they were still giving my four acres a wide berth.

    So I'd say .38 plus p ammo will do the trick. Just don't miss.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    They let joggers shoot dogs in Boulder CO?

    How bout you just buy a can of pepper spray!

  9. iblong

    iblong Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    what ever your comfort zone for personal carry,Id prefer 40 or 45 cal.
    some dogs are tougher than people.
  10. 45Fan

    45Fan Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    OK, I guess RCModel beat me to it.
    I have seen dogs take much more than a single hit from a 22, but then it want a head shot. The most I have seen was a Chow, and it took a full magazine from a .45 acp to put it down.
    Not that I dont carry when jogging, but if dogs are of a concern, pepper spray would probably be the best option. Its not going to kill a dog, but will turn them the other way in a hurry, and without the retaliation of any passer-by that might not look at the situation the same as you.
  11. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    An air horn.

    Really. I've spoken to people who work in dog boarding and doggy daycare places about what they do in the event of a dog fight that can't be settled by a person simply yelling at/tugging on one of the dogs.
    Unanimously, the answer has been that a simple air horn is the most effective thing and is universally used around such facilities.
    The sound is so sudden and at such a pitch that it just stops dogs right in their tracks.
  12. earplug

    earplug Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Colorado Springs
    Placement is everything

    22LR in the head is real quick. 45 ACP in the big middle is not.

    If A dog is attacking you, the air horn trick will not help the child who does not have one.
    Shooting attacking dogs protects the rest of the human race.
  13. Walking Dead

    Walking Dead Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    North Texas
    Really an air horn! I couldn't tell anybody I carry an air horn for protection. Might as well barrow a purse from the wife and hit the dog with it.
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    I can't believe some here are telling the OP they need a 40 S&W or 45 Auto to stop a dog. I guess these are the same people who love to post in the Bear threads you need a 454 Casull as a backup gun and a 50 Cal as a primary to stop Bears...

    A shot or two placed correctly from a 32 H&R Magnum will stop any dog out there. It's not a Bear after all. :rolleyes:
  15. rhoggman

    rhoggman Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    Wild dogs are becoming a problem in many areas around Virginia that I frequent. Never had any that made me fear for my life; however, my feeling is you have to treat them like a wild animal. Wild animals that make advances on me will be not be dealt with kindly. Fortunately I have never been attacked; however, when I go into the woods here in Virginia the least powerful weapon I am comfortable with is a 40 S&W. Usually I carry a .357 as a side arm in addition to whatever hunting weapon I carry.

    Pepper spray does not impress me much, and by the time you can effectively use pepper spray you are talking pretty close quarters. There are some major disadvantages to these types of "deterrents". Wind direction comes to mind:( The gel based sprays are generally a one time use. Meaning you should try to empty all the contents onto the animal (bear) for the most effectiveness. Bottom line is deterrents are best suited for people who cannot or will not protect themselves with a gun. Definitely not the best option, but if you are skilled, or it is your only option then go for it. When it comes to my safety I would rather have the real canned heat, than an actual can full of a spicy substance. Bears for instance are not exactly push overs, and have been known to circle around people who have wounded them to get their revenge. I would rather not be hunted so if I absolutely must protect myself from a dog or any other predator my option would be to completely disable the animal.

    For my neck of the woods then.... 40S&W high cap pistol is the minimum, and the ideal protection would be .357 Mag, or greater power revolver.
  16. Karl Hungus

    Karl Hungus Member

    Apr 26, 2008
    I suggest changing your route. It makes a whole lot more sense than putting yourself in a dangerous situation and the very real possibility of violent retribution or a huge legal hassel.
  17. webfox

    webfox Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    A lot of issues come to mind, but I'd go with pepper spray. You can't jog there again if you kill someone's dog. They might shoot back at you next.

    Spray and call the cops.

    (I'm assuming a single dog in a suburban neighborhood. If it's multiple dogs like rhoggman mentions, then I don't know what to say other than have the authorities take care of feral dogs. I wouldn't take on a pack of feral dogs with less than a pump shotgun.)
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  18. hmphargh

    hmphargh Member

    Jul 10, 2009
    .700NE should take care of it.

    Seriously though, I can't imagine carrying the weight of a firearm while running. A small air horn would be the absolute maximum I would consider. It will scare the dog away and will get the attention of anyone in the area. Of course, I am not you, so if you are happy with carrying that weight, I would take whatever is lighter.
  19. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    I found wasp and hornet spray works 99.9% of the time backed up with a little Beretta 21A in 22lr.
  20. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    I agree!
    Get the spray that sprays out to 25 feet!
  21. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    I am a former telephone guy and I have seen my share of nasty dogs and have been bit several times. Climbing over peoples fences to access a tap or ped in their neighbors back yard can be risky business.

    A gun was not an option on the job. I would have had a swat team on me!

    Pepper spray shuts them up, even the scary scary ones. It shuts them down and they run away. The best part is that you have none of the liability, police, or angry pet owners that comes with a bullet. They always will say that you viciously attacked their poor little pookie and will never believe their sweet doggie wanted a chunk of your hide.

    Big collies and German shepherds are trouble. Spray first, ask questions later!

    A 32 Mag is plenty of gun, but spray works great on dogs! Ask your mail man, I bet he has a can too.
  22. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

    Aug 6, 2003
    Bemidji, MN
  23. Hunt480

    Hunt480 Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I'm pleading the 5th on this one,,,
  24. clutch

    clutch Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Northern Michigan
    Based on many years of cycling, I've never had a dog that didn't back off if I barked back at it.

    Now if your fear of dogs is so bad you shoot one, you better consider the dogs master and his displeasure.

  25. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

    Nov 16, 2010
    Shot a dog in my youth, a road kill that was still suffering. Five shots with a .22 to the head didn't do it. Had to run an acre square back to the house, quite upset, to get a shotgun to dispatch my poor feral friend. So sad...
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