DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

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JimT
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DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by JimT »

This is an article I wrote 20-some years ago for the old Sixgunner.Com website. WARNING: Some individuals with a highly sensitive conscience and those with a love for our canine friends may be offended by this article. Read at your own discretion.

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The big mangy black dog came sneaking in the barnyard with murder on his mind. He apparently had been watching where my chickens roosted and decided to have supper. I had just come in from the barn when my wife yelled, "Jim! There's a dog in the chicken pen!" My single action .45 Colt was laying on the table and I grabbed it as I ran past and out the door. I could hear squawking coming from the chicken pen and hoped I was in time. Just as I came to the corner of the barn the rooster ran out of the pen, closely pursued by the big black dog. In his excitement the dog did not see me, intent as he was upon the rooster. I crouched down by the corner of the barn and as the rooster ran past me I raised up and fired an SSK 270 gr. slug into the chest of the oncoming dog. He yelped and turned away from me and I fired again, this time into the side of his chest. The dog began to holler and flop around on the ground. He was apparently trying to get away, but his body wasn't working right by that time. After he had thrashed or flopped around about 15 feet I was upon him and put a finisher in his head.

Growing up on a ranch we used our guns for a number of jobs, one of which was to protect the livestock and animals from marauding critters. This included dogs and feral cats. And while the cat population in itself was a problem at times, the dogs gave us the worst fits. Our neighbor lost 3 cows (and their calves) during calving to wild or mean dogs in a single attack one Spring. We usually either wore our guns every day or else had them handy in the truck or on the tractor . If on horseback we sometimes carried a rifle in a scabbard also. The last few years if I had a rifle along it was the .32-20 Marlin Model 1894CL which worked well on dogs. The foreman of a ranch next to us carried a Remington bolt-action rifle in .222 Remington. It was a great dog-stopper also.

Lest anyone think me an animal hater, let me explain that while we have dogs and cats of our own around the place, there is a big difference between a pet, a guard and a thief. The raiding dogs were many times wild dogs of several generations. Sometimes they were "town" dogs that had been dumped by unresponsilbe owners. They were hungry, probably scared, and trying to make it on their own in a hostile environment. Because they chose to prey on our livelihood, we protected ourselves from them. I will not abide a dog that will chase and harass livestock. Not even a dog of my own.

The usual gun I had on was either a .22 Ruger Single Six or one of my .45 Colts, either a Ruger, Colt or some Colt "clone". At times we have had a rifle or shotgun handy, but the handgun was mostly used as it was easier to carry while working and was more "out of the way" than any of the long guns. The .22 will do a good job if the bullet is placed correctly. This is not always possible in every circumstance. The roundnose .22 Long Rifle will drop a critter quickly if the hit is in the spine or brain. Hit other areas, even the heart, and the animal can last quite a long time. I have shot several dogs with the .22 that came back weeks later looking none the worse. The .22 hollow-point or the SGB will do a much better job, though if the body weight is much over 40 pounds it can get a bit "iffy". Of the 35 or 36 dogs I shot one year, about 20 of them were killed with the .22 Long Rifle. Many ran off quite a ways before dropping. Cats are tough critters to stop also. but that is another story.

I have not had much experience using the .357 Magnum. What little I have had seems to indicate to me that the 125 gr. JHP would be the best bullet. I recently shot a dog in our pens with the .357. The load was the Hornady 158 gr. XTP at about 1450 fps. The sideways shots gave complete penetration with exit wounds about dime-size. The one full-length body shot did not exit. The dog came at me after I had emptied the gun and I had to whack it on the head with the pistol to knock it down. In truth looking back at it I think it was just trying to get out the gate where I was standing. But I had to get the .22 to finish it which upset me. I was not real happy with the performance of the .357, though much of the problem was most likely my shooting and the fact that the dog was very excited. It seems to me that if an animal is scared, excited or in some kind of "frenzy", they are a lot harder to stop than if they do not know you are there. At least that has generally been my experience.

I shot one German Shepherd with the Colt Combat Commander in 9mm. The shot was at about 20 yards or so in my Bull pen. The dog was sideways to me and did not know I was there. The first shot dropped him immediately. The load was the Black Hills 147 gr. JHP. He started to yelp and bite at the wound and I shot him again, this load being the 147gr. CCI Gold Dot JHP. I fired twice more into him but most likely would not have needed to as he was done. The exit wounds were about the same as the .357, dime-sized. He never did get up after the initial hit.

The .45 ACP has been a good dog-stopper, though I have had some run off after being hit hard in the body. A little too far back behind the lungs and they will run quite a ways. I was out in the hills and heard a cow bellowing and some dogs barking. As I came over the hill I saw in the valley down below a cow backed into a corner by two dogs. The dogs saw me and ran off. I followed a while but lost them, so I sat down and blew on my varmint call. Soon they came trotting up the trail with their tongues hanging out. I whacked the first one with my .45 and before I could shoot again the other disappeared. The first one rolled around then got up yelping and ran off. I watched him for several hundred yards but never did get close to him again. I also used a Colt Officer's ACP .45 on several dogs that came after my daughter and I while we were on the horses. I hit the lead dog and they both ran back into the brush. I jumped my horse up onto a ridge and shot at the dogs several times before they got out of range. I did hear another "whop" as a bullet landed on one, but neither of them stopped before they were out of sight. The load was a CCI 200 gr. JHP, and while it surprised me that the dog ran off, I am sure the hit I made was a poor one.

These dogs attacked us in broad daylight while we were mounted and while we had our dog with us. He was a small dog and had uncommon good sense. When these bandits came out of the brush at us growling, ole George just advanced to the rear until he was on the offside of my horse where he waited until I got my gun in action. The wild dogs never paid him any mind and went directly for my daughter's horse (she was in the lead) until my first shot interrupted their plans.

The .45 Colt has been a good one for me, mainly because I shot it the most and used it more than anything except the .22 Single Six. The loads I used were usually the SSK 270 cast bullet at around 1200 fps. I tried some of the Federal Hollow Point lead bullet factory loads but did not like them. I also tried the Winchester Silver-Tips and did not like them either. Mostly because of personal preference for cast bullets. The above- mentioned loads did drop the critters they were fired into, but I did not like the lack of penetration. The cast bullet penetrated much better which is important if you happened to have to shoot a bigger animal than a dog. When out in the back country I liked to be prepared for most anything I may run into, be it a dog, coyote , bear or other large creature that needed to be shot. I also did not like the lighter bullets out in the open country since shots tended to be fairly long. And while I do use heavier bullets a lot, I found the SSK bullet held up well for long shots. The best group I ever shot at 150 yards was with the SSK bullet and 18.5 gr. of 2400. The group measured a little over 4" if memory serves me correctly. Paco Kelly and I were doing some target shooting at 150 and 200 yards and he saw me shoot that group so he may remember. The gun was an open-sighted 8" barreled Ruger .45 that Linebaugh had customized for me. I remember the shooting was done sitting on the ground, leaning back against the tire on my truck and resting the gun over my knees.

I was riding out into the grazing lands one day and about 5 miles from the house I heard some cows bawling and dogs barking. As I got closer I saw the cows on a ridge above me, running up to the north. I rode the horse on up the mountain and around, coming in from the east through the cover of a small grove of trees. Just then some of the cows came trotting back past me and behind them were 15 or so dogs, chasing them. All kinds of dogs. I sure was wishing I had a pump shotgun about that time! I left the horse tied to a tree and slipped up closer to where the dogs would pass. When they were in front of me I opened up on them. I know I got 3, two killed on the spot and one running off on 3 legs, howling. I may have hit one or two more but I was not sure. I do not remember for sure what the load was, but I believe it was a cast 300 gr. bullet. I have seen dog packs in the mountains, but this was the largest I had ever run into.

In years past the ranchers would get together every once in awhile and have a drive, rounding up as many of the wild dogs as possible and killing them. Today with many ranchers having dropped out, been pushed out or starved out, the wild dog population seems to be on the rise. Because the areas are remote and access is limited, the only people who run into them are backpackers, hunters and cowboys. Not everyone understands what it is like to run onto these creatures. They have nothing in common with "Fifi" who sleeps on a pillow in your house. They usually are mangy, filthy, and have no fear of man. My hunting partner of old, Jim Mork, was on foot up in the hills looking for a deer. As he came up the trail through some thick brush two wild dogs came at him, hackles up and teeth bared. Jim dropped one with his "06" and before he could chamber the next round the other dog was gone. There was no barking. And that is common among the wild ones. They learned long ago not to advertise their presence.

The only other handgun I have used to drop a dog with is the .475 Linebaugh. I was hunting on Mark Hampton's SHOW-ME SAFARIS Game Ranch and dropped a mangy little mongrel that had been chasing some of Mark's sheep. The dog did not weigh 20 pounds and the big 400 gr. slug took him directly in the chest, exiting through the spine. It was a slight case of overkill! Since I prefer overkill to the alternative I was real tickled with how it worked.
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AJMD429
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by AJMD429 »

The analogy of "a pet, a guard and a thief" is kind of like the sheep, the sheepdog, and the wolf, when it comes to describing humans.

We care for our pets and our guard dogs care for us, but the destructive thief dogs need dealt with just like their human counterparts.

We always tried to be humane, of course, as they are not malicious in intent, they are just doing what livestock predators do. And likewise, we do what livestock protectors do.

The science and ballistics and skills learned and honed in doing so are worthy of study and analysis and reflection, just like any other manly outdoor skill
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yooper2
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by yooper2 »

Good read. I tend to prefer dogs to people but there is no room in my life for dogs that kill or harass livestock. We had a sheep farm and kept a bunch of chickens for making pickled eggs at the time we began having a problem with packs of feral dogs coming off of the reservation. After an incident where we lost 3 lambs a nieghbor and I declared war on them. I had a 30 Carbine Levermatic that did good work with cast hollowpoints and the M1A was always emphatic. My neighbor used an old Model 8 in 35 Remington without complaint. I shot a few with a Model 28 stoked with Kieth hollowpoints over 13gr. 2400 in 38 special brass. Any shot in the forward half of the body would drop them.


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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by piller »

Dogs chasing livestock with intent to eat are not to be allowed. Terminate on sight without any anger or malice. Working dogs which are herding and protecting are to be left strictly alone. That was how I was taught. Out on the farm, Uncle Homer always had dogs. Those dogs protected the chickens and cattle or they got buried. No two ways about it. I have killed a couple of wild dogs on a friends place. A pack had moved in and set up a den on his land. They chased him while he was brush-hogging. I went out with my 12 gauge and some #3 buckshot loads and a Ruger P85 with some 147 grain hollow points. I got 3 of the dogs. They came at me in a bunch, and that Mossberg took 3 of them so fast that they didn't even try to get away. The other 3 took off in the other direction with the afterburners lit and doing a good imitation of F4 Phantom jets at Mach2 and low level. I could have sworn I heard a sonic boom. My friend got two of the 3 with his .30-30 about a week later. They thought they were safe at about 100 yards. The last one left and never came back. No anger or malice. Just matter of fact. Those dogs attacked, and they needed to be killed.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by wvfarrier »

My 2 favorite "dog" loads are: First, 158 JHP in 357 mag pushed by Lil Gun. This load from a 5" barrel put a 200# mastiff on the ground with one chest shot. He was after my piglets The second is a 200 grain hard cast Montana Bullet Works LFN sized to .452 out of a 5" 1911, pushed by Titegroup. That load will penetrate a 120# mutt from end to end, with the entrance between the nose and eyes and exiting out next to the rectum. Neither dog required a follow up shot, though the pigs played hell with the first one when they realized he was down and fair game....made an awful mess. I personally feel that a 180 grain projectile is too heavy for a 357 handgun to get good performance. My useage has shown that 158 is the max for proper handgun work but out of a lever gun the 180 is MAGIC.
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jeepnik
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by jeepnik »

Many moons ago a high school friend called and invited me to go "dog" hunting. No since his marrige was in shambles I figured this was code for let's go get drunk so I can vent. Turns out that was part of it but he was serious.

He was working as an RN in a VA facility and one of the patients was a cattle rancher who was having fits over the damage a pack, or more, were doing during calving. He invited my buddy to kill as many and as often as he could. In short, tell him you were coming, he'd round up his dogs and you were free to kill any you saw.

Thinking a lot of drinking and no hunting would be involved I grabbed a shotgun and what ever shells I could lay my hands on first. Obviously not the thing for open range land. I ended up borrowing an Winchester 94 in 30-30.

The days of we'd head out to the ranch. The rancher set us up with some horses and off we went. Didn't have much luck the first day as the must have scented us and headed the opposite direction at pace. We came into the same water tank the next day just after it started to warm up. The wind was in our favor. We took them as they laid in the sparse shade of the tank. Of the seven or eight (it got a bit chaotic for bit we manage to get two each. We figured that place was burned but realized the water tanks would be a good place to checkout.

The third day we repeated the same plan on another tank and found half a dozen and got three of those. It wasn't really hunting. It was killing varmits pure and simple.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by buckeyeshooter »

My family raised Registered Arabian horses, chickens and polled Hereford cattle. In the mid 1960's my father sold Arabian yearlings for up to $10,000. When we had problems with feral dogs or coyotes on the farm harassing livestock, I was the one doing the farm work before and after school so it was my responsibility to handle it. I open carried either a .357 or .44 magnum everyday on the farm and for problem varmits in the pasture, I kept a .308 Remington 700 with a Leupold scope close by. I would hate to say how many varmits met demise over the years. My standard practice was to get the tractor with the push blade on it and bury them. That way no one would be complaining over the poor dogs. We ended up taking in quite a few strays as we were about 10 miles out of the nearest town and lots of folks would dump kittens and dogs they no longer wanted in front of the barn driveway. If they were friendly and left the livestock alone they got to stay.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by kaschi »

Feral dogs=one of the main reasons never to take a walk in the wilds without being armed.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by 1894cfan »

There's coyotes in the area where I walk the dogs, I never leave home without one of my hole punches!
Last edited by 1894cfan on Wed Jul 27, 2022 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by Catshooter »

Twice in my life I've had two dogs (at the same time) come after me. In both cases the owners thought it was mildly amusing right up to the point of my hand striking the butt of my .45. Then they could hardly call off their precious pups quick enough.

Fools.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by piller »

If the dog is in his own fenced yard, I don't go in unless the person who can control the dog goes first to make sure the dog will not attack.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by Catshooter »

I just love it when the owner says, "Oh, don't worry, he won't bite!" It's an animal. Animals (just like humans) bite when they think it's time to bite.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by JimT »

A guy from the electric company came by to change the meter. Our dogs met him at the gate and he waited until I got them before opening the gate. He said he once stopped at a house and there were a couple dogs barking at him. He asked the lady, "Do they bite?" and she said, "They have teeth don't they?" He said he has lived by that motto ever since.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by Catshooter »

Smart boy.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by piller »

I had to have a Dog put down recently. A person doing some repairs due to a leak in some plumbing in the hallway bathroom wall went into my back yard while I was not home. My big dog went after him. An ambulance had to be called. Because the situation is ongoing, and a Lawyer is involved, I shouldn't say anything more.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by coyote nose »

I am one of those who have no use for them. As an avid bike rider my bicycling days are just about over as Americas dog worship has become out of control. It is downright dangerous now to cycle on a road as I anticipate being chased on every ride. Very unsafe. And I see them in the post office now, in big box hardware stores, at gun shows. EVERYWHERE. God forbid if you mention you are uncomfortable around them! Society will shun you. Had 2 circle me snapping jaws while squirrel hunting. On another squirrel hunt I watched 3 chase a deer. No I never shot any dogs.....first of all I really do not want to cause grief for the owner, and second in modern America I would probably face jail time and legal fees even if in self defense. To me the worship of these animals is just another sign of the decay of my country.
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by crs »

Several ranchers where I was about to hunt deer asked me to shoot any coyotes and feral dogs that I saw. I always agreed and did shoot a few for the rancher.
A neighbor recently drove out to check on his cattle a few miles sough of town as was chased back into his pickup by a pack of feral dogs. He shot a few, but most ran off.

He came back to town and bought a good (and legal) supply of coyote poison and returned to his cattle pasture and "fed" the dogs. Within a day or two - no more feral dogs.
This was caused by irresponsible people letting their dogs run loose.

This past week, one our ponies was seen chasing a German shepherd dog out of our pasture - the dog escaped , but that evening when my daughter fed our horses, she found a serious bite mark on the hip of a horse. We politely let the owner of two free range dogs know of the event. I also told the owner that I do not like to shoot dogs, but that is what I will do if left no other way to protect my live stock on my property. Two days later we heard the owner trying to call his dog back from the property of another neighbor south of me. That is the neighbor with the coyote poison.

This is not over yet!
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Re: DOGS - The Unfriendly Kind

Post by Paladin »

Grew up a farm kid and have had dog problems as many here stated my whole life. In the 60s, there was an article in one of the gun magazines I read with recommendations of what firearms to use in dog hunts, with the minimum being a 12ga with buckshot and a .45 as backup. I started with a .22 on the farm after interrupting five dogs eating a calf while I was rabbit hunting. I only had seven rounds of .22 LR when they broke off and started after me. I got three before I got back to the house and got a shotgun, and the rest of the pack escaped. In the early 70s, while on active duty in the Army, the MPs would sometimes do drives, hunting feral dogs in some of the training areas I saw. As a young State Trooper in the late 70s being assigned to a team of three Non-uniform troops on a drug raid, I shot my first dog at work with an 870 and Buckshot when the owner told the dog to get us upon arrival. I try to use suppressed weapons when killing feral animals now and continue to try to help the balance of nature with invasive species and problem animals.

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/invasive/t ... nimals.htm
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