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I'm thinking a riding crop might be an easy carry. I've hardly ridden, and never had one in my hands. Those of you familiar with them, would they have enough wallop?
Personally I would carry a heavy golf umbrella. You can open it to block eye contact between the dogs and get some shielding for yourself. It would buy you some time for help to arrive. You can also use it to whack a rude dog.

My second choice would be a heavy hiking staff. I would want something heavy enough to put an aggressive dog out of commission when I swung it. See my post in Vita's thread to understand a bit more about my position here.

Regarding any kind of horse whip, I think they will only be useful against rude dogs. An aggressive dog in a full out attack has its brain shut off. It won't notice the pain, or the pain will only add to its frenzy.

If you do want to carry a horse whip to deter rude dogs, I would choose something longer than a riding crop. Keep some distance between you and the dog. A dressage whip is about three feet long. A carriage whip is five or six feet long with a short lash. A lunge whip is similar, but it has a very long lash. I wouldn't recommend a lunge whip, because the lash will just get tangled on things. At this length, though, you might as well just carry a staff or an umbrella.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
Thanks for the detailed response. I've considered the umbrella idea before and also the walking stick since I already have both.

Neither of those turn out to be too practical for me for a few reasons. First, things happen soooo much faster than you can believe. If you've ever been in an auto accident, you'll be familiar with that. Time slows down in one way but in reality, it's almost instantaneous.There's just no time to reach for, open up, etc. Next I'm walking two dogs, two leashes - hands already full. Next, I have little arm strength and no wrist strength. The walking stick is simply too heavy and awkward for me to carry on a walk and trying to wield it just about causes me to lose my balance. An umbrella isn't too heavy but is still awkward even with auto open. The points about falling, and not going down with the ship are valid, but in that moment, you assess and do what you can. Every situation will be different.

This leaves me with lighter weight options that can be carried via a wrist strap. I called my local police station and explained what happened. I stated that I know that dogs are considered "property" so I can't use the same level of force to protect them, but what can I do to protect myself? Before I got those last words out of my mouth she replied "ANYTHING". I asked for clarification. She said "Mace, knife, firearm, anything". I said okey dokey, thanks and hung up.

I then remembered Vita's suggestion about the mail carriers, so I stopped today at my local post office and asked if there was a USPS official dog stopper. I don't know still if there's standard issue or guidelines or just what, but when the lady at the counter came back from the backroom consultation, she handed me this
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and said "the guys said you could have this."
 

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I didn't find anything in the way of any defense classes, either. Multiple sites had similar information of using pepper or bear spray, and having a big stick. With a concealed carry license you can carry a baton. Fighting back is recommended, kicking the dog in the nose, throat, back of the head. Most dogs have thick skulls, so top of the head may just make them more aggressive. Grabbing the hind legs of the attacker and pulling and lifting up makes them stop in most cases. I prefer the stick/baton suggestion. I'm also thinking a cattle prod might be effective. How to Handle a Dog Attack
 

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Years ago, my neighbors 2 jack russells got out of the house and both attacked my chihahua., who was being walked by my roommate. She fell, after getting caught up in leashes, and got the chihuahua sort of under her. Neighbors finally came and helped her up. (I was in the shower!) The chihuahua had a severe eye ulceration. After we got home from the vet about 6 hours later, I discovered a 'sticky' area of hair on her back. Sure enough when I looked there was a clear puncture wound. Back to the vet. He said that the adrenalin stoped it from bleeding!!!! Neighbors paid the vet bill.
 

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That is terribly frightening. I hope that you report the attack, to protect the next person.
I carry a foghorn, the little mini one you get for boating.
I originally got these for camping in grizzly country but a few years ago we had an aggressive dog turn up our backyard
hackles raised at my husband (who was grilling) and it sent him packing- never to return.
They are extremely loud.
I like this idea
 
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