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  #1  
Old 05-16-2004, 08:21 AM
roscoe46 roscoe46 is offline
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vicious dogs & meter readers




i'm going to be starting a new job this coming week as a meter reader
for a local light company. the job sounds great & i'm looking forward
to it with the 1 possible exception of extremely vicious dogs. now, i'm
not really afraid of dogs & own 3 myself, 2 shelties & my my newest baby
a fila brasilerio.
the 1 dog i'm really concerned about are the pit-bulls; i'm not dissin' the
dogs or any RESPONSIBLE OWNERS, but folks, we all know there some
real heathens out here that will do bad things & make these dogs very
violent & often completely uncontrollable.
what would be your plan of action in a situation if you were attacked?
i know that the company gives you mace to carry; i don't know if it's
within comp./policy or not, but i thinking of getting a stun gun & just
keep it my little secret.
i believe Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch here in Texas had a saying,
something to the effect of don't be food for the BG or you will get eaten;
i think that should also include vicious dogs. if i should ever get knocked
off my feet & on to my back, I'm not going to lay there and be
the next can of alpo.

anyway, any suggestions or comments you have would be appreciated.

roscoe46
  #2  
Old 05-16-2004, 09:10 AM
grislyatoms grislyatoms is offline
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I don't think I would go with a stun gun, for two reasons.

You are going to have to make sure the electrodes contact the skin for it to be effective. On dogs with thick coats this might be difficult.

You will want something with a little more "stand off" capability, in other words, something you can use at a distance, not up close and personal.

I have heard a couple of reports about people using OC (pepper spray) on dogs and that it is very effective. According to the reports when the dogs are sprayed, they are subdued almost immediately.

Your mileage may vary, and I am not an expert so don't take my advice as the last word.
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2004, 11:24 AM
Quixote Quixote is offline
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Dogs

Check out www.bulliray.com their DogBite Sticks are what we give our meterreaders. I discourage OC spray because of the potential of being "downwind" of the spray and incapacitating oneself instead of the dog.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2004, 12:14 PM
Maxer51tx Maxer51tx is offline
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Ah, yes...back in the day I read meters for the local gas company. On the job I was "mauled" by two dogs. A boston terrier and a dacshund. I had close calls with a few big dogs but was never bit by one.

We had spray. It will deter most aggressive dogs. It has little effect on crazy dogs, pit bull or not. If you use it, you eventually will spray yourself.

We were taught to stuff our arms down a dog's throat in the event of a serious attack. Fortunately I never had to resort to this. The addresses on each route were coded for hazards, including dangerous dogs and dangerous homeowners.

The day I quit, I had a route that was miscoded. A homeowner with mental problems took after me with a loaded, large-caliber revolver. I jumped fence, fired up my car and returned to the shop and resigned.
  #5  
Old 05-16-2004, 01:45 PM
pitbullk9 pitbullk9 is offline
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I would recommend not going with the defensive mentality at first. Carrying a stick will place you as suspicious in the dog's mind and you don't want to make that first impression. A dog may have quite a good temperament and still appear aggressive to a stranger at the fence in the back yard. In the dog's mind he is defending his territory. I realize not everyone has an appreciation for this, but it's fact.

I would cut up 1/2 doz. hot dogs and put them in a baggie in my pocket. Feed some hot dog to each dog on your route. Speak to the dogs kindly like you would a cut little cocker spaniel. Be aware of your body language, smile at the dog and walk natural. It may take some time but unless there is an absolutely crazy dog on your route, they will not be able to resist becoming your friend. People ask me how to deal with their neighbor having an aggressive dog, and they never like to hear this information. Some men have a hard time befriending a dog instead of intimidating it. You can't intimidate every dog.

I have seen pepper spray work and not work. I would go with the stun gun. The popping sound and light from my stun gun scares the $hit out of my dog if I play with it in the house. Dogs don't understand electricity. It has been my experience that electric collars have a large impact on dogs exposed to them for the first time. If popping the stun gun when the dog approaches you doesn't work, I think one shock would be work. After that, the stick looks like a good idea.

This is my opinion based on about ten years of protection related dog training, a large part of it training pit bulls. The pit bull incidents are what's reported. There are other breeds to beware of. Generally temperment of pit bulls is very good. Just try to ignore their appearance and be friendly to them.
  #6  
Old 05-16-2004, 02:33 PM
c0ndition 0ne c0ndition 0ne is offline
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pitbullk9,

I am a phone cable repair tech, and your answeres may just help me out.

Thanks,

Dan
  #7  
Old 05-16-2004, 05:05 PM
Quixote Quixote is offline
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Actually, (in my experience) the stick is not percieved as a threat by the dog. The stick is useful for moving bushes, branches if there is no dog threat, and should the dog attack, the stick (with the ball affixed on the end) gives the dog something to focus on while using the stick to keep distance from the diog while escaping.

The hot dog bits/dog treats scenario works in theory, but only if you can get to them quickly enough. That's the beauty of the stick. It's always in hand and ready at a moment's notice. The BulliRay items www.bulliray.com (no, I'm in no way shape or form affilliated with Bulliray enterprises) are time tested and proven to work.
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2004, 06:16 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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I started reading electric meters 27 years ago for the local electric utility company.I read meters for about 5 years and then spent the next 20 years on the road setting and removing meters.In those 25 years,I've had almost every kind of dog encounter you can imagine except for being mauled,the reason for this is I developed the ability to "read" dogs at a glance.The one exception to that is pit bulldogs,sometimes they show no indication of what they're thinking.On the average,pit owners are responsible people who keep their dogs put up or chained,the ones who don't are sometimes asking for trouble depending on the temperement of the dog.
The dogs that will most likely bite you,(and yes I've been bitten several times) are the ones that will sneak up behind you take a bite and then run.....very frustrating!The ones that attack in a full frontal assault,you can usually defend yourself against,and that includes the ones that their owners think are maneaters,I know this for a fact,dogs don't like pain anymore than we do.Main thing is....DON'T RUN from a dog!They can sense fear in your actions and by you running they have won their bluff,remember the old saying "A dog's bark is usually worse than his bite."Well that's true up into the %90 range as far as I'm concerned.A lot of people will disagree with this and they're usually the ones that think they have a maneater,and no other experience.
Now I'm the meter department supervisor,and deal with the problems that owners have with the meter readers.People are very defensive when it comes to their pets being sprayed,hit with a stick or kicked.A stun gun will cause you more trouble that it will help,forget it.
I could write a book on this,sorry for the long post.
Carry the spray the company gives you and watch the wind direction.
Keep some kind of stick in the truck with you for the worst ones,just try not to let the owner see you popping the dog if you can help it,,,an axe handle is my weapon of choice.
Watch out for sleeping dogs under cars,around corners etc.Waking them up scares the crap out of a usually mild mannered dog even.
The absolute best tactic I've learned is....act like you're picking up a rock to throw at the dog,they ALL know this action and will usually run away.Most of the time you don't even have to pick up anything.
Experience is the best teacher,some guys make good meter readers,some don't.
The people are the ones to really watch!
Best of luck!
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  #9  
Old 05-16-2004, 07:15 PM
MadMex MadMex is offline
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When the hotdog and puppy chow rapport run dry you will still need to defend yourself. Consider an ASP baton:

http://www.asp-net.com/Products/Family.asp?SectionID=1

Highly concealable.
Instantly deployable.
Packs one hell of a blow.

Very lethal or disabling, depending on your need. A blow to the spinal column or head of an approaching dog or to the spinal column of one that has a hold on your leg will wither the best of them.

A 21 or 26 inch Airweight or Black chrome tucked in your waistband or in a horizontal belt scabbard (carried s.o.b.) should do the trick. If you chose this option, invest in a training video and practice deploying regularly.
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2004, 08:06 PM
bugman bugman is offline
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I have worked peat control for over 20 years and have been bitten 23 times.
Mostly because I'm not afraid of dogs. Most of the bites were not serious, and all were my fault.

I also have learned to read dogs, most will telegraph their intentions. Alot of the bites I have recieved were because as I was petting the dog I picked up my can. I have also used that can to ward off 3 attacks 1 from a wolf.

I have been to a few classes on dog defense and we were taught to always keep something between you and the dog (for us it's the can) you also run the risk of antagonizing the dog with your buffer.

If necessary it is advisable to give the dog something to bite, we use the hose on our cans, a purse or satchel will work to. Don't let go and give it some resistance as you back out of the situation. That ball stick thing would work well.

Sometimes you have to give them your arm as you plant your knee into their chest or pick them up by the balls if possible. I had to do that to a shepard who snuck up on me.

I have never used pepper spray because we are not allowed to carry it (not politically correct) but we usually have an aerosol can of really nasty insecticide that I have gotten in my eyes and have been totally incapacitated more than I was with CS or pepper spray. I sprayed an attacking pit with it once and really pissed him off.
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  #11  
Old 05-16-2004, 09:28 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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Some other points I didn't make in my lengthy post was that sometimes an otherwise nonthreatening dog will turn on you when a family member comes outside,especially a kid.They feel the need to defend their owners sometimes.
You will hear comments like "That dog has never bitten anyone before.",after it has gotten you.
Or the people will be trying to yell at the dog to make him leave you alone,just making matters worse,alot of people can't make their dogs behave any better than they can their kids.
Biggest problem you will face with dogs is when there's more than one after you,it's really hard to watch them all at once,they are all trying to gain the advantage on you from the rear.
Not trying to scare you about all this dog talk,you'll be more worried about learning the routes,where the meters are,trying to stay on schedule,and hearing people bitch about their high bills.
Learn from the older guys and you'll be fine.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2004, 11:01 PM
John45_66442 John45_66442 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMex
When the hotdog and puppy chow rapport run dry you will still need to defend yourself. Consider an ASP baton:

http://www.asp-net.com/Products/Family.asp?SectionID=1

Highly concealable.
Instantly deployable.
Packs one hell of a blow.

Very lethal or disabling, depending on your need. A blow to the spinal column or head of an approaching dog or to the spinal column of one that has a hold on your leg will wither the best of them.

A 21 or 26 inch Airweight or Black chrome tucked in your waistband or in a horizontal belt scabbard (carried s.o.b.) should do the trick. If you chose this option, invest in a training video and practice deploying regularly.
Question;
Is it illegal to carry a batton in Texas? Or is illegal to carry it concealed in Texas?
  #13  
Old 05-17-2004, 08:19 AM
scubie02 scubie02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMex
When the hotdog and puppy chow rapport run dry you will still need to defend yourself. Consider an ASP baton:
.
Better check into local laws--those are illegal in NY.

I've had jobs where I went door to door when I was in college, or had to go to people's homes. While I had some nerve wracking encounters a few times, I was never bitten. Some people just get along with animals, some don't. Its rare that you can't talk soothingly and calm down a dog. The dog treats or hotdog advice sounded good to me. One question I would have--if somebody is down as having a vicious dog, why don't you just require them to be home when you make a reading? Makes sense to me.

Traditionally I have owned cats, but recently came into possession of a puppy myself to save him from the pound, so I can view the issue from the other side too. Now my dog is actually kept inside when I'm not home, so he wouldn't be out to bother somebody, and he's harmless anyway, but I have to say if he got out and I came out and some meter reader was beating it with a stick or hitting it with a stun gun, they better have teeth marks and blood on their throats or they're in for a serious ass whooping--pets are like part of the family to most people. Just something to consider. Look at it this way--they know and love their pet--they don't know you, and saying you're from the electric company is unlikely to win you many friends either, I would guess. Not trying to be a smartass, just looking at it from the other side too.
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  #14  
Old 05-17-2004, 07:59 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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Hey scubie02,
You're right .....saying you're from the electric dept. doesn't make you many friends,that is until somebody's lights are out,and then they're glad to see you.
You're also right when you said you didn't want to see someone hitting or hurting your dog without good reason,I agree,that's why I tell my guys to not do something stupid like that.As supervisor I try to work out ways to have the customer either put the dog up if it's vicious,or we will estimate the reading until they're home to keep the dog at bay until we can read the meter.Most of the time we can usually come to some agreement.
I always try to treat people the way I would want to be treated,things have a way of working out better that way.
But....if a dog owner can't understand the seriousness of their dog attacking someone,well,those people usually find themselves in court and having their dog put down.Each year there's a lot of dog maulings resulting in serious injuries and death,especially when it is a kid the dog attacks.A vicious dog left to roam free is a dangerous thing.Some are stupid enough to let it happen...like leaving a loaded weapon around.
Fortunately,we haven't had that problem in the 27 years I've worked here.
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2004, 12:15 AM
hjk hjk is offline
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Another option might be the sjambok, sold by Cold Steel. It is a long, flexilble piece of tough plastic that is semi-rigid and can be applied with varying levels of force. It is something like a cross between a whip and a walking staff. The South African police use them for crowd control. Few people are likely to know what they are. They can also be carried in a manner that makes them look a bit like walking sticks. I keep one in the trunk of my car.
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2004, 04:15 AM
MadMex MadMex is offline
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I nearly lost the use of my right hand because some tourists decided to take the “family dog” shopping off leash. It took several stitches, therapy and months later to recover. In retrospect I would have given anything to have been able to disable the dog rather than getting my left hand chewed on as well to defend myself. If I had used a defensive spray, I would have risked frivolous lawsuits by any or all of the litigious bystanders inside the store where this incident occurred.

If batons are not legal in your area, consider some other type of impact weapon like the longest D cell Maglite your can reasonable carry.

My comments are directed at imminent or actual attack, not for forcing compliance in a non-attack situation.

Is this topic appropriate for the forum?
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  #17  
Old 05-18-2004, 04:36 AM
roscoe46 roscoe46 is offline
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thanks for the replies folks. they all sound like good ideas, especially
the dog stick; kinda reminds me of a modern day sheperds hook.
not to sound like a troll by any means, scubie02, all i want in this job is
to safely do what i'm supposed to do;read your meter & leave your
property. what would you do if your puppy and/or dog had me prone
on my back & was intent on serious & leathal damage to me?; let him eat
me alive just cause i'm a meter reader?? also, put the shoe on the other
foot & let's put you in the same situation; how would you feel??
like i said in my beginning post i'm not trying to be MACHO or
another RAMBO, BUT... I REFUSE TO BE THE NEXT CAN OF ALPO.

have a great day all
roscoe46
  #18  
Old 05-18-2004, 08:59 AM
Doug M. Doug M. is offline
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Gawd

First, if there is a loose dog, don't go in the yard. Unless your employer is brain dead, they will have a policy that addresses this. It is typical to either do estimated bills, or cut off service, if the reader can't get to the meter. It is also typical to have some pretty serious discipline for an employee who disregards the risk and the policy and enters the yard. (Translation: plan on getting fired.) The employer's exposure for not having and ruthlessly enforcing such a safety rule is staggering, at least in some states. Here in Washington, agencies have been fined staggering amounts for not mandating body armor, and cops have been fired for not wearing it; a defective radio system got the State Patrol spanked a couple of years ago (not hard enough), etc. You would have to be really careless to enter such a yard. I'm really disappointed that the other readers didn't see this. As a Sheriff's legal advisor, I can tell you that my recommendation is going to be discharge if a deputy goes onto property knowing the dog is there and gets injured unless they have one hell of a good reason (life threatening emergency).

Second, pits are simply not the problem portrayed. The problem dogs belong to problem people; pits are quite tenacious, so if abused to the point of being a problem, they probably won't stop without being shot. However, the overwhelming majority of the ones I have met are very friendly with people, although awful with other dogs. (Including our pit pup - borders on useless as a protection dog; too small a breed and too damned nice.)

Third, I am amazed that anyone serious enough about protection dogs to have a FB is worried about a pit.
  #19  
Old 05-18-2004, 09:58 AM
BullseyeAz03 BullseyeAz03 is offline
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Buy a SPAS12 and load it with rubber buckshot!

On a serious note... I'd get the stungun
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  #20  
Old 05-18-2004, 10:26 AM
scubie02 scubie02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoe46
what would you do if your puppy had me prone
on my back & was intent on serious & leathal damage to me?
I'd probably ask you if you had tripped over your skirt...

I understand you're just trying to do your job. On the other hand, its THEIR house/lawn/property, and YOU are the guest/trespasser. If they have a loose dog, don't read the meter and make arrangements for them to have it tied or inside when you come to read the meter.

I'm not meaning to be TOO much of a smartass. Certainly if you are seriously attacked, you have a right to defend yourself. And animals are unpredictable, no matter how good they have been in the past. But I've seen alot more people who are bad with animals and mean to them then I have seen truly nasty animals. So if it were me, and my dog is into it with a person, I'd have to be somewhat suspicious that the PERSON had a big part in the confrontation, given that my dog has always been nice to people so far.

All I'm saying is that you are on THEIR property messing with THEIR beloved pet, and many people are going to be viewing you with a fair amount of suspicion. Better to be bending over backwards to make sure there's no problem. Your mindset of (what do I use against a dog, stungun, mace, etc" and easy dismissal of carrying some dog biscuits or something is going to show a certain mindset to many owners too--walk in with the "dog stick" ready and how do you suppose you're going to be viewed?
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  #21  
Old 05-18-2004, 06:15 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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I think it's kind of funny to hear responses that "if there's a dog loose don't go in the yard".
Maybe where you live, but if we went by rules like that we wouldn't get anything done.This is rural Tennessee.....there's more dogs running loose than there's fleas on their backs.
That's not even mentioning ticks,poisonous snakes,chiggers,and REDNECKS!
Life is very different here in the South.
Oh,BTW,the electric meter down here is property of the electric department,and when customers sign an application they are in fact signing a contract giving us access to read,inspect for any reason,and remove for nonpayment, the meter if neccessary.
Don't want us on their property,get a generator.
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Last edited by Rebelsoul; 05-18-2004 at 06:22 PM.
  #22  
Old 05-18-2004, 06:43 PM
bugman bugman is offline
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Not to get off topic but what about binoculars or some other type of scope. I have seen the meter readers around here use them often.
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  #23  
Old 05-18-2004, 06:49 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugman
Not to get off topic but what about binoculars or some other type of scope. I have seen the meter readers around here use them often.
My meter readers use binoculars when they can,works good.
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  #24  
Old 05-18-2004, 06:54 PM
SockPuppet SockPuppet is offline
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  #25  
Old 05-18-2004, 07:37 PM
txinvestigator txinvestigator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John45_66442
Question;
Is it illegal to carry a batton in Texas? Or is illegal to carry it concealed in Texas?

It is illegal to carry a baton in Texas. Exceptions are made for peace officers, military on duty, commissioned security officers, etc. Not for CHL holders.
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