Large dog off a leash acting aggressive towards you = threat of greater bodily harm.A dog can outrun you so retreat is not possible. So self defense is justified. It happens all the time with people shooting the dog and no charges being filed against them. That is as long as the dog is large enough that you cannot simply kick it away like a football. If a wiener dog attacks you, anything more than a swift punt could be considered excessive force.
But if you do shoot a dog, be prepared to immediately defend yourself against the owner.
MANY dog owners treat them like children.And just likemanyirrational parents, they believe that there child/dog could never do anything wrong. It's never their child's/dog's fault.
You are absolutely correct about that last statement. If I see you using excessive force to hurt my dog, I will confront you with equally severe force. I'm also not going to let my dog run up to youoff ofa leash, so this will probably never be a problem.
The point I was making earlier is that while you are
justified in using force to stop an agressive dog, and it is in your best interest to do so, a lot of people have an irrational phobia of dogs (or of a specific breed of dog) that makes them think that the mear presense of the dog is life threatening.
Now as a dog owner, I know that my dog would never hurt you, and I know that when she approaches youit is to say hello and hopefully get a treat. I also
know that you don't
know that. You don't knowmy dog, and your personal experiences with dogs could be very different from mine, making you feel that my dog bouncing around and acting playful is actually prepairing to attack you. This is why I don't let her run up to people unless they are acting like they want to pet her. Unfortunately, a lot of pet owners aren't as responsible as I am, and don't understand that other people might not have the same understanding of their dog.
As a disclaimer, I should also mention that my dog isn't a pit bull. She's an Australian shepherd, german shepherd, and blue heeler mix and she's 8 months old, so everyone I've met just thinks she's either cute or annoying, but never threatening.
As an interesting side note, I once met a guy who had a dog that disarmed people. As soon as he saw a pistol, he would jump up and grab it out of your hand. It was a pretty cool trick.