When I was a child, my mother taught me how to defend myself against an attacking dog.
1. Sacrifice your left arm when the dog charges. Try like hell to get the dog to take your left arm.
2. While the dog is clamped onto your arm, place your right thumb inside the dog’s mouth, under the tongue.
3. Apply as much pressure as possible under the tongue. Be sure to grab onto the entire jaw and squeeze as hard as possible. The dog will automatically open it’s mouth and will NOT be able to close it’s mouth. (This is a reflex and against the dog’s will. This is very painful for the dog.)
4. With all your strength, twist/wrench the jaw in a circle. This should dislocate the jaw, ending the attack. If not, it usually causes enough pain the the dog will retreat.
HINT: This technique does NOT work on pit bulls. They are the only dog that lacks this reflex. (That’s what I was told, anyway.) If you try this with a pit, you will lose your thumb.
I actually had to do this once when I was a teen with a shepherd. It was shockingly easy and I didn’t even need stitches. There were only a couple of small punctures on my left forearm that didn’t even scar.
The dog screamed and retreated as soon as I clamped down and was more than ready to retreat as soon as I let it.
I think that this is the only self-defense technique that’s actually done me any good.
Pits scare the hell out of me just because there’s no way to stop them. There are stories where the dog is shot or stabbed through the head and it just keeps coming.
Also if you carry concealed, shoot from underneath the dogs throat upward through the skull. A dog has a very hard skull and downward shots can cause richochets and/or secondary fragmentation projectiles.
I have also read that an old hippie trick against police dogs was to grab them around the collar or scruff and start spinning in a circle, then releasing. Apparently dogs don’t recover very well from the spinning.