force on force training related to dog attack

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force on force training related to dog attack

Postby M-Quigley » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:32 pm

This is relevant to an incident discussed on here previously.

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=90e546&p=4381249&hilit=dog+close+enough#p4381249

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to engage in a non lethal force on force exercise related to a dog attack. Specifically if someone else was being attacked by a dog, and you had to "shoot" the dog without shooting the innocent victim. A large stuffed animal was used as the "dog". Everybody got to use the same "gun" and practice with it on a static target at 4 yards. (semi auto copy of an M9) Everybody did okay with the static target. I and a couple of other people got to be the victim as well as a defender. The people playing the victim were supposed to move around as much as possible, pretending like they were thrashing around, trying to get the "dog" off of them.

It was interesting to see the participants who were standing far back, trying to carefully aim a shot at the dog without hitting me. Most of those people completely missed me and the dog, or were afraid to shoot at all. The victims were hit a few times, the dog was hit a few times, but the hits might not have been effective on a real dog. (depends on the dog I guess) With those people there were a lot of complete misses. In real life where would those complete misses go? What I did, (and what a couple of other people who successfully hit the dog effectively without hitting the victim did) was basically get right up there to the dog and shoot point blank, contact or almost contact distance. Not that you can't hit the moving dog/biting human from afar, but it's much more of a challenge doing it that way for most people.

Someone else said that she was told in her CCW basic class to not get close to an attacker if you're not already close. I told her that was great advice if her attacker is a human that is a threat to you. A dog attacking a loved one or family member (sometimes not exactly the same thing :lol: ) isn't going to try to take your gun away from you or cut you with a knife in it's paw. The main risk to the gun owner is maybe the dog lets go of the victim and goes after the gun owner with its jaws. If that happens though, the gun owner at least has his/her gun out and ready to shoot.

One of the people who stood back from the dog (maybe 3-4 yards?) and did great on the static target, couldn't get a good hit on the dog. He complained afterwards that the exercise was too challenging, because every time he got the sights lined up and tried to slowly pull the trigger, the target moved, because the person playing the victim was thrashing around with a stuffed animal on his arm. (exactly like what might happen in real life, unless perhaps the victim was dead or something) Is there a name for square range static target syndrome? :)
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby Hyflyer » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:20 pm

I see this as a worthy exercise. I know first hand this is not an easy task. About a year and a half ago I found myself under attack by a 80-100 lb dog while on our evening walk with my dog in our neighborhood. There were several of the dog's family members present with two of them attempting to gain control of their dog without much success. It was a very violent, hectic, rapidly changing situation with A LOT of decisions to make in just a few seconds. In the end, I was able to safely stop the dog's fourth attack with a single shot from a few feet. It was a hard night for me (and the dog owner's family as well).
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby MyWifeSaidYes » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:45 am

M-Quigley wrote:... Is there a name for square range static target syndrome? :)


"Square Range Syndrome"
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby TSiWRX » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:31 am

M-Quigley wrote:This is relevant to an incident discussed on here previously.

http://www.ohioccwforums.org/viewtopic. ... h#p4381249

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to engage in a non lethal force on force exercise related to a dog attack. Specifically if someone else was being attacked by a dog, and you had to "shoot" the dog without shooting the innocent victim. A large stuffed animal was used as the "dog". Everybody got to use the same "gun" and practice with it on a static target at 4 yards. (semi auto copy of an M9) Everybody did okay with the static target. I and a couple of other people got to be the victim as well as a defender. The people playing the victim were supposed to move around as much as possible, pretending like they were thrashing around, trying to get the "dog" off of them.


Great stuff, M-Quigley. Thank you for sharing! :)

Which outfit was this with, out of curiosity? That's good stuff...I really love realistic scenarios!

Did your participation in the thread referenced help your thinking/performance?

Is there a name for square range static target syndrome? :)


I like to call it magical thinking (as in, "I'm sure my ankle isn't broken! :lol: ).

There's a friend of mine from another firearms Forum who likes to call it "My Gunfight." That pipe-dream reel where the fight of your life unrolls exactly as you planned it, and you're looking-on as if you've just paid for a ticket at your favorite silver-screen theater.

It ain't happening. :lol:

And thank you for sharing your experience, too, Hyflyer.
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby M-Quigley » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:52 pm

TSiWRX wrote:
Which outfit was this with, out of curiosity? That's good stuff...I really love realistic scenarios!




My wife and I had planned to visit some relatives in western Indiana last weekend. One of those relatives said he wouldn't be home part of the day, because he was putting on a force on force exercise for members of his gun club. It was supposed to be just members of the club. I asked him if I could observe it, even though I wasn't a member. He said he could do better than that, I could participate as his guest. He did ask me to volunteer to play the part of a victim however. Not all the shooters could physically be a convincing victim in this scenario. It involved a lot of moving around, some of it on the ground. For victims it ended up being mostly me and two other people, one of them the range master's grandson. I didn't have to pay anything. I don't think the gun club members did either, other than whatever their dues might've been.

One of the rules for participating was that you had to state you were not armed with a real gun (your CC gun) when it was your turn to shoot the non lethal gun, and be patted down and checked for guns by him (range master) or his female assistant. He didn't want anyone to unintentionally use their CC piece in the heat of the moment. That's not unusual for any previous force on force exercises I've done in other places in the past.

In addition to being a victim, I got to be an unarmed bystander, sometimes getting in the way. In one case the "shooter" successfully hit the dog, but it was at a direction that if it had been real gunshot it might've passed through the dogs head and hit me.

If someone didn't shoot at all, I was supposed to say things like "That dog is killing that kid. You've got a gun. Do something!" :) One of the people I yelled at yelled back at me, "Why don't you do something?" I didn't have anything prepared to say to that, so I just ad libbed, "I can't. I don't have a gun. I'm an anti gunner. I think guns are icky. :lol: The problem was the ranger master laughed a little, and the shooter started laughing, and the kid quit moving around. It cut the exercise short for that guy, but he didn't want to take the shot anyway, and he never tried to move in close before I said that.

Did your participation in the thread referenced help your thinking/performance?


Kind of. I've never had to shoot a dog ever, much less one attacking another person in real life. The last time I had to defend myself against an aggressive dog was decades ago, it was only after me, not attacking someone else, and that was handled with mace. Lately when I go for exercise walks, (by myself) the large dogs in my neighborhood that run out to me, end up walking with me, not attacking me. Still trying to figure that out why that is. :roll:
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby Hyflyer » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:45 pm

That is a good practice in your training scenario to add in the background problems of yelling / screaming, people trying to tell you what to do, people trying to intervene. Another consideration to include in your scenario is that just because the dog attack is stopped doesn't mean the situation is over. People's pets are often very near and dear "family members" to them. Sometimes even more than human family members! So the immediate threat (dog) is stopped but now you may have enraged "family members" who are not thinking clearly to deal with and everyone's bodies full of adrenaline.
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby Brian D. » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:31 am

It doesn't take a training school to provide good practice. Get an airsoft that fits a holster you have for one of your real guns, some friends similarly equipped, goggles, etc. and shoot heck out of each other!
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby TSiWRX » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:06 am

Thanks for the details, M-Quigley!

The only caveat I'll put in there for Brian D.'s excellent recommendation is that with a "self training group," you'll have to be doubly diligent to keep everyone on-track in terms of training, and not let too much fun creep into the equation. There should be a goal for each exercise/scenario, and participants need to remember that it's not about "winning," but learning. Similarly, the organizer(s) need to both make the scenario not so stringent that there's virtually no way to win (i.e. Star Trek's infamous "Kobayashi Maru" test :lol: ). It's not about one-upping the scenario participants or outwitting the sceario's writers/judges: it's about learning. Scenarios both need to be tightly scripted as well as offer enough freedom so that the outcome can be adapted as based on the way the student(s) play the events.

Too often with frequent-flyer students at training classes and "friends-in-a-group" this kind of thing becomes a game. That's not the way to learn. You're not walking into the grocery store on a blissful Ohio-autumn Tuesday afternoon expecting a gunfight - neither should you of a Force-on-Force evolution. Be aware of "Train-itis," and how it can totally skew your performance away from everyday reality in a FoF evolution.

I know that early-on in my training, I did not approach FoF with the right mindset, and likely left quite a lot on the table in terms of good lessons. :oops:

Hyflyer's complimentary suggestions to M-Quigley's post can illustrate that point, too. In the real world, having onlookers or vested parties yelling/screaming at you or just freaking out in the background can be really hard to ignore and tremendously distracting (just look at the many police takedown videos out there) - this versus going into a FoF scenario with a helmet on...you know that it's not reality, so it's easier to put up that mental barrier. This is both something that the good student should be conscious of, and also something that the scenario creators as well as participants can help avoid.
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby M-Quigley » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:39 pm

TSiWRX wrote: In the real world, having onlookers or vested parties yelling/screaming at you or just freaking out in the background can be really hard to ignore and tremendously distracting


That's why the person who was putting the exercise on wanted the bystander to say things. One participant who was shot shooting at first out of concern for hitting the victim eventually fired, and one of her shots unintentionally hit the victim. She said later that she didn't want to shoot but she felt pressure to take the shot (shots) anyway. He said that was partly why it was done, to add some pressure. He said that in the real world the person with the gun can ultimately be held responsible, not some third party. You need to do what you feel is right in that particular situation despite other people, even if it means not shooting sometimes. The same can be true in reverse, the dog owner who can't get control of their dog, but still may not want you to shoot despite whatever danger the dog presents. You've ultimately got to decide for yourself the right thing to do based on the situation you're facing at the time, whether the danger has four legs or two.
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Re: force on force training related to dog attack

Postby TSiWRX » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:45 pm

^ Yup, definitely.

But just remember that as you get more seasoned at FoF that you realize that when you put on that helmet and are in the scenario, there's going to be some part of your mind that will just know that it's in make-believe-land. Be cognizant that this doesn't allow you to tune-out what you otherwise may not.

The internal debate for us as the student should always be whether if we're stress-inoculated enough that we're now really functioning at a different level, or if we're just gaming the scenario. ;)
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