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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 8. 27 April 1972

Defence Against Dogs

Defence Against Dogs

About two years ago Gauleiter Percy "dogs on short leads" Allen made an abortive but enthusiastically publicised attempt to rabble-rouse a vigilante goon-squad to "give the PYM what they deserve".

And now another fylfot facet of our Minister of Police's strutting, strident posture on 'law'n'order': Police dogs, he says, will be used more often at demonstrations, implying that they have not often been at demonstrations. Crap. We know from experience that dogs have always been present whenever police have attended demo's in the last six or seven years.

Police dogs (usually Alsatians — Dobermann Pinschers and Labradors are not as suited to the work) are trained to inflict injuries that would, if committed by a policeman be unacceptable socially and legally. But, as it seems that we have come to expect police dogs at peaceful demo's, we are not as indignant as we should be when these dogs cause injury that would make us really pissed off if committed by a thug in a blue uniform. Consider the difference of our responses to e.g. the dog attack at Mt John, on a demonstrator's groin (in accordance with training and handler's command), and the equivalent of, say, a constable attempting to castrate one whose political opinions he disapproves of.

Used as such, police dogs are weapons implementing police-government coercion and even appear to be used by some cops to express their own hatred of "student queers" etc. Is it therefore an exaggeration to say that it appears police dogs are used to intimidate and terrorize citizens going about their lawful business? Some vigorous and aggressive resistance to these tactics is needed if we are to avoid suffering more assaults. These cops, seeking every opportunity to put the boot in when fighting bravely against overwhelming odds defending the Reich from the depradations of placid students and kids, display gross cowardice when a few "bikies" or other thugs start throwing bottles. It appears that they are scared gutless and shitless of getting a little resistance.

Trained dogs can easily attain an effective height stance of 5 or 6 feet when throwing a lot of weight into astonishingly fast, ferocious, persistent and agile attacks. They inflict injury with their teeth and jaws, paws with sharp nails, and weight, throwing a person off balance. They are trained to attack on the command of their handlers but sometimes attack anyone (cops too) on their own volition. Each handler has continual charge of one or two dogs.

In confrontations the handler operates his dog from a "short lead", meaning that the dog is restrained by holding a chain (about 8ft) somewhere close (say 2ft) from where it is fixed to the dogs collar. The dog may, if the handler allows, extend his tether and attack. Dogs are not usually let off their leads in confrontations.

As a precaution against attack one might wear a heavy jersey, heavy coat, thick trousers and boots.

When a dog attacks it usually concentrates upon one person unless continually redirected by the handler. In terms of "defensive reaction" (as our Yank friends would say) four or five citizens against each dog may seem unsporting but in fact this isn't a game and it just about makes things even when resisting the savage attack of a frenzied police dog and its instigating handler.

If a dog attacks you or a friend don't fuck round trying to explain to the animal how you became a Christian Pacifist and like dogs. Don't quote Ghandi and Tolstoy on non-violence because the dog is no more able to understand and see reason than his handler.

Dog food cartoon

Resistance to a dog attack must be determined and aggressive to cause it to desist —to kill it if necessary. Remember that police dogs are trained to cause serious, even fatal injury. They are trained to attack one's throat and groin as well as arms and legs. So "terminate with extreme prejudice" (as the CIA says) all police dogs intent on attacking.

Very likely the handler, on seeing vigorous defence against his dog's efforts, will withdraw the animal before it suffers more than superficial injury. Too bad for the dog if he doesn't. We must not be deterred by the fact that the cops will throw the book at us for resisting the maulings of their hounds. Killing his dog may upset the handler and very likely he might not condone protection from his dog's frenzied attack, and to attempt to reason with him may be as futile and fatal as it would be with his dog. We should expect that he will bear a grudge against those he imagines are responsible for the demise of his beloved canine charge, and may attempt immediate revenge. He is no more likely to be inclined towards conventional dignities and restraints of behaviour than his late and (as far as we're concerned) unlamented dog, and may himself behave like a mad dog. We should then, again, defend ourselves accordingly.

Some Resistance Methods

The following methods require some agility, dexterity, coolness and determination. How you acquire and apply these qualities is up to you and your friends and the circumstances. These methods are only suggestions tried and proven (mostly in other countries with police-dog problems), that you may find useful. Their application and variations are up to you.

1.Don't tease dogs or provoke their handlers. Some hoons have managed to bark (yes bark!) at dogs, irritating both dogs and handlers. Let sleeping dogs lie. Abusing cops may alienate those having doubts about the system they represent.
2.Don't go looking for trouble. Of course if there is violence it should be only defensive on our part. If you want to start the great NZ guerilla insurrection go away and do it somewhere else. Keep peaceful demo's peaceful.
3.Aggressive and trained bull-terriers are reputed to be the most vexatious to police Alsatians. A bitch on heat, and her piss is reputed to distract police dogs. Wolf shit is reputed to terrify dogs —this method is said to have been successfully used by the Provos in Holland.
4.We could breed our own guard dogs. Imagine a Dobermann-Alsatian-St Bernard cross, with perhaps a bit of Irish Wolfhound.
5.A dog may be kept at bay with handfuls of finely-ground pepper thrown into its face, and by the liberal application, it is said, of caustic oven-cleaner. Also aerosol sprays of paint, perfumes, hair-fixer, etc. These are usually highly volatile so when followed immediately by a blast from a long-flame butane lighter create a spectacular effect. Flaming torches and moderately diluted ammonia fired from water-pistols are old tricks. Aim for the dog's eyes and hose.
6.A dog can be thrown by seizing his collar and dragging him off his feet. Watch those jaws. If you can jam a paw or two through the collar you'll immobilise the animal and render it meek, maybe. Also pressure on a dogs paws will cause it some distress and may deter its attack.
7.Dogs may be fended off and killed with a vast assortment of implements from the traditional [unclear: proletaiian] and peasant armoury; common or garden forks, spades, slashers, machetes, pick axe handles etc. In fact just about anything that will cut or stab, chop or club, even writing implements — a biro may be mightier than a bayonett.
8.Vulnerable places to heavily strike an attacking dog are on the bridge of its nose and in the eyes. A heavy kick in the ribs may cause a condition like that caused by jumping on a bamboo birdcage. A spade or trenching tool with sharp edges may cause gruesome injury, as hand-to-hand combatants in WW1 and WW2 know.
9.A dog may be strangled by using its chain.
10.A short strong stick or steel rod pushed through between the collar and neck, and twisted like a tourniquet, will strangle the poor animal.
11.Pull both front legs suddenly and violently apart, away from the normal position, in a wide arc so as to bring them together above the dog's back. This is reputed to cause massive chest injuries and may cause the dog in its last fleeting seconds to reflect upon the fatal infortuitousness of its career in the Police Force.
12.Tranquillizer darts fired by bow, blowpipe or cartridge have been suggested.
13.No mention is made of using firearms in defence against mad dogs. At present such implements and methods are dangerously escalative and unnecessary. However this ommission may be rectified if future events should make some information on these matters unavoidable.

Some of these' methods of defence' are of course ill-advised if you wish to stay clear of a charge of possessing an 'offensive weapon'. On the other hand, if you happen to be a professional boxer, or a karate-ka, you could be arrested for the same thing.