self defense

When Will You Ever Put a Dog in a Chokehold?

Please don’t put Sam in a chokehold.

That’s what my smirking wife asked me one evening.

I was on the couch watching various self-defense videos; the last few were how to defend against attacking dogs. Since my wife and I both run, and she’d been chased more than once, I thought she’d understand the value in knowing the proper way to put a dog in a choke-hold.

But not my wife, oh, no. Even though she’s been stalked by creepers, chased by dogs, struck at by rattlesnakes hiding in the only shrub on the block, the thought that anything might happen to warrant a little preparation is utterly absurd. She scoffs at danger and fears nothing—man, beast, or dog.

Undeterred by her scoffs, I continued watching, learning, soaking it in. I probably will never be attacked by a dog, but if I do…

A few months later, Mr. Situational Awareness, prepared for everything, dog fighting kung-fu master fell asleep around noon on a hot Saturday while his wife was in the house and his kids played outside in their normally quiet neighborhood.

A nap is not a normal thing in my house; if it happens, it’s needed and it’s a hard sleep we fall into. That’s why I didn’t hear when my oldest daughter’s best friend busted into the house saying dogs were attacking my daughter.

My fearless wife, who is also a talented athlete, ran around the block only to find three large bull-dogs fighting my daughter and our little dog, Sam. My daughter was covered in mostly Sam’s blood, but her mother only saw blood. With words that shocked the neighborhood and a fierceness that would make wonder woman proud, my daughter and wife fought the dogs hard enough that one ran home, giving Sam the chance to escape. The other two followed him to our house, where I was just coming out the door.

Sam bolted inside with one big bull dog close behind. I ran after them and found them in a back room, where the bull dog had Sam down in the corner and was attacking his throat. I put the bull dog in a choke from behind—he was too busy with Sam to notice me—squeezing as hard as I could and lifting him off the ground. When I finally released him after half a minute or so, he fell into a lump on the floor. I opened the nearest door, he came to, shook himself, and went home.

A year has passed. Daughter’s bites have healed, the stitches are long gone, and her scars are badges of bravery. Sam spent a few weeks at the vet, where they patched and stitched him up well. The bull dogs are gone from the neighborhood, and the owner offered to and did pay all the vet bills. My wife stitched up her own cuts without even an aspirin using hairs that she plucked from the dogs themselves. Well, something like that.

My wife and daughter did all the real fighting, I’m ashamed to say. But the chokehold video did come in handy, and I haven’t taken a nap since.


About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.


16 thoughts on “When Will You Ever Put a Dog in a Chokehold?

  1. As a former medic I have responded to many dog attacks. They can be horrific and harrowing life altering experiences. I won’t do on my rant, but I’d to have one big problem with certain breeds that get out in groups.

    Posted by jim- | August 6, 2018, 8:25 pm
    • Ours wasn’t even “that” bad, but it was traumatizing for my wife and daughter. Yes, it seems like certain breeds are the usual culprits.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | August 6, 2018, 9:21 pm
  2. Wow. Owners should really pay attention to their dogs! But good for your wife. I’d be pissed as hell if my kid was being attacked.

    Posted by Michelle | August 6, 2018, 8:57 pm
  3. Nice piece! I’ll be scouring YouTube tomorrow for videos on putting dogs in chokeholds.

    Posted by Henry Rambow | August 6, 2018, 10:02 pm
  4. Good job taking that dog out, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Naps are very good for people. Just think, if you hadn’t had that nap, maybe you wouldn’t have been refreshed enough to remember how to do the chokehold.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | August 7, 2018, 7:29 am
    • True, true, Tippy Gnu! I wrote this draft a couple of weeks ago, and actually took a nice long nap yesterday afternoon when I got home from work, but I decided it wouldn’t be dishonest to post it as is…

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | August 7, 2018, 7:31 am
  5. Wow, very scary! There’s nothing quite like a Mom who kicks into high gear. It sounds like the three of you made a pretty good team as well. I’ve had a few country road run ins. Thankfully none of them have been this intense. When there are dogs like this in the area word seems to get around and everyone keeps their eyes open. Be safe!

    Posted by ellie894 | August 7, 2018, 8:05 am
    • Our neighborhood is usually free of roaming dogs; those just happened to get out of their house that day. We were so glad when they left town. As wimpy as it sounds, I have to admit that we carried pepper spray for a while after that, but we never had the opportunity to use it.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | August 7, 2018, 4:32 pm
  6. Your dog attack story puts mine to shame. I guess you can do away with those dog self-defense videos! Just watch your daughter and wife and take notes!

    Posted by Shayne | August 7, 2018, 4:41 pm
    • I actually almost started this with: “For Shayne.” Our little conversation a few weeks ago is what spurred me to write this, so I’m glad you read it. And yes–I can learn all the fighting moves I need from those two!

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | August 7, 2018, 4:49 pm
  7. Yow– close call !

    Posted by The Muscleheaded Blog | August 9, 2018, 1:40 am

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