Does Your Home Defense Plan Incorporate Your "Fur Babies?"

This is sort of related to the “Self Defense Against a Dog” thread but is from the opposite angle (a comment @Chuck_L made in another post got me thinking along these lines).

Your at home asleep, when suddenly you hear your dog downstairs going crazy, as you get up to investigate you hear glass break and your dog continue to aggressively bark but now even more intensely.

What do you do?

Does your home defense plan incorporate your animals?

What if suddenly you hear your dog whimper/cry in pain and like it’s been struck/hit? What if after that the barking stops? What then?

What State laws do you potentially have to contend with?


INAL… here in Montana, dogs are considered “property” (cats too). From that I would assume the laws around property crime would apply. Was involved with an incident that gave me the above information, as it would apply to livestock predation.

From that, I realize that my dogs are property, and as such, killing someone for injuring or killing my dog is not a good prospective outcome.


Fair enough…but they’ve broken into your home and have shown criminal intent at that point…they’ve injured your animal showing intention and capability of committing violence…still wait for them to come up the stairs and threaten you and/or your family?

Your animals (dogs particularly) gave up their life (or risked injury) to warn you of a threat to you and your family? No returned loyalty to man’s best friend to go render aid (medical or otherwise) to it?


Assuming that the person did not just leave after that, they what you are stating would be no different than if the dogs were not involved. If I go to render aid, very carefully mind you, and the person(s) are still there, and have turned on others (humans), then again, same result as if the dog was not involved.

I guess what I was trying to point out, is that is no different than say you hearing someone stealing your car, or vandalizing your car. Yes I realize it is a beloved pet; however in the laws of Montana, it is still property. No clue what it is in other States. Now if it was a Horse or Cattle, well, that is another matter :smiley:

FWIW, my dog is crated with me at night in the bedroom :smiley: Apologies, as I may have muddied the waters a bit too much. My dog is a retired herd guard dog, and she has earned her scars killing things to protect my herds. My other one that passed last year did the same (they were a team). Trust me, they are family. Now if I can just keep her away from Skunks… LOL


As for me, my first priority is the wife and kids and getting them in a secure location and on the phone to 911 and allow our dog to defend herself until that’s done. We keep her in a crate overnight so hopefully the intruder will look at her as an annoyance and not a threat (edit: unless they’re threatened enough to leave in which case hopefully they do look at her as a threat)

Once the human family is secured, and if I heard the dog being attacked, I would go down and help her (if she were just barking her head off, I’d stay put in our defensive location).

If I run lay eyes on the intruder on my way to get her, I issue commands and react according to the intruder’s actions/reactions to those commands.

If I make it down to the area where the crate and no one is there, I grab our pup by the collar and back our way back to the defensive location keeping eyes up for threats. If there is someone there, again I issue commands and react according to the intruder’s actions reactions.

In my State a citizen can use deadly force in defense of their own life, life of others and property.


People first - that is I defend the humans first.

In Missouri, we can use force to defend property, but we can expect to have to make an affirmative defense about why we did so if we were not threatened directly. We are stand-your-ground and castle doctrine, so we can defend on our property outside, or inside the house, and can take their intent-to-harm as part of their having broken into our homes. I think a strong case can be made for believing someone in the act of harming or having just harmed my dog, while trespassing on my property or having broken into my house, is there for evil purposes and intent to harm people may be extended from that. I think it’s a property-protection case, right up until it becomes a human life protection case, so decisions need to be made accordingly.

And always, there are other-side-of-bang realities to be considered, and the potential taking of human life carries personal, spiritual, and legal consequences.


My fur babies have always been incorporated into my home defense since they go with me just about everywhere. My truck is also my home, so they are trained to guard it. I don’t have a problem protecting my animals. They sound the alarm to get me up and moving. Since all states allow you to defend yourself, although some require you to have no escape before using deadly force. I can usually deal with the situation without my animals getting hurt.


Mine will be with my wife while I cover her exit.


One of my biggest issues is I literally forget I’m carrying because I’ve gone so long using hand to hand or using anything like a knife, screw driver, pen or anything else I can get my hands on. If I’m not shot at first I really don’t think to use my firearm.


My dog is my family. Yes I will protect my family. They’re in MY HOUSE without consent.


My dog sleeps with me, he tells me when he needs to go potty or out for a drink of water.

If something’s going on, I’ll have 2 pistols and a shotgun on me going down the hallway…

My little one is my child, threaten him and it’s a threat made against me…


If they broke in to the house, the castle doctrine applies and there is a presumption that allows the use of deadly force in most situations. And, as John Wick and Bobby Lee Swaggert would be saying, “They killed my dog!”


Our dogs sleep in our room with us, hubby is working with our rescue Loki on agility on such training, and my service dog, I am waiting for spots to open up to bring her to training involving gunfire (blanks) training and moving with me.

I do practice draw while holding her leash, and asked a group of CCW friends if they do the same, but they seemed to think this was odd. Do any of you practice draw while holding your pets leash, keeping them out of sweep and still under control?


As much emphasis as Kevin and other trainers put on dropping whatever it is in your off hand (typically a cell ph) I’m not sure I wouldn’t follow the same with my dog so I could get two hands on the pistol for accurate shots.

I’d imagine the dog would be pulling pretty hard on the leash either attempting to attack the threat or run away from the noise, either way causing significant issues with your aim/accuracy.

I’ll be interested to see what the experts post.

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Yeah, but that dog is clearly not on a leash…lol

I don’t necessarily train holding onto a leash, @Hailey, but I do train one-handed drawing. It’s important to be able to draw if the other hand is injured or out of commission.

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This is the class I am waiting to open back up (or find similar) again

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This is an interesting topic. My dogs are loose, but sleep in the bedroom. They are one piece of the early-warning system.

In the event of a “bump in the night”, the challenge will be that they will go launching off to wherever the noise comes from. Which is the opposite of bunkering in the safe room. Do I stay bunkered? Do I follow after them? Do I try to recall them (lol)?