Gun or German Shepard?
I am in Massachusetts, a very non-friendly state for firearms. I live in a very safe part of the state and I don’t have that many valuables.
In the near future, I am considering getting a gun or a German Sheperd. I know there are advantages to both, but I am learning towards a dog.
A gun in this state is simply a huge liability I am not sure I can deal with all the nuances of the law. Also, if I actually used the gun to defend myself, I’m sure they’d try and prosecute me as some gun nut.
What do you guys think?
I live in a country that doesn’t go in for guns.
I don’t have any valuables either, and I don’t even have a door that locks.
I’d go for the dog. I’ve always had dogs, and people are really intimidated by them. In fact I’d have more than one, but make sure that you are the leader of the pack. (Currently I have two dogs, and no one can get near my house without me being aware of them before they even know where I am. The dogs are always watching…. it’s what they do.
Interesting that in the state where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought, you have to be afraid of having a gun.
Hammer or saw? Which do you want? Different tools.
I’d choose both. But in a pinch, I’d take the gun. Dogs can be poisoned, shot, or incapacitated in other ways. You have to water them, feed them, walk them, clean up after them, be there for them, pay vet bills, provide for their care if you go away, etc. They just don’t sit there quietly like a gun.
On the other hand, a gun isn’t great company.
Dog protects your house when you’re not there. Also, dog has a huge "discouragement" factor — people see you with the dog, see evidence of the dog, decide to go somewhere else. Definitely the dog over the gun.
I recently learned that geese make good watch pets too. Plus you get eggs.
[quote]On the other hand, a gun isn’t great company.[/quote]
If the situation allows, get both. A pistol (Probably a 1911 in .45, since you live in a "low capacity" state) and a German Shepard is ideal. Each offers different strengths and weaknesses, and when examined, they compliment one another.
Gun: In the interim, it may not do you much good – but, if we look to Michigan for a view of what our future may look like, the first items to get cut from government spending seemed to be:
The chances of you being investigated thoroughally are diminishing rapidly. Unless guns are banned outright, this will probably not be an issue. That said, the threat does exist, and I would keep the gun locked away, safe and think more about practice than self defense in the meantime.
Dog: Shepard being an excellent breed, they’ll be a great asset on many fronts. Get a breedable dog with papers for long term investment and PAW bartering. So many dogs are clipped now, that when we collapse, it won’t be 10-15 years before the "domesticated" dogs are dead, and many of them can’t breed. From a more family oriented perspective, dogs are great medicine for all sorts of maladies… from depression to boredom, dogs offer companionship and loyalty.
Everyone here understand the value of having a dog as an "early warning" system – be sure to foster this attribute, and reward the animal for things that drive you crazy (IE waking up in the night to barking) and start reacting accordingly.
If you get a big dog, be sure to have a home that will accomodate him/her. If left outside, it’s very easy to kill an animal with little or no noise involved… poisoning, suppressed or low caliber gunshots, arrows, crossbows, slingshots… your animal would be vunlerable outdoors, and will still maintain its senses while indoors.
So I suppose what I’m saing is this: If at all practical, get both.
If you’re truly limited to "one or the other", take the dog, and buy gold. I’ve got guns I’ll trade for gold.
If anyone does get a dog as means to protect their property and family please remember that these are living breathing creatures that need love, respect and companionship and are a long term commitment.
If what you’re looking for is deterrence and an early warning system get yourself an alarm system and a good fence.
When it comes to choosing a breed I’d much rather see people look to their local shelters. Purebreds are often more prone to health problems and there are so many needy animals in shelters that I couldn’t justify breeding (I feel the same way about humans). Besides even if you pay to get a purebred pup it can still grow up to be useless as a guard. At least going to a shelter you can get a feel for the animal’s temperament before you make such a long term commitment.
As for gun vs. dog… you can eat a gun but you won’t get the same results.
I’ve never owned a gun, and therefore I know little or nothing about using one. Also, I’ve never owned a dog. Over the years I’ve invited dozens of dogs, one or two at a time, to live with me but I’ve never considered it as owning the animal. I happen to be one of those nuts who treats my dog(s) with utmost dignity and respect. I give them lots of love, but insist, gently, that they understand that I am the leader of the pack. In return, I find that they treat me with great kindness and respect, and will go out of their way to protect me. I’ve had little dogs, but they are more the "cutesy" types. So, I prefer big old lovable dogs that I can hug, or lie on the rug beside, while I stroke their head or back and they lick my face.
So, do I get protection out of my house dog. You bet, as an early warning system. But I also get something that shows up very little in our world today – unconditional love. There’s just nothing like it! If I die in a fight, I think I’d rather have my faithful dog beside me than a gun in my hand.
I live in MA; not friendly to gun owners but not impossible to get a License to Carry. Even if you only get a "Target" permit you can keep a gun in your home. Then, you will not have to wonder if you are breaking various laws by leaving your weapon unattended, carrying it where not permitted, and so on, and you may feel safer there. I have a cat, no help there.
Aaron, the "Class A Large Capacity" License To Carry lets you carry any magazine. Oddly enough, you can not buy some specific weapons here because the manufacturer did not submit them for "testing" to MA, whatever that means.
I too vote for getting both, but with a twist.
Regarding the dog, consider getting a small “yapper,” rather than something large, like a shepard. The small dog won’t eat as much protein and will be just as good for alerting you to trouble.
And when you’ve been alerted to trouble, then it’s time to pick up Mr. Shotgun. Many people have survived a pistol shot to their center of mass. But no one survives a center of mass hit of double-ought buckshot.
If you get a shotgun, consider an old Remington or Winchester pump. It offers multiple rounds and can be had with a wooden stock. That type of weapon is much more palatable to a jury than a scary black “tactical” shotgun or pistol (e.g. Glock).
One final benefit that Mr. Shotgun brings to the table: every single man on earth recognizes the sound of a round being chambered in a pump shotgun. It is the sound of death, and there’s a pretty good chance the bad guy will skedaddle, so you won’t even have to pull the trigger.
“Gun or dog” gives you only 2 of the many options you can be exploring and choosing from, as you know.
I get asked this question several times a day, because I am a licensed firearms dealer. (I sell to police, military and regular folks, too.) Many of my customers are first time buyers, and like you they usually start out comparing self defense options and products (gun or dog, taser or pepper spray, home security system upgrade and etc-whatever) and I always encourage each person to make several choices and to make their choices based on what will work for their own personal situation as well as what they think they might be able to use effectively. Then re-evaluate as life changes.
Many folks may be very fearful due to their own situations at home and in their locality, and they go through a process of self exloration during which they sometimes determine that they are not candidates for being able to effectively protect themselves with deadly force. I think this is a sad determination, but it is what’s reality for those folks. By the way, this self assessment changes over time, due to things like training & familiarity or changes in circumstance that increases their perceived need for self defense and their confidence (Will I shoot the dog? my kid? myself? they ask themselves, and yes they should ask themselves that but also learn to work through to a better self assessment if their answer is not so good).
My advice is to choose several options that will work now for you, and always have one of your options with you. Pepper sprays should be in your glove boxs of your cars and also a big one should be near the front door of your home. Is your home security system operational and do you use it regularly. You can have a gun by the bedside at night, even if you never take it out of the house. Figure out how to accommodate “the people situation” (kids in the house? what to do to work with that situation? – of course.) Shotgun or pistol? A good start is am 18″ pump shotgun with a tactical light or laser on it, because you will be more likely to be able to aim it and the light will be useful at night. Anyway, to answer most-asked ?s I wrote an article on how to choose a shotgun and you can read it here… http://personalsecurityzone.com/Shotgun_for_defense.htm
However, the “nuts and bolts of products” is not what’s of concern to most folks. It’s their own introspective self doubt and self questioning, and they also ask themselves, “Will it be a hassle to learn to use this deadly thing that I don’t really want to buy anyway, and if I buy one, what a pain in the neck it might be to change my life to be able to keep it clean and working and use it effectively if I really ever need it!!!???” and the ones who have the most trouble overcoming their own self doubt are those who have created for themselves a lifestyle that revolves around a desk job, freeway traffic or riding the buss/train home, and shopping and that’s about it. So, these folks express that they have more of a personal journey to travel in learning what they can use and then getting themselves to practice and be prepared with it in case of the HEAVEN FORBID possibility. The usual recommendation is community – – to get to know other people who can help you learn, through target shooting or hunting clubs and other personal contact experiences.
I hope this was helpful,
Mary Kay – http://www.personalsecurityzone.com