Self-Defense
Service Dogs 

 It's critical that you get familiar with your state’s laws when it comes to legal defenses to both criminal and civil liability.

Yes! You do have the right to use a professionally trained dog for your personal or family's self-defense -- whether as a legal defense in response to a personal attack, or in response to a crime or intentional tort -- in the same way that you could legally exercise any other method of self-defense (gun, knife, martial arts, etc.) our international clientele use our elite security dogs.

The amount of force used should be appropriate to the degree of threat presented. If a person(s) was attacking you or presenting a threat, using whatever means possible could be considered appropriate. Also, the person who uses force or a threat of harm against you should be able to prove that the actions of defending yourself took were the only available option to prevent themselves or others from coming to harm you or to do further harm.

Imagine having the right service dog selected, trained in fighting styles very similar to the most effective martial arts with you 24 hours a day. Your new "right hand" comes with a level of trust, devotion, love, and willingness to do what needs to be done. All other security comes with a promise of speedy response... 

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When 24-Hour Peace of Mind & Security Is Needed. 

How would you handle a totally unexpected attack or robbery?

These cases challenge us to consider how we might prepare ourselves to exercise our right to self-defense. Obviously, the need for tactical tools and skills, such as a security/self-defense dog and expert handler skill training, cannot be separated from the need to know the law. We will give you the needed instruction to develop self-defense skills for you and your K9 to work as a team.  Ask about our seminars combining the law, practical skills, and decision-making skills in emergency settings. 

One important rule of self-defense is that you can’t use deadly force to defend property. So, if you had, for example, a trained guard dog that is capable of seriously injuring a person, you could not use the dog to defend against the possibility of property damage to your car. You could only have the dog attack if someone was threatening to do harm to you and/or started to attack you. 

As a general rule of thumb, the greater the threat you reasonably think that you are facing, the more force you have the legal right to use in self-defense. While you couldn’t have your dog take down a twelve-year-old boy who has no weapon, you probably would have the right to have your dog confront a much older and larger boy (or man or woman) who either has a weapon or who poses a very serious and significant threat to your physical safety.

  5 Elements for Justified Use of Force​

There are numerous concepts involved in the use of deadly force or the use of a trained service dog in a self-defense protocol. There are five interrelated elements necessary to justify the use of deadly force or sending your dog in self-defense: Innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance, and reasonableness. Of these, five elements, the overriding one is reasonableness. Thus, you may use deadly force to stop what you reasonably believe to be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to an innocent person. Let's analyze a typical case under the five elements set forth above.

*Innocence. An aggressor threatened your life and/or the lives of your family. You and your family are innocent and have the right to defend yourselves.

*Imminence. You could reasonably believe the attack was imminent if you are charged after being threatened. If you are being confronted and after being told to not come closer and to leave, they become verbally aggressive and started moving toward you, it is reasonable to think an attack is imminent.

*Reasonableness. It could be reasonably concluded that more than one person or a much larger person than yourself is capable of causing death or serious bodily harm. Reasonableness includes what you know about an assailant, including their training and their violent nature. Generally, you are not privileged to use deadly force against an unarmed attacker. The exception is where there is a disparity of force. Typical examples of disparity of force include a big guy attacking a smaller guy, a man attacking a woman, a healthy person attacking an infirm person, or a trained fighter attacking an untrained person. 

 

*Avoidance. There are many States that are "Duty To Retreat Jurisdictions" vs "Stand Your Ground" jurisdictions, which means that before using deadly force a victim must retreat from the threat if he can do so safely. If you are in your own home there is seldom a duty to retreat. There is never a duty to retreat if it cannot be done safely and when retreating is not an option. 

*Proportionality. You are only allowed to use enough force to stop the attack. Anything in excess is not self-defense, but a crime. With the threat stopped, Trujillo ceased using force.

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