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I think they are a brilliant idea, i find them pretty easy to kill with a bar and knifing them, only ever been killed by one and have killed about 10 so far. Also they get you a LOT of kills, easily get 5 each set you call out, and you can normally follow them and get an easy kill on the person they are trying to get lol. Also love the barking noises, especially on a dark map, really creeps you out!
I think the dogs are great but I've had to bite my tongue once or twice when they're released in close succession by folks getting 7 kill streaks.
I've managed a few times to hide from them. If you crouch down in a secluded spot they run straight past you for the guy in the open. On the Roundhouse map with all the train carriages, I've hidden in a carriage and a dog lept in the opening on one side and went straight out the opening on the opposite side leaving me alone. I've even had a dog look at me then run off for someone else who was obviously easy prey. The dogs don't like dead ends so that's the best place to hide if you have trouble killing them. It also helps as you can shoot them easily if they do approach.
Maybe it's just my girly screams hurting their hearing so they run off
I think they are a fantastic idea and a lot of fun both to use and to shoot! Like already mentioned, at least you get points for each one you kill.
I found the chopper in COD4 far far more annoying, which basically spelt certain death for anyone in the open. Even more annoying was when you thought you were safely in a building, then get shot through a nearby window at an impossible angle by the chopper.
At least with the dogs you know when you are safe and when you are not.