What should you do when a dog attacks yours?

(33 Posts)

I have a lovely Springer. He's 18 months old, castrated, friendly, well socialised and soft as butter.

Last week I was running with my dog and another runner passed us going in the opposite direction with two dogs (all 3 off lead). they both made a beeline for mine and they seemed aggressive, growling and snapping at him. He tried to avoid them but they kept chasing. They were both greyhounds/lurchers so outran him easily and one pinned him down growling and wouldn't let him up. Eventually their owner noticed, called his dogs, I called mine and we all carried on. My dog was fine so I didn't think much of it.

Tonight we were in the same place and met the same dogs. The same thing happened. Owner ignored and carried on running until I shouted at him to call his dogs back. He shouted to them they ignored for a bit, then let go of my dog.

30 minutes later we passed them again. Same thing happened. This time I screamed at him to call his fucking dogs and keep them under control.
He did, but the dog was more reluctant to let go and kept coming back to mine.

I walk or run in this area virtually every day (its a beach by the way) I am reluctant to stop going there, but know we are likely to bump into these dogs again. How should I deal with it? I dont want my dog to think he has to protect himself, and I dont want him getting hurt

I really dont want to keep him on a lead and think this might make things worse anyway so need a way to deter the others

diddl Tue 15-Jan-13 08:13:02

Sounds like the problem is the twatty owner who just jogs on regardless.

God that really fucks me off.

I agree that a lead probably wouldn´t help-unless you always both managed to get them on leads just to pass by.

My dog has a particular way of walking when he doesn´t like/is nervous of another.

I try to keep him close & distract with treats as we walk by.

That doesn´t help you, though.

I suppose all you can do is shout ahead to the chap to get his dogs under control.

The only time my dog has been attacked was by 2 other dogs-staffies!

Agree with diddl that the problem here is the other owner. Personally, if I saw him coming I'd change direction and try and keep all of the dogs apart. If it happened again, I'd be letting him have it with both barrels and perhaps threatening the dog warden. No idea how effective a threat that might be, though hmm

feministefatale Tue 15-Jan-13 15:32:09

Ring the police and explain that violent dogs are off their lead or tell the owner you will do that

feministefatale Tue 15-Jan-13 15:32:59

Sorry aggressive not violent

diddl Tue 15-Jan-13 15:51:25

Also, how in the name of all that´s holy do you not hear this happening??!!

Apologies if he has a hearing problem, obviously.

But that´s why you watch them isn´t it?

I get the feeling that the dogs getting a run happen to be incidental to his jogging.

Im so glad you all agree with me that its his fault grin.

Its hard to avoid because his dogs are so quick and and are trying to get to mine
Also its pretty dark in the evening so the dogs are there before I see them IYSWIM.

I really really dont want my dog to think he has to retaliate to protect himself, he is very submissive and has just been rolling on his back. There hasn't been blood drawn or anything so I guess they weren't in serious attack mode, but it seems to be escalating each time so I want to nip it in the bud.

Do you think one of those loud noise in a can deterrent things would help to scare them off?

beachyhead Tue 15-Jan-13 17:14:01

I tend to try to put myself in between my dog and the others in that scenario. I also shout and growl very loudly at the dogs (and the owner) and have been known to brandish a lead....

I would also name and shame to all the other dog walkers on the beach so he is met by suspicious looks all round.

We have a pair of dogs near us like this and the 'word' goes out amongst the dog walkers very quickly...

Mutt Tue 15-Jan-13 17:33:28

I have been in a similar situation to you in that I regularly walked my dog in the same place very early in the morning. Never had a problem until a new dog (an American Bulldog) started being walked, off lead, in the same place at the same time. At first I thought its twat of an owner didn't think anyone else would be about at that time. Then I realised he didn't give a toss hmm

He would walk on, apparently oblivious to the fact it was pinning my small dog to the ground and terrifying her. The first couple of times it happened I would shout him (politely) and eventually he'd amble over and get his dog. After that I lost patience and would shout "If you don't come and get your fucking dog off, I will fucking kick it off myself". The moron didn't say a word but he did start reacting a bit quicker than he had been. Luckily he stopped walking there shortly afterwards - probably didn't want the hassle from the mad, ranting woman each day!

At the same time I also started taking a big stick with me on my early morning walks. I am the biggest dog lover you could find and hopefully I will never have to use the stick but I carry it as a deterrent more than a weapon. But if it came to it and it was a case of another dog or mine, I would use it.

Before all this happened, my dog (on lead) was once attacked by a Rottweiler/German Shepherd (off lead) and the only way I could get the fucker off was to kick it repeatedly in its side as hard as I could.

Unfortunately there will always be idiot owners. My advice to you is shout at him as soon as you see him to get his dogs under control. You can threaten the dog warden/police but I doubt he'll take any notice - people like him rarely do. And carry a stick.

Am angry on your behalf.

You need to borrow my collie for your jogging

She loves jogging but not other dogs grin

Seriously though, I have a Springer too and he would be exactly the same as yours.
Next time you come across them stand still and shout 'no' loudly as they approach. Hopefully that will make them go away, and also let their twatty owner realise what is going on.

Hmm I think I need to get tougher and less polite grin

A big stick is out really but a lead is a fantastic idea! I want need to buy a new one anyway, so think I might get the type which are part chain, should be effective if I really have to get them off.

Hopefully I wont see them again, or at least I will be prepared this time

Mutt Tue 15-Jan-13 20:41:59

TBH I'm not sure a lead would be a lot of use in the situation you describe.

What I take with me at the moment isn't a stick exactly - it's one of DS's old plastic cricket wickets from when he was little grin

It's nice and light and not too big to carry but could be used very effectively to tap/whack/batter an attacking dog if need be!

RedwingWinter Tue 15-Jan-13 20:53:41

Sometimes shouting at the dogs works better than shouting at the owner. If it keeps happening, it's worth reporting to someone (local dog warden?). I hope you can get it resolved, it sounds like the guy has no control over his dogs and pays them no attention.

topbannana Tue 15-Jan-13 21:26:30

In an ACTUAL attack, do not be tempted to try and pull the dogs apart. If one has a firm bite (and you feel confident and able to intervene) then go for the back leg, the thigh area in a person. Grab the biggest handful you can, hold tight and twist hard (it will hurt your fingertips mind!)
The dog will go "Ouch" (in dog) and it will have to release its grip, hopefully allowing you and the pinned down dog to get away.
Aside from that, shooing actions, grrrrrrring and general shoutiness (perhaps accompanied with waving stick if needed) will hopefully do the trick.

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Think I need to toughen up and shout at the other dogs and leave ranting at their owner for afterwards.

Hopefully we wont see them for a while, I will walk elsewhere for a bit or go while it is properly light. I guess I should be feeling lucky I've gone this long without any problems smile

Butterycrumble Wed 16-Jan-13 14:59:04

I find becoming the gesticulating shouty woman very effective, bellowing 'Fuck off dogs' tends to make the owners and dogs want to avoid you.

I love dogs but twatty owners not at all. Over the years have been transformed from a fresh faced ingenue to a cynical grump.

Naysa Fri 18-Jan-13 11:59:25

What should you do and what you actually do are two different things.

Before we got Naysadog I read every book going. I thought I knew what to do in most situations.

When Naysa dog was about 6 months old we were crossing a feild in the dark. Another dog started chasing him and mine was yelping. He ran past me and I grabbed him and picked him up. The other dog lunged at me trying to get to my pup so i kept pushing/kicking him away with my foot then the other dog ran away to his owner who was stood there laughing angry

VeganCow Fri 18-Jan-13 16:12:32

take a water pistol out and dont be shy with it , or a large plastic bottle with pepples in and shake it loudly, or get a klaxon or someting else loud.. The owner dogs will soon lean after that to avoid you.

Naysa Mon 28-Jan-13 01:47:43

Me and my DM were discussing a book we read on dog behaviour that was really awful and it reminded me of this thread.

In the book it instructs you, in the case of two dogs fighting, to tie a lead around one dog's back legs and tie him to a tree. The tie another lead around he other dog's legs and pull them apart hmm

After I read that I put it down and couldn't read anymore without being hmm grin

...and presumably call the ambulance first so that they can be on hand to reattach your arms/legs/face after you've calmly waded in to a dog fight to tie some reef knots grin

Hattifattner Mon 28-Jan-13 10:17:58

This drives me mad! I have a young golden retriever girl, who is well socialised and very submissive and I think has reasonable manners off lead for a youngster (albeit a bit over excited at the beginning of a walk).

She has been tumbled by older dogs on a regular basis, and I have no issue with that. SHes also been growled at, and backs off immediately.

Shes also been held down by the neck while an animal 3 times her size pins her down and she howls. And some how the owner thought it was her own fault, and didnt take kindly to the suggestion that he muzzle his dog in future.

I think that all aggressive dogs should be muzzled. All the time. Then they can happily walk off lead and do no harm other than to bowl them over.

Why did the other dog react that way, though, Hatti? Had your dog leapt on it's head, for instance? Because my dog will jump at an approaching dog and make a lot of noise to get it to sod off, but he isn't aggressive. He's scared. If I muzzled him he'd be even more nervous and fearful. Of course, your dog might not have jumped on the other dog and it might have attacked out of nowhere, in which case I agree with you. I'm a little sensitive about this issue as my dog doesn't like other dogs, never approaches them, yet I get it in the neck if a dog appears out of nowhere, jumps all over him and terrifies him in the process, and then he tells them to sod off. Granted, he has never bitten or pinned another dog, but he does snap and mouth.

Gah. Sorry Hatti. That was a bit snippy and not your fault at all. You are of course right to feel that an aggressive dog should be muzzled. I've just had a shit couple of weeks with the hell hound x

Hattifattner Mon 28-Jan-13 12:13:57

chicken, you are correct - I take a view that if my young pup jumps all over a dog who doesnt want to play, and then gets tumbled, then all fair play. SHe needs to learn (and to the most part has learned) that some dogs dont want to play. SHe's pretty sensible now and has learned to lie quietly while the ceremony of the bum sniffing commences and until the older dog has made the first move.

Its when she is lying submissively or approaches submissively and then gets attacked then that dog needs to be muzzled.

Im sorry your poor pooch is having a hard time. I tried using some doggy pheromones for anxiety with my wee girl who was very skittish when we first got her. Seems to have settled her down a treat.

Also, I heard good things about this product - has mixed reviews, but more positive than negative.

Ooh, thanks for that Hatti. I knew that the thundershirt was supposed to be good for dogs bnervous of fireworks, but hadn't considered it as a general anxiety calmer. I'll look in to it smile

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