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

topknob Tue 29-Jan-13 21:25:50

sounds like a great dog then smile I can't stand the ones who allow their pup to approach my dog, who is a miserable fecker especially with spaniels...it always ends up in a bad way yet they have no recall on the pup...and my dog is always on lead for the reason she is grumpy.

Hattifattner Mon 28-Jan-13 19:35:50

topknob, not any more, she will lie down quite far from the dog (at least 50m) and wait, this gives me chance to get her lead on too.

SHe is also pretty good at recall in case we come across a doggy unexpectedly.

I don't muzzle my dog because he doesn't bite. I was told by a behaviourist that muzzling my already anxious dog might make him worse rather than better. If he ever actually bit, I would muzzle him. I hope, with a lot of training, it never comes to that tbh.

topknob Mon 28-Jan-13 18:05:33

Hatti does your pup approach dogs on lead whilst she is off lead?

OverlyYappyAlways Mon 28-Jan-13 17:53:43

I have this problem with my dog, it's 3 who gang up on her, I used to just say 'fuck off' repeatedly through gritted teeth and almost run home but realised this wasn't helping so spoke to the owner of the 3 dogs only to be told ' they won't do anything they are friendly' hmm

My Dad too the dog out sure enough the 3 dogs started following him, I'm not sure it if's legal but he hit the dogs with my dogs leash, I have never had a problem with them again just one of them, I won't lie, I just swear at it and walk away quickly!

I would try report him, I have done this too, but the dogs get picked up then eventually the owner notices they are gone and she get them back.

bergedorf Mon 28-Jan-13 17:48:33

Just out of interest why don't you muzzle your dog? (I'm asking as the owner of a newly diagnosed reactive dog, and everyone's been telling me the Baskerville muzzles are very good and not uncomfortable for the dog.) Wouldn't it just save a lot of anxiety and potential heartbreak?

gymmummy64 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:24:06

I think some owners struggle to understand a reactive dog if they've not had one (mind you, I struggle too and I've got one!). Gymdog is now fine if he's looking at me and eating sausage and the other dog doesn't come and bother him. The trouble starts when the other dog does come over and doesn't take the hint that Gymdog isn't interested, even when he's staring at me intently and not interacting at all. Some dogs will mither and nudge and invite and sniff and that's when it starts to go wrong. There's only so much sausage can do! Sometimes it's just not possible to walk away cleanly and effectively.

The other thing that drives me mad is mentioned upthread. 'Don't worry, he's super friendly!' trill other owners as their dog comes hurtling towards us and sticks their nose up Gymdog's bottom. Friendly is exactly what makes Gymdog unfriendly grin

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Mon 28-Jan-13 14:08:47

I agree with you chickenshavenoeyebrows, I have a reactive dog who is far worse on the lead. He is a nervous rescue dog who had never been properly socialised. he will frequently misread signals, and sadly upsets a lot of dogs and owners by barking and being growly when he is playing.
my seven month old puppy, however, can read dogs better than him and he's 7yo now! I have been recommended a makuti calming band, which I am going to try, as I have tried pretty much everything else.
I would never say that it is right for dogs to growl, snap or be reactive, just to be aware of the bigger picture.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

...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

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

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 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

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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