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Who was in the wrong here? Dog attack

(136 Posts)
BlanketTime Mon 02-Dec-19 16:21:16

I was walking my Jack Russel earlier along a path which runs alongside a field. My dog off lead so he could run around the field. In the distance, two big dogs playing together off lead (so I assumed them friendly as they were off lead). My dog ran over to the smaller of the two (later realised they were Doberman’s, the smaller one was female). They were nose touching and tail wagging so I assumed all was fine. Then bigger of the two (male) ran over and joined in the sniffing. A bit of play started, all tails wagging then I noticed my dog looked worried and was trying to get away. The big dogs were chasing him. I called him back to me and the big dogs followed. Two owners shouting of their dogs with absolutely no recall (the smaller female went back to owner momentarily but darted off again before she could grab her. Ended with my dog cowered near me and male dog growling and biting at him. Female also started to join in. I shouted at the owners to control their dogs. The female eventually buggered off back to owner and finally the male buggered off too. Owners said the incident was my fault as I let my dog approach theirs. I say it was their fault as, if they had no recall they shouldn’t have been off lead!! They then argued that their dogs were only playing as my dog would have been injured otherwise. My dog certainly did not enjoy the “game”.

AIBU to think this was 100% on them?

JohnLewisIain Mon 02-Dec-19 16:27:22

Yes. What did they think would happen when you met in the middle? My dog was attacked by two big dogs. I picked her up then the dogs attacked me. Their owner said it was my fault for picking up my dog and shouting. Apparently his dogs are “sensitive”.

stripeypillowcase Mon 02-Dec-19 16:27:25

yabu to let your dog run on a field unless you have the permission of the owner.

however it sounds like the other dogs were out of control.

I hope you and your dog recover quickly from this scare.

Celebelly Mon 02-Dec-19 16:27:53

Well it wasn't really an attack, was it? Sounds like some rough play that your dog didn't enjoy, with no injury.

But they should have been able to recall them, yes.

However I wouldn't be letting my small dog approach two unknown, big dogs in the distance who were playing together, off lead or not. Smaller dogs will often get frightened by big dogs playing boisterously. My dog isn't even that small but she would have been put back on lead until we were past or until I'd assessed body language.

I think just be more careful in future.

LochJessMonster Mon 02-Dec-19 16:29:01

They were in the wrong obviously but people are blind to the wrongdoings of their beloved pets.

BlanketTime Mon 02-Dec-19 16:29:57

It’s a public playing field. Dogs are allowed off lead there.

MrsFoxPlus4Again Mon 02-Dec-19 16:30:02

You should have recalled your dog as soon as you noticed the other dogs off lead. You can’t control them but you can control yours.

InfiniteSheldon Mon 02-Dec-19 16:31:47

On balance I think yabu I'm sorry to say. Two biggish dogs happily playing your dog tries to join in and doesn't like the game gets scared and runs away you start shouting and all dogs get over excited. There was no attack just dogs being dogs. You have a smallish dog he needs to learn, like all small dogs, to avoid bigger dogs. I am sorry you were frightened it's not nice to be scared for your dog.

stucknoue Mon 02-Dec-19 16:32:04

The dogs should have good recall to be off lead, but it wasn't an attack

motherheroic Mon 02-Dec-19 16:32:35

You should immediately recall if you have a small dog and there are unknown large dogs off leash. It's not worth the risk.

Wubbawubba Mon 02-Dec-19 16:32:50

Dogs with no recall shouldn't be off lead. Dogs shouldn't be allowed to approach random dogs. Chalk it up to experience and in future shout ahead and ask if the dogs are friendly before allowing yours to approach. smile

However if the owner knew his dogs may not take kindly to being approached he should've put his dogs back on lead when he saw yours and you should have followed suit for your dog's safety.

TheRobinIsBobbingAlong Mon 02-Dec-19 16:34:54

Providing your dog didn't do anything to provoke the behaviour from the other dogs (eg growling at them), and wasn't let off the lead whilst in season, then I'd put the fault with the owners of the dobermans. It sounds more like rough play than an attack, as I'm sure if the doberman meant business your poor JR would have come off a lot worse.

From walking my own dog I've learnt now not to allow her to approach other dogs unless I know them, even if they are off lead. Good practice to keep your dog close to you and not let them run up to other dogs, even when they're off lead.

BlanketTime Mon 02-Dec-19 16:35:44

They seemed alright at first, it was when the male joined in that it got nasty. If they had been on leads I would have assumed they were not to be approached but who has a dog off lead with no recall? What if they went after a child?

Wolfiefan Mon 02-Dec-19 16:36:29

It wasn’t a dog attack though was it?
Your dog approached them.
The bigger dogs should have returned when the owner called them. But equally you shouldn’t let your dog run off “into the distance” to approach strange dogs.

missyB1 Mon 02-Dec-19 16:36:43

I’m all for dogs socialising and playing with each other but all the owners need to be close by and supervising the play. Sounds like you were all too far away. And yes the other dogs had poor recall. When one of the owners or one of the dogs decides the play is over the dogs need to stop.
I say that as an owner that allows my dog to play with others off lead every day.

Wolfiefan Mon 02-Dec-19 16:37:13

After a child? FFS.
How was it “nasty”? Blood? Stitches needed? Or just big dog bouncing and maybe making a noise??

SoupDragon Mon 02-Dec-19 16:37:15

No, it wasn't 100% on them there was fault on both sides.

Your dog wasn't "attacked" though.

rhubarbcrumbles Mon 02-Dec-19 16:37:34

50-50 - you should have recalled your dog when you saw there were other dogs around who were off the lead, so should they.

Stressedout10 Mon 02-Dec-19 16:38:31

Both are at fault them for not controlling their dogs. You for allowing your dog to approach to strange dogs that were far enough away from you that you couldn't even tell the breed

Butchyrestingface Mon 02-Dec-19 16:38:40

Well, it wasn’t an “attack”, was it? If two Dobermans had decided to attack a Jack Russell, I suspect there wouldn’t have been left of the JR at the end of it.

Must have been have an unpleasant experience for you both though. 💐 In future, I wouldn’t take any chances and recall your dog when you see big dogs off lead.

MrsFoxPlus4Again Mon 02-Dec-19 16:39:17

Assuming most parents would let their child run up to 2 big dogs, I think we are safe on the “attack front”.

SoupDragon Mon 02-Dec-19 16:39:51

What if they went after a child?

Well, the kid who went up to them, sniffed their butts, played and then ran away would have been scared but unharmed.

WiddlinDiddlin Mon 02-Dec-19 16:42:13

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Your dog approached them - you should have kept your dog under control until you were close enough to ask if play would be appropriate.

You assumed off lead meant friendly, maybe those dogs are normally friendly, maybe your dog said something rude, maybe one of those dogs is having an off day that even the owner isn't currently aware of, maybe your dog is starting with an infection or pain issue that affects his behaviour...

You assume a lot and with unknown dogs, off lead, there will be risks.

On the other hand if the other owner cannot recall their dogs then they shouldn't be off lead. So their behaviour isn't perfect there either.

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall Mon 02-Dec-19 16:45:46

They shouldn't have been off lead if they have no recall

adaline Mon 02-Dec-19 16:51:07

I think it's 50/50.

You shouldn't let your dog approach unknown dogs - you have no idea what their temperament is like and your dog could have been hurt. Not everyone goes by the "he's off-lead so he's friendly" rule. As soon as you saw the off-lead dogs you should have recalled yours.

The other dogs shouldn't have been off-lead if they had no recall but your dog shouldn't have approached them in the first place.

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