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Breaking up a fight....

(12 Posts)
dilbertina Wed 14-Sep-11 22:10:00

It's a long back story...but basically if your elderly laidback dog is jumped on by an agressive dog what should you actually do?

I mean physically when your dog is pinned down on ground and other dog is on top (with teeth and lots of noise and you know your dog is softest dog in world).

I felt crap that in that situation I really didn't know what was the best course of action to rescue my dog. Should you get "involved"? How? What can you do? Feel a bit like I let my dog down.

I fear my waving yellow bag (with a few chestnuts in at that point, but not enough to make decent weapon)and shouting at attacking dog really didn't help...but what should I have done?

DooinMeCleanin Wed 14-Sep-11 22:13:11

When I break up (mild) fights at home I use water. I know that is of no help to you, you are unlikely to be carrying a jug of cold water around the park with you.

I hope you and your dog are recovering from the shock and all is well. Please don't feel you let your dog down. No-one can predict how they would react in an awfull situation like that.

Someone with sensible advise will be along soon.

dilbertina Thu 15-Sep-11 12:33:17

Thanks Dooin, we're both fine - I think in retrospect the other dog was demonstrating dominance rather than seriously trying to rip him to pieces, it's a German Shepherd so I presume if it really wanted to cause damage it would have done. The owners generally don't have it (or their other dog) on a lead and I think the situation may well arise again. Does anyone else know what you should do or is it pretty much a matter of letting them sort it out themselves?

DooinMeCleanin Thu 15-Sep-11 13:17:36

If it happens again you need to report it to the dog warden. The owner of the GSD needs to train it or keep it leashed for it's own safety as well as the safety of other dogs.

If it goes over to a bigger dog or a worse tempered dog than yours and tries to display dominance the results would be very different.

I am glad you and your and your dog are fine. Do you think carrying a whistle might help? Or one of those loud air can thingies? Loud noises startle mine enough to stop even the most boisterous play fight immediately. I have no idea if it would work in a proper fight but it's worth a try. I wouldn't intervene physically. I might give the owners of the GDS and good kicking, however.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 15-Sep-11 14:05:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tchootnika Thu 15-Sep-11 14:47:32

It is indeed a sad state of affairs - I hope the other owner's asking advice somewhere too...

You could carry with you a washing up liquid-type bottle of water - said to be good for squirting in the face of other dog. (I haven't ever done this, but am told it's effective.)

Perhaps recommend to the other owners that they might do the same thing if they're really not going to teach their dog proper recall or keep it on a lead (the first obviously they really should do, failing that the second).

I've also heard it said that if 2 dogs are in a proper fight (as opposed to playing, in which case no way would I suggest this) then 2 people should intervene, each taking the back legs of one dog and getting its back feet off the ground, as this is a low impact, humane way of temporarily disabling the dogs for long enough that they'll have to let go of each other.
(I'm happy to say that since hearing this one, I've not had occassion to try it out either!)

You certainly should cotact your dog warden, though. As others have said, it's not fair on anyone that the owners are allowing this to hapen.

dilbertina Fri 16-Sep-11 11:50:05

I'm living in France at the moment. I'm pretty sure there is nothing I can do in a dog warden/legal type way, particularly since my dog was also off lead at the time (in the woods) albeit he was walking along about a metre away from me, and also there were no witnesses, other than stupid man's wife.

Absolutely no point talking to owner, he's beyond reason. He didn't apologise, just told me I did the wrong thing waving my bag around (which to be fair is probably true!). Of course I told him his dog was vicious and should be on a lead and his reply was well my dog wasn't on a lead....since the conversation was going nowhere and guy was pretty aggressive I just told him he was a very stupid man and left (his dogs were still running around loose at this point so I didn't want to hang around.) I must learn some ruder insults in French in case of repeat performance!

Whilst I couldn't find any lacerations at the time and didn't see any blood, there obviously were puncture marks as my dog has a bit of swelling and area is hot - off to vets today.

I might try the whistle thing...hopefully there is no danger that it would make the attacking dog worse (what I really want to use is pepper spray frankly on owner and dog!)

If the dog bit a human, under French law, there are then very strict rules, including always on lead and muzzled in future, plus owner has to take dog to vets about a gazillion times to make sure dog shows no sign of rabies (even if vaccinated). I don't really fancy presenting a limb though - much as i love my dog!

Thanks for advice and sympathy everyone.

Tchootnika Fri 16-Sep-11 12:19:48

dilbertina - It doesn't sound great, but it, as you've said, it does seem as if the dog was playing rather than attacking.
IKWYM about being pissed off, but I'd go much more 'softly, softly' with other owners if I were you - firstly because you're more likely to have a fight on your hands (dogs, not people) otherwise.
Why not just get talking to them, explain general approach of (decent) dog owners in your own country, etc?
Sorry if I sound preachy, it's just that what you really, really don't want is a 'real' attack to happen.

Also, try getting between GSD and your dog as it approaches, then turning your back on GSD before it reaches your dog. This is quite an effective way of getting approaching dogs to change their course.

Am always interested to hear from dog owners in France, btw. smile

dilbertina Fri 16-Sep-11 21:21:04

No, I don't think the dog was "playing", it was definitely an attack. Took my dog to vet today as worried he had an infected puncture wound, once hair clipped back there is a 2cm superficial "hole", as it is infected it can't be sutured so he's on antibiotics, iodine swab and antiseptic cream. The vet also wrote out a letter for me describing injury to give to "attack" dog owner (with copy of vet bill).

I'm not that bothered about bill, I just don't want that dog wandering around off-lead and out of control in the road and public woods whilst my dc and my dog (and other peoples obviously) when it is not to be trusted. Glimmer of hope though, according to vet a local postman was bitten by a GSD fitting description, if same dog, and it's identified and reported then in theory they will have to keep it on a lead and muzzle it, which is what I think is appropriate for this dog. Fingers crossed!

Tchootnika: Are you in France? TBH other than this we've had no problems, i regard my fellow dog walkers as one of my best practising french opportunities! Dogs and weather provide many conversation opportunities!

DizzyDummy Sat 17-Sep-11 22:38:12

The GSD owner definitely needs to be pursuaded to keep it on a lead. I have 2 GSD's who behave like this so when we are out in public they are always on a lead. Hope your dog recovers from it's wound quickly.

dilbertina Sun 18-Sep-11 20:01:52

Thanks Dizzy. My dog seems fine now. We met a different friendly GSD we'd met before in the woods earlier today and having explained background to it's owner let them meet gently with both on leash, my dog was fine so I think we have averted any long-term aversion to GSDs as a breed! Likewise, thank you for being responsible. I want to reassure you I have nothing against GSDs in general, or their owners - just the one down the road from me that attacked my dog, and I blame the owner frankly, not the dog.

EggyAllenPoe Sun 18-Sep-11 20:10:37

breaking up a real dog fight takes two people - one to take the collar and tail of each dog.

this was an unpleasant act of bullying - options are - ask the owner to get their dog (if close) call your dog back whilst ignoring the other one (if your dog is free) or a loud 'Shoo!' - don't intervene physically.

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