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Should I be this upset that my dog was attacked?

(11 Posts)
gymmummy64 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:28:31

This is ridiculous, I?m a blubbering wreck. I set off for a walk this afternoon, all positive following some recent recall failures. I had a new recall strategy which I was keen to try. This is with my 18 mo rescue dog that I?ve had 5.5 weeks. I?d only been on the walk 3 minutes, my dog was still on the lead when he was approached by a boxer and a Labrador both off the lead, both bigger than my dog. They didn?t rush towards him but within moments they were on top of him and it was a full scale, three-way fight. The two owners were screaming but neither of their dogs took any notice. The boxer eventually pinned mine down on his side and the boxer?s owner finally grabbed him and pulled him away. The lab followed and we were able to escape. This all took really a long time, it seemed to go on for ever and I was beginning to panic. I felt completely helpless, scared and unable to protect my dog.

Once it was over I couldn?t get away quick enough. One of the owners did ask if I was alright but I just disappeared as fast as I could. I was shaking like a leaf. Got round the corner and another Labrador, also off lead, made a beeline for my dog. Owner calling her off, dog took no notice. I was a bit hysterical by now and started pleading with him to get the dog away. She just wouldn?t leave us alone, though there was no fighting. Owner got hold of her, apologising profusely and saying she was only a puppy who wanted to play. I then completely embarrassed myself. Stood in the middle of this field I just burst into tears and couldn?t stop. Give him his due, the man was great, he made a big fuss of my dog and insisted on walking with me, apologising all the time. Bless him. He was in his early 20s and I?m 47!

My dog was not injured, just a lot of saliva but I am still ludicrously tearful. Something similar happened last week as well (another pair of off lead dogs) and in a week I seem to have gone from excited new dog owner to someone who can?t let her dog off the lead (recall issues) and dreads meeting other dogs. Particularly other pairs of dogs! Please tell me this will get better, I feel a complete failure at the moment.

Is this just par for the course with dog ownership and I just need to toughen up? I appreciate the off-lead dog owners were probably in the wrong, but equally could my dog have 'said' something really awful to their dogs?! I'm pretty sure it was my dog that snapped first

NittyNuttyNoo Thu 25-Oct-12 19:31:20

You and your dog did nothing wrong. Even if your dog had snapped first, the other dogs owners should not have let their dogs come running up to yours. I imagine it must be pretty scary for a dog on a lead to have 2 unknown dogs come bounding over.

HoneyDragon Thu 25-Oct-12 19:34:48


You are not over reacting at all, you poor thing. It's horrible when your dog is attacked. Especially as you were double teamed sad

You and your dog over reacting to the pup is totally understandable, you were on shock and no position to assess its body language.

You'll be ok though I promise, it was not your fault your dog was on a lead.

HoneyDragon Thu 25-Oct-12 19:36:29

Good for the second owner for grabbing his dog and walking with you though.

How was your dog walking side by side with the other dog on its lead?

RedwingWinter Thu 25-Oct-12 19:56:32

What an awful thing to happen. I'm glad the second owner walked with you for a while. It sounds like a real shock for you and what you describe is a normal shock reaction.

It's not your fault at all. The first set of owners should have had their dogs under control in the first place, and given that they didn't, they should have broken up the fight sooner (they should really have noticed what was going on in time to stop it before it even started).

One of my dogs, also a rescue, has been attacked several times. It's horrible. You should double-check your dog to be sure there's no blood, but it sounds like you've just learnt one of the things about dog fights - fortunately they often look worse than they are.

Given that a new rescue shouldn't be off-lead for the first few weeks anyway (until they know where home is), you've only had a couple of weeks to work on recall. It sounds like you are doing really well so far. Whether you get a puppy or a rescue, it doesn't come to you perfect - dog training takes time and is hard work, especially when you are new to it. Just keep working on the recall with a long line and it will come. Have you found any training classes to take him to? Look for one that uses positive training methods.

Sometimes throwing treats on the ground away from you will distract another dog enough for you to get away. I give commands to other people's dogs if their dogs are misbehaving near mine and they aren't paying attention. This can offend people, but I'd rather that than their dog come up and start a fight.

Best of luck and I hope you and your dog are both feeling better now.

redfairy Thu 25-Oct-12 23:05:01

Your experience sounds very much like mine GYMMUMMY. I got my lovely mini dachshund in the Spring and had visions of long country walks, her gambolling at my side... the reality was at 12 weeks she was jumped by a pair of SBTs who had entered the field we were walking in whilst the owner lagged behind in another field. Mini dach was on her lead and the Staffies knocked me to the ground in their enthusiasm to 'play' or trample on my pup. I finally escaped with grazes and claw marks and one thoroughly shaken dog.

Five months on I no longer take my dog to off lead areas and only walk her round the streets. My husband does the 'risky' stuff. I have a near panic attack if I ever see a dog off-lead and feel physically sick. I have a scar on my arm from the staffies' claws and still have limited movement of my other arm (I fell onto it awkwardly trying not to land on my dog)

I can't describe how badly this has affected me and my enjoyment of owning a dog; so I can completely understand how you must feel.

I do hope you get your confidence back with your pet GYMMUMMY. I don't think we should toughen up- I just wish other owners had a better handle on their dogs behaviour.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Thu 25-Oct-12 23:09:19

My springer is dog on dog aggressive because he has been attacked twice, both times by a boxer (different dogs). I was shaking like a leaf after the second incident as the dog had pulled backwards out of its collar and had my hound pinned to the ground. The owner is a twat.

I am so sorry you are going through this. People should never let their off lead dog approach on an on lead dog.

Big {{{hugs}}}

PrettyPrinceofDarkness Fri 26-Oct-12 06:30:50

Are you ok gymmummy?

I've had similar experiences with one of my dogs. As a result she's incredibly submissive round new dogs now.

Definitely not your fault. It is part and parcel of dog ownership unfortunately, but it's still relatively unusual so please don't get too stressed about it. My dog was kicked by a man when she was a puppy for the crime of sniffing his dogs. I was so devastated by it that I had panic attacks when I walked her and saw anyone with 2 black labs. I actually ended up on Prozac (had other things going on too). But I don't think you're overreacting to be so upset that this has happened.

gymmummy64 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:48:00

oh wow thank you everyone.

I've only ever posted on MN for chitchat and advice before but I really was in a bit of a state yesterday. Broadband has been playing up so I've only just seen all your lovely replies. They have made me feel so very much better, thank you!

I was very jittery on our walk this morning and went to a place where we tend to see few people. I can see it would be very easy to let myself get highly anxious about all dogs. We have significant recall issues as well so the two combined could see us permanently creeping round the edges of fields on a short lead if I’m not careful sad I need to be really determined not to let this happen!

I was very sad to read of the traumatic experiences some of you have had, thank you for sharing them. We’re working a lot on recall at the moment and reading how other dogs have made you feel, it makes me so determined that my dog will NOT be one that runs up to other dogs whether he’s being friendly or not. I would NEVER want him or me to make anyone feel like I do or like some of you do. I don’t know if yesterday’s owners knew or cared how I was feeling. They certainly didn't seem to.

I think my dog is ok, he certainly seemed it and was happy to walk with the puppy we met shortly afterwards. He doesn’t seem madly interested in other dogs (far to many important rabbit and squirrel tracking tasks to do) and seems to get mildly annoyed at any persistent requests for play. He has never seemed very keen on boxers though. Time will tell I guess.

We're off to my parents this evening so lots of introductions and new experiences coming up. They have a fantastically dog-proof garden so I think everyone will be able to relax a bit including the dog (but maybe not the squirrels).

Thank you so much again for your support everyone, really appreciated!

PrettyPrinceofDarkness Fri 26-Oct-12 13:37:49

Glad you're feeling better. Dogs are wonderful things, I'm guessing your dog will recover from the trauma long before you do! I've met lots of lovely people through walking my dogs and will often stand chatting to complete strangers. That would never normally happen. I honestly feel that sociable people make for sociable dogs.

Sounds like you're doing great though. Get you and the dog used to each other, then add other people and dogs into the mix. Dog training classes can be a great place to do this in a controlled environment. Good luck and enjoy your dog walks.

Odessa88 Fri 26-Oct-12 14:46:49

Hi, I'm glad your ok. You're not over reacting. I have 2 children, my son and my rescue dog! It's awful to have your dog attacked, they really are part of the family and you come to love them just as much.
A terrier locked on to my dogs face and we could not get it off I was hysterical. Problem was NO LEAD. Dogs like that need on a leash and supervised closely, too many irresponsible owners.
Hope you get over this x

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