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DoG attacks

(5 Posts)
MillyMollyMandy78 Thu 02-May-13 21:57:18

Adog was killed by another dog in our local area. There have been a few cases where dogs have been attacked and it really scares me. I have 2 dogs who are my absolute world and get so anxious about walks sometimes incase of meeting an aggressive dog.
How common are attacks on dogs by other dogs? How can I minimise the risk/ stop worrying? Since getting our dogs, some days I am completely consumed by fear/ grief at the fact that they will one day die (hopefully not for many years). I'm sure this is not normal. Anyone else get this?

gymmummy64 Fri 03-May-13 12:53:36

Might it help to separate out some of the anxieties?

Your worry about meeting an aggressive dog is a real and sensible worry. There are plenty of threads on here attesting to the fact that, unfortunately, dog on dog attacks do happen. So, it's sensible to be aware of that and take whatever precautions you can. It's also important not to communicate your anxiety to your dogs as they will pick up on that and it may make them anxious around other dogs themselves. From my limited experience with my dog, I found that helping him be confident around other dogs reduced the the number of dogs that had an 'issue' with him, so make sure your dogs are well socialised and confident themselves. I also tend to walk in the same places at the same times so I know most of the dogs we meet. If I see one we don't know then I tend to keep out of its way, especially if it's a type my dog has had problems with before or if I think the owner is taking no notice of their dog's behaviour. I'm always looking out for other dogs, but it's all about prevention now, not paranoia. By taking things very slowly with my dog we have both grown in confidence and experience and I am much better able now to aniticipate when there might be a problem. So, try to work on being confident, not paranoid because it really does work!

Your bigger worry about your dogs dying isn't so unusual I don't think. Do you have children? I remember when I had my first I was consumed by these sorts of thoughts for a while - I think it's when you realise just how very much you love them and just how unbearable it would be if anything went wrong. When I got my dog last year I went through a similar process as I realised just how much he had come to mean to me. I do think it's natural as long as it doesn't go on for too long and turn into an anxiety problem. Can you turn those feelings into positives? So, feed your dogs well - you could be extending their lives by doing so. Make sure they're up to date with their vaccinations and treatments. Make sure they're well trained and getting lots of value out of their lives etc etc. They will die at some point, of course they will, but your job in the meantime is to make the most of all the love you have for them. Love is a good thing!

Gosh, I just wrote an essay! Hopefully some of it may be useful!

MillyMollyMandy78 Fri 03-May-13 18:46:39

Thanks for your reply - there are a lot of good points in there. Both dogs are well socialised and I am careful at not showing my fears around them. My youngest dog can be quite nervous around unfamiliar dogs (tendency of the breed) so we are very conscienscious in building her confidence. My older dog is more of a worry because he is almost too confident. Even though he is well trained and socialised, he doesn't seem to read the signs of an unfriendly dog - he wants to say hello to all dogs. Would have bound up to a growling, teeth-baring dog today if given the chance! He just doesn't get it!
You are completely right with the fear of dying thing. I had never had dogs before these ones. We have two cats which we love, but i didn't expect to have so much stronger love for the dogs. They really are our family and this is where the fear comes from (we do not have kids). I am not consumed by this fear most of the time, more that it is triggered by a thought/ something on tv or that I've read etc. Then when i do feel it it's like a sudden wave of emotion at the time. Does that make sense?

gymmummy64 Fri 03-May-13 20:31:56

Yes it makes perfect sense! I never used to cry at films before I had my first child, now anything makes me blub. I don't of course love my dog as much, or in the same way, as my kids but it's definitely related and I definitely don't feel the same way about the cat. Perhaps it's to do with the nurturing element or the fact that the dog needs me more or the fact that our relationship seems more two-way. Plus of course the fact that I have put huge amounts of time and energy into him and loved watching him recover from his bad start (rescue)

So I think my feelings about Gymdog are perhaps more akin to my feelings towards a small child (within reason) than my feelings towards the cat who is more than capable of looking after herself. And judging from some of the heartbreaking threads on here when a dog does reach the end, we definitely aren't alone!

My sister on the other hand (no kids, no dogs) is utterly besotted with her cat, worries about her all the time and would feel very differently to me.

On the other dog/over confidence thing, although I guess it's all related, I haven't dealt with those exact issues myself (Gymdog is recovering reactive) though I do maintain I am still much better at anticipating 'problem' dogs than my he is! If no one else joins the thread, perhaps try posting the over-confidence problem on its own - there are definitely people on here who would advise you well if you can get them to read it.

MillyMollyMandy78 Sat 04-May-13 16:42:06

Thank you will definately post on the over confidence thing some time, although not really a huge problem cos he is obedient and only goes to say hello to other dogs after checking with me that it's ok.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said things seem more two way with a dog. We also spend much more time together than wiht cats..walks, cuddles on sofa, holidays etc, so i guess it is natural that you would have a deeper bond. Interestingly though, before we had dogs i was just like your sister and would never believe i could love a dog more than our cats! Interesting how things change...

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