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'Dangerous dog' what's the score?

(9 Posts)
Beamur Sat 01-Mar-14 21:37:55

My dog was attacked by another dog today. It's a dog that has gone for her before and I know for a fact has attacked other dogs too. It's not a 'dangerous' breed, looks like a golden lab or retriever to me (not a breed I'd normally expect to be so aggressive) and I wonder what the score is legally about this kind of behaviour. No harm was actually done, as I was prepared for this, and wedged myself inbetween my dog and the attacker. I know this isn't such smart behaviour, but my dog is elderly and rather infirm these days and I wasn't going to stand by and do nothing. The attacking dog is also pretty old, slow and fat, so it was a bit of a slow motion attack! The owner was ineffective, the attacking dog was on a lead but it lunged towards us and she couldn't hold it back. At the very least I think this dog should be muzzled in public, but is it something the Community Police would have any interest in? Any advice?

FiveExclamations Sat 01-Mar-14 21:44:21

Yes, it's worth contacting the Police on the non-emergency number, a friends dog was attacked recently and quite badly injured, the Police visited the owner of the attacking dog and convinced him to sign some kind of control agreement that should prevent further attacks. You could also contact the local dog warden direct.

However I think that dog on dog would usually be a civil matter if you were wondering about taking it to court, from what my friend told me the attack she was involved in would only have become a criminal matter if she had been willing to say that she felt in danger herself.

Please don't take any of that as gospel, the police will advise and I think our local council web page has a dog warden section, might be worth checking out.

mrslaughan Sat 01-Mar-14 22:20:54

Report it too your local dog warden, what their response is seems to depend on how effectual they are.

Beamur Sat 01-Mar-14 22:30:54

Thanks for that - I'll try the Dog Warden and see what happens. They've been active locally recently in response to lots of complaints about fouling, so maybe I'll be lucky and have some of the more effectual ones!
I'm not thinking of taking this further as in going to court, my dog was not hurt and neither was I. But this dog obviously has issues with other dogs and the owner is not able to physically restrain it, so it remains a danger to other dogs when out.

TwittyMcTwitterson Sun 02-Mar-14 15:19:31

No such thing as a dangerous breed. It's the owners. A few years ago (stats may have changed since then) Labradors were the breed to have bitten more than any other. I think this is purely because more families have labs. Irrelevant but still... wink

Re the dog, I don't know what police would do. Dog warden/council will advise better or RSPCA etc

nuttymutty1 Sun 02-Mar-14 15:26:33

If all the other dog did is lunge Dogwardens, Police, Council will not do anything.

Dirtybadger Sun 02-Mar-14 21:54:00

It is not a criminal offence for one dog to fight with or attack another. A dog must be "Dangerously out of control" to cause reasonable apprehension of harm (to a human) for an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Contact your local authority (dog warden if you have one). From an educational perspective hopefully they will either pay them a visit or write to them, if you know who it is. If they have the resources they may even do a "stake out" to find the dog and then speak to owners if you don't know who they are.
If your dog needed vet treatment then you could go through small claims court for the money.

In reality a serious dog attack would likely be a good argument that a dog was "dangerously out of control" and most owners would be scared (reasonably so). These attacks are not common, though. Is this dog known to bite?

Dirtybadger Sun 02-Mar-14 22:14:22

Should have added; after the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill is passed, there will be a lot more room for dogs like these to be considered for legislative control. The controls are really vague and I don't know how they will be used in practice but in theory you could report this dog and a sensible solution (like muzzling the dog or compulsory training classes- muzzling seeming more likely) could be made. Worth considering if the problem persists and the dog is a regular nuisance to the community.

Beamur Sun 02-Mar-14 22:15:34

I know where the dog and owner live. This dog has gone for numerous other dogs locally - it's well known for it. However, I'm not sure how much actual damage it manages to inflict because it is so fat and slow! My dog has previously been lunged for, but was too quick for it to get near her - it's just she has had a dramatic decline in health of late and is now also very slow and her sight is going, so she just didn't see it coming.

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