Author Topic: What should you do when your dog is attacked?  (Read 406 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Woolwitch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« on: October 05, 2018, 10:34:14 PM »
We had a horrible experience yesterday when we were out in the woods, when our 15 month old wc was attacked by a much larger mixed breed dog, which passers by who came to help think was a pit bull mix. Both were off lead and the other dog came to us, sniffed my dog then launched himself at him, taking him by the scruff and shaking him from side to side. It was immediately clear this was a serious dog and I thought my dog was going to be killed. I am not sure what exactly happened next as it was all noise and movement, but I ended up holding my poor dog around the hind legs, while the other dog's owner was lying on top of him, with him gripped under him to try and disable him and make him release my dog. Neither of the dog's heads were visible as they were under the other dog's owner and I couldn't tell how the other dog was holding my dog, who was making a terrible screaming noise. It was absolutely terrifying. My dog, amazingly, is fine. We have reported the incident and the police have been great, and the passers by have also reported it and took us to the vet straightaway. The police think they may be able to take some action as we have the owner's details.

My question is, what do you actually do when this is happening? I know you should stay calm and I absolutely failed to do that as I was screaming and shouting, but the deadlock where we were all just in a pile on the ground with the two dogs locked together seemed to go on for ever, and I felt absolutely helpless. When a dog like this has your dog in its jaws, is there ANYTHING you can do?

Today, thinking about it, it seems like a truly awful dream. My lovely dog was himself on our walk earlier, but I was jumpy as hell and any enjoyment at being in the park with him was tempered by expectation of something bad happening, as unlikely as that is. I am sure I will get over this :) but I would love to feel more prepared I suppose, in case anything like this happens again. Are there any words of wisdom out there?

Offline bizzylizzy

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3371
  • Gender: Female
  • 🙂 Jayne
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 08:03:40 AM »
Terrifying and every dog owner?s nightmare. So pleased your little one has come out of it unscathed, I do hope it doesn?t have any long term effects on him, although I think it is important to try and keep your own nervousness in check to stop him picking up on it and reacting accordingly. (SO easy to say, , you must have been absolutely panic stricken and an experience like that isn?t so easy to forget ona hurry), I would suggest encouraging him to interact with any other dogs that you are confident will pose no threat, to keep his confidence up and prevent him become fearful in the future. Unfortunately its often difficult to predict an attack and it remains a mystery to me what sparks them off, although you can try and avoid certain situations - dogs meeting ?head on? for example can be tricky. In this case however it does sound as if it was an unprovoked attack by a  dog that should never have been allowed offlead and you were certainly right to report it.
As to what you can do - what you did, i.e. grabbing  the dogs by the back legs is a good start, you can also throw a coat or jacket over one of them (preferably the attacker), water, if you just happen to have some handy  ;) , squirted or thrown over them can distract long enough for you to separate them. - I saw someone throw the lead in to the affray recently and it just gave the owner that split second opportunity to grab the collar of the attacking dog.
I hope you don?t have to experience it again but apart from keeping your eyes peeled for any strange dog that?s obviously not well under control of its owner and steering clear, its difficult to prevent. A dog that has experience in interacting with other dogs is however, at least in my opinion, better equipped to deal withnthe situation than a dog that?s never given the opportinity to develop social skills, - not everyone will agree but that?s just my own experience.
 :bigarmhug: to your boy!

Offline Dragon trainer

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 08:57:21 AM »
I know exactly how you feel Woolwitch. My 4 year old male cocker was attacked by a staffie in July this year. We had just finished a walk and was going back to the car, Monty was on a lead.  A car pulled up and the owner just let his dog out - no collar or lead! It came straight over to us and Monty went to say hello then decided he wasn?t sure, did a little growl and before I could move him away the dog went for him. Like you I tried to stay calm but this dog had pinned Monty down and had got him by the kneck. The owner managed to get his hand in his dog?s mouth and eventually by putting his full weight on his dogs throat the dog finally released my dog. I don?t know how long this went on for it seemed forever, my dog was screaming and looked terrified. I took him straight to the vets and amazingly there were no puncture wounds, however he did loose clumps of fur in that area as it had been pulled so hard. The owner of the dog ended up in casualty as his dog had badly bitten his hand!

I contacted a couple of friends with well behaved dogs and arranged walks with them over the following few days so that Monty and I could get our confidence back. I am know extra vigilant in car parks and will hold back if a car pulls up. I also change direction or give a wide birth if I see dogs we have not met before. The first time we went back to the car park where he was attacked I took some tasty treats and we just walked round while I praised him and fed him treats.

Bizzylizzy has given some very good advice. The only thing that Monty won?t tolerate now is if a dog jumps on his back, but then that isn?t very polite anyway. Hopefully your dog will not have any lasting effects from his experience and you can relax more on your walks together.

Offline fionad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 680
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 11:57:07 AM »
My little Lexi was attacked by a greyhound earlier this year. It wasn't exactly a vicious attack, the greyhound was doing what all greyhounds are bred to do.It saw a small fluffy animal and went for it.I should say that Lexi is a papillon weighing less than 7 pounds.

It had her in its jaws and I know that if I hadn't had Lexi by the back leg it would have shaken and killed her like a rabbit. It was a bit of a tug of war with poor Lexi screaming until I managed to get my hand in the greyhound's mouth and prise her off just as her owners arrived .They were mortified and said they hadn't seen me and my dogs. They stayed while I recovered and offered to take me home. I took Lexi to see the vet and amazingly neither she or I had any puncture wounds but we we were both bruised and shocked.

This was a case of dogs doing what dogs do but it has made me very wary when out on walks now when I have never had any fears before and I have had this breed for  eleven years now.

I once saw a fight between two border collies where one dog bit the other and hung on at an agility training class. The experienced trainer silenced everyone around and eventually the aggressor let go. It took a while but the fight did not escalate.

Let's hope it never happens to you or I again!

Offline Woolwitch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2018, 01:52:39 PM »
Thank you - there are some really helpful and interesting things here. I am very aware of other dogs as we live in the city, and one of the downsides is the number of dogs around, so I am always on the lookout for dogs we don't know or haven't seen before on our walks. It does seem very hard to predict what will trigger something like this, which is what is making me feel so fearful - but you are right Bizzlizzy, I mustn't transfer this onto my dog. He seemed absolutely fine again in the park this morning and he had a good romp with one of his cockapoo friends last night, as Dragontrainer suggests. The experiences that you and fionad have both had sound horrendous too - I have to say I hadn't really thought of greyhounds as behaving like this, but of course, chasing small furry animals is what they do.

Going back to what might trigger another dog, our dog is an intact male - we are erring on the side of not having him castrated as there is no medical reason for this and it seems to us to be the right choice for us. But I can't help wondering how much if anything this has to do with another dog attacking like this. He is certainly full of hormones at the moment, as he has been paying much more attention to the floor cushions than usual :) perhaps he is having a hormone surge? The other thing I hear is that dogs are more likely to attack other dogs on leads (although this wasn't the case for us this time as Tali wasn't on a lead) because they see them as vulnerable and therefore an easy target. It is very hard to know what is true or likely, and what is just based on something that has happened to someone else.

On a lighter note, it is peeing down with rain here which means although we will get soaked on our walk, there are bound to be far fewer dogs out today so we can relax a bit :)


Offline bizzylizzy

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3371
  • Gender: Female
  • 🙂 Jayne
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2018, 04:15:38 PM »


Going back to what might trigger another dog, our dog is an intact male - we are erring on the side of not having him castrated as there is no medical reason for this and it seems to us to be the right choice for us. But I can't help wondering how much if anything this has to do with another dog attacking like this. He is certainly full of hormones at the moment, as he has been paying much more attention to the floor cushions than usual :) perhaps he is having a hormone surge? The other thing I hear is that dogs are more likely to attack other dogs on leads (although this wasn't the case for us this time as Tali wasn't on a lead) because they see them as vulnerable and therefore an easy target. It is very hard to know what is true or likely, and what is just based on something that has happened to someone else.

On a lighter note, it is peeing down with rain here which means although we will get soaked on our walk, there are bound to be far fewer dogs out today so we can relax a bit :)

You?re right on both points there. My dog isn?t castrated either so I am always more wary of other uncastrated dogs, especially if there are bitches around (boys will be boys I guess!  :lol2:). Humphrey?s had a couple of little ?disagreements?, luckily nothing too serious although his ears got bitten (spaniel?s archilles heel!! ;) ) once but I think he?s learning to read the signals these days and avoid confrontation where possible. As a youngster he used to get a bit cocky (pardon the pun! ) but with age has come respect and his manners do seem to have improved.
If your dog is off off lead, you can practise calling him to you first, which gives you chance to assess the situation before letting him off to play and will also get him used to looking back to you for ?permission? before he goes off play. I always avoid on lead contact especially if one is on the lead and the other one isn?t. I?m never very sure of why they react badly, it could be they feel stronger, it could make them feel vulnerable and at a disadvantage, their body language is impaired so they can?t communicate properly or they just feel they need to protect us - whatever the reason it definately seems to promote conflict. Its also a lot harder to control two  dogs when the leads get tangled up!  ;)

Offline phoenix

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1181
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 07:01:34 PM »
An owner of an unpredictable Rottweiler told my friend whose dog was attacked, that she should have poked her walking stick under its collar, and twist it as tight as possible.  He didn?t say what to do next to avoid getting bitten! 
With smaller dogs, I?ve been told that sticking a finger up the assailants bum actually does work!
I find walks stressful these days, I avoid meeting off lead dogs and owners who thinks theirs  only want to play.  My rescue terrier, always on the lead, tenses up and could easily ruin a years? training by using his remaining ten teeth.
Bring back dog licensing and have compulsory good citizen  awards.  In my dreams!
RIP Marti  the EPI springer age 12,  and beloved black cocker Bobby, 8 yrs old, too soon, from PLN.
Now owned by TInker, tiny hairy grey poodle/terrier rescue from Greece and Jack, local rescue,   scruffy ginger terrier mutt.

Offline Jaysmumagain

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1837
  • Gender: Female
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 08:09:51 AM »
So glad your little one seems ok.......it is every owners nightmare and I am sure yo will have it played over and over in your mind , I have a lovely beach 5 mins away from me but never walked Ollie there, as there are just too many cross breed larger dogs running riot with owner that don't seem to care.

I am somewhat of a coward, in the fact that I play it safe and avoid places with many dogs walkers, so I really have no answer to the question.  Just sending all best wishes to you and your boy.
Cocker kisses and cuddles just make my day!


You are always with me darling Jaypup

Offline Ambler54

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 07:53:37 PM »
I saw a staffie lock onto a small terrier, the owner of the staffie could not get it to let go but I had read somewhere that if its an intact male to grab its dooleys and yank as hard as possible, which is what someone did, the little dog had several puncture wounds and was very shocked....to be fair it was the terriers fault as it went for the Staffie first.But it has left me very nervous of other dogs and can affect my walks with my dog to the extent of leaving the dog park if someone enters with a staffie or any large breed .Although you say you werent in control your actions suggest you were really and I am so pleased your dog is ok.

Offline Patp

  • Donator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3558
  • Gender: Female
  • Jinley
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 09:07:24 AM »
So sorry to hear.  It might take a while for your little fellow to trust you again as he might see you as part of the fight and ensuing hurt that happened.

I dont have any advice sorry, but it might be worth thinking that this could be his reaction.

Jinley had her anal glands removed 18 months ago and her bottom end is always of interest.  I can see how she feels uncomfortable and only allows others to have a quick sniff before giving them a warning.  I am always slightly anxious about dogs that might retaliate to her warning in a more aggressive way escalating into a fight.

Sending you both these in the meantime  :bigarmhug: :bigarmhug:



Offline Woolwitch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2018, 12:50:18 PM »
I really appreciate everyone's comments and good wishes - it is so helpful to have other peoples' thoughts and experiences too. Ambler54, now you say that about yanking on a male's testicles, I remember that's what the owner was shouting at a passerby to do, but the passer by was understandably reluctant to do that given the look and size of the dog.

We've had a few larger dogs pass us on walks over the weekend and our spaniel has kept close to us when this has happened, occasionally with slightly raised hackles, but that has been the only sign of anxiety that he has shown.

Thank you all again xx

Offline Gazrob

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Gender: Male
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2018, 08:35:21 AM »
I don't think there is a lot you can do in that situation as there are some very irresponsible dog owners out there who just let their dogs run riot. My dog got attacked by a German Shepard and I can tell you it was a very scary experience the owner had no control. I had a few seconds to react before the dog got to us I stood in front of my dog and tried to scare the German Shepard away. Luckily my dog only got nipped.  If I were you I'd try and find a quieter area where you can let your dog have a run I know this is not easy. I would avoid dog parks completely. As for socialising dogs I try to avoid my dog interacting with all dogs unless they have met before and I know they are fine together. My dog is generally very friendly with most dogs he meets but occasionally he would go mad and other dogs have attacked my dog in the past even when the owner says oh my dog is very friendly. He's much calmer if he's just playing on his own.

Offline Woolwitch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: What should you do when your dog is attacked?
« Reply #12 on: Today at 04:36:48 PM »
I wish we could keep away from other dogs more Gazrob but it's hard in built up areas. It seems Tali is fine - he has not really continued to show any signs of anxiety, after an initial wariness, but I have kept him away from other dogs and try to visit the park when it is quieter. I on the other hand am a bundle of nerves - trying to keep this to a minimum as I am aware he might pick up on it but it's not easy. He generally has very little interest in other dogs anyway - he is more focused on us as we always play games and do training with him - it's other dogs who bother us, I have to say this is getting on my nerves, when we are approached by dogs just running loose and far from their owners.

Also, the police spoke to the owner of the other dog yesterday who told them he has kept his dog muzzled since it attacked Tali, as he doesn't want to lose it. Apparently it has never done this before. He says his vet told him it was a Staffordshire Bull terrier crossed with an unknown breed so the police have told him to keep it muzzled, particularly because of this. It's made me feel a bit less anxious that it is now muzzled even though it is only one of many potentially dangerous dogs - but logic doesn't seem to be playing a very large part in my reaction to any of this!