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Dog attack

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My husband and I went for walk last night with our very friendly medium size dog. We were walking along a garden which was fenced with shrubs as well as wire mesh fencing. We were aware of a dog in the garden as it was walking along the fence same direction as us but we couldn’t see it as the shrubs were quite thick with foliage. Our dog was on a long lead walking about 10 feet behind us. All of a sudden we looked back and saw this big black dog squeeze itself under the wire mesh fence and within a split second he was on top of our dog. We had no time to react!  The commotion that followed with me screaming, my dog’s horrific yelping and husband kicking the attacking dog brought out a number of people from their houses. All this lasted about 30 seconds without us being able to get him off our dog at which point the owner rushed out and after a few attempts managed to drag him off. My dog was badly injured requiring treatment and staples for deep lacerations to his back and shoulders as well numerous teeth punctures to his neck. At about 10:30pm we returned from the emergency vets emotionally and mentally exhausted and badly shaken by the whole experience. The owner was very apologetic and paid the large vet bill in full. However, today I feel anger that we went through this and my poor dog has had to endure such injuries, something that was totally preventable. The owner explained that it was a rescue dog, a Belgian shepherd, so a big and powerful dog that he has had for a couple of years. He said the dog is good with kids and most other dogs. This was a totally unprovoked attack on a very friendly dog so it is not like my dog did something to trigger it which makes me feel this dog is obviously unpredictable and dangerous. Our dog is two stone in weight so medium size however I believe a small dog such as an yorkie, sausage dog etc would have stood no chance and would have been killed. Would be interesting to know what other posters would have done but more importantly what to do when you find yourself in such a situation? From what I read people have used all sorts such as ‘wheelbarrowing’ the attacker, carrying some spray can, etc. What works in situations like this? I also read advice online that it is dangerous to intervene but how many of us could stand by and watch our pet being killed? Thanks

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  • mac.dmac.d Forumite
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    Other than be more wary of keeping your dog on a shorter lead when passing gardens, probably not much else you could have done. It can be difficult to get another dog to stop attacking, I know they recommend not to, but I've always intervened when my dog has been attacked, as its hard not to. Apart from once when it was a staffie, have I not immediately been able to get the other dog away. Usually just by making a lot of noise, grabbing the dog by the back of the neck and just hitting it. Be interested to know what others think of the wheelbarrowing suggestion, as it sounds good, though not necessarily an easy option with a big dog. Hope you and your dog are ok. Mine is a reasonably big dog (labrador) but he has definitely been made a lot more wary of other dogs after being attacked.
  • mcpitmanmcpitman Forumite
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    Fair play to the owner for paying the vets bills etc. I know they should morally but there are a lot of people who wouldn't.

    I agree, with current young lab and previous dogs, the only form of defense if your dog is attacked unprovoked is to shock the attacking dog off your dog.

    By shock I mean, shout, kick, bang anything near you, then sadly do the same to the attacking dog if that has no effect.

    I am an absolute dog lover, but wouldn't hesitate (and haven't in the past) to kick a dog that was attacking my dog if all else failed.

    By wheel-barrowing I assume you mean grab the hind legs of the agressor dog? Not a chance - I like my hands on the ends of my limbs.
    Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away. Like choking....
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    My husband and I went for walk last night with our very friendly medium size dog. We were walking along a garden which was fenced with shrubs as well as wire mesh fencing. We were aware of a dog in the garden as it was walking along the fence same direction as us but we couldn’t see it as the shrubs were quite thick with foliage. Our dog was on a long lead walking about 10 feet behind us. All of a sudden we looked back and saw this big black dog squeeze itself under the wire mesh fence and within a split second he was on top of our dog. We had no time to react!  The commotion that followed with me screaming, my dog’s horrific yelping and husband kicking the attacking dog brought out a number of people from their houses. All this lasted about 30 seconds without us being able to get him off our dog at which point the owner rushed out and after a few attempts managed to drag him off. My dog was badly injured requiring treatment and staples for deep lacerations to his back and shoulders as well numerous teeth punctures to his neck. At about 10:30pm we returned from the emergency vets emotionally and mentally exhausted and badly shaken by the whole experience. The owner was very apologetic and paid the large vet bill in full. However, today I feel anger that we went through this and my poor dog has had to endure such injuries, something that was totally preventable. The owner explained that it was a rescue dog, a Belgian shepherd, so a big and powerful dog that he has had for a couple of years. He said the dog is good with kids and most other dogs. This was a totally unprovoked attack on a very friendly dog so it is not like my dog did something to trigger it which makes me feel this dog is obviously unpredictable and dangerous. Our dog is two stone in weight so medium size however I believe a small dog such as an yorkie, sausage dog etc would have stood no chance and would have been killed. Would be interesting to know what other posters would have done but more importantly what to do when you find yourself in such a situation? From what I read people have used all sorts such as ‘wheelbarrowing’ the attacker, carrying some spray can, etc. What works in situations like this? I also read advice online that it is dangerous to intervene but how many of us could stand by and watch our pet being killed? Thanks
    The owner paid the bill to remedy damage to your property. 
    You do not know what your dog did as it was 10 feet behind you. 
    It sounds like everyone reacted appropriately, so whilst your anger is understandable there's not much else to say.
    I would avoid carrying anything which can be used as a weapon - since that could be a criminal offence.

  • TimeTravelTimeTravel Forumite
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    Thanks for your responses. Yes the wheelbarrowing method is to grab the hind legs of the attacking dog and from what I read it requires moving sideways like in a circle to stop the dog from being able to turn round to bite you. From what I’ve read it is very effective in breaking up a dog fight/attack but one needs to know what you are doing and I am not sure I do because it would help seeing how this is done but I could not find anything that shows this. I don’t mean a real dog attack but a mock demonstration or at least some drawings how this is done.
    On the point of the length of the leash, it would be very difficult to keep my dog on a very short leash all the time as like any dog he needs some space and everything happened so quickly that even on a very short leash the other dog would have still attacked. 
    On the last point about not knowing what my dog was doing as he was behind. This was totally unprovoked as there was no contact between the dogs until the attack because there was a grass verge approx 3-4 feet wide between the road and this garden and us and our dog were on the road walking at a fairly brisk pace. 
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Forumite
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    If you don't mind getting your hands dirty a finger or two up the bum will likely surprise it enough to make it stop. Alternatively their noses are highly sensitive, a hard whack on the nose will put a lot of dogs off. 
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    If I was walking my dog passed a house with a dog on the other side of the fence then I would move away from the fence and put myself between the fence and my dog. I would shorten the dog lead so I was in control  of my dog until I was passed thee house.  No need to restrict the lead all the time, only to pass the problem.
    But then I am proactive in protecting my dog when necessary. 

    Would you leave your dog walking  in the road  10feet behind you if a  vehicle had come?
  • edited 10 May at 5:57PM
    carefullycautiouscarefullycautious Forumite
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    edited 10 May at 5:57PM
    I would report this to the police and take photos of injuries as evidence. The owner should have their dog behind a fence that it cannot get out of at the least. Yes it was right that the owner paid the vets bills but he still needs to be warned about the inadequate fencing situation. I have been a dog owner all my life and luckily have never had this happen.
    Sheramber does also make a good point
  • nicnac49nicnac49 Forumite
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    I just wanted to say how sorry I am for both you and your dog.
    It must have been a horrible trauma for you both. 
    My small Lab was attacked by a German Shepherd earlier in the year that we just came upon in a bend in the path. She didn't fight back in any way. Thankfully being forced into the river saved her from serious injury but the lasting effect has been that both she and I are now very wary. Such a shame to see her change from the kindest dog that was not over friendly just accepting of every dog to one who raises her hackles and scuttles away if she sees a big dog approaching.
    I have no advice except to contact your local dog warden. They may contact the person or at least correlate if there are further problems.
    I hope you and your gentle dog make a good recovery. 
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