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My dog got attacked

May 26th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Took Zeus to the park 2 days ago and a black lab ran upto him and attacked him. Bit his ear and drew blood. Zeus was screaming the whole time. I ran towards them and split them up but the lab kept coming back.

For anyone that doesn't know my dog, he's the gentlest dog you'll ever meet. He gets along with all animals from small dogs and cats to rabbits. He's always playing submissive to any other dog.


Since the incident, my dog has growled and bit 2 other dogs that were barking at him. He knows these dogs and normally plays very nicely with them. :eek:

He also growled at the UPS guy and he has never growled at anyone ever.

How can I undo the damage that the lab did?? I don't want to raise a viscious dog. :(

May 26th, 2005, 12:21 PM
OMG! I'm so sorry to hear your pup was attacked! I don't have any advice for you either! :sorry: I hope he's ok!

May 26th, 2005, 12:51 PM
I am so sorry to hear this happened to your baby! I am not sure what to tell you I have not had to deal with this kind of problem. Did you have your baby checked to make sure nothing happened to him after the fight? I am sure Lucky will have some great advice hope to hear from her soon.

May 26th, 2005, 01:42 PM
Oh dear, your poor boy. As he is young, it may just be that some of his confidence has been shattered by being attacked and now he's on the defensive. Perhaps with some time and other dogs he trusts, he will gain that confidence back. I'm not sure how to suggest working on it other than positive socialisation. Someone else will come along and help with that I'm sure.

My old dog Selena had a terrible incidence with our young dog at the time, Irish Wolfhound, Shepherd cross. He attacked her and literally ripped her side out. After a lengthy surgery and recovery she was fine but would never get near another dog again. She would scoot around behind me when a dog approached. Just a side note, Bear had mercury poisoning and went ballistic over a weekend and severely bit my husband as well. As there is nothing you can do for this, we humanely destroyed him. Selena was 9 at the time so I think her age was a factor in recovering her confidence.

Lucky Rescue
May 26th, 2005, 02:32 PM
IF you insist on taking your dogs to the dog park, this is often the result. Being attacked by other dogs is a big shock for puppies, since they are so impressionable. Something like this can turn them into fear biters, since he now feels he must protect himself, since in his mind, he can't on you to protect him.

You'll have to start socializing him again,and this time make sure there is no chance of another dog attacking him and that means keep him OUT of dogparks.

I know you keep saying how gentle he is, but he is a puppy and it's normal for puppies to be submissive. Mals can be aggressive towards other dogs anyway when they reach adulthood, and this incident likely speeded up the process.

Being aggressive or intolerant towards other dogs does not mean he is "vicious." This is a breed trait and can be managed.

As for the UPS man, your puppy was shaken up and he may see everything new as a threat now. You need to take him to places where lots of people are, but don't force him to greet any of them. Just be casual and upbeat with him and hopefully he'll get desensitized (at least towards people) and get over this and learn to trust you again. Just walk him around, and praise him for not showing fear or growling.

Dog Dancer
May 26th, 2005, 05:37 PM
When my AkitaX Shadow was a year old she was bitten in the face by a GSD and I agree with Lucky that for her the incident definitely brought her aggression out earlier. I've always known that Akita's could be very protective and maybe aggressive, and now Shadow has issue with any GSD she see's. She will not be taken by surprise again! Fortunately she still loves people though - she's 7 now. Good luck with Zeus, patience will help him a lot.

May 26th, 2005, 06:51 PM
I am sorry to hear about the incident at the dog park. Last summer I decided to give the dog park thing a try. The first visit was fine so a week later I went again. This time there was a whole different group of dogs and many were aggressive. Hunter was only 7 months old at the time and was being harrassed by a large dog (malamute mix, I think). The owner was an ass and Hunter wasn't the only dog being bothered. Eventually Hunter had enough, sat down and growled at this dog. This was so unlike him. He is a very easy going dog with not an aggressive bone in his body. As I was told when he came into rescue, "Hunter loves all creatures" and it is true. I immediately left the park with both dogs and never returned again. I was very concerned that he would learn aggression from the other dogs and I guess after hearing your story I was right.
I can understand why many people love dog parks. Their dogs get a chance to run free and play with other dogs. I own 4 acres of land in the country so our dogs get to run free and play with each other so there is no need for me to visit a dog park.
I think it is important now to continue to socialize your pup. Make sure you only do so with dogs that are not aggressive. He has learned a behavior and he now has to un-learn it. He was probably attacked in the first place because he was so submissive. He is still a puppy so it should be fairly easy. Remember to reward him for good behavior.

May 27th, 2005, 07:25 AM
I'm so sorry about what happened to Zeus. Unfortunately, this does happen at dog parks. He will need a lot of socialization now to try and overcome his fear and build up his confidence again.

My beagle got hurt playing with a boxer when she was a pup. The boxer was also a pup at the time. It took a lot of work to have my beagle overcome her fear of larger dogs. I had to enrol her in an obedience class where the instructor knew my situation and helped me work with her. It worked and now she is wonderful with boxers and other larger dogs.

You have some work ahead of you, but it is all worth it in the end. I would do just as LuckyRescue suggested. A lot of time socializing him will help him overcome his fear and will build up on his confidence. Good luck.

May 27th, 2005, 08:51 AM
I am so sorry to hear about Zeus! Like you, I've been taking my puppy to the dog park but I think, if I had to do over again I would wait until he was an adult or take him at the most quiet times. I really hope that with time and positive socialization he will learn that aggression isn't the first resort when he is unsure/insecure!

As a side note - I want to ask those who are against dog parks a question! If you refuse to take your dog to a dog park, when and where do they get off-leash exercise? Or how do you meet their exercise requirements? For the lucky one's who have their own land it's not a problem but for those that live right in the city or suburbs - what are we suppose to do? In my experience, owners who don't take their dogs to the dog park usually end up with an overweight, poorly trained and/or socialized animal because all they know is the end of their 4 foot leash.

May 28th, 2005, 08:37 PM
We don't have dog parks here, so I wouldn't have to worry about that aspect of it. We normally take our dogs out to the lake, or in the canyon outside of town to run and play. We have run into others with aggressive dogs that come to a party that we have at the lake every year. If an aggressive dog shows up there, my dogs go in the camper until the owner gets a clue and isolates his dog. Normally it doesn't take long before comments get made about the aggressive dog and the owner (one in particular, every year *sigh*) either puts him in the camper or chains him up. I hate to see him chained, but he won't even let the other dogs play with a ball or anything. If my dogs are not in the camper, I make sure I stay with them and I shoo him away if he comes anywhere near us. I really wish that my coyote was still alive - she would've put that dog in his place in a hurry! :evil: We did have a GSD that loved little dogs until one bit a chunk out of her ear. She was 3 or 4 when it happened, and no matter what we did, she always hated little dogs after that. We called poodles "Bunny bait" because her name was Bunny and it was a poodle that nailed her. If she had a chance, she would attack any and all poodles after that. Poor Zeus, I feel so bad for him! At his young age, you should be able to get him over the fear/aggression from the attack but you'll have to choose his playmates very carefully for a while. Good Luck!

Lucky Rescue
May 28th, 2005, 09:05 PM
Many dogs cannot go to dog parks, since lots of breeds and individuals dont' get along with other dogs.

In my experience, owners who don't take their dogs to the dog park usually end up with an overweight, poorly trained and/or socialized animal because all they know is the end of their 4 foot leash.

If this were true, all responsibly owned pit bulls would be fat and untrained,(since none of them go to dog parks) although I don't know what dog parks have to do with training. Training is more easily accomplished on leash.

I think a dog would be more socialized and better trained being taken for long walks - and I mean a 1 hour walk - than running loose in the dog park. In walks all over town, they will see all sorts of people, dogs, bikes, cars and get used to everything and anything. This is what people did before there were dog parks.

I do have a large property, but it's not fenced yet, so I take my dog walking all over. I do also play ball with her on my property and sometimes let her run in the soccer field. The walking is good for me too!!:)

May 28th, 2005, 09:52 PM
Lucky: I can only comment on what I've experience and witnessed where I live and what I said is 100% true!

I think dog parks play a role in training because there is nowhere else (near me) where you can legally take your dog off-leash and test their obedience around distractions. I also believe that dogs need to be off-leash to learn about their world and how to interact and handle certain situations.

I think the key word in your statement is RESPONSIBLY owned pit bulls (or any dog for that matter). I've gotten so cynical about responsible dog owners because I know NONE! I am not kidding that a "walk" for the dogs I am referring to, is a 10-15 minute walk 2-3 times a day - which ends sooner if the dog eliminates before the 15 minutes.

I agree with you that taking your dog with you everwhere and going on hour long walks is great but I do not know a single person besides myself who does that (which is why I think that if more dog parks were available, maybe people would be more inclined to take their dog out). I also think, that people who never let their dog off-leash (unless for breed specific reasons like you mentioned) probably shouldn't own one. I just don't see how a dog can be happy if they can't run around, with some freedom and be a dog!

May 29th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Poor Baby, my heart goes out to him.
I know the feeling, I thought Labs were supposed to be "GOOD" dogs, I was walking my dog ( German Shepherd ) on a lead one day, and a black lab came after my dog no rhyme or reason. Although my dogs has the " You don't wanna mess with me " look, it took me completely off guard knowing that a Lab would have such a temperment. ( to think I almost got one ! )
Your dog is scared, you can try positive re-enforcement with him. Don't get discouraged or give up.
It's like a human who falls and breaks bones, it takes awhile for them to trust their balance again.

Good luck and God bless!

May 30th, 2005, 09:26 AM
so sad to hear....poor baby. But i know how u pup was attacked twice but she was bit hard in the behind and private area and we all know how dogs meet and greet each other. It has been a hard road to recovery but i have put her back in obedience training and we have been working hard at socializing again........but right now she can only be around reallly laid back dogs because she won't let anyone near her bum. She also started to growl at people after the attack to......... so sad that they (the dogs) are so afraid i feel that i let my baby down but she is worth every penny to help her feel safe again. I hope u can overcome this problem.....i wish u and your dog the best.