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Yikes, two dogs tried to lunge at Duke and I

Colubridz
January 22nd, 2007, 09:34 AM
While walking Duke with my friend and her 50 pound Aussie Cattle Dog Cross yesterday a lady with two large what looked to be horribly overweight or very solidly built dogs approached us. As usual we asked if they were friendly before letting our two meet them and she said no. At the moment they both began pulling like mad, snarling, bearing their teeth and snapping and began dragging their owner ( who was maybe 5'4 and 120 pounds) towards us. They each looked to be about 85-95 pounds and were mixed breeds with hound features on the face and I told her if she did not get her dogs under control immediatly and if they came any closer to Duke I would do whatever it ment to disable them before they could get to our dogs including breaking their legs if necissary ( nothing I ever want to have to do to a offending dog).

She started yelling at the dogs while they continued to drag her towards us, until they were just about in range to strike. My friend and I checked the road to ensure no cars were coming and then walked across to the middle of the road to continue to walk forward to get out of the way of the two dogs. She eventually managed to drag them away but it made me think. What the hell is someone, who has two very large, unruley dogs doing walking them at the same time on nothing more then a flat collar? At least try getting a choke chain or prong collar and muzzel them in public until you can get them under control.

In addition it made me wonder if I could of actually done what was needed to to protect Duke ( as he's still only 38lbs at 5 and a bit months old) if some irresponsible owner ( which we seem to be at no shortage of) and their dogs tried to attack Duke and myself? Most people have told me breaking a dogs leg ( makes me cringe even typing it) is the best way to protect yourself and your dog by kicking down at a 45 degree angle in the middle of the leg. Other suggest things like pepper spray, while other say pepper spray is a waste of time.

I hope I'd never have to as the though of having to hurt a dog even out of self defence really kills me.

Anyways just needed to vent as this lady should not be walking around with two large out of control dog aggressive dogs.

Kayla

Hunter's_owner
January 22nd, 2007, 09:54 AM
Gee what a horrible thing to have happen. Lucky it didn't get worse.

I really don't know what I would do in such a situation, if a dog was coming after Hunter or Cassie. But I am pretty sure I would do whatever was necessary to protect my dogs and myself.

If I couldn't control my dogs from wanting to attack other animals when out in public, I would take the necessary precautions, I don't know what is wrong with the people that take such stupid chances. They make it look so bad for the rest of us who do everything we can for our animals:frustrated:

Inisfad
January 22nd, 2007, 01:23 PM
What a scary moment that must have been for you, and how stupid of that woman to take uncontrollable, unmuzzled animals into the public where they can frighten others or worse. I used to have small dogs, and usually, when walking them, would always expect the worse of other pets/pet owners. I always tried to be alert if someone with a larger dog was walking my way, and would cross the road, or put myself a good distance away, until I was assured that they were friendly. My neighbor used to always carry a large stick or cane in the event of some mishap. He thought it was a good idea, but I don't think he ever had to use it. I don't know what I'd do if something like that happened.

dustybird
January 22nd, 2007, 02:12 PM
I am glad in the end everyone was ok.

My poor mom and her dog who is not small has been attacked on more than one occasion. She lives in a good area but stupid people are everywhere. Fortunately no one has been seriously injured but her poor dog is now fearful of everydog he has never met before. She started carrying a big stick and now has to avoid certain streets as nothing has been done to cotrol these tough guys. It has been reported but alass nothing more than a warning has been done. Her dog listens very well so when in the situation she makes him lay down and not move ( at least his belly is protected) then she yells and screams to get anyone's attention and she can get the neighbours a running to their door and the aproaching dog usually gets confused by the screaming and waving of arms etc... I think also I would just run( or quickly walk) to the nearest house and try to get into their backyard or knock on their door and just hope there isn't a dog in that yard and the person is home and understanding. It would be nice if when you go to obedience classes they gave tips on what to do in such a situation. I would like to think I could do what needed to protect my dog(if I had one) but I really don't know if I could.

dustybird
January 22nd, 2007, 02:38 PM
I was just reading on another forum, since I was trying to find info on what to do in such a situation. Didn't really find anything but direct stop spray was mentioned on several places I visited. I don't know if it really works but its a citronella spray used sort of like pepper spray. I imagine though if some agressive dog had a one track mind it probably wouldn't stop him.

mummummum
January 22nd, 2007, 09:29 PM
Reversing direction from head-on and getting as far away from the dogs as possible was the best thing you could have done. The aggressive dog(s) perceived you and your dog(s) as a threat and having no control over them, the owner should have removed them from the situation by reversing direction herself. Yikes is right. We've been attacked and challenged a number of times and I'll probably be dealing with Bridie's fear-aggression for the rest of her life as a result.

Spirit
January 22nd, 2007, 10:29 PM
Walking away from the dog will usually trigger an attack, in cases like this. You were lucky. (A quick lesson in keeping yourself safe from dog attacks)

There have been several times where I've found myself face to face with a dog who's about to attack. I've had the same encounter with one dog four times now. A big dog, 150+ pounds. Some sort of Rottie cross, I think.

The first time I was with a 2 year old boy. We walked out the front door, and it ran right up to us (feet away from the door!), and just stood there, barking and snarling at us (I pushed the kid behind me and firmly pointed and told the dog to go). Lucky for us, the owner came running over screaming "He won't hurt you! I'm sorry!" (He won't hurt me?? What?!) My next steps were to the phone to report it. I've worked with aggressive dogs, and this dog was GOING to attack if I made one wrong move.

The second time, it charged through the fence of it's yard, and tried to chase me down the street. I stopped and turned to face him (didn't say anything), and he stopped dead in his tracks. When his body language changed from "kill" to slight confusion, I slowly turned and walked away. He stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out what just happened before deciding to walk away as well.

The last time, I was with the same boy (now 3), and my dog (who was then only about 6 months old). We heard it bark/growl, and it waited until we had just passed the fence when it charged through about 5 feet from behind us. My dog went into protect mode and barked at it. Big mistake, as this dog practically laughed and said "Nice try, little boy" and charged after us. I whipped around (shoved both my dog and the kid behind me) and started walking towards it (I stopped after maybe 4 feet), pointing at his house shouting "GO!". When I turned back to walk away, the dog actually crouched down and came after us again. I whipped around again and even more firmly told him to go. That was the first time I saw him walk away from ME, and slink back into the bushes (fence was behind the bush) and back home. In every other encounter, I've turned my back first.

Had he come after us, the only thing i could have done was to drop on top of my dog and the kid, and hope that my dog didn't make matters worse.

Anyway, the point of this story is that most dogs don't WANT to fight (though they'll often challenge), and if you stand your ground and show calm dominance (as if you were it's owner), most dogs will back right off. Especially if you start shouting commands (sit, down, etc). Showing aggression towards the dog will make it want to challenge you more.

If the dog doesn't back off, your best bet is to fall to the ground in the fetal position and just play dead. A dog usually won't attack you if you're not fighting back, but your best bet is to stand up and hold your ground (esp with pitts who tend to enjoy grabbing and holding on).

And if you HAVE to fight, a punch to the (not on the) nose, twisting of the ear, poke to the eyes, or kicking the dog hard in the ribs will more often than not make the dog back off.

A friend of mine uses a hands on approach for training (grabbing of the jowls, holding an ear, etc) and I've lost count at how many times she's been bitten. She never grabs hard enough to hurt the dog, but a good example is just last week a dog came into our work and lunged at her dog. She reacted by grabbing it's ear with one hand, jowl with the other, and bending over him (dominance, I guess). The dog finally submitted to her, but not before it bit her twice.

Part of my job (as most of you already know) is working with rescues, so when we encounter situations like this, we have to phone trained professionals, but we do get trained in what to do if we have to do it. I've encountered countless aggressive dogs who wanted to attack, and I've always used my body language to show dominance without aggression. "I don't want to fight you. I just want you to back off. But if you start a fight, I will finish it". I've never been bitten, and the dogs have always backed down.

I'm a 30 year old female, and I weigh 120 pounds. I'm quite non threatening physically, but when the body language speaks, dogs listen.

I really don't know what I would do in such a situation, if a dog was coming after Hunter or Cassie. But I am pretty sure I would do whatever was necessary to protect my dogs and myself.

The first time I did this, it was just instinct (I had a 2 year old kid with me). I had no idea if what I was doing was the right thing, or if I was just downright crazy for standing my ground. I was shaking pretty badly afterwards, but I guess I gained confidence. Not many dogs scare me these days... except one. He's gigantic, jumps on people, has possession and jealousy issues, and is quite unpredictable.

Edit: There's a lot of "What not to do" regarding how to read a dog's body language, and how to use your own. So please use this reply as an example only. DO NOT CONFRONT AN AGGRESSIVE DOG UNLESS YOU HAVE HAD PROFESSIONAL TRAINING.

mummummum
January 22nd, 2007, 10:39 PM
Not to get into a big debate here Spririt but, how one behaves when confronting two aggressive dog(s) when one is on one's on own will be very different versus when one is with one's dog(s).

Spirit
January 22nd, 2007, 10:47 PM
Not to get into a big debate here Spririt but, how one behaves when confronting two aggressive dog(s) when one is on one's on own will be very different versus when one is with one's dog(s).

Hense my last comment. :)

Edit: The same goes for if you're on a bike, jogging, walking (with or without child or dog), delivering mail (lol), etc. Two is always different than one. Staring the dog(s) down (or just making eye contact) comes to mind...

Prin
January 22nd, 2007, 10:56 PM
Staring down a dog can also set it off.

mummummum
January 22nd, 2007, 10:57 PM
I see ~ you were adding that as I was posting.

Well, nonetheless I stand pretty much by what I said ~ Colubridz did the the right thing by removing her dogs from being perceived as a threat and by getting them out of immediate harm's way.

I think the situation would have escalated to violence if she continued ~with two dogs ~ to stand facing the aggressors, blocking their path, with an owner who clearly had not control and not enough sense to take her dogs out of the situation.

Prin
January 22nd, 2007, 10:59 PM
I agree. You can't control a vicious dog safely if you have your hands full. You can't really block your face if you have a dog on each arm. :shrug:

Spirit
January 22nd, 2007, 11:06 PM
I agree. You can't control a vicious dog safely if you have your hands full. You can't really block your face if you have a dog on each arm. :shrug:

Act accordingly.

Many things can set a dog off... including mine who decided at all his 30+ pounds that he was going to protect us against this charging, growling beast by barking back (it was cute, really). And here's little ol' me, shoving him and the kid behind me (full on alpha "I will protect you" mode) to stand my ground to this dog. lol

There is no set rule on how to avoid a fight, but there are certainly things we can do to help prevent starting one. If you can safely remove yourself and your dogs from the situation, then do it. But if a dog is already heading in your direction, then turning your back will often encourage the dog to chase you. Colubridz was lucky in that the owner was able to pull her dogs back. If those dogs were offleash, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have kept going, and picked up speed.

I need to get going for now (and I think I said too much already), but confronting an aggressive dog is always a gamble and there are no guarantees, so just know what you're doing and be careful, okay? And never, EVER run if there's a chance the dog will catch you.

(clarified to make sense... now I'm really going lol)

mummummum
January 22nd, 2007, 11:46 PM
But if a dog is already heading in your direction, then turning your back will often encourage the dog to chase you. Colubridz was lucky in that the owner was able to pull her dogs back. If those dogs were offleash, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have kept going, and picked up speed.

Just to be clear ~ Colubridz didn't turn her back on the aggressors. She stopped, checked traffic and went into the middle of the road, continuing forward.

Perhaps it was my "reverse direction" which confused you ~ I should have been more clear in saying "back up & go in another direction".

Colubridz
January 23rd, 2007, 12:18 AM
Wow alot of intresting advice given, I agree that turning your back on an aggressive dog or worse running away from one is deffiently not something to do as both would probabaly end very badly for you and your dog. I tried to hold my ground as long as possible telling the lady and the dogs to back off, however when they got in about a 2 foot range and to me appeared to have noo intention of slowing down I made the split second descion to grab my friend by the arm to get myself, Duke, my friend and Gypsy onto the road and out of their immediate path. We both turned our bodies to face the dogs and kept our dogs behind us and started walking forwards on the road sideways, again keeping our bodies faced towards them incase they broke free of their owner and we had to act to protect ourselfs and more importantly our dogs ( At 17, Duke is my only child:) ).

I won't worry as much about Duke when he's full grown as he does have medium/large breeds in him ( Rotti, and GSD as well as Collie), so that at the very least in a worse case scenerio situation at least he would be able to hold his own for a few seconds while either the owner could come help or until I could get the dog to back off by breaking it's legs. I know that sounds horrible and trust me it's nothing I ever want to do but with some dogs I would imagine their prey/attack drive could easily override normal pain sensory so just kicking them in the ribs or poking at their eyes ( personally would not want my hands anywhere near it's face) might not get it to back off.

Either way I think I'll go out and grab some pepper spray as a first line of defence in a worst case scenerio setting as the one thing we will never be at is a shortage of irresponsible owners. Hopefully the pepper spray would work so I wouldn't have to hurt the dog but if Duke or my life were at risk I would do whatever it took to defend him and myself.

Hoping this will be a rare event in Duke and I's time togther.

Thanks for all of the replys though I really enjoyed reading through some possible ways to defuse such a situation.

Cheers
Kayla

Spirit
January 23rd, 2007, 12:30 AM
Just to be clear ~ Colubridz didn't turn her back on the aggressors. She stopped, checked traffic and went into the middle of the road, continuing forward.

Perhaps it was my "reverse direction" which confused you ~ I should have been more clear in saying "back up & go in another direction".

Ah yes (she did say that in her original post). Communication error. :) My apologies. As for "Pack vs pack fights" (as opposed to human vs dog), of course the human has to act differently (and accordingly).

The most important thing she did was to remain calm, and not show fear or let the opposing dogs see her as a threat. Even though she changed directions, Colubridz showed confidence (no fear) and continued on. Or that's how (we hope) the other dogs would translate it.

No one can say for sure if she did the right thing or not (though assumingly, and because the aggressive dogs were on leash, in my opinion, she did), but we also can't say that the situation would have ended the same, had the aggressive dogs been offleash. That's a different scenario altogether. She didnt stop the fight from happening by changing directions (even if she did do the right thing). The owner did by "eventually dragging them away." And I guess that's where I went off topic. My apologies again for that.

It really picks me when irresponsible owners knowlingly take their dogs out into situations where this can happen. :(

Okay. Group hug now. Gather 'round... :grouphug:

Colubridz
January 23rd, 2007, 12:51 AM
Okay. Group hug now. Gather 'round... :grouphug:

Agreed, just wanted to say thanks again for the comments and opinions, even though their were a few miscommunications I still respect and appricate them.

Duke and I as well as my friend and Gypsy are just happy everything turned out ok, we will gladly join in a group hug ( well it's Duke's best attempt at being in a group hug:p ) :grouphug: .


http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c171/exotica_reptiles16/Duke/IMG_0517.jpg

Thanks again everyone
Kayla

jiorji
January 23rd, 2007, 12:55 AM
aaaahhhh !! PUPPY!!:cloud9: