- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


What to do when your dog is attacked?

January 23rd, 2008, 09:16 PM
I have a question that I am sure has been answered somewhere but I can't seem to find anything. I have a lot of info on what to do once your dog has been attacked to calm them down, learn to enjoy walks again, etc - but what about during?

I was taking Schroder for a walk and this little white terrier (hard to spot in the snow!) came running at him and bit him on the neck. I pulled the terrier off and stood between it and Schroder, holding him away with my foot. He eventually got bored of trying to get around me and attacked a snow plow instead - NOT smart as he almost got smooshed. The owner eventually showed up and then had the audacity to tell me to control my dog! Schroder didn't really react at all. He seemed mostly baffled by the entire incident. Also, there wasn't a scratch on Schroder.

If this happens again- particularly with a bigger dog- what do you do? Yell at the other dog or make noise to scare him away? Get in between (seems risky)? This dog wasn't too bad, being small, but he still made a mess of my boot with his teeth.

January 23rd, 2008, 09:59 PM
Having been in that position, honestly things happen so fast there is no time to think what to do, you just react.

Several years ago I was walking my :rip: Cally (Dal x Lab) past an elementary school yard fenced but open gates - couple off leash dogs playing there, when a neighbours Rottie ~ a bit bigger in size ~ (whom we had confrontations with before) ran across the road nearly got hit by a car & attacked Cally. The rottie bit Cally's tail when she let go she went for his face, I had Cally on a short leash pulling him behind me, & put my arm between the two dogs to try to grab the Rotties collar, she let go of Cally's face & grabbed my arm - shook my arm like a tug toy. At this point the owner of one of the other dogs grabbed the Rottie while her :loser: owner stood doing nothing.

This all probably happened in less than 15 mins.

Cally went to the vet for wound cleaning, he was fine except for being depressed- took him about a week to be emotionally fine.

I went to the ER for wound cleaning & sutures, of the 3 scars - the smallest not sutured healed & is gone, the one sutured has faded but still visible & the one not sutured is obviously noticable.

You are not supposed to get in between two fighting dogs - would I do it again - Absolutely!

January 23rd, 2008, 10:29 PM
If you think it's likely to happen again, carry a small spray bottle of half water, half vinegar with you (some bikers I know use a spray bottle of ammonia). I use that mix at home to break up the occasional spat. It works like charm--even sprayed full in the face it stings eyes and nose without doing lasting harm. (I can't vouch for what the ammonia does--it is more powerful than the vinegar and water mix.)

The nice thing about diluted vinegar that is that if you get your own dog in the spray by accident, you don't have to worry about any lasting damage. :thumbs up

January 24th, 2008, 07:32 AM
A good deal of it has to do with the handler. If the handler is feeling like a leader.... in charge.... everything that happens is because the handler allows it.

That sort of attitude really helps any dog whether they are afraid or not and everyone (in my opinion) should be employing that.

Now, if YOU are nervous for the dog and fear how it will react on the next walk, you are projecting anxiety/fear to the dog which will put it on edge and not have a happy walkie.

Don't dwell on the past and try to live in the moment.

I wish I had some advice about two fighting dogs, but I don't. I think if it were to ever happen to me I would do as much as I could to the other dog as possible, even if it means hurting it. But definitely always stay alert and prevent a battle before it even begins. And having that awesome leader power oozing from you just might prevent an attack altogether. Another dog might run up and get close but sense your leader presence and not get physical. Of course that's only a theory I guess... I've never seen it in practice.

So if you see another dog hauling ass to come towards you or your dog, don't shrink in fear or panic. Stand up proud in a Superman pose - legs shoulder width apart, chest out, hands on hips, head held high. Imagine an instant bubble of bullet proof glass forming around you and anyone won't be able to penetrate it. Sounds silly... but try it sometime. Mentally do that like in a shopping mall or somewhere where there's a lot of people. Don't stand funny.. just project that energy and imagine it. Then observe... people should start moving away from you or definitely look in your general direction - because they will feel it.

It's one of those things where you have to 100% believe in it in order for it to work. If you half heartedly do it, then it will fail. If you think, "oh this is stupid" then it will fail.

January 24th, 2008, 08:08 AM
Don't stand funny..

definitely stand funny. why not? at that point, why worry about embarrassment? lol...

all joking aside, that was all excellent advice!

I've had dogs run up to me and my dog before and I did exactly as CearaQC suggested, I stood tall and firm. it does work. the loose dogs have just slunk around me trying to get a sniff of my dog. thankfully thus far there have been no actual fights, only sniffs and growls, to which we were able to calmly walk away from.

I do really like hazel's advice too - carrying a small spray bottle would certainly be helpful if this sort of thing happens often on your walk route.

January 24th, 2008, 08:37 AM
One thing I have brought with me when walking in areas where strange dogs may be loose is a lightweight riding whip/bat. You can tuck it into your belt and if a dog approaches you can smack your boot or even just make threatening gestures with it in the air. It makes a lovely "whoop" sound that has scared off the dogs I tried it with. You can get them for less than ten dollars I would think, at a tack store. :pawprint:

January 25th, 2008, 09:08 AM
That is all great advice. For some reason I knew being calm and projecting an "I'm in charge" feeling works great with your own dog but it never occurred to me that it would work well on anyone else's dog.

This time, I was just caught off guard (the dog leapt thru a hedge to get to my dog) but next time I will definitely do that. And maybe bring a spray bottle with vinegar and water as a back up until I'm sure I've got this "aura of leadership" thing down pat.

Thanks very much, I feel much better now!

I saw the same dog again yesterday, but this time I had both dogs and he didn't come near me. Maybe it was because I had the two dogs or maybe it's because I saw him coming and knew I could take him. lol

January 27th, 2008, 04:00 PM
I've also been in "situations" with other dogs and I thought I was crazy when i believed that i had intimidated an aggressive dog with my posture and voice. Like growler said I would get between my dog and ANYTHING that should threaten him. I've had to kick another dog before, luckily the owner came in time before i had to use my bear spray (I do encounter bears too) but it was a brutal scenario to be and it did end up ok, but I often wonder in my attempts to not hurt the other I know i raised mine and Bentley's chances of getting hurt. I say defend yourself in whatever way necessary, in an attack you should never worry about saving your attacker. My wife asked " what if the bear spray had injured or killed the dog?" I responded what if the dog had injured me or Bentley. If you are going a repellent device make sure you know how to use it and try it with no one around, make sure you do it early before the threat gets close to you, you don't want to have to spray both your dog and whatever is threatening it. The best defense is a good offense. Oh also use your best judgment before you force, I don't think it was necessary for the terrier.