What Should You Do When Your Dog is Attacked by Another Dog?
Unfortunately, not all dogs are created equally kind, gentle and obedient, and not all dog owners are created responsible.
When your dog is about to be, or is attacked by another dog it’s a scary thing! Even if you see it coming, it happens so quickly there isn’t much time to react, and even if there’s time, what should you do?
Years ago, a lady I know, we’ll call her Linda, was walking her Sheltie at a local baseball field, something she did every morning, and her dog was on a leash. Just as they were getting ready to leave, Linda looked up, and across the field she noticed a man coming down a small hill with a black, off-leash, medium sized dog. In what seemed like a heart beat, the black dog caught sight of the Sheltie, bolted, crossed the field and attacked her dog.
Not knowing how to react, Linda tried pulling on her dog’s leash to break him free, which didn’t work, and the dogs began wrestling on the ground, and the leash was pulled from Linda’s hand. Frantically she tried to find a stick (she didn’t know what she was going to do with it, but she tried, unsuccessfully, to find one). In the meantime, her dog finally got away and didn’t stop running until he got home.
Although, her dog did have a pretty nasty wound in his side, this story ends pretty well, it could have been even worse if either dog had turned on Linda.
Be Prepared to react if your dog is attacked:
- Keep your arms and legs away from between the dogs, and definitely don’t try pulling on your dog’s collar to try to separate them. As much as your dog loves you, you too will appear as a threat, and your own dog could bite you.
- Screaming will not help the situation (even though it’s your first reaction), it simply sounds panicky and and can excite the dogs even more. But if you have access to something, other than your voice, such as a loud whistle, a fog horn or a couple of garbage lids, you can use it to startle and distract the dogs.
- If you have a way of spraying water in the face of the dogs, this is an effective way to get them under control. Some people carry a bottle of soapy water with them when they are on a walk to fend off aggressive dogs.
- You may be able to disorient the dogs by throwing a blanket or jacket over their heads.
- If there is someone else present during this attack, each of you could grab the hind legs of the dogs and pull them apart, far enough away from each other that they can calm down. This may sound risky, but it’s quite safe, because the dogs will not be able to whip around and bite you because they are busy trying not to fall by moving their front paws.
What should you be aware of in the event you or your dog has been injured *
- Check to see if the offending dog is listed as a “dangerous dog”.
- Know your state’s leash laws to see if they were violated by the owner of the offending dog.
- What are you entitled to in the event of injuries or death of your dog.
*This is not legal advice, just ideas for you to consider. If you and your dog have been involved in an attack, we recommend you speak to an attorney if you have concerns or you’re not being satisfied with how the other dog owner is responding.
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