I am so sorry. I do think your girl will eventually be able to move on. When I lived in my condo, my dogs were bombarded by loose dogs and dogs' on flexileads all of the time. They became quite defensive and a bit aggressive on their leashes. We moved almost 2 years ago, and now that doesn't happen anymore I have been able to take them into pet food stores, etc, and they no longer want to lash out, rather they relax and ignore other dogs. I am sorry you had to go through this. I don't miss having to walk my dogs in public at all anymore.
A well bred miniature schnauzer should not have an ounce of aggression. The breed standard calls for a dog to be "alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. He is friendly, intelligent and willing to please. He should never be overaggressive or timid."
Originally Posted by GoForAGallop
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the schnauzers that people meet are the result of puppy mills and irresponsible backyard breeders. In those situations, small stature or "exotic" colors take precedence over disposition or health. Many of those dogs are timid or aggressive.
OP I am so sorry that you had a run in with a poor example of the breed. As soon as possible, get your girl back out there and walking past dogs (especially small breeds). If you have any feelings of anxiety about her reaction, have a trusted friend do it for you. Often anxiety after these attacks is magnified by the owners anxiety of a repeat incident.
I don't see the harm in starting a paper trail. Hopefully this will never happen again but if this same dog goes after a neighbors dog, any previous evidence will be helpful if they decide to pursue charges.
I haven't read all the responses, but I just wanted to chime in about one point in the OP.
My dog was attacked quite badly by a mastiff a couple of years ago. A trip to the emergency vet and 10 staples to close the gaping hole in her shoulder kind of attacked. I, too, was worried she would have issues with other dogs. She's a brave, smart, dominant dog (did not in any way start the fight, though), but getting the crap beat out of you by a dog twice your size has got to take your confidence down a peg or two!
As soon as she was feeling a little better, I made sure she got time with dogs she knew and we knew were completely non-aggressive. I think that helped a lot, and you may want to go that route with your poor girl. Give her a low key play day with a dog or two you know she will be fine with.
Stella still has some fear issues with BIG dogs (like Mastiffs, Rotties, and other big, bulky dogs. Tall dogs, like Great Danes, are fine). She is a little anxious if approached while on her leash (she was attacked on her leash, too), so I am always VERY pro-active with her when we are walking and encounter strange dogs. I will put myself between her and other dogs, especially if she is giving me "Crap! I don't like that dog!" vibes. I also try VERY hard to read other dogs body language (this is left over guilt from the attack, as I couldn't read the dog well and I blew off her vibes), and avoid or move quickly away from a potentially aggressive dog. Neither one of us need to relive that day!
But, all in all, she is FINE with other dogs. Like I said, she's a smart dog with a lot of confidence, and she communicates quite clearly with me (except that one day :cry:). When she is feeling a little lacking in confidence or needs assistance in avoiding someone she's leery of, I do my best to help her out. That's about all you can do for your girl.
So sorry! It is the worst, scariest, most horrifying experience. I thought I was watching my dog get killed. I was thankful the mastiff's owner was built like a linebacker, and was able to pull the SOB off of Stella as quickly as he did.
Yes, but still, that combo is more common in toys like the Yorkie because of the size issue - they're extremely vulnerable and they're aware of it. In an average-sized dog, like the pit bull, that combination is rather strange.
Please tell hubby to start the paper trail because I can predict how this will go. Schnauzer owner will for about a week, walk that one dog by itself, still on a flexi. Then, she'll be pressed for time, or it will be raining, and she'll walk all three together just this once which of course will be the one day you're walking your girl at the same time. It will not be pretty, and your girl only has to get in one bite with her superior jaws and then Schnauzer owner will be saying YOUR DOG is the dangerous one (after all it's a Pittie!) and with no paper trail your girl will be SOL.
Without a paper trail (and a visit from AC) this owner will soon be back in her rose colored world where "this will never happen again". Knowing the incident has been reported and AC is getting involved will go a long way to keeping her in the real world.
At first I was a little bit inclined to agree with your husband on this, but this is a good point. In a dog altercation, the bigger dog is usually blamed and you can't be too careful.
Originally Posted by Kryswyn
I would definitely talk to your neighbor or have your husband talk with her as well. Perhaps she would be open to seeing a dog trainer. She definitely needs to get her dogs on regular leashes no longer than 6 feet for walks, along with a collar that isn't escapable (like a martingale collar). I would think that walking 3 mini schnauzers together, even 3 untrained ones, would be fairly doable because at their size, they aren't going to be all that strong. However, they need regular leashes and collars they can't slip out of.
This has happened to me before. The neighbors got a new dog and had her out off leash, and she ran out across the street and jumped on one of my dogs. I was actually kind of surprised that my dog handled it as well as she did. I have to say that since that incident, they have been really good about keeping her from doing that little trick again (I'm sure it scared them to watch their new little dog try to take on a much bigger dog). Perhaps if you explain to her that her dog could get hurt (either by another dog or by a car while trying to chase another dog down), she'll realize that she needs to make sure they are secure during walks.
Thanks for the support everyone! My girl has been extremely on edge...more so than usual. She is pretty protective when the hubs is working, but the last few days she has been "spooky" at any loud noise. The good news is that after one scary incident she is able to greet her small dog friends in the neighborhood happily and calmly.
The scary incident happened the day after the fight when two small dogs we know were walking up the street towards us as we were leaving our house. K's hackles stood up and she fixiated on the two small dogs approaching. I asked the owner not to come closer (normally he would because the dogs get along fine). After a moment or two of us talking at a distance K relaxed enough to say "hi!" very happily.
The owner of the Schnauzer promptly left town for the holidays so we have not seen her, but I will be asking for vaccination records as soon as possible.
My biggest worry is that if my pit had chomped down on this dog and killed it we would have problems from the HOA. As stated previously, we do not have an aggressive breed clause, but only an aggressive dog clause. Maybe I'm being paranoid and my dog was leashed, but I'm pretty sure its ALWAYS the pits fault:no:
We were aware when we rescued K that we would have to be extra vigilant simply because of her breed. How terrible...
The aggressive dog rule, and the vaccination certificates are the reason I think you need to document with animal control. I think the animal control or cops need to get involved so you can make sure the vaccinations are legitimate, and so the animal is quarantined (at home, so don't imagine doggy jail) for the legal period. A paper trail will protect you from later charges that your dog attacked hers, and help the next victim or victims with their cases. I doubt this will be the end of this dog's aggression or the clueless owner's neglect.
I believe you can call the local AC to check if the dog is licensed. To acquire a dog license, you have to present a rabies certificate so if the dog has one, it had the other.
Originally Posted by MtyMax
I'm a little alarmed at the inappropriately cute "chomps" and the self-pitying sad face about it being "always the pits fault." Yes, it's true that when an interaction ends violently and one party is larger and stronger and does more damage, they're blamed. That's true if it's an adult who spanks a kid, a man who beats a woman, or a pit bull who mauls a Schnauzer. Just like the humans in those scenarios, dogs presented with scary or threatening situations in the form of a smaller, weaker foe do not have to react by hurting the foe. They can leave. They can retreat behind an authority such as their owner. They can even turn an appeasing stomach or head to deflect the behavior. Physical attack isn't inevitable. That's why they're judged harshly, not because life is unfair and people don't understand your breed. To be blunt, your biggest worry should be that the dog you chose to acquire could kill another dog, not that if this should happen, you might be in hot water with the HOA. I understand the other dog was the aggressor here. However, you have a lot of knowledge here. You know this happened. You know your dog is of a breed that has a strong tendency toward DA and has the physical equipment to maim or kill another dog very suddenly. Be happy that you're on the good size of this particular little equation. Many of us are on the other side, wondering not if our dog will get in trouble but if she will be killed.