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Neighbor's dog attacked my dog!

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  • Neighbor's dog attacked my dog!

    My husband and I recently adopted a Large Black Mutt (tm) from a shelter. Dog is lovely, no complaints about him, but I recently had a scary incident while walking him that has worried me ever since.

    I was walking him a couple days ago and saw two large dogs in someone's yard. My dog looked at them, they looked at him, next thing I knew, the two other dogs were racing towards us, across the busy street no less. They were not in a fenced yard, not leashed or tied (not that I support tying dogs out, but still), no supervision, nothing. One dog is a black Lab-type, and merely watches, as the other dog, a large German Shepherd, ATTACKS my leashed dog! No greeting, no warning barks, just launches into my dog and grabs him by the throat . My dog is quite large himself, about 80lbs, and this dog was signficantly larger, I'd guess 100lbs, so he had the advantage. I screamed "HEY!" and "NO" and my poor dog circled around and tried to get away. The other dog persisted in attacking my dog -- I didn't want to get between them or put my hand out, but actually began kicking the Shepherd to get him off my dog, who I was worried about being killed at this point.

    FINALLY the owner and her friend come over and she retrieves her dog. Not even checking to see if my dog was injured, she says "Oh, I didn't even see him! He's usually fine if he's out alone!" Um... clearly not? She was angry at ME then for kicking her dog (I injured its jaw), as my dog is sitting there bleeding from multiple (thankfully superficial) wounds and quivering in fear. I notified her that if it ever happened again, I would not only call Animal Control, but would file a police report immediately, and she left in a huff.

    First, how should I respond to a dog-on-dog attack? I didn't want myself to get hurt, but I wanted to protect my dog, and avoid him getting hurt as well.
    Next, was I within my rights re: Animal Control? Her dog is extremely large, so I would assume someone with common sense would 1) LEASH their dog 2) FENCE their yard or 3) keep their dog inside when they aren't with it...
    Last, how can I make sure my dog has no lasting effects? He is not an aggressive dog, but I want to make sure, if I can, that there is no fear aggression/reactions resulting from this incident. He has since greeted other dogs, even other large dogs, without incident, but seems super fearful of Shepherds now and very "protective" of me around other large dogs (which my husband thinks is "cute" but is NOT what I want). We start obedience classes in Oct and of course I will ask the trainer, just looking for some help before then.

  • #2
    Sorry about your pup ... I would report the lady and her dog to animal control NOW, with photos of your dog's injuries.. why wait for another, perhaps even more serious, incident.


    • #3
      Important to document THIS attack with both AC and possibly the police. Photo the wounds, and I'd take your dog to the vet for a check up, some punctures are far more severe than they might look.

      Important to remember the owner was angry because she was afraid - of being held accountable for her dog's attack. You were within your rights to take whatever action you did to get her dog off yours.
      ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
      Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

      "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


      • #4
        Don't wait until it happens again, call Animal Control right now, while your dog is still displaying wounds, however shallow. It's highly doubtful that this dog is usually "just fine" loose like that and it will attack your dog again, or another dog, owner was probably doing a CYA thing.

        I don't know how it works in MD, but here in Mass, any bite wound will get the dog quarantined for 10 days, either in the pound or on it's property (up to Animal Control discretion, depending on how compliant they think the owner will be).

        Find out if the dog who did the biting has a current rabies vaccine, very important! Animal Control should determine that for you, by checking dog's vet records and registration. Do visit your vet too, wounds could be deeper than they appear, or could become infected.


        • #5
          you need to report so that AC can determine if her dog is current on rabies
          Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

          The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


          • #6
            Everyone here has good advice; I'll also urge you to report this incident so there's a record.

            Now, about that look your dog gave the other dogs. Was it a quick "Oh, there's dogs over there" glance? Or was it a longer "I'm not sure about those dogs over there" stare? Any eye contact lasting more than about three seconds can be perceived by other dogs as "rude," so while that does not, in any way, excuse what the two loose dogs did, if your dog did give them a hard stare, that may help explain *why* they attacked.

            Also, now that he's had a bad experience, he may start giving certain types of other dogs that hard stare, which is an indication of insecurity/anxiety, and that's something you'll want to be aware of so you can work on rebuilding his confidence before that hard stare escalates into more serious behavior.

            I have a dog who stares because he's insecure around strange dogs and has had some bad experiences with unfriendly loose dogs, which exacerbated his insecurity. Some types of dogs (calm, mellow dogs who don't return his stare) he can relax with and be fine around very quickly. Other types of dogs, like dogs who stare back, bark/snarl at him or get in his face exuberantly, make him very uncomfortable. Working with a qualified trainer on this has been really helpful; he now has a "look" command that allows him to turn his head away from the other dog and focus on me, ending the staring contest and letting the other dog know that my dog is not interested in conflict.

            I also have to be aware of my body language when we encounter dogs that are acting unfriendly. Because we've had bad experiences where my dog has been attacked, if I see a dog acting aggressively, it is hard for me not to get a little anxious too.

            Tools for fending off unfriendly loose dogs: pure, non-chemical pepper spray, citronella spray (not as strong as pepper spray, which will give you roughly 10 minutes to get out of a situation), a small umbrella that pops out when you touch the button on the handle, an air horn (this one is really tricky, mainly because while it can be highly effective against aggressive loose dogs, it can also scare the crap out of your dog and is often a better solution for unfriendly loose dogs that harass you while you're out walking/running alone).

            Also make sure you're aware of your city/county ordinances regarding dogs, and make sure you're aware of whatever HOA/POA rules your community has about dogs. If you had a vet bill resulting from this attack, send it to the dog's owner and request reimbursement; this will let her know that you fully expect her to follow the law and will hold her responsible when she fails to do so.

            Hope your dog heals quickly and has no lasting issues.
            Full-time bargain hunter.


            • #7
              We had two separate situations where our neighbor's unleashed dog attacked our dogs on our own property. The first time there was no major injury and since it was the neighbor who lived directly next to us we really hoped that this one incident would be enough for him to keep his dog on his own property. He heard the attack because I was yelling(stupid reaction but it was really unexpected...he literally jumped out of a bush at us) and he immediately called his dog back over onto his property. We didn't want to piss him off too much because he actually seems a little unstable and we didn't want him to retaliate against us.

              After the second time it happened we immediately called animal control and we took a picture of the superficial damage he did to both my dog and my husband. All the animal control officer could do was tell him there had been a complaint and hand him a paper about his dog not being allowed off his property unleashed. The neighbor laughed about the whole thing.

              We have put in thousands of dollars in fencing at this point and if it happens again we are calling the police and filing a report.
              We recently moved into this house and we really, really wanted to try and have a nice relationship with our neighbors, but it seems impossible at this point and our safety has to come first.


              • #8
                Call AC and the police, they will make sure the animal is current on rabies, and quarantine too. And I think you did just fine, but maybe a cattle prod would be a nice investment? It will keep anything away from you, you don't have to worry about which direction the wind is blowing, and is good for muggers too. I bet AC will already know this owner and the animals, so getting a paper trail is good in case there are more incidents, or the animal goes after someone else.
                You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                • #9
                  bring a taser on your walks. Jeez, i am so sick of hearing about loose dogs and attacks.


                  • #10
                    Sorry this happened to you! I suspect this wasn't the dog's first attack - he was experienced enough to go for the throat, and his owner's reaction was angry/casual. If it was her first time, she'd probably have been more upset. Her quickness to go on the offensive was also suspicious. I second all the advice to report it. Have you gone to the vet? My current dog was seized around the throat by a huge pit bull, and appeared physically fine afterward. I took her to the vet because - well, she'd just had a 100lb pit bull hanging onto her throat for 2 minutes and I couldn't believe there was no damage. They shaved her neck, found a fang hole as deep as my thumb, and we ended up with antibiotics, a lifetime supply of wound wash, and lots of bandages. For small dogs, being grabbed by a large dog can even result in internal injuries, so it is important to go to the vet after a serious attack, even if there's no obvious damage.

                    You can buy a dog-spray made of citronella, which doesn't physically damage anyone and is legal where, say, pepper spray would not be. It stings and discourages obnoxious dogs. I suspect it would be of limited use with truly violent dogs, however.

                    If possible, you might want to try a private consult with a trainer now, before the obedience class starts. If there are any lingering problems, it would be better to discover and deal with them now. If they crop up in the class, you'll probably end up frustrated and feeling you've wasted the class fee, because you'll spend all your time dealing with this other problem, not focusing on the obedience work.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you everyone for your advice!

                      I will be taking Bandit (my dog) to the vet on Saturday.

                      I actually had a private consult with the trainer the morning before this happened! But the first class is without dogs, so I'll have a chance to speak with him.

                      We greeted a large Kuvasz this morning with no incident. Much tail-wagging and play-bows on both sides. We have seen the shepherd since then, and he appears curious (pricks his ears) but immediately glues himself to my side (of course, I am probably anxious as well when I see this dog).

                      Vacation1, my dog is 80lbs, so I'm not super worried about internal injuries (he was not shaken), but I will definitely ask the vet to check. I checked him all over by hand after the incident -- he has very short hair (he was euphemistically described to us as a "lab cross") -- and did not find anything, but will ask the vet about this too. I am more worried about possible musculoskeletal injuries from being forcefully grabbed and then whipped about (he put himself in between me and the dog).

                      My mom actually advised me to carry a sort of pepper spray -- is this legal? I do have pepper spray since I lived in Baltimore for a while (and did actually use it, ha), but have not carried it with me as I am worried about legal ramifications.

                      I know the woman's address, so will be able to report her if any real damage is found on my dog, or if this, god forbid, happens again. I've seen her since, with the dog on a leash each time -- I hope it taught her a lesson, but I doubt it. I don't go on the street she lives on anymore

                      JanM -- how big is a cattle prod though? I often run with my dog, or walk him before work, when I don't have any pockets on me, and my hands are pretty full controlling him, the bags, my keys, etc. I would carry a stick with me but he thinks it is a game when I pick one up!

                      onelanerode -- I am not sure what type of "stare" it was. I had a dog previously to this who was a bit curmudgeonly (he was a Rough Collie and oddly, only liked other herding dogs -- friendly to every single other collie or shepherd, or even Sheltie, that he met, HATED other dogs), and I often saw him give that "hard stare," or challenge the other dog. This dog is not submissive, but much softer and more playful than that dog. Most times, he looks at another dog, particularly one approaching his size, and begins to wag his tail, play-bow, pant, and whine. Of course, another territorial dog could have interpreted this as an assault on his territory, but we were at least 20+ ft away, on the other side of the street, on a leash, so, I'm not sure as to the dog-psychology-breakdown of it all. We are working on a "look at me" type of command now, as he is pretty "distractable" in the first place.


                      • #12
                        I'm a fan of a walking stick or mace (if legal).

                        But please know that even in situations where you think all is fine, it can go south fast. I was dog sitting for my next door neighbors whose dogs I enjoy and who play with our dogs. But my youngest mutt got up on their deck while I was doing the morning feeding and they went nuts. I was kicking the ever loving snot out of the dog to get her to release mine.

                        Broke my toe and everything. That was the second attack the neighbor dog has made on a neighbor dog that ended up in her yard.

                        We have to protect our own critters as much as possible. We SHOULD be able to walk down a street or visit a neighbor without worry, but the truth is, some dogs are just so territorial that it's not safe.
                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                        • #13
                          This is the type of incident that I would report right away. You were doing everything right. You were taking your dog on a walk in a public area on a leash. It isn't even safe for the other dogs - they ran across a busy street to get to your dog. Obviously, they need some sort of containment - and not just because they are large dogs. It is just unacceptable to have them interfering with you when you are trying to enjoy a walk with your dog. Definitely have your dog seen by a vet - abscesses can develop from the other dog's saliva and it can be quite serious.

                          BuddyRoo wrote
                          We have to protect our own critters as much as possible. We SHOULD be able to walk down a street or visit a neighbor without worry, but the truth is, some dogs are just so territorial that it's not safe.
                          The owners clearly dropped the ball here by not having adequate containment for this dog. I used to not be able to walk my dogs around the block even because of constant issues from 2 dogs that weren't contained and ran out into the street all of the time. Finally, people complained so much that they moved.


                          • #14
                            This should have been reported immediately to AC and possibly the police. Sure it happened once, to you and your dog, but you don't know if this has happened to others while walking their dogs. The dog needs to be reported so if this happens again it isn't taken as a 1st offense. What if it happens to a family walking their dog and a child gets between the dogs?

                            Nice that you are seeing the owner of the dog using a leash now. I'm not surprised that she is obeying the leash laws, for now. Soon though don't be surprised to see the dog loose again. No consequence to the action of her dog, so no harm no foul, until someone takes the reins and puts in a report, and hope the next time a dog doesn't lose it's life or a child/person isn't in the middle.


                            • #15
                              I carry spray shield

                              A technique recomeded for breaking apart a dog fight is to pick up the hind legs and pull the dog off. Like a wheelbarrow, hold the rt leg in your right hand left leg in your left hand and pull back. Or run backwards. Giving the other dog a chance to get away. Better yet have 2 people, 1 to grab each dog and wheelbarrow them back.

                              I don't know if I'd use this on fighting dogs. Its always a risk that you might get injured whenever you reach into a dog fight and try to break it up. But I have used this technique to successfully pull my dog off of a ground hog. I was gentle about it as I didn't want to hurt my dogs legs or make her think I was a threat. It totally worked. She had to open her mouth and focus on balancing on her 2 remaining legs.


                              • #16
                                REport the attack and document with pictures. If there were any witnesses- great. Our neighbor's dog attacked our collie- 125 lb white German shepherd-ran into our yard and was trying to take her down. My husband grabbed the dog, lifted it and was kicking it. The dog was so focused on our dog he never even turned his head. The neighbors denied it-we did call teh sheriff who examined our dog and said it looked like it had been in a fight. Mostly there was hair ripped out of her-luckily she was blowing her coat at the time but she did have bald spots! 2 years later the shepherd ran into our yard while my husband was mowing the grass. Went straight for our dachshund who was laying under the tree. Ripped the dachshund open from hip to hip, dachshund ended up paralyzed and we took them to court. Again they denied it was their dog. Yea right. Pretty hard to miss a 125 lb WHITE shepherd! Plus we live on a dead end road-only 5 houses and only 3 have dogs. Ended up with their insurance company settling the case. We didn't get our expenses paid but they are (from what usually happens) in big trouble with their insurance company. At the least- way higher rates. Their lawyer admitted they would lose in court. We didn't want to continue the drama-lasted almost 2 years. The neighbor is an ass- was doing drivebys (no reason since it's a dead end and he lives before us), tried to entice our dogs away from the property... all the idiot stuff he could think of. It hopefully has stopped. Maybe his lawyer talked some sense into him since he found out the guy was really an idiot during the depositions. My lawyer asked if he owned a leash- the guy said nope- didn't need one......


                                • #17
                                  Altho you did see this woman out walking her dog later and it may have sustained no injury from the incident, you indicated you injured the dog's jaw when you kicked to fend it off. This is yet another reason you should report the incident just in case her dog sustained some sort of injury she might actually attempt to blame on you at a later date. You can't be too careful in a case like this. Also, as others have suggested, document any injuries to your dog as soon as you can. Glad you are taking him to the vet soon. Hope there are no long-term issues with any others dogs because of this incident.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by vixen View Post
                                    Thank you everyone for your advice!

                                    I will be taking Bandit (my dog) to the vet

                                    I know the woman's address, so will be able to report her if any real damage is found on my dog, or if this, god forbid, happens again. I've seen her since, with the dog on a leash each time -- I hope it taught her a lesson, but I doubt it. I don't go on the street she lives on anymore
                                    Why are you waiting to report!?! You need to know if her dog is vaccinated for rabies and get this incident on record. Don't wait.


                                    • #19
                                      I can understand hesitation to report. My (then) next door neighbor's dog bit me. I was in my yard, bent down gardening. It came up behind and bit my thigh. I did not require medical treatment. I called AC and asked a hypothetical. I knew the dog was not vaccinated, not licensed, etc. AC couldn't simply take a report, they had to follow up. And that follow up would require a quarantine, fines, etc. And I couldn't do it anonymously.

                                      I was afraid that the neighbors would retaliate if I called in because tthey'd know it was me. I was worried they'd hurt my dog or just generally make my life miserable. So I didn't report.

                                      As it turns out, I wasn't the first person that dog had bitten--completely unprovoked. He "treed" me in my driveway on more than one occasion. I hated that damned dog. Glad to be out of that neighborhood for more reasons than one!
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                        I knew the dog was not vaccinated, not licensed, etc.
                                        So I assume he didn't draw blood then? Otherwise I'd have been concerned about rabies, among other things...!!! I understand tho, when it's a neighbor's dog and you don't really trust the neighbor...tough situation.

                                        My std poodle was attacked 2x by dogs from my neighborhood. Once by a neighbor's beagle, who always barks his head off, running at the end of his tie, when we go by. That day, he got loose and FLEW into my dog who wasn't even looking at him. She yelped, I grabbed the Beagle, his owner came running, apologizing profusely, saying the dog was a rescue with a history of abuse. No harm done, other than my dog being a little sore (he literally body-slammed her).
                                        The 2nd time it was another dog, a chow-mix who, same thing, was always barking at us when we walked by and that day, escaped his owner. I reacted the same way, grabbed the offending dog. Owner again apologized profusely.
                                        Both these people have NO control over their dog whatsoever, even on the leash!
                                        My dog is now terrified to go that way on our walks, and I have to put her on the leash otherwise she won't follow me.

                                        In another incident in my neighborhood, a dog (ridgeback cross) attacked another (malamute) who was being walked. Cut her up really badly, she required a vet. I don't know the specifics, but the attacking dog's owners paid the vet bills AND had to take their dog to a dog "psychologist" AND had to fence in their yard so their dog could not see passing dogs. That dog tho, LOVES my dog...Go figure.
                                        Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!