Monday, April 8, 2013

When Dogs Attack

Lily (on right) and her boyfriend Bubba
 Lily is very dog social off leash. On leash, though, she can be fearful. Her warnings are loud and over-the-top. She was attacked by a shepherd as a puppy and this had left her fearful of the breed. We've hard with training and she's a peach when it comes to off leash dogs or aggressive dogs. She looks first to us for how to react in any situation.

Still, it's frustrating to me that we have to deal with situations where dogs are off leash or out of their yard. We have leash laws for a reason. They're designed to keep all dogs safe. In our neighborhood, we have a big problem with small dogs being off leash. It's enough of a problem that I'm armed with spray.

Tonight, we were jumped by a four pound Yorkie. It's clear that the fence isn't adequate for keeping small dogs in. The family was in the yard, but no one was watching the dog. When we walked passed the yard, he came silent and stealthy out of the shadows. With no sound, he jumped on Lily's head and clamped down. In that situation, I can't use the spray because I'm not going to spray my own dog. Lily was yelping and shaking her head vigorously, but the Yorkie was clamped down and not letting go. I can't even tell you how we finally got the little biter off.

I was extremely frustrated when the owner's answer was to spank her dog. They have a fence that won't keep this dog in the yard and no one was supervising the dog. That's not on the dog. That's on the irresponsible owner. This dog will end up like so many others in this neighborhood - either hit and killed in the street or satisfying a coyote. It's hard to educate an owner when you're concerned about the well being of your own dog. I tried, but she wasn't interested in listening. She kept pointing to our dog and saying 'vicous' repeatedly. Our dog who hadn't done anything while her dog bit her. Our dog who didn't chase after the dog as it ran away. Our vicious dog who could have killed her dog with one shake but did not.

I don't even know that this post has a point. I'm just speaking out for all the frustrated owners. Whether our dogs like other dogs or not, there are dogs out there who won't tolerate what Lily does. For that reason, leashes are imperitive. Not flexi-leashes. Those can get a dog into trouble as well. When you walk the dog, walk the dog. Don't talk on the phone. Your dog can be in a dangerous situation in seconds if you aren't paying attention. When you are out in the yard with your dog, watch him like you would your child. Dogs are good escape artists and can be over the fence, under the fence, through the fence, in a small amount of time.

What about you - have you ever had trouble with off leash dogs on a walk? Or a dog that got out of the yard? How did you handle the situation?

Lily (on right) and her friend Atlas

1 comment:

  1. We had an incident with an off leash chihauhau. One of our dogs doesn't like strange dogs at her rear end instantly. Of course this dog did just that and she sat down, on top of him. The lady with her 4 screaming children was yelling at me about her dog and that my dog was going to hurt her dog. I calmly told her if she was so concerned that she should put her dog on a leash and tell her children to be quiet. If my dog had wanted to hurt her precious dog, she sure would not have sat on it!