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Old 04-22-2014, 10:41 AM   #1
donnamatrix
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Default What would you do?

Walking our leashed dog on public road near public beach in Moultonboro on Easter around 3pm. We are walking on the pavement of the public road. A bulldog gets loose from owner property and charges (growling) toward us. Jumps up to grab at our dog (labradoodle). I am screaming "GET YOUR DOG, GET YOUR DOG, GET YOUR F*&^%ing DOG" ... a man races toward us... I lift and push my leg at the bulldog to get it away from us. The man comes up and says "she accidentally got out. DO NOT TRY TO KICK MY DOG. DON'T EVER TRY TO KICK MY DOG"

He should have said "gee, are you alright?" Instead, he keeps screaming at my husband "DON'T EVEN LOOK AT ME" "GET AWAY FROM MY DOG"

My hands were shaking at this point. The bulldog owner is clearly a person of little brain and a bully. Thankfully neither my husband or I, or our dog, was bitten.

Today, I am going to buy a large "walking stick" to take with us on further jaunts.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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You didn't say how your dog reacted to the situation, that would be the first thing to know about how you would handle the situation next time.

While there are exceptions to the advice I am going to give, most of the time it will defuse the situation, if your dog is well socialized.

You need to release your dog from its leash and back away. Dogs are built-in wired to approach something they fear. By releasing the dog, you accomplish two things, one it gets you out of the middle of the situation and two it releases your dogs feeling that it needs to defend you, because you are tied together. If your dog is well socialized, it should submit to the more dominant dog, but it will only do this if it is not attached to you by the leash. It may still get bit, but it won't be attacked.

Trying to prevent your dog from being attacked, especially by a dog that is hell bent on attacking, is a good way to end up in the ER. We all love our dogs, but unless you are confident that you can end the situation, stay out of it. Being bit hard by a big dog is not a pleasant experience at all, let alone attacked!

If this were a child walking with you, well that is a different story.

One word of caution about carrying a stick. I am guessing that this is a normal route you would be walking, if so then Tommy 2 Thick is likely going to take your stick as a threat to him or his dog. To be honest a stick is not going to stop that dog from attacking yours and will likely cause more problems than solutions.

I would walk a different route and put it behind you. If that is not an option, carry something stronger than a stick and prepare yourself for what it will actually take to end the situation if it happens again. The dog will only be a part of the problem at that point.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Hi Jmen24
Thanks for your response. Our dog actually has passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test (an advanced obedience course). He was not barking, but certainly tuned into the oncoming dog. I thought about taking him off the leash, but it happened rather quickly... and with the leash law in Moultonboro, then I would be the lawbreaker. Good grief. Cats are easier.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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Take my dog off the leash in that situation?Never.My dog runs away into the road from fear and is run over?No way.Walk on the other side of the road if possible.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:07 PM   #5
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Perhaps you should report this incident to the Moultonboro police. In the event it does happen again it's on record.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:16 PM   #6
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Default Good advice.

However a good neighbor of mine dog was attacked and nearly died by a pit bull when he released his black lab. Similar thoughts as JRMEN but totally different scenario. The pit bull owner actually took pride in has dog's attack! My neighbor took it to court and something about how court treats animal attacks made the proceedings a losing battle. I would go with SIKSUKR approach. A dog attacked my daughter who sprayed the dog with mace. It works temporally and the dog was angrier then ever! My daughter was able to get in the car and drove off with the dog chasing her a good many blocks.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:26 PM   #7
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Take my dog off the leash in that situation?Never.My dog runs away into the road from fear and is run over?No way.Walk on the other side of the road if possible.
I guess I forget sometimes that not everyone lives in an area free of traffic. I see maybe at best 15-20 cars pass my house on a Saturday. If you are walking the dog in Manchester or Bedford than you also have many other options for routes to walk the dog and that would be my choice over releasing the dog.

Whether you are comfortable with it or not, this is a taught system for dealing with this situation by advanced handlers. Humans inject a ton of emotion into these situations and your dog will react to that.

As Broadhopper exampled and I stated in my first post, there are certainly exceptions to the situation, but on leash or off, the only difference is the extent of your injury's in a case like that.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:54 PM   #8
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I second the reply of reporting the incident. You may learn this isn't the first attack. I will suspect that dog knows just what it needs to do to get out of the house, and the home owner won't do anything about it without a little outside influence. If this does happen again and someone is hurt, THE first question is going to be, "Why didn't you say anything!" Who knows the police could be waiting for the next incident to happen before they can enforce anything, and you could be it.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:58 PM   #9
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To have to change your walking route is ridiculous. You are in a public area on a public road. The other dog owner NEEDS to adapt, not you.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:19 PM   #10
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You might want to consider pepper spray instead of a stick.

I also wouldn't take my dogs off their leash in that case, I don't want them running off and then having to chase them down in unfamiliar territory.

Personally, in those cases I tend to give my wife control of both of our dogs, and I get between them and whoever/whatever is approaching in a threatening manner. We also don't go out for walks unprepared to deal with whatever comes up...
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #11
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If a dog ever attacked my dog and the owner acted like you said that he did, I would have kicked his A** and not the dog.

Simple as that.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:28 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your input. A fellow I work with also said we should file a police report... and maybe we should. I just don't want to feel uneasy about walking on the road. If we file a report, they will certainly know who filed it, and have the right to read it, and see our address. This guy is a bit bonkers... will he come to our home and be threatening to us? How silly is all of this? God, we were just walking the dog!!
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Default Kick the dog

I would do whatever it took to defend my dog and my family. I would never release my dog.

I have had the same thing happen to me on 3 occasions. 1 German Shepard, pit bull and some other big dog...sorry but as they charge I kicked...what am I suppose to do wait until it attacks. If it is charging at me and gets within kicking range then that is what I am going to do...AND...hope that convinces the animal to leave me alone. I feel bad for the dog but the owner should have better control over their animal!

BTW I love dogs but no all dogs love other people or other dogs.

PS: Long time ago I filed a complaint about a pit bull. Owner was fined and came over to my house. He told me that if he ever caught my dog in his yard he would kill it and put the carcass on my front steps for my young daughter to see. I swore at him and he said the next time I see you kid out playing I will swear at her. Nothing ever happened but it is a cautionary tale of how quickly things can go crazy.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:56 PM   #14
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OK, I just had another thought. I would report this sooner than later. Let's turn the table around. What will happen if the police knock on your door and tell you there is a complaint against you for assaulting this guys dog ? He is in the wrong and I think the police would see right through his story but just saying.

Also, in my case, with warmer weather coming, if I heard someone was bit later this year, I would feel I should have said something, but that's me.

Tell the police ALL of your concerns! If you know this person(s) as bonkers, let them know that. They will appropriately let them know what they wise thing to do is. No harm done, your not starting a war, just nipping it in the butt. Yes, there was pun intended.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:00 PM   #15
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I agree you should not have to change your walking route. as you state the owner is a bit off, probably the dog is off as well. this is not a end all for the problem but I have found carrying a squirt gun and squirting an aggressive dog sometimes diffuses the situation. I would ,however, definitely report the incident to the police
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:01 PM   #16
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I like the pepper spray idea, no chance of you accidentally injuring the attacker but gives you some protection.

I would be really careful about letting my dog go, I understand the logic of letting your dog submit might defuse the situation. But some aggressors are not looking for submission, they're looking for a kill.

I would consider two possible courses, make a friendly visit to the dog owner with your husband and not your dog. See if the situation just got away from him, most people are not lunatics. If that fails, call the cops
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:31 PM   #17
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Thanks JRC... appreciate your thoughts. The comments from Not To Worry actually have me worried!!! My husband and I, like many NH folks, have vanity plates... easily recognizable at the Post Office, and we live in the same town as these folks. I am befuddled... but am thinking making a police report is the way to go.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #18
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Absolutely make that report. I work 911 and I do listen on calls, and let me tell you how many times I've heard, why didn't you report this before? Always good to have these things on file..
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I like the pepper spray idea, no chance of you accidentally injuring the attacker but gives you some protection.

I would be really careful about letting my dog go, I understand the logic of letting your dog submit might defuse the situation. But some aggressors are not looking for submission, they're looking for a kill.

I would consider two possible courses, make a friendly visit to the dog owner with your husband and not your dog. See if the situation just got away from him, most people are not lunatics. If that fails, call the cops
I agree with you completely!

Not all aggressors are looking to just assert their dominance. Unless you have a very small dog, which I have never owned, an attack is not going to kill your dog in seconds. I would rather be back from the fight to assess how to get involved (if at all), without being in the middle of it, feeding emotion into an animal encounter. I am under no circumstances going to put my health or my families health before my dogs and I love my dog, he sits with me on the couch, rides in the seat next to me in the truck, runs with my wife and sleeps with my children in their beds. He has the tools to handle himself and if he wants out, the other dog wouldn't stand a chance to catch him (unless it is a Greyhound or another Pointer).

Your idea of talking to the neighbor is also a great one. I often take for granted that I have grown up and currently live in rural America. I know my neighbors names and they know mine. I live next door to a family that did not grow up around here, they are really nice folks, but they call the cops on neighbors for things that I have always just known as a part of life or performed myself (dirtbikes and atv's down the road, fireworks on the weekends, etc.). They receive nothing but grief from those that they called the cops on, regularly. This results in a downward spiral.

The tread in general:

My personal last resort would be to call the cops on a neighbor (don't jump on me for that, I do not live in a neighborhood where I feel this would be needed), it would likely ruin any opportunity to right a wrong.

Is it really that big of deal to walk the dog a different route? The attitude of I am doing it my way and you can deal (or I will call the cops) will likely get you nowhere fast!

Calling the cops for everything that you feel wrongs you is a terrible way of thinking and is eating at a way of life that you would likely never understand. Talk to the neighbor when you see them outside, do not just walk up their driveway with the idea that you are going to give them a piece of your mind. It may have simply been a one time thing. If it seems as though that is not the case, then back away and file the information you gained or contact the police about the original incident if you feel so inclined.

The question was "What would you do?" I answered as such, your results may vary!
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:16 PM   #20
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A lakeside summer resident in Moultonborough use to let his big dog run loose. A number of times she came out and starting chasing my neighbor and I as we walked her lab. He would scream and call her back. Since there is a leash law I finally called the Moultonborough police. They came out and spoke to the owner. Shortly after that the owner built an enclosed fence. PROBLEM SOLVED!
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:54 PM   #21
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You asked what I would do so...

First I'd have my wife hold my dog on the leash at about three feet. If the other dog got within ten feet of us in snarling mode I'd prepare to defend my wife and myself first and my dog second. If the dog continued in I'd start kicking the dog until it was retreating, incapacitated or DEAD.

Sorry aggressive dog owner, people first, non aggressive dogs second and your irresponsibility comes last. I'll happily go to court to fight any misguided lawsuit or animal cruelty charges. I will do so with my family, myself (hopefully) and my dog uninjured.

The owner of the aggressive dog is out if line and owes you an apology. He's lucky you weren't packing or his pup might be dead.

A stout walking stick is a good idea. It needs to be put in use before the dog latches on to you and yours. Don't hesitate!
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:56 PM   #22
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I have been attacked and bitten by an aggressive dog. I would never let go of my dogs leash as he is a baby and would get chewed to pieces. I like the squirt gun idea. But fill it with ammonia.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:11 AM   #23
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The first thing you should definitely not do is start screaming as the dog approaches. This is going to get both dogs more excited and more likely for a loud greeting to turn nasty. You need to stay calm which will help your dog stay calm and react more appropriately to the other dog.

I know my dog well and would not hesitate to release him in a situation like this, but he's also a 90 lb pitt mastiff mix (super friendly) so I wouldn't worry too much about him.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:20 AM   #24
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I would have done exactly as you did, except that I would have said a number of choice words to the guy for allowing his dog to leave his yard. Neighbor or not, if his dog is aggressive it, he should already know that and take extra precautions (such as a fence) to make sure his dog can't run free.

Then I would take a paper bag, fill it with dog poop, put it on his front step, and light it on fire.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:26 AM   #25
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Default Great thought...

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I would have done exactly as you did, except that I would have said a number of choice words to the guy for allowing his dog to leave his yard. Neighbor or not, if his dog is aggressive it, he should already know that and take extra precautions (such as a fence) to make sure his dog can't run free.

Then I would take a paper bag, fill it with dog poop, put it on his front step, and light it on fire.
If I remember correctly, it is 10 lbs placed in a 5 lb bag.

Seriously, a lot of good ideas here, but one that should be followed is to report the aggressive behavior of the dog. I worked in insurance for a 15+ years, personal lines, and the overall theory was a dog is entitled to one bite, after investigation of circumstances (kid jumps on a dog that is sleeping, stepping on the dog, startling the dog, etc.) Two bites, and the Homeowner policy was history at renewal. The police will put the owner on notice regarding the aggressive behavior. Good for your protection as well as your neighbors.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #26
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I guess a lot depends on whether this guy is a really a neighbor or not. I would give a least one chance for reconciliation, I mean are you going to see this guy, his family and his dog all the time? Are you going to be uncomfortable every time based on one bad encounter?

I'd still consider a friendly visit, go over and express concern about his dog, you want to make sure the dog is fine. He will either apologize for the incident and you have a new friend in the neighborhood. Or he will be a jerk and you can proceed to other solutions.

Everyone acts like a jerk occasionally.

BTW this is a bulldog, I don't think they are aggressive dogs.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:04 AM   #27
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Lots of valuable input here - the Forum is such a great tool. This is what I've learned: I completed a police report on Wed AM. No bulldog is registered in that neighborhood, so must have been visiting for long weekend. The owner was probably visiting as well (the bulldog did have a collar and tags). I do not want to change where we walk our dog. It is about a mile from our house (so these folks are not "neighbors" in a pure sense) and is a nice, quiet road with little traffic. We will be incorporating a walking stick and/or water device of some sort in the future. I know that bulldogs are not historically aggressive, but they are extremely protective and this dog was quite belligerent and growling. I agree that I probably shouldn't have screamed GET YOUR DOG several times, but I was scared and am sure our dog picked up on my fearful emotion. I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to comment. You've all been a big help. Thanks
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:14 AM   #28
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I have dealt with many situations with Dogs, and had to deal with oncoming dogs while walking my own. There is no right or wrong advice here, there are just many avenues to go down.

1. I don't recommend carrying a stick... as some other have said this just tends to make matters worse. If you need it to walk well then that is a different story all together.

2. Do report the incident to the police. There may be other complaints, and once enough complaints have been filed, the Police can step in on the side of public safety.

3. Don't feel bad about deciding to defend yourself and your dog in your situation, from the sounds of it you felt threatened and you do have the right to defend yourself.

4. However the issue sounds as through it was between the dogs, you kicking that the bulldog my have only antagonized the situation. Only get in the middle of the dogs if you know you can end it, as has already been said.
If you don't feel you can control the situation, it is better to back off and wait for the other dog owner to assist.

It would certainly suck to loose a family pet because of a dog fight don't get me wrong. However getting yourself in the middle and getting mangled in the middle is not worth it. (Self preservation 101)...

With all that said, I still don't think the other dog owner acted at all appropriately... he should have been right over, and helped you get control of the situation. And apologized.... But some people just don't get it...

I have a springer spaniel, that barks at passer bys all the time, and everyone in the neighborhood knows it, but also knows, once he gets close to them he will roll over and ask for his stomach to be scratched.... But even at that, every time he barks someone down, for a belly rub, I still apologize....
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:14 AM   #29
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Disclaimer: I am a man, and it is very easy for a man to think like a dog....eating, sleeping, chasing girls, and playing catch...pretty much sums up the priorities for a man and a dog...

Seriously, though, being charged by a dog can be very un-nerving, (it's happened to me, and probably to many on this forum), so I'm sure it spooked you. However, it is in the DNA of all dogs...even the most docile ones....to protect their property and their master / family. I have a 13 year old Golden and she is an old cream puff, but she will bark and be on guard if anyone comes by our yard.

By kicking the charging dog or yelling at it, it merely confirms to the dog that you are indeed a threat. This is especially true if the dog is one of the more protective breeds. It also pisses off the other dog owner who sees you kicking and yelling at his dog. A more effective strategy is to remain calm and still and extend your hand so the dog can sniff you and realize that you mean no harm. I have done this and it works. Is there a chance the dog will still attack you? Yes, but less of a chance than if you start kicking him and yelling at him.

Maybe the specific homeowner and dog in this case are in fact nasty. I don't know. I do know that people, (and dogs), make mistakes and should be given the benefit of the doubt and calling the cops and burning dog poop on their lawn is generally a bit extreme.

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Old 04-23-2014, 02:34 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Lots of valuable input here - the Forum is such a great tool. This is what I've learned: I completed a police report on Wed AM. No bulldog is registered in that neighborhood, so must have been visiting for long weekend. The owner was probably visiting as well (the bulldog did have a collar and tags). I do not want to change where we walk our dog. It is about a mile from our house (so these folks are not "neighbors" in a pure sense) and is a nice, quiet road with little traffic. We will be incorporating a walking stick and/or water device of some sort in the future. I know that bulldogs are not historically aggressive, but they are extremely protective and this dog was quite belligerent and growling. I agree that I probably shouldn't have screamed GET YOUR DOG several times, but I was scared and am sure our dog picked up on my fearful emotion. I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to comment. You've all been a big help. Thanks
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:07 PM   #31
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Donna,
I would have defended myself too!
you had every right to be walking where you were. We are not all Caesar Milans, you were reacting the way anyone in your situation would. Its just to bad we have become a country of excuses. The owner of the dog was in the wrong Period! why couldn't he just take responsibility for his pet. say "im sorry" and do the right thing. Dogs are not our children!
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:38 AM   #32
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Not for nothing but where was your husband during all of this and did he say anything back? If you stand there taking the (verbal) abuse most times like a dog the owner (bully) will feed off this and continue. If you (he) told the guy to F off maybe (???) the guy would of had a different attitude. Maybe not just wondering about his reaction that's all.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:02 AM   #33
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Stand your ground. You have a right under NH law to protect your life and property from harm.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:40 PM   #34
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ok, I feel compelled as "Dog Ma" to chime in. I have always been successful at raising my arm as if I am going to strike and shouting (not scream or screech) but shout - like a wild woman - and have scared off pit bulls and shephards with no harm done. I would not have my dog on the leash. I take over as the protector - I probably look as wild and goofy as this sounds, too but kept me and my dog safe from threats like that.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:58 PM   #35
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There is dog repellant spray called "Halt" that you can buy and carry in your pocket. It's about $6 on amazon and had pretty good reviews. I bought it after having a run in with a loose dog in our own yard here in MA but haven't used it yet. Wish I'd had it that day!
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:35 AM   #36
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ok, I feel compelled as "Dog Ma" to chime in. I have always been successful at raising my arm as if I am going to strike and shouting (not scream or screech) but shout - like a wild woman - and have scared off pit bulls and shephards with no harm done. I would not have my dog on the leash. I take over as the protector - I probably look as wild and goofy as this sounds, too but kept me and my dog safe from threats like that.
Leaving your dog off of the leash during this incident sounds crazy to me, I never would. Besides if your town has a leash law which probably everyone does now your "breaking the law" if you want to follow it to the letter of the law. Kick the other persons dog and if the owner is ignorant enough to yell at you tell them to F off also...
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:38 AM   #37
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Leaving your dog off of the leash during this incident sounds crazy to me, I never would. Besides if your town has a leash law which probably everyone does now your "breaking the law" if you want to follow it to the letter of the law. Kick the other persons dog and if the owner is ignorant enough to yell at you tell them to F off also...
Likely you are looking at a citation at best (it's called a "leash law", but it carries the same fine as spinning your tires, a violation). The cost of that citation compared to your out of pocket expenses for an ER visit are likely not in the same ballpark. Your dog is going to be better off defending itself without a rope around its neck with a hysterical distraction holding on to the other end.

Understanding the difference between a territorial threat and a full attack would be a lesson well learned. There are countless Youtube videos that would show the difference, as they would be handled differently by you and your dog. Watch the animals faces very closely in the videos, there is a lot more going on there then you think, until you start paying attention. It is in the animals facial expressions that will tell you whether that animal just wants you to move away or if it is going to go "Honey Badger" on you.

Not being able to release my dog from his leash for any reason would be a failure on my part. Verbal command and control is dog ownership 101. If you can't control your animal verbally, from a distance, then you likely can't control it on a leash either.

I would say this is a case of to each their own. In the case of a full-on attack, if you can prevent yourself from getting really injured, that should be priority 1. I would not give much consideration to the welfare of the attacking animal or the feelings of its owner, so those do not rank on my priority list.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:23 AM   #38
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DPG: My husband was also trying to fend off the bulldog, and when the man was yelling at us, my husband was yelling "control your dog" and other stuff about NH having a leash law. Our dog, while shy, still has received his AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate (first step on way to becoming legal therapy dog). He has received LOTS of training from one of the best trainers in NH and is very obedient. It's now a week later and we have not seen these folks with the bulldog since ... the police did not follow up with me to say whether or not they even paid a visit to the house to speak with the residents. We did buy a water pistol... just in case. Good grief.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:41 PM   #39
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DPG: My husband was also trying to fend off the bulldog, and when the man was yelling at us, my husband was yelling "control your dog" and other stuff about NH having a leash law. Our dog, while shy, still has received his AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate (first step on way to becoming legal therapy dog). He has received LOTS of training from one of the best trainers in NH and is very obedient. It's now a week later and we have not seen these folks with the bulldog since ... the police did not follow up with me to say whether or not they even paid a visit to the house to speak with the residents. We did buy a water pistol... just in case. Good grief.
You could follow up and ask the police if they had a chance to contact the other dog owner, or how did they handle this. You were part of this, nothing wrong with showing concern.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:20 AM   #40
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You could follow up and ask the police if they had a chance to contact the other dog owner, or how did they handle this. You were part of this, nothing wrong with showing concern.
Exactly... I'd follow up with the police also, unfortunately they may not consider an incident like this a "priority" of theirs. I still would not let mine go although in similar cases I do give him the full length of his leash. I'm working on training (classes too) however my dog right now acts like Lassie on his leash but doesn't always listen to commands off leash. When he's off he knows it and also knows at that moment there's not much I can do when he doesn't "feel" like coming to me, personally I wouldn't risk that. That's the problem with Weimeraners their WAY to smart for their own good. They can be easy to train when they decide to listen but also have a mind of their own 100% of the time. Lousy situation either way good luck. Don't worry sure the "gentleman" knows about you now and even though he didn't act it at the time he also is probably just as happy not confronting you again either.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:46 AM   #41
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DPG, in your case with a puppy in training would be an entirely different situation in itself. I also would not release a puppy either.
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