Who let the dogs out? – And what do I do about them?

tylersmayhem 20 January 2009 70

My wife was jogging around Flynn yesterday morning as she usually does, when she came across a Staffy / Pit-bull cross who stopped her in her tracks. He came out from in front of a property and went after her. After some scrambling, falling on the ground and some panicked running she was able to hide from it. She came home a bit scratched up and very shaken up.

Neither my wife or I are scared of dogs, in fact we both love them and my wife formerly owned a Rottweiler. Earlier in the morning before this incident, she crossed paths with owners and their big dogs, and has never caused her any problems.

She went jogging again this morning and saw the dog, who was walking along with another dog and it’s owner, and caused her no grief. The person walking their dog was not the owner. So it appears this dog is out often with no supervision.

My questions are these:

    1. WTF is this dog not behind a fence, or at very least out and about under owners supervision? We all know the stories that we read about each year with kids and adults alike being mauled, sometime to death by these breeds. I believe it should be enforceable to have these dogs supervised or behind a fence at all times if people keep insisting on owning them.

    2. While neither of us want to have this animal separated from it’s owner, or the welfare of the dog jeopardised – what is the best way to make sure the owner puts this dog behind a fence? We don’t particularly want to follow the dog to where it lives – nor get close enough to see the tag on it’s collar. Pursued once is close enough either of us would like to get.

    3. When dogs set on people, what is the best action to take. While running is doubtfully one of them – does anyone have some proper advice in case this happens again?

I expect plenty of backlash about this one on here – but the welfare of my wife if far more important than any dog which has come after her. Ideas and suggestions would be great. And just maybe we might stop a mauling before it happens.

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70 Responses to Who let the dogs out? – And what do I do about them?
ant ant 10:45 pm 25 Jan 09

The chihuahua couldn’t claim that title, sadly. But he wees industriously on parked cars, tries to get all animals, kids and adults to run so he can chase them, and tries to attack kids so long as their parents aren’t watching. He’s a very bad dog. But he tries to play with all dogs, which is a good thing. His wife attacks anything on 4 legs, which is not good, as she only has 3.

planeguy planeguy 10:21 pm 25 Jan 09


interesting that you mention pit bulls and parked cars in the same sentence. Years ago, when I was but a lad, we took our very very placid German-shephard Labrador cross to a friends place, who had a Bull Terrior. Our girl (well former girl) decided she didn’t quite like the advances from the complete male. Anyway, I girl who had never snapped at anything, reacted. More in shock than anything else, the Bullie, backed away really quickly, such that it whacked its head into the passenger door of the owner’s car.

The result, one small cut to the Bullie’s nose, one passive Lab/GS cross that was alfa dog for the first time ever, and one car that needed a visit to a panel beater, for a grand or two of repairs!!

So the moral of the story – when a girl says no, she means it!

ant ant 8:57 pm 25 Jan 09

I wonder if they make muzzles in chihuahua size? My one keeps being evil and if he can slip his harness, a muzzles will at least prevent him from doing any damage to defenceless pit bulls and parked cars.

SadMushroom SadMushroom 6:38 pm 25 Jan 09

Hi planeguy,
I couldn’t really kick the little thing…LOL
Not only that but the dog I was holding up is a Pit and my son close by was leading our Am Staff.
Any acts of defense or aggression from me may have been enough to set my dogs off.
This dog was so tiny (to me) that I laughed the whole time, even when my pit sat and had NO IDEA that this tiny dog was trying to nip her butt.

I hate the BSL that has been going on, considering Pit breed (not Pits just mixes) attacks count for 6-7% of dog attacks while German Sheps and Rotty’s still account for 75% of attacks in Australia.

If you all go back and check online about the alleged Pit Bull attacks/deaths around Australia in the last few years, you will see they have all/most been changed to “mix breed attacks”
Pit attacks was a media hype to get more readers and with each case that was found to be a NON Pit attack their headlines had to be changed.
There is a site that posted “pick the Pit Bull” and posted many pics of dogs of all breeds. Last check it was still under 20% of people who got it right.

I do agree, that anyone owning a Pit or any other Dog that is reported or classed as dangerous, should be made go through regular checks (vets to check the health and well being of the dog, and Animal services or similar to check the living conditions and attitude of the dog towards people and other dogs) at the cost to the owner of the dog.
I also think ACT should take on part of the restriction act (that Pits and pit breeds plus any other dogs that have shown agression to people or other dogs,,unprovoked) be muzzled, onleashes at all times and be kept in the secure cage/yards that has been described in the Restriction Act(in most states).

I am NOT a bogan who owns a pit to be cool or have a status. I own a pit because before the laws came in my son came home with an abused dog that had parvo and he didn’t want her to die alone and in pain. The vet said it was hopeless and did what he could. After over $5,000 and 5 years that pup is still alive.
I would have rehomed her (as a pup) but the restrictions came in and we had no choice.
Same as our GermanXRotty, after she was better I would have rehomed her, but finding people who would be responsible is the problem. I had alot of ‘idiots’ asking, but I am NOT giving a saved dog to idiots. (most said we will just let her out with the kids and see how she goes,,,or we can always use her for pig hunting if she doesn’t get along with kids”

Why anyone would let an unknown dog near kids for a test is beyond me. Especially if the previous owners say the dog will attack kids. (will the new holden hit your kid before it stops??? I dunno, lets put our kid on the road and see)
ACT needs to follow a few more regulations about dog control.

planeguy planeguy 4:06 pm 25 Jan 09

A few things.
1. re SadMushroom’s story. I love dogs, so don’t take this the wrong way, but that little dog was attacking. It shouldn’t have been “pushed away with my foot” it should have been kicked, and kicked hard. Dogs do not understand the same way humans do – a push may not get through to the dog that it is trying t be controlled. A kick, a hit with a stick, or other aversive does get through to a dog. So, firstly, this makes the attacking stop, and then it associates physical pain with its aggression.

2. With a big dog, like described in the OPs post, this becomes a lot harder – the threshhold of pain of the animal is much higher, further hightened in its agressive state. It will be very difivult to instantly be recognised as the Alfa dog in that situation, and so a more defensive approach needs to be taken. Long term, if the owner is responsible, they may (note may) be able to get the behaviour out of the dog (especially as there is no report of an actual attack yet, just aggression). But it will be hard work, and I’m not sure that the dog could ever be truly trusted.

3. Reporting to the authorities is a good idea in this case. Whilst it is acceptable in all situations, for those who have a similar issue but with a neighbours dog, perhaps try talking to the neighbour first (if they are decent). We had something like this when living interstate, and the owner instantly called in dog trainers, which required us as active participants, and the dog’s behaviour changed almost immediately.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 1:48 pm 25 Jan 09

Tylers, where abouts in Flynn are you (roughly)?

My mother still leaves there and has reported similar incidents in the past. It’d be interesting to see if it’s the same area. I’d say calling the authorities is the best first action as I couldn’t live with myself if a dog killed a kid and I did nothing about the dog attacking me first.

My cousin was savagely attacked by a Bit Bull a few years ago in London. The owner actually set the dog onto a few kids (15year olds) who he felt were being too noisy in his street. My cousin (a lightly built 40+ year old) saw what was happening and tried to shield the kids with her own body. The dog went for her first. It dragged her 50 meters up the road with severe cuts to the back of her head, buttocks and side. The dog was taken by the police as the law in the UK is that Pit Bulls were not to be bred. The owner was also arrested. In the end he was let go and the dog returned to him (such is law and order in London now).

Both the police and the doctors that stitched her back together told her she took the right action when the dog went for her, that is roll yourself into a ball and scream for help as you life actually may depend on it! The theory is that rolling into a ball protects your face and major organs (BTW: this also works when you’re getting the S**T kicked out of you). The dog might still get a few good bites out of you but you’re still likely to get away with your life.

SadMushroom SadMushroom 12:35 pm 25 Jan 09

I couldn’t reply to your other post as my poor old computer has trouble loading pages.

A few nights ago we went to walk our dogs. While crossing at a busy intersection a man with a small fluffy thing was coming around the corner. His tiny dog was growling and barking and I made a joke of “please don’t let it get us ”
His dog kept turning and barking as he walked away then it pulled back and slipped its collar. It raced straight up to my dog and tried biting its face. I grabbed my dog under her front legs (armpits) and lifted her up into a standing position.
Even though my dog has the legally required muzzle she still would have been able to pin the tiny dog and do some damage.

This tiny thing ran round and round my dog with me pushing it away with my foot and it was soo small my dog had no idea it was being nipped at. My dog got tired of standing so sat down, with me still holding her upright.
There was no danger and this dog was too small to be dangerous, UNTIL the owner tried to catch it and it darted straight out onto the road.
The car coming braked and swerved to miss it almost colliding with a car coming from the other direction.

Even this tiny dog was dangerous enough to almost cause a head on collision.

Thumper Thumper 10:10 am 21 Jan 09

We have a serial pest that lives nearby who has a dog that seems to thinks cats are pretty tasty. A few times now we have spoken to him about keeping his dog on a lead, or at least under control. He just doesn’t appear to give a shit and thinks its funny. Its especially amusing to him if his dog is in our yard harassing our cats. He does sweet FA about stopping it. It makes my blood boil! Hopefully, one day, this 30-odd year old bloke will grow up and learn some respect, but I’m not holding my breath.

Catch the dog and take it the pound. The owner will have to pay for it to be released. Rinse and repeat.

ant ant 9:56 am 21 Jan 09

My chihuahua can get out of his harness when he really wants to. He’s very quick, there’s no warning. We’ve tightened all the straps but he just slips out and off he goes, chasing people. He’s a bit of a bully and I hope we don’t get into trouble for having a dangerous loose dog. He needs an all-over harness but I don’t think you can get them.

Timberwolf65 Timberwolf65 9:55 am 21 Jan 09

monomania said :

People do not have the right to own animals that terrorise or even simply frighten people. They are not that important. They are dogs.

People don’t own animals like this, they raise them sometime’s unknowingly to be like this. Take a puppy and show it no love, give it no time, never walk it and socialize it with people or other dogs and it will grow up to be unhappy. On the other hand show it love, give it time, training, socialize it with kids and animals, teach it it’s pack order in the family and you should have no problem.

Before you go out and get yourself a dog, you have to prepare for them. Is the backyard secure, do i have time to walk and train this animal,can i look after it and feed it, things like that.

People don’t think!

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 8:58 am 21 Jan 09


I was called by the ranger today while he was doing the rounds looking for the dog in question. He couldn’t see the dog, nor could my wife on her morning run. The ranger gave me his number and urged us to call him if we see the dog out and unattended again because he lives in the area and this case in particular is one they want to concentrate on. He said he’d be continuing the rounds over the next week or so in the meantime.

Let’s hope the owner is an RA’er and might now decide to be a responsible dog owner and make sure it’s contained appropriately. I’d much rather than than the animal impounded and the owner fined etc.

monomania monomania 12:11 am 21 Jan 09

People, dogs. On one hand we have fully sentient beings capable of abstract thought able to remember pain and terror. On the other hand we have animals operating on instinct and some conditioned behaviour, many only one step from totally wild. Although I like some dogs, I’m on the side of people. People do not have the right to own animals that terrorise or even simply frighten people. They are not that important. They are dogs.

SadMushroom SadMushroom 9:02 pm 20 Jan 09

In NSW and some other states (not sure about ACT) IF your dog is found roaming or not on a leash you cop a $110 fine as well as the impounding fees etc. Your dog is recorded as being on ‘probation’ and each time it is caught roaming again the fine goes up by $10 or $20. IF you do NOT pay the fines they are sent to State Debt Recovery and your drivers licence and/or car rego will be cancelled.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 6:04 pm 20 Jan 09

Tempestas said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Additionally some kind of licenced owner system might lead to changes in insurance, – not a licenced owner of dogs, your dog attacks someone, no 3rd party coverage, your assets get sold for you to start meeting compensation costs etc.

That sounds like an idea!

tylersmayhem, and also Holden Caulfield, I’m sorry you’ve had these problems with idiot dogowners. I hope solutions, sensible civilised solutions, can be found.

Did anyone mention not making eye contact with a dog acting aggressively? I’m sure that’s one of the things I’ve heard recommended.

prhhcd prhhcd 5:01 pm 20 Jan 09

absolutely tyler. Your wife is more important. glad the rangers are keeping a look out. Good luck!

Tempestas Tempestas 4:46 pm 20 Jan 09

Deckard said :

We’ll need a new Dept of Licenses to take care of all this…

Along with the licenses for cycling, walking and having children.

And the alternative is?

Maybe we should all just be armed and then we can sort dogs, cars, cyclists and children out ourselves without any need for that silly government thing that we have to pay taxes for.

Welcome to Life: Nasty, brutish and short.

johnboy johnboy 4:29 pm 20 Jan 09

PsydFX said :

johnboy said :

Last warning on abusing other commenters PsydFX.

JB, how is it I get a warning when using the exact same term that tyler used against me?

You’re the one who brought unnecessary agro. I’d advise against arguing with me here on the matter.

Deal with it.

PsydFX PsydFX 4:06 pm 20 Jan 09

tylersmayhem said :

Thanks for (mostly) everyone’s advice, comments and support. I have been in contact with Territory and Municipal Services to report the problem. A ranger will be in the area over the next few days to try and track down the dog and owner and arrange to make sure the dog is being looked after and contained appropriately.

I really hope nothing comes between the dog and owner – but at the end of the day the safety of my wife and community comes first!

So in the end the appropriate course of action was to ring the pound?

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 3:34 pm 20 Jan 09

I would always hope if she ever got out again, the person who found her would either call the number on her collar or get the pound to collect her.

Ideally we would have done this with this dog prhhcd – but there was no way we are going to approach an aggressive dog which has already attempted to attack my wife!

I’m glad it worked out with your dog. As a dog owner, unfortunately it comes with the territory that dogs will sometimes get away with you and decide to risk playing in traffic. I remember so many times when my former dog ran on to busy roads. Such gut wrenching moments. Luckly she died of old age at the ripe old age of 18.

prhhcd prhhcd 3:11 pm 20 Jan 09

Hey guys, this is a really interesting post.
I live in Fraser and my dog got out the day before yesteday…. She’s just a small cattle dog and was just running over the street to try to play with another dog but it was scary! For me. And the poor lady who was walking the other dog freaked out too!
We both reacted in the wrong way, she shooed my dog back accross the main road while there was oncoming traffic and I just yelled at my dog to come – which she did. Moral of the story – it could have turned out a lot worse for all of us.
I would always hope if she ever got out again, the person who found her would either call the number on her collar or get the pound to collect her. She is registered etc so I’d rather have that happen then someone poison her with 10-80, or more realistically she gets run over…

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