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Dog fights while out walking

By DNA 22 February 2011 25

Hi all, Just wanted to ask the mob about this.

I have 2 rescue dogs, a Dog 1 – Dane/boxer and Dog 2 – boxer/staffy (to the best of our knowledge) They were pound dumped, rescued by ARF ( and adopted by us 😀

We love and care for them and treat them really well and i’d say we are pretty damn good dog owners. Dog 1 (40kg) has some issues from being abused, and she is scared of strangers. Took a long time to get her used to normal life and now she’s 90% good. Will bark like mad if you knock on the door and she doesnt know you.

Dog 2 (25kg) never really got trained properly and we had major escaping/destroying problem, but they are now 90% fixed as well. He’s SUPER friendly and will run up to dogs/people if he can (which would definately be worrying if you don’t know he’s a softie)

I would confidently say both are not aggressive. When backed in a corner after being naughty, Dog 1 has been a bit narky from being scared, and they’ve had a few heirachical fights while they got to know each other (nothing major, just a bit of blood). But they are defensive.

Walking tonight around our suburb I had Dog 2 on leash as he tends to run at stuff he see’s, and dog 1 walking off leash as she stops at road, tends to avoid people, and comes when called. We passed several dogs no problem, and then one lady with her kid had a dog and as we got closer she said he’s a bit cranky. he snapped at dog 2 on the leash after they said hello so i pulled him back, smiled , said its all good and went to keep going, while dog 1 came in behind for a cheeky sniff. This other dog turned and went at her to which she defended herself and there was a scrap that dog 2 jumped at and pulled into. I got in there to pull them apart, getting a bit bloodied in the process, got one off, lost grip, then got her again (not before she gave him a bite on his leg) then had to pry dog 2 off as his jaw had locked. this took a minute or so, he was really stuck gripping the flesh on this dogs neck.

The other lady was pretty calm about it all, and I gave her my number and we were each apolagising to each other. I saw the other dog  had a gash that probably needed stitches under his leg and she went to take him straight to the vet. My dog had a minor cut.

This has happened once before, we we’re playing with a ball and other locals dogs on the oval (group of 4) for about half anf hour when the other dog who owned the ball snapped at my dog, and dog 1 defended herself, and dog 2 jumped in to help out. I jumped right in there to pull them apart, hand in mouths. The other dog ended up with a gash on his neck which apparantly healed up ok with some minor attention. Again my dog only got a superficial bite wound. Again, the owners were cool about it.

So basically, I’m sad/worried about it all 🙁 I don’t want my dogs declared dangerous as I don’t believe they are. I’m happy to keep my other dog on the lead all the time now to avoid this, but I hate leashing her all the time. I’ve read up and can find a lot about what to do if you or your dog are attacked, of if your dog is declared dangerous, but nothing about what it takes to be declared dangerous.

I’ve spoken with my wife, and we’re happy to contribute to the medical costs of the other dog. I think 50/50 is fair. Or do you think its their fault? Or all mine? I guess it all comes down to the owner’s attitude and what they want to do.

Lastly, I think we’re going to see a dog behaviouralist about it after we come back from overseas in a few weeks.

So questions:

1: Should I be concerned about them being declared dangerous?

2: What is fair regarding covering costs? (we’re not made of money, and we’ve been saving up and are about to go overseas for 2 weeks, so if they come back demanding hundreds of dollars that would suck BIGtime)

What’s Your opinion?

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25 Responses to
Dog fights while out walking
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Msl 2:05 pm 01 Mar 11

Dogs are dogs and still react to instinct, just as us humans do, even when we know a certain behaviour is ‘wrong’ such as doing 10k over the speed limit when we are running late. Leashing them is really easy and will help you to avoid DAS if anything like this ever happens in the future – I hope it doesn’t though. Leashing them seems unfair (as does keeping them in a back yard 24-7) but we have ‘domesticated’ the species and turned them into pets, and have to do our bit to keep them safe – similar to putting on a seat belt in the car. They can still sniff around and p** on light poles etc on a lead. Your dogs are not ‘bad’, just have their emotional baggage and need to be leashed.

In my area I have to avoid a couple of streets because some dogs are not even in a sealed yard – my 2 young GSD’s (who are leashed all the time) are a bit of a force when they are both curious about ‘meeting’ other dogs.

Katietonia 12:27 pm 01 Mar 11

Put your dog on a lead ffs. I get absolutely FURIOUS when walking and people have their dogs off the lead, and they come up barking at me. I am petrified of dogs after having been bitten on the throat by a rottweiler as a child and no matter what I do, I cannot “pretend not to be scared” like people have suggested.

You know that your dogs behave “defensively” yet you don’t put them on a lead? Carry a big stick when walking to hit any other dogs that attack yours.

georgesgenitals 11:44 am 24 Feb 11

I have a small dog that while non aggressive, really can’t be trusted.

I often take it for a walk/run. It’s never off the leash when outside my property. The only problems I’ve had come from other people who don’t have their dogs under control.

Tooks 7:59 am 24 Feb 11

1 walking off leash as she stops at road, tends to avoid people, and comes when called.

You’d want to have really good recall to do this and I’m betting you don’t. If a cat/dog/possum/ball appears across the road, most dogs will bolt.

Pandy 1:03 am 24 Feb 11

DNA, your dogs are dangerous. They should be kept in the backyard.

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