My Dog Was Attacked By Another Dog

Just the other day my dog was attacked by another dog and I really had no idea what to do during the situation or in the aftermath.  It was a scary experience for both me and my black Labrador Retriever, Stetson who unfortunately did not escape the scene unscathed.  At first glance I didn’t notice the gash on Stetson tail, but after further inspection when we got home he was bleeding from one inch dog bite to the tail.

Dog Attacked My Dog

The day my dog was attacked by another dog was the same as any other day.  I was getting Stetson one last walk before I had to head out to my hockey game.  The sun just started setting…many a photographer would call this the golden hour…a perfect time to snap that perfect photo.  Unfortunately, things would be less than perfect for Stetson and I.

As we were heading back to the house we heard a scream: “Get back here!”  A few  seconds later a large long haired German Shepherd came speeding around the corner headed full speed towards Stetson and I.  At this point we couldn’t tell if the dog was ready to attack or play. Stetson thought he was in store for the latter, but unfortunately he was wrong.  The Shepherd wasn’t barking, just charging at full speed.

I positioned myself between Stetson and the German Shepherd hoping to keep the attacking dog from biting or hurting Stetson.  I could hear, but not see the owner (I didn’t take my eye off the Shepherd) telling me to be still because her dog would not bite if we didn’t run.    Stetson held ground directly behind me still thinking he was in for play time.  The Shepherd tried several times to nip at Stetson however, I was able to maneuver my body between the two combatants.  After a few seconds of jousting Stetson realized he might be in peril and decided that between fight and flight he would rather run away from the aggressive dog.

Eventually the owner caught up to her dog and Stetson started running home which is odd for him because he only runs during his sniffer dog training class and when there is food involved.  I never got a glimpse of the owner and hastily got Stetson back to the house.  Once we were back home I inspected Stetson head to tail and found slobber all over his butt and also came across one inch bleeding gash on his tail.  I rushed back outside to try and find the attacking dogs owner, but they had left the scene.  I rushed back home to Stetson who was hiding in the corner.  I cleaned up his wound and rushed him to the emergency veterinarian.

Our vet said we had two options.  First, we could leave things alone and put Stetson on antibiotics and the wound would most likely heal up on it’s own or we could shave down his tail and stitch it up.  However, she said stitching up the tail could cause more problems as the stitches often times break free because the skin on the tail is so tight and she recommended antibiotics and letting his tail heal on it’s own.

Labrador Retriever with Cone

So that was it.  We went ahead and put Stetson on antibiotics and let him sport the cone for a week.  Poor Stetson has to wear a cone on his head for a few days so he doesn’t chew on the dog bite inflicted on his tail :(

Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize the attacking dog and never really got a look at the owners face as I was trying to defend myself and Stetson, then we quickly fled the scene.  We asked our neighborhood friends if they knew the dog who bit Stetson, but unfortunately, we haven’t found the culprit.

What To Do When A Dog Attacks Your Dog

Now that the whole dog attack fiasco is over in hindsight there are probably several things I could have done differently to avoid Stetson’s dog bite to the tail.

  1. Bring something to keep a dog from attacking me or my dog – I ordered this Animal Deterrent Spray (aff link) in case we encounter another off leash, aggressive dog.  I’ll post a review about the product when it arrives in the mail.  Until then I’m going to carry around my Large Maglite (aff link) just in case.
  2. Be more aware of my surroundings – After hearing the owner screaming we had probably about 5 seconds before the German Shepherd rounded the corner.  That may have been enough time to get safely out of sight.  Next time we’ll be more aware and move quicker if something bad is about to unfold.
  3. Get the attacking dog owner’s information before leaving the scene – I didn’t think Stetson was bitten and didn’t know until we got home, but I should have been more on top of things and gotten the dog owner’s information before leaving the scene.  It would have been nice to know if the attacking dog was up to date on vaccinations including rabies.  Unfortunately it appears that we’ll never get that information.
  4. Report the incident to animal control – We didn’t initially report the incident to animal control because we couldn’t find the attacking dog owner, but after consulting others we think it’s prudent to let animal control know about the incident regardless.

Here are a few things that I think I did right considering the situation:

  1. I remained calm – I think this is part of the reason Stetson was so calm until he got bitten.
  2. I was able to block the attacking dog from getting to Stetson for the most part – Stetson didn’t help much because he thought it was play time I probably kept the Shepherd from biting him about 5 time before Stetson decided to try and avoid the other dog.
  3. Don’t Run – we learned a long time ago that dogs like to chase.  Stetson, Linus, Dublin, and I call it the chasing game.  If I chase the boys they run away from me.  If I run away from the boys they chase me.
  4. I tried giving commands to the dog – I tried “Sit”, “Down”, and “No”, but none worked.  I guess if the dog wasn’t going to listen to the owner then why listen to me…it was worth a shot…

So that’s our story.  Stetson got bitten by another dog, he was physically scarred, but more worrisome for me was his emotional scars.  Since then we’ve introduced him to several new dogs without any incident.  I guess he won’t hold a grudge on other dogs even after getting attacked.

Part of the reason why I’m putting this post together is to not only inform you, but to find out what you would of done if your dog was attacked by another dog?  Please let us know in the comment section below.


  1. emi says

    I liked your article…it was very informative but I feel bad for Stetson. I’m glad he’s not having problems with other dogs you’ve introduced to him since the Shepard attack. I’d be so curious to know why that Shepard attacked Stetson. I will definitely be more alert when I walk our dog and another dog is approaching….I will probably order the deterrent spray after your review.

    • says

      @emi Stetson is doing okay now. He chewed on his tail a little bit almost immediately after we took off his cone so we’re going to leave the cone on for a few more days.

    • Nitieka says

      Unfortunately I know firsthand how scary it is. My 1 1/2 year old male rotti was attacked by another dog off its leash and is now so traumatized by it he’s become very aggressive with other dogs. I have no idea who the owner was/is and I haven’t seen either him or his dog around since it happened. I called his vet desperate for advice and ended up having him neutered yesterday morning because the vet told me it would help. I’m devastated my sweet boy had to go through all of this just because of someone else’s irresponsibility. The vet also told me that if he hasn’t calmed down in 2-3 weeks that I’ll have to take him to behavior classes to help him try to get over the attack. So far this has cost us our walks we used to enjoy so much, over $400 in vet bills and I will probably have to spend hundreds more to fix the emotional damage. People always say the same thing, “Oh it’s ok, my dog is friendly”. I don’t care how friendly you think your dog is, having it off the leash is just irresponsible, dangerous and against the law where I live. How many times I wonder have other rottweilers and the likes been the victims of an attack but you only ever hear about ones that have been the aggressor?

      • says

        Hi Niteka,

        Sorry to hear about your Rotti. I hope he’s doing better. I wrote about Stetson’s attack in this article and fortunately he was not really traumatized by the experience and is still friendly with other dogs. However, Linus was charged twice by off leash dogs as a puppy and he’s always been hesitant around other dogs. We’ve worked on his behavior for years and while he does better I think he’ll always have that little bit of fear and hesitation when meeting new dogs.

        Take care,

  2. says

    Wow, what a scary thing. I’m glad to hear you and Stetson are both safe. And I think you did the best thing any one could have expected. After all, you got out of the situation with only one small wound.

    Let’s hope you never get a chance to use the lessons you learned a “next time.”

    • says

      @Pamela, Thank you! Stetson is doing well. A few days ago he decided to lick his tail so I had to put the cone back on his head. I agree, I hope there isn’t a “next time”

  3. says

    I think that dog attacks are becoming more and more prevalent. Im a dog trainer and I get more aggressive dogs in for training now that ever before.
    Mostly the issues can be fixed with solid obedience and a good schedule.
    Hope stetson has made a swift and full recovery.

    • says

      @Martin Stetson is doing great. He just has a little bald patch on his tail. More importantly mentally he seems to be okay with the incident. We were at the vets office the other day and another long haired german shepherd started barking at him and he just sat by my side wagging his tail.

  4. Jo says

    It must have been so frightening. Good for you for keeping calm.
    I’m in the UK and there is a lot of ‘designer’ dog breeds around. Some are used for thier aggressiveness.
    I have a new puppy and do fear for him when out and about.
    He is still so naive – we have cats too. He wants to play but all they do is hiss at him and run away. – He doesn’t understand.

    I have had a GSD in the past and have found that they are ‘one man dogs’ – too loyal – he would nip other people who came close to me. I had to give him away when baby came along. I couldn’t risk him nipping the baby. In the end, I couldn’t rehome him. He was far too loyal to me. I had to have him PTS. It was the saddest time.

    I knew I couldn’t ‘control’ him once he had something in his head… that would be it. He was ‘blinkered’. Unfortuately there are dogs (and people) like that. Nothing nor no-one can divert it from its goal.

    I am hoping that 20 years on from that time, a new puppy, a different breed and lots of love and training (no babies!!) will give this little man a good, safe and enjoyable life.

    I hope all is well with Stetson now.

    • Debbi says

      How cruel and inconsiderate to put an animal down because of your lack of education. You take the animal for training. Little did that precious animal that loved you dearly know that YOU would end up killing him. I hope when you lie in bed that your act of selfishness eats at you alive and if not you are nothing more than an inconsiderate moron!

      • Sueann says

        to whom it may concern you should not judge that person who killed his dog it isn’t your right. Because if it happened to you you would do the same i hate american bulldogs they killed my dog and he was on a chain you are selfrightous. i thank all killer inbreed dogs should be put down.

  5. eliza says

    I have a Rottie who is a year and a half old, and he’s been attacked twice by the same dog, a neighbor, in the last month. The owner considers herself a professional dog trainer and has a doggy day care company. My main reason to post this is to say you can’t ever assume one breed is bad. This dog attacked my previous Rottie when he had cancer, and now my young guy. Under two years old, and on a leash, he just didn’t know what to do.
    I’m going to try to deal with this nicely, because we are neighbors, but I’m writing mostly to say, (1) don’t assume a dog is bad because of its breed–my rotties have been incredibly good boys. (2) Anyone with an aggressive dog, get a clue, keep it on leash. It’s NOT OK. And you don’t have voice command. (3) For those of us who have our dogs attacked, maybe we carry a stick or the stuff another poster recommended. I’m hugely frustrated. I raise my very big “scary” breed to be a sweet boy. If you have any question whether your dog has bad tendencies, keep him or her on a leash and do your job.

    • says

      @eliza thank you for sharing your story. I’ve had several friends who owned wonderful rottweilers. After Stetson got attack we ordered animal deterrent spray to take out on our walks. Fortunately we haven’t had to use it.

  6. sue says

    moms dog got visviously attacked why in front of her house on a leash. mom had to let go, then both dogs ended up in her yard, .the police came, the other dog had to update its shots, mom went through a lot of trama herself….and now her dog is scared to death of everything. there were three punctures, no stiches, not fair

    • says

      @sue, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom and her dog. When Stetson was attacked we took him to the emergency vet for a nice size gash in his tail. We opted not to get stitches as they said there was a good chance the stitches would break free because the skin in the tail is so tight. Lucky for us after a couple days Stetson was doing just fine (mentally and physically) and he was not too rattled by the attack. He now just has a little bald spot on his tail that’s barely noticeable. Hopefully your mom and her dog get better over the next few days and weeks.

  7. Samantha says

    I had a chiuaua (Snickers) that was attacked and killed by an large dog that lives at the house down the hill from me. This dog has killed 4 kittens and is always in my yard. I have a 4 yr old son and I am afraid that one day he could be attacked by this dog. I have filed a police report and have called animal control but have been getting the run around from both. Snickers had no chance against this dog and it was really hard to deal with his death b/c is was part of my family. I am doing a lot of things to make sure that the owners take responsibility for what happened but I an having a really hard time. There is one good thing that has come of this situation. Upon talking to a neighbor I found out that Snickers fathered 3 puppies with her female weenie dog and we where given one of the puppies, so in a way we still have a part of Snickers with us. Im posting this b/c things can go bad very fast. It took maybe 3 min. for this dog to fatally injure Snickers . Dog owners need to be responsible and watch their animals regardless if you believe they can be aggressive or not. If you can not keep track of your animal then don’t get one in the first place.

  8. SusanK says

    My dog was attacked by a pit bull this afternoon. I was walking him three doors down from my house on leash when I saw two pits running at us full speed from their yard (about 30 yards from us). I know about not running but nothing was going to stop this pair. I started up the drive in front of the neighbors thinking I could maybe get to his house and get some help. This probably saved my dogs life as his butt was exposed to them instead of his neck. The female chomped on and would not let go. I was screaming for help hoping someone would come out of their house and help me break it up. I think after about 15 or 20 seconds she finally let go and they both took off. I’m not sure what stopped her. My dog has deep puncture wounds from all 4 canine teeth (only one of the dogs bit him). I took him to the vet and he is on antibiotics and pain meds.

    The dogs belong to one of my neighbor’s adult son. They have seriously attacked another dog before. (I knew about this incident). My neighbor came over and apologized and said they are trying to convince the son to get rid of the dogs. They said he will pay my vet bill. I will file a report on Monday when Animal Control office opens. I am worried about my dog recovering from this.

  9. Terri S says

    In June, almost 5 months ago, my dog Jake was attacked by the rescue pit bull that lived next door. I rescued Jake in 2003 from a shelter in Jersey City NJ and eventually I moved to the suburbs so that he could have a backyard. Well the people next door adopted a pit bull in November 2010 and she attacked their dog in early June and then attacked mine late June. The difference was that their other dog is a pit bull, and mine was a yorkie. Jake survived the attack (he was attacked from underneath the fence that separates the backyards) which is apparently common in dogs that are trained to kill. We had to hire a lawyer to go after this low life’s home insurance company because they would have paid zero or half of the $6300.00 vet bill. Since pets in NJ are considered property, I cannot collect for punitive damages, but it does not matter, that would have only momentarily made me feel better. I miss my dog. He was part of my family. I had just gone back to work after maternity leave and the babysitter let Jake out in the backyard. We thought he was safe in his own backyard; he wasn’t. He held on for 2 days and then I had to out him down because he aspirated fluid into his lungs, the only consolation being that I got to hold him as he passed. Five months later, I still am still blaming everyone, including myself. To say I am heartbroken only touches on what the past 5 months have been like. Legislation NEEDS to be changed regarding potentially dangerous dogs, and owners need to be screened seriously.

    • says

      @Terri, I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. I feel very lucky that things weren’t any worse for me and my dog Stetson. Hopefully everything works out with the vet bill and the insurance company. Once again I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

  10. marquis donnie says

    gsd are ugly viscous dogs i was mauled by on on my arm some time ago never liked them since anyways hope he is okay he’s a pretty dog.

    • Teresa says

      No breed of dog is an ugly vicious dog. It’s the dog itself and how it is raised you moron.

  11. Nisa27 says

    my dog (mini Schnauzer) only 1 year old was attacked about a month ago by two golden retrievers. We went to a near by dog park. As soon as we get there the two dogs charge! There owners said they are “friendly”.At first they sniffed him and immediately starting growling and biting my dog. He yelped and cried out loud trying to get away he ran away from us and the dogs followed him and kept attacking. I did all I could to get them off him and I kept grabbing them from their foreskin and throwing them out of the way I tried to kick them. My girlfriend punched one but still they kept going. One bit me on my thigh and ripped my pants. I was so scared and those stupid ladies didn’t do anything and kept saying “I don’t know why they are being that way they are friendly” NO APOLOGY! just tried to argue that their dogs don’t bite. I was so mad and my heart was racing, I finally got a hold of my dog and went to my car. My dog had minor injuries (bleeding from the mouth and face). We didn’t get their information, I could not think we were just relieved to be on the other side of the gate.

    Today 3/23/2012 around 830pm my dog and I were walking (he was on a leash) and out of no where was walking this couple with their two big dogs with no leash on. They charged at me ans my little dog and they yelled out “come here!!, oh ah they are friendly!” I said are you sure? and they did not respond…they were sniffing my dog and one of them started to growl So I pulled up my dog in my arms and started to walk away and then the dogs followed their owners when they started to call them after a few times. I DON’T UNDERSTAND my dog is so playful and warm and likes to cuddle. (He doesn’t bite anyone, woman, man, child or other dogs) Why do they keep attacking him?


    • says

      @Nisa27, I’m sorry to hear about your dog getting attacked. I’ve hard the same thing…people yelling that their dog is friendly. My poor dog Linus was charged 3 times by other dogs when he was just a puppy and one of them attacked him. I think that’s one of the reasons why he’s not a big fan of greeting other dogs when we’re out on our walks.

  12. Anaïs says

    I came across this page while looking for information on what to do during a dig attack. I was walking my Husky puppy earlier down my street (we’ve done this many times with no issues) ad out of nowhere a pitbull comes racing towards us and jumps on my dog, biting his neck. I shouted, stamped, threw a rock and screamed for help but the dog just kept running back and attacking my puppy. Poe is six months old and already a good size, but this other dog was just so aggressive. Then it just turned and ran off and I rushed Poe to the vet. He had a few bite marks but none that required stitches, thank God. I think it was his thick fur. But he seems to be mildly traumatized. I went back to find the pitbull’s owner but no trace. It just made me so mad. I don’t think I handled the situation very well and I want to know what to do if something like this happens again. I don’t like the thought of dropping the leash and staying out of it, I feel it’s my job to protect my dog.

  13. Laura says

    I took my 14 week old yellow lab, Ziva, to an outdoor school event today to socialize her a little bit. She was under control with a leash and training collar on when a dachshund came flying out of nowhere and attacked her. The Dachshund latched onto Ziva’s forehead and wouldn’t let go, growling and shaking her head back and forth. I was in total shock and didn’t know what to do – it broke my heart to hear Ziva yelping. Thankfully the owner grabbed her dog and pulled her off of my puppy, who was traumatized and shook in my arms for about 5 minutes afterward.
    Thankfully there wasn’t any bleeding, but I was a little bit annoyed with the owner as she stood next to me telling me how nice her dog normally is and that she just got away. I get the feeling that she was just as shocked as I was, and in a way I felt sorry for her. I still want to cry when I see the big lump on Ziva’s forehead. The bites will probably heal since she is on antibiotics, but now I’m a little worried about how she will respond to dogs in the future.

    • marsha says

      Laura, I just posted about my experience with pits. Totally the owners fault. My aussie mix was attacked as well, however I elected to not give him antibiotics. Peroxide keeps the wound clean, warm water and soap bath also works well. Like humans, a dogs body has the ability to self heal. Licking their wounds also helps the healing process… due to the growth hormone in their saliva. At any rate, glad your pup is fine.

  14. eliza says

    To both Anaïs and Laura, I’m so sorry this happened to your puppies. I’m the previous poster with the rottie who was attacked by a neighbor’s dog.

    To Anaïs, I’m sorry you couldn’t find the owner. Can you try not to take that route on your walks, or is that not possible. I hope your sweet Husky wasn’t too traumatized. If you’ve worked with a trainer, please ask him or her what to do if this happens again. I would also suggest taking pepper spray on a walk if you think this dog could be a problem in the future. And think about how you’d use it and how to keep it away from your dog if you have to.

    To Laura: I hope you’re in a puppy socializing group so Ziva can learn that not all dogs are bad. Find a good trainer with a puppy group, and I bet Ziva will be just fine. I’m disgusted by the owner’s attitude as well. And I seriously doubt her dog is “always such a nice dog.”

    Hang in there, ladies. My rottie is 2 years old now. He’s a show dog, so is still intact (you can’t neuter when showing). Everyone thinks intact dogs are the problem, but they aren’t. Neutered males smell the intact dog and feel they need to be on guard. Thankfully, it’s rare that it’s an issue. I now have an 11 week old English bulldog, and he and my Rottie do so well together. He’ll be fixed thankfully, and I hope to be able to neuter my Rottie soon too (he’s almost done showing–agreement with breeder).

    In any case, good trainers are the best way to learn what we should do as owners and also to learn how to socialize our dogs so they are comfortable with others. Ask your vets for the name of a good trainer if you don’t have one.

    I’m glad both of your babies are OK.


    • marsha says

      Eliza, In my opinion neutering is a case by case basis. I had to neuter my aussie mix because he would not leave my bullmastiff alone.. I would be jolted out of bed because he would start a dog fight with my bull mastiff… HORRIBLE. Last resort was to neuter him. I did and he is far better now. My Bull Mastiff is intact and happy. He does not have those spraying territorial issues. No two dogs are created equally. Neutering tends to cause problems on the endocrine system and it does cause depression on some level. I took great care with Cheveyo when he got neutered… Yeah dogs have hormones and feelings…

  15. Erika Castellanos says

    Your story was very helpful. Thank you. I’m hopping my puppy may survive , cause my neighbor’s dogs(pitbulls) attacked him. But unfortunately I cannot press any charges case my doggie went to their backyard. He is been bleeding badly, the vet game me some antibiotic and pain killer, I really hope he can stay with us. Every time I touched him or move him two or three drops of blood. dear God please protect my Shorty, he is a Chiwini dog.

  16. marsha says

    Great article! however, i am not sure if there’s anything out there that will actually deter an aggressive dog besides taking action yourself. My aussie mix was attacked by a pit bull while i was out (my neighbor had some friends staying there with their pits) at any rate the pit jumped the fence and attacked my boy. He called me and I got home and found my aussie in the back yard bloodied up. Well I know that wounds must heal open (for the most part) I grabbed my peroxide cleaned his puncture wounds out and gave him a warm bath. He healed beautifully. However the psychological aspect sucks because of that dog fight, Cheveyo (my aussie mix) is not always kind to strange dogs. I myself would not want to harm an animal, if I can avoid it, I will.. BUT… if the dog is intent on attacking my dog, I will go that extra mile. My cousins dog just got killed by pit bull. Her dog was 12 pounds! Irresponsible owner could not control the dog on the leash and it got loose and attacked and killed her pup. Soo sad. The guy walking the dog, got a log and beat the dog and that did not break the grip of the dog. What do you do then? It’s crazy. My ex boyfriend has had encounters like that at petsmart, large dog attacked a small dog and he punched it on the side of the head and slammed it to the ground, because the owner of the large dog would not take action. It broke the grip the dog had on the puppy. How sad. Dog fights are terrible. Do what you have to do to protect your four legged. Don’t hesitate.

  17. Nitieka says

    Well he is now neutered, my poor boy :( The vet said it’ll be 2-3 weeks before we see where we’re at for aggression, so I’m still looking at spending alot of money on obedience training to get him over the attack. I’ve become much more vocal when I see anyone walking with a dog off its leash and I really wish Animal Control was around more and nailing these irresponsible owners to the wall for it. I had really hoped to breed my gorgeous boy :(

  18. christopher says

    hello there… well i am afraid i have another bad experience to share… literally 3 hours ago i was walking my dog along the harbour… he is an american bulldog and the biggest soft loving creature you could ever imagine… i am in scotland so this was just after midnight… i keep him on the lead as he is only 1 1/2 years old and likes to bounce around and i am always paranoid he will fall in the water… a rottie approached us out of the blue… i have seen the rottie out with the owner before and offered to introduce ally to her rottie…. she said not to because her rottie was funny with other dogs… anyway everything seemed fine… they were having the usual little sniff… out of the blue this thing just turned and clamped its jaws round my big guys head then all hell broke loose…. i managed to seperate them after what seemed like an age and took a nasty bite to my left hand which required an ambulance to come to the scee to give me some medical attention… i insisted on a name and address.. i went straight to the police station which is directly adjasent to my house… as i was bitten trying to seperate the dogs it is not a criminal matter and must proceed through the civil courts… the police report this to the dog warden who then issue a notice to the rotties owner… i was given a reference number to show it has been reported to claim back any vet fees that may be incufred. his head is a mess and i can see a differencd in his behaviour already i just hope he will get over it… so in my very recent experience… as in a car accident… make sure you get details and report it to the police straight away. hope all your other babies made or are making a good recovery… chris.x.

  19. Kathryn says

    Im finally ready to get back to a walking regimen with my Brittany after we were attacked almost 3 years ago by a Pit Shepard mix. Buster and I used to walk a few times daily but after a vicious attack which required my dog to have 10 staples in his neck we have both been rather shy. The attack seemed to last forever because after my dog broke free the attacking dog chased him out of sight. When the other owner and I caught up with his dog it went after me and it’s owner had to tackle the dog to the ground. Fortunately in time Buster is shy but not aggressive with other dogs. The worst thing has been our fear to walk our own neighborhood. I recently bought him a halter type collar which seems to reassure him when we do go out. He is almost 7 now and I can see that his hind quarters are weakened from lack of use. I am determined to get us both out walking again for both our sakes. Any suggestions for how to be safe? Carry a stick? Pepper spray? We live in a good neighborhood but as we all know there are bad dogs and bad dog owners every where. This bad dog charged out of its house to get at my beautiful, gentle Brittany. Still makes me sad. And yes, I did go back and have the owner pay the vet bill.

  20. JOANNE says

    I just read the article on Stetson. Its the most frightening thing to have happen. Yesterday, I took my black kelpie Jay out for a walk. We were nearly home and I had Jay on his halter. A lady was up ahead and her dog, which looked like a Bulldog, but could have been crossed with another breed, was going crazy. It spotted Jay and wanted a piece of him. I held Jay tightly on his lead and asked the lady to pass me, thinking I would keep myself inbetween my dog and hers. She refused, and said her dog wouldn’t hurt mine, and she wanted me to pass. I should have listened to my own gut instinct. I went to pass and she was having trouble controlling this dog on the lead. It was trying to attack Jay, and Jay didn’t want to pass. Next minute, it broke off the lead and started biting Jays body. I let go of the lead, hoping Jay could outrun him. The dog was biting his hind quarters then bought Jay to the ground. He then got hold of Jay by the side of the head and locked his jaws. My dog was howling in pain, and I screamed at the lady to get her dog off. The sound my dog was making, was making me hysterical and I was on the ground with him and felt I couldn’t do anything to help. Eventually, the lady put her hands in the mouth of her dog to try and unlock his bite. We got free, and Jay lay there for what seemed an eternity. All I could think of was to get far away from this dog and get mine to the Vet. I fumbled for her name and number but being so upset, I didnt save it into my phone properly. Jay was lucky. He has bruising around his back legs, tail, head and neck with bites, but luckily no puncture marks. The blood. which I thought was from Jay must have been from the lady’s hands when she tried to get her dog off. It was the most terrifying thing and I felt helpless. The vet believes Jay survived because he was submissive. If he tried to fight back, it would have given the other dog reason to really hurt him, perhaps even kill him.
    My husband and I will find this lady again around the river in time. We reported the incident to council, but unfortunately without a name and phone number there is nothing more they can do.

  21. Alyssa says

    My dog was recently attacked at an off-leash dog park. My first instincts were to protect my 2 year old yellow lab, I rescued her from the attacking dog, and drove her straight to the emergency vet. Unfortunately, my lab wasn’t as lucky as Stetson. She had to have surgery to repair a deep wound on her neck- which had to have a drain installed for 3 days. She also has 6 stiches in her wrist, and several lacerations on her ear. I didn’t get the other owner’s information- because I was most considered for my dog’s life. However, I wish I would have- the surgery cost $1100 and I have NO information about whether the other dog was current on the shots, etc. I posted flyers around the dog park hoping that the other dog’s owner would realize the severity of the bite wounds and in the least never go back to the off leash dog park- ever again. It broke my heart to have my little baby hurting, and having to deal with surgery, the cone, recovery- when she did nothing at all.
    in Georgia.

  22. Alyssa says

    Also, I was wondering- do you have any information about the psychological effects that my lab will endure? She has seemed to be ok for now- but we are only 4 days after the attack.

    • says

      Hi Alyssa,

      I think it varies for every dog. Stetson had no real issues after he was attacked, but I think Linus my rescue pup has some lingering effects from his attacks.

      I hope your dog is doing okay.

      Take care,

  23. christy says

    I know how terrifying this can be. My two labs were attacked in our yard by the neighbors mastiff last night. The neighbors daughter , her friend and two other neighbors helped me break up the fight. Both are at the vets right now. The owner never came over or called when she got home from work last night.

    • says

      Hi Christy,

      I’m sorry to hear about that. I hope your dogs are doing okay. Hopefully your neighbor has called by now to apologize.

      Take care,

  24. jenn says

    My dog was just attacked yesterday at the dog park completely out of nowhere (as soon as he got in the dog ran up to him and bit him). I was able to get the other dog off mine pretty quickly by grabbing onto his harness and jerking him off my dog. It turned out the lady there with the dog was an employee of a dog sitting company so she called her boss down who falsely claimed she was a vet tech and stated it would be too costly for me to take him to the vet. I asked her for a business card to which she refused but when she took out her phone to get my # her card fell out. I grabbed it off the ground and took my dog to the vet. His vet bills were under $100 but he was very shaken up and half his body is bruised and swollen (he’s a small dog). Luckily there was only a small part that actually drew blood. He’s still obviously very sore and can’t even handle a harness to go potty outside.
    Am I wrong to expect her to pay for his bill? I know it’s not a lot, and thankfully my dog is okay, but she was very rude and defensive about the whole incident.

    • says

      I think it’s up to you and how much you want to fight her to pay for the bill. If she’s already been rude, defensive, and even lied about being a vet tech I’m not so sure how willing she will be to pay the bill. Good luck and I hope your dog is feeling better.

  25. Leticia says

    Hi Colby,

    I have grown up around aggressive dogs and have been able tone down their aggression too. I have also been able to walk my dogs around aggressive dogs. Can’t seem to do it anymore:(

    We recently moved to another location and now all my years with aggressive dogs seem in vain. There is a dog who lives in our society. He doesn’t belong to owners. He constantly growls and tries to attack my dogs. I have tried to calm him down, to scare him with a stick, give him a choostix to reward him when he backs off, which is very rare.

    It has been almost a month and I am afraid that one of these days, my dogs are going to be attacked. I have spoken to a couple of animal rescue officers and some dog trainers, but they think that I should just ignore him. I have tried that as well. He doesn’t bother the other dogs in the neighbourhood, but seems fixated on my dogs. He is very calm around humans and all other dogs and cats in our society.

    I can no longer stay calm. I am upset throughout the day. I am scared to take my dogs out for a walk. I have lost confidence because I used to help dog owners deal with animal aggression. I have sleepless nights thinking that my dogs are going to get hurt because I cannot protect them.

    I now have a four feet stick just to keep him at bay. He sits by the stairs and growls. Somebody has to come and take him away everyday. He has also started to mark his territory and passes urine near our house. He has been neutered. I know that I need to stay calm, but I am worried that I might jeopardise the lives of my dogs.

    It is sad to know that I can help another but not myself. I am too close to the situation.

    • says

      Hi Leticia,

      I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. If he’s a stray dog will Animal Control come pick him up and take him to the animal shelter? You also might try contacting an animal rescue that deals with aggressive dogs. Hopefully you can find a solution. Sorry I’m not much help.

      Good luck!

  26. sam says


    Earlier today my dog got bit. Hes a crossbreed lab and cocker spaniel 2.5yrs old. I see the man who ive spoken to a few times, over the park with his 9 dogs, most of which are long haired collies. Never been a problem before now and usually my dog just takes no notice of the lot of them. But today, he had a new addition, a young lab around 5 months old. I was weary that my dog might give it a nip if its over the top and too playful, and that he would put the pup in its place, as was done to mine at a young age, but then the opposite happened, my dog runs in large circles with the pup chasing him, so all was well, but all of a sudden 1 or 2 of the collies, cant remember now as my brain must have froze, bit my dog and he yelped then just sat down, the collie left it at that. Man didnt apologize or anything! said hes just taking care of the rest of them. I guess dogs look out for their own and that they know what they’re doing of in a dogs world. It wasnt til we went our own ways that i decided to look at my dog closely. He had a scratch on his throat, quite long and fur had come away. Was quite annoyed afterwards, and the man didnt even tell his dog no or anything. Maybe its just one of those things that u dont see coming and its not like the dog ripped into him badly and kept on or anything. Blood wasnt pouring out, just a scratch. I really cant remember if one of the other collies went for him as well, time just stands still for me when stuff happens!

    Glad yr dog is ok now, it is a nightmare when this happnes as u dont know if u will get bit yourself. Maybe take a photo of the dog at least, if the owner isnt around, be something at least to have and show people. When put on the spot like that, faced with that, anything that you set yourself up to do beforehand could possibly all go out the window with sheer worry for you and yr dog. Pups love to play but I guess they dont understand that not all adult dogs want to

    All the best

  27. Debbie says

    Hi ive just read stetsons story i hope he is doing ok, unfortunately i have a story of my own, my jack russell, my springer spaniel and i were walking home from visiting my sisters and as my springer spaniel was only six weeks old at the time i was carrying him as he hadnt had his second vaccination just yet and my jack russell was only one year old when we walked past this ladies house and her rottweiller jumped over the gate of her house and tried to attack me and my puppy but my jack russell buster jumped in the way and was bitten on the side and was really hurt, the girl came out took her rottweiller in and didnt even offer to help at that point a neighbour came out and told me to come in to her house, she phoned my vet and took me and my dogs to the vet which was very nice of her, buster had to get three staples at a top wound and one at the bottom wound, by this time i was very distressed, the vet told me that i should phone the police on the lady as it was inappropriate that she didnt have a high enough fence for her dog, now three months down the line i havent heard anytning from the police and although my dogs are physically ok they are now fighting with each other and my springer spaniel usually starts these fights, buster is neutered and has been for a long time but since that incident he is now terrified of any strange dogs and even if he hears a dog bark he is up at my window barking this really upsets me as before he was a really loving wee dog but now he has changed so much and even though he doesnt attack the other dogs he gets reallu frightened his hackles go up he barks and starts yelping, my spriger spaniel however is ok with other dogs if they are not too big, personally i do not blame the animals for when a dog attacks another one i blame the owners as they should have a high enough fence keep their dogs safely in the garden, they should alo make sure when they pick a dog they pick an appropriate one that they can train, keep their pet on the leash whilst walking and if they know their dog is agressive it should be muzzled, since this incident i have been informed by that neighbour that took us so kindly to the vet that the dog has attacked other dogs, if this is the case why hasnt the owner put the dog on a muzzle and kept it safely in her garden when it is out? I was alo informed by a relative that she bought the rottweiller for her ten year old son but they both lost interest in him when he got older i think people like this should not be allowed pets if they are not willing to train them properly, i hope everyones dogs whos been attacked by other dogs are all ok and if anyone has any advice on how to help my jack russell trust other dogs again and how i will stop them fighting? I really do not want to rehome any of them as they are my life as i dont have kids and become too attached to them ans as i have tried about everything i know but i am limited in experience as these are my first ever dogsi would be really gratefully for any advice yous might have thank you again.

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      I’m sorry to hear about your dogs. I hope they are doing better. I feel very lucky that even though Stetson was bit and we had to go to the vet he had enough good experiences with other dogs that he still trusts strange dogs when we are out on our walks.

      The best thing to do is look into getting a good professional dog trainer to work with you and your dogs. I think this will be a multiple step process to get your dog re-trained to trust other dogs and will require the help of a profesional dog trainer.

      I’m sorry, but I don’t have much advice for you.

      Take care,

  28. suzy says

    colby, i found this extremely helpful. about one month ago my father was walking my 2 year old jack russell… there was a lose pit bull that came out of no where and attacked my dog. this pit bull was out for a kill. we tried separating the two by lifting the pit bull off the ground … but along came my dog and they were both in the air. finally the owner came out and the dog let go of mine. Luckily the owner was very cooperative and is giving me payments for the vet bills. My sweet little jack russell has changed SO much since the attack. shes not the sweet little girl i used to have. she is so scared and think that everyone is out to get her. i know this will go away with time. my question is how long did it take for your little ones to physically heal? its been over a month and im noticing that my dog doesnt want to jump on beds or sofas… she doesnt like to run as much anymore… i think she is still in pain.. its only been a month…maybe im just worrying too much

    • says

      Hi Suzy,

      I hope your little girl is doing better. I was lucky because Stetson was only bit on the tail so it didn’t really effect him too much physically. I was more worried about him healing mentally. If you think she is still in some physical pain you might want to have the vet check her out again. When I worked with Stetson after his attack I immediately tried to get him as many good interactions with other dogs as soon as possible to help build his confidence back up.

      Sending good vibes to you and your pup.

      Take care,

  29. Jim J. says

    Until something threatens or scares or upsets them dogs, like people, want to be friendly! But dogs interpret events as NEGATIVE sometimes. At those times, some dogs have tempers. A high-strung dog may feel threatened or insecure. Often the defense for those feelings is to BITE. Usually there is some surprise for the dog. He was on his leash behaving well but the owner noticed a cute puppy (or cute owner) and reached down to pet. That was the “last straw” and “Buddy” decided to get tough. To “Buddy” that’s not a cute puppy, that’s a dog my owner likes better than me! So Buddy flies off the handle and may do damage.

  30. Ramon says

    Hello Colby!

    Our dog, mom’s and I, got attacked while my mom was walking her on friday; our dog is a short hair chiuhua and was leashed. She had just finished doing her business and my sister who was with mom, was picking up after her and her own dog, another chihuahua… A neighbor came out with a basket out of her apartment and her big dog was unleashed and running heading acrros the street, as soon at it notice our little dogs he changed paths and went up to our little female chihuahua. My mom watced in horror as her dog got bitten, picked up, shaken and thrown on the ground. As my sister and mom were screaming in horror, the big dog owner did nothing, not even call off her dog. After the big dog threw ours on the ground, my siter was able to pull the leash and retrieve our little one.
    The big dog owner put the dog inside her apartment and said it there was naything she could do for them, (Mom and sister), as my mom continue to scream and cry as she look at our dog, my sister was asking the lady why would she let a dog out unleashed…..
    The lady did not say much, simply got in her car and drove off and mom and my siter were trying to take care of the wounds…. It took a chunk out of about 4″ by 2.5″ off our little dog.
    We took our dog to our vet, adn she had surgery. Today we took her back for check up since she has drain tube under her skin; we did not get good news, the sking around the tube and stitches ripped open, the vet said the skin had died. The vet was also concern of our dog not eating and drinking enough water, and the fact that she had a fever, and raised our concern with the knowledge that as a small dog is picked up and shaken by a large dog, there could be some internal and or intestinal damage. I can not tell you how upset my mom ad I got, looking at the possibility of having to put down our adored pet. She is undergoing surgery as I type this letter now.
    I did go to animal control and I truly hope they are doing their best to do something about it….
    The cost so far is up to almost $1,700.00… I just pray we do not have to keep torturing our little one…
    I feel that people who let their unleashed animals out should be punished severely!
    Mom is 80, and that pet means more than a pet! Its a child, a family member; I can not tell you how upset she is.
    Any pointers on what to do now?

    I appreciate any guidance!


    • says

      Hi Ramon,

      Our thoughts and prayers are with your mom’s little dog. I hope she makes a full recovery. You did pretty much the same thing I did when Stetson was bit. We took him straight to the vet and had him fixed up. Fortunately, Stetson is a larger dog (Labrador Retriever) and he only ended up with a decent sized gash on his tail that was cleaned up and bandaged. Our Vet decided not to stitch it up because she said the skin is so tight on the tail the stitches would probably end up ripping.

      After the incident we reported to animal control. You might follow up with animal control and see if they can recommend any further actions.

      Hoping your pup is doing better today.

      Take care,

    • Donna says

      Hi Ramon,
      It’s now a few weeks after your incident and I don’t know if you little dog survived. I pray for you.
      My situation was so similar (except my neighbor is taking responsibility for her dog’s actions). How do we protect the little ones? I’m just happy I was walking the dogs at the time of the attack and not one of my children. Right now it is 12:30am and I’m waiting to hear from the vet regarding my dog’s surgery.

      • Ramon says

        Hello Donna!

        Thnak you for your concern and support. my dog is doing good, it is amazing how fast animals can heal; mon and I have taken very good care of her. We are also a lot more careful when we take her for walks around the neighborhood, if we see a dog approching even if the dog is leashed we just switch paths to avoid any problems since she is stealing healing.
        I also made contact with the attacking dog owner and she was rude and nasty and demanded that I would send her copies of vets bills and pictures; I did send her copies and put all the pictures on a cd plus the case number and contact information for animal contro. Even though I sent it by registered mail, I have not yet received confirmation that she got the envelope. I did made sure and looked her up on the white pages to make sure I had the right address, but I guess she is probably going to denied ever receiving anything since she did not sign to receive the documents.
        So still in the batte, I will send her another package via express mail, and I do have proof of sending the documents, which I can show in court, and I am afraid judging for her reaction and lack of responsability will have to be my next step. I did do a bit of research and found out that she is a nurse and the hospital and department where she works, I just dont know if legally I am allow to send her the documents at her work place, that could be seen as harrassment; but all I really care for is that she takes responsability for her irresponsability.
        Thank you very much for your support.


        • Donna says


          I’m sooooo happy to hear your dog is on the mend. My little guy is doing well also and I’m amazed at how resilient they can be.
          The post office has a variety of proof of delivery methods that don’t require a signature – I would definitely send the letter again. I’m willing to bet that, as long as you make a reasonable effort to get the letter to them, no judge will hold it against you.
          I’m blessed that the neighbor who’s dog attacked mine has taken full responsibility for what happened. She even stopped by this morning to see how he was doing and to give me a special horn that can be used to deter attacking animals (it’s capable of 120db and can be heard for a mile). I wear it like a whistle on a string around my neck. May I never need to use it.

          Best of luck to you,

  31. Tanna says

    Thanks for posting this, I read your post. I just had an incident that involved my five month old German Shepherd getting attacked by a male pit bull. After getting him home and calmed down I realized that there were only a few bumps and bruises but no gashes luckily. I would say that this time my puppy was very lucky but am skeptical of taking him back to the dog park. I wasn’t the one to get the attacking dog off but after about 30 or 45 his owner got him off of him. It was very scary! I did get her contact information and am trying to decide if I should report her to animal control.
    What I am more concerned about is the aftermath of this incident. I am hopeful that my dog will be able to forgive and forget and that this will not negatively affect him. I guess only time will tell! Any advice would be helpful. I have decided to take him back to the same dog park in hopes that he will not become afraid.

    • says

      Hi Tanna,

      I’m sorry to hear about your Shepherd. Your concern was the same as mine and that is how will my dog react to other dogs after the incident. Lucky for me Stetson had been trained as a guide dog and had many good experiences with other dogs. I think it’s important to try and get as many good experiences for your dog with other dogs especially dogs of the same breed as the one that attacked yours

      Hopefully your dog recovers in a short time too. By the way, I stopped taking my dogs to the dog park because I hear about these types of incidents so frequently.

      Take care,

  32. Donna says

    I have a pair of 3 year old Chihuahuas that have been attacked by large dogs on more occasions than I care to count. The first couple of times there were no injuries. I put myself between the aggressor and my dogs and yelled loudly. This was effective with a couple of dogs. One dog was stopped because the owner had put a shock collar on the dog and zapped it five times which stopped the dog. I had been backing up toward a house with a fence where I was planning to toss the dogs over.
    My vet warned me that many large dogs would consider my dogs prey – I just never realized how dangerous it would be.
    The most recent incident was tonight.
    My neighbor (who is a wonderful person) rescued a dog a number of years ago. This dog is friendly toward people but aggressive toward other dogs. My neighbor once warned me that if I ever saw her dog running loose – to get inside with my dogs asap. It was dark and I had just stepped from my driveway to the sidewalk when I sensed something. I turned and there was my neighbor’s dog running full speed toward me – there was no where to go. I yelled at her (this dog knows me well) but there was no deterring her. She caught my male and started shaking him. Luckily, I was able to grab her collar and when I did that, she dropped my dog. My female was busy barking and trying to protect her brother. At this point my neighbor came running and dragged her dog home to secure her. The dog had gotten loose as she was being removed from the back of the car – it was an accident. I knew my guy was hurt from his screams – you can imagine how shaken I was. My neighbor came over as soon as she locked up her dog and rushed me to an emergency vet. At this point, my little guy is in surgery to repair a puncture to his abdomen and I’m waiting to hear from the vet.
    I keep going over it in my head and I know there was nothing anyone could have done to change the outcome. I am now terrified at the prospect of ever walking them again. What do I do? I’m now so scared. :(

    • says

      Hi Donna,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. Ever since Stetson was attacked I carry around a dog spray deterrent called Spray Shield. I’m not sure if it works since I haven’t tried it yet, but I remember one of our trainers recommending it years ago.

      I hope your dog is doing better.

      Take care,

      • Donna says

        My guy is well on his way to a full recovery. The neighbor who’s dog attacked mine (and has taken full responsibility for what happened) stopped in to see my dog today and give me a special horn that is supposed to work on attacking animals. May I never need it but in my area we also have to contend with the wildlife like coyotes (my neighbor saw one in the middle of the street a few days ago).

        • says

          I’m glad to hear your dog is doing well. We have coyotes in our area too and you can tell they aren’t really fearful of us. Hopefully you’ll never have to use your horn and I will never have to use my deterrent spray.

  33. suzy says

    to all owners who have surviving dogs of vicious attacks:
    how has the attack affected your dog? My dog survived a horrific attack she is fully recovered now but it seems like dogs can sense fear in her now and all dogs, even small dogs seem to want to attack her!

    • says

      Hi Suzy,

      I’m sorry to hear about your dogs horrific attack. I was afraid that Stetson would have issues after he was attacked, but fortunately he had no ill affects. He was trained as a guide dog and had many great experiences with other dogs. I think that really helped in him knowing that most dogs are good. I hope yours makes a fully mental recovery.

      Take care,

  34. Jenn says

    My small dog got attacked when he was only 1 1/2 years old. He had loved dogs and had great social skills. He became reactive after that. It was so very difficult to find help from people who knew what they were talking about. I got some harmful advice not knowing where to turn. Finally I found Emma Parson’s book on reactive dogs and slowly worked to rehab my dog with clicker training. For many years now he’s enjoyed play groups. He’s 10 years old and still loves playing with other dogs. Unfortunately this play group – which is run by – had an agressive big dog – attacked my dog. Luckily he’s alive. No more play groups for him. This playgroup apparently had a previous incident and a small dog was killed. I thought this aggressive dog was removed from the playgroup, but I sadly found out not. It’s very difficult to find others with small dogs for regular walks and keep my dog’s social skills up. Anyways – if you have a dog that got attacked and is stressed out, if there is a reactive dog class near you area this can help. Positive clicker training can help give positive associations with the outside world.

    • says

      Hi Jenn,

      Thank you for telling us about your experience. I’m glad you were able to work with your dog and slowly rehab him. I hope he’s doing better since his second attack.

      Take care,

  35. Devon Naidoo says

    My Tara was attacked again this morning during our walk by the same dog. Tara’s 11 years old Irish terrier. She’s my baby. Some dog owners are irresponsible. That’s a fact and I have to do the necessary to protect my dog. To this end I’ve purchased an electric shock stick powerful enough to stun a dog into submission. I know it’s drastc but am not willing to subject my dog to any more fear and pain.

  36. Walter says

    My Yellow Lab (Bale) was bitten by another dog, there was little bleeding after that, but he looked fine, but today (One day later) he is in pain, looks very scared, can’t get him to the vet because Huriccane Sandy took both of my cars, car service does not work in my area cause there is no gas… What should I do? Can I give him aspirin to take the pain away? Please help…

    • says

      Hi Walter,

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog and your situation with hurricane Sandy. You should try contacting your vet to find out what you can give your dog. If it’s after hours try contacting an emergency vet in your area. I hope your dog is feeling better.

      Take care,

    • Devon Naidoo says

      Hi Walter,

      Sorry about your predicament. I’m not sure about aspirin but once a vet suggested 250mg Paracetamol twice daily for one of my dogs who was in pain. But you really should get your dog to a vet as soon as possible to prevent any infections that can arise from the saliva of the other dog which carries infection causing viruses and bacteria. Hope this helps.

      Devon Naidoo

  37. Mackerfan says

    Last night my husband’s setter was laying by his dog pen in our yard and was attacked by my neighbor’s rott and another dog. They literally tore him up. When we heard the yelping we went out our dog was almost unconscious from loss of blood and being in shock and the other two dogs were tearing at him like a lion eating a gazelle. It was awful. I have been eerie of the Rott for the past couple of years but haven’t had any serious problems with him before last night. The vet seems to think that our bird dog will survive, but probably won’t be able to hunt this season. My question is this. Are the odds of a future attack even greater now that the dogs know that they can defeat our dog. I am an animal lover and I realize that the Rott is their family pet, but I feel it isn’t right that I have to worry about my dogs, or my grand kids, or anyone may be attacked by the dog. I cannot get the image out of my head of them tearing at him while he lay there near death. He is full of sutures and puncture wounds that the vet can’t do anything for. Any suggestions on dealing with the neighbors and with the dog situation?

  38. Lorna says

    Wow thanks for this article I did’nt know you could report it as we called the police and no-one came, and I am glad to hear you and stestson are ok.
    A similar thing happened to my border collie, when 2 st bernards appeared from nowhere and attacked him. I have to admit I freaked out when I saw my dog disappear underneath the dogs and I started hitting and kicking them in an attempt to free my dog. That didn’t work and I spent some agonising moments screaming for help and trying to get the dogs of my dog. I found a gap and shoved the bernards off Kenny for a moment and blocked the dogs from attacking again. Thankfully a man came running and started shouting at the dogs. one ran away and the other backed off, I got Kenny to flee but the bernard tried to attack again, my dog stopped, but we caught up and i pinned the bernard against a wall while I called my grandparents for help. The man got us behind a gate whilst he held the bernard. The owner appeared and said they are not normally like this!! Kenny put up a brave fight and he came out with a few bite marks and was subdued for a few days never leaving us. This happened in August and I am now too fearful to walk him again, what could I use to try and fend dogs off?

    • says

      Hi Lorna,

      I’m sorry to hear about your border collie. I purchased a dog deterrent spray from Amazon. I have not tried it yet, but I’m hoping it will do the trick if I ever run into the same situation. I hope Kenny is doing better now.

      Take care,

      • Lorna says

        Yes he is much better thankyou. Back to his regular self and seems to like dogs again :).
        Thanks for the suggestion I will look into some dog spray.

      • kathy linville says

        Your episode sounds all too familiar, sadly. After my sweet puppy was attached he ended up with a 2″ facial laceration that nearly caught his eye and we had to pay the bill because the other dog owner refused to pay $425.00 (despite witnesses) . Now, I assume ALL dogs are unfriendly (especially off leash dogs) and I don’t permit casual contact with dogs we don’t know. There are just too many irresponsible owners. We don’t do dog parks! I love my baby dearly and will do everything in my power to never have him experience such trauma again. It’s my job. Now he has safe play dates with his buddy and we’re both happy. (Note: although my pup is totally playful at the time he was NOT neutered. I believe his high level of testosterone was sensed by the other dogs and provoked them to attack.)

        • says

          I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. I agree that their are many irresponsible dog owners out there. We haven’t taken our dogs to the dog park for years just for that reason. I hope your pup is fully recovered from his injuries.

          • kathy linville says

            Yes, my boy has fully recovered and thankfully there’s no psychological damage, except maybe to me. I don’t normally read posts or comment but I found your story to be so similar to mine. Thank you for sharing it.

          • says

            Thanks Kathy! I’m glad everything is okay with your boy. I was worried for Stetson, but he has made a full recovery physically and psychologically as well.

  39. says

    I have often thought of taking some kind of spray with me as i am always coming across dogs off leash on my walks. Glad neither of you were severely hurt.

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I think it would be a good idea to bring a deterrent spray when your out on your walks if you’re coming across dogs off leash. You really don’t want to experience your dog getting attacked.

      Take care,

  40. Wendy Little says

    We took our two dogs to a Pet Expo. My husband had our chocolate lab and I our lab mix puppy. We both filled out extensive paperwork which stated our dogs were not aggressive. I had just crossed the threshold into the event when a pit bull charged our sweet, big chicken lab. The pittie was vicious. David did his best to get between the dogs and was able to pull the very muscular pit bull off. The dumb blond woman who had already been asked to leave with her menacing dog, just stood there like the idiot that she was. We are both fortunate that my attention was on my dog, who was hemorrhaging copiously from his nose, where he was bit, otherwise, I’d be in jail for attacking the dumb blond (fake blond at that, can you tell I have no respect and contempt for her, really wear heals and try to control a muscular dog, I’ve met rocks with higher IQ’s) bimbette, I see it as her fault. Like idiots, we didn’t file a report, we were too concerned about our dog. There is also so much media about the poor maligned pitties, that I didn’t want to add to the stigma. I cupped both of my hands under my dogs chin and they were both dripping with Duke’s blood. Fortunately, he healed fine. In hind site, we should have filed a report and stuck the dumb blond with a vet bill. Maybe having to forgo the next bleach job or set of high heeled shoes would have taught even her idiot self something. That was 3-4 months ago. Last week I was walking my dogs in the park and we saw, about a 1/2 a block away, a young man with a hyper-excited pittie. I had my 2 sit and he tried and couldn’t. I asked him to walk the other way to avoid a repeat biting. Fortunately he did. He had to pick his dog up by the chest and carry him for 2 -3 blocks. I am now not so sure I buy that pitties don’t have an aggressive streak. I am sure that if you have to have one, you should know how to manage them and should go through training with them. The only reason there was not a second biting incident was my knowledge and insistence that the other owner remove his aggressive dog. Dogs off leash should never be tolerated unless in offleash areas as it’s just inviting trouble. I don’t know what the answer is and I do not wish to malign a breed. I do, however, wish to malign idiots who can not control their dogs as my dogs have paid the price.

    • says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. I’m glad he’s doing okay now. We bring our older guide dogs to the Pet Expo to help run our booth, but many of the pet dogs and adoptable dogs that we see are not well behaved and the owners do not keep an eye on their dogs. We tell all of our handlers to keep a close eye on their dogs, the other dogs, and the surroundings.

  41. Wendy Little says

    We took our two dogs to a Pet Expo. My husband had our chocolate lab and I our lab mix puppy. We both filled out extensive paperwork which stated our dogs were not aggressive. I had just crossed the threshold into the event when a pit bull charged our sweet, big chicken lab. The pittie was vicious. David did his best to get between the dogs and was able to pull the very muscular pit bull off. The dumb blond woman who had already been asked to leave with her menacing dog, just stood there like the idiot that she was. We are both fortunate that my attention was on my dog, who was hemorrhaging copiously from his nose, where he was bit, otherwise, I’d be in jail for attacking the dumb blond (fake blond at that, can you tell I have no respect and contempt for her, really wear heals and try to control a muscular dog, I’ve met rocks with higher IQ’s) bimbette, I see it as her fault. Like idiots, we didn’t file a report, we were too concerned about our dog. There is also so much media about the poor maligned pitties, that I didn’t want to add to the stigma. I cupped both of my hands under my dogs chin and they were both dripping with Duke’s blood. Fortunately, he healed fine. In hind site, we should have filed a report and stuck the dumb blond with a vet bill. Maybe having to forgo the next bleach job or set of high heeled shoes would have taught even her idiot self something. That was 3-4 months ago. Last week I was walking my dogs in the park and we saw, about a 1/2 a block away, a young man with a hyper-excited pittie. I had my 2 sit and he tried and couldn’t. I asked him to walk the other way to avoid a repeat biting. Fortunately he did. He had to pick his dog up by the chest and carry him for 2 -3 blocks. I am now not so sure I buy that pitties don’t have an aggressive streak. I am sure that if you have to have one, you should know how to manage them and should go through training with them. The only reason there was not a second biting incident was my knowledge and insistence that the other owner remove his aggressive dog. Dogs off leash should never be tolerated unless in offleash areas as it’s just inviting trouble. I don’t know what the answer is and I do not wish to malign a breed. I do, however, wish to malign idiots who can not control their dogs as my dogs have paid the price. p.s. If I knew the dumb blonds name, I would malign her publically, as she was so negligent and so stupid, yet she didn’t have to pay for her poor judgment, our dog did.

  42. marsha says

    I don’t like to resort to violence ;if it can be avoided at all costs ill take the higher road. BUT….. if an uncontrollable dog attacks my dog I will shoot it. I’m tired of irresponsible people that don’t take he time to give a shit. I don’t own a gun bit in the future I do plan on becoming licensed to carry one. For now I carry a knife and a wooden stick. I have been there and done that W my dogs getting attacked! EFF THAT! ITS horrific and damaging to the Psyche.

  43. Rick says

    My maltese and chocolate lab were attacked by a pit bull. The pit bull came out of nowhere and my dogs greeted him like any other dog would but my Maltese was picked up and shock violently by the pit. I tried verbal commands but nothing happened I grabbed the pit bull by his collar but wouldn’t let go until my lab bit the pit bull and then he let go and attacked my lab. I still had the pit bull by the collar and was able to pick him up. The owner finally made it over and apologized and said he got away from him. My lab had a tear in his ear it was very bloody. The owner ran his dog home and grabbed a few bandages for my dogs. I got the bleeding under control but my Maltese doesn’t seem right anymore. We took him to the vet and he gave him some pain medication and antibiotics. When we got him home he hides from everyone and doesn’t seem to want do anything. He doesn’t come when we call just walks away. He stands up in one place for the longest time and doesn’t move it’s like he is in a trance. I know people get traumitized but how do you take care of a dog? Btw my lab seems to be doing fine just seems to have a torn ear.

    • says

      Hi Rick,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dog getting attacked. When Stetson was attacked he did the exact same thing. He was eagerly awaiting to play with the Shepherd that was charging at him. However, as soon as the German Shepherd bit him he ran the other way. Lucky for me Stetson is a 70 pound Labrador Retriever and was able to fully recover physically and mentally. You might try having a professional dog trainer or pet behaviorist come to the house to work with you and your dog. I don’t know too much about pets and trauma, but hopefully your little Maltese can snap out of it and go back to his regular behavior. I’m glad to hear that your Lab is doing fine.

      Take care,

  44. Chris says

    Dear Rick

    I had a similar experience when my American Bulldog was attacked by a Rottwieler. Everything was rosy in the garden then out of the blue, WHAMMO.

    My dog was behaving in a similar way to yours and i was really worried about him. Like you, i noticed he was very shy all of a sudden and very distant. I am pleased to say he is back to his normal self now and i would like to share how i achieved that with you.

    First of all i just hugged him endlessly. I spoilt him to death. I coupled this with walks in secluded woodland areas where i could let him off the leash and he could concentrate on just having a good sniff.

    When i got him home i would take him into a room, set out some treats and then sit, facing into the corner of the room so i had my back to him. Once he had finished off his treats he would walk over slowly and i would sit motionless until he became comfortable with me being there. As his confidence started to grow he would come and be playful as soon as the treats were finished. This is when i started taking him out to more socialable surroundings with other dogs.

    He was tentative at first but with plenty of reassurance he got his confidence back. I then took him into the city for a few hours and walked him in a very busy environment, he was quite jumpy to start with but he soon got used to all the people, since doing that he became much more calm in quiter surroundings. Doing this got me my dog back. It didn’t happen over night, it took about 4 months all in all.

    Hopefully some of these tips help your dog.

    Best of luck.


  45. kimmaly says

    My Gizzy was recently attacked by a crazy pit bull when we were walking by. Although he is okay physically he is not acting well mentally. He seems depresed and doesn’t want to move much. He sits in the yard and stares and when I call him back inside he doesn’t want to come in. I don’t know what to do with my baby. I feel so sad for him. Do I take him walking again? I am clueless. He was such a happy sweet silly animal. He doesn’t even want to play with his sister dog. Please help…..

    • kat says

      I’d take your dog to the vet because he may have internal injuries, brain, spinal cord, that are affecting his odd behavior. Best of luck to you Gizzy.

  46. says

    My dog was attacked today. She was walking to heel and a large Alsation came running at high speed, ignoring his owner, bowled my dog over and then started attacking her. My husband kicked the dog away but he was intent on attacking. He went for my husband and he kicked out again and still he was intent on attacking our dog. My husband picked up our dog and held her in his arms. She was completely shaking. The owner ran up with his other dog on a lead and started apologising. His attacking dog had run off. He said the dog knew what he had done as he had run off. My husband carried our dog back to the car and wasn’t until he got her home that he realised that the attacking dog her ripped her front let. He took her straight to the vets where she was anesthatised and had to be stitched – at a cost of £643.00. We have vet insurance but it’s not the point. The vet said our dog was lucky to only have the injuries she had. The owner should pay but we were so intent on getting her away from anymore harm and at that point didn’t know she was physically injured. She is in her basket, very drowsy and frightened.

    • says

      I hope your dog is feeling better. This sounds very similar to my experience with Stetson. I was so caught up and getting Stetson away and to safety I never had a chance to get information from the owner. Our vet bill was not quite as high since the Vet recommended no stitches because she said stitches in the tail would most likely not hold since the skin is so tight. Stetson had antibiotics and luckily recovered both mentally and physically after a few days.

      I hope your dog makes a full recovery as well.

  47. Shelly says

    Our 5 month old Havanese puppy was just attacked by an unleashed dog when my son and I were out walking him two days ago. We have only had him three weeks and he is just getting comfortable with a harness and leash. We were on a walking path with our puppy on his leash. A man was walking towards us on the path and as we got closer we realized he was holding a leash, but his dog was not connected to it. The man was watching the wooded area next to our side of the path. That’s when I realized he had a dog nearby. We stopped on the path and I was watching hard to see his dog, but it was well camouflaged. I couldn’t see his dog until it was about 10 feet away from us. It was the size of a German Shepard and looked like a German Shepard crossed with a boxer or something like that. It saw our dog and started walking towards us. From 4 feet away it ran at our puppy, grabbed him around the middle, picked him up off the ground and shook him. Our dog was yowling something fierce!!! It was horrible! Instantly, I yelled at the other dog and ran to rescue our puppy. The other dog let go when I got there and the owner called the dog to him and THEN he put the leash on his dog. I picked up our puppy who was whimpering, but I was able to calm him down. He wasn’t bleeding, but my son was screaming and crying. The man said he was sorry and that his dog is a nice dog. I told him that may be so, but that his dog should have been leashed. I was dumbfounded, but I did manage to think about demanding his name and number. He did write it down for me along with his address, and he said he would pay for the vet bill. When we got home, I examined Dakota (our puppy) and he appeared to be okay. His hair was everywhere, but I couldn’t tell if he was bruised or what. We called the ER vet since it was after hours, and they recommended taking him in to be examined for internal injuries. Dakota has a bruise on his back where the attack originated near the harness. We think the other dog got ahold of a ton of hair and the harness because being off the ground and shaken like that Dakot would have been badly injured had the dog really grabbed his back. It is truly a miracle he wasn’t severely injured!! Once home from the ER, I did report it to the police. After reading all these posts, I am in awe at how often things like this occur. Thank you for the postings and support!!! We just took Dakota on another walk down the same path yesterday and he was okay, but we carry a golf club with us now. We haven’t had him around other dogs yet, but I’ve been told it would be good to get him socialized again to small and large dogs so size of a dog doesn’t become an issue to Dakota. My heart aches for all of the victims in this blog!!

  48. says

    my dog was attacked by a pitbull and i am 10 and now i scard that another dog is going to attacked by another dog what should i do?

    • Donna says

      I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you. You aren’t alone in being worried about your dog getting attacked again, I am too. But I know that my guys still have to go out to do their business and get some exercise. I avoid any area where I know people aren’t responsible and let their dogs off the leash. I also carry a special whistle (I got it at LLBean) that is supposed to deter animals. I don’t know if it works but it is very loud so I figure at the very least it would attract the attention of other people who could help. Since you are only ten – is there someone who can come with you when you walk the dog? One person could hold the leash and the other could carry a stick. It isn’t convenient but I’m willing to bet it would make you feel better. Good Luck !

    • sherri says

      I’m so very sorry to hear what happened to your dog and you. I hope your dog and you are doing okay. Just like Donna mentioned, you are not alone in worrying if your dog will be attacked again. This is normal to feel this way. Just yesterday I took my dog for a walk and he too was attacked by an unleashed dog. I can tell you I feel the same way you do right now. Donna is really giving you some good advice. Also you might want to talk to your parents or another trusted adult and let them know your concerns and how you feel. Just keep your chin up and stay strong for yourself and your dog. Best of luck to you.

  49. says

    My border collie/lab mix was viciously attacked yesterday on our daily walk. One of the bite wounds on his neck was so deep, they weren’t able to stitch it yet. Instead, they had to insert a drainage tube. Now that the anesthesia has worn off, I can see that he is definitely not “himself” yet and understandably so. He is often afraid of unusual things like garbage cans and anything that moves. He has taken to pacing in circles and hiding when something startles him. Eventually, the wounds will heal but I’m worried about long-term emotional damage…

    • says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your border collie/lab mix. Hopefully he makes a full recovery both physically and mentally. Lucky for us Stetson didn’t have any lingering effects from his attack. Hopefully the same will be true for your dog.

    • Sherri says

      Sorry to here about what happened. I hope your dog and you are doing okay. This same thing happened to me just this year. My dog had drain tubes and stitches as well. My neighbors dog was attacked by the same dog that attacked my dog and I just seen him the other day and he is doing well after the attack. He is back to himself and plays well with other dogs. My dog is also back to his normal self after the attack. After the attack on my dog he was not himself for awhile. When you go back to your vet mention some of the concerns you have to them. I wish you the best of luck with you and your dog.

      • says

        I’m doing fine – apparently, I had a tetanus shot in 2009, which was my doctor’s primary concern. I wish I would have stayed around to ask questions but all I could think about was getting my dog out of the situation, especially since their dog still was unleashed. Max seems to be doing a little better every day. He has managed to chew out his drain tube but the vet said that was okay. We follow up in 2 days. He’s “funny” about going outside now and actually pulled out of his harness (he can’t wear his collar yet because of the injury) to run back to the front door…but eventually, he is desperate enough to go potty outside…I hope and assume this will get better…thanks for your concern!

  50. marsha says

    I totally agree w u. Keep your dog on a leash. Anytime I see someone w a dot and no leash while I’m w my dog I will ask them to put a leash on their dog. Same thing Hppened w my pup. I got him neutered and he still has some issues but don’t give up on him. Just be patient. Before he was neutered I would wake up to him fighting w my bullmastiff. Like I said now it is a rare. If I leave the house I just put my bullmastiff in a room. He responds to me when I sayin no in a formlow rumbling type voice. It has been a journey. Stressful. Don’t hesitate to yell at another dog if they r lose and or kick it to keep it away from your dog.

  51. marsha says

    Oh wow:( that sucks. When a dog comes at u, stand your ground, if u observe the situation and see that the dog is not responsive be ready to kick the dog or if u have a stick hit it hard. Hey its cruel but its either u or your dog. Pepper spray doesn’t always work on dogs. Worst comes to worst and the dog bites down shove your fist down the throat and gag it. My boyfriend was at petsmart and some guys large dog attacked a little dog, to break the bite he shoved his fist down the dogs throat and then hurled it on the grountrd. Some dogs u can shoo away other dogs u have to become violent with. Personally I see a loose dog I walk the other way or if I see it w its owner I ask the owner to leash it and if he or she refuses I remind them its against the law. I have witnessed my dogs in two fights and it sucks. Always be prepared and alert. Observe your surroundings. If all else fails make sure to take a stick and knife on your walk. I really hate that there r so many irresponsible owners out there. A few weeks ago my cousin took her pooch for a walk; next thing she knows a Pitt being walked on the other side of the street breaks free from the Guy walking it and kills her dog. Wtf? The dog was put down but the stupid college kid knew it was a problem dog let some other moron watch it while he was on vacation! Obviously the kid was too weak. Why wasn’t the dog on a prong and why didn’t it have a muzzle? He shouldn’t have walked the dog if he was too weak. What an idiot. Grrr.


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