My Dog Was Attacked By Another Dog Now He’s Scared

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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.

My dog was attacked now he's scared
My dog was attacked now he’s scared

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.

QUICK TIP: A few items (besides poop bags) we carry around now to keep us safe especially in case another dog (or any animal for that matter…we have coyotes too) tries to attack us:

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.

QUICK TIP: This probably would have been a good time to use the Animal Deterrent Spray.

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 playtime.

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
Poor Stetson had to wear the cone of shame for a few days 🙁

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 owner’s 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 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 flashlight 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.

My Dog Was Attacked By Another Dog Now He’s Scared

Luckily for us Stetson didn’t carry the emotional scars for long.

Here are a few things we did try and downplay the attack on Stetson:

  • We made sure we were aware of our own behavior when back out on walks.  Often times our energy gets passed down through the leash to our dog.  It’s important to remain calm, relaxed, and quiet when getting back into the walking routine.
  • Keep an eye on your own dog for behavior changes.  If you notice your dog showing fear or aggression then you should consult a dog trainer/behaviorist.
  • We started off slowly with Stetson getting him back into his walking routine and kept our distance between him and other dogs.  Slowly closing the gap as I saw Stetson was comfortable with other dogs on our outings.
  • We re-introduced Stetson to dogs he already knew
  • We introduced him to new dogs we already knew were friendly and calm.

The good news was in short time it seemed Stetson really didn’t hold a grudge against other dogs.

Part of the reason why I’m putting this post together is to not only inform you, but to find out what you would have done if your dog was attacked by another dog?

Please let us know in the comment section below.

UPDATE: We received our SprayShield Animal Deterrent Spray and luckily we haven’t had to use it yet, but think it would work great if an aggressive dog or other animal approached us. It’s a citronella-based spray and contains about 12 seconds worth of spray with a range of up to 10 feet.

My dog was attacked by another dog now he's scared. What do you do when a dog charges at your defenseless dog biting, scratching, and attacking your dog? This happened to our poor Stetson and it gave us an idea of something we should do before, during, and after a dog fight happens. #dogattack #dogfight #dogattackdefense #dogattacksanotherdog #dogattacksotherdogs
My dog was attacked by another dog now he’s scared.

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  1. Hi, my 7 month old pup was attacked by 2 dogs this morning whilst we were on our morning walk.
    They had escaped a garden, as I found out after the attack.
    I’m afraid I did not remain calm at all, they were coming at my poor dog Tia from both sides and I was just screaming for help whilst trying to get to safety in a nearby garden.
    Thankfully there was no major damage to Tia but I’ll be keeping a close eye on her today as she seemed, understandably, a little in shock when we got home.
    I could see one of the dogs ahead of me, it was walking beside 2 people and I assumed it was with them. As I got closer the dog tailed off from the 2 people which is when it turned, saw Tia and just flew at her. The 2nd dog came out of nowhere and joined in the attack.
    I feel so guilty as I just wish that as soon as I could see that dog was not on a leash, whether it was with an owner or not, I should have turned and walked the other way. I will certainly be doing that from now on.

  2. Our year old Labradoodle,Lisa, was attacked today by an off leash bull dog type dog. The dogs owner jumped on top of her dog, but he wouldn’t stop. I finally pulled Lisa out from under him. We got the owners name, phone and car license, she said she’d pay for g Amy expenses. We took Lisa to Dog Urgent Care. She seems to be alright, the vet gave us antibiotics in case of puncture wounds, pain pills and probiotics. I sent the owner a picture of the invoice, but I haven’t heard back from her. Should I contact Animal Services?
    Then we went to another park where I’ve taken Lisa before. There was an 8 year old Chow that wanted to visit. But Lisa, who has always loved other dogs, barked and barked and then shied away when the Chow stepped toward her. How do we resocialize her?

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your Labradoodle. We didn’t contact animal services when Stetson was attacked, but if we had to do it again we would report an incident to animal services just in case the dog has a history attacking other dogs. When we were re-socializing Stetson we started with slow introductions with dogs he knew really well. However, if you’re having issues you might look into getting a local professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist to work with you and your dog.

  3. Thank you for the post. My 7-month old LabX, Rhea, was attacked yesterday by a neighbors large dog as my husband was leaving my parents driveway. My dog is so very submissive that she crouches to tiny dogs and will show her belly upon initial greeting. Not sure if this Rottweiler was truly “coming to play” as owner claims but their other two dogs in that house were put down for having bitten people. I am going to purchase the spray suggested. Rhea was unscathed and my husband instinctually did the actions you recommended. She had wet herself and was pretty scared when we got her inside. I am concerned with resulting anxiety with a dog that is already so submissive. Yes, she has been clingy but I am pleased to report after cleaning her up and relaxing, she shifted right back into her allotted “pack assignment” within my parents group of three tiny dogs with minimal change. She is showing extra sensitivity for acceptance to the one she deems alpha. I worry that as owner I should be doing things to improve her confidence. (Side note: Rhea could be Stetsons twin sister, the resemblance is very strong). Thanks again.

  4. Hi Colby! This literally just happened to Buddy – our yellow lab – a few hours ago. The other dog WAS on a leash and it was a small dog, but it was one we never saw in the neighborhood before. This has never happened to us before and it was quite traumatizing. We don’t know the lady or the pup – I have a feeling she might have just got this pup because we know almost every dog in the neighborhood and they ALL know Buddy (they wait on our front lawn for Buddy to come out to play – they really do all get along except for maybe one or two).

    ANYWAY – I have noticed Buddy is EXTREMELY clingy after this incident. I don’t know how he is going to react to other dogs for the next few days, but I am already seeing the clingyness even though he is super happy, has his toy squeaking in his mouth, eating, etc.

    Did you find that Stetson was extra “clingy” after the incident and if so would love to know some ways to alleviate which might be his fear? I don’t even know because he seems happy as ever except for not leaving our sides.

    Thanks !

    1. OH! Edited to add *** Buddy had to go to the animal hospital and get stitches and the situation was very similar to yours in that we had no idea he was really hurt until we got home and he was bleeding everywhere. We never got the other lady’s information.

      1. Yep, it sounds almost exactly like our situation. Are vet recommended no stitches since the cut was in Stetson’s tail. He said the stitches would likely break since the skin is so tight around the tail.

    2. Hi Amanda, I’m sorry to hear about Buddy. Hopefully he’s doing better now that it’s been a few days. I didn’t notice Stetson being clingy and I think it probably had a lot to do with his own personality. He was always very independent and never acted clingy since he was a puppy. Stetson had a very easy going personality and we did get him to hang out with our friend’s dog who he had known for many years just to have him readjust to being around other dogs. Fortunately for us Stetson never seemed to hold any resentment towards other dogs even German Shepherds like the one that attacked him. Again, hopefully Buddy is doing better today.

  5. My 6yr old female golden retriever was attacked today by a boxer male. I was walking with my 3 kids and wife, our dog was off lead in the woods but when i seen the boxer coming i put mine on lead. The owner of the boxer said hes not aggressive but within seconds he jumped her back and grabbed her neck. My dog went into submissive pose on her belly but the boxer kepts attacking. I screamed at the boxers owner to lease her dog which eventually did. She also had a small collie mix who was also barking and nipping at ours. My dog didnt bark at theirs just passed by but hers went straight on attack. It shook my kids and myself as we were a couple of kilometers from car and public.

  6. About two weeks ago I was going through my normal morning routine with my German Shepherd mix Oliver. I take him out and let him run a few moments and he’ll come back and let me clip his chain to his collar then I’ll feed and give him water and of food to work I go. There’s never been an issue since i moved to this neighborhood however I’ve noticed a lot of the people don’t keep their dogs inside or on chains they just let them roam. I never second guessed it til that day because none of the dogs we’re aggressive. My dog is two and has never even so much as growled or nipped at another dog even during play time, he’s always loved other dogs. That morning was normal I let him out to run and he circled the yard and was coming back to me when another dog came into the yard, I’ve seen it around a time or two it’s always seemed friendly and has even let me pet it, I don’t know the dogs name or owner. Oliver walked over to greet the other dog and when he did he was wagging his tail and prepared to sniff the other dog who rounded on him and started to attack. It’s early morning with limited visibility and I can’t tell which dog is mine so I’m calmly as I can in that situation trying to call Oliver back to me. He turned to come back and began running to which the other dog began to chase him. I had to pick up a stick in case the other dog got ahold of him again. Once oliver was back at my side the other dog turned and took off. I checked oliver over and found no injuries so I put him on his chain fed and watered him and text my neighbor to keep an eye out in case the other dog came back. Since then I haven’t let oliver out without a leash unless he’s on his chain. He’s begun to get extremely paranoid and barks aggressively at other dogs who even walk past the yard. He’s even begun barking at night if a car goes down the road. He’s become extremely paranoid about even the slightest of sounds so much so that I’m scared if i don’t get him training and socialization classes that I may have to get him put on anxiety medication or possibly even the one option no dog owner wants to consider. I knew dogs could become traumatized after being attacked but this took me by surprise. I haven’t even seen the other dog since that day.

  7. My service dog and I were attacked today while my son, my service dog and I were out for a walk. I heard the clicking on the pavement behind us and knew it was the aggressive barking dog charging at us. The same one we’d just passed in a yard with a fence that had boards missing. I even said, as we passed, “God, I hope that dog isn’t anywhere that he can get out of that fence.” I honestly thought he couldn’t possibly be able to get out, given his aggressive bark. I really thought, given the disrepair of the fence that he was likely in a dog run somewhere or some other contained area and not just roaming around that yard. I couldn’t see anything as we passed and it was a wooden fence. In the gapping sections, I didn’t see a dog which led me to think he must be contained somewhere out of sight. His bark was menacing and I didn’t want anything to happen to my service dog. We passed the house and I thought all was well. Then, I heard the clicking behind us. I may never be able to get that sound out of my head. I grabbed my dog without thinking (I have lifting restrictions due to an auto accident and he is a 60+ lb dog). I started weaving and spinning while my dog clung to me as the dog lunged at me and my dog and started ripping at his backside. I looked to see mouthfuls of my dog’s hair in this beast’s mouth. This dog was dead-set on killing my dog. I screamed, “Help us! Someone help us!” My son tried to keep the dog away. The dog kept circling my legs and biting my dog. He even tried to get at the neck. I kept holding my service dog as high as I could and swinging him around to avoid the teeth. A van drove up and said for us to get my dog in the back. At some point, someone working on the farm came to leash the dog. I was terrified the entire time. My dog isn’t just my family, he and I are a team. I need him for my disability. We work as a team. Today, I gave it zero thought to risk my own life to save his. I now have injuries from having to lift my dog that need medical attention. I don’t know at this stage what my long-term injuries will be. People need to understand how important service dogs are to their people. My dog is everything to me. We’ve worked together for over 7 years including over the 2 years we trained together. I spent thousands to train him. We are invested in each other. The “owner” of this vicious dog owns an organic farm with a self help station for the general public to come on the farm and buy produce (we weren’t doing that, we were walking on the other side of the road). There is no way this farm should be in business with a vicious dog on the property and a fence with gapping holes where boards have been missing. Public safety is at issue here given what happened to us today. I took my dog to the vet and contacted animal control. I am pressing charges and pursuing every legal avenue available to stop this from happening again and to hold this idiot owner accountable. This “owner” will never truly know the damage they’ve done by their negligence (including putting their own dog at risk because it is now considered a dangerous dog). At the vet’s, my happy, well-adjusted service dog saw another dog the same type as the one who attacked us and he cowered in fear. He is now extremely tired and fairly unresponsive. He seems depressed and lethargic. I hope it doesn’t last. He is an incredible golden retriever and didn’t deserve this violent act perpetrated against him by a stupid, idiot, careless owner of a vicious dog. I am fearful of the emotional toll this attack will have as it will likely impact his ability to do the job he was trained to do. I have no idea what the long-term affects will be as it just happened this afternoon. I am terrified to go outside. I don’t know if I can go out for walks anymore. I did also order multiple cans of the citronella spray today. I know I can’t walk outside until the package arrives of the spray. But, even then, I’m not sure I can go outside. We did nothing wrong. We were walking along the road minding our own business and this psycho dog starts attacking. Are we safe anywhere?

  8. My dogs were just attacked today and I’m still shaking. We have a large, grassy shared space where kids play and people walk their dogs (dogs required to be leashed). I was walking by an area of the park where there are tables and chairs and my small dog made one bark sound. All of a sudden a large German Shepherd that was sitting underneath the table (we didn’t see him/her there) started barking aggressively and charged at us and tried to attack my two small dogs. There was a leash on the dog but the two owners were not holding onto the leash or it wasn’t secured properly. When the dog charged, I had about 1-2 seconds to figure out what to do. I pulled up and held my 5-pound dogs’ leash up high to the point where she was dangling in the air (she has a harness) until I was able to grab her and hold her in my arms. At the same time, I pulled my 15-pound dogs’ leash away from the German Shepherd dragging her around me in a circle. The German Shepherd’s snout was about 2 inches away from biting the back of her. The German Shepherd did not listen to his/her owners and kept trying to bite my dog. Finally the owner was able to grab his dog. I said to him, “You need to secure your dog!” And he said, “Your dog was the aggressive one. Your dog barked.” I said, “Yes, my dog barked, but your dog charged at us barking and biting. That’s aggressive! You need to hold onto your dog.” He said, “Well, he’s really strong.” I said, “So hold him tighter.” I was shaking, terrified, upset, etc. I quickly checked my dogs to make sure there were no wounds and we walked back home across the street. Luckily, no wounds. Just shaken up.

  9. Tonight my 2 year old bull mastiff was attacked by a friend’s bull dog. No fingers to point just a situation that occurred due to lack of communication between the 2 of us. No skin broken just some swelling where he clamped on a few seconds.
    My concern is my girl is a snowflake. Very gentle never bite or growl. Even during this I didn’t hear her make a sound. What do we do to make sure this isn’t a lasting impression on her? She’s super social(part time therapy dog even) – she even greeted the other dogs as we walked back to our car. How long for swelling to go down? Is there anything to do to keep her social? I just don’t want this to ruin her whole life. Is one attack enough to leave a lasting impression? Thanks!

  10. Whilst walking my old English bulldog and my new puppy a woman entered the field with a staffy I called across and asked if her dog was friendly which I do with all dogs as Albert is old the woman said yes which at that point it ran at Albert and attacked him my new puppy was screeching it was horrible the woman had no control over her dog and his jaw had locked down on Albert thankfully a man rushed out and helped, I’m now having to walk them separately as I felt unable to protect Albert effectively, it’s been three weeks now and whilst Dotty doesn’t screech she will still whimper at other dogs approaching us should I be concerned or just keep with safe limited exposure?

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