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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.
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.
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.
- Bring something to keep a dog from attacking me or my dog – I ordered this Animal Deterrent Spray (affiliate 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 (affiliate link) just in case.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- I remained calm – I think this is part of the reason Stetson was so calm until he got bitten.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 of done if your dog was attacked by another dog? Please let us know in the comment section below.