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Old 09-04-2014, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pup got attacked. Was I wrong?

I was at a park with my 8 month old. I had him on a 30ft lead because there were other dogs around and his recall isn't perfect yet. A lady with a golden retriever comes and asks if he's friendly, and I say yes but notice she has a chuck-it in her hand and I tell her Konig is a bit ball possessive. Shes says "oh thats fine I can just put it away." So I say ok but her dog approaches and gets pretty aggressive and growling and she pulls him away and she says sorry and takes him further away on the field. Konig loses interest so I take him off leash to throw the chuck it.. She sees that hes off leash and comes over with her dog and says "oh hes finally off the leash huh?".. So I smile and just say yea. Her dog approaches and starts to get aggressive again and charges Konig trying to bite at him as Konig tries to scramble away. And NO, they were not playing.. I do know the difference. And she actually started freaking out saying "oh leave the pup alone!".. She tries to recall him but can't and she tries to grab him but can't. I'm also trying to stop them and eventually am able to get my hands on the golden and basically shove him hard to the ground enough to make him tumble about 3 feet and wimper he turns and sees that I'm still walking straight for him and he goes flat on the ground and looks up at me. Then I just stood over him until his owner came and grabbed him.. But she basically looked at me like I had gone over the top and handled her dog too aggressively. Is it not justified to throw another person's dog onto the ground (or even kick, punch, hit with a stick, etc) to protect your dog if its being aggressive and the owner can't get control of it? I grabbed my things and left the park, not because I felt guilty but because I was so livid. Am I wrong in this situation?
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nope. You protected your dog and the owner could not get control.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally, I think you went over the top. Unfortunately…if the dog starts to cower at you, you probably did way too much. This didn’t seem like a bad dog fight where that was necessary, seems like just restraining the Golden would’ve accomplished the job…and if you had the time/ability to grab and shove him, you should’ve been able to grab the collar and just hold him until the owner got there. This is the part about dog parks where you just need to leave when you see a dog is being aggressive and your dog can’t handle it. At your dog’s age, he probably won’t stand up for himself and could develop some fear/confidence issues when it comes to dogs if he has enough of these run ins.

Not sure why knowing your dog is ball possessive you took out a chuck-it either though. But that’s not the biggest issue here.

I personally try to control my dog and not physically touch other people’s dogs. Even though it sounded like the lady knew her dog was being aggressive…you’ll run into situations where the other person will tell you their dog is “just playing” and will get quite pissed if you decide to lay your hands on their dog. My dog can play rough…I personally don’t let him get too crazy and watch the other owner’s reaction to how their dog is dealing with the rough play. But say my dog was playing a bit too rough for your tastes, but it wasn’t crazy terrible, and you did that…you’re probably going to have bigger issues (from me).

Last edited by martemchik; 09-04-2014 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mm gotcha. Yea thats why im trying to get input in case.. God forbid it ever happens again.. I want to know the general protocol for handling it correctly.

But... 1. It was actually not a dog park. Just a park with a huge field (I avoid dog parks for now because of everything I read on this forum). And 2. I took out the chuck it because they were far enough away where Konig didn't care anymore and he was playing just fine with no other dogs around (she saw he was off leash and came over to me again) 3. It escalated very quickly and I wasn't standing there pondering.. "hmm... what should I do?" I just reacted. 4. When I say I got my hands on him.. I dont mean i was able to grab him. I was simply able to barely catch up and shove his rear down to the ground (though i admit i shoved him HARD) It wasn't like i got a hold of his scruff, windmilled him and mega slammed him to the ground or anything.. but again.. happened quickly. 5. She knew it wasn't normal behavior. She became very frantic trying to stop them also but her recall was failing and she wasn't able to grab him.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think you were wrong, but I don't think you were over the top and I think it's a good learning situation.

When people at the park ask me these things, approach me, etc. they are asking for permission even if it doesn't explicitly sound like it.

If someone walked into a park area where I was playing with my dog and asked if he was friendly, ESPECIALLY with a chuck it in hand, they are saying, "is it cool for my dog to run around yours and most likely meet each other?" My response is instantly either "NO, he's not sorry" or "Yes but we are busy training right now" to nip any chance of a greeting in the bud. I don't know their dog and have NO reason to subject my dog to a potentially aggressive or sick dog.

"oh hes finally off the leash huh?" would have been replied to with a "Yes, but he can't meet your dog."

Sometimes you have to be so painfully, stupidly blunt with people to avoid issues like you experienced. But I would have done the exact same thing to another dog accosting mine, regardless of intent. My dogs rely on me to keep them safe, I am not going to give them a reason to doubt my abilities to do just that. The dog was a golden. It cowering sound pretty typical of a very friendly/mushy dog being reprimanded let alone struck. Maybe the owner will think twice next time.

eta; For what it's worth, you said park. I'm assuming this is not a dog park, but a park where you took your dog to play. I see nothing wrong with taking a ball possessive dog there, my dogs can be possessive when they are engaged with their toys, and we go to random parks to play all the time where there is no reason we would be accosted by random dogs. At the dog park we take it easy on the toys.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Think you did the right thing! The lady clearly had no control so the dog didn't respect her. It laid down for you because it clearly respected you after that. Dogs can take much harder hits when playing with each other. I think you were completely justified in defending your puppy and if someone else doesn't like it really is their problem. I would do the same thing for my dog or my kid and if the owner has issue with it then we can fix that too.... this is why I don't go near dog parks or areas with loose dogs unless we know them well.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sorry Granby, you were way, way, way wrong. Grabbing the dog like that is a good way for you to get bit. You had the Chuck it. Use that.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input DJEtzel! I will keep that in mind next time. I guess she felt I wanted to let them play but she had to take her dog away... and so probably felt she could just waltz back when she felt her dog was ready. Will be more clear next time!
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yea... unfortunately wasn't a park I was familiar with :T At my park I've started learning which dogs Konig can and can't play with.

And Steve Strom, hahaha You're actually totally right. I don't know why but I instantly dropped the stick and moved towards them with both hands. I think my initial intent was to grab them. But yes, probably definitely not the best idea to try and grab an unknown dog with my hands... though eh... If it came down to it I'd take a nip to the forearm to keep my little guy safe.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Since this was a park (I’m assuming ON LEASH area) you really need to work on avoiding other dogs. If you are going to be playing off leash, I highly suggest either being in an area with almost zero traffic, or really working on your dog recall so that you can recall him the moment you see another dog and leash him. Neither dog should’ve been off leash for the greeting, or on a 30 foot line. Unfortunately, this is the type of situation where avoidance is the best way to prevent this from happening.

It’s hard to control what people do, so with my dog I have learned to just avoid them as much as possible. If I’m playing fetch in a field, I’m super vigilant for other people and their dogs. I think when your dog gets older, you’ll see more people avoid you (it’s a GSD) so it gets easier. But for the time being, you have to really watch for people and their dogs. I have one of those “friendly unless challenged” dogs, and the last thing I ever allow is a long enough interaction for the other dog to challenge mine. My dog can snap in a split second…and I don’t need a person thinking my dog is mean/vicious when they see me playing off leash with him. So I just don’t allow extra-long greetings…if I’m walking by people, we just walk by like we’re going somewhere and not really in the mood to socialize. I guess I’ve realized by now that although 95% of dogs are fine to meet, there’s that 5% you don’t want to, and that 5% makes me not want to allow my dogs to meet all 100%.

By the way...grabbing my dog in that way, is a surefire way to get yourself bit. You really never know which dogs are either trained or wired to do that. That's why I always advocate not physically touching/hurting a strange dog.
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