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That's a tough one....

If I understand correctly, the family boards some of their dogs there and they went to pick them up?

No, I don't believe they should have taken their children. I don't know how dog boarding for sled dogs works, but should they have been there while the homeowner was absent?

If there are no signs stating children shouldn't be on the premises, stating you cannot pick up dogs if the homeowner is absent, etc. then I don't think the family is in the wrong.

The dog should have been contained (on his chain?), yes. But regardless, that doesn't excuse such a vicious attack on a child. Especially if the family was their to pick up their dog(s) that they pay to board there monthly.
 

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Interesting story. In my opinion the dog should be put down-it doesn't matter the circumstances because a dog that is capable and willing to injure a person to that extent is too dangerous.
 

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Interesting story. I would like to follow up on this story to see what the board decides to do. Those dogs are working dogs, not pets. I was watching a television program a long time ago where a man wanted to purchase property to start up his sled dog program. In the film he looked at some property that was not yet vacant. Those dogs looked mean! I can't imagine taking 3 children and a dog through there! If i had one child and were holding her hand I don't think I'd do that. And then to fall with the baby in the backback, trying to get to that child, oh what a nightmare that must have been, and with a third sibling watching, how awful. I can't even imagine.

She had permission to be there but I think the owners may have thought no one in their right mind would retrieve there dog through there bringing 3 small children. Poor little girl, how awful.
 

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When we were visiting Alaska several years ago they had sled dogs tied up in several places that we visited - Denali National Park, our B&B to name a few. At each place they encouraged us (kids included) to walk up to the dogs and pet them. They were all friendly and seemed starved for attention. I was sickened that they all spent their time tied on 5 foot chains. It was very depressing, but not scary. Now granted this was all for the tourists and according to the article native Alaskans must be aware that most sled dogs are dangerous. Still, I could see where the mom would expect all "dangerous" dogs to be properly restrained at all times. I think the dog is too dangerous and should be destroyed.
 

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Tough one. Very tough. But I think that the mother knew not to bring the kids. She said so. That when she worked there she was told not to allow the children out of the van at the other kennel. It was reckless of her to think she could control 3 children under the age of 5 and a dog in that situation.

That said. This dog is not safe at all. And his confinement was inadequate.

Both parties are at fault. It's split down the middle for me.


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It's the mothers fault. Who in his right mind would bring small kids into a yard with riled up dogs? LEAVE THEM IN THE VAN!
 

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PS: these dogs are not like our companion dogs. These are working animals and probably neither of us could handle these dogs the way the musher does. The confinement was just fine and typical for Sledding dogs. Who could have possibly thought that the mother would bring her kids into the yard? These dogs are being kept like that for hundreds and hundreds of years and one mother had the glorious idea to take her kids through a yard with riled up, wild animals... which in itself is mindblowing.

The mother knew about the risk. If you grow up or live in that area long enough and even told your Nanny not to take the kids to the dog yard, you KNOW the risk!
 

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Tough one. Very tough. But I think that the mother knew not to bring the kids. She said so. That when she worked there she was told not to allow the children out of the van at the other kennel. It was reckless of her to think she could control 3 children under the age of 5 and a dog in that situation.

That said. This dog is not safe at all. And his confinement was inadequate.

Both parties are at fault. It's split down the middle for me.


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I agree. Both parties are at fault. The mother was negligent in 1) bringing 3 small children into a dog yard, 2) not keeping the children at her side.

However, 1) The kennel owner should've reiterated that the children shouldn't be taken into the yard and 2) could've asked the woman to pick up her dogs when they were home to assist/monitor etc. that being said, i don't believe any dog (saying this without knowing how "wild" this dog and other sled dogs are) should be that aggressive.

I read the article in its entirety but I don't recall whether the little girl was in front or behind her mother. If the child was lagging behind her mother, there are things the child may have done that were not seen. I'm not condoning what happened, just hoping someone can answer that for me, child's location: front or rear of her mother?



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The confinement was not fine. The dog BROKE its chain. The confinement failed. Hence, not fine.

I know how sled dogs are kept. A dog yard is a bunch of dogs, with dog houses, tethered. I get that. But this dogs chain failed and a child nearly died.

A 6x12 kennel is fine for containment as well, until the dog scales it and mauls a child. Then it failed.

But no, the mother made a huge mistake. Huge. She is as much at fault. I just think both parties share responsibility.


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Remember the video of the sled dog on a chain playing with a polar bear? Moose, Grizzly Bears, Polar Bears, Sled Dogs, it is a dangerous place for humans that do not respect how powerful animals are.

Huskies have strong prey drives, and often make the list of dangerous dogs. But these dogs are working sled dogs. Working sled dogs can not be kept inside like family pets. They have to spend their lives in the elements. They are a pack animal, and the pack members are other dogs that can be pretty violent. They have to be strong, with tons of energy, and because these are racing dogs, they need lots of drive too.

I do not think that poor judgement on the part of the mother should cause the owners of the dog to lose their dog. I think we are expecting a lot out of these animals that are not kept as pets. And what purpose will it serve to seek vengence on a dog? Really?

Will that make other racing huskies less dangerous? This was an accident that the equipment failed. If another dog's chain failed it may have done the same or worse. I can understand requiring the kennel owner to enclose the dog yard and padlock the gate, only allowing entrance to people with an owner present. But I do not know that I would order them to kill the dog. What good would that do?

If this was one of my GSDs, I would take it to be euthanized. But this is not a GSD, and it is not a pet.
 

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These are sled dogs, not companion pets. What that lady did isn't much different than walking her kids down a path of bears on chains. And her kid was 120 feet away from her. That's ridiculously far away for a 2 year old to be. It also kind of sounds like her daughter was behind her as the article says "She ran back to her daughter..."
 

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I think they are both at fault, but the mother was just stupid. She had her own rule to never let the kids in other yards, that alone would put me on the side of the dog owner. They have to prove negligence and the child is not the one that is negligent. I believe the dog should live and the confinement area for that particular dog should be beefed up as part of the conditions he is not put to sleep. I witnessed a husky biting a vet one time, that dog wasn't playing and the vet had a hole in her hand.
 

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The dog needs to be put to sleep, and the mother needs some parenting lessons in a major way. Having lived in AK for 6 years, I met lots of sled dogs. They're great, but most of them ARE wild, and anyone with a lick of common sense would have known better than to traipse through that dog yard with small children.

That said, this dog now HAS attacked a child...and if allowed to live, WILL be exposed to children in the future. The Iditarod is a BIG DEAL in Alaska, it runs right through towns and TONS of people (INCLUDING children) turn out to watch it. Yes, sleds have brakes, and yes, the dogs are harnessed together, but accidents can and do happen.

I am sorry for the dog that this woman was so stupid, I truly am. I am particularly sorry for her little girl, and her son that had to watch. I am sorry for the dog's owner. But the dog needs to be PTS, because he isn't safe to do his job (run the sled/Iditarod) anymore.
 

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First off, I own SLED DOGS-6 of them. Kept in kennels but you see these kennels can be found to have been chewed out of. They can chew through chain link with no problem if there is something they want to get to outside the kennel bad enough. they also can dig out of them if the kennel is not on cement. My Malamutes are kept on logging chain due to the pure brute strength they have.....a 115-130 pound ball of fur and muscle is nothing to mess with. Malamutes and huskies are pack animals as previously stated but they are also very territorial and will not tolerate anyone or thing or animal invading their space just as a human wouldn't. The dog may have reacted to this invasion the same way he/she would've reacted to an invasion of his/her space by another dog. GSDSAR-the confinement is and always will be just chain for most of these dogs for their own safety as they can hurt themselves chewing chain link and by trying to break through the chain link. The mother is totally at fault as most pet huskies are fine with people but racing dogs and sled dogs do not get much interaction with humans for good reason because it affects the dogs mentally. Sled dogs have a pack order which is similar to the wolf...this order is most likely chosen by position on the team in all one breed sled teams. Your alpha is female and is a lead dog with her mate usually the Alpha Male the other lead then the wheel dogs which are the last two pairings in a team and usually the strongest 2-4 dogs in the pack but not the smartest lol. Then the middle 4-6 or more are on the bottom of the pack chain. These huskies are more wild than house pets and are not PETS and shouldn't be punished for a humans lapse in judgement. These are essentially wild dogs when encountered by a stranger but to a musher or fellow musher or someone knowledgable about sled dogs can be great companions and pets. Not a beginner dog breed by any means....especially sled dogs with very high energy and drive in general.
 

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Additionally, the wolf cross was never bred out of the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute and sled dog owners/breeders will occasionally breed with a hybrid or a wolf to have the enhanced endurance and stamina the wolf has. Also, the greater ability to perform on a high level with a diminished calorie intake over longer periods of time than most other dogs. The bad also comes with this as they are increasingly unpredictable and will kill each other to assert pack dominance or to keep it. One of my dogs is missing part of his ear because of this. Most sled dogs are totally fine with people but they are wild animals and part wolf and people tend to forget this.
 

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I know a Canadian musher who runs the Iditarod and knows Jake rather well. From how he has talked of Jake he takes great care of his dogs and they are always in top shape and always a force in any race he and Jake have entered. The biggest mistake the mother made was walking her dog through the yard with her children at the same time. Like I said before they are very territorial and will not tolerate outsiders dog or human and the dog the mother had brought with kids most likely stirred up these dogs and really got the adrenaline going.....Again, mother is totally at fault and I personally think deedee or Kelly should've been able to testify. Not surprised Jake didn't have a kennel license though because most mushers up there don't. Even if it is against the law...most use their near celeb status to avoid having to get one.
 

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I get the thing about the way they are confined. I don't have any problem with it. Sorry if I gave the impression that I did.

My point was that the confinement failed. Plain and simple. If the chain had not broken the child would not have been injured.

I still don't think the child should have been there. Mom was in the wrong. But the chain still failed.


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