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My neighbors dog bit my GSD but HE BIT BACK

3516 Views 32 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Sherush
I am sooooo upset right now.

I was walking blitz with a gentle leader..nice laid back walk.. and we see a guy down the street talking to someone with a jack russell terrier just running around through everyones yards. I immediately stoped and put Blitz into a sit so this man could get his dog. Well, I was paying more attention to making sure blitz stayed calm, when I should have watched this dog. I look up to see the dog charging us barking and growling.

The dog bit blitz's front legs, and Blitz immediately bit into him and picked him up and wouldn't let go.. the dog was screaming and a guy driving by stopped to help.. it took 3 of us and about a minute to get Blitz to let go.

The dog seemed ok, but I told the owner (well, the wife who came out of the house screaming "what happened") to take the dog to the vet and I would meet her there. I drove to the vet, but apperently, the owner just dropped the dog off and left because no vet was there.

I immediately called animal controll and filed a report that their dog bit my first, and mine was leashed and in my controll.

I am so upset, but Blitz was just protecting me and my daughter.. He doesn;t know if the dog is a 140lb rottie or a jack russell.. he just sees a snarling dog charging his family.

Am I responsible for vet bills if their dog was the one that was loose and bit mine first??? I am just freaked out right now.
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About you being responsible for an unleashed dog getting in a fight with your leashed one - I would say you are NOT responsible for the bill, but thats only my opinion...however...
This same exact thing has happened to my dog...people with small dogs don't seem to understand accountability just because they have a smaller animal.
Thing is, neither your dog or my dog immediately left the offender alone when we told them "LEAVE IT!".
Its easy to rationalize what happened but in the end we have failed them.
I would not assume responsibility for the other dog's vet bill. If pressed about it simply state your dog was leashed and under control and the other off leash dog attacked yours, therefore you do not believe the bill to be your responsibility.

Smart of you to contact ACO and file a report. Did the JRT break Blitz's skin? If so take pictures adn take him to the vet and get it on record. Just in case.....

Sorry this happened to you.
I agree that you should not have to pay for the other dog's vet bills. Your dog was on leash the entire time, you were obeying the law. My Chama bit my mother's dog when he attacked her. I did not fault her for doing so nor did my mother. It was clearly her dog's fault and she hurt Chama. I'm sure that Blitz was just protecting himself!
I'm sorry this happened to your dog. I don't think you should have to pay the little dog's vet bills. Especially when the owner is so irresponsible as to not meet you at the vet.
I agree with the previous posters that you should not be responsible or have any liability. Of course, this is the US where our court system is a lottery, so you should take the advice of documenting your dog's injury if possible. Kudos calling animal control. You should also find a neighborhood witness that is impartial if you can.

Actually, you would have a valid case against the other dog owner. Just because your dog wasn't seriously injured - he was still attacked by a dog not leashed. Keep that in mind - the threat of suit or counter-suit might come in handy.

I have no use for slobs that do not control their pets. Best of luck!!
well, I just met w/ animal control. Because we were in front of the dogs house (even though the dog was unleashed and in someone elses yard) the dog could be seen as protecting its property, and it was sort of a legal gray area. He said he was going to meet the owner and that she didn't seem to be interested in me paying the vet bill or in filing a complaint.. and I chose not to file one so long as she doesn't. I would prefer to be on good terms.

I guarentee that is a GSD was off leash down the street, and a jack russel was walking by and they fought, things would be different. I hope this goes civily.. I may stop by her house and offer my well wishes to her dog, and see if she would prefer I walk my dog muzzled by her house.. yes I shouldn't have to, but I also do not want a repeat of this situation, even if I am in the right. I definately need to work on Blitz's "OUT" and "LEAVE IT" which he usually listens to, but didn't this time when it really counted.
Sorry you have to go through this. I think you handled it as well as can be expected.

As far as checking in with your neighbor, I say good for you for everything except offering to muzzle your dog. THink a little longer about leaving that piece out unless your neighbors bring that suggestion up.
Often times the dog will simply be too aroused to obey the command. It seems they have a point where they are acting instinctively to protect and it is difficult to overcome instinct. A good leave it helps but it has limits too.

As you mentioned in your post Blitz was wearing a GL which should have given you good head control. It is easy to arm chair quarterback and I don't mean any crticism here but as soon as you realized the dog was not heeding it's owner I think I would have used the good control the GL gave me and turned my dog around and continue moving him in the opposite direction. Again, I know this stuff happens very fast and I have been in your position so I am not criticizing your action at all. Just saying you need to be aware that relying on a leave it command in a dog that has gotten over aroused by an attack may not work, getting out of dodge with the leave it might be better.

Not sure I would volunteer to muzzle your dog, it could be construed as an admission of aggression and I am sure Blitz is not aggressive.
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Quote:Because we were in front of the dogs house (even though the dog was unleashed and in someone elses yard) the dog could be seen as protecting its property, and it was sort of a legal gray area.
Sorry, but I'm not buying this. I don't see where there is any "gray area".

Dog owners are liable for the damage their dog does to another person or another dog, even if it occurs on their own property. But you were not *on* their property, you were in front of their property.

Saying this is a legal gray area is like saying, "Someone walked in the middle of the road and the dog attacked them. They're at fault, because the dog was protecting its territory." I don't think so.

You were walking your dog on public property, on a leash and gentle leader, while their dog was running willy-nilly around the neighborhood, trespassing on other peoples' property, and attacking your dog.

The only people at fault here are the owners of the small dog who did not keep him leashed, contained, and/or under control.
I agree!!! No gray area here at all. Just an ACO that does not want to work too hard - or so it would seem.
About turning my dog around and heading the other time I will. But I had a stroller w/ a 3 year old and I walk slow because of a bad knee, so I thought making Blitz sit and wait would allow the owner to gain control of his dog .. obviously not. I thought I was far enough away.. but jack russells are quick! Besides I had every right to walk my dog, and we had just left the house... he hadn't even got to go anywhere yet. Well my head still hurts and its 615 and I haven't eaten solid food yet today.... sigh
I also agree no gray area here...If MY GSD was lose in my front yard, and he went out and bit a JRT or (any other small dog for that matter!) you can bet ACO would be on my butt for having a lose dog that was NOT under my control..

It's a "peeve" of mine that because a small dog is involved, means it can't do as much damage or start stuff, as a big dog..JRT's can be nasty little buggers IF they choose to be,,a force to be reckoned with :))

I would NOT offer to pay the vet bills, I would NOT muzzle my dog,,I know you want to stay on good terms , however, I would probably express my concern to the neighbor (ask how the little biter is doing :)) and most likely say something about THEM keeping THEIR dog under control..

Most likely Blitz was protecting HIMSELF,,heck I know If I were a dog, I'd most likely bite back as well..:))
Yep stroller makes it hard to move fast! That puts a whole new twist on things and how hard it is to react when this stuff happens.

I think I would have been afraid the little beast would have bitten my child in the stroller.

About a year or so ago in Chicago a Pomeranian attacked a Pit Bull and bit him in the nose, drew blood too. The Pits owner filed charges, people were shocked as the Pom "was just a small dog and really could not have hurt the pit" but the guy won. Dog attack is dog attack and the "small dog" injured his dog.
Animal control in GA is never in favor of the victim. I don't see a grey area either- the story looks pretty black & white to me: the dog was unsupervized & uncontrolled (clearly violating mandated leash law!) on someone else's property.
I certainly wouldn't pay for the vet expenses, for all your dog did was DEFEND himself!
This woman is lucky: others would sue her for atleast the emotional trauma (to you & the child) her JRTerror caused.
I'm glad nothing worse happened.
Instead of muzzling Blitz, the JR should have one on. When my now 15 yr son was about one yr, in the stroller, I was walking my GSD mix Stomper and Clover who was a puppy. My next door neighbors chocolate lab came and attacked Stomper. The leash hooked the stroller and it was all I could do to keep it upright. I was worried about my baby and my puppy ~the dogs were going nuts and Stomper could take care of himself! It was very scary, but the lab was the one in the wrong. We had just moved in a few mos before that, and the neighbor and I became friends, her dog was always wierd, quite aggressive for a female lab. Luckily no one was badly injured, just alot of noise:))
I put down my Jack Russell at 17 years of age, and used to think it was cute how he would literally attack much larger dogs.

No dog was to big for Bobber to attack. In hindsight my attitude was stupid, and you are not responsible.
well... owner called me tonight to update me.. her dog had to have staples in its side and be on antibiotics.. $300 vet bill.. I know I shouldn't have but I offered to pay some of the bill (I don't care how it happened, my dog shouldn't have bit back.. poor training on my part..I should be in control in ANY situation) she refused, but I told her when I get paid I am bringing her dog a get-well basket.. All I can see in my head if Blitz with that dog in his mouth screaming. I thought pits had a strong bite, but it took 3 adults to pry open his mouth. Thank GOD no humans got bit. It is just really bothering me. I have had a headache for about 6 hours now.

I did discuss with her the fact that I walk my dog several times a day and I do not EVER want this to happen again, and that she should be careful about allowing her dog to run at large. I told her German shepherds are very protective and my dog is not going to just let some dog run up to us barking and snarling and do nothing. Next time could be worse and I am not willing to have my dog put to sleep for biting a loose and aggressive dog.
I hope this makes for a friendly situation, as we are both adults and I do not want any hard feelings in the neighborhood.. I know legally I was not responsible for the dogs injuries, but I want to something so I feel better...
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I can't stand when owners think it is cute when their little dogs are out of control. Not too funny when the dog gets retaleated for its actions.
I think it is always good to be on good terms with the neighbors.

If they demanded or expected payment, I would have fought though.

I disagree with you though that your dog should not have fought back. NO dog should have to put up with a bite from another dog and not protect itself.

I could say that you should have prevented the other dog from biting yours and it would not have happened, but much worse may have happened. The JRT may have bit you instead.

Things like this happen too fast to place blame anyway. You have a stroller, a bumb knee, and a dog on a line. A litter rat-dog comes up and chomps on your boy. Your boy protects himself. This is not a lack of training, a lack of socialization, a lack of anything in your boy.

He did what his nature told him to do.

He did not let go when you told him to. But frankly, you told him to sit, he sat. He then got bit. Hmmmm. In his mind the little thing is a threat. And you were in no position to take care of it.
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