German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 13 year old Alaskan Malamute and 3 year old German Shepherd. Neither have ever been dog or people aggressive that I have known of. We have a 6 foot wooden fence. We left both dogs outside yesterday evening. Today the man who lives behind us knocked on our door and told us our dogs killed his Jack Russell Terrier puppy last night. Evidently his puppy and our dogs had been playing at the fence while we were gone to the movies and somehow his puppy wedged itself in the small space between the fence and the yard. He said he was taking a nap and when he started looking for the puppy he couldn't find it and climbed our fence he found his puppy dead in our backyard. My dogs were not near the puppy and my dogs ignored him when he entered our backyard. There were no bite marks on the puppy and just had some blood coming out of his mouth. I'm thinking either my dogs accidently were playing with the puppy and did it or the puppy hurt himself getting under the fence.
I'm feel really bad about the situation. I hope my dogs didn't do it, but mostly I'm angry at the puppy's owner who left a small puppy alone in his yard without making sure it was secure.
I'm just wondering if any of you with more dog experience might have a guess as what happened. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,473 Posts
does he have proof that your dogs did it (kill the pup) besides what he is tellling you, like a vet you can contact to see if the dog is really deceased? Is there any opening in the fence where the pup could of gotten in through, if there is, is it even big enough for a dog to fit through? Other than that I am clueless. If there were no puncture wounds on the pup than I doubt your dogs did it unless the gently picked it up and shaked it but i don't know because like you said they have never shown any aggression, but it wasn't your fault because your dogs were in their yard secured......

Good luck

(and again, another reason I never leave Ivy outside unattend...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
I'm so sorry. This is such an unfortunate situation. In my opinion, I don't think there is any way of really knowing what happened.

I don't think it's a good idea to leave any dogs outside by themselves. You just don't know what could happen. But, saying that doesn't offer any help right now.


Legally though, I don't think you are at fault because the puppy came into your yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
Re: Please help me figure out what might have happ

What a sad thing! I think that if the puppy maybe got snagged as it was coming through the fence, it might have made some pretty "interesting" noises. If that is the case, your two dogs may have had their prey drive activated by the pup's squealing as it struggled to get free of the fence. Once that happened they would have acted in way that they wouldn't have under normal circumstances.

Is there any way you can bring your dogs in the house if you are going to be gone? I would hate for your neighbor to bring home another puppy and have the same thing happen. Or for your dogs to get a reputation in the neighborhood and get blamed for every incident from now on.
Sheilah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,975 Posts
"Playing at the fence" sounds like barrier aggression. Whether it was good natured play that got out of hand, or barrier aggression that escalated or something else - It sounds to me like none of the humans can vouch for what happened between the dogs. I don't know that it would make a difference if the dogs had met before or not.
The sorry lesson for all is that bad things can happen when dogs are left outside alone. Barrier aggression or fence fighting should not be allowed to go on unchecked. Interaction between pups and older dogs should be monitored. You might be angry with your neighbor for putting his puppy at risk, but you, too, left dogs outside unsupervised. I don't think you realized the potential problem, I don't think he did either. I don't see that he is more at fault than you. Both parties thought everything was OK. A very unfortunate incident caused by humans not being fully aware of the possible consequences.

Edited to respond in part to others posting at the same time: "Gently picked up and shook??" Smaller animals can be picked up quite vigorously without breaking the skin and shaken quite vigorously & killed. Nothin' gentle about it - just no puncture wounds. That your dogs are in your yard does not absolve someone of responsibility for them. The law varies from state to state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,887 Posts
I disagree that the owners of the larger dogs are to blame. If a rabbit came into their yard and they killed it, oh well. You can leave dogs out in your yard while you are away if they are secure. I do not like leaving more than one together, because they may hurt eachother and you have no one but yourself to blame.

The owner of a very small puppy left it in an insecure yard. Oh well. The puppy could have wiggled out and got smooshed by a car. Whose fault is it then? Do you blame the big dogs because they scared the little dog and forced it to go and run in front of a car? I think not.

None of us want to think our dogs are capable of killing a puppy. We do not know what happened. Your dog could have rolled on it in play and killed it. Who knows. It is not your fault. It is a freak accident. If the pup was torn limb from limb and your dogs were eating it, well, that would worry me a bit. I feel sorry for the puppy and the owner of the puppy, but he should have been more careful in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
I hate to be so blunt, but your dogs obviously killed the puppy. Just because there wasn't a lot of obvious trauma doesn't mean anything.

This is another very good reason to never, ever leave your dogs outside unattended which both you and your neighbor did. They were probably fence fighting and then the puppy went under the fence where it was grabbed and killed or the puppy possibly just came under the fence to play with your dogs and the play escalated into the killing of the puppy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,887 Posts
My dogs are outside unsupervised all day every day while I am at work, though they are all separated.

I do not foresee anything like this happening, but if it does, it is the owner of the marauding animal who is at fault in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for all your comments. Our dogs are very secure in our backyard. We have the fence locked. We didn't even know the neighbors were getting a dog much less a small puppy that could somehow get under the fence. We have now put a border edge in the small space between the fence and ground where (I think) it would be impossible for even a tea cup poodle puppy to get through. I'm just very sorry that it happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
I feel bad that the puppy died but I don't think that this was your fault at all. Your dogs were in your yard secure behind a fence. If it was an 8 week old puppy it would have been very small to be playing with two large dogs unsupervised or not. I am sure you feel badly for your neighbor but next time he will probably not let his little pup out without watching it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,975 Posts
OK folks,then, lets say your 9 year old twins are at home unsupervised. A small child also unsupervised comes over, your kids somehow kill that child. .... Do you not think that your kids will be found guilty and that you will not be called into acount?


It's been discussed here time and again, if your dogs injur (sp) someone or some pet/livestock/domestic animal on your property you may be found liable and your dogs may be deemed dangerous.

It seems that the humans were not in tune enough to what was going on in the back yard to intervene & prevent the killing. Doesn't matter that it wasn't what was supposed to be going on in the back yard. It was going on.


You may want to believe "too bad" if someone's pet gets into your yard & injured or killed but the law where you live may read quite differently. You may not want to sound quite so cavalier when you face the judge or jury. Rumor has it, that attitude doesn't go over real well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I don't think there's anything wrong with leaving your dogs securely in your yard with no means for them to get out. The neighbor shouldn't have left a puppy in his yard if his yard was not secure to keep the puppy in. That's one of the first things we did BEFORE bringing our puppy home.

I agree that a vet should take a look at the dead puppy and try to determine a cause of death and not just take the neighbor's word for anything. Who knows what happened. And yes, a small animal can set off a dog's prey drive. That's one of the reasons why, when you go to dog parks, they usually have an area for small dogs and an area for large dogs.

It's terrible that this puppy died, but I wouldn't be apologizing for something happening to someone/thing coming onto my property without my permission. Just MHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
About 10 years ago I had a GSD that LOVED cats. My cat slept with her. She would clean the cats ears, and so on. I also had a Boxer/Rott mix that didn't like the cats but would leave mine alone. She would growl at them but I would never leave them alone unattended with her. One day I had both dogs out and they started chasing something. By the time I got down there they were playing tug of war with a stray cat. I got the GSD to quit on command but had to drag the other dog off by the leg (no collar to grab). It was too late for the cat. It didn't have a mark on it but obviously had extreme internal injuries. Needless to say I was very upset with my dogs, even though that's what dogs do. I would never have dreamed the GSD would do that. So, even though they may like the small pet you never know what will happen once pack mentality sets in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,887 Posts
Middleofnowhere, there are laws about leaving nine year olds unsupervised, much less the younger child.

I think it is rediculous to liken animals to children in this. It is not in the average nine year old child's nature to kill another child that is in its territory. Sorry, but for as many dogs who would not attack a marauding forein dogs, as many would. There is no law that says you cannot leave your animals in a secure yard.

If a child hopped their fence and got chewed up for its stupidity, they would be in trouble, but in my opinion, they should not be. A child to young or stupid to know not to break into someone's yard should not be unsupervised.

There is NOTHING wrong with leaving your dogs outside without supervision if their area is secure.

So, if your neighbor's rat got out of its cage, slipped through the door, through your fence and your dog killed it, would it be your fault???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,710 Posts
This post really made me think. I have a six foot chain link secure (about quarter acre)back yard for my dog.Luckily he never tries to get over or under fence and no adjoining neighbors have dogs.I NEVER leave Jake in yard when I am not at home but i do let him be in yard unsupervised when I am at home and check him frequently(part of my job is working at home on line)I had one incident where loose cat came in yard and I heard commotion and went out and called off my dog and thecat left my fenced yard but I have no idea if it was badly hurt-it was physical contact fight.I guess I would have to say if you are sure your dogs didn't stick their head into neighbors yard and grab Jack Russell probably not your fault-but do not think you can be sure what happened.At most it is a 50-50% fault.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
Re: Please help me figure out what might have happ

I don't think fences are ever as secure as we like to think they are. I have seen some dogs that were just intent on getting out. I have seen dogs scale a 6 foot chain link fence like it was a 2 foot ladder.
I had a foster dog several years ago that became so intent on fence fighting with the neighbor's dog that the foster dog literally chewed his way through a strong wooden privacy fence in about 10 seconds. He was well on his way to getting into the other yard when my husband grabbed a hind leg and hauled him back. What would have happened if we hadn't been home and supervising the dog?
I don't let my dogs out in the yard unless someone is home who can keep an ear and eye on the situation and any changes in that situation that might take place. If the neighbor two houses down has a dog that runs the neighborhood it is no big deal, just because the dog is a Golden and everyone knows that Goldens are saints with fur, right? If one of my German Shepherd Dogs gets out, it would be a whole different story. I have to go above and beyond what my neighbors do simply because of the breed of dog I keep. I love the breed and it is a trade off I am willing to make.
Things happen. Sometimes it really is way beyond our control, but most often it isn't. And a fix like only letting my dogs out when someone is home is such a simple one. It doesn't matter if the dog has never acted in any way to cause alarm or concern. If it can happen, even remotely, I have to act like it will eventually.
Sheilah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
646 Posts
i never leave my dogs outside w/o supervision; i have a 6' privacy fence within a 4' chainlink and i still don't trust that something won't happen...someone jump the fence and be bitten (people are stupid!!!), dogs jump or dig out; whatever; this eliminates the question of whether or not a dog did something; it's inconvenient, but worht the peace of mind

about the presence/lack of external injuries; i have a dog who's killed 2 cats; neither cat had a mark on them; another dog killed a bird and that bird had only a little bruising on the chest; so, the lack of visible trauma doesn't mean the dogs didn't kill the puppy

courts and juries are funny; they don't necessarily see things the way the should and monies are awarded for stupid things, only encouraging frivilous litigation...remember the hot coffee from mcdonald's????? so, for me, being outside w/my dogs is the only solution in a world that sees gsds as dangerous dogs that bite w/o provacation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,887 Posts
My dogs are safer outside of my house than inside of my house.

My brother's GSD went through my window three separate times, twice trying to get in, once trying to get out to go after something.

So all of you people who think your dogs are 100% safe in your homes, think again. GSDs can go through windows.

But they cannot get out of my yard. This is because I have kennels that are covered over and with a concrete base. Surrounding my kennels is a fence which used to have an electric solar powered fence along the bottom of it. The dogs still respect that fence. So if it happened that one of my kennels was not securely latched, they would still be in my yard.

The house would be a whole lot easier to break out of.

I just have a hard time believing that people are having such an attitude about keeping their dogs inside except when supervised. The OP said that her yard is secure. On a hot evening, the dogs are probably happier outside where they can catch a breeze and do their business than stuck in a house.

What is the point of a fenced yard if you cannot let the critter out while you are doing something in the house, cooking, vaccuming, whatever?

Ordinary chain link fencing would not allow a dog to snatch even a puppy and pull it through. The pup would have had to have at least its head through the fencing for the GSD-sized dog to get a grip on it and pull it through. No way is this a 50-50% blame here.

Furthermore, who ownes the fence? If the OP owns the fence, then the fault lies on the other owner completely because fences must be errected five feet within the boundary so that the fence owner can maintain the outside of the fence.

Why do we not call it an unfortunate accident that may have been prevented if the puppy's owner was a little more careful?

My neighbors have three rat terriors. If they get through my fences and into my kennels, then I will be damned the owners are going to expect me to pay for them, or put my dogs down. I will be angry that they did not protect and contain their animals.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top