What should you do if a dog attacks?


(Valerie Skinner) #1

Having recently 'enjoyed' a really rather frightening experience (no injuries, thank heavens) it made me think - what is the best course of action if you encounter an aggressive dog?


Here is what happened to us. My 8 year old and I, with 3 adult dogs and one boisterous puppy in tow, had just left the house and were heading up the lane for our walk. An (English) neighbour had left his gate open and, although walking away from, not towards his property, his staffie type thing raced out of his driveway intent on attacking our group.


I stupidly had leads wrapped round each wrist for 2 of the dogs so could not release them. My little boy had the puppy and Sasha. Sasha leaped in front of Shaun and took the full force of the staffie. Her spine was covered in saliva where I think it tried to bite down but she'd managed to twist out of the way. Shaun's terrified screaming - and I mean terrified as he had hold of Sasha's leash while she was being attacked so this was going on immediately in front of him - brought the neighbour's wife out who got hold of their dog. She laughed it off, telling Shaun "That's how animals talk". I won't tell you what I said.


Anyway, what should I have done? What could I have done? When we go out now I do take a stick with the completely fanciful notion that if it charged again it would need to impale itself on the spear that would be pointing at it before it reached my family.


What would you do?


(Valerie Skinner) #2

Thanks John. So it is perhaps a good idea if I continue carrying my 'lance' (only a thinnish branch that would undoubtedly snap if lunged at but would also give it a good poke in the face). I'm very much of the same mind. I would hate to inflict injury on another dog but it the choice is between it and my family (child, obviously, but definitely also my guys) the answer is obvious. The speed of the attack obviously is a drawback as the chances of my actually being able to get in front of all four of them before it reaches one of them are pretty slim but absolutely anything is worth a shot. A good poke with a sharp stick may work. And if the owner objects, they may get a poke too... ho hum.


(John Alcock) #3

The one thing you dont do, though it is difficult, is part them using your hands thats how i lost the end of my middle finger parting my own dogs while on holiday here some years back it may sound cruel but i would use my feet or a large heavy stick i have no hesitation protecting my dogs and would kill to do so, any dog that attacks without provication on neutral ground is a danger especially to children as in your case, as much as i love dogs and have been with dogs since birth any dog that does that should be destroyed


(John Alcock) #4

The one thing you dont do, though it is difficult, is part them using your hands thats how i lost the end of my middle finger parting my own dogs while on holiday here some years back it may sound cruel but i would use my feet or a large heavy stick i have no hesitation protecting my dogs and would kill to do so, any dog that attacks without provication on neutral ground is a danger especially to children as in your case, as much as i love dogs and have been with dogs since birth any dog that does that should be destroyed


(Valerie Skinner) #5

At the moment he's great with other dogs (no choice as we have 2 others of ours plus a foster from the SPA!). A friend of mine just popped round and immediately thought he's got a bit of great dane in him. Oh lord help me, he'll be a horse.


(Carolyn Eden) #6

Ah he is gorgeous, bless him and only a baby, sure with lots of love from you he will be fine, well I hope so. we had a Staffie for 15 years, he was gorgeous, didnt really like other dogs just his ball which he never went anywhere without, but we made sure he was safe in our property, to protect him and others. We now have two Boxers which are very funny....


(Valerie Skinner) #7

I think it's a staffie - it all happened so fast I never actually got a good look at it because I was focused on my son and the other dudes. I just saw this powerhouse on legs charging up the road that obviously hasn't been taught to 'play nice'.

By the way, Carolyn, talking of staffies (or staffie plus something unknown) have you met our little Hugo? He's 3-ish months. Poor thing was completely traumatised, escaped his collar and raced back to the house, bless him. I think he's okay now - I made a point of making him walk back up part of that lane so he could conquer his fear a little.


(Valerie Skinner) #8

Oh absolutely, Lynn, I agree with you but my question was more general, not really about this dog in particular, in case we were out walking somewhere else and something happened. I just wondered the best course of action to take.


(Lynn STONE) #9

You'd never forgive yourself if this 'one-off' happened again Valerie.

You should n't have to defend yourself, what if a totally innocent visitor went into their garden?


(Carolyn Eden) #10

Thats very sad, and glad you all safe, just such a shame that Staffies get labelled even if not a Staffie.

Normally reported to the local gendarme and if a bite happens the dogs has to go to the vets and be checked twice, they then write out a certificate. The owners are to blame here, they should make sure there dogs is secure.. Just glad none of you were hurt, just sad for you all, dogs fighting is a horrid experience, especially for a child.


(Valerie Skinner) #11

Although it was very frightening, I do think it was a one-off with this dog and simply that the gate had not been fastened properly (they had visitors at the time). If they let it roam around, I would have absolutely no hesitation in reporting it. I am assuming it has never been socialized etc but, regardless, it should never attack 'objects' moving away from it.

What if encounter anything else though, while out walking - what's the best course of action to defend our pet family? I am loathe to release the dogs to get into a free for all. None of them are fighters and our foster dog is 15, deaf and has cataracts so he would simply be mauled. What would deter an attack or what could I do to protect my family - put myself between them and the dog but then do what?


(Lynn STONE) #12

You should complain to the Mairie Valerie and possibly the Gendarmerie. What if your son had got between, the injuries or even fatalities aren't worth thinking of.

There are dangerous dog laws in France and this dog may well fall in the category of needing a license and a mussel!


(Terry Williams) #13

This just popped up again Valerie so belatedly, a trick we learned in Kenya where everyone had aggressive dogs as a matter of course to attack potential burglars: carry ground pepper with you and throw it in the dog's face. He'll be so busy sneezing and shaking his head he won't be able to attack.