View Full Version : Dog Incident while walking my dog; Advice Needed

April 29, 2006, 08:06 PM
I was walking one of my dogs this afternoon when I neighborhood dog (lab retreiver) somehow just ran out through the "electric fence" and came directly at my dog and I. Now, this neighbor has two dogs--but only one ran out; not sure if the fence was working or not but I believe a similar incident like this occured the day before yesterday as well (although I did not witness it).

Normally, I'm cool with running into other dogs as long as their owners are with them but this was different--yes this dog has seen my dog before but I have no idea what the dog's intention was (as it was running at a good speed towards us). At any rate, it would seem too late to do anything else if I had just waited to see what would happen.

So I waited until the moment was right and hit the oncoming dog in the face with some fox labs. It stopped, licked it's nose, rolled around in the grass some, then went and buried/rubbed its face in a nearby bush; then it went back to its home. I went home after that.

Well, I certainly don't want to have to resort to a can of liquid fire every time I walk my dog--what would you guys do? Its a neighbor that is decent but the neighborhood kids don't play with their kids--they are what you would call "punks."

I think I reacted in the best way; no one was hurt and everyone made it out okay. But seriously, what if it were some old lady walking a little poodle--it could have been much worse.

What would you do?

April 29, 2006, 10:04 PM
Same thing you did. You took the least aggressive action to stop a threatening dog. He wasn't on a leash and that?s the owners fault. The pepper gas is considered the next step up from talking in most use of force continuums

April 29, 2006, 10:11 PM
I agree
You have no idea what the dogs true intentions were.
Shooting would have been irresponsible and doing nothing could have been painful.

As for the old lady and the poodle
They make pepper sprays in all sizes and they will sell them to just about anyone.
You can't be around to protect everyone that doesn't see the necessity to protect themselves.

I might try to inform the owner that his fence is malfunctioning though, it is entirely possible that he does not know

April 29, 2006, 10:27 PM
+1 on your reaction. You used a product that would not injure the dog or create a hazard to others nearby. Using a pepper type spray to protect yourself and your pet was prudent and avoided a potential dog fight that could have cost both you and the other dog's owner a lot of money.

Now, after you finish patting yourself on the back, either pick up the phone or go to the neighbor's house and advise him of the incident. Do so with a cheerful and positive attitude. You're letting him know his dog was able to circumvent the electronic fence (he may not know about this) and his dog bolted towards another animal in what seemed a threatening manner. You ended it with a spritz of pepper spray so neither of you have expensive vet bills.

But the owner must do something to control his dog. He might not be so lucky next time and it could be a 10 year old girl walking her small dog who gets injured too. Or the elderly woman with her poodle.

If the neighbor is a "punk" and cops an attitude, don't waste your time. Just report the incident and urge your neighbors to do likewise. That way if force is ever needed by you or someone else, the authorities already have a record of complaints.

For what it's worth, if the dog is charging and it's rear end is held low, he's on the attack. Dogs approaching with a stiff jerky gait are challenging the other dog. "High stepping" with the front paws or head down to front paws with rump up high is "let's play!"

Arizona Fusilier
April 29, 2006, 10:56 PM
I would call that the "school solution"' you handled it well.

I do agree that you should contact the person and let them know their dog was loose. Heck, they could even be gratefull.

I live in a good hood, as a matter of fact, I had abandoned my long practice of running with a gun. But now I have taken running up a notch, and also run with my Vizsla, Hussar. I have experienced increasing incidents of loose dogs, or dogs jumping the fence.

I will be taking up running with a gun and pepper spray again, ASAP.

April 29, 2006, 11:24 PM
If you dropped your keys and I picked them up, and ran after you yelling hey, would you hit me in the nose with something? The dog was aquainted with your dog and was just coming to say HI! Sounds like you have a fear of other peoples dogs? You cant judge a persons dog on the owner. Even if the owner was present you cant tell what the dogs thinking by lookin the guy up and down. My advise would be to go to the park and watch the behavior of other dogs together..Try walking at the dog and yelling, itll probably stop in its tracks and run away. I think youll find out alot of dogs act that way. If the dog would have stopped short, and growled, or acted funny, then by all means kick it! My dog (Pit bull) and my neighbors dog( Black Lab) tackle each other and do death rolls to say hi.. If you didnt know anybetter, youd think they were fighting.. Not the case.. If you met me and my dog, my dog would roll over for your dog to smell, and Id growl.. lol Im definately more agressive than my mean old Pit... Dont mean to attack you, theres just alot of people who dont get dogs.. My motto is: If a dog bites you, bite it back!!!

MDW Guns
April 30, 2006, 05:39 AM
You fear a lab??
He properly just wanted to sniff and be friends.
Specially young labs do run around like crasy, but they are mostly harmless.
What kind of dog do you have?

April 30, 2006, 06:06 AM
I thought I was going to be the only one! Im waiting for someone to say Ida shot it....lol:D

April 30, 2006, 07:14 AM
Dogs don't always stop short and growl when they are attacking and Labs are not always sweet docile animals.
I watched a German Shepard kill a Husky once.
The Shepard charged and didn't slow down till he had a mouth full of Husky neck.
The Husky let out one brief yelp and was dead.

The people I have worked with over the years fear Labs and Cockers more than Pits and Rotts.
Labs are on the lists of top biters.

And as has been said before
It is not our responsibility to determine the mindset of an animal charging toward us.
If the animal stops short and rolls to his back or displays an obvious playful attitude then taking any action is unwarranted.
Waiting for the dogs to be intertwined in combat to act would be irresponsible

And comparing an animal charging to a human trying to return keys is ridiculous, unless of course the animals in your neighborhood have their own house keys

April 30, 2006, 07:41 AM
these threads always devolve because there are always those self proclaimed dog experts who tell you how to react even though they were not there:rolleyes:

The original poster never said that his dog and the lab were acquainted. He said the other dog had "seen" his dog--from the other side of the electric fence, from the other side of a window, who knows?

Once again, it is the responsibility of the dog owner to keep his pet on his property. Also happens to be the law, most places.

April 30, 2006, 07:57 AM
The pepper spray to the face is the best resort. I carry a big walking stick or a small 22 revolver with birdshot when walking. I have a 2 labs and one is agressive and the other is the nicest thing in the world. I agree that labs are biters, but only when they feel threatened or scared. You wouldn't have know if the dog was charging to attack or just to run up and get a friendly sniff, better to error on the side of caution and do what you did.

I have whacked many oncoming dogs in the head or once I ran at a large black lab and tackled it and grabed it by the throat when it jumped my lab and I didn't have a stick and kicking was out or the question. The sherrif ended up shooting that lab (we have a leash law in the town and the local sherrif enforces it regularly with a nice ruger #1 in 22-250) because it had been reported several times.

I agree that you should talk to the owner of the lab and tell them what happened. If they don't take care of it and it happens again with you or someone else I would report it to the local cops or sherrif and let them take care of it.

April 30, 2006, 10:15 AM
Use this to test out different pepper sprays. Obviously the dog isn't kept where it's supposed to be. Now go out and get a bunch of sprays and see which one works the best.:eek:

April 30, 2006, 11:09 AM
I've never seen a vicious lab or retreiver. I can't fault you cause I wasn't there but I've had LOTS of dogs run to me when I visit peoples homes to do repairs on plumbing or hvac and the fear of those breeds does not compute (to me). Shepards are a different story, as well as some other breeds but not labs! I've been bit three times and for some reason, it's always the ankle biters (small dogs).

I'm no dog expert, that's just my experiance talking.

If you say the owners are punks...you might not want to talk to them about it lest they plot revenge in defense of their dog. Just a thought.

April 30, 2006, 11:36 AM
Sounds like the best action to me. Despite most dogs doing what is expected of the breed - each one is individual and not predictable.

Leash laws are to be obeyed.

I was walking my Mastiff (some 180#) in campground on leash when a tiny terrier type (under 10#) rand out and attacked him. My dog was the gentlest and sweetest dog on earth but there's a limit. He picked the little dog up and shook it. A couple of teen girls were wringing their hands so I took the little dog out of Charley's mouth - at which point the little dog bit me.

This was serious for me since I was still in practice of surgery and it is the rule not to do surgery if the surgeon has an open wound of the hands.

Also, being active in dog shows - I knew one should never step into a dog fight - I just hadn't recognized that, despite difference in sizes, this was in fact a "dog fight".

Immediately on being released, the little dog resumed his attack! My attitude then was - he's your's, Charley.

The little dog died, of course and the teen girls were devastated. Their mother was apologetic, explaining she was aware it was their fault and the reason their dog wasn't on leash as national forest regulations required, was that their dog was so small it wouldn't be a threat to anyone.

It was the aggressor, however, and I was the bite victim. Leash laws should be obeyed and no one should feel there is any reason why their dog or they should be excepted from the law. "Electric fences" are notorious for being ineffective and the intentions of loose dogs are not predictable. If owners feel they can ignore leash laws, can they be trusted to have their dogs up to date for their immunizations?

Using the pepper spray was the safest and best action and may have spared the sprayed dog's life. Just the opinion of one who spent years around dog shows where there were usually at least 3000 dogs - all on leash and having no problems.

:rolleyes: :confused: :barf:

Capt. Charlie
April 30, 2006, 11:39 AM
I've never seen a vicious lab or retreiver. I can't fault you cause I wasn't there but I've had LOTS of dogs run to me when I visit peoples homes to do repairs on plumbing or hvac and the fear of those breeds does not compute (to me). Shepards are a different story, as well as some other breeds but not labs! I've been bit three times and for some reason, it's always the ankle biters (small dogs).
I don't think it's wise to speak in absolutes when referring to any breed of dog. Remember that they all have the same roots, and they're all predators, which means the instinct to attack, while suppressed, is still there.

In general, some breeds are less inclined to bite than others, but my belief is that the breed's tendencies are overridden by their upbringing and training. A pit bull brought up in a kind and patient, but well disciplined environment is a lot safer to be around than a Lab that grew up poked, prodded, and abused.

It does seem that the little guys have a Napoleon complex though :D .

April 30, 2006, 12:16 PM
Yeah, I agree with Capt Charlie. There can always be an exception to the rule. My post was my experiance only and YMMV!

April 30, 2006, 12:39 PM
I agree with Captain Charlie 100% and have seen vicious labs labs - even St Bernards and (gasp) Mastiffs - but rarely - but, at that size, it doesn't take many to be a problem.

OTOH, one of the sweetest dogs I ever had was a Staffordshire Terrier (pit bull to many). She was a wonderful family pet when I was growing up.

There is no substitute for obedience training to not only make your dog a better and more reliable pet but, it forms a special bond between you and your dog that is valuable beyond belief! We''ve shown several Mastiffs and a Rhodesian Ridgeback to obedience titles.

This is our Charley (spelling was his idea) and sister Katie the day we got them at 11 weeks old and 30# each).


"Don't know where we are or who they are, but, we're together, little sis.".

Now at a year, showing their obedient "sit - stay" and getting treats for good behavior.


Katie, however, feels real ladies sit like this.


And Charley sits like a gentleman.


Well, most of the time.


And, they are watch dogs - watching.


But, never off leash if not confined in house, trailer, or yard.

April 30, 2006, 04:00 PM
+1 Captain Charlie / OJ
It's not wise to assume any dog is or isn't agressive by breed.
I raised and bred Golden Retreivers for 10 years and learned alot.A friend of mine had one of my pups who was great with kids, babies ,puppies and other dogs . His kids were small and would ride him like a pony, have him pull a sled and the like. The dog had observed his owner yelling at one of the neighborhood teens who constantanly cut across the back of his property (right through his garden) and learned that this person was unwelcomed.One day the teen on the mini-bike found out how fast the dog was when it caught him , cleared him off his mini-bike and took hold of his thigh.This same dog went through the screen door TWICE trying to kill the UPS man. I have handeled hundreds of dogs and the one that sent me to the E.R. was a yorkie !!
P.S. OJ Those dogs are beauties !!

April 30, 2006, 04:17 PM
Gotta love them English Mastiffs'. We got one in august that will be 9 months old tomorrow. 140 lbs already! Obediance trained and at the top of the class. That dog (Thor) is one of the best behaved dogs we've ever had. He's so tall though that his tail will clear the table as he walks past.

Beautiful dogs oj.

roy reali
April 30, 2006, 04:47 PM
Direct Stop is the most effective spray I have used. It works better then you would think. Every dog I've hit with it took off as though it was scalded by boiling water.

It is a spray made with citronella. I put a tiny drop on a piece of tissue. I rolled it into a ball. I put that up to my dog's face. She turned her head in complete repulsion. I've never seen a dog act that way towards an odor. Actually, I am amazed at what they thinkg smells good. It has a smell that dog can not tolerate. It is there version of rotten milk.

The literature that comes with the product does warn that some dogs are so aggressive that no chemical repellant will work. Only containment, or a bullet will stop their attack.

I hope this helps.

April 30, 2006, 05:13 PM
Thanks for the kind words, guys. Since I last posted, I was walking my dog (he thinks it's for fun but it's actually his daily obedience training) when a loose Silky Terrier (probably under 15# - my Charley now over 200#) chased us down - his object unknown - but I did spray him with the Fox OC spray I always carry for incidents not requiring the 1911A1. Didn't hurt him any but it did turn him away and, if he had any aggression in mind as some terriers do - I probably saved his life.

Accidents happen but most "accidents" as in cars and guns, as well as in dogs running loose off leash, are really the result of someone's negligence and are avoidable. Over the past three decades, I've never had one of my dogs loose off leash. Haven't had any car or motorcycle or gun "accidents" either.

:rolleyes: :D

April 30, 2006, 06:09 PM
Since I last posted, I was walking my dog (he thinks it's for fun but it's actually his daily obedience training) when a loose Silky Terrier (probably under 15# - my Charley now over 200#) chased us down - his object unknown - but I did spray him with the Fox OC spray
I was going to offer some kind words since I know of 3 labs that came after me and my greyhound once, but damn you're becoming a menace with that spray can. You'll probably be one of the few civilians out there to actually completely use one up.
Someone, take that spray can thing from him. ROFL

April 30, 2006, 07:05 PM
As someone who often ends up repairing the aftermath of dog on dog attacks you took a very reasonable course of action and I?d stand by your actions in a second, of course you never do know an animals intent until often it?s too late though more seasoned dog types can read body language with 80-90% accuracy though there are always surprises of the worst type.

Frankly I think that those electric fence deals ought to not count as a fence --- they are always breaking or failing on some level plus do not protect dogs from threats coming into the yard or people or kids wondering on a yard if the dog is aggressive / protective --- plus they are often purchased by someone looking for a quick fix to a larger problem --- we have even seen people try to use these things to keep problem wolf hybrids contained --- with predictable poor results.

I would say that telling the owners is strongly advisable as they might want to flush out the dog?s face / eyes and make sure he did not abrade his cornea in the process of pawing at his face.

Breed may account for 5-10% of a dogs over all personality or predisposition, the rest is environment, if the converse was true working dog people would not spend so much time in selecting candidates for police / military service, heck if half the absolutes people talk about were true you could just go grab any lab and have a therapy dog and go grab any German Shepherd and have a patrol dog. I have seen just about every breed be profoundly aggressive or unbelievably nice, yes even aggressive golden retrievers, and frankly in the right circumstances most any dog will bite --- if they are fearful of their life / safety that IS their defense mechanism, a dog?s personality has a large role in this as well --- is he or she fearful and aggressive in response to that or is he or she dominant and challenging your authority --- the latter type of dog tends to be more predictable and generally easier for an experienced handler to deal with --- they will tell you when you are going to have a problem, the fearful dog is going to fight or flight and a chronically fearful dog needs a lot of work and is in general less predictable.

Though I?m not much of a small dog person myself (often I wonder if Chihuahua translates to biting rat) and granted certain small breeds were breed / selected for ?spunk? because they were meant to chase small game or rats and so forth, I do have to come to their defense as 70-80% of the ones I see that are problem children are that way because they have spent their entire life in someone?s lap and have never ever been introduced to any part of the big broad world because some people don?t think this is important for a small dog so you end up with this poor profoundly fearful animal that will fire at will anytime it?s not on it?s owners lap, the other variation of this that accounts for the other 20% or so is the small dog that has shown aggression / dominance and because it?s a small dog the owner thinks it?s ?cute? or funny somehow and does nothing to curb it.

OJ ? beautiful dogs there got to love the giant breeds.

roy reali
April 30, 2006, 07:38 PM
The citronella spray I mentioned above does not harm a dog in any way. I even sprayed some in my hand and put it near my eyes. The only thing I experienced was a strange odor. I tried sniffing a small amount of pepper spray once. Like I say, only once.

I realize suggesting a spray with citronella as the active ingredient sounds silly. I thought the same thing when I first got the product. My first use changed my mind to its effectiveness. Seeing a large German Shepard take off runnning like it saw a ghost made me a believer.

April 30, 2006, 08:15 PM
Doctor RsqVet - I appreciate your comments.

They are good citizens in addition to their looks. They have had essentially daily obedience training since we got them at 11 weeks of age and are the love of the neighborhood. Today, we had them in their final exercise in our driveway which is the "sit - stay" followed by the "down - stay" and three teen aged boys rode bikes up to the end of the driveway. The dogs didn't break and the teens were very impressed - particularly when we released them to socialize with the company as Mastiffs like these never met a stranger or anyone who didn't want to pet them.;)

I was proud of the Mastiffs and the teens.- both of which showed good training and social skills.:)

:D :D :D

K Hall
May 1, 2006, 01:14 AM
I would agree with going and talking to the owner of the nuisance dog. If you do it politely and they are (hopefully) responsible dog owners, then they are going to want to know. The fence could be faulty, the dog could be sadistic, or the battery in the collar transmitter could be dead.. lots of variables and a good idea to get to the bottom of it.
I also agree with your response to the situation. I watched a pair of Labs rip a cat in half literally by playing tug of war with it. They were oblivious to my yells and by the time I found something effective to get them away with, it was far too late for the poor puss. Stereotyping a breed will only lead to heartache- much better safe than sorry. Thankfully there were no injuries and hopefully you wont have to deal with something like this again!

May 1, 2006, 09:51 AM
A little old lady's poodle attacking me is not a scenario that keeps me up at night :p But you did well

Re: electric fences...they are a deterrent, but a determined (or stupid) dog with a tolerance for the zap they give can shoot right through it. After all, once the dog is through, the zap goes away just like if the dog backs up and gets AWAY from the electric fence. Once they figure that out, the fence loses its effectiveness. This is why God invented chain link and privacy fencing. :D Talk to your neighbor so he/she knows that the dog's behavior is not being completely controlled by the electric fence.