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Attacks on Assistance Dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by IncaThePup, Aug 22, 2013.


  1. IncaThePup

    IncaThePup PetForums VIP

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    A recent post on the perfect dog got me thinking.. many people would consider an assistance dog to be pretty perfect, they are trained to an high degree, to be very obedient and very docile when working in public.. but there seems to be a lot ..especially recently ..of attacks on assistance dogs.

    At first I put it down to owners been blind as more often than not it was a guide dog and of course the owner can't see the danger of a reactive dog coming, but recently it's happened to several other service dogs.

    My friends hearing dog has been attacked twice, totally unprovoked and it makes me wonder if the dogs are so over trained they lose something in their body language to other dogs?

    I've trained my own to help me around the house but never stopped them sticking up for themselves in public, if they didn't like another dog near them they were allowed to warn them and respond back and chase them off if necessary.

    Today we were all in field..my elderly dog Inca (12yo) and BC pup JJ (11 mo). This overweight lab came charging over to play.. JJ was happy to play so I didn't mind, then the lab kept trying jump on Inca....I turned scooter round to get between them but JJ was way ahead of me..lol! .he charged inbetween them running circles round the fat lab and getting him to chase him, when lab turned back to Inca (prob figured she was easier to catch!) JJ charged back and did same again..eventually owner came and grabbed his dogs collar saying 'you've no chance of catching him lad!" (meaning JJ) :lol:

    However, if JJ was a 'proper' qualified assistance dog that wouldn't be allowed and I was told by staff member from Canine Partners that they don't train Border Collies as they don't make suitable assistance dogs (they can't train out their herding instincts for working in public).

    Yet he works brilliantly for me around the house and successfully intercepted this other dog injuring my older dog (from just been too over boisterous, as she has arthritis)...using his natural ability and intelligence...without any fights or anyone getting injured ..(OK the lab only came over to play) ..but my point is..are assistance dogs over trained to be too passive to their detriment..making them a target for other dogs? ..surely if the dog was allowed to stand up for itself..with just a growl .. another dog might think twice and back off?

    Many of the dogs I know of friends are beautiful dogs, highly trained etc but so placid and docile they wouldn't stand a chance against a more aggressive or boisterous dog, as they don't seem to know what to do?

    Do you think all the training changes their body language and their relationship with other dogs?
     
    #1 IncaThePup, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  2. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    No I don't believe so.

    Assistance dogs must be trained to ignore a lot of stimuli when out and about. Any dog showing nervousness around other dogs, people, noises, traffic etc. won't be accepted so the dogs must have a certain amount of confidence. So they won't necessarily make an easy target.

    I think it's more wrong place wrong time. Especially considering the fact that most of (if not all) have been attacked while working, which is most commonly areas like towns and streets when other dogs should, in theory be on lead too.
     
  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    No. If the assistance dog is loose and playing or interacting with other dogs it behaves as any other dog - and some will be better than others. If it is working it is not allowed to interact and must ignore other dogs. So more likely that there are just more dog on dog attacks and assistance dogs can do nothing to defend themselves as they must not even look at the other dog let alone growl or lift a lip.
     
  4. tabulahrasa

    tabulahrasa PetForums VIP

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    Brock's been attacked three times now while on the lead by dogs who were off...I think it's just that too many people let dogs off lead who shouldn't be and that it happens to assistance dogs too.
     
  5. LynnM

    LynnM PetForums Senior

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    Yes I agree but assistance dogs being attacked are brought to our attention more.

    Just look how many people on this forum have had their dogs attacked.
     
  6. LynnM

    LynnM PetForums Senior

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    Duh, thought you had 3 dogs for a moment there, inca, jj, and scooter :001_rolleyes::laugh:
     
  7. SpringerHusky

    SpringerHusky PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't say so, i've come across many and I have friends both wheelchair bound and epileptic with assistance dogs from trained organizations.

    What I have noticed is the increase of dog ownership and dog attacks.

    Allot of the attacking dogs are often staffies, pit type dogs and mastiffs. Now before you yell that i'm being breedist, i'm not in a sense. It's not to do with the breed but more so the owners who are owning them. These are a popular type of dog to have and when I was living in the Uk, they were the ones you saw in the town and most places where dogs were not often seen. The dogs that are attacking are the status dogs, the ones with owners who think it's funny/good to react aggressive towards another dog. Sadly it's these owners who are often responsible for the attacks on assistance dogs.
     
  8. IncaThePup

    IncaThePup PetForums VIP

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    lol...no but I thought if I said 'Betsa' which is what I call my scooter, you'd think I had another dog called Betsa!! :lol:
     
  9. tabulahrasa

    tabulahrasa PetForums VIP

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    hmm, not in my area, the current status dogs are Akitas, Huskies and Mals.
     
  10. IncaThePup

    IncaThePup PetForums VIP

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    Last week a FB friends dog was attacked, the other dog came up form behind and grabbed his leg...I can't help thinking if her dog had been allowed to growl or snap the other dog might have let go, backed off, instead of her dog having to go to vets and taking time off work..which for the lady concerned means her having to find human help at short notice to do everything the dog usually does for her for the time he needs to recover!
     
    #10 IncaThePup, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
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