Scenario: Local park, open spaces with occasional bushy scrub areas. A couple of others walking their little dogs. My 4yr old (happy birthday today ) loose within a couple of metres, nose down plodding around sniffing but out of my eyesight. Me holding the collar of my 8mth old sat next to me chatting to an elderly man with his very small spaniel, all eyes on the little dog in front of us. With no warning, from behind 8mth old is flattened by what I believe is a white Malamute type dog. 8mth old raised hackles looking bewildered, collar now twisted in my hand I let go, 8mth old then is pinned to floor by white dog. My 4yr old then arrives on scene, white dog leaves 8mth old and a Mexican shoulder to shoulder rigid stand off ensues with low growling coming from mine (couldn't hear if the white dog was also growling). At this point I also notice my 4yr old has his front leg across and over the white dogs shoulder - not a good sign. So, while I re grab my youngsters collar to get him under control I consider my options 1. Run away and leave them to it, but what about the old man and his dog should they be caught up in the potential fight about to occur 2. Grab my 4yr olds collar and risk a fight kicking off or being bitten by my own as I've grabbed in a sensitive area 3. Try to break them apart and risk being bitten in the process. At this point my 4yr old was turning his head either it was away from the other dogs head (whilst still grumbling) or he turned his head to look at me. What I chose to then do was tap my 4yr old on the bum with my foot - probably the wrong action since a fight, or the noises of a fight started at that very moment (probably triggered off by my tap), just as the white dogs owner arrived running, out of breath and clearly upset at her own dogs performance in flattening my pup and invading a peaceful chit chat - this was coincident with my tapping on the bum. She grabbed her dog and pulled it away, the old man and myself just walked off the other way. Questions: The white dog is notorious for barging in and being involved in spats, his tail is always up and curled by breed design. but I don't think I've ever seen this dog wag his tail in friendly play. He looks a powerful dog and walks with weight forwards and head up, ears by design are always up. I believe the white dog is entire just as my 4yr old is. Who kicked what off and what should I really have done about intervening or not. Was my 4 yr old trying to take control of the situation, or just as bad as the other dog for wading in, albeit after the youngster had been flattened from behind.