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Dog attacks: What does the law allow us to do?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Adam888, Mar 27, 2017.


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  1. Adam888

    Adam888 Banned

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    After a friend's dog was recently attacked by another dog it got me thinking about my own. My dog is very small and could no doubt be picked up and shook or simply bitten to death very quickly.

    I know the best method of defense is avoidance in the first place, but if all else fails and another dog attacks your dog, what can we legally do about it?

    If you ended up hurting/killing the aggressive dog could you end up in trouble with the law? I've seen a few dog walkers who carry legal limit (under 3inch) keyring knives. That seems extreme, but then if you were in the situation of seeing your dog being attacked you would want to do anything to save it.
     
  2. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    I’m sorry, this isn’t going to give you any peace of mind, but if a dog is intent on killing something, it will likely be all over before you even have a chance to do anything.

    If there is a full-on dog fight, there are various effective ways of intervening depending on the situation. None involve knives or weapons of any sort.
     
  3. danielled

    danielled Guest

    Why would any dog owner want to kill another persons dog? I wouldn't and my boy was attacked when he was 1 that was the first time. Yes it's our job to protect our pets but it isn't our job to kill other people's dogs or any pet for that matter. It's up to other owners to keep their dogs under control.
     
  4. Adam888

    Adam888 Banned

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    They wouldn't want to. But may feel they have to. This is a last resort situation. Some dog's are vicious and out of control due to poor ownership. If said dog is attacking your dog (is most likely going to kill it if you don't intervene) what do you do? Intervention could also cause the dog to attack you.

    If I am in that situation I would use any force available to stop the dog before it potentially even kills me. So, within UK law, if you killed an attacking dog, could you get in trouble?
     
  5. danielled

    danielled Guest

    I'd imagine if you deliberately killed a dog that was attacking yours you might well end up in more than a bit of trouble.
     
  6. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    I don't know where you live but in 30 years plus of dog ownership in both London and the south west I have only had one dog (a JRT) attack one of my dogs (a rottie). Of course you do all you can to break it up but there seriously are not loads of savage/vicious dogs marauding around waiting to attack your dog and/or kill you. If you are aware of any such dog I suggest you report it to the dog warden and the police immediately and avoid walking in areas where you might encounter them.
     
  7. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I have owned and been walking dogs for forty odd years and I have never had one of mine attacked.

    Full on attacks where dogs are injured or killed or are very rare.

    Don't allow your dog to approach another. Try to train him to be focused on you and avoid situations which worry you.

    If your dog is small, you always have the option to pick him up if you really feel he is in danger.
     
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  8. Adam888

    Adam888 Banned

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    I agree with tou guys the likelihood is most people will never experience such a situation. However between March 2014 and Feb 2015 over 7000 people were admitted to hospital with dog related injuries.

    I really only want to know just in case that one in a million happens. I'm walking my dog and a big, aggressive dog attacks my dog and myself.

    The normal acceptable methods according to you guys would not work on a 60kg dog hell bent on attacking. Or a dog who has locked its jaw on your arm, causing potentially life threatening injury.

    Within the law, what can I do? If I did carry a legal limit knife, and used it on the dog to defend myself. Would that be legal?
     
  9. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    My dog was attacked and bitten by another dog.

    Fortunately, I managed to get the dog off but, although scary at the time, I don't think the dog was intent on killing my dog.

    Since then, I do carry either a hiking cane or a stick picked up on a walk as a defence, which I would use or kick an attacking dog if necessary.

    If I really felt it was going to kill my dog and there was something on the ground, I guess it could be deemed reasonable to use that.

    However, carrying a knife (however "legal") - no, I never would.

    If you really need to know where you stand legally, a pet forum probably isn't the place. Maybe try a legal or Government website?
     
    LinznMilly and Jamesgoeswalkies like this.
  10. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    I think if you are asking for the legal position then you are best directing that question to a Lawyer/Solicitor not members of a forum. Professionals are in a far better position to answer your questions in regard to defending yourself including the legality of carrying and using a weapon.

    J
     
  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    The theme of this has changed from the OP defending his dog, to defending himself.

    OP - we aren't in a position to give you permission to carry a knife, or condone you using it. As others have said you are asking the wrong question of the wrong people.

    Cross posted with @Jamesgoeswalkies
     
  12. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    A dog related injury can be a

    slip, trip or fall over a dog
    a fall caused by a dog crashing into a person
    a scratch by a dog playing

    etc etc etc

    Many of the above are totally unrelated to biting, still fewer from dogs which are not those belonging to the injured person/family, and even fewer which require major treatment.

    So, as others have said, please put this ito perspective.

    Statistically you are far more likely to be in a vehicle related incident than a dog one. ;)

    The only lockjaw you need worry about is the one you can contract from other sources, ie tetanus.

    Believe me when I say that it is highly unlikely that a dog which weight 25kg plus and is so out of control that it is seriously savaging you or your dog is going to be responsive to anything you may have about your person other than a gun.

    And as for using a knife on one good luck with explaining why it should be deemed legal you carry one whilst out dog walking
     
  13. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Surely a hospital is not going to classify falling over your own dog as a dog related injury. I was out of action for quite a while after one of my dogs crashed into me and injured my back. That was not classified as a dog related injury - why would it be. My chiropractor sees loads of injuries from pulling dogs etc, they are not reported and become statistics.

    As for the knife - the OP did say a LEGAL knife. I certainly have one in my pocket all the time as does every other farmer and most horse owners that I know.
     
  14. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    Yes they do.

    Also ALL bites are classified under dog bites whether you were bitten by a dog, cat, horse, etc.

    Unless you see the list you have no idea if the injury was classified as dog related or not.

    Penknives need to be unfolded before use, so good luck with that when your arm is being savaged by this crazed canine monster as it is illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62cm) or less
     
  15. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    So not an average joe walking his dog in a park then?... frankly, the idea of coming back home tonight to walk the dog and entering the park with a dosen of strangers with "legal" knives in their pockets is really unsettling for me...
    My dog has been attacked before. No serious injury but it looked bad when watching from the side as the dogs were going for each other's necks... hand on heart - at no point did I wish I had a pocket knife on me so I could protect my dog by stabbing the massive mastiff type male. Where do you draw the line of when it's "ok" to cause serious physical damage to the other dog? Is it only ok for the small dog owners? Or is it ok in a more "fair" fight of big dogs? Does the other dog must draw blood before you stab him? Or does it only need to show some sort of intent to snap your dog's neck?
    If I was in a situation like that, I'd be probably using anything I can find around me, but I cannot see myself ever even considering carying a knife in case I need to stab someone's dog...
     
  16. danielled

    danielled Guest

    You can ask the correct people, that is a good place to start. If you ever stabbed a dog to death because it was attacking yours then you might be considered a sicko on here. I'd think you'd be questioned for carrying a knife if not be in big trouble.
     
  17. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    Forget the knife, its just not a place you want to go, anyway I would imagine by the time you get the knife out and open it it'd be all over, plus stabbing with a knife is not an instant thing like in the movies. The only experience I have of a dog getting killed was a Chi was attacked by a running Greyhound and it was all over in 2 seconds. The best way of protecting your dog is to be aware of your surroundings.
     
  18. danielled

    danielled Guest

    Well said.
     
  19. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    OP, any dog of any size could attack you or your dog, and dog/dog & dog/human aggression are not interchangeable. If a dog attacks your dog, it doesn't, for example, mean it's going to turn on you.

    Frankly, if I saw you walking around, carrying a knife - even a pocket knife - I'd be more likely to view you with suspicion, not the dog.
     
  20. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Yes and most of those will have been caused by their own dogs. For instance years ago my Old English Sheepdog was racing about on the grass and ran straight in to my MIL taking her legs clean out from under her, she hit her head on landing and was unconscious for a short time - the doctor recorded that as a dog related injury which of course it was but not a bite by a savage dog just a doofus OED not looking where he was going.
     
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