Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Moral/ethical dilemma.

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Nonnie, May 12, 2010.


  1. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17,032
    Likes Received:
    9,492
    Whilst walking my boys last night, Alfie was attacked.

    I had them both on lead as we had just walked past a stable yard.

    An off lead JRT terrier approached, neither of mine were particularity interested, and the JRT seemed fine. We got to about 2 foot of it, and it just launched itself at Alfie, all guns blazing.

    Of course Alfie defended himself, but i was/am very aware he was over 5 times larger than this dog and far more powerful and able to do a considerable amount of damage to a animal of this size. So i did something i feel extremely guilty for, and i restrained his head so that he could not have a go back. This basically allowed the other dog to have a "free" go at him, which it happily did.

    Thankfully (amazingly!) no damage was done, but Alfie was clearly shaken up after this, and wouldnt settle on his walk, and was subdued all evening.

    Im not sure if i did the right thing or not. I know the other dog started it, but would it really have been fair to allow Alfie to truly defend himself when it wasnt an even match?

    My dog and his wellbeing come first and foremost, but id be devasted if he ever caused damage to another dog. I just hope this wont set back his confidence.

    Oh and to his credit, all Oscar did was have a good bark.
     
  2. rona

    rona Guest

    Oh no I hope it hasn't affected his new found confidence :(
    I don't know if the circumstances would have allowed it, but I have picked up several rogue terriers by the scruff of the neck.
    Was the owner around?
     
  3. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,910
    Likes Received:
    111
    Its such a difficult one nonnie - I dont know whether it was the right thing to do, but if its any consolation I would probably have done something similar, as if alfie attacked back and did cause any damage, regardless of you feeling bad about it, then he could have had the finger pointed at him for what he had done (even though he wasnt in the wrong).

    The only other thing i prob would have done would have been to try and get the JRT away somehow, but not really sure how you would do this in the heat of the moment, with two dogs on lead and the other dog attacking and off lead!!

    hope this doesnt affect alfie too much :(
     
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17,032
    Likes Received:
    9,492
    I already had a dog in each hand, i wouldnt have been able to. Not that i would have, it was all teeth and im pretty sure id have been bitten. Maybe im too soft, i couldnt even bring myself to take a well aimed kick :(

    The owner was, he just said "oh dogs and bitches dont usually scrap".
     
  5. Mum2Alfie

    Mum2Alfie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,810
    Likes Received:
    110
    Oh wow that must have been scary! I dont know what I would have done tbh! As Rona says I may have picked the other dog up by the scruff!

    I am sure Alfie will be ok after a couple of days getting over it. Just show him alot of love and attention.

    I hope Alfie is ok!
     
  6. rona

    rona Guest

    You're not like me, I would protect my own dog from attack any way needed without causing too much damage to the offending dog.
    I've even stood up to a snarling Great Dane :yikes:
    Had the odd bite from a terrier too :(
     
  7. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    317
    Knowing JRT's and knowing what damage they are capable of causing if they really want to I'm afraid I would have allowed Alfie to defend himself. Doing what you did I totally understand but you left yourself open to being bitten by either the JRT or Alfie in his frustration or worse Alfie being seriously injured. I've had my 2 staffie crosses attacked while on lead and luckily the remaining pack rounded up and intimidated the attacker before I needed to make a decision but I would have no quarms about letting the on lead dogs defend themselves.


    Sad problem is you could guarantee if the JRT had been injured it would have been the staffie type who was in the wrong, be it on lead or not. :( Hope he's okay and not too worried about the incident.
     
  8. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17,032
    Likes Received:
    9,492
    I think this is one thing i have in the back of mind at all times, and why i have always been cautious with allowing him to meet other dogs.

    Do i risk him being injured, or do i risk him being taken away?

    The other worry is what if he goes into "fight" mode? A defensive action could rapidly escalate into something more serious. Alfie has never shown these tendancies, but i cant guarantee it wouldnt happen. The few run in's he has had have all been off lead (he started none btw), and he has always backed down and moved off.

    Ive no problem with being bitten, especially not by my own dog in such a situation.

    Maybe this dog being an older one (it was very grey) was what held me back.
     
  9. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    17,493
    Likes Received:
    554
    Oh no poor Alfie :(

    I think I'd have done something similar. Doing anything to the other dog puts you at risk of getting a telling off from the owner at least, and even if it was complete self defence Alfie would get a good telling off or worse too, I expect :nonod:

    Its difficult because if Alfie went to have a go you could have got caught in the way and I bet he would have been horrified with himself if he got you by accident instead of the other dog. With the bad rep staffs can get, I know its bad, but I would worry that even if all Alfie did was give it a 'go away' bite, he could get into serious trouble for it depending on who the owner is and how they view their dog/other dogs. Personally, I think that it was best to try and stop Alfie doing anything to the other dog just for that fear of if the other owner tries to blame Alfie if his dog gets hurt, and not his dog.
     
    #9 GoldenShadow, May 12, 2010
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  10. kazschow

    kazschow PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    12
    I'm not sure if you did right or wong last night Nonnie... but today you would most certainly be doing right, by reporting the incident to the local dog warden. THe owner needs to be reported so the same thing doesn't happen to another dog walker in the future. The JRT was not under control, had it been your dog wouldn't be stressing about your dog today :(
     
  11. Snoringbear

    Snoringbear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    457
    I would have given the attacking dog a kick tbh. Better that than letting one of mine defend itself and probably killing it.
     
  12. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    83
    I would have not done that, it took me ages to build my dog's confidence up and would not risk putting him back years, he came with such fear and he now trusts me so much more, I would fear in holding his head to be sacrificed would damage our relationship to much and next time round a dog approaches him he will no longer look at me for help and might just get a reaction of fear aggression I would not be able to stop and he could really do some damage then; at that point there is no question whose fault it would be, mine.

    Hopefully alfie is a lot older then Ray and your relationship a lot more established and I would imagine sure enough he is a bit disappointed with what has happened, but it's done now and I am inclined to believe he will get over it.
    You have acted instinctively, it shows you are very responsible in worrying about the other dog and ultimately alfie's staying in the right, I could not do that. Funnily enough we had the same situation happen 3/4 times with JRTerrors, Ray on lead, them off guns blazin from the little terriers but I have always managed to get in the middle and kept ray behind, Ray is no fighter so he is quite happy to make noise and let me take care of building a barrier...

    Hope alfie's back to normal today, poor boy! He really didn't deserve it, Oscar on the other hand, extremely good boy for not causing a scene ;)
     
  13. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    317

    I know exactly what you mean, it goes through my head everytime too. Sad but true.
     
  14. madferrit*

    madferrit* PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    14
    Its such a hard one as you just act quickly without thinking in situations like that and then with hindsight you wished you'd have done something different!
    Might just be worth stepping infront of the other dog if you can before it can get anywhere near Alfie. Dont beat yourself up over it you just reacted to the moment.:eek:
     
  15. Jasper's Bloke

    Jasper's Bloke PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    90
    I think you did an incredibly brave thing and I do hope Alfie gets over it quickly.

    No one can predict how they would react in such a situation until it happens but I doubt I would have been thinking as clearly as you were. No I probably wouldn't have let my dog retaliate for fear of the damage he could do, but I would have made sure the JRT was sent packing PDQ and a firm pinch in the right place is sure to get his attention without causing him any serious injury (try it now on the inside of your thigh or arm and you'll see what I mean).

    Failing that or any intervention from the owner, I am quite prepared to defend my dog and keep it from harm.
     
  16. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,245
    Likes Received:
    226
    You did what you felt was right at the time.

    I think I defo would have let my dog defend itself out of instinct, if it had to and just get away from the situation ASAP. But when faced with such situations we all act in the moment.

    It is natural that Alfie was shaken by such an attack out of the blue, :( I hope it doesn't affect any future walks. Just happy there are no physical injuries.
     
  17. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,245
    Likes Received:
    226
    Thinking to someone a few years back I know with a lovely Staff family pet, lovely owner, kept on lead public places, one day I was in the area at the same time and two off lead dogs with an idiot owner who does not treat them very well run straight into the staff owner and attacked the staff terribly, the staff got a good lock onto one of the dogs and seriously hurt it it. The owner had to hurt his own dog and you could see how painful that was for him to do that to get him to let go of that dog and get away. He even though was not in the wrong was the apologetic one. He was being a responsibe owner to begin with, but suddenly the unresponsible owner of these offlead dogs was calling him everything under the sun and the situation was unbelievable it was terrible. So even though I said in my previous post I would let my dog defend itself no matter what (I totally have a different breed to you so I guess it is different) I can understand now why you did what you did and the reasons behind it.
     
  18. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    131
    I don't think anyone can say right or wrong without having witnessed the incident first-hand. Nor is it clear that you would have maintained your tactic had the incident worsened - you may have released Alfie or struck out with your foot had you seen blood or heard screaming.

    As things stand a fight occured, you acted as you thought best and, at the end of it, neither dog has sustained injury and that means you were successful in your primary objective.:thumbup:

    Hope Alfie recovers his mood soon. I'd have painted the air blue with my opinions of the other owner's attitude.
     
  19. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,959
    Likes Received:
    53
    I sort of know what you mean here and totally agree with your actions.

    When my OH had his pyrenean mountain dog, we had trained him well so that there was no need to worry when he came to visit as my lot are quite a bit smaller. He was very much the gentle giant even though he was still young and probably wanted to play rough and tumble with them.

    We had no problems at all with any of ours but out on walks it could be such a different story... why is it the small dogs always seem to want to take a pop at the biggest dogs :confused1: We were at the playing fields with him off lead one afternoon and spotted a lady with a little JRT so we quickly put him back on his lead, at this point the lady brought her little dog over and asked if they could have a sniff of each other but no sooner had the words left her mouth than her little devil dog was snapping and snarling at Monty who was about 5 times it's size :rolleyes: Poor Monty just sat there looking confused. No apology from the woman just excuses... 'oh he doesn't like big dogs' :confused1: so whyyyyyy bring it over ?? arrrrrr some people !!! I'm pretty sure had the tables been reversed or Monty had even attempted a defense, it's my OH's door the police would have been knocking on
     
  20. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,430
    Likes Received:
    139
    I think you did the right thing really, your main concern was to protect alfie, I think i would do the same thing, zeb already hates some dogs i would hate to add to the list by allowing him to attack back. With bear i wouldve let his lead go as i know he wouldve legged it to safety hes not a fighter.

    Its good neither dog were hurt, and i hope alfies confidence hasnt been knocked to much by it
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice