Haylo Hooman’s and Puggies,
I caught up with old friends a little while ago and because we usually only catch up once a year, it’s a big night of talking and the usual accompaniments that go with the annual catch-up. About half way through the evening we had moved onto our fur-children, as you do, and my friend tells me that he had not long gotten out of hospital because of a dog attack whilst he was walking their fur-child. The attacking dog had tried to attack their fur-child and my friend had gotten in between to stop the attack, subsequently baring the brunt of the attack that included fractured ribs. The owners of the attacking dog were nowhere to be seen and the dog was never caught.
My friend’s situation reminded me of my own experience a few years ago when the boys and I were out for our usual wander around the “block” when a large dog came out of nowhere and latched onto Winston’s hindquarters, lifting him off the ground. Once again, the attacking dog’s owner was nowhere to be seen, leaving me to deal with a dog that had a collar but no lead or harness, intent on doing something to Winston.
I’m not the sort of person to hit or kick a dog for any reason, but in this situation I did hit the dog between the eyes to make him drop Winston and enable me to pull the dog physically away, so that I could then put my body between the attacking dog and the boys; similar to my friend’s reaction. Luckily, I could use one of the boys leads to capture the attacking dog and tie it off to a street sign whilst I called my Partner to come and get the boys whilst I waited for the Ranger to collect the attacking dog and deal with the Owners.
Thankfully, Winston although shook up was unharmed and back to his usual self in no time. A follow-up call from the Rangers confirmed that the Owners had no idea their dog had gotten out but would fulfil the council mandated training and registration (the dog was chipped at least).
Interestingly, the situations that my friend and I had experienced is not uncommon at all, it is just not reported in the media like attacks on humans are because ‘Research shows that 80% of hospitalised dog attack victims are bitten in private homes by their own dog, or that of a friend or neighbour’ (see ref 1 below). The Ranger told me that for some dogs, (not breed specific), other dogs are the problem and the humans with them are ignored until they intervene; much like my friend. Apparently, ‘A dog of any size or breed can become aggressive when defending its territory. Even a friendly dog may guard the area on or around his/her property, especially when you (the owner) are not present’ and ‘Most dog attacks in public places occur on the footpath or road bordering the attacking dog's property. For this reason, it is important to make sure your dog is securely contained’ (see ref 1 below).
Photo curtesy of Unsplash (Alvin Engler)
At the time, I had no idea what I should or should not be doing to stop the attack; my instincts kicked in and it was about getting Winston released so I could then deal with the dog one-on-one. So, after hearing my friends’ story I did a little bit of research to see what guidance is out there and the Pet Helpful website lists the following as options for you to consider if you are in the unenviable position of having to confront an attacking dog:
- ‘Stand in front of your dog and challenge the attacker
- (If you have a stick) Raise the stick up in a threatening manner (some dogs are afraid of being hit, some will see you as a taller force to overcome and be afraid of challenging you). Some walkers recommend you put the stick out in front of you to keep the dog at bay
- Use a firm training voice and tell the dog “NO”, “HOME”, “LEAVE IT”, or whatever else comes to mind
- Grab the dog by the tail and pull him towards you, lifting him at the same time so that his rear feet are no longer on the ground (note: Some will turn around and bite.)
- Grab the dog by the rear legs and lift him up (note: Some will turn around and bite.)
- If the dog is a very large breed and you do not have the strength to lift him up, pull his back legs apart so that he is off balance and falls to the ground (note: Some dogs will just lie down and keep biting your dog)’ (see ref 2 below)
I can hear you saying, “that’s great Donna, what about my Puggie post the attack? I am going to be a mess trying to make sure they’re OK and what do I do until I can get them to a Vet to be looked after”. Completely agree and at the time of Winston’s attack I didn’t know any of this, neither had I taken my Pet First Aid course, so I was very lucky that Winston was OK, and he didn’t go into shock before we got to the Vet. Advice from the Vets Now website says to do the following:
Photo curtesy of Burst (Matthew Henry)
- ‘Keep them calm and warm in a blanket and keep the nose and mouth exposed
- Try not to handle them more than necessary, as they may be very painful even if not obvious on the outside
- If your dog is small, place them in a wash basket or box lined with a blanket or towel
- If your dog is large, then place them on a large blanket for easy lifting
- If your dog has a bleeding wound, flush it with warm salt water and then apply a clean cloth or dressing and apply firm pressure during transport
- If your dog’s chest is punctured, cover the wound with a clean, damp cloth or cling film and bandage the chest tightly enough to seal it
- If your dog’s abdomen is punctured and internal organs are protruding, don’t let the dog lick at them. Rinse the exposed organs immediately in clean water if you can. Use a warm, damp sheet to wrap your dog’s abdomen and take him to a vet urgently’ (see ref 3 below)
Nothing can truly prepare you for a dog attack regardless of where it happens, but hopefully the above information at least gives you something to fall back on should you come across a similar situation to my friend and I.
If you have different advice or want to share your story with us, we’d love to hear about it and share it with other Pug owners; you never know, your story or advice could save a life .. yours or your Puggies.
So, until next week Puggies have a wonderful week and look forward to seeing your adventures and photos on our Facebook and Instagram.
From DonnaProud Pug-mum to Winston and Charles
Pug Parties Founder
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