so ashamed of my irresponsibility as a dog owner tonight! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 33 Old 04-01-2013, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got into a horrible situation with my dog tonight and it was all my fault!  I was walking down my street with my 5yo ds and my 1yo rescued cattle dog/ pit bull mix.  It was the perfect storm.  Our street doesn't have sidewalks, so when we pass another dog there is no barrier and the dogs are curious to sniff each other.  

 

I am so ashamed that I didn't hold onto my dog.  We saw a man with a dog who I thought was a dog she always played with, and the dogs seemed curious so I tried to be friendly and assertive which turned into a disaster.  I was trying to be friendly and let the dogs sniff each other so that they could be okay with each other and keep on, as I have done many times before in the past.  I let go of my dog's leash.  Because I was thinking that the leashes made them aggressive.  That is the part that I am so ashamed about.  That I thought it would be okay to do that.  Because I haven't even told my husband because he would say he told me so many times not to do that.  His last pitbull was a rescue and he never trusted her off leash.  My last dog was a husky shepherd mix who was calm assertive with everyone.  We've had this dog currently for a year and she amazes us with her sensitivity, but she has a threshold where if she feels extremely cornered she will defend herself.  I feel so bad because she so rarely snaps back at other dogs, but she is growing older and more protective of her family.  I see she is figuring out dominance when we are out of the house.  
 

I will never ever let go of my dog's leash again for her own protection.  I saw the whole thing go down, moment by moment.  The other dog was a big hound bitch.  Izzy did not respect her personal space.  The dog reprimanded Izzy and she didn't back down because she felt tangled and cornered.  The reason it turned into the perfect storm is that Izzy held tight onto the tuft of fur at the very base of the spine before the tail starts, and the man turned out to have a deep hatred for pitbulls.  He pulled Izzy off his dog (she was wearing a harness so it was easy to do) and then he rolled her on her back and punched her in the face several times, shouting various slurs at all pit bulls in the world.  I just told him that it was okay, he did the right thing, it will never happen again, i'm so sorry.

 

Izzy ran away as fast as she could, right to my 5yo, cowering and hunched over with her tail drawn up tight between her legs.  The hound bitch stood tall and proud with her tail up high.  The man spat and cursed and put all his anger of everything wrong with the world right into me and my dog.  I apologized and assured him it would never happen again.  That my dog was terrified of him and his dog and would never approach him again.  I asked if his dog was okay, and he checked her and she was.  No blood.  I saw him look over his hands for some bites and there was nothing.  I was relieved that she had controlled her bite not to break skin on either the dog or the man.

 

Even though she has only done that once or twice (and it was right after we got her) to another dog, I will never risk hers or another dog's welfare again, by letting go of the leash, unless it is in a place like the dog park.  I am ashamed of myself as a dog owner, but I can learn and I wish I had apologized more to the other owner.  I recognize that her behavior changes as she matures and she may be more protective as she matures; she is not a little puppy who submits to all anymore.  I feel I have to write this to be accountable for my actions and try to find peace with the fact that I made a mistake.  

I am ashamed at being seen as everything that is wrong with pitbull owners.  I *know* that his dog started it, but she was only doing exactly what her owner felt.  It doesn't matter anyway because it never would have happened if I hadn't protected my dog from him, and for that I am ashamed.

Surprisingly, my 5yo barely noticed what happened, the whole thing happened so fast.  Ugg.  Life gets better.  I know it does.

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#2 of 33 Old 04-01-2013, 09:12 PM
 
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You couldn't have known that was going to happen. You had a lapse of judgment, but in the end, everyone is fine, and the dog's owner is a biased a*****. Maybe walk Izzy a couple streets over instead of where you normally walk, to avoid running into that guy and his dog again at all costs? Quit beating yourself up! =\

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#3 of 33 Old 04-02-2013, 07:33 PM
 
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Don't beat yourself up so much. No one was hurt. As Echo said, it was a momentary lapse of judgement and a lesson learned. You are right that holding them back on the leash and part of what causes aggression. However, you never know how other people or other dogs will react to your dog. Better to keep the dog back until you get a verbal that their dog is friendly and they are willing to let you bring your dog closer. 

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#4 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Found this which is truly helpful.  Must not take her out without treats!   eat.gif  
 

http://www.whenhoundsfly.com/on-leash-aggression-towards-dogs/

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#5 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 06:42 PM
 
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Honestly, I think he overreacted. A LOT, and I'd be more upset at him than yourself. =/


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#6 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 06:42 PM
 
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By the way...is YOUR dog okay? No injuries from the man?


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#7 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 07:24 PM
 
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Is this kind of behavior from pit owners common? Letting them of leashes around other dogs to keep them from getting aggressive?

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#8 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 07:32 PM
 
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I don't think what you did was worthy of beating yourself up so much. Okay, you shouldn't have let your do off leash, but the guy cursing and punching your dog in the face? I might have punched him in the face!

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#9 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 09:46 PM
 
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Is this kind of behavior from pit owners common? Letting them of leashes around other dogs to keep them from getting aggressive?

It's not a common "pit owner behavior". What does that even mean? Do you think pittie owners have a whole separate way of raising dogs?
You are misunderstanding my comment. Pulling back on a leash can cause something called leash aggression with ANY type of dog. That's not to say that you shouldn't leash a dog. All dogs should be leashed for their safety unless in an off leash area.
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#10 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 09:57 PM
 
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So many dogs have leash fear aggression. My Aussie is definitely more fearful and aggressive on-leash.

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#11 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 10:06 PM
 
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My dog is very leash aggressive. He's a toy poodle LOL.

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#12 of 33 Old 04-05-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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My dog is very leash aggressive. He's a toy poodle LOL.

LOL!
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#13 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 05:38 AM
 
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It's not a common "pit owner behavior". What does that even mean? Do you think pittie owners have a whole separate way of raising dogs?
You are misunderstanding my comment. Pulling back on a leash can cause something called leash aggression with ANY type of dog. That's not to say that you shouldn't leash a dog. All dogs should be leashed for their safety unless in an off leash area.

Yes. That was exactly my question. I was wondering if there was something about the way that a rescued pit was trained to fight with leashes that made them particularly aggressive when leashed, and if releasing them was some sort way to counter that.

I've never heard of or seen anyone doing that before with any dog breed in a public (non doggie) space. I was curious.

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#14 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 06:06 AM
 
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I don't think what you did was worthy of beating yourself up so much. Okay, you shouldn't have let your do off leash, but the guy cursing and punching your dog in the face? I might have punched him in the face!

Are you guys kidding? The OPs dog attacked this guys dog and he was defending it. If some dumb pitbull attacked my dog for no reason I would kill it if I had to. Pitts are dangerous and bad Pitt owners are also dangerous. The op sounds like a good owner who made a mistake and she was right that the man defending his dog was in the right.

I'm sure the punch barely hurt the Pitt.
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#15 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 06:18 AM
 
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If I read it right, he punched the dog in the face after he had already pinned it on the ground. I could totally understand of he punched it trying to get it off his dog.

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#16 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 06:21 AM
 
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" He pulled Izzy off his dog (she was wearing a harness so it was easy to do) and then he rolled her on her back and punched her in the face several times, shouting various slurs at all pit bulls in the world."

Yeah, I would have wanted to punch him for that.
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#17 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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In a moment like that who knows how much force is needed to stop a vicious dog...was he excessive? Perhaps...hard to say not having been there. But we need to give the benefit of the doubt to the defender rather than the agressor, in law as well as morality.
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#18 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 07:06 AM
 
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Also, no dogs are vicious by nature. A properly trained and socialized dog will not attack regardless of stimuli. If your dog is getting older and "more protective of the family" to the point that he is attacking then you ate NOT doing your job as an owner.
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#19 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 07:06 AM
 
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" He pulled Izzy off his dog (she was wearing a harness so it was easy to do) and then he rolled her on her back and punched her in the face several times, shouting various slurs at all pit bulls in the world."

Yeah, I would have wanted to punch him for that.

put yourself in his shoes and imagine how he felt...
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#20 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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put yourself in his shoes and imagine how he felt...

I've been there. I was with my boss's dog at the dog park and another dog attacked him. He bit his ear and blood was everywhere. I wasn't angry at the other dog. He was being a dog, and he had a threshold. The owner felt horrible and was totally shocked at the behavior of his dog, but I told him it was okay. Some dogs are very well trained and don't do this kind of thing, but other dogs, no matter how much training you do, have too much baggage to change without some serious energy work from an experienced practitioner. I have one of those dogs. He is from a puppy mill and has a troubled past. He just finished some energy work with an amazing practitioner and is doing much better, but I can never fully trust him to behave like a normal, socialized dog. Am I a bad dog owner? No. I have a rescue dog with lots of issues.

Okay, no one should punch this man in the face. But I stand firm that he was out of line, keeping in mind that I can only go on what the OP said. She feels bad, and I want to help her to feel better. She knows she should have handled the situation differently, but the truth is she was not the only one there who screwed up. You don't kick a man when he's down, and you don't punch a dog in the face when he's down, either.

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#21 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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In a moment like that who knows how much force is needed to stop a vicious dog...was he excessive? Perhaps...hard to say not having been there. But we need to give the benefit of the doubt to the defender rather than the agressor, in law as well as morality.

What makes you say that her dog was "vicious"?
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Are you guys kidding? The OPs dog attacked this guys dog and he was defending it. If some dumb pitbull attacked my dog for no reason I would kill it if I had to. Pitts are dangerous and bad Pitt owners are also dangerous. The op sounds like a good owner who made a mistake and she was right that the man defending his dog was in the right.

I'm sure the punch barely hurt the Pitt.

Pitts are dangerous? That's an uninformed, breedist statement. Did you know that Pitts used to be called nanny dogs because they were often used to take care of children? Did you know that a couple of years ago the "dangerous" dog de jour was the Doberman? Before that Rottweiler? People are dangerous. People mess up some dogs and we blame the dogs. Dogs are the most domesticated animal there is. All that a dog wants to do in the world is make their people happy. It is that eagerness to please that bad people exploit.
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#22 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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Breedist? Please...these are dogs! Categories of discrimination we use when discussing human beings don't apply to animals. (I guess that makes me a proud speciesist?)

Pitt Bulls are more dangerous than, say, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels not only because of temperament but physical prowess. That's just a fact.

What makes me think her dog is vicious? He attacked another dog!
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#23 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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Dogs attack other dogs often because they are afraid. And even though it looks like an "attack", this was not an attack. If it was, one of the dogs would either be seriously injured or dead. And there would be no way the man would have been able to pull the her dog off his dog (and proceed to punch the dog in the face).

I think what the OP needs is support. She made a bit of a mistake, is sorry, and needed to talk about it. So, unless the intent is to "kick her while she's down" I don't really see a need to continue arguing about this.

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#24 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 09:56 PM
 
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Dalia is right.
Jersey, let's just agree to disagree.
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#25 of 33 Old 04-06-2013, 10:14 PM
 
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Is this kind of behavior from pit owners common? Letting them of leashes around other dogs to keep them from getting aggressive?

 

I think many people feel that their dogs are more aggressive on leash.  I've had a number of people tell me not to let my dog get close because their dogs don't do well on the leash.  And now that my dog is out of the puppy stage, she isn't not as passive, so fights happen now when they didn't before.  Almost any time a dog that my dog previously liked ignores her and jumps on me, my dog growls and goes for them.  So now I keep my dog away from other dogs, or I allow her to approach them but I try to keep the situation so that they don't jump on me.  
 

She generally does better off the leash, however, except she's not as responsive to voice commands, so I generally don't take her off leash except if we are in controlled areas.

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#26 of 33 Old 04-12-2013, 10:26 PM
 
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Dogs attack other dogs often because they are afraid. And even though it looks like an "attack", this was not an attack. If it was, one of the dogs would either be seriously injured or dead. And there would be no way the man would have been able to pull the her dog off his dog (and proceed to punch the dog in the face).

I think what the OP needs is support. She made a bit of a mistake, is sorry, and needed to talk about it. So, unless the intent is to "kick her while she's down" I don't really see a need to continue arguing about this.

Exactly. This wasn't even a "real" dog fight, it was a dog being fear aggressive. I've seen dogs of all breeds "attack" other dogs, including miniature poodles and golden retrievers. It has nothing to do with breed.

 

The man assaulted her dog. Obviously the dog was no longer actively attacking his dog. The amount of force used was completely unnecessary.


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#27 of 33 Old 04-24-2013, 08:46 PM
 
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First, so sorry this happened and I hope your pup (as well as the other pup and dog owner) is ok. Stop being hard on yourself - my last pup (a golden) and neighbors dog had a fight that  nobody saw coming at about 12 years old. Wolves all of them ;)

 

Also, I willl pass on that after years of owning dogs is that dogs are most aggressive when they are on leash and an off leash dog approaches them while they are on leash.

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#28 of 33 Old 04-25-2013, 07:31 PM
 
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*

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#29 of 33 Old 04-25-2013, 09:03 PM
 
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I can understand the man being angry but what he did was wrong. There was no need to punch your dog after she'd been pulled off his dog.

To break up a dog fight or pull an aggressive dog off another dog/child, you're supposed to grab the dog's hind legs and lift up. Or you can spray the dogs with water. The idea is to distract the digs in a manner that does not escalate the aggression. NEVER meet aggression with more aggression. In the dog world that's asking for disaster.

You don't go near the dog's mouth unless you like losing fingers and/or making the fight worse. Punching a dog in the face is STUPID and mean.

What the OP did (letting her dog off leash) was wrong too. She misread the situation. But at least now she has learned her lesson and won't do it again. That man hasn't learned anything. He's still a cruel idiot.
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#30 of 33 Old 05-03-2013, 05:38 PM
 
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Oh dear, don't beat yourself up so much.  No one, and I mean no one, is a perfect pet parent.  Just feel lucky that you learned what not to do in this situation without you or anyone else getting hurt, and without the dogs getting hurt.  As for that guy, forget about him.  He was probably rattled by the situation and just reacted by being a jerk.  Be glad you and your dogs got out of it safely and don't dwell on what you could have done differently.

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