Dog attacks and what to do
I was walking my registered, microchipped, friendly, elderly dog with her lead on along our regular route on a public footpath last week when another dog raced out from a house barking.
Before I knew it, it had her by the neck with its mouth.
I shouted and scared the other dog enough for it to let go and people in the house calling the dog.
I went down the path to the house and told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to control their dog.
While I was doing that, their dog grabbed my dog by the neck again.
Fortunately my dog didn’t react in kind. Being three times bigger, she could have probably done more damage to it than it did to her.
The people apologised profusely, but I told them that I would be reporting them.
During the previous week two other dogs were presented to our vet clinics that were also attacked by dogs not on leads or being controlled by their owners.
It makes me very cross, not only because those uncontrolled dogs have caused pain and suffering to the attacked dogs and emotional distress to their owners, but because these less-than-responsible people and their dogs that give the vast majority of responsible dog owners and well-behaved dogs a bad name.
People should be able to walk in public places without risk of any dog causing them harm or making them afraid.
What if a child had been walking a smaller dog past that house where my dog was attacked? What if the child had tried to physically separate the dogs?
Or what if the dog that rushed out wasn’t small but weighed 40-plus kilos?
The law, under the Dog Control Act, is very clear. Dog owners must have control of their dogs in public places.
If your dog is attacked and retaliates, avoid getting your hands anywhere near their mouths. Instead, try to get help. Shouting may help, or separating them by grabbing their leads.
Don’t try to outrun a dog. Nearly all dogs will be faster than most people and they love chasing things.
Dogs are great animals, fabulous friends and companions. But people need to control those dogs that are not well-behaved and friendly.