Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some Dog Owners Need To Be Trained!

We took Oscar on a walk today in the parkland near our house. There are walking trails, but the rest is just long grass and bushes. Everything was fine and Oscar was having a good time sniffing around.




A future butterfly maybe?

Well, I wish I could tell you that this was just a post about what a lovely walk we had, but it's not. (You could probably tell that by the title). Anyway, as we were walking, further down the path we saw a guy and his dog approaching us. I am working on trying to get Oscar to remain calm and quiet when people or dogs approach, so I was watching Oscar and getting a treat ready to give him for when we passed them. I didn't realize the guy's dog was off leash. All of a sudden, it rushed at us from the side. I'm still not sure what it was - it was light brown and the face looked a bit like a boxer or a similar type of dog, but to be honest I was too surprised to notice much more than that. My husband and I didn't see it at all, or even hear it coming. I had no idea it had left its owner's side. The dog's owner had been walking straight toward us on the path and hadn't called his dog back or gone after it, so I had thought that they were together, in front of us.

The dog lunged right at Oscar and bit Oscar a few times. It all happened so quickly! I have never heard Oscar's scared bark before, but he pretty much freaked out (understandably). I managed to get between Oscar and the dog, stood up straight, looked right at it and said "no" very loudly, but that didn't do much. By that time, the dog's owner was shouting at it to stop, but even as I stood between the dog and Oscar, it lunged between my legs to get at Oscar. I picked Oscar up, and as I did, the other dog was in the midst of biting Oscar. My husband and I were checking Oscar over to make sure nothing was wrong, and by the time I looked up, the guy and his dog had taken off! Absolutely no apologies, and definitely no waiting around for any negative consequences of his own dog's behaviour. I suppose he's okay with his dog attacking another dog, but he's not okay with the prospect of paying someone else's vet bill. Charming. Anyway, we were too in shock to stop him, as we were worried about Oscar. Luckily, Oscar was fine, and we headed on. I think maybe the dog was playing, but I'm still not sure. It was pretty intently going after Oscar, and it didn't stop. If it had been intent on attacking though, given the size difference, I think Oscar would probably have come out of it with an injury of some sort.

As we continued on, we saw another dog. We were hesitant, but saw that it was on leash, so we continued towards it and its owner. I also didn't want Oscar to be scared every time we saw another dog on a walk, so I was hoping that a good experience right after a bad one would help him. The owner said hi and the dog seemed calm and a bit playful. Oscar approached the other dog very slowly. The dogs sniffed each other and then moved on. That is what an interaction between dogs on a walk should be like! We treated Oscar for being so brave and saying hello to another strange dog, and we finished our walk.

I still can't believe that jerk just walked off (correction: rushed off) without so much as an apology. He clearly didn't want to get in trouble if Oscar was hurt. I can guarantee you that if I had seen any blood or cuts on Oscar that I would have run after him. People like that should be fined. The parkland that we were in is not an off-leash dog park. Dogs are allowed, but the sign clearly shows that dogs should be leashed. Not to mention the owner clearly wasn't in control of the off-leash dog, which was not near the owner when it attacked Oscar. Argh! I am so mad that that even happened. It's a relief that Oscar wasn't hurt. For that matter, it's a good thing that my husband and I weren't hurt either. I suppose it wasn't the smartest thing for me to get between the big dog and Oscar and look it in the face while raising my voice and saying "no" - that's pretty aggressive behaviour on my part - but I wasn't really thinking. I just wanted to get it to stop attacking Oscar.

It's right there on the sign. Dog on a leash. Oh, and
pick up your dog's poop. People don't do that either.

I was thinking about it and wondered if that ever happens again if we should drop the leash. My husband was trying to get Oscar away from the dog, and he also was thinking that he didn't want the dog to chase Oscar if Oscar ran away, so he didn't drop the leash. I was doing some reading after we got home, and haven't found many helpful tips. Many sites seem to suggest that you carry a big walking stick with you, but I'm probably not going to do that. We may just stick to the sidewalks for now. That way the dogs are going to be on-leash (at least I would hope so!) and we could just cross the street to avoid people. It's easier to see a dog coming on the street, too. I hope I never find myself in that situation again. I'm not going to lie - it was scary!

We came home and I gave Oscar a bath. I didn't see any cuts or anything, though it's hard to tell through the fur. I'm happy to report that he's running around as usual (though he's a little tuckered out), so I think he came out of that little encounter okay. I bribed him with a bully stick to let me brush him after his bath, so now he's handsome as ever!

Oscar: the Drowned Rat edition.

Our brave little guy!

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh my gosh; that's appalling! I hope Oscar is truly unscathed (physically and emotionally). Man, what a stinking thing for someone to do. :(

I'm particularly bothered by this because my family and I were on a dog-friendly hiking trail today and came upon an owner who had two labs off leash. Today we didn't happen to have our dogs (we usually do). The trail rules clearly state that dogs must be leashed; guess this person thought she was exempt. I was rattled by her dogs just running about the trail loose (even before I read your post).
Sorry - I didn't mean to go on about myself; it's just that your post title is SO TRUE!! Grrr.

As for breaking up the dogs; it's so hard to react when you're in a panic. I've read that pulling the aggressor away by a hind leg is the best way (this is what I do when my two corgis' play gets too rough). (Well, I grab both hind legs, since they're so short - it works.)

I SO hope you don't ever have to go through this again.

Santa, Minnie and Christmas said...

What a scary experience! Oscar is indeed a brave boy. We wouldn't know how we would react if we have such encounter. Glad that Oscar was not hurt.

Rubie said...

My mum said that no dog should go "off-leash" unless the owner has absolute control over their actions. That means that the dog will "come" and "stay" on command and not rush to and annoy (or attack) other dogs! This story makes us SOOOO ANGRY!!! My mum would have scooped me up into her arms - she has had to do that once in a dog park. I am relieved that Oscar was not hurt bad! My mum said a bad words when describing this dog "owner" but I cannot repeat them!! I'm with you - I walk along our local streets and parks, and haven't had a problem there. You have to be wary of the unknown places and unknown dogs. Rubie and her mum.

Team Beaglebratz said...

From the mom - I have heard from many people that the old stand-by, a small can of mace - is a good thing to use. Spray once just above the attacking dog's face - sometimes just the hissing sound of a spray is enough to avert the attention of the dog doing the attacking and give you the needed time to pick up your dog plus hopefully get the owner's attention that he/she need to do something PRONTO because it shows them you mean business. If that doesn't work, then do spray around the face, such as the ears or muzzle - try to avoid contact with the eyes - the sensation of something hitting their skin should be enuf to avert attention. I agree with your hubby - never drop the leash of your dog - like your hubby said, your dog is likely to run off with the dog doing the attacking in hot pursuit. Also, if your dog decides to turn and fight, the owner of the other dog could come back and say your dog attacked his/her's.

So glad to hear that Oscar was able to have a good, positive reaction to meeting another dog on his walk - I have heard that some dogs who have been attacked this way end up developing behavior problems during walks such as refusing to go for walks or whining to be carried all the time. Yea for Oscar and for mom (and trying to block the other dog from attacking Oscar - may not have been the safest but it is probably what I would have done too :) So glad to hear that you all came away doing ok.


Even tho Oscar is fine (thank goodness!), I would still report this to the park authority. That way a file could be started - a paper trail of this owner and dog can be started so in case it happens again, the authority will know that a potential threat does exist and hopefully warn or arrest this owner or ban him from the park.
Kim

Oz the Terrier said...

OMD! Dog owners like this make Ma and I soooooo mad!

There are people in our neighborhood who do NOT put their dogs (big or small) on a leash when our neighborhood's rules clearly state all dogs must be leashed! If I am on my leash and another dog rushes up on me (big or small), it makes me nervous because I know I cannot defend myself while tethered to my human. Hence, I get very barky. Ma never scoops me up though because she doesn't want to encourage my nervousness.

Maybe you should ask around and see if anyone else has had a run-in with this idiot owner and his uncontrolled dog?!? I can't believe Oscar was the first to have this encounter.

Anyway, glad Oscar came out unharmed.
Cairn cuddles,
Oz

Oskar said...

What a horrible encounter with a horrible man. I'm sure that dog hasn't gotten any proper training and that is the owners fault. What a cowardly person he is.

I am so happy the Oscar is OK and he had a positive encounter right away with another dog.

Extra nubbin wiggles,
Oskar

Amber-Mae said...

You're right! What a jerk of an owner he was!!! He could have atleast apologized. What was so difficult about that? I don't understand some owners...

I hope poor Oscar was not traumatized by that.

Pearl and Daisy said...

We're so sorry to hear this story. You all must have been really scared. How upsetting. Some people should not even dogs if they can't keep them under control.

We're glad you were all okay.

Pug love from,
Pearl & Daisy

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh dear. Glad Oscar wasn't hurt - how scary for you!

I agree - no dog should go "off leash" - whether in an official dog off-leash park or not - unless the owner has reliable control over it, AT A DISTANCE but sadly, too many people just get over-confident or careless or just don't care and it's often other dogs that end up paying. It's a shame as it's these dog owners that end up giving dogs in general a bad name...

Hsin-Yi

Sawyer the Schnauzer said...

Oh, that's awful...and I completely agree. I've had a few negative experiences of my own, especially with owners not picking up poop.

Hope Oscar's okay!

OscarBlogger said...

Thanks everyone for all of your kind comments! We are planning on bringing Oscar to the dog park tomorrow, so I'm really hoping that this experience hasn't changed him. I hear of so many dogs that become aggressive or afraid after they've been attacked on walks, so I'm hoping that the good experience he had with another dog right away will have kept that from happening to Oscar.

Pauline @ Oscah Baby said...

I'm so sorry to hear our little Oscars had the same experience with unfriendly dogs!

I've been carrying Halt! dog repellent with me since our encounter with a neighborhood pit bull and I have to say I feel safer with it in my pocket.

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