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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my lovely terrier to the doggie park. There was a Beagle mix, who she had played with a few weeks back, and we no issues then. I was tossing the ball with my dog and this Beagle mix kept stealing her ball. My dog did NOT wish to play with nor share her little ball with the Beagle. The owner of said Beagle and I had a nice conversation last time and today, with no hint of weirdness or whatnot on behalf of her, me or either dog. But in one instant, things changed - my dog usually will quickly tell other dogs to back off, nice and sweet, no nonsense (she doesn't bite, but she definitely knows how to be respected), and the other dog will back off/move on, like most normal dogs do/should. But this Beagle did NOT want to be "bossed" around or put in her place, so she grabbed my 14 lb., little terrier by the back of her neck and wouldn't let go. It was disturbing and terrifying for my dog, myself, and of course, the owner of the Beagle. At the end of it all, we managed to break up the fight, but all were visibly in shock/shaken.

Also, I had to ask her for her phone number, she didn't offer (?!?) and I promptly took my dog to the vet. I told her I wanted it because I was going to the vet and wanted to make sure that she knew this and that I had her contact info. When they vet shaved the back of her neck - I pointed out exactly where it was wet from the other dog's mouth/biting - the skin underneath revealed several bruises all over and light-med puncture wounds :(

They put her on 14 doses of antibiotics, or 1 every 12 hours, and gave her pain meds. the cost was thankfully only $170, but here is my question:

*What is the "proper way" to approach this dog owner and have her compensate me for the vet bills, at the minimum??? Also, should I automatically file an aggressive dog report against her dog so that it is on record? This dog seems quite unstable for doing this. All this happened at Burlingame Dog Park/San Mateo County. She did call shortly after the attack to see how my dog was doing, which seems "nice", but sometimes, when money is involved/demanded for their fault, people get weird/aren't really all that sincere. Again, I wish to be treated fairly, but just want to know the best way since I have never been in this situation. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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And this is why if you're going to take the risk of using a dog park, you're *not* supposed to bring toys or food as it can cause scuffles between the dogs. Your assertive little girl asserted herself against another assertive dog.

Dog parks are a high risk to begin with. If you're going to keep going, then no more toys or treats at the park!

On this one, I'd say there is no appropriate way to ask for compensation as it was triggered by your bad choice (bringing a toy to a dog park and expecting that other dogs would know not to want to play with your dogs toy. If you throw a ball and there are 10 dogs running around off leash you'd have to expect at least one is going to want to get in on the game whether your dog wants them to or not. And that if your dog is assertive / bossy and usually gets her way, she is going to eventually meet a dog that isn't a push over.).

If anything, you could ask to SPLIT the bill, but I don't think the beagle owner is entirely at fault here (if at all). The beagle is not unstable, its a dog. It just happened to be a dog that is more assertive than your girl and a scuffle broke out once you them at odds over a toy. And those are the risks you take with a dog park.
 

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You are not entitled to compensation. I agree with Gumiho -- toys in a dog park are a horrible idea. Even friendly dogs can get possessive over a toy, like yours did. And even friendly dogs can snap back if snapped at, like the beagle did. Your dog started it by guarding her toy, the other dog accepted the invitation to a scuffle, and your dog got hurt. That's a risk you run in a dog park. Her dog sounds normal and possibly bossy/assertive just like your dog, not unstable or aggressive.

Also, why is it that you think your "lovely terrier" is in the right when she snaps at other dogs, and that they "should" automatically back off? In some cases, she may be in the right, but you can't just assume that your dog is an angel and any dog that won't take her crap is in the wrong.
 

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So, your dog started a fight, and lost. And you want to blame the other for something that your dog started.

The logic in that fails me.

Really if your dog is as snarky as you make out, don't bring her to a dog park, next time it might be something bigger then a beagle she decides to snap at.
 

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So, your dog started a fight, and lost. And you want to blame the other for something that your dog started.

The logic in that fails me.

Really if your dog is as snarky as you make out, don't bring her to a dog park, next time it might be something bigger then a beagle she decides to snap at.
This. Accept the woman's apology and move on. Reconsider if dog parks are the place you want to be...depending on certain rules, the dogs who attend, and their owners, dog parks aren't for everyone. Some attendees don't know enough about dog behavior to keep things that could start trouble- like treats and toys- out of the park. Dog parks are huge liabilities. That's why I don't take my dog very often.
 

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but she definitely knows how to be respected), and the other dog will back off/move on, like most normal dogs do/should. But this Beagle did NOT want to be "bossed" around or put in her place, so she grabbed my 14 lb., little terrier by the back of her neck and wouldn't let go.
Interesting, hopefully you and dog learned a lesson. I'm with the "you tossed the ball into the mix, you pay the bill group" These are dogs not rocket scientists, it's the owners who are suppose to be the brains of the park/play programs. Dogs that want to be boss sometimes manage to find themselves on the receiving end.
 

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Why would you report this dog for aggressive behaviour when your dog started it? The Beagle mix wanted to play, it didn't know better, it's a dog. Your dog was not ready to share, your dog gets annoyed and before you know they are fighting. I don't really see how it's the Beagles mix fault, you did choose to bring the toy to the park and you did choose to let your dog act this way. Do not bring a toy to the park, not treats either. There will be tons of dogs and they will all notice you have toy/treats and come to you, your dog might not like it but it doesn't even matter, dogs do what dogs do.

I don't think the Beagles owner should pay anything. I think this woman is quite polite, she called to check on your dog and was worried for it- this is more than you can ask for since this is not her fault. She did not do anything wrong.

I am awfully sorry, I know it's really shocking and difficult to have this happen, BUT you need to realize it wasn't the Beagle mix fault. Your dog might be the nicest thing, behaves and doesn't start anything, but you never know what happens when your dog gets annoyed or has enough. It doesn't make your dog any less perfect, just makes your dog... a dog.
 

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Yeah, I'm sorry this happened, but the bill isn't that high and ultimately it was kinda your fault. And technically your dog started it.

You are not supposed to bring toys or food -of any kind- to a dog park. Fights WILL happen. My dog is sweet, loving, very easy with my other two, but the second a toy gets involved, he will not hesitate to put the hurt on someone. He's not dangerous, he's just a dog.

The owner was polite and showed concern which is A LOT more than you'll get from most owners, and the dog did minimal damage to yours.

This dog isn't unstable and isn't aggressive. It's a dog, doing what dogs do, like yours was. Please don't try and ruin this owner's life -and the dog's- by trying to have it labeled as aggressive. Just avoid the dog park from now on and if you don't, at least don't bring something that could start a fight.


I know that's not what you'd like to hear, but this owner is not really responsible for a fight your dog started over a toy you brought.
 

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Yikes!!!

Another story of why I will be laying waste to that year pass for a dog park for Roman.
Sticking to my own park & backyard hood.

And yes... while Roman is nice, I can't say that for other dogs and its unknown histories.
 

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I agree with others' comments. Sounds like the trigger was the ball, which should have never been brought to the dog park in the first place. Your dog snarked, and the beagle didn't back down this time. Honestly, IF a dog is at fault here, it's probably yours. Sounds like yours started the scuffle. The beagle, being larger, simply finished it. Live and learn. Fortunately, your little terrier wasn't seriously injured.

My Gypsy is excellent with other dogs. Very "submissive" generally, tolerant, and great at reading other dogs' body language. However, she is VERY ball driven and has acted aggressively toward my fiancé's dogs when they've tried to catch a tennis ball. Fortunately, they backed down as soon as she asserted herself. If another dog snarked at her while she was fetching, I'm pretty sure there would be a serious fight. Not because Gyp is unstable, but because she highly values tennis balls. Thus, we no longer play ball with her around other dogs. Lots of dogs are guardy with toys and food around other dogs. That's why it is unwise to bring these items into a dog park.
 

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From a legal poitn of view. A dog park is basically no mans land. your dog could get killed there by another dog. ( it happens yes ) and no one is responsible for it. Its a no fault area. Fights happen between dogs...even dogs that live in the same house for years. its the risk you take when you go to a dog park. It is a enter at your own risk sort of thing.

Ethically...if someones dog charged and mauled another dog for no reason...then ethically if it was me I would probably play the bill...but legally I could prolly get away with out paying it.

In you case...your dog GROWLED at another dog and a fight sparked there is no responsibility on that owners part because your dog started it and her dog won. Just be happy it was 170...and not a couple thousand dollar broken bones and bad tears and serious surgery needed.
 

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If your dog growled or snapped at my dog and my dog killed your dog over it it would be your fault. Not mine or my dog.
My dog defended himself and he won, he is not the aggressor.

Your dog snapped at another, the other defended itself and won. It's not unstable, if anything your dog is arguably "unstable" for resource guarding. Your dog is small and it's not "cute" when your dog snaps or growls at another dog, it is a serious issue.
I've had owners think just because my dog is big and theirs is small that I should have to pay for their little dog's bad behavior. Little ones have come up to my dog, start nipping, growling and snapping at him and for some reason he is just supposed to take it. He doesn't, makes them pay, and then people call my dog aggressive.

There is no reason you should go after the other person for money. It's your fault for assuming every other dog will just back down and submit to your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, this is my first and LAST post here....not a shred of empathy from ANY of you for a new member who is upset/traumatized, to be quite frank, and seeking some neutral advice as opposed to just getting slammed with negativity, blame and obvious information.
No, this woman and I had a heartfelt, understanding conversation and things are being settled amicably as opposed to either of us getting screwed, or me in particular, which all of you would like to happen apparently. There is something that still exists and that is responsibility. She stepped up and was traumatized that her dog would behave like this. And no thanks to any of you, I consulted with a dog lawyer, my world class vet, who has been in business for 20+ years, and the ASPCA/Humane Society, and they ALL said yes, certain errors were made, but ultimately it is the attacking dog owner's RESPONSIBILITY, whether at a beach, a dog park, wherever, for their dog's behavior. And I don’t buy this bullshit of a dog park being a “no man’s land” – that sounds like a warzone to me i.e. no rules, no accountability on behalf of anyone for anything their animal does to any living thing, including people? That’s downright crazy.
I would have done the same thing and covered her vet bill if my dog attacked her dog aggressively, and for no real reason. It's the proper, humane thing to do. One thing I did leave out is that there are LOADS of tennis balls strewn about at this dog park, many regulars play there together, of all sizes, etc.... My dog is not aggressive – the OTHER dog was nosing about, in her face and posterior, trying to jump on top of her, and stalking her, in her face constantly WITH and WITHOUT the ball... and again, to reiterate, there are loads of OTHER balls in this park. She just kept pestering and pestering MY dog who was minding her own business! And the owner of said Beagle did nothing.... until her dog viciously attacked my dog. So before you all get on your high horses and condemn someone, again you might do well starting off your "advice" with a shred of sympathy that this happened to begin with; then your "concrete" advice might be taken into some form of consideration. A bit of advice FOR ALL OF YOU is that you could bother to ask more pointed and intelligent questions to get a better picture as opposed to snapping to conclusions. If more people in this world did that, and actually gave a shit about people, and how they were affected, the world would be a much better place…
This is not my type of forum - cold, mean spirited and highly judgmental.
Goodbye.
 

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Sorry that dogs were acting like dogs at a dog park! Hope you have a more enjoyable experience in the future. The owner of the next dog your dog scuffles with may be more like us. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm so happy that my painful and very honest response amuses you... apparently you like the fact that someone's dog was injured in a traumatic dog fight for the first time and that the owner was seeking more NEUTRAL advice (as opposed to being ganged up with blame and negativity). You enjoy the fact that someone is clearly upset. That is why you are on this forum, so you can get off telling people "like it is". And I don't buy your "good tidings" for me in the future - not. for. one. minute. What comes around, goes around....
 

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uh...the advice that was given were all NEUTRAL. NEUTRAL doesn't mean taking your side. Admittedly, a bit more compassion towards your situation could have been shown but the advice itself wouldn't have changed. All of the advice made sense based on the information you provided. If you felt that people misunderstood you, well, you wrote it. You also didn't exactly stay around to explain yourself further so you can't really blame anyone for giving the appropriate advice for what you wrote.

I'll be honest though, I literally laughed out loud when I read your response.
 

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It is the attacking dog owner's responsibility. Your dog snapped first. The other dog just won the fight. Pestering and nudging is not the same as snapping or biting. I'm sorry your dog got injured but it is not the other owners fault at all.
 

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One thing I did leave out is that there are LOADS of tennis balls strewn about at this dog park, many regulars play there together, of all sizes, etc.... My dog is not aggressive – the OTHER dog was nosing about, in her face and posterior, trying to jump on top of her, and stalking her, in her face constantly WITH and WITHOUT the ball... and again, to reiterate, there are loads of OTHER balls in this park. She just kept pestering and pestering MY dog who was minding her own business!
That's what dogs do...they can't say "hi, what's your name?" vocally, so they do so through scent. So that's sniffing. Your dog minding her business was evidently taken by the beagle as "well, she doesn't mind, she's showing me no threat, so I'll keep sniffing." The other things here sound like trying to initiate play. Of course, when your dog gave a signal that "I don't want to be bothered" - many other dogs would go away.

And the balls are still not a good idea - even if they were at the park. After all, the ball you had might have been different. A ball is not just the same as any other ball to a dog. A blue tennis ball is different. One with different scent on it is different, etc. So THAT ball attracted the beagle for some reason than other balls (maybe because it seemed more "used" in that it had a lot of scents on it, smelled like people/household/family, etc)

And the owner of said Beagle did nothing.... until her dog viciously attacked my dog.
Why should the other owner say/do something before the attack? It's dogs being dogs before that. For all she knew - your dog and hers were maybe trying to get to know each other. No blood was being spilled, so to speak, and it was at least a neutral interaction. I wouldn't have bothered it either unless you had asked me directly to call my dog. She probably should have been more attentive so that when she saw your dog snap, she could call hers away/run interference (and I assume you did as well, right?) to help prevent a potential conflict. It's good she intervened when she did and that she as apologetic and such - and I'm glad you were able to come to a resolution without the courts getting involved.


This is not my type of forum - cold, mean spirited and highly judgmental.
Ironic that you are being highly judgmental yourself - generalizing an entire forum population on the response of a few folks.
 

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apparently you like the fact that someone's dog was injured in a traumatic dog fight for the first time and that the owner was seeking more NEUTRAL advice (as opposed to being ganged up with blame and negativity).
Of course I don't. But trust me, the incident was not bad. The other dog didn't even break your dog's skin. If it had been serious about harming your dog, your story would have been a lot worse. We've had many threads here about dogs killing other dogs at dog parks. They are dangerous locations, and you DO assume a risk when you take your dog into one. Toys are discouraged in most dog parks because they very often lead to scuffles like the one your dog had with the beagle mix.

You enjoy the fact that someone is clearly upset. That is why you are on this forum, so you can get off telling people "like it is". And I don't buy your "good tidings" for me in the future - not. for. one. minute. What comes around, goes around....
I don't enjoy the fact that you're upset. I do think that you've overreacting to both the initial incident and to the posts here. We tend to be blunt here. It doesn't mean we don't care... it just means that we're going to be honest and direct. We only have what you tell us to go by, and we don't know you, so we're not going to automatically take your side just because you were the one to post about the incident.

But yes, my "good tidings" were somewhat sarcastic, because... that's what dog parks are like. It's extremely likely that similar situations will happen in the future, especially if you continue to play with toys. The beagle's owner ended up being a really nice person, but many dog park users are completely clueless about dog behavior, think their dog can do no wrong, and won't even intervene in a scuffle because they think that dogs should work it out on their own. They toss small dogs in with big ones, bring food and toys, and assume that bullying behavior is just playing. Dog parks, at least the Thunderdome style, are dangerous, and most of us here have seen many incidents like the one you described, or worse. If the idea of that happening again traumatizes you, dog parks may not be a good choice.
 

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I'll be honest though, I literally laughed out loud when I read your response.
me too. this seemed pretty over-dramatic.

calm down a little. a tussle in the dog park that didn't even result in drawing blood probably doesn't necessitate a "dog lawyer".

im glad she's paying your bill for you, i wouldn't.
 
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