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Discussion Starter #1
Im a bit too emotionally involved to be an unbiased judge on this one so looking for other opinions.

I had a very close call last night. I had Buster (5 month old Saint Bernard) out for his evening walk. We were almost home, only an empty field between us and home, when one of the neighbor kids rode by on her bike. Buster sees bikes as something to fear so I was praising him for looking up at me rather than bolting when the girl rode a bit closer than he's normal comfortable with. The next thing I know we're being charged by a Chocolate Lab from across the street. The dog was completely silent, only his owner screaming at the dog alerted me to him...the dog completely ignored the owner. Body low, teeth bared, hackles raised, very focused on Buster. I grabbed Buster by the collar (good thing he's a big boy! Im 5'3", his head is at my hip) and stayed between the dogs as the Lab circled us. In as low a voice as I could, I yelled at the Lab "GET OUT OF HERE" and by some miracle it listened. As soon as the dog headed back home, I left the area. Brought Buster home and checked him over just to make sure...thankfully I found nothing.

To whoever has posted the advice to stay between my dog and an unknown dog, THANK YOU! This advice saved my boy from the pain of an attack. Im still a bit shaken, Ive never encountered a dog that aggressive. Buster is a bit more clingy than normal, but I think thats more him picking up on how Im feeling than anything from last night.
 

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I get between my dog and another just by doing my first reaction! But my hubbyy would say different that a human life/harm is more than a dogs...(but we fight about that). That is my first instict, protect my dog!

Do you know the lady? If so or even if not I would go to her house and talk with her! If she is not responsive then you could always file a report. and also not take that route any more!


Glad no one was hurt
 

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I would either talk to the owner, and if there's no cooperation, I'd file a report... Period.

You were lucky this time that standing in-between the aggressor and your dog worked, but what about next time? You don't want a next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will not have an opportunity to speak with the dogs owner. Due to my husbands odd ball work hours there's no chance to get over there without my children. I dont feel its in their best interest to witness the potential conversation or to be around a dog I know to be aggressive.

There is no chance we'll be walking anywhere near that house/yard in the future. Even though avoiding this area means the loss of almost 1/2 of my walking options, the risk of continuing to walk near that house is far too high.

Instinct did kick in as I pulled Buster behind me. The incident (I hesitate to call it an attack since the dog never touched either of us) was all in slow motion for me, during which I saw this board in the back of my mind...nice reassurance my instincts were leading me in the right direction. Just as with the kids (human), Buster depends on me for his protection...he's still a baby after all...all part of the responsibility I took on when I chose to bring him home.

An aggressive (dog or otherwise) Saint Bernard is really not appealing to me. Knowing it can only take a single incident to change a dog, Im a bit over protective of my boy. I make a point of exposing him to as many new people, places, animals and situations as I possibly can. The effort to avoid one house that has the potential to ruin the work Ive put into the pup already is well worth it. At this point, he wags his entire body at the sight of people (waits to be told "go say hi" before approaching), he play bows to cats we see while walking (he's an only pet, unless you count the husband and kids), he plays well with other dogs ranging from a 7 month old Mastiff/Black & Tan Coonhound/Pit Bull mix thats his size down to a tiny 7 month old Pom who weighs about 60lbs less than he does.

Time and effort spent teaching Buster skills he needs to go from being a wonderful puppy to an awesome dog is well worth it to me. He was probably the wrong puppy to pick, low confidence, can be fearful in different situations but I wouldnt trade him for anything. I am thankful to have found such an amazing puppy. I love working with him, he's eager to please, highly food motivated, picks up new tricks very quickly.

The girls and I enjoy teaching him different tricks. Some have no real use, others such as "leave it" have the potential to save his life. My oldest (almost 11) wanted him to "shake", changed the cue around a bit to "gimme your paw" and taught him in a matter of 2-3 minutes using a peanut butter filled Kong as a reward (he got to lick the toy after each success).

I consider this one a success...4 months old, large milkbone between the paws yet he's not touching it due to being told "leave it". I really need to get some new pictures taken...


My girls enjoy him every bit as much as I do...my youngest 2, 3 year old wearing pink, 4 year old wearing blue. I think its safe to say he enjoys them too. He's 14 weeks in this picture.


That got just a little off the subject...
 

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I doubt you get anywhere by filing a report. AC might come out and check out the dog and it's living conditions but that's about it. There was no attack no one was hurt so not to much they can do.
IMO you did the right thing by getting between the dogs. This is what I always do if any dog is being aggressive or is just bothering my dogs and I've never had one attack.

1st it shows your dog you're in control of the situation and backs up your alpha status. If you leave the dog to fend for itself it will see you as weak.

2nd in most cases the other dog will back off if you present yourself in a defensive manor. It was looking at your dog and not you. It was not interested in picking a fight with you. If the other dog does decide to take you on it will have to take on you and your dog. It knows this which is why it most likely will back off.

Personally I would just take it as a lesson learned for you and your dog. Sometimes things just happen and not all people know how to keep control of their dogs it's just the world we live in. Best thing is for responsible owners to have control of their dogs which you did. You reacted in a proper way, so did your dog.

This is just me talking, but if I run into a situation where my dog is going to have to fight with another dog because of a irresponsible owner he wont go at it alone. I'm going to be right in there doing what I can just the same as they would do for me. I will risk being bit for the sake of my dogs. If someone or something attacked me they will have 3 dogs to fight off as well. There is nothing like a dogs loyalty.
 

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You could report it to AC, they may not actually do anything other than tell the people to keep their dog contained, but it puts a record of complaints about the dog. That if anything does happen its more likely to get handled more seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I chose to go ahead and report this incident. If its a first offense, the owners get a warning...if that. But it is now on record that there has been an issue with this dog, hopefully it will cause future complaints to hold a bit more weight.

Im not out to have the dog destroyed, I was lucky Buster and I walked away shaken but otherwise unharmed. The owners now really know the dog needs some work, I hope they'll step up and help him. At the same time I am not comfortable just letting it go, there are far too many older people who walk their small dogs and children that walk small/medium size dogs who many not be as lucky as Buster and I were.
 

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You did a good thing reporting it; Sure enough they won't do anything but give a warning, but I don't think a lot of people realize how beneficial it is to have things like this documented... It took my father several calls, complaints, and reports before his neighbors were given fines for the living conditions of their outside dogs...

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
AC looked into it shortly after my report.

They're trying to tell me the dog wanted to play with Buster...yeah the way a cat plays with a mouse before eating it! Low body posture was a "puppy bow"...did they forget I also have a puppy? Nothing about the dog said it wanted to play. The bared teeth was supposedly a "smile"...sure, some dogs do but it doesnt fit the rest of the body language. The guy continued his lies saying I 'kicked at' his dog..no such thing happened. That would have been a last resort to protect Buster.

AC is trying to encourage me to allow the dogs to become friends and "enjoy the summer together". Um NO! There is absolutely no chance I will allow Buster to have contact with a dog that tried to attack him. I prefer friendly dogs, regardless of their breed. His newest playmates are 7 month old male Mastiff/Black & Tan Coonhound/Pit Bull mix and 10 1/2 year old Rottie mix. I think I'll stick to my way of picking his friends...and far from this Lab.

I pray no one is injured by this dog. I dont know how they turned a 1 year old Chocolate Lab that aggressive...
 

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I'm sorry you had to go through this. It was best you reported it so there will be a record in case there is another "incident" with someone else. I feel sorry for the dog as well.

Oh, and you are correct...you need new pictures of your two-legged and four-legged kids! You pooch is very cute...baby St B's are so cuddly looking. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To be honest, I'd rather it have been me this dog charged than any of the elderly or children in the area. I got myself and my pup out of danger, they may not be able to.

I dont blame the dog, its not the dogs fault its owners allow bad behavior. I will not, however, risk my boy. Knowing where this dog lives, I will avoid it in the future.

Ive heard the term "heart dog" over the last several years, I found mine in Buster. He fits so perfectly into my family, its like he's always been here. I intend to enjoy every minute we have together and spoil him completely rotten. I'll get some new pictures up in the next few days. Its about that time, he'll be 5 months on Friday.
 

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Ive heard the term "heart dog" over the last several years, I found mine in Buster. He fits so perfectly into my family, its like he's always been here. I intend to enjoy every minute we have together and spoil him completely rotten. I'll get some new pictures up in the next few days. Its about that time, he'll be 5 months on Friday.
He looks like a real sweetie pie. =)
 

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Report every incident. That is the only way the police or animal control can build a database on the repeat offenders who violate the laws concerning the responsibilities of the owner.
Just last night, my wife (with her Guide dog) and I were out for a walk. We rounded a bend in the road, and there in front of a house were 2 Weims, unleashed and unattended. Both started to come over our way, then one charged, hackles up and growling in a menacing manner. I stepped between my wife and the charging dog, and in a no-nonsense manner yelled at it to go home. It stopped in its tracks and stood there for a moment before trying to circle around me (the other one tucked tail and ran back to the house they had come from as soon as I yelled). I took a step forward and again commanded it to go home (yes, I had my pepper spray out and ready, but did not have to use it). It tried to look around me to see where my wifes Guide was (they had taken off down the street when I stopped to face down the dogs), but I continued to block it until it left to go back to the house it came from. As soon as we were safe, we dialed up the Public Safety office and made a report. Found out later that these dogs have a history of being loose and charging passers-by. The owner of the dogs is now the proud recipient of a citation totalling $150, and is on notice that if this happens again, his dogs will be impounded and he will be charged with harboring dangerous and vicious dogs, which is a Class A misdemeanor. But, the Division of Public Safety (read: Police and/or Animal Control) would have had nothing to act on if reports had not been made.

If not for your own safety, then for the safety of whoever comes by after you----report ALL instances of menacing or loose dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He looks like a real sweetie pie. =)
He really is. He's a true gentleman. Ive never met another puppy anything like him, Im blessed to have this boy in my life.


Smithcat,
That is the main reason I chose to report this incident. It would have been less stress to let it go, but the nagging "what if it was a child or older person walking a small dog, would they have been able to get away?"....Im not sure. I have no regrets about reporting it. I know I would regret not calling if I found out someone or their precious pet was hurt by this dog later.


Everyone else that has replied,
Thank you very much for sharing your opinion on my situation. Im glad to have found this board, a place to chit chat about the pup and get advice on how to handle difficult situations that come up.
 

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Well you did good by reporting it, as your right it could of been someone else, and worse. I had the same situation happen to me, and I reported it too. Around this area i see ALOT of dogs walking off leash, and to be honest SOME of them should be on the leash. Specially this one time, I had this girl who once she leaves her building, she'll get the dog to sit while they wait to cross the street, and once there crossed, she lets the retractable leash go, and he's miles AHEAD of her taking HER for a run lol. Anyways, there is this one spot where it's a field where everyone seems to let them off leash, and i walked by there with my dog (where she's on leash) and this girl's dog spotted us, and bolted to us with teeth showing, growling, and barking. In the meantime, she's calling her dog to come, and snap her finger in front of her, and WOULDN'T listen to her at all. When it got in front of me as I blocked my dog from being attacked, i kept my foot in front of it ready to kick IF he attacked or bit. I'm at that time telling this B#%@H to get her dog away, or i'll hurt it. I then also said....for someone that claims your dog is trained, etc......he NEEDS more training because he's no good at his recall, and that the sit command is all she knows.....etc etc lol. I had also told her that if she doesn't keep an eye on her dog around mine that I WOULD call AC.....sheesh.......some owners with there dogs.......I even see sometimes where the dog is in front of the house, but no owner around???? and even comes and barks at you? Some people SHOULDN'T own dogs.....there better off.
 

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AC looked into it shortly after my report.

They're trying to tell me the dog wanted to play with Buster...yeah the way a cat plays with a mouse before eating it! Low body posture was a "puppy bow"...did they forget I also have a puppy? Nothing about the dog said it wanted to play. The bared teeth was supposedly a "smile"...sure, some dogs do but it doesnt fit the rest of the body language. The guy continued his lies saying I 'kicked at' his dog..no such thing happened. That would have been a last resort to protect Buster.

AC is trying to encourage me to allow the dogs to become friends and "enjoy the summer together". Um NO! There is absolutely no chance I will allow Buster to have contact with a dog that tried to attack him. I prefer friendly dogs, regardless of their breed. His newest playmates are 7 month old male Mastiff/Black & Tan Coonhound/Pit Bull mix and 10 1/2 year old Rottie mix. I think I'll stick to my way of picking his friends...and far from this Lab.

I pray no one is injured by this dog. I dont know how they turned a 1 year old Chocolate Lab that aggressive...
I could be possible he wasn't actually attacking, some dogs are hard to read like that. Sometimes it's just a bluff charge, especially if they hold up short and out of your reach and don't charge right up to you.

I have a black lab in my neighborhood, "Max" that has a reputation for that kind of thing, he has run across 3-4 yards at me and Hope looking quite aggressive, I would swear he's going to attack.

He did not attack however, but ran right up looking like he would. I turned and faced him and stood my ground and after he stopped a few feet away I waited untill he cooled down a little and let him approach and after a couple of tense moments of dominant bluff and bravado all was ok.

I had an advantage in that I was positive Hope would not show any aggression or react badly at all. As well as the fact I won't back down and will take him on.

My last dog it would not have been the case and she would have attacked him instantly. So it depends on your dog as well how you can deal with it.

Anyway I saw the woman who owns "Max" walking him, getting drug all over and having a hard time, and volunteered to walk along with them. After getting the greeting and dominant behavior from him out of the way and walking a few blocks Hope and Max are good friends now and get along great. Much to the shock of many around the neighborhood who he has scared senseless a few times.

He'll still charge us all teeth from his yard as we walk by if he's out loose, but only until he gets close enough to know who we are. It doesn't happen very often, but apparently he digs under the fence or breaks it now and then.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This dog has attacked others prior to the incident with Buster. A friend had her Black Lab injured by this dog getting a hold of him...

Allowing contact between this lab, that still runs loose :mad:, and Buster would have been a mistake. I would have had an injured puppy as well as the mental aftermath of him being attacked when he's already fearful. Its a matter of time before a child or older person is injured by this dog.
 

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I had something like happen to me. I was walking my dog past a house were a man was walking outside to his car when out of no where his dog comes running right at my dog to attack him. The owner just stood there and called his dogs name. The dog jumped on mine and started biting him and without thinking I kicked the dog in the head. It went running back to the owner. Now here is the reason I didn't call the AC. My dog is a rottweiler (6 months at the time) and the attacking dog was a rat terrier. When I saw the dog coming at us I put Porter between my legs and held his collar just incase he did want to bite the dog. Thankfully Porter just stood there and took it, which is why I kicked the dog. I was scared if I reported it they would have tried to say my dog did something.

You could report her and maybe get a dangerous dog hearing. If so the court would most likely say her dog couldn't be out of the house without being muzzled.
 

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I get between my dog and another just by doing my first reaction! But my hubbyy would say different that a human life/harm is more than a dogs...(but we fight about that). That is my first instict, protect my dog!

Do you know the lady? If so or even if not I would go to her house and talk with her! If she is not responsive then you could always file a report. and also not take that route any more!


Glad no one was hurt
Me too :) My dog is like my child, and I know I'm less likely to be seriously injured than she is (I also know she probably wouldn't fight back.) Plus, she is smarter than 80% of the people I come across everyday anyway. Definitely pick her over most people.
 

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This dog has attacked others prior to the incident with Buster. A friend had her Black Lab injured by this dog getting a hold of him...

Allowing contact between this lab, that still runs loose :mad:, and Buster would have been a mistake. I would have had an injured puppy as well as the mental aftermath of him being attacked when he's already fearful. Its a matter of time before a child or older person is injured by this dog.
If it has injured dogs before AC should be aware and do something.

I had a case like that once, a Rottie mix of some kind, great big boy, used to think he owned everything. No fear, growling at anyone and everyone.

He cornered me me in my own garage once, and I smacked him down with a big mallet on the head. Thought I knocked him out but he got up and ran home. I talked to the owner and he said he couldn't keep him contained, and to just shoot him if he threatened me or my dog. We didn't live in the city limits, no AC I knew of.

Didn't matter, after that smack on the head with the big rubber mallet, he ran like stink anytime he saw me, even from blocks away.

Something happened to him about a year after, he disappeared I suspect someone did shoot him, he was a danger to dogs and people and especially kids.

I'm bit confrontation with dogs like that, I would likely walk back by there as usual with a big stick or a can of bear pepper spray. He wouldn't come threaten more than once. But I can understand most people avoiding it.
 
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