Owners Controlling Their Dogs
Dog owners should be learning to properly control their dogs.
I'm not talking about playful dogs who run off excitedly when they see another dog or a person in the park. I'm talking about dogs who go after and attack other dogs.
I have a small Jack Russell called Lady who has been the victim of a dog that was off its lead when it shouldn't have been, and it attacked her. I saw the owner and the dog as I walked into the park, a little old lady and a big Boxer dog. The dog was off the lead and it was running round looking happy. I let Lady off her lead and as usual she went running straight up to this Boxer dog to say hello. In the blink of an eye, Lady was on her back on the ground squealing in panic and it looked like the Boxer was biting her neck. I could hear the Boxer's owner as I ran up to them saying in a playful voice, "naughty boy, that dog isn't a toy," and she didn't do anything to control her dog. I could hear the Boxer growling and Lady still squealing so I began to really panic. I did what any owner would do if their dog was being attacked, I grabbed the back of the collar on the Boxer yanking the dog back and away from Lady. I picked her up and held her up on my shoulder out of the way of the Boxer, who was back and trying to jump up me to get Lady. Poor Lady was shaking and whining, completely petrified, and all the Boxer's owner did was say, "naughty boy, you shouldn't do that." I was furious and shouted at the woman to put her dog on a lead if it doesn't like other dogs and to learn to control her dog and she looked at me confused, like I was a crazy person.
I took Lady home as quickly as possible, gave her a bath and checked her over to make sure she didn't have any wounds. She didn't have any wounds thank goodness, but she was terrified of other dogs for months. Instead of running around when I let her off the lead, she would stay near me, especially if there were other dogs around. She would whine and hide behind my legs if she saw other dogs that were bigger than her. I'm glad to say that now two years on, she is perfectly happy being around other dogs.
It sickens me to think what may have happened if I had been slower to get to them or if I hadn't been able to pull that Boxer off of Lady, or if his teeth had actually wounded her. The Boxer's owner didn't seem bothered in any way and thought the growling and my dog squealing was all good fun.
It's not just Lady that it has affected, it's changed me as well. I don't let her out of my sight, I make sure that she is nearby, and I always watch other dogs. I know that most dogs are lovely, playful, excitable bundles of fur, but unless I know the dog and its owner, Lady will not be going near them.
I haven't seen the Boxer and its owner in the park since that day; I've always wanted to speak to her and ask her why she didn't try to control her dog when she could see my dog was in distress. Did she really think they were just playing? I wanted to say to her that if it had been worse, she could have been fined up to £5000, gone to prison for 6 months, her dog could have been put down, she could of been taken to court to pay Lady's vet bills and she could have been banned from ever owning another dog. I really do hope that the dog hasn't attacked another dog since.
The dog could be aggressive for a number of reasons, but I think that the owner should do all they can to work towards a calmer and better behaved dog. There are dog training groups, dog walking groups, dog trainers, there are even lots of websites and YouTube videos to help people do the training themselves.
One thing we do now that has helped Lady's confidence has been the dog walking group that we have joined. It's every Monday and Lady loves it, running around with the other dogs and getting lots of exercise. The people running it are qualified dog trainers so they are also helping Lady get over her fear of water.
I do not believe that there is any reason why a dog should be badly behaved and not be able to get help. I found a great article on the RSPCA website which gives some really good advice.