Tag Archives: dog fight

Charged but Not Guilty!

Little Monkey

Little Monkey is under attack!

From time to time when you are out walking your dog, you are going to come across loose dogs. Lately, there have been more than usual roaming free in my area. People seem to be getting lax in checking that their dogs are secure before going out for the day.

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One incident occurred the other week when Little Monkey and I were enjoying a leisurely amble around the neighbourhood. It was a nice sunny day and a public holiday, so it was particularly quiet and peaceful.

We had nearly finished our walk when suddenly two large dogs came hurtling out of their property, charging straight for us. They didn’t like the fact that we were near their territory, even though we were 20 metres from them and walking away.

One dog was a German Shepherd cross, the other a large Rhodesian Ridgeback. The GSD started it by dashing up first, barking and snarling, lips back, teeth bared. It was anxious rather than aggressive, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t bite. The Ridgeback was more dominant and came running to back up its pack mate; totally prepared to fight. They both wanted to attack Little Monkey. Two dogs are worse than one!

LM did her usual freak out, leaping in the air, shaking her head and barking.

I shoved her behind me and confronted the dogs, all in one fluid movement. (I have become adept at doing this!)

Facing the dogs I bellowed BACK OFF! while stamping my foot and thrusting my arm at them.

It was enough to get them to stop. Often that is all you need; stop the attack, let them reassess and calm down a bit.

Dogs can read body language and energies very well. If you can project a calm, strong, fearless state, you’ll be more in control of the situation.

They were still very keen on attacking LM, so I took another step forwards, my hand firmly indicating they should back up and told them, “Go Home!”

Finally, the owner called his dogs and they went back to him.

LM and I carried on our walk; she soon forgetting all about it, but I was no longer nice and relaxed!

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The most recent incident involved another neighbourhood dog who had somehow been shut out of his property.

Little Monkey and I were walking back from my friend’s house and were nearly home, when suddenly a black dog came charging out of a side lane. This was also an anxious dog, but he meant business and again really wanted to attack LM.

I did the same procedure as above, which stopped him momentarily.

By this time LM knows I’m dealing with it, so unless the dog actually does get to her, she won’t react any more.

I kept myself between the two dogs as I tried to walk away. Continually telling the black dog to back off and batting my cap at it.

Luckily for me, there was a gardener on the grass verge of a house nearby, with a weedeater (strimmer). Once I’d got the dog to back off a bit the gardener revved his weedeater in the direction of the dog and the noise was enough to scare it back down the lane!

LM and I very gratefully made our get away!

The dog had come from a house down at the end of the lane and the next time I went past that way I checked to see he was there.

Yep! There he was, barking at us as we passed the end of the lane, 25 metres away from him!

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Why do the dogs charge Little Monkey?

Some dogs are just going to attack anything that is near their property. Others will go for the more anxious dogs, like LM. You get to know your own dog and learn to control the situation as much as possible.

Of course, it is easier if you have a calmer more stable dog, like Mr Spaghetti Legs was.

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Though these attacks were scary, they were not my worst encounter. That was with two extremely aggressive pit bull type dogs that charged LM in the forest, detailed in Little Monkey gets mugged – a Ten Year Anniversary post.

 

Boys will be Boys

You Talking to Me?

You Talking to Me? – Mr Spaghetti Legs

You talkin’ to me? – Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in Taxi Driver (1976).

So, it happened again! Some big macho young male came swaggering up to little old Mr Spaghetti Legs, throwing its weight around and challenging the old boy, who was simply minding his own business. OK, he was really only interested in the food he knew I had in my pocket.

What is it with these guys? The owners always say, oh so proudly, that their dog is a dominant male, an alpha male, a boss dog. So? I have had an alpha male in the past (Jack) and I never let him go bothering other dogs. If they came and bothered him then fair enough! They got what they were asking for.

But here am I and my old boy, minding our own business, not challenging the other males at all, but here they come spoiling for a fight. How? They approach forcefully, stand sideways on to Mr SL, and square up, so we can all see how large they are! Yes, we know you are much bigger, younger and stronger than my old boy, so what is the problem here?

This has happened over and over, on walks, on a open field, at dog class. It has been the largest brown lab I have ever seen, another large black lab, a malamute etc. With the same result. The young pushy dog squares off against the old veteran and Mr SL growls at them to get lost. He is not looking for a fight. The owner of the other dog stands there, telling me how macho their dog is, and doing absolutely nothing to control their dog or the situation. It is always me who has to step in. I tell Mr SL to stop that, I’ve got this. I turn the bossy dog’s face away and march him back towards his doting push-over mum. And Mr SL and I walk away. No dog fight.

And they get pulled off by their dominant male on the lookout for the next challenge, because the real problem here is not how bossy their dog is, but how they, the owners, are in no way their dog’s leader.

post script: Fights often occur between dogs of the same sex, age and size, because it is not obvious to the dogs who is the more dominant. But sometimes they simply don’t like each other!

 

From a Jack to a King

Jack

Jack

Sometimes the inner beauty of an animal shines through his eyes and lights up his whole battered body with love.     Battle-scarred Jack – my first rescued male and superstar. He never started a fight – but he sure finished it!

Rescued from the streets with a broken leg after being hit by a car,  Jack was cared for in a rescue organisation for two years, until I adopted him. He had been fighting with males in the kennels next to him, so had been relegated to solitary confinement in a back kennel, with solid high walls and door. He could not see out at all. (It is not like that there now.) His only escape was to refuse food and to starve himself to death. He weighed 18kg when we got him, but his proper healthy weight, as seen here, was 25kg.

It took Jack six months to truly settle in to the home he had never had, helped by his old kennel mate Lady. As an alpha male, he was the easiest to handle of all my males and gave unconditional love for the whole six and a half years he was with us.

 

Fight!

Lady and Jack Play-Fight

Lady and Jack Play-Fight *These are trained stunt dogs – do not try this at home!

It was 5.30 on a pleasant Spring evening, with the sun mellow rather than blistering. I sat out on the stoep with my glass of ice cold white wine and breathed a sigh of contentment. Just a short interlude before starting the evening meal.

Little Monkey was running round the garden with various toys, shouting, “Look at me Mum!” while the old dogs were up on the stoep with me. Madam the old girl came up for attention, so I gave her a quick pat on the head and she went away. Then TJ came up, and he got the same brief pat. Next second Madam has launched herself at TJ!

I jumped up and took my wine safely inside; not too bothered about the dogs. Maybe twice a year there was a little tiff and a reasserting of pack order. It was never aggressive or vicious, and never any injuries. Little monkey had now joined in, surprisingly on the side of Madam. Usually the two females squared off with a “There can be only one!” attitude and Little Monkey and TJ were best friends.

But this is all instinct. Attack the wounded, the weak, the sick, the old, the different. When it was TJ who had the underhand, the two girls joined forces.

Then Madam tripped over the chair and was down. Instantly the two other dogs laid into her. And though there was a lot of noise and teeth, it still wasn’t a serious fight. We’re talking seconds here.

But enough is enough, and I stepped in to separate them all.

Since Madam seemed to have come out the worst from the engagement, I shut the others outside and checked her over. Though there was no blood, unfortunately she had a six centimetre gash in the ruff of her neck. An unlucky accident; maybe Little Monkey got her fang caught in the collar when going for the thick neck mane.

I looked at the clock. Quarter to six. The vets shut at six. I downed the rest of my wine in one and rushed Madam to the vets for stitches, pain killers and antibiotics. Although she felt pretty sorry for herself, she was all right, and all the dogs were fine with each other again. Never a dull moment with three dogs.

So much for the interlude!

post script: I don’t have any photos of my dogs fighting. Not surprisingly, I rush to grab the dogs, not the camera. This photo is the best I have – great friends mock-fighting.