My pup got mauled yesterday

seekingadviceAugust 21, 2006

Thank goodness she is ok.

You might remember that I got a new puppy, Cricket, in January. She was a rescue pup from the shelter and a darling little black & white bassett/beagle mix. She loves people and other animals.

She came out to the pool with me yesterday while I picked up towels to wash. The pool has its own fence all around but there is a spot where she can slip under it and she did. I forgot that she'd come out with me and went back in the house with the towels. Soon after, I heard a horrendous noise and rushed outside to see my neighbors' two dogs attacking Cricket. The largest had her by the throat and the second dog kept running in to take big bites out of her. She was making a noise that was kind of like screaming and something I hope never to hear again. This was at the boundary between their house and ours, and a place I've been with Cricket many times because it's where our horse barn is located and she comes with me to feed the horses sometimes. The dogs are usually in a kennel but the bungy cord the neighbors use for a latch had come off the gate and they hadn't gotten around to replacing it.

I was afraid the dogs would attack me too. I ran back and found a tree limb that I waved around while yelling at the dogs. The second dog began to approach me with its hackles up and teeth bared. Just then, the neighbor came out and called the dogs. As soon as the big dog let go of Cricket, she ran home and I followed quickly, yelling back to the neighbor that her dogs had attacked Cricket and I was going to take her to the vet.

She had to have surgery. She has lots of stitches and drain tubes but she's doing ok.

I just kept thinking that it could have been my kids.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh no! What a horrible experience for both of you --
Thank goodness you got to her in time, and it sounds like Cricket will come through it OK.

Do these dogs have any history of biting?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG, I was just thinking about your little puppy yesterday when I was looking at a thread where people had posted pics of their pets. Is the vet reporting the dogs, they should be quarantined, shouldn't they. And you are right to be worried about your kids. How is your neighbor dealing with this? Has she/he apologized, offered to pay the vet bill, put a strong lock on the kennel?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sue, the neighbors were very apologetic. My dh insisted that the 2 dogs be removed immediately, which the neighbors did. They have also offered to pay the vet bill ($700 so far). I asked at the emergency vet clinic what I needed to do to report it, and they told me nothing! I called Animal Control anyway, and they told me that there was nothing to do unless I wanted to press charges. I told them I just wanted to report the incident in case something like this came up again, but they don't take reports. I guess we've done what we can, but I keep thinking I ought to be reporting this somewhere.

I was always afraid of those dogs, even when they were kenneled. They would snarl and hurl themselves at their fence when I fed the horses. When I related this to the neighbor, she assured me that her dogs would never hurt anyone, are nice dogs, are not vicious, etc. My dh rented to them after being told they had 3 lovable family dogs that stayed outside. I was not too happy with him when the couple moved in with 2 pit bulls!!

This is a really nice young couple with a 4-month-old baby. They plan to move and reunite with their dogs, which makes me afraid for their child. They are our renters, btw - the cottage they are in belongs to us. They had permission to have 3 dogs but they often have many more (as many as 8). We were soft because we're animal lovers, she works at the animal shelter and often fosters animals, but we had recently told them they would have to get rid of the extra dogs or move. Now, though, I don't want any of their dogs around since their own pets are the scary ones. I can't understand why anyone would want mean dogs like that. The vet told me it was breaking "dog code" to attack a puppy my dog's age, which makes me even more worried. I have 3 little girls - age 6 and 3-yr-old twins.

I don't have much dog experience so I'd appreciate input and advice.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 4:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the woman works in a shelter she should know animals temperaments better than what she's shown. I hate to say it but I wonder if she does and was purposely prevaricating to get the rental.

Me personally? I would let them know I want them gone ASAP. Can't afford the danger, and they obviously aren't showing any prudent judgement. Your family has to come before neighbors' pets. Goodbye prevaricating renters.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would tell them to make sure their dogs are properly restrained from now on, and I would not hesitate to call animal control for a pick up if you see them loose.

Next, I'd plan on asking them to leave as soon as their lease is up. You probably have to give them 30 days notice but I would make sure they and their nasty dogs are gone asap. I don't know if you can break the lease on these grounds or not, if you can, I'd do it. But first I'd collect the $700+ vet bill!

In the meantime, it sounds like you'll just have to keep an extra vigilant eye out for your puppy & kids.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I preface this by saying I am a dog lover, but if I were you I'd seriously consider pressing charges. Those dogs need to be taken away from them - people have died from being attacked by pit bulls. It's not enough that they pay for the medical bills. These folks have not learned to keep their dogs under control which is incredibly important with pit bulls. I would do everything possible to make sure the dogs were taken away from them. Their baby is in danger and that is a real shame. In my county in Fl there is a dangerous dogs registry which is public. It's so people can be aware of dogs in their neighborhood that are dangerous. Maybe your community has one?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 6:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have neighbors a couple doors down from us with mean pit bulls. Occasionally one will get out. We have called animal control and it seems that unless the dog is threatening they won't come out. I'm afraid it will kill a kid someday. They also have young children who play in the yard with the dog roaming around. We just keep reporting whenever we see it out and I'm trying to keep a log of when we call. Add to the scenario that these people are very weird!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

people have died from being attacked by pit bulls.

On an Animal Planet program I watched a few weeks ago, they said more people have been killed by labs than pit bulls, rotties, and dobermans combined. Although in both cases above, there's more than sufficient cause for alarm, it's not the type of dog. It's the upbringing. I swear, sometimes when dogs have to be euthanized because of temperment that the owners should be put down WITH them.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Crying for you! Remember what happened to my daughter's kitten? The kitten was not so lucky and died during the attack. We never have had a word of sorry from the neighbour either.

Give Cricket a HUGE cuddle from my family downunder. Especially from my DD. In Australia Pitbulls are banned dogs in several states.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

seekingadvice I'm with Jerzeegirl on this one. Your poor little baby - - she must have been scared out of her mind. I can't imagine how you must have felt as well. Those dogs need to be confiscated from those clueless owners. I would press charges and I would also insist that all other dogs be removed from the property immediately.

I hope poor Cricket recovers as swiftly as possible.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 11:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bill, I agree completely. Breed doesn't matter here--it's the upbringing and current situation...if dogs are kept outside all the time, they tend to get ornery no matter what the breed. My uncle had a golden who was just *scary* because he kept him outside in a dog run all day and all night. I was too young to say anything, but even then I knew it was *dreadfully wrong*.

UGH. I've been thinking of your poor puppy all afternoon...please give her some scratches in an unwounded place for me too -- gently, of course -- and let some good g'web energy heal her physically and psychologically as well...poor thing :( :(

And I'm thinking that they wouldn't be so fast to pay the bills if they didn't know they were *seriously* liable. They've misrepresented themselves into a rental--I would think that would be grounds to break the lease, but of course contact your atty or whatever body you need to. I agree that if the dogs can be gotten away from them, even put down if need be, you may have saved the life of that baby of theirs...UGH again...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 11:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

seekingadvice, you've gotten very good advice here already. I just wanted to say that I hope Cricket recovers quickly and I hope your kids will remain safe. I'm really sorry this happened.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 4:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I second that heartfelt thought.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you tried calling your local county Health Department bout the attack? Sometimes they have jurisdiction over situations like this.

"They had permission to have 3 dogs but they often have many more (as many as 8). We were soft because we're animal lovers, she works at the animal shelter and often fosters animals, but we had recently told them they would have to get rid of the extra dogs or move."

Since you are the landlord in this case, I would ask them to leave without any hesitation, and I would do it today. If they have a lease (or a month-to-month agreement), they are violating the agreement by having more dogs than agreed upon. You can explain to them that either a) they have 'x' amount of time to remove the dogs from the premises permanently, or b) you will press charges against them and they have 'x' time to move. End of story, finis, done. Seriously.

DH and I are landlords, we have a cottage on our property, and we welcome 'small pets'. That being said, we can decide what types of dogs we choose to have in the cottage. We ask to meet the dog (if that's the case) and we can pretty much figure out the animals personality/temperament during a meeting. There are certain breeds of dogs we wold not allow a renter to have, and that's based on what our insurance company has determined are 'high risk' dogs or animals. I do agree that it's not necessarily the breed, and have met many a pit bull with a sweet temperament/disposition. I have also met Labs, Saint Bernards, and Cocker Spaniels that are nastier than all get-out. Again, it's the upbringing that determines alot of the dog's character. You're fortunate in that you are in the position to have control over which way this goes. You're not dealing with a neighbor over whom you have no control with what they do with their animals, or whether or not they'll be staying or going. You are in charge, you have the authority to make the decisions.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In addition, if your tenants dogs should harm another animal or a person (a neighbor, friend, etc.), you could be held liable since you own the property. Truth is stranger than fiction.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mrsmarv: I actually woke up this morning with that thought on my mind....who is paying for the liability insurance on the rental property? If it's the homeowner, then if those dogs on the homeowner's property attack someone else, wouldn't the person who is attacked sue the homeowner?

I am linking a very interesting article re: pits and profiling from the New Yorker...

Here is a link that might be useful: Troublemakers

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

jerzeegirl ~ good question. As landlords, we ask that every tenant have renter's insurance, which MUST include liability. We ask to see an in-force policy, and request that we have permission to periodically check on the status of that policy. If something were to happen and the policy were to lapse, the tenants are O-U-T. Heaven forbid a situation like the above were to happen, because if the tenant has no liability insurance, we would be held liable. We're not about to put our home, our lives, and livelihood at risk by being negligent or uninformed about what our responsibilities are.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much, everyone. Cricket woke me this morning with her toy rope in her mouth, ready to play! Animals are amazing. However, she is still very sore and has all those drains and stitches so I'm making her stay inside and take it easy. I'm in awe at her sweet disposition in light of all she's been through. I turn into a witch when I don't get enough sleep--hate to think what I'd be like injured:)

You've brought up many good points and I appreciate all of the thought. I had called our insurance company right away to see what our liability might be in the event that it had been someone else's dog/property/person that was attacked. It's a very gray area and is taken on a case by case basis, but the gist of it is that a landlord *could* be held liable in a case like ours because we live adjacent to the rental. It could be argued that we knew they were aggressive dogs and allowed them on the premises. I was told it was unlikely that would happen, but in my mind it just gives me extra incentive to get rid of the present dogs and prevent future renters from having 'scary' pets.

Thank you, mrsmarv, for all of the info on how you deal with this issue. DH and I had just resolved to amend the lease but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I didn't think of meeting the dog first but that's a good idea. This couple obviously broke the lease agreement because the dogs that attacked are not the ones they listed on the lease. We were very remiss not to insist immediately that those dogs not in the agreement be removed.

After I posted yesterday, I called 2 vets, the insurance company, the sheriff, and legal services about this situation. The current status is that the renters are moving out but the dogs will not have to go until they move. My dh gave them until Nov 1 since they are buying or leasing a house, and they told him that they could not afford the $40/day to kennel the animals so he relented. They reinforced the kennel (I completely agree, btw, that leaving dogs in a kennel all the time makes them ornery at the least). I'm not convinced this is the best course of action because I truly am afraid those dogs are bad and I resent having to keep my family and pets away from the area of our property where the cottage is, which as I said is where our horses are. The kids' rope swing is out there. I don't like our renters' dogs making us afraid to be outside on our own property, but I won't risk another encounter. I have heard that once dogs get a taste for blood they will continue--is that true? I wonder if that is what happened to our 5 guinea hens, which were killed one by one over the last year. The renters assured us the dogs had not left the kennel, but we found the carcass of one of the guineas very near to the kennel. The bird's back end was chewed up but the carcass was intact. We thought it was a coyote getting the guineas because we saw one at our back fence last year, but the guineas were taken in broad daylight and not eaten, which does not sound like a coyote to me. They also were taken very near to where Cricket was attacked. They were always put in the coop at night. I had told dh that I suspected the renters' dogs killed them but we had no proof, and when I called Wildlife Management they said that it was possible it was a coyote or racoon.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

seeking ~ it appears that you and your DH have done your homework. Under the circumstances, I think it's wise to keep everyone in your family (folks, pets) away from where the dogs are housed/kept. It sounds like they have become territorial about the area/surrounding area they are kept in, and I wouldn't trust them enough to let anyone near 'their space'. As far as their not being able to afford to keep them in a kennel, if it were me, I would seriously re-evaluate that situation. Sometimes you gotta' play hard-ball. It's not your problem or fault that their animals are a danger, and you shouldn't be made to feel bad about their situation. Bottom line is, their dogs are a menace and they seem to know how to prey on your kindness and soft side. I would put the ball back in their court and let them know their dogs cannot stay and it's up to them to decide what/where the dogs will go until they are ready to move on November 1. Let them know that's your decision and that the ball is in their court. I would hate to think that another pet or person will be in jeopardy for the next 2 1/2 months. It doesn't seem like a long time, but it's 10 weeks, or 70 days. That's 70 days of wondering whether or not you're going to be safe, going to be attacked, going to be liable. IMO that's 70 days too long. I'll get off my soapbox now.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 3:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know the feeling. Something similar happened last October (you might remember my post), and our small Pom had to stay at the vet for about 10 days. We're extra paranoid now about letting him outside.

The dogs next door dug a hole big enough to get under the fence and came back this year to attack Maximillian. It was just awful going through that again, though he wasn't attacked. I spoke to the owner and he just looked surprised about what his dogs did, and said he'd fix it. I decided to call the police and they gave him a warning. He's since built some added protection on his side, but we still feel uneasy because they literally throw themselves against the fence when we're in the back yard.

Hope your little cricket gets over this.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I honestly don't believe they can even find a kennel that would take dangerous dogs like that.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your poor sweet baby. What a terrifying experience for you both! Your vet is right tho, those dogs broke a dog rule of attacking pups. It would be similar to a grown man believing a two year old child is a real physical threat. Older dogs may growl, snap or bully a puppy, but won't actually physically hurt them. It's usually just to let the puppy know that they are just that - a puppy- and older dog is in no mood for irritating puppy antics. Once your baby is healed and feeling better I strongly advise that you get her around other dogs, especially the big ones. Cricket won't forget that terrifying experience and it can manifest itself into other anxiety ridden behavior problems. But more importantly, she needs to be able to go to the vet, or to the park and be around other dogs without causing her (or you) anxiety, frustration and fear. She'll be a happier pup in the long run. I'm so glad that you were able to help her, I cringed when I read your story, and hope she continues to heal both physically and emotionally.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OH Seeking!! How horrid!

I'm so glad she's okay. There's nothing worse than that initial gut-wrenching feeling when your pet is harmed...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 6:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seeking, I'm so sorry you and your Cricket had to go through such a horrific experience. Thank goodness she's on the mend! We're thinking of you and sending positive thoughts...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seeking, as a landlord myself I have to look at it this way. Say I get a call from someone who says my tenant's pitbull mauled their puppy (well, actually I would never let a tenant have a pitbull or presario to begin with). I would encourage that person to press charges and I would immediately pull the lease agreement to see what it said about dangerous animals. I do believe my pet rider has a clause about disruptive animals, or you can use the clause about not causing disruption with the neighbors. Either way I would find an excuse to serve 30 days notice to terminate the lease for cause.

Since this happened to you as a landlord, there may be a tendency to not be a hard@ss. But I suspect if it happened to one of your neighbors you'd you be a lot more aggressive than you're being.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

seeking: How is Cricket doing today?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Once again, thanks to all for the great advice and sincere empathy. I am compiling all of the landlord advice to discuss with my dh. chiefneil, you are exactly right in thinking that we would have dealt much more harshly with this had it happened to a neighbor. I can't understand why my dh relented about allowing the dogs to stay--that is uncharacteristic and certainly not what I would like. I am trying to decide how to override his agreement with my own demand that the dogs be removed immediately. I mean, I am not sure how to approach the renters and I don't know what to do about pressing charges. Dh does not want to, but I think it might be the best thing to do. I can't understand why he ever rented to these people to begin with and it has been a bone of contention between us since they moved in.

Em, I forgot to tell you how sorry I was to hear about your poor little kitty. I had a kitty that was attacked by dogs once, too, and it was wrenching for the kids and me. However, despite all odds, she did survive and went on to live to the ripe old age of 20. She was 3 when she was attacked.

mariposa, condolences to you as well. I'm sorry about your Pom and hope Maximillian is safe from the neighbor dogs!

Thanks so much to all of you who have posted! Jerzee, Cricket is doing wonderfully and feeling quite spunky. She doesn't seem to have any traumatic repercussions--she went right up to a dog at the vet, wagging her tail, and believe it or not she was all set to go back over to the bridge and see her "friends." She thought they were her friends when they were behind the kennel fence and does not seem to be afraid of them now! How weird is that?! Maybe it says something about her intelligence level :)

Here are some photos:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a sweet angel! I am glad she is recovering well.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is awful! I'm so glad that your Cricket is doing better. You've gotten some great advice, I'd just like to add one thing more.

Is it possible for you to fence your property? Not so much to keep Cricket in (though it will) but to keep things out.

Mariposa- that is HORRIBLE! What kind of fence do you have? I would bury some chain link fence two feet below the existing fence along the property line. And I would turn the hose on those dogs if I saw them trying to dig there!

A coworker's dog was recently attacked during their morning walk. The other dog raced down the street after them & went right for the dog's belly. This was NOT a dominance thing, it was a flat out attack. I helped her to try & pursue it with animal control & we got nowhere. The only good thing about this (aside from her Max being OK...oh he was torn up, drains, just like poor cricket) is that the owner of the dog that did the attacking put in a claim to his homeowner's insurance for my co-workers vet bills & after they processed the claim they dropped him for having a vicious dog (this dog was a lab mix, BTW, and Max is a German Shepherd mix).

He then had the nerve to complain to my coworker about this the next time he saw her! Her response? "good!"

Again, I'm very sorry about this & wish you luck,


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sigh, that is terrible about your coworker's dog and just disgusting that the owner of the attacking animal had the nerve to complain about his insurance company. Sheesh.

We do have a fenced yard (about 1 1/2 acres) and that's where Cricket is supposed to be. The pool is fenced separately but all around the bottom of one section is a space just big enough for her to wiggle beneath, which we did not notice at first because it's covered with ivy. We'd not gotten around to fixing it and that's how she got out the other day when I let her come out to the pool with me. She was gone by the time I went back to the house but I'd forgotten she'd gone with me. We will have to patch that this weekend. The rest of the property (7+ acres) is all fenced but it's just horse fence. The cottage is on the other side of a creek from our house but is connected via a foot bridge which is very near the front of our house. That's where Cricket was attacked.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


It's incredible how they can find every nook & crannie to sneak out of. Our yard is fenced with 3 rail split rail & vinyl coated wire to make it dog proof but my last rottie still managed to find a spot where the yard dipped about 6 inches & commando underneath the fence one day. I have no idea how she managed to make herself that flat!

Smidgie's great escape ended without incident. Poor, poor Cricket!

Yes, the idiotic dog owner having the nerve to complain to my co-worker about his insurance co. But you know, I had been hoping that something like that would happen when she told me about the claim. Many insurance co's will refuse to insure you if you have a "dangerous breed" (like rotties...don't get me started about that) so I figured that they would do the same with a dangerous dog. And he's going to have a rough time finding another insurance co to take him after his being dropped. My co-worker told me that the adjuster was just appalled when he saw how badly her Max was savaged.

Give cricket some scritches for me. My first dog was a beagle and I have a soft spot for them. But who couldn't have a soft spot for a sweetie like cricket?


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

seeking ~ Cricket looks like a sweet, happy puppy. Is she part Bassett? I'm looking at her splayed front paws, her loooong torso, and big, floppy ears :o), and she looks so much like a Bassett...what a wonderful breed they are.
I'm glad she's doing well. Hoping all works out well for you and your family. Be strong!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 9:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, poor baby! As a dog owner AND a pet sitter, this is a big worry of mine. I didn't read through all of the replies, but did you report it to Animal Control? You should - most areas have a two-strikes law. That will keep those dogs from hurting anyone else - animal or human. You're right, it could have been a child.

Take care and give that puppy a hug!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mrsmarv, yep! Cricket is a Bassett/Beagle pup.

We went to our vet today and got the drain tubes out. Cricket is healing nicely.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 6:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So sorry to hear about Cricket. I have owned, shown, titled and trained dogs for years now. It is not unusual for 2 or more dogs to gang up on 1 lone dog even a lone dog in their own pack. Dogs are pack animals and will do as the alpha female does. No dog, no matter how large has a chance against 2 or more dogs. And your Vet is correct in saying that it is very unusual for a mature dog to attack a pup but it happened to my 6mo pup and then again when she was 9mo and the attacker, both times, was my neighbors dog and both times it was in MY double-fenced yard.

That said, I would call the police and make a report just so it is on record with the police dept. And please do this, as this is one way to have some kind of control if there are any future problems.

Be careful with Cricket as she may be aggressive towards other dogs. This behavior is not unusual as she was attacked and will be leery of other dogs from now on. If she does display some aggressive behavior I would suggest hiring a private trainer to work with you and Cricket in your own neighborhood. Working with dogs is probably the most interesting thing I've ever done in my life and I truly enjoy it. And understanding canine behavior is a never-ending fascination. As I said dogs are pack animals and their minds work in Drives: pack, prey, flight and fight. Some say there is a play drive too, but IMO this is really just part of prey drive. Right away some will think that prey is what could have brought on the attack on Cricket, but really the attack could have been triggered by any of the above drives or a combination of drives.

One of my favorite books on canine behavior is "Calming Signals" by Turid Rugass. It is just a small book and a very easy read and Turid has a very good understanding of canine drives. There is also a video available which is just as good as the book.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but what caused this attack will always be a mystery. I still do not know what caused the attacks on my own pup. Do I like my neighbor's dog, NO, but I like my neighbor even less because it was his carelessness which caused the problems, not his dog.

Glad to hear that Cricket is doing better. But do keep an eye on her behavior around other dogs as she will never forget this attack. She will be afraid and you must protect her and make sure she feels comfortable in her home and yard. In other words you are going to have to work with Cricket so that she feels confident in your ability to keep her safe.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is really fascinating and helpful information, msafirstein (michelle :)), and we don't even have a dog. But it will help my daughter who loves animals know more about them. We'll also look up that source.

Hope Cricket's continuing to recover well, physically and emotionally, seeking.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michelle, thank you for your thoughtful and informative post. I plan to look up the book you mentioned.

Seekingadvice, best wishes to your puppy.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 11:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, Michelle! That's very helpful information and much appreciated.

Cricket, so far, has shown no signs of being afraid of other dogs. When we went to get her tubes out, we happened to hit the tail-end (ha ha) of a vaccination clinic at our vet's and there were several dogs there. She wanted soooo much to play with them. I was kind of surprised that so many owners let their dogs come over and sniff and interact. Cricket was happy about this but I wasn't that pleased to have several dogs come over to her after her experience. She, in turn, wanted to go over and see any other animal that was brought in. Does that mean she is ok about other dogs? Should I be watching for some behavior that would indicate a problem? We don't have any other animals except a cat (and two horses). Cricket and the cat, Pearl, play together, though Pearl isn't always as excited about that as Cricket. She does like to leap out from behind a bush in a mock attack and then let Cricket chase her, but Cricket would like to keep it up for much longer than Pearl :)

The current status of our renters is this: we were told by all agencies that the likelihood of getting the dogs removed was small, so dh decided it was better not to do anything that might cause friction with the tenants at this point since they are moving out in a month. They are paying the vet bill and have told us to keep the $1500 deposit as well. So, the dogs are still in the kennel but it has a new latch on it. We have written notice from them that they are leaving in Oct. We will not make the same mistakes again.

Question: should we remove the kennel? This is a large area and the only place you could put an animal outside that is fenced. I wanted to take it down but dh thinks we should leave it up. His point is that if a renter has a dog, they would want it. I think that having a kennel almost guarantees having a renter with a dog. I understand wanting a pet and this is a rural setting, but have to admit that as a landlord and one who lives on the property myself I'd prefer not to deal with tenant dogs. I also think the kennel is really ugly, plus it cuts off access to the creek from the cottage and ruins what used to be a really nice area for sitting and enjoying the view.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm convinced. Remove the kennel! You have plenty of good reasons to do it.

As the landlord, can't you just say "no dogs"? After what happened, I sure would.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 3:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I was kind of surprised that so many owners let their dogs come over and sniff and interact. Cricket was happy about this but I wasn't that pleased to have several dogs come over to her after her experience. She, in turn, wanted to go over and see any other animal that was brought in. Does that mean she is ok about other dogs? Should I be watching for some behavior that would indicate a problem?"

Cricket is young yet but still she was attacked and it was a pretty aggressive attack from the wounds she suffered. I would watch her very carefully. If another dog shows any aggression or even alerts, perked ears and direct eye contact, I bet Cricket will react and how she will react is unknown and this can change with maturing too. She could react with aggression or maybe lay down or maybe go between your legs or try to run away. But you will have to be aware of her behavior around other dogs. Cricket's body language will tell you what she is going to do, but you will have to recognize her signals and either comfort her fear or correct her. You must always praise for good behavior, not okay behavior but correct behavior. If she is fearful, not aggessive but just a bit fearful, just pat her head and when she looks up to you for assurance say "Good girl"! And when you have to correct her, say a collar correction and a "NO" and she obeys by stopping whatever she is doing always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, reward with "Good Girl"! My dogs would rather have 1 "Good girl/boy" then an entire prime rib!!

If you, the owner, are afraid of the situation, Cricket is going to pick up your fear and react to that. Again, this can be a touchy situation. It is hard to hide our own feelings as the dog will pick up everything in our body language. For instance, when we lived in the city I walked my dog 3 times a day. It was the weirdest thing but he would grumbled at illegally parked cars and it did not matter if they were in the alley or on the street. I always thought this was so funny that he recognized illegally parked cars until I figured out that he was picking up on my own disgust at the strange cars and the total disregard for our neighborhood!

I can tell from the wounds that Cricket was submitting when she was attacked. She was on her back and had turned her hind end towards the other dogs. This is submissive behavior and usually the dominant dog will only sniff then and not attack. Something else was going on during the attack or maybe prior to it and I am just not experienced enough to see it. I have a friend that can tell by the wound what drive the biter was in, but this takes years and years of observation. Another interesting point is that the aggressor usually has head wounds only, as they are going into a fight head first and it is the submissive dog that suffers body wounds usually neck, hind area, feet and stomach.

Drives are so interesting and a dog can go from 1 drive to another very fluidly. For instance if you throw a ball and the dog runs after it, this is Prey Drive. But when he returns it to you, as a fetch, this is Pack Drive. Herding is just a fetch, so usually done in Prey Drive, and again when the dog brings the sheep in to the owner, this is Pack Drive. Fight is not hard to understand and any dog no matter how submissive and loving does have Fight Drive, it might be very low, but it is always there. Flight is the one drive, I've seen only a few times, and mostly with a young dog or pup. But any animal fleeing for his life is scared and therefore the behavior is unpredictable and many bites occur during Flight Drive. For instance, I had a friend that I trained with for a time. She had her dog strapped into his seat belt next to her when she came to class. One time, a fire truck passed them and the dog was startled by the siren and lights and bit the owner right on the face. The dog could not flee and so bite out of fear. This was not the dog's fault as he was just scared and did not know what to do. The owner should have had the dog in the car more often so the dog was socialized to traffic situations. And the dog should not have been in the front seat.

Each individual dog can vary in the level of pack, prey, fight or flight drive. Personally, I've never had a dog high in fight or flight drive and I don't think I would want a dog high in flight or fight.

Cricket will be fine, but I do think you should be aware of her behavior when interacting with other dogs. Personally, because of what happened to my own pup and her dog aggression that I've never been able to work out of her, I am very careful with strange dogs approaching my puppies. Other puppies or young dogs are generally no problem, but mature dogs could cause another negative situation. Don't avoid other dogs, keep your dog on lead and watch carefully the dogs, all the dogs, body language. If you see anything you are hesitant about don't let Cricket make any decisions, put Cricket in a heel and walk away from the situation. The more you work with your dog, especially in obedience, the more confident the dog will be in you and in turn, in himself.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seeking sorry to be dropping in so late. I am so happy that Cricket is doing well. Give her a huge hug from me.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michelle, thanks again! I'm sorry I did not see your detailed post until now.

You are right--Cricket is the "submitting" type. I noticed this before the attack, when a half-grown male pup came up to her rather aggressively (but friendly) and she dropped down and rolled onto her back. I will watch her carefully and make sure to say "good girl" when appropriate. I do that now but did not know that I needed to always say it when she needs reassurance. I don't know whether I've done that or not. I'm a crooner, LOL, so I probably overuse it and I'll work on that, too.

I did not see how the fight began. By the time I ran out to the barn, Cricket was on her feet, trying to keep her head down as the lead dog had its teeth sunk into her neck below the chin and was obviously trying to kill her. The other dog was gouging bites out of her in other areas, mainly right above her tail. That was the dog that turned and stalked toward me with its teeth bared and hackles up. I had run over to the woodpile and grabbed an oak limb for protection before screaming at the dogs to get away, but I was still scared for myself as well as Cricket.

What I've seen so far with Cricket in relation to her behavior around other dogs is that she tries very hard to go over to them, tail wagging and ears pricked up. I haven't observed anything past that since her ordeal because I've not really let her interact with strange dogs. That's probably my own fear and she's picking up on it, sigh!

hedygs, thanks so much! Cricket is physically as good as new and her hair has almost grown back in all the way. Hopefully, she isn't going to have a hard time with traumatic repercussions, but I'll keep my eyes open.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

UGH I can't stand to read the details of the attack, ((((seeking)))) If I were in your place I'd be hard pressed not to be hugging that little darling to my chest 24/7... Just gives me shivers :(

I'm so glad to hear she's bouncing back, though. Maybe it will be like kids, who can bounce back from all sorts of unpleasant experiences if they have sufficient reinforcement afterwards...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seeking, such a sweet dog, so sorry to read about her attack!

My only comment is since she is a pup, I would take advantage of her willingness to be friendly to other dogs vs. protecting her by limiting her exposure to other dogs. Obviously, you don't want to let get into situations where dogs are agressive etc. but I would definitely seek out opportunities for her to interact with other dogs of all sizes and types since she is still young and impressionable. She needs some positive, good experiences with other dogs to help her have good feelings around other dogs. My dog is very friendly to other dogs, but I do notice him being much more submissive to a dog that is larger than he, so I try and introduce him to large dogs whenever we see them in the park etc. I always ask the owner first whether their dog is friendly or not. I think socialization with other dogs is so important in having a dog that is not aggressive to other dogs.

I think you also have a plus in the breed of your dog as beagles and basset hounds have to be one the sweetest disposition dogs there is to begin with. Such a sweetie!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

omg seeking. I havne't been to conversations in ages and I never saw this till now.

I'm SOOO sorry about sweet Cricket. So glad she's better, poor little thing.

I hope your neighbors feel like CRAP! They SHOULD!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 4:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Gap between backsplash and over-the-range microwave?
Hi, all. Does anyone have an over-the-range microwave...
Can you look at my kitchen layout and tell me what I'm missing?
Sorry I posted this once previously, but I wanted to...
Largest flushmount sink for 36" cabinest
Can anyone point me to the largest flushmount sink...
Brickton's Finished Kitchen
We started our house in the fall of 2011 and moved...
Faucet for kitchen remodel
I am having trouble finding the right faucet to go...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™