My Bella girl got attacked by another dog!!!

Help, I don't know what to do:

I have experienced a frightening situation and feel fortunate that the outcome was not bad. While out walking Bella (my 1 1/2 yr old female Basenji), a nieghbor's Pit Bull "slipped out" the door. She (the Pit) ran straight to us and proceeded in powering over Bella by mouthing and growling… she was all over her. It was dark and I was in a panic, I tried to pick up Bella, but couldn't get her picked up. I grabbed the other dog by the back of the neck and it did not try to bite me, but kept pulling loose and harassing my girl. Bella was screaming and so was I!!!

Finally, the owner came out of the house about the time Bella pulled the leash out of my hands and started running from the other dog. The owner called his dog down and I checked my girl for any painful areas... and there was none, thankfully. The owners were very apologetic. They continued to tell me that thier Pit is not aggressive and if she meets another dog off-leash, she will play with them. But sometimes she can be intimidating because she is large and "jumps after" the other dogs too quickly. (I worry if they are being honest or not for fear of losing their baby).

I don't believe in dog breed banning legislation, but this incident really upset me... My son did say that the dog has been out when he walked by before and it is friendly with people. I hate to think that we can no longer walk this part of town with Bella again as it is the prettiest part of town where we can see the river.

I am sorry this is so lengthy, but I really need to bounce it off of you all and see if you have any insight on this. Oh yeah, and my Bella is not an aggressive dog and has never initiated a fight with another dog. She will try to fight back if threatened, though... only she is no match for a Pit Bull!
She even plays with my friend's Wienmeraner and Golden Retriever (at the same time) and has no problems.

The thought has occured to me that she was trying to protect me since I am her human and the other dog came at us so fast. She is prone to stay closer to me if we walk after dark, previously I thought because she is afraid… now I wonder if it is to protect me?

Thank you in advance,
Lisa (and Bella) 😞

what a scarey story…i feel so bad for you both now. 😞

Wow! thank goodness you are both OK. I do not believe in dog banning legislation either but I do believe in controlling an agressive dog. I would and have reported dogs who came after our own. I think when you make a choice to purchase a dog that is known to be aggressive towards dogs then you have to be more careful than the average dog owner. Pits are generally very sweet dogs but they are known to be aggressive to other dogs. You were lucky this time but the owners may be in denial of what their dog can do.

Besides, you should feel safe to walk your dog where you choose without fear. I doubt Bella will be real eager to go there again anytime soon though. Good luck.

I am sorry….how scary. I would probably carry a walking stick that I could try to fend off the other dog. It may very well be that the other dog was trying to initiate play...the fact that you could grab the dog on the neck and it didn't attack you, indicates it wasn't actually being aggressive. But still very scary, none the less. The down side to trying to intervene with a stick between two dogs, is the possiblity that you could make an approaching dog angry, and cause a fight.....

You might send a note to the dog's owners that explain that your dog was very frightened when their dog bolted out of the house; if she is nervous about walks now, tell them that. And politely mention that if it happens again, you will contact the authorities. To encourage Bella to be more confident, bring some treats, and feed her as you get to the area where she is nervous.

Pits and other bully dogs can be great, great dogs but their owners have to be super diligent about their care....they can't allow them to dart out the door, or jump the fence...it is just too frightening to give them some of the liberties that smaller, less dangerous dog are allowed.

@Quercus:

You might send a note to the dog's owners that explain that your dog was very frightened when their dog bolted out of the house; if she is nervous about walks now, tell them that. And politely mention that if it happens again, you will contact the authorities. To encourage Bella to be more confident, bring some treats, and feed her as you get to the area where she is nervous.

Thank you for the note idea, I was trying to avoid having to call the authorities since I am not sure the intent of the dog. After all, the Pit could have done considerable harm in the time frame that occured and chose not to… I may, however, talk to our town hall to see if they could in some way remind owners of the leash law (without being specific about which dog is involved).

Do you think if I took one of those super soaker type water guns with me when we walk… would that even phase an aggressive dog???

I'm so sorry about your incident. I too went through the same thing but there was definitely some blood & other stuff. You're very lucky that the dog didn't do more harm then just scare little Bella.

I'm sure she'll be okay but I have found that in my experience I really needed to help MY confidence not my dog's. It seems strange, I know. You will probably be more afraid of something happening then she will. You will be watchful & on gaurd & you might be jumpy for a while. If I could suggest that you work on your confidence & carry "Direct Spray" it's just a citronella based spray that scares dogs away. This helped me feel safer & more in control.

Lots of hugs your way & know that you're not alone here. Lots of have had these terrible experiences. You got off very lucky that the dog didn't hurt you both much more seriously. I agree with the other that you ask the owner to please re-secure her dog because it's scary to be approached like that at night.

good luck

@bellabasenji:

Thank you for the note idea, I was trying to avoid having to call the authorities since I am not sure the intent of the dog. After all, the Pit could have done considerable harm in the time frame that occured and chose not to… I may, however, talk to our town hall to see if they could in some way remind owners of the leash law (without being specific about which dog is involved).

I agree. I didn't want to say so, as I didn't want to offend…but it doesn't sound to me like that dog was attacking...just playing in an inappropriate (but normal for the breed) way. If it had been a real fight, the dog probably would have attacked you when you tried to pull it away (frighteningly!) The problem is most Basenjis will react defensively on leash when approached by an unleashed dog. The reaction of the B can trigger aggression in the approaching dog.

If it were me, I definitely wouldn't report the dog right now, but make it clear to the owners I will if it happens again. If nothing else the dog was clearly not under owner's control...and that is a violation in most communities.

@bellabasenji:

Do you think if I took one of those super soaker type water guns with me when we walk… would that even phase an aggressive dog???

A truly aggressive dog won't be stopped by water, or possibly not even by a stick. But people have had good luck with Direct Stop…and pepper spray.

Sometimes a curious dog that is unknowingly about to instigate a fight can be stopped by kicking at it's head, or water spray, or shouting 'go home dog'. In this case, I usually pick up my dog and prepare to kick the other dog in the head (that sounds nice...I really do love dogs!) But I fear running across the truly aggressive dog that will decide the kick is a good reason to attack me though....

If it had been a real fight, the dog probably would have attacked you >>>>when you tried to pull it away (frighteningly!)

A normal pit won't bite a human even if they do grab to pull it away from a fight. They don't usually transfer aggression that way. {That's why law enforcement officers like working with them; they are very easy to train, obedient, focused, and they snap at the officers less than any of the other breeds they use. My niece raises pits, and works with LawDogs USA}
If the other dog was indeed a pit, and if it were aggressive not playful, you would not have been able to make it release at all, and Bella would not have gotten away without injury.

I def. think I'd write the owners a note and explain how traumatized you and Bella were and ask them to reinforce whatever method it is they use to keep the dog contained on their property.

I love dogs so much. But man, I HATE loose dogs.

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Good point...but I would assume that you are talking about well bred pits, not neighborhood throw aways that end up making their way into the general pet owning public. They are not "typical" of good guard dogs, or even good fighting dogs, because neither of those should show aggression towards humans at all...but unforunately plenty of pits do show stranger and arousal aggression towards humans....

True.. I was assuming based on the ease of removing the dog and the owners assertion that the dog usually plays with other dogs very well…..

@Quercus:

…but it doesn't sound to me like that dog was attacking...just playing in an inappropriate (but normal for the breed) way. If it had been a real fight, the dog probably would have attacked you when you tried to pull it away (frighteningly!)

See, I felt the same way… If the Pit Bull would have been truely intent on hurting my girl, Bella would not have gotten off without a scratch! I also could have been hurt, as well... but it was instinct that I grab the Pit's scruff of the neck. I wasn't afraid for myself, just Bella. I personally never felt threatened by the dog…

@Quercus:

A truly aggressive dog won't be stopped by water, or possibly not even by a stick. But people have had good luck with Direct Stop…and pepper spray.

I am going to check out the Direct Stop… About the stick, I would probably have better luck throwing it and saying "go get it girl" than hitting the dog!!! LOL:D

I hate to say this, but, if this was a truly aggressive dog you're right Bella would not have survived. Period.

As for the stick thing, I personally would never use a stick. I have done a lot of personal protection training. Most of the dogs would never even pass the test to become personal protection dogs. If you touch the dog in any manner, (an aggressive dog or a dog in an aggressive mode) MOST dogs will turn to see what is touching them and attack. This is why a stick is not a good thing. The dog will see the stick as an extension of you and will most likely attack you and then return to the prime target-you're dog. If you've ever seen a pit attack they are very focused on the prime target. But they will go through you to get to it. If an agressive pit wants your dog, you will not stop it. They continue on until the prime target is finished and no longer an element in the attack. Then they may turn on you as their prey drive is still heightened. The Direct stop is the best idea out there. The other thing you can do is carry a small air boat horn. If the dog comes towards you aggressively, most times you can let the air horn off-behind your back-and it will distract the dog long enough for you to get away. Why I say behind your back is you don't want the dog to associate the sound with you and attack you, plus it is very loud and may hurt the dogs ears if you have it in front.

Agreed that a stick would probably be a detriment in a seriously aggressive, and big dog. But most of us are more likely to run into nosey Nellie, the curious Jack Russell as we walk around the block….and a stick could be very effective against a dog like that. Usually you don't even have to hit or poke the dog...just wave the stick around and yell...

Personally, I don't carry Direct Stop, or pepper spray, though I probably should for my own protection. But I worry about what it would do to my asthma if the wind brought it the wrong direction. And I worry that it would incapacitate my own dog (or dogs) and it may be difficult to get them away from the scene. But overall...I do think it is probably the best solution.

I do tend to think in terms of big dogs.

I never thought about the pepper spray coming back on me. That could be a problem. I know the cops up here have had a few problems with using too much, health problems, etc. So that's a thought against carrying it as well. The best thing I like is the boat horn. I've used it for about 10 years now.

Basenji Mix

Boat horn! Great idea! That will scare the bee-jees's out of everyone!

I have been having a similar issue here with my dogs, except that in this case the Pit bull is my neighbors dog! They basically keep it in their garage, with the door open, on a leash. Sometimes though, they don't tie it up properly, or sometimes they don't tie it up at all and it runs a muck like it owns the place. i have spoken with the owners about this, and stressed that for the sake of their dog AND mine, that their dog (Tyson, nice name, huh?) needs to always be on a leash. Just on sunday, i went out with the dogs and the minute we stepped out my front door, tyson came over to "play." of course, and those of you following my issues with Lenny will not be suprised by this, Lenny attacked. Tyson is still a puppy (4 months i think) and i was able to drag Lenny off him and bring Tyson back to his garage. I'm so scared of the day Tyson has had enough of Lenny and fights back with those massive jaws 😞 Its really too bad, I feel so bad for Tyson, he is definitely being neglected. He spends all day and all night in the garage. It's a constant issue, and I'm not sure what to do about it anymore. I have contacted the police and they say if Tyson is not being a nuisance, they can't do anything about it (he doesn't bark). They insist that until it becomes the "norm" for him to be off leash, then they can't do anything. Plus the garage is basically his home. Theres a couch in there for him, food and water… etc etc. He just gets no human attention...Ugh.... but my #1 priority is to make sure tayda and lenny are safe.

@Duke:

Boat horn! Great idea! That will scare the bee-jees's out of everyone!

They sell small ones that will fit into your pocket. They work well for attackers of humans too. Blow one of those in the ear-they'll be deaf and seeing stars for awhile!

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