Attack leads to death of dog

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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 1:13am PST 
So.. In my city, recently, there was a 'mauling'(and I use that term loosely considering the breeds on both ends because one is FAR larger and stronger than the other) involving five dogs total.

Three pit bulls were being walked on the outskirts of an off leash dog park(I'm assuming the adjacent sidewalk or across the street but not sure, just know not within), when an off leash Pomeranian and Great Pyr approached the pit bulls and their owners. The Pom ended up dead, the Pyr with some injuries.

The city is considering charging both sets of owners - the one of the pit bulls for the cause of a dogs death and an unlicensed dog, and the other likely for something along the lines of having dogs NOT under control. And, luckily, are not using this to further ban the breed here. In fact, they've stated clearly in both articles that they DO NOT support BSL, are aware it doesn't do anything to begin with, and that pit bulls haven't been the top breed of attacks/bites in the city as of at least the past year.

In fact, they seem to be well educated on what happened in this situation..

Here's the articles: Attack and

I may not have given proper details on the entire situation so feel free to check out the articles.

That said... What do you think happened in this situation and who do you think was at fault - one or both?

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 8:01am PST 
Charlie, this one makes my heart hurt.
It sounds like the PBs were on the sidewalk at the edge of the park. The Pom did what Poms tend to do and rushed at them yapping and bouncing, leaving the park and ignoring the attempt at a recall by the owner. The 6 month old Pyr just tagged along and by the sounds of it was just being a young, unsure dog and circling the ruckus.
Two things glared at me when I was watching this. Two dogs in an unfenced off leash area who obviously shouldn't have been off leash, let alone under supervision of 2 young girls. And one man walking 3 dogs, past said unfenced off leash area. PBs aren't most peoples idea of a big dog but they are unbelievably strong, and apparently they weren't particularly well trained either.
I am so happy that the people running things here are wise enough to not consider BSL, they have repeatedly and under heavy fire refused to consider it. However, PBs as a breed seem to attract some of the stupidest owners I have ever met. I don't mean the ones who actually know the breed and work with it. I mean the dumbies that I see parading around bragging that 'my dog can kill your dog'.shrug Or the moron who told me he loved his dog 'she won 37 fights and had 9 litters' Are you seriously having this conversation with ME of all people?????
I think both owners should be charged, and I think the PBs should be seized and rehomed. None of them were licensed so I doubt any of their owners will abide by conditions. I am thinking mandatory training, proper enclosures and muzzled in public. I also think the Pyr should be ordered to training, sadly the Pom won't be going anywhere. Pretty crappy way to start the new year.

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 8:13am PST 
I've been following this story as well and had a few thoughts on the situation. As usual, the whole thing could have easily been avoided with responsible dog ownership.

Technically, the blame here really lies with the owners of the off-leash dogs. They had no business being at a dog park with such poor recall skills and dog aggression. As you know Charlie, our dog parks in this city are rarely fenced and often near busy roads. The rule is that your dog must have "perfect recall" to enjoy them, although we both know that term is applied loosely by most dog owners.

I've heard conflicting stories as to whether it was the Pyr or the Pom that started the fight (by biting one of the Pitties on the nose) but the point is, they were both involved.

My dog is extremely conflict-avoiding in her dealings with other dogs, but if she were attacked by two off-leash dogs AND if she had two dogs with her for back-up AND if she had no option to flee-I wouldn't expect her to just lay down and take it. No one could have reasonably expected the Pitbulls to act any differently.

BUT...Despite all that, I feel some responsibility does need to fall on the Pitbull owner. Why? Because he showed by his actions that day that he probably shouldn't own a dog that comes under such public scrutiny. He failed to license his own dog (one of the pitbulls) which is illegal. He chose to walk 3 pitbulls together, by himself (the other 2 belonged to a friend) which speaks of either a total lack of understanding of the amount of power he was was trying to control and/or a sense of bravado that, unfortunately, seems to attract some to the breed. He walked right past a dog park, that his own dogs could have easily ran into had they wanted to, even though stating (in one article) that letting 3 Pitbulls loose in an off-leash park would have been "insane" If you believe it would be "insane" to socialize them at a dog park, would you say it's "smart" to walk them right beside one? Additionally, his response when he saw the dogs running up to him was to cinch the chains around his own dogs necks as tight as he could, holding them close to himself. Anyone who knows the least bit about dogs understands how counter-productive that move would have been. The Pitbulls likely took the move to mean they were now on high-alert, cued to protect their space. However they may have initially viewed the other dogs, they were a danger now. The other dogs may not have originally intended to do anything more than "say Hi" but seeing the Pitties take a defensive position may have triggered them to attack. All these factors just point to a less-than-responsible dog owner.

In the end, I still put legal blame on the off-leash dogs. And it doesn't seem fair that the Pitties are being evaluated for behaviour, while the Great Pyr gets a pass. The only reason that Pom was killed was because of his own stupidity (I'm sorry if that sounds offensive-but literally, it was stupid of him to try to take on 3 dogs so much more powerful than he was) and his size. So the statement in the article that provocation isn't a big factor in deciding judgement since "A dog was killed because of the actions of another animal" is a bit off to me.

The media is making this all about BSL, but I believe the real focus here should be on dog-park safety. The bottom line is, those dogs (Pyr and Pom) should never have been there. I see dogs acting deaf to their owners all the time at our off-leash parks, and it really bothers me. We've seen dogs form packs and chase a cyclist or attack another dog, and I know Lupi, with her chase instinct, would have joined right in if I hadn't been able to call her to me immediately. If those kids had been able to call their dogs back, Patrick would still be alive today.

ETA: Sabi, you were posting at the same time as me and I agree with your points.

Edited by author Sat Jan 5, '13 8:16am PST



When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 8:34am PST 
Lupi, didn't realize you were here too!!! Yay, Dogster partyparty

There are reasons I don't make use of our dog parks, and you touched on most of them. People don't have control of their dogs, and they don't respect each other. I used to find quiet corners to play frisbee in with Sabs and I couldn't believe the responses I got when I would ask people to call their dogs. Sabi doesn't like other dogs, she is willing to ignore them and leave but I believe that since I can control her she should be allowed to play off leash. When I saw other dogs approaching we would just leave. I also jokingly refer to the unfenced near busy roads ones as Calgary's answer to dog population control. Not really funny I know but it seems strange to plan them that way.
Also the following day 2 PB crosses got loose and attacked a woman. Yet more irresponsible, idiotic owners.

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 9:07am PST 
Sabi, I can understand why you would avoid some of our dog parks. I find I always have to keep an eye out for trouble and actively avoid it. Lupi likes other dogs, but understandably can't really play with most large breeds. It annoys me when people think their dog has the right to bully and harass mine, just because it's fun for them and we're at a dog park.

I never let Lupi approach leashed dogs (unless they're on a long line) at the park, or packs of large dogs (groups of three or more) because I see the potential for trouble.

The law states that your dog must be under your control at all times, and feces picked up immediately. There's no law about dogs being willing to play with every dog they see or petted by every human. So you (Sabi) were completely in the right to expect to be able to enjoy a game of frisbee without being harassed.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 4:53pm PST 
Really though, I wouldn't put that much blame on the pit bull owner.

You should be able to walk your dogs without other dogs bothering you. The only thing he did wrong was not license his dog...that's it. You can scrutinize mechanics, but when things get going, you just don't know how to react. And I don't see why it's wrong to walk 3 pit bulls at a time. Shoot, Sanka, my 12-year-old 70-lb mutt can easily pull me over to if he really put his all into it. Doesn't mean I have no right walking him.

I don't get why they're dismissing provocation as that played a HUGE role in it.

All in all, I think the owners of the off leash dogs were punished enough by the injuries to their dogs. They don't need anymore. And I think the pit bull owner only needs to be fined for the licensing, and perhaps muzzle his dog when in public just to help prevent such a thing when walking.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 5:03pm PST 
I think killing one dog and injuring another indicates a lack of control. If he had been able to simply keep walking a tragedy may have been avoided and a small dog yapping and jumping in your face, while annoying, is hardly grounds for such action. I am sure Sanka could pull you over but would he? And if he was apt to respond to provocation by killing another dog would you walk him in a place where such a thing could occur?
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 6:51pm PST 
Geez, when I read stuff like this it only reminds me why I don't go to the dog park! That being said, when I do go to big parks, I always walk around the perimeter with my dog on his lead like the pit owner, and expect not to be hassled. However, if something does go wrong, I'm fully capable of controlling my dog and stopping him from hurting another if he gets attacked.It sounds like this guy didn't consider the worst case scenario when be left the house with three big, strong unmuzzled dogs, or else seriously misjudged his handling abilities. What an awful start to the year for everyone involved. frown

Edited by author Sat Jan 5, '13 6:52pm PST

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 11:35pm PST 
Another thing I noticed too though... is the dog that got killed was a Pom. Let's face it. How many larger(larger than toy/small breeds), stronger dogs view yapping little dogs as something similar to prey? And I don't mean that rudely, by any means. I've just noticed a LARGE flux of larger dogs that will immediately take chase of fast moving, noisy little dogs. It could be prey drive, it could be play gone wrong, who knows in each situation til they're in it personally.

I remember taking Regan to a dog park once, I had one issue that caused me to leave with her. A small schnauzer type mix spotted her, immediately began showing fear signals even though she was ignoring him, and ran up to her BARKING and growling at her. He was just being a noisy little thing, but clearly intimidated and fearful of her. What did she do? She took chase. She chased this little dog, while I tried to capture her because she wouldn't back off and he wouldn't stop barking at her or running and I didn't want to see him get hurt, whether accidental or not. The owners? Just stood there talking about how 'he does this all the time', annoyed with him. A big Rottweiler chasing down their tiny little dog because it was barking and growling at her and running, and they just shrugged and looked annoyed with their own dog. WTH? I caught her almost immediately, put her back on her leash and headed for home. She'd never had any issues with any dogs prior to that, but even if she just accidentally ran him over, the damage she could have done for the size comparison made me too uncomfortable to let it go on.

We don't know, though, whether or not the pibbles were provoked, or how they were provoked if they were.

And yeah, many of Calgary's off leash parks SUCK. Un-fenced, and often close to roads. It's why Charlie's on a long line. He used to be incredibly reliable off leash when familiar with the area, but I feel better having him on the long line as an extra precaution.

I've only had two issues in five years at River Park off leash park, and it's all quiet neighborhood surrounding that park, and I haven't seen too many issues of people not cleaning up after their dogs there which is great. Charlie was most reliable off leash at Rotary Park off leash park, but with it being soooo close to Center Street/Lions Gate bridge, I was just incredibly uncomfortable with taking him there.

I do think that both owners proved irresponsible here though. Was the kill accidental(with such a small dog) or intentional via the pitbulls? If the dogs WERE not okay with other dogs, they shouldn't have been walked by a dog park, even if it was on the adjacent sidewalk because there are too many potential issues to crop up there. If it was accidental and the dogs are usually otherwise fine... then.. who knows exactly what happened. All we can do is guess.. And why were two dogs that didn't have reliable recall off leash? If a dog doesn't have reliable recall, the potential for problems, especially those that can arise from the streets often near our dog parks is incredibly high.

I dunno.. Because I don't know what I would do if such a situation arose and I was either owner. I would be incredibly upset in the shoes of either dog owner.
Dylan aka- Dilly,my- angel

frisbee- s rule
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 5:15am PST 
having witnessed the small dog /big dog interaction with the little dogs my aunt has owned over the years, I can picture in my mind that pom doing just that.and in its mind it wasnt going to say "oh those are pitties, I better not do that to them"
I feel bad for the owners of the pom. but I feel that is where the blame lies.
I do think the pittie owner did give the dogs a warning sign by tightening up on the leashes, but it would have been a natural responce. he was trying to maintain controll of his dogs.I do not feel pitties have to be muzzled to be walked.unless proven the need. and sadly, proving that need usually happens in a case like this.
my dogs may very well have reacted the same way if changed like that.and they are not pitties.
and I dont believe any dog has 100% recall. 95% yes, but there will always be that one time, under the wrong circumstance, where even the best trained dog will fail. my younger foster sister trained military K9 dogs. and even they wont swear to 100%.
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