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Sorry in advance if this is a long post. I really need help, please, anyone. I've included some background info so hopefully the whole situation can be observed.

We have a 17 week old Pomeranian, male, named Baxter. He weighs 8 lbs. Baxter also has a sister - Pepper, our 4-1/2 yr old Pom/Papillion Mix (15 lbs)

We welcomed Baxter into our family at 12 wks old, January 15th. In the first month he was house trained and crate trained. He is an exceptional dog. Well behaved and very smart. Such a happy little guy, until last Tuesday Feb 20.

Around 4:30 last Tuesday our neighbors 6 yr old was walking their large breed dog. At the time I was standing in the my front yard with Baxter and did not see the child or the other dog until it was attacking both of us - after dragging the child to the ground and across the street.

Baxter hasn't been trained yet to Run & Hide so I threw myself over my puppy as fast as I could, and tried to protect him with my body, but we both were attacked. The screams and barking, the fear in my puppy, the weight of the dog on me, biting, scratching as I crawled towards the front stoop. I screamed for help, over and over, and no one was coming. Apparently the child's mother was inside the house and at some point came to pull her dog off me.

Multiple bite wounds for both of us, doctors and vets, damage to my neck from the weight of the dog on me (my vet said I saved his life - so it was totally worth it). Immediately after returning from the emergency vet Baxter started refusing to near the front door, and absolutely not out in the front yard.

Slowly and with a Ton Of Praise and Treats he has gone back outside - provided it is completely silent. Otherwise if he see a person or hears a car, a door, another dog, any sound, he beeline it straight to come inside. He is terrified to walk by the "Dog" House.

We are both suffering from PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, etc. while healing our bodies as well.

How do I help him get past the fear? How do help him to not be afraid of the noises? The people? They will only increases as the weather gets nicer, and the dogs in the "Dog" House will be in the yard 24/7 all day every day behind a very small fence (I terrified of the Attacking dog jumping the fence and coming after Baxter again)

I've been slowly carrying him by that house on the opposite sidewalk so we can walk Baxter with Pepper. The entire time he is visibly shaking from the core, he immediately starts having a panic attack. I softly and calmly whisper to him it's ok. Momma is here, Pepper is here, it's ok, it's just a sound, it's ok, etc., until we get a few houses away and he will walk and follow Pepper - provided another fear trigger doesn't present - a car, a person, etc. at which point he starts again with a panic attack.

Right now everything is secondary to helping Baxter recover. We have all kinds of dogs in our neighborhood. He was supposed to start training and now we can't.

The attacking large dog has a history and a trigger for attacking small animals. I personally witnessed this dog killing a groundhog, and last summer she attacked our other dog, Pepper, while being walked by a 10 yr old (and at that time we were told a child would never walk the dog again). Pepper was fast enough to get away without harm - She's been trained to Run and Hide.

The "Dog" House has two large breed dogs, and the other one barks 24/7 and throws himself against the window when the owner isn't home - neither dog is getting enough exersice, they are screamed at constantly, and they are home alone everyday for at least 10-12 hours. I don't know if this is considered abuse.

We called the police, but our local Boro did nothing. We called Animal Control but no one has called us back. The owner has still not provided the Rabies Certificate - but there isnt anyone asking for it either. I am so torn apart. The attack was so horrifying I went into shock. I just don't know what to do or how to get help. Those poor large dogs are obviously needing love and attention and training.

I am at my wits end here - I love animals - all of them - and it's breaking my heart not knowing what to do and no one helping us figure it out. We don't want to press charges - but there are four young children in that Dog house and we have 7 small dogs in our neighborhood. I do not want to responsible for the large dog getting blamed. It's not the animals fault.

Any and all help or advice or suggestions are welcomed.

I need help

- Robin
 

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Oh god thats awful Robin! I can see why you and your dog are scared. Please press charges. Much will happen to instantly secure community from this aggressive dog that has killed.
And you get off to training. Dont avoid what will help immensley retrain your dog that dogs are not all scarey. The "there there. Your safe" etc carrying dog in your arms are counter productive and will reinforce the anxiety. A clubs worth of support will help heaps!
 

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In my state the minute you walk into a hospital or vet hospital with bite wounds on yourself or your pet they're required to report it to animal control who's required to get the rabies certificate and quarantine the animal that bit. Keep calling animal control and definitely press charges. The neighbors are responsible for your medical and vet bills and the dangerous dog needs to be contained in the house and a higher fence. What kind of idiot lets a six year old walk a large dog that's attacked neighbors dogs before?

Definitely get training for your puppy and some counseling for yourself. You mean well but could unwittingly make his fear worse and the longer you reinforce how scary it is to be outside the worse he'll be and harder to retrain. It's perfectly understandable to be afraid, that's why pressing charges will force the police and animal control to take action to protect you and the other small dogs in your neighborhood sooner rather than later.

You're right it's not the dogs fault, it's the irresponsible owners and they need to step up and confine their dog to keep the neighborhood safe since they're unwilling to train it. Letting a six year old walk it alone after it's attacked before is the height of stupidity and irresponsibility and basically asking for a lawsuit.
 

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What a horrible situation with that neighbor, I certainly agree about pressing charges. Might teach the neighbors a lesson and even if it doesn't, you've done your part to try to make the neighborhood safer. It is always sad to hear about people not taking care of their dogs and leaving them alone all day. But you have to be safe too.

I think when we did training we had the option of one on one with the dog trainer so maybe you could start doing it that way with Baxter until the trainer sees fit to introduce him to and socialize him with new dogs.

It could be that you inadvertently reinforce fearful behavior, I don't know but it's possible and a trainer can tell you that.

Also it sounds like a traumatic experience for you as well as for the dog, and maybe you would benefit from some therapy for PTSD, if you are calm the dog is more likely to be calm, if you are anxious and fearful the dog is more likely to pick up on that and feel the same way. Good luck.
 

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I cannot believe they have kids that young walking those dogs....what if something happens and the dogs redirect onto the child walking it?? This is awful. I'd be hounding local law enforcement every hour until something gets done.
I know this is going to be hard, but your pup needs you to be confident and set the example. An insecure pup having a confident human to look up to will go a long way. Do you have any friends with older, stable dogs you can set up play dates with? This would probably help your pup learn that not all dogs are big scary monsters.
Personally I'd be avoiding that dog house like the plague on walks, but if I couldnt I'd be carrying pepper spray and/or a golf club on my walks. Lots of loose dogs where I live, practically everyone here carries a stick or golf club when walking backroads in case of dog attack. No one should have to do that, but reality isnt always that nice.
I cant believe the law wasnt at your hospital room after the event......
 

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You and your pups have been failed by so many people here, and I'm sorry. I see that you live in Pennsylvannia (I was put off by the mentions of Boro). I am not aware of any state that does not require mandatory quarantine of any animal that has bitten a human. The fact that the cops/AC didn't mention this, and the fact that they explicitly told you they couldn't do anything, is unacceptable. This is not to mention the dog owners themselves, who failed to safely control/contain a dog that has attacked animals many times.

I understand your hesitance about pursuing charges regarding this. It really isn't the dog's fault. But unless you act, the behavior won't change, and more dogs will be attacked and possibly killed. I would suggest meeting with a lawyer, most consultations are free and many will work for a portion of the award if you win. Most lawyers would love to get their hands on a case like this.

As for your dog, you need to help you first. Dogs sense emotion, and if he feels that fear inside you, it won't matter how well you are trying to rehab him. Besides that, take things slow, treat and treat often when he's calm in an area he finds uncomfortable. Set him up for success, don't take him anywhere he could have a bad experience. Obviously try to avoid busy walking times as he'll likely not want to be around other dogs. As others have suggested, pepper spray or walking sticks will help immensely.

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The hospital should have called animal control. If not you should do so, or at least call to verify that the attack has been documented. It might also be prudent for you to contact an attorney, as the owner clearly did not have control of his dog. As far as your dog, its going to take time, lots of time for him to get over the attack, as well as he can. When I am out walking our dog, I carry pepper spray just in case, and I will tell you, I have zero reluctance to use it, if I feel my dog or I are in danger.
 

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Omg I am so sorry what a horrible experience for u and the puppy!
This dog has a history of this and they let a child walk it?! I would definitely sue them and demand a rabies certificate there is just no excuse!! Keep calling animal control until they do something
I am so sorry u went through something so horrible! And can't believe the owners of the other dog isn't bending over backwards to get u that rabies certificate and apologize profusely
I can tell you I was on the other side of it
A few yrs ago my Dane attacked a little dog and ended up killing it was the worst day of my life and I'm sure the worst day of other owners life!! It was my worst nightmare she never attacked anything before but she had lunged and barked many times i was working on it thinking she was scared of the other dogs I never thought she'd ever attack a dog though I was taking her inside the house on a leash when the lady was walking around the corner I didn't c her fast enough and my dog ripped the leash out of my hands it was a horrible day I still kick myself for not paying more attention or gripping the leash tighter I am so deeply sorry that it happened
After that I never let her leave the house without a muzzle on it never happened again
They should have taken extra precautions after the first time!! There is no excuse to let a child walk an aggressive dog knowing it has attacked other things!!!
Most of the time I think ppl sue too often but I think u should definitely sue them they need to be held accountable


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I'm so sorry that happened to you and your puppy! I can't imagine the sheer terror that you went through.

Keep after the local authorities about those dogs. The one has now attacked a human and dog to the point that both required medical care, what's next it's killing a small child who is just out with his or her puppy? Make a pest of yourself, stay polite and professional but pester them to the point that they do something just to get you to shut up. Make copies of your medical record of the attack along with Baxter's vet record and send them to them once a month, marking that this is the x time it's been sent on the copy that you send. Do what you have to do to get something done.

As far Baxter. I've found with my thunder phobic dog that talking to him when it lighten happened but before the thunder sounded became a cue for him to become fearful. So be careful when talking to Baxter that whatever you are telling him is not becoming linked with his being scared. Comforting him is O.K., pet him, let him be velcro dog, pick him up if that's what he wants, whatever it is that helps him feel secure. Comforting dogs does NOT reinforce fear.

What you are doing by forcing him to go past the scary house is flooding him, and that often backfires. When he's shaking, panicking, and refusing to take food, he's way over threshold and too scared to learn anything. His flight or fight instinct has taken over and he's on autopilot. You need to take baby steps, and make each step as fun and enjoyable as possible. Start by being out in the yard, just sit there with him, play with him, and have a pocket full of pea sized HIGH value treats ready, whenever something scary goes by, and before he has time to get into a panic, start feeding him those treats, feed them till the thing is out of sight for 1 or two seconds. Basically the scary thing is going to be paired with the yummy treats and soon it won't be scary. Do that a few times a day, every day, till he's happy in the yard and looking to you for treats when things he considered scary appear. It's now time to on maybe one house down, you can walk him back and forth for this part, maybe a house in either direction, again feeding him treats whenever something scary appears, do that till he's happy and not fearful in that area then go further. What he'll learn is that he doesn't need to be scared the scary things are causing great things to happen to him. You'll need to go at his speed and if he does panic just get him out of there. Also be mindful of space, what he may be O.K. with 50 yards from may become terrifying when he gets closer, if that happens then you'll need to work with him where he's comfortable and slowly work your way closer.

Here's a link to a website that specializes in fearful dogs. Fearfuldogs.com It will has a lot of information on the method that I described.
 
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