Iberianature Forum

How to stop a dog attack?

  • 33 Replies
  • 31213 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« on: November 23, 2009, 12:37 PM »
I have a German Shepherd. She is very friendly with other dogs and has no desire to be "top dog".  If anything larger than her shows some aggression she's on her back showing that she wants no trouble.  I'm not too happy about dogs who want to show they are boss like this but I guess that in the dog world that's how things go.  After they have decided who's boss the two of them may go and play.  

But it isn't always like that.

Yesterday I was walking along a track with her and there were three mastiffs (mastin in Spanish) on the other size side of the fence.  My German shepherd is on the small size for her breed and these dogs are about three to four times her size. I often walk along that track and the mastiffs always make a fuss. Unfortunately this time there was a hole in the fence and one of the mastiffs squeezed through.

It came straight at us.  No "Woof woof, this is my territory" but a direct attack.  I got my stick up to threaten it but the monster just knocked it aside and went straight for my dog. She had no hope against this monster and went into submissive position, but the mastiff didn't care and continued with its attack. With my dog crying out in pain I stepped forward and started beating the attacker about the head and body with my stick.  I had no desire to injure the animal, but equally I wasn't about top let it kill my dog in front of me.

While I was doing this a second mastiff got through the fence and came round behind me.  But I was too busy trying to save my dog to care much about this one.  Also I knew from previous experience that least one of the the three was not particularly aggressive and I had to hope it was that one.

Just as my stick broke and splinted over the head of the attacking mastiff he let my dog go and she took the opportunity to get behind me, unfortunately that meant that the mastiff changed his target and decided to go for me.  He barred his teeth and  lunged at me.  I was trying to back away slowly, but when he was close enough I gave him a belt with my now considerably shorter stick.  I have to say that this was with "todo mi alma", and he finally seemed to decide that being hit with a stick was probably not that much fun and decided to simply snarl at me instead.

Moving backwards I found that the other mastiff was right behind me which gave me an unpleasant surprise as I had forgotten about him.  Fortunately he was the less aggressive one and let us pass without incident.

I examined my dog but she had no serious injuries and was even playing with another dog a quarter of an hour later.

Now you may say that this is an exceptional incident - but it's not.  This is the fourth time that I have have had an experience like this with different dogs.  Three times with mastiffs and once with a very large aggressive German Shepherd.

My wife carries a personal protection spray, but when we were attacked once by a mastiff she got the dog full in the face and it ignored it.  When big dogs are on the attack they are pretty tough to deter and somewhat impervious to pain.  When she spoke to the police once she was told that unless somebody is actually injured in an attack then they are not interested.

So what advice can members of the forum give me?  I don't want to have to carry one of these:

http://www.bodysecurity.com/stun-batons/telescopic-stun-baton.htm

So what other options are there?  Does anybody have any experience with audio deterrents?


Cheers.


Bob
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 12:43 PM by Bob M »

Offline Maria

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 918
  • Sierra Nevada
    • My personal website
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 13:17 PM »
Bob that must have been an awful experience for you and your dog, im so glad you are both ok. You are very lucky as a pack normally reacts like a pack and that is trouble.

With some breeds I think there is no stopping them, mastiffs are such huge powerful dogs. Usually with most dogs the action of bending down and picking a stone up to throw at them sends them running, but im not sure in this case it would have prevented the attack, thank goodness you had your stick with you. The problem is with the owners, I expect those dogs never get out for exercise and will have been bred and brought up to protect.

Personally I would denounce the owner, or at least go and speak to them so they can get the fence fixed or maybe walk elsewhere so you dont have to encounter them again.

Sorry I cant be of much help but im not sure that any device would work when an animal is in such a state of mind.

Maria

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 13:56 PM »
I always walk with a stick in case of problems like this.

As it happens I know the owner and we phoned him this morning.  He's been laid up with a bad back for a week and is waiting for an operation so there's nobody taking care of his "finca"  - don't know who is feeding his animals.  But you're right, the idea of taking them for a walk would never occur to him.

In fact, the only dog who gets taken for a walk in our entire neighbourhood is ours. Maybe if more people took their dogs for walks there would be more complaints.  The "finca" is not far from Burton castle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butr%C3%B3n  (I took that photo on Wikipedia by the way.)

As a consequence people from Bilbao often visit with their kids and tiny dogs.  I dread to think what would happen to them under the same circumstances. I've got a bit of an idea how to handle big dogs but your average townie wouldn't have a chance.

Bob
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 14:04 PM by Bob M »

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 2986
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 19:05 PM »
Wow Bob, thats sounds like you had a handfull there for a few moments... Glad it turned out without you or your dog being seriously injured.... Are there no forest guards or anyone patrolling the area? The Guarda from the local hunting club maybe?... failing that then I would say that at the least the fence needs fixing and a denuncia to seprona if not.... I am fairly sure that the owner is liable for any damage his dogs do and I am very sure that seprona would take the matter seriously...(Anthing do do with animals just go straight to seprona, don't bother with the local police)

On the other hand a few loaves of bread lobbed over the fence when you pass might help the dogs... they are probably hungry and angry beasts at the best of times.... Is it possible for you to block up the hole in the fence temporarily?
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 20:22 PM »
Quote
Are there no forest guards or anyone patrolling the area?

I've never seen one.  This is really semi-farmland rather than hunting area.

Quote
failing that then I would say that at the least the fence needs fixing

I've spoken to the owner, presumably he'll do something.

Quote
Anthing do do with animals just go straight to seprona, don't bother with the local police

I'm not even sure if they operate here.  Remember this is the holy, semi-autonomous Basque country.

Quote
On the other hand a few loaves of bread lobbed over the fence when you pass might help the dogs...

Could help - assuming I wasn't accused of trying to poison them!

Quote
Is it possible for you to block up the hole in the fence temporarily?

Not really.  Also they can get through the fence faster than I can get close to it.

But this is the fourth time I've had a similar experience with outright, full-on attacks - and with four different dogs in four different places. This does not count multiple confrontational situations where I've only had to wave my stick and shout at the animals. So while solutions to this particular issue are welcome I'm really looking for more general solutions to the issue of deterring large aggressive dogs.

Offline lucy

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1242
    • Lucy's Blog
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 09:37 AM »
Hi Bob, well-done for protecting your dog so bravely.  It sounds terrifying, being attacked by a mastiff.  I think the reason your wife's spray didn't work is because the stuff legally sold in Europe has too low a quantity of the active ingredient.  In the US it's stronger, and apparantly very effective against dogs.  Rather than a wooden stick, you might try carrying one of those telescopic hiking poles - they're longer, less likely to break and harder. Don't know if those audio deterrents work.

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 2986
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 11:44 AM »
A quick Google search "attacking dog deterrent" turned up some options including the sprays and electronic devices.....
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 13:33 PM »
Thanks to those who took an interest.  I'm going to get an audio device and see how it goes.  There are a number of reasons for my decision.

1. I have no confidence in the sprays.  I don't know if the european ones are low-quality or not but you only really find out when you've got to use one in a critical situation.  It's not really something you can test beforehand on some poor unsuspecting animal.

Secondly it's a close-range response.  The animal needs to be close to biting distance before you can use it.  And if it doesn't work (or even provokes the dog)  then you have a big problem.

2. I'm not keen on using a stick.  I have no real desire to injure the animals who are only doing what they think is their duty.  Using a stick of sufficient size and thickness to guarantee stopping the dog in its tracks runs the risk of killing or injuring it.

Secondly a stick is also a relatively close-range response.  If the dog gets near enough to you that you can hit it with a stick it's already too close.

3. The audio devices on the other hand claim to work over long distances and cause no permanent harm to the animal. It would also be possible to test the device without injuring an animal.

Offline Maria

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 918
  • Sierra Nevada
    • My personal website
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 13:44 PM »
Hi Bob

I have found this site useful for fox problems they may have something of some use to you?

http://www.foxolutions.co.uk/

I have twittered your question but nobody has come back to me yet, miserable lot  :)

Offline lisa

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 2439
    • Accommodation and Activities in the Picos de Europa
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 16:10 PM »
Horrendous Bob. Are you really planning on going back their way? I'd just avoid them but then I'm a softie. Hope the ear blaster works.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 18:35 PM »
Quote
Are you really planning on going back their way?

Well, the problem is that that's not the only place it has happened, it's the fourth time that I've had to beat a dog off in four different locations. (Though I must admit that this was the worst - two mastiffs is a bit more than I really want to face.) But it could happen anywhere it seems. So whether I go back that way or not I still want to be prepared.

My only concern is whether or not the "ear blaster" is directional.

:-)


Bob

Offline Sue

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 1267
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Grazalema Guide
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 19:37 PM »
''My only concern is whether or not the "ear blaster" is directional''.

Never having read up about such devices my first question would be the same followed by....Can you get ear muffs to fit your own dog ???

A very scary experience for you both, good luck in finding a suitable deterrent.
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com

Offline glennie

  • *
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 531
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 22:52 PM »
Some Canadian friends of ours who do a lot of cycling use a high-pitched whistle. It apparently stops the dogs in their tracks.

Let me know if you are interested and I will contact them re. the make.

Glad to hear you survived. Sounds very frightening.


Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 08:15 AM »
Hi Glennie.

Thank you very much for the offer, but problem with the whistle would be that it is certainly non-directional.  So I would drive off my own dog as well.

Offline Maria

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 918
  • Sierra Nevada
    • My personal website
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 09:38 AM »
Have you looked at the fox solutions website? They are dogs and these things seem to work on them?

Offline Technopat

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 3020
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2009, 12:40 PM »
Greetings Bob M.
What a horrifying experience!
No idea as to how to repel actual dog attacks,* but Clive's recommendation re. Seprona - NOT the local cops - should go some way to preventing further attacks along that particular path.

*although Glennie's high-pitched whistle would seem the way to go - even if all the dogs in the immediate vicinity froze in their tracks, you could go and leash up your own near and dear and back away gracefully whilst blasting away.

Glad it all ended up as a susto - albeit humungous!
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Maria

  • *
  • Full Shroomy
  • ******
  • Posts: 918
  • Sierra Nevada
    • My personal website
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2009, 13:06 PM »
Hi all

I thought the high pitched whistles made dogs come to you??? I have one and it works a treat in retrieving my dogs when they decide to investigate somewhere they shouldnt!

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 22:17 PM »
OK.  Well I forked out for one of the ultrasonic dog frighteners and this is what I found.

They work very well for your average family pet which comes up to the fence and barks at you.
They sort of work for larger guard dogs which come to the fence, check you out, and go "woof".  They seem to back off at first but then come back.
They do nothing whatsoever to deter enraged mastiffs on the other side of the fence. You can hold the thing an inch from their noses at full whack and they just try to tear through the fence to get at you.  If anything it seems to enrage them more, but that could be because I don't usually get so close to them.  (Unless I'm beating them back with a stick that is.)

So back to the drawing board for that one I'm afraid.  :banghead:


Bob

Offline Clive

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Full Shroomy
  • *****
  • Posts: 2986
  • Sierra de Grazalema
    • Wildside Walking Holidays - Spain
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2009, 22:34 PM »
That¡s a shame Bob... Hope you can get your cash back?

As a last defence, what about changing tack froma larger heavy stick to beat the bad dogs to a lighter weight pole like a ski stick wityh a pont on the end? Does make one think of the stun stick you mentioned in an earlier post but are they even legal?... Its also a close range last ditch attempt though isn't it........ I guess that either way, someone such as yourself, or the attacking dog or your dog is going to get hurt at some point.....

I would still reccomend a chat with Seprona about all the encounters you have had...
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Bob M

  • *
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • Teflpedia
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2009, 23:09 PM »
Getting cash back could be a battle. I've had quite few of those in Spain - one of which was finalised just before going to court.  But I don't know how much battle I've got left in me over this one.  Also when you look at the small print on the inside of the instructions you find "circumstances where it might not work" or something of that nature.

Unfortunately the  "circumstances where it might not work" in practice turn out to be the "circumstances where it's absolutely vital it should work but doesn't". Which is not the most helpful.

I looked up the legality of stun guns and it seems that they are prohibited here.  I suppose that's a shame as they could have been ideal.   On the other hand I'm not sure that I'd like to see the streets filled with them so making them illegal could be a good idea.   

Not so sure about a ski stick sort of thing. I have the impression that these brutes are pretty immune to pain whey they are on a roll and you'd need to stab something pretty vital in order to stop them rather than just enrage them.  In my experience clubbing them repeatedly over the head does eventually dissuade them though.  >:D

On the other hand I was thinking of sharpening one of my existing heaver sticks to a point.  On two of the occasions when I've had problems I've pointed the stick directly at the dog running towards me and it has  simply taken it in the chest.  I imagine that if it were sharp enough that could drive into the animal.  But I'm not sure how far down that route I'd want to go.  I'm also not sure that I'd want to walk around with an improvised spear wherever I go. :)

OK. I'll look up Seprona or its equivalent in the Basque country and see what they recommend.  :booklook: Cheers.


Bob