"Gimme a kiss boo"!
Boo is as sweet as they come

I’ve been running, walking, and biking with my dogs since we first got Sully 3.5 years ago.  Every time I’ve gone out with them, I’ve played out the worst case scenario in my head.

What will I do if a dog breaks through a window, gets away from his owner, or jumps her fence?  I have to protect my dogs, I can’t let them go after the other dog, and I definitely can’t drop the leash and let them be loose.

Early on in our running career, I decided that the best course of action was to engage the dog myself before it could get close enough to whichever dog I was with to start a fight.  My plan has always been to catch the attacking dog on the way in with a roundhouse kick to the head, then do whatever I have to do to keep it away from my pup.

This was all a hypothetical situation……UNTIL TODAY


I know the dog well.  He is often tied to a large tree in his backyard when I go by his house.  He goes bat-shit crazy whenever he can see me over the four-foot wooden fence that his owners recently built.  I, purposely, avoid running on that street because my dogs are fine with other canines, as long as they don’t show aggression at us, and I do my best to minimize the risk when we are out.  I also have formed an opinion of this dog’s owners.  They are irresponsible and do not properly manage their, obviously, very reactive dog from what I have seen.

So, today, I decided to take Boo running instead of Sully or Mama Coral(more on that shortly).  As I rounded a small bend leading up to the corner where this dog lives, I see him in the front, unfenced, yard.  I stop immediately.  At first glance, it looks like he is just running around with no lead or leash, but a few seconds later I see a child of seven or eight emerge from behind a hedge, holding a retractable leash attached to the dog.  Next, I see the mother and a little girl follow him into the open garage with the dog and I think to myself “Ok, disaster avoided, I’ll give them some time to get inside and we should be fine”.

My worst fear realized

I know what’s going to happen if Boo sees him or he sees her, so I put her behind a large tree and stand over her so that she is between my legs in an attempt to stop that from happening.  Unfortunately, I was seconds too late.  He saw her and was quickly pulling with everything he had against a helpless young boy.  2016-04-22 13.14.19-1

The next few moments are slow motion in my memory.  The boy trying his best to keep the dog from pulling the leash out of his hand.  The realization that it wasn’t going to happen, this dog was going to get free, and he would be headed right after my girl in a matter of moments…

In the next instant, it happened, he broke the leash from the boy’s hand…

I had played out this scenario in my head, daily, for the last three years and I was ready.

I had already wrapped the leash around my left hand so that there was no slack and I could keep myself between Boo and our would-be attacker. As he barrelled towards us, I extended my arm behind me, coiling my body for the attack I was about to launch.  I planted my left foot in the ground as he was a few yards away and took aim at the side of his head with my right.

19 replies on “My worst fear, a dog fight”

  1. That is so amazing that you always have a plan for a variety of scenarios. I guess because I adopt old dogs and they can’t walk too far, I’ve never been in an uncertain situation, and would never have thought to have a plan of action. You have definitely opened my eyes which I appreciate. I want to scream at all these irresponsible people who have no idea what they’re doing, and should not have a dog. Tied to a tree? Sickening. So glad you and your dog are okay.

  2. Wow! I have so much I want to add and comment on this post but it would be a post in itself. First of all I’m glad for you it turned out the way it did because I know it could have all ended up so very bad. Retractable leashes in my opinion should not exist and to have a young child holding this dog on a retractable leash is a recipe for disaster. Dogs tied up in yards or trees are sure to make for a reactive situation. I am always on the look out for off leash dogs. When I hear “my dog is friendly, he’s ok” this makes me cringe! Not all dogs are social or want another dog in their space.

  3. I’m sorry you had to go through such a rotten experience. People amaze me with their lack of regard for others.

  4. Oh no. That is … ugh. People. So glad it ended up with everyone ok!! Since my dog is 3.5 pounds dog fights are a big fear for me. I have tried to learn dog body language to read the dog rather than the owners words.

  5. It’s so frustrating when people have intense (for lack of a better word) dogs in the charge of children or just randomly out in the front yard. I walk with two large dogs (Golden Ret. & Doberman) and they’re fine UNTIL an unsupervised dogs comes at us. Thankfully this hasn’t happened often, but my Dobie snaps into protection mode of the Golden and me and turns into a leaping/lunging Tasmanian Devil. I have to muscle them the opposite direction while yelling at the other dog. Not a pleasant way to walk through the neighborhood.

  6. Yikes – I can see that happening to or with Kilo. I have to be so careful as he is reactive and hates dogs off leash and certain dogs in his immediate neighbourhood even on leash- a mix of fear and defence. Luckily I can pick him up and dogs that have come up have not actually been biting so I get between them and him and yell (and yes I would kick away if necessary).

  7. Wow! How scary! I’ve seen a few puncture wounds from dog fights in my time as a vet tech. They are no fun! I’m so glad you both came away safe!

  8. This is my biggest fear also and seen it happen in the park, I think that is why I am happy Layla does not go near where a lot of the dogs hang out

  9. It’s always so scary. I have writen articles and made a video on options to keep a dog and yourself safe. It’s scary. I’m so glad you and Boo were ok.

  10. Wow, I had my heart in my mouth the whole time I was reading this! I’m so relieved none of you were hurt. It makes me crazy when people let a child hold a dog’s leash by themselves. Most dogs can easily get loose from a child’s grasp if they want to. I’m with you, I would kill to protect my girls even if it meant getting torn & bloodied myself. We have a few reactive dogs here & I have a plan as well. You must be prepared for anything.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  11. That’s so scary! We’ve been in that situation a couple of times. In my case because Mr. N is so tiny, I worry about him getting killed or seriously injured rather than that he’s going to get a dangerous dog designation.

  12. I’m glad that it wasn’t worse. We had a dog rush us one night on a walk. Thank goodness my husband was there and was able to scare the dog off just by yelling at it. Otherwise my little Maltese would probably have been seriously injured. I picked her up, but I admit I was worried that the dog would bite my arm. I have broken both my arms and I always a little leery of them getting injured again. I’m sad to say that my default action was to freeze for a split second then yell in a high pitched voice- I need a better plan.

  13. This is never a fun situation to be in! I am glad this turned out okay. Everyone should have a plan in place for this situation.

  14. I would have been scared stiff then hit the dog bloody hard. Dogs killed Dash Kitten, and while I love and respect dogs, one coming it me would have me meeting him halfway with fists and feet flying.

  15. I’m so happy everything turned out well!! I got bitten by a dog last week! I was at a training session, and another dog attacked Amy 2 times! Amy was lying down on the ground, scared to move, and the dog continued to bite her! So when I tried to get the other dog away from Amy, he bit me. The owner never apologized. At least you got an apology, haha :D!

  16. Im glad things didnt get worse for you. This happened years ago with me and Prince luckily our stray dogs came to the rescue who eree my friends and chased the other dog away

  17. There is a dog-aggressive dog in my neighborhood that recently attacked three different dogs on three separate occasions. It’s changed the entire dynamic of our once peaceful and friendly neighborhood as the owners refuse to get rid of it. I wrote about the situation in a recent blog post of my own. It was well you had a plan and I am glad nothing worse came of your situation. I now carry a blackjack when I walk Bitsy and will certainly take all measures to protect her.

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