What to do if your Shiba is attacked by another dog

There’s plenty out there about how to prevent dog attacks, but there’s less out there about what to do if a dog is actually attacking your Shiba.  You may have seconds to react before your dog is seriously injured or killed.

I have previously told the stories of “Buddy” (my friends’ dog) and Tierce and have written about Bella and Kody as well as general stories about dog attacks.  When Buddy grabbed Tierce, all I did was stand there and repeat “Oh my God, Oh my God!” over and over again while they pried the two dogs apart.  Not effective.

All of these things I’m going to talk about do carry risk with them, no matter what they are.  Remember, anyone who gets into a dog fight stands a chance of becoming the target of any of the dogs involved, even their own.

A little distance ahead of us were some boys throwing sticks in the water for two Newfoundland dogs. Suddenly a quarrel sprang up between the dogs. They were both powerful creatures, and fairly matched as regarded size. It was terrible to hear their fierce growling, and to see the way in which they tore at each other’s throats. I looked at Miss Laura. If she had said a word, I would have run in and helped the dog that was getting the worst of it. But she told me to keep back, and ran on herself.

The boys were throwing water on the dogs, and pulling their tails, and hurling stones at them, but they could not separate them. Their heads seemed locked together, and they went back and forth over the stones, the boys crowding around them, shouting, and beating, and kicking at them.

“Stand back, boys,” said Miss Laura; “I’ll stop them.” She pulled a little parcel from her purse, bent over the dogs, scattered a powder on their noses, and the next instant the dogs were yards apart, nearly sneezing their heads off.

“I say, Missis, what did you do? What’s that stuff? Whew, it’s pepper!” the boys exclaimed. ~ Marshall Saunders, Beautiful Joe

I’m sure that most people aren’t going to walk around with pepper shakers, but there is a variety of pepper spray on the market for aggressive dogs.  Note that in Canada it is regulated and misuse can result in criminal charges (as it can in the U.S. and other countries, no doubt).  You also have to have a steady hand in order to hit the dog in the eyes and nose.  For that, you need to wait until the dog is really, really close.  Pepper spray is not a guarantee that the dog will stop attacking.

dogbreedinfo.com recommends carrying a walking stick, not to beat an attacking dog, but to “poke” it away.  Leerburg recommends carrying both a walking stick and pepper spray.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Shibas, it seems that American Pit Bull Terriers are involved in many of the attacks that leave the Shiba injured or killed.  Now APBTs are a special case.  They don’t have “locking jaws” or any nonsense like that, but they are very strong, unbelievably intense and have been bred for the express purpose of fighting other dogs.  APBT Rescue Central has tips on using breaking sticks and breaking up a dog fight (the website emphasizes never to use this technique on other breeds, which will just get you bitten).  One website emphasizes preventing the dog from shaking its head, which can be a main cause of damage and death (although not everyone wants to lie on an aggressive dog.  Just sayin’).

The problem with just about all of these methods is that they may not work and they may make you a target of the dog attacking yours.  All I know is that I completely freaked out when Buddy got hold of Tierce and I haven’t quite forgiven myself for that.  I hope that this list of suggestions helps other people or sparks comments that can give some good tips on the situation.

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The Misanthropic Shiba

9 Comments

  1. Pitbull attacked my shiba last week. Got her by the throat and was going to kill her, fast. I went airborne and landed on the pit, then, holding the coller with left hand, teed off as hard as I could, ten times at least, in the pits face (felt great!). It released my dog, who was ok. I broke my pinky finger. I now carry a hunting knife with me, and am basically going to gut the first pit I see, owner too, if in my way. Turns out, i’m much more dangerous than any pit. Pit owners beware, you have taken on a serious liability.

  2. btw owner of above dogs was in the local news here in PA. the owners of the danes turned themselves in and their dogs are suspected in a recent similar attack just days earlier. again bad owners….

  3. btw owner of above dogs was in the local news here in PA. the owners of the danes turned themselves in and their dogs are suspected in a recent similar attack just days earlier. again bad owne

  4. I think pepper is a great idea, just remember it might not work on every dog. For me I have been running for the last 3 1/2 years and have been chased but never bitten 6 to 8 times in that time.

    Ive had a run with a pitbull one time at the dog park, nobody got hurt but I had to put that dog on his side to stop him, The whole time the owner stood there and watched and said nothing, So I grabbed the dog, he screamed and his owner got all pissy with me.

    When I hear or see them coming I stop turn torwards them and yell stop, once a dog got about 20 yards away and still coming so i went after them, I dont think Ive ever seen a dog turn around so fast and ran the other way.

    I cant say its the best way but it works for me.

    As for Tonka, as long as he has me hes got nothing to worry about. The other dogs though have alot to worry about with me.

    Dennis

  5. one of our rescue babies just got attacked on a hiking trail a few days ago. the owner believes that she saved the dog's life by not letting go! it was 2 danes against her apprx 25lb boxer mix and when she finally managed to pry her dog from them they bit her. pepper spray sounds like a great idea. by the way the owners of the great danes gave fake contact info and took off so now poor little dog has drains and stitches everywhere and the owner has to do the rabies shots for herself:(

  6. Good information. I often carry a nightstick or a clipboard on my walks. The clipboard came in handy one day when the neighbor's pittie and her 7month old pup got out of the yard. The mama ran at me and Tikka, but I held up the clipboard in her face and yelled STOP! It confused her enough to stop long enough for the owner to come out and call them back. I figure in an attack the clipboard/nightstick can be used to shove in its mouth to give us precious seconds for a getaway. However, this is the dilemma for me. If I run or let Tikka loose to run, I fear the dog will chase. If I stand off with the dog with Tikka behind me, I can't guarantee the dog won't attack and we both will be hurt. Lucky for us, to date most dogs have had some obedience training and respond to the bluff.In the dog park, Tikka has gotten into one serious fight. I pulled her out by the scruff of her neck. She did try to bite me, but my hold on her neck prevented her from reaching my arm. It took her ahwile to calm down and I had to hold her like that, away from the other dogs for about five minutes. Again, luckily the dog she was fighting with didn't try to attack me once I picked up Tikka. I think I will add pepper spray to my list of things to take with me on dog walks. My husband wants me to carry a gun (we have lots of big dogs in our neighborhood and have had several close calls), but I don't think that would go down well in the dogpark!! I think I'll try the pepperspray first…

  7. one of our rescue babies just got attacked on a hiking trail a few days ago. the owner believes that she saved the dog's life by not letting go! it was 2 danes against her apprx 25lb boxer mix and when she finally managed to pry her dog from them they bit her. pepper spray sounds like a great idea. by the way the owners of the great danes gave fake contact info and took off so now poor little dog has drains and stitches everywhere and the owner has to do the rabies shots for her

  8. Good information. I often carry a nightstick or a clipboard on my walks. The clipboard came in handy one day when the neighbor's pittie and her 7month old pup got out of the yard. The mama ran at me and Tikka, but I held up the clipboard in her face and yelled STOP! It confused her enough to stop long enough for the owner to come out and call them back. I figure in an attack the clipboard/nightstick can be used to shove in its mouth to give us precious seconds for a getaway. However, this is the dilemma for me. If I run or let Tikka loose to run, I fear the dog will chase. If I stand off with the dog with Tikka behind me, I can't guarantee the dog won't attack and we both will be hurt. Lucky for us, to date most dogs have had some obedience training and respond to the bluff.In the dog park, Tikka has gotten into one serious fight. I pulled her out by the scruff of her neck. She did try to bite me, but my hold on her neck prevented her from reaching my arm. It took her ahwile to calm down and I had to hold her like that, away from the other dogs for about five minutes. Again, luckily the dog she was fighting with didn't try to attack me once I picked up Tikka. I think I will add pepper spray to my list of things to take with me on dog walks. My husband wants me to carry a gun (we have lots of big dogs in our neighborhood and have had several close calls), but I don't think that would go down well in the dogpark!! I think I'll try the pepperspray fi

  9. Our SPCA recommends grabbing dogs by rear legs/hindquarters and lifting legs off of ground to help break up dog fight. I did this recently w/ a dog I knew at the dog park who had gotten in a fight w/ another dog. It seemed to be pretty effective. The SPCA also suggests that you can loop a leash around the hindquarters to lift the dogs and separate them.

    In terms of protecting yourself from attacks, I think it pays to check out your neighborhood beforehand without your dog to see what the dog traffic may be and if there are any roaming dogs. In my neighborhood, some folks walk their dogs off leash. Even though their dogs seem fairly well controlled (thru verbal commands), I really don’t appreciate this.

    One reason I take my dogs to the local dog park is that it is actually a fairly controlled environment because there are dog park “regulars” and you eventually begin to know the other dogs/their owners and have an idea of any possible “personality conflicts” among dogs. Although some folks bring more than one dog to the park, I believe in the one dog/one person approach in terms of “dog management”. (Most organized dog parks have rules about the person to dog ratio.)

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