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’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.