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My dog got attacked during his first trip to the dog park. Help?

Bentley(my dog) is a few months shy of one year old. he's a medium to large size dog, and very friendly. we got him from a homeless guy when he was already 3 or 4 months old, and we didnt get all his shots done till maybe a little while ago. the vet suggested we take him to the dog park, because it's important for him to interact with other dogs. we figured it'd be okay, since bentley gets along with humans so well, he never barks or bites, and he just likes to cuddle up. well when we brought him inside the park and let him off the leash, bentleys tail went in between his legs and he walked around like he was very sad or scared. everytime another dog came around to sniff him, he lied down like he was surrendering. the other dog owners just said he's scared and we should just let him socialize. he ran around a little and he was foaming at the mouth. is that natural? but anyway, at one point 6 or 7 dogs ran after bentley, and we just thought they were playing. (continued)


but then they cornered him up to the fence, and when bentley tried to crawl away, they started barking and attacked my poor dog. we heard him screaming! he was crying so loud, and everybody came running. when we got there, there was a big dog with his jaws clamped on bentleys ear, and my dog was on his back. i was on my knees and trying to calm bentley down, because he was yelling so bad, and his eyes were big and red like he was crying.meanwhile, the other dog owner tried to pry his dog off of him. it took a whole 5 minutes to get his dog off bentley, and the dog owner held his dog down while we checked bentley. someone told us to check his back leg because they saw another dog biting his leg. we looked up, and all the other dogs that attacked bentley had left with their owners. i was pissed. we took him home right afterwards, and we found puncture wounds on the back of his neck, on his back paw, his back leg, his penis area, and on his ball sacks. (continued)

Update 2:

he has jet-black fur, so its hard to really tell how bad some of the wounds are. bentley was so shaken up, he didnt want to walk around, he jus laid on his side, he doesnt get excited or want to play. this was 2 days ago, and we have an appointment with the vet tomorro. he didnt know what to tell us on the phone, he said the best he could do was make sure the wounds werent infected. my question is, is it normal for dogs to that? should we bring him back to the park? if so, when would be a good time? is there another approach we can use to get him socialized? and how can i make him feel better in the meantime??

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Bentley isn't a freak - he is what I would consider a "soft" dog. He's very shy and probably was not well socialized as a pup. From what you described, he was sending out "please don't kill me" signals to the other dogs in the park. Not abnormal for a shy dog. Unfortunately, there are other poorly socialized dogs in this world that see those signals as a sign of weakness and an invitation to take a cheap shot.

    My advice is to only socialize Bentley with dogs you KNOW are emotionally stable and will neither get in Bentley's face nor completely ignore him. Some dogs are great at drawing shy dogs out and you should talk with a professional trainer in your area to see if they can help locate such a dog. If you need to find a trainer, try

    Don't worry - with time Bentley will probably improve. Take it easy with him and work to build his trust. Don't put him in any sort of situation where you don't have complete control. He needs a regular routine (fed, walked, pottied, sleep, etc. at the same time every day) and a little basic obedience to help build his confidence.

    Lastly, I'll tell you what I tell my clients - stay out of dog parks. They are filled with people who have no clue about controlling their dogs. Sometimes the dog park is a wonderful place, but in my experience, dog parks can be filled with such idiots that it isn't worth the risk. Sounds like you just had one of those experiences. I'm sorry you and Bentley had to go through this, but treat it as a learning experience for both of you and move forward. Emotionally, he needs you to be strong right now.

    Source(s): Dog trainer/breeder for 20+ years.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I a lot of cases, I would have to say, yes. I had a friend who had his home raided by mistake. His dog got scared and ran out of the house and across the yard. Away from the house and any police. They shot her "because she could have ran out in traffic." She was running away from the road and towards the yard which was 10 acres. Shot 5 times in front of my friends 8 year old son. I don't know if some just need to release the pent up energy of adrenaline or what, but it does happen quite a bit. Add: just to clarify. I'm not saying ALL cops do it, or that it happens whenever there is an animal involved. It just sucks when it happens to innocent animals. Especially those that the only reason are shot is because of media hype.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Firstly your dog does not have rabies . What he has is copious saliva and mucus combining with heavy panting which creates foam ! Most larger dogs foam when excited , some to a greater degree than others. My Rott/Pitt looks like someone fed him a bar of soap at the dog park , all totally normal .

    Secondly , dogs do not killl weaker dogs as they are pack animals . Nobody was trying to kill your dog , believe me they would have , and you would have found puncture marks in your dogs jugular. Dogs do fight to establish dominance and a submissive dog is frankly an affront to all dogdom. Knowing your place is one thing but submitting to an obviously weaker , smaller, slower dog is breaking dog law.

    All in all bently is a social lemon and the other dogs were attempting basic training ( think Marine Corps basic training). Keeping him on a leash or babying him will reenforce the problem. Allow him around fewer dogs at the start maybe introduce him to the park when dogs are not there but still "smellable" , so he acclimates himself to all the dog park scents etc.. and always bring a break stick to end serious fights safely.

    Good luck and I hope he is feeling up to a better visit at the park soon.

    Source(s): The Dog Whisperer and my dog rearing experience
  • 1 decade ago

    Report the incident to the rangers station at the park it was at a state park correct where the dog park is right? If so then report it to the rangers station and absoloutly the other dog owners should have stayed to at least see that your dog was okay that was pi-- poor behavior on their part and now you know why their dogs are allowed to behave that way . I do not like mean acting dogs nor would i tolerate my dog behaving that way . I would so punish my dog he would be in trouble all day for that behavior. Well I hope you get this settled . But definately report it.good luck and g;od bless . Happy holidays as well.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You don't know what happened to him before you got him at 3 to 4 months and if you got him from a homeless gentleman chances are he was abused on the streets ..

    Your taking him off the leash scared the heck out of him ..the poor baby no wonder his tail was between his legs ... and he was surrendering to those other dogs ..he was being total submissive ..he didn't want to fight and was in a strange place with strange smells.. You did very wrong by allowing this to happen ..there are others ways for your dog to "socialize" without placing his life in danger which you did a controlled training class with a professional handler

    now most likely he will never "socialize" in such a way again .. which is nuts anyways .. you don't know what they can pick up at parks like that everything from heart worms to parvo .. not every body cares to have their dogs current and up to date on their shots ...

    I hope he is ok Bentley sounds like a peoples dog.. not one who will be comfortable around other dogs anymore

    Best of Luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I feel deeply for you and your dog. How scary!

    It angers you when other people's dogs attack. Surely they must know the tempremant of their dogs! I believe everyone has the right to walk there dogs in peace, knowing that they are not in danger. If people know there dogs could attack they should have it on a lead! I own a American Akita - He's Big and these dogs can fight but he has never shown aggression to another person or dog - THE REASON - I have socialised him really well and don't let him off the lead in public places. (he does go off lead in woodlands etc) ***** It is now very important that you socialise your dog with other dogs that are not aggressive. One on one first as the dogs in the park had formed a pack mentality. Does anyone in your family own a dog or dogs?

    Do you know of any puppy classess?

    You must know realise that your dog could be dog aggressive due to this attack and make every precaution to ensure he is not. Keep him on a lead until your dog seems comfortable in the prescence of the new dog it's meeting.

    **I would also suggest you look into getting your dog a safety collar for his neck (protects against dog bites) from Amish Dog Collars on Ebay USA. I would also suggest you get a leather dog harness that protects your dogs chest (ForDogTrainers) web page. This offers a lot of protection!

  • 1 decade ago

    yes sorry to say it is natural for dogs to attack to them is the weakest or sick dogs , well that and dogs are hunters they enjoy the chase and some dogs get very aggersive during the chase (THATS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER RUN FROM A DOG)..sorry Bentley had to go though that and more than likely it will leave some kind of mental personally have never been to a dog park and if I was you I wouldn't take him back.find a place where you can take him and let him run wild w/no other dogs around and uhmm I DO NOT AGREE w/ a choker chain they are in human harnestess are best u can control them alot better then them choking them selves...well Good Blessings at ur vet visit

    Source(s): me being around animals my whole life and just understanding them
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I happen to agree with one member in here who talked about parks and socializing your dog to humans, and not other dogs. I also agree on the park issue. NEVER EVER take your dog to the park under any conditions. They are filled with a bunch of "pet owners" who have no idea how to handle a dog. There is no way to control the disease factor and the behavior of some of the dogs there. I went to a local dog park several times, and was amazed to see some of the people there standing and laughing as their dogs were assulted or were assaulting other dogs. NO THANK YOU. I work way too hard on my dogs to have them exposed to a situation as idiotic as a dog park. Take them to an empty beach, a lake or a field and have fun with them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Simply because he is good with people does not mean he will be good with other dogs. It seems like you have a VERY submissive dog on your hands. Because he is so submissive other dogs will view him as weak and thus attack him. If you want to socialize him do it in an area where all dogs must be kept on leash, like an obedience class, pet store, or with dogs who you know have good temperments. Slowly let him become comfortable with other dogs and then eventually you can maybe try the dog park again, although i suggest when you do take him again you keep him on leash to make sure he won't behave so submissivly again. Also, if you are going to take him to the dog park i suggest you have him neutered, some people take their in heat females to the park and i don't think they would like your male dog impregnating their female.

  • PikC
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    poor Bentley will never forget this ! The first time out, should never have been to the dog park. He may be cooool, but other dogs around are totally unpredictable. Worse when they are almost in a pack of their own, they tend to be territorial at first. Hope he saw a vet and is by now more settled.

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