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Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16068
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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My dog just attacked a little dog being walked by Im freaked

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My dog just attacked a little dog being walked by I'm freaked dog Pinky is a rescue-I've had her since July 2012. The rescue said she is an american bulldog. She looks like one, but smaller 44 pounds. I was putting the dogs in the car, both leashes in my hand, her leash slipped out of my hand. I heard someone scream- the dog owner- and pinky was on her and would shake her. I couldn't tell how injured the dog was- I got pinky away. called my vet but they were closed. A neighbor heard the commotion, came out & drove the woman & dog to the emergency vet. I tried to give the owner my name and address but she wouldn't wait. I put it in the neighbor's door. Pinky had awful problems with anxiety. they've improved over time. she and my french bulldog play rough and have sibling rivalry. pinky is glad to find other dogs who like to play rough. occassionally she'll snap at another dog and growl, but she's never drawn blood before. I offered to pay for vet care . now what happens/ what do I do with my dog?
Hi Nancy.

I'm so sorry you've had such a rough experience with Pinky tonight. I can feel your dispair all the way through the computer. I can also feel that you might be thinking that this was your fault....and before we go any further, I want to ensure that it is NOT your fault!! Dogs are dogs, and dogs with anxiety are dogs with anxiety....there's a reason it's called an accident.

I have a few questions for you....

DO you know anything about Pinky's life before she came to you?

Has Pinky ever gone to obedience classes?

Does she have other dogs she likes other than your Frenchie?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I sent answers to the above questions- did you recieve them or should I resend?


Hi Nancy...I didn't get them. Please resend.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think it was a horrible backyard breeder. I don't know how many dogs were involved but pinky and 3 sisters were brought to minneapolis by a local rescue. The rescue said the were american bulldogs who lived in rabbit hutches. She resembles one but is quite a bit smaller- 44 #. I got her at about 10 mos old. I think she may not have been actively physically abused, but brutally neglected. Until rescued she had never been on grass, on a leash, in a house. everything freaked her out. I brought her to an obedience sponsored by the rescue. she was too whigged out to benefit. I contacted the teacher, a trainer with alot of experience with rescue dogs, and she came to my house to help me and both dogs. We worked on a lot of obedience issues. About a year ago pinky had a few tiffs with dogs at the dog park- snapping and some growling but no biting. Inga ,me and my 2 dogs went to the dog park. Inga observed that the park was pretty chaotic, and there were quite a few rude dogs not respecting proper dog approach protocol. She felt that Pinky didn't feel safe when such dogs didn't listen to her body language. I couldn't help her feel safe because I couldn't see what was happening.

Both dogs go to dog day care or boarding from time to time, Pinky has dealt really well with staff & dogs.

So you're in MN? Me too!

OKay...back to Pinky....I actually own a backyard breeder dog myself that came to me a lot like Pinky. Very unsocialized, and really doesn't like to have dogs meet in an improper way. Of course, my guy is a 9 pound Maltese mix, so not as threatneing as Pinky can be.

At this point, it honestly sounds to me like the little dog triggered Pinky in some way. She's proven she can interact with other dogs in a safe manner, and since this dog was small and on a leash...leashes can and oftend do interfere with body it's possible that Pinky simply read her wrong.

I know that she was shaking the little dog, and although it's an awful thing to's actually what most dogs will do, so I'm not convinced she was trying to kill the little dog...she was just doing dog things.

I think that offering to cover the vet bills is a wonderful thing. I hope that the little dog isn't too injured. But I want to be completely up front with you...MN has pretty strict leash laws, so you may get a visit from animal control. As long as Pinky is up to date on her vaccines, I don't think that they'll impound her for a rabies hold (usually 10 days), but there may be some legal issues....such as Pinky being designated potentially dangerous...if that happens, they'll put specific restrictions on her...such as not being able to be in public without a muzzle or being contained at all times (such as in a yard with high fences). The fact that you'll be able to bring people around who can tell you that she is good with other dogs is a bonus, and the fact that you're willing to bring in trainers will also help.

I think for tonight, you should give her lots of love and attention and try not to fret. I know it's awful and you feel horrible...but it's really not your fault. Sounds like a series of unfortunate events to me.

Lisa and 2 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just saw your most recent email. Thank you for your advice. You normalized the situation which helped me veer away from catastrophe mode. I benefited from your recommendation to give Pinky lots of love. It helped me alot.

I found out last night at 9pm An animal control officer is coming today- I really on edge.

Thanks a lot.


I can understand being worried. That's natural. Just explain what happened simply and try not to panic.


I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and Pinky!!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Lisa!

You're welcome.

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