It can be heart-stopping frightening when a big dog attacks a little dog. Knowing what to do in the situation can save your life and your pet’s.
5 things to do when a big dog attacks a little dog?
- Remain as calm as you can to not excite the attacking dog further.
- Don’t act aggressively toward an attacking dog if you can help it.
- Scoop up your small dog and hold them safely in your arms if you can.
- Use a strong, demanding voice to give the dog commands to leave.
- Avoid the situation altogether.
Whether you have the little dog or the big dog, there are several steps you should take to avoid and handle any attacking situation that presents itself. Be sure you focus first on the safety of your pet and yourself.
What to Do When it Happens
5 main things can be done if a big dog should attack a little dog. You’ll want to remain as calm as possible, avoid aggressive actions, scoop up your small dog or remove the big dog, use a strong command voice, or avoid the situation altogether.
Remain as Calm as You Can
If you start screaming, running, or otherwise add to the excitement of the whole situation, it isn’t going to deter the attacking dog, nor will it help to protect the little dog. Instead, it will add motivation to the whole ordeal by creating even more of a fuss over the fight. Just as a dog gets excited, the more you spread the anticipation over a ball throw, it will further the anticipation and even the motivation of the attack. Instead, be as non-threatening but authoritative as you can be.
Don’t Act Aggressively
Just as remaining calm will help the situation, not adding to the attacking dog’s desire to attack will also benefit the situation. When you act aggressively toward an attacking dog, such as kicking at it, throwing rocks, yelling, trying to push them away, or even running toward or from the dog, it will cause them to also become violently defensive.
A dog that had been excited and possibly not violently aggressive about the small dog will then switch tactics, and the situation can go from okay to bad to life-threatening in an instant. An excited dog is one thing, but a dog who is already in a frenzy, now feeling like they are threatened, can be deadly.
Scoop Up Your Small Dog
If you can, you should scoop up your small dog and hold them in your arms. It will protect them, calm them, and maybe even deter the aggressive, big dog. However, sometimes this won’t be enough, and the attacking dog may try to then attack you or still fight to grab the small dog.
If you are the owner of the large dog, you should do what you can to regain control over your dog. This means grabbing their leash, lead, or collar, trying to command them to come back to your side so you can leave with them immediately, or otherwise forcefully removing them from the situation if you can do so safely.
It is even more important to stay as calm as you can and not violently react, as it could end up causing even more damage. Instead, you may want to call for help either on the phone or from nearby people, and try the next suggestion:
Use a Strong Voice to Command the Attacking Dog
Your voice should be firm, strong, and as non-hysterical as you can muster. A deep, authoritative command can often cause the attacking dog to stop in their tracks if they’ve had any type of behavioral or social training. If anything, it can cause them to pause or slow down their pursuit so you can catch up to them and regain control.
Avoid the Situation Altogether
If you have a dog, no matter the size, who has not been fully proven to be dependable and responsive even in the most exciting of circumstances, you should not, under any circumstances, let them off their leash, out of their fence without a leash, or otherwise leave them uncontrolled. Not only could it put them in danger, it could put you, other dogs, other animals, and other humans in danger.
If you have a small dog and aren’t familiar with the large dogs in the area, avoid the area unless they are secure, and you are sure it is safe. Places like dog parks are most often attended by animals who have been properly trained, but even then, some owners are careless, and it could cause the unthinkable to happen if you aren’t cautious.
How to prevent and Handle the Aftermath
Training is the very first step to prevent this from happening, as is knowing the environment in which your animal will adventure into. This can be a dog park, your city block, and even your backyard. Preventative steps should include:
- Training, as mentioned above. Behavioral and social training are important when your dog is going to be around any other living beings, no matter the species or size. You dog’s reactions, actions, and behavior aren’t going to be known beforehand without properly preparing them and yourself for each of these occurrences. Consider a trainer if you aren’t equipped to handle the training yourself.
- Know your area. Learn about the laws of your state, the rules of each venue, the common practices around each park, and your neighbor’s animal’s habits before you are lax with your dog.
- Fence in your yard to prevent them getting loose and attacking someone or something or being attacked or hit by a vehicle.
- Give them a proper outlet for their energy. Sometimes, the large dog running to your little dog may just be excited for a new friend and is over the moon with excitement. It can be alarming but unharmful. However, a dog who has not had an outlet for their energy is far more likely to behave like this, and it could lead to a dangerous situation should the excitement be mistaken, or should the small dog react negatively to the sudden stimulation.
- Seek or help others seek medical attention should an attack happen, and injuries occur. This means doctors, hospitals, vets, calling emergency services like 911 or animal control, or locating your first aid kit. If your dog is the one who attacked the other animal or person, be prepared to answer questions such as immunization history and so on.
- Don’t let them off the leash again without proven training that the situation will not arise again if your dog has previously attacked another dog. Even so, consider not letting them off at all unless it is in your own, private, properly fenced-in yard.
As scary as the situation can be, try to react calmly and make a conscious effort not to be aggressive. However, if your effort is not working and your lives are in danger, do not be afraid to fight back as needed and use all your strength and ability to do so in order to make sure that you and your pet aren’t severely hurt.
Be sure that if your dog is the one who attacked, that you follow all the requests given by the police or medical personnel and seek training and help for your aggressive dog. One outburst does not mean that you have a bad dog, it just means that they need more extensive preparing for their freedom and may not be able to be without a leash for a long time, or ever.