Monday, February 8, 2010

Dogfight: Or, What I Wish I Knew Last Night

I have counted 10 dog bites on myself, eight on one arm, one on the other, and another at the back of my foot. I also have bruises everywhere. That is why I wish I knew last night what I’m going to tell you now.

Last night two of my dogs fought. Ashley (my biggest dog) and Winnie (my medium dog, 1/3 Ashley’s weight). Ashley had finally learned how to defend herself (she never hurt Winnie before). But now she had Winnie in a neck hold.

So I did all the wrong things. I put my hands between their mouths, and they would not let go. I pulled Ashley’s collar up and Winnie being smaller was dangling in the air. That broke my heart and I hit Ashley hard, then she let go.

In the photo above, you can clearly see that Winnnie is much smaller than Ashley (the brown dog).  But Winnie is the alpha dog.
In this photo you can clearly see the two dogs at play.  Nothing like the dog fight the other night.

I lifted Ashley up, and little Winnie still tried to jump up and bite her. When I pushed Ash out the door Winnie made a lunge and I held her with one arm. Ash turned around and tried to get back at Winnie, so I held both dogs at bay with both arms and managed to get the door shut.

Winnie has a single neck puncture, Ashley has no wounds at all, and I have 10. But that’s okay, because I’d do it again tomorrow to save my dog’s life. Their injections are all up to date including rabies and their vaccinations.

Above, you can see sweet Winnie with Ed.  But she will defend her alplhahood to the death.

My booster shot was taken within the prescribed time period of five years. So it was really just a matter of cleansing the wound and putting on disinfectant, plus antibiotics for safety.

This is what I wish I knew. When two dogs fight:

1. NEVER get in the middle of them—you will get bit.

2. Throw water on them.

That’s it. I was alone in the house at the time and just moved on instinct. But my husband grew up in a house with 14 dogs and their former houseboy (who is now a driver for a neighbor and our dear friend) told me that it always worked.

Here’s what I also wish I knew:

3. Never treat your dogs equally. One is the alpha and dogs operate comfortably with hierarchy. When you interfere with hierarchy, you get dog fights.

I treat my dogs like my children so I tried to give them equality. Now I know, Winnie is the Alpha and I must always support that. That is the best way to love my three dogs.

1 comment:

M S said...

Wow! Alpha Dog...that's awesome. Like people they have hierarchy too. I hope your wounds get well soon.

Every year, either Dave or me get bitten by dogs or a cat. Dave was bitten two years in a row, and on the third year, it was my turn, by a cat. The dogs and cats are all askals and pukal, lol It's good that Dave knows how to inject rabies injection, hayyy.