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About 6 months ago Ruby was attacked by a male lab whilst out for walk - no damage done apart from us both being shocked by how aggressive it seemed.
I have since met this same dog whilst out on walk on a number of occasions where although on a lead both it is incredibly aggressive. The owners are not young and the dog is a very stocky lad. On one occasion we met on a narrow path and the lady struggled to control it to get it past us safely, it is only wears a normal lead. She did apologise and tried to do the best she could. I recently met them again during an early morning walk. The male owner having seen us ahead managed to get the dog on the lead and I always put Ruby on the lead if I see someone doing this as a precaution. This time the owner made the dog sit some way from the path and all was ok.
Yesterday whilst out with Ruby I went past a house where a dog was barking and realised it was the same lab. The garden fence was close to the road and having seen us this dog wanted to get out. It was snarling and barking whilst trying to get through the fence.

I suppose what I am trying to get at is that having met this dog off lead, on lead and seen it in its own garden it seems like this dog has a real problem with other dogs. Having seen its behaviour I really believe it would do very serious damage to another dog. In fact I walked very quickly past the house because I was so worried it would kill Ruby if it got out - maybe a slight over-reaction but you never know !! I am not a very experienced dog owner but I think I can recognise the difference between being all mouth and meaning business.

I just wondered what people's views on this behaviour would be. The owners may well be seeking help but is it ok to have this dog off lead. Supposing the owner hadn't seen me in time.
I don't feel in a position to comment to the owners because I have limited knowledge and experience with dogs.

Any thoughts on this guys ?????

Chloe
 

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This is how the law sees it...

'Under the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847 it is an offence for any person in any street: to let an unmuzzled ferocious dog be at large so that it obstructs or annoys the residents or passengers in the street or puts them in danger; or to set on or to urge any dog to attack, worry or put in fear any person or animal. A dog will not be at large while it is held on a lead. The word 'street' here is given an extended meaning to include any road, square, court, alley, thoroughfare or public passage.'


In the Metropolitan Police District a similar offence has been created by the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839. This differs only from the first part of the 1847 Act offence in that it is sufficient that an unmuzzled dog be at large (no obstruction, annoyance or danger need be shown), and that the place of the offence is described as any thoroughfare or public place.

Under the Dogs Act 1871, any person may make a complaint to a magistrates court that a dog is dangerous, or report the matter to the police. If the court is satisfied that a dog is dangerous and not kept under proper control, it may make an order for it to be controlled or destroyed.


Basically, if you are fearful of this dog then you can bring a civil action against the owner under this act.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that.

Do you think you that people do bring action against someone in this situation though ??? I'm not sure if I could go this far or not ????

Chloe
 

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It depends how much of a nuisance the dogs is and how responsible the owner? Also, perhaps people aren't aware that this piece of legislation exists.

Now I have a dog, Maia, who was very traumatised in her previous home, which means that she is a nervous agressive dog, so her barking and teeth bearing is born of fear rather than outright nastiness. On the lead she will snap and snarl at an approaching dog and will be very wary and back at any stranger approaching. Offlead she is fine.

Now, technically, someone could take me to court if they were fearful of her, I would hope that wouldn't happen, but it could, I would then have to prove to the magistrate that she wasn't a danger to anyone, which would be very upsetting for all concerned.

Sadly we live in a very litigious society :(
 

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I think if I was in your situation I'd just want someone who knows about these things to go around and check out the temperament of the dog and then advise the owners accordingly about muzzles, training, etc. rather than take action myself.

Maybe a local behaviourist could have a leaflet that could be anonymously pushed through the door? Maybe a quick chat with local police or dog warden could flag up your concerns and see of anyone else is concerned?

Like you say, without knowing the owners is difficult to know if they are already seeking help or are in great need of it.
 

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I think if it was me I would take the bull by the horns and go and talk them. As the dog's owners seem to be doing their best to control the dog they are obviously aware there is a problem and the fact the lady apologised to you would give me hope. .

I would go and see them in a very friendly polite manner and be totally honest and say how fearful you are for Ruby. Say you know they are doing their best but what would happen if their dog got out when you walk past with Ruby? What would happen if they didn't see Ruby in time on their walk and couldn't get their dog on the lead? Maybe from there on in you could suggest the behaviourist?

Good luck anyway. I'm sure you will get loads of other suggestions to help and then you will be able to choose the best solution for you. I hope it gets sorted. It's awful to see your dog attacked and must be absolutely horrible to have this worry on your mind.
 

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I know of a lab who loves nothng more than snarling and barking at you as you walk past the gate but his owners walk him with a muzzle on when he's out in public. He frightens the life out of me if i'm caught off guar and forget to check if he;s out. HIs owners though are very aware of his behaviour and are trying to rectify it.
 

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Hi Chloe,

Wondered how you were getting on and if you had any more problems with the agressive dog? Hope not
 

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I would approach this situation delicately.

-What is this dog is a rescue.
-What if the dog has been abused in the past.

These could be reasons for his behavior and the owners might be working to help him through the process.

Unless you know the situation properly, i'd personally not approach the owners myself, and would prefer to get a dog warden in to have a chat with them.
 
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