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Thread: What could happen? Dog escaping into your yard and fighting your dog

  1. #1

    Default What could happen? Dog escaping into your yard and fighting your dog

    I have a friend over at the moment and we just went for a long bush walk through one of the state forests. She has a 5 month old puppy GSD and when we got home, we put her straight into the backyard (because she's not 100% toilet trained). I had Sammy with me and we had some stuff to carry in from the car to make our lunches with. While we were doing this, we heard the puppy start screaming. I ran outside and Sammy came with me and we found that the next door neighbour's kelpies (they have 2) had escaped into my yard and the male was aggressively harassing the pup. He always barks at Sammy and ran straight at him as soon as he saw him, fortunately leaving the pup.

    He went straight at Sammy's neck before we even had time to think, but Sammy dodged it and bum whacked him (best way I can describe). He growled and his ruff went up. The kelpie hesitated but then struck again. This time, Sammy leapt up as the kelpie charged and somehow knocked the kelpie over - it was all very fast. Sammy let him get up but the kelpie spun and tried to bite Sammy on the neck again even as he was getting up and running past. Sammy dodged again fortunately and was now loudly growling in the super deep scary way he has - I started to get worried because you could see he was going to start retaliating pretty soon and he's about twice the weight and size of this stupid kelpie, but the kelpie wouldn't come near me.

    The owner of the kelpie jumped the fence and was screaming at his dog. At this point I saw the dog seemed confused so I started yelling at it as well and fortunately it backed off a bit. The owner dived onto it, it wouldn't come to him and picked it up by the scruff of its neck. He apologised profusely and we think we fixed the hole, but I will be getting some concrete put in anyway. The man explained the kelpie was 18 months old, desexed but bites other dogs, even 5 month old puppies which seems weird to me. The other one was an entire bitch, 10 years old with hair missing and wart like growths on its back and tail but completely friendly.

    I am scared that this dog will get through the fence again. The owner was worried about our dogs but I didn't think it could really hurt Sammy. I am worried that if I'm not here and it escapes into our yard again, Sammy will defend himself and then what happens? I don't think the guy would press charges, but could he? Where do you stand if someone's dog attacks yours in your backyard but you own the bigger dog and so the other dog, the initial aggressor and the one who isn't securely contained is also the one who gets hurt?

  2. #2
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    Thats so horrible 99bottles!! Glad none of the dogs were hurt.

    The way i see it, whichever dog is the initial aggressor, thats the dog that is at fault. A dog reacting to an attack (whether it causes injury or not) is in no way at fault. Its a bit like, if a stranger rushed at me aggressively, I would have no hesitation in punching or kicking them. If I break their jaw, does that make me the one who is at fault, even though i was just defending myself?

    If a dog trespassed onto our property, and attacked either of my dogs, and got hurt in the process, I'd just take the view that their dog was tresspassing, their dog started the fight, and my dog reacted. My dog should in no way at fault.

    I'm faced with these kinds of problems every time i walk Koda. If Koda somehow got away from me at attacked a dog that was minding its own business, but Koda is the one who got seriously hurt... Its still his fault, and i would take full responsibility for that. However If another dog rushed at Koda while he is under my control, and Koda reacted and hurt the other dog, then i'd say its not Koda's fault because he didn't start it, therefore, the other owner should take responsibility for what happened.

  3. #3
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    COMPANION ANIMALS ACT 1998 - SECT 12A Preventing dog from escaping

    (1) The owner of a dog must take all reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from escaping from the property on which it is being kept
    .

    COMPANION ANIMALS ACT 1998 - SECT 16 Offences where dog attacks person or animal
    16. Offences where dog attacks person or animal

    (1) If a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal:

    (is guilty of an offence)

    except ...

    (2) It is not an offence under this section if the incident occurred:
    (a) as a result of the dog being teased, mistreated, attacked or otherwise provoked, or

    (b) as a result of the person or animal trespassing on the property on which the dog was being kept, or

    (c) as a result of the dog acting in reasonable defence of a person or property, or

    (d) in the course of lawful hunting, or

    (e) in the course of the working of stock by the dog or the training of the dog in the working of stock.
    So I think Sammy and Sammy's owner would be safe from prosecution because of exceptions
    (a), (b) and (c).

    But the kelpie owner would not.

  4. #4
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    You would not be charged, as the owner of the GSD, if it attacked and killed the other dog. It trespassed.
    Ive had a balsy chiwowa break into our yard to front up to my rottie. It went badly for the chiwowa, who needed a few stitches. I paid half, but legally did not have to.

    concrete is good. You have a big 'nasty' dog, its vulnerable in legal situations. Its up to you to protect them as best we can

  5. #5
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    Funny you should write about this 99bottles as it just happened to one of my partners employees.

    Neighbours dog (they think it's a staffy cross blue heeler) jumped their fence into their yard early in the morning.

    They have a mastiff cross DDB who is dog aggressive.

    Long story short,their dog killed the staffy cross.

    They were very distraught and wrapped the dog in a blanket and took it over to the owner who was none the wiser of where their dog was. This is a dog that is constantly escaping.

    Neighbour went off their head as you would to see your dog dead, but started screaming and saying they're gunna call the cops and the other peoples dog should be put down.

    Cops turned up and said there was nothing they could do about it as the other dog had entered their property and their dog hadn't been listed as "dangerous".

    Don't know if anything further will come of it. Council would do bugger all as I used to live in this town and they were useless then.
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

  6. #6
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    It's the neighbours, so the fence is shared by both. And obviously the fence is adequate for 99botlles' dog, so why would it be their responsibility? There are dogs that can scale 6 foot fences. So should we all have 7 foot fences just in case one of those dogs might pass (or move in next door) and jump over to attack our dog?

  7. #7
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    We have 6ft wooden fences that are set into the ground, we also put concrete down to stop our dogs getting under and lined the fenceline with rocks/small boulders. Our neighbour's SWF dog has still managed to dig under our fence and we have found him in our yard about 6 times. Are you saying that I don't have proper fencing either?

  8. #8
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    Bit hard to put proper fences in when you're renting.

    KM - I think your neighbour is the one that needs to bury chicken wire on their side so that when their dog starts digging - they hit the chicken wire - which is also dug in from about 2' high on the fence, then down at least half a foot, and then back 2 foot - at a depth of half a foot (or more if you want to plant stuff on top). So that the dog can dig but it hits the wire and gets nowhere.

    I just put besa blocks in the holes as they appear... evil hound gets the message. so my back fence line looks paved now.

    Either that or put a dog door in for the SWF. But the SWF owner is the one that's in the wrong in that situation. If your dogs are staying in - your fencing is adequate. It's your neighbour's side that isn't.

  9. #9

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    We own the house but we only moved in just under a month ago. The fencing is all over 6ft and colourbond so it looked pretty good. The hole that the kelpies managed to slip through was tiny and there's no way my dog could get through that. Turns out the neighbour and owner of the kelpies knows about the hole and has tried to seal it up several times in the past (hence it wasn't really visible). There were loose bricks and a plank of wood on his side that I could not see, I just saw what looked to be brick like the rest of the base.

    He has said that we will need to pay to get the concrete put in. I was hoping he would agree to half, having just bought a new house and given that it's the fence line (not on our land or his) but he's saying it can't be done from his side and I don't want to have issues with my neighbours in a house that I intend to be in for a while.

    Thanks Hyacinth, that's very useful information and makes me feel a bit better, though of course I don't like the idea of there being a situation at all, regardless of who's at fault.

    4.5 years of training into this dog now and today it really paid off. I don't really think I could have blamed him if he had done more to the kelpie given it was attacking him in his own backyard but he listened to me, even though I didn't have the situation under control 100%.

    To think I was going to ask the neighbour whether we could introduce the dogs to stop the damn kelpie from barking at Sammy whenever he steps outside because I thought that might be all that was required... If we're not able to put concrete in easily (there's a tree right there as well), I will look into getting some chicken wire and I think I'll do that in the interim anyway.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by maddogdodge View Post
    Thats so horrible 99bottles!! Glad none of the dogs were hurt.

    The way i see it, whichever dog is the initial aggressor, thats the dog that is at fault. A dog reacting to an attack (whether it causes injury or not) is in no way at fault. Its a bit like, if a stranger rushed at me aggressively, I would have no hesitation in punching or kicking them. If I break their jaw, does that make me the one who is at fault, even though i was just defending myself?

    If a dog trespassed onto our property, and attacked either of my dogs, and got hurt in the process, I'd just take the view that their dog was tresspassing, their dog started the fight, and my dog reacted. My dog should in no way at fault.
    It just gets so confusing because they put in the word 'reasonable'. A reasonable response, reasonable force etc. But I mean how do you qualify that? If a kelpie is attacking my dog and then my dog bites him once but that causes him to have very serious injuries, has my dog acted beyond reasonable defence? Is it enough that the person/dog whatever had the intent of doing harm to you or your dog etc? Or do you need to let them commit the harm for it to be considered reasonable defence?
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 07-01-2014 at 08:04 PM. Reason: fix the quote tags

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