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lilkitty90 02-16-2011 10:24 PM

who's in the wrong?
 
not exactly horse law. but i figured this was the best place.

my grandpa has a little yapper that hates bicycles, and bites at your ankles when you near their yard.

now we live on a long dirt road off the beaten path. and my sister came home from school and rode her bicycle to the nighbors(up the dirt road, past my grandpa's the yapper was indoors.)

i came home from school and the yappers were out. when i got home we called for my sisters, and let our dogs out to potty. our german shepherd sophie ran up to walk with my sister home (on her bicycle) as she neared my grandpa's out on the dirt road the yapper came on charging at my sister and the bike. and my GSD's protection instincts kick in and she lunges at the yapper,(in front of my sister's bicycle causing her to flip and crash. she's fine!) she said sophie grabbed the yapper up and flung it. (all this happened on the dirt road in no ones yard.) i get a phone call from my aunt (lives with my grandpa) and she asks if there was a dog outside that might have gotten her dog. i say yeah sophie as the only one out, why? and she said the yapper as all tore up with 2 quarter size holes in her. (now they exxagerate, and i haven't see the yapper myself so i don't know the damage, but i was told it was just flesh wounds.) now who is to blame here? my grandpa wont punish his yapper for nipping because "it's a good guard dog and thats what he wants" and i refuse to punish my dog because she was protecting my sister!! what if that would have been a stranger? or a coyote (has happened around here!) i want sophie to openly defend us. was it the yapper's fault for chasing my sister? or sophie's fault? granted she wansn't in their yard. but he does own all the land on the dirt road.. Hmmm HELP?

flytobecat 02-16-2011 10:30 PM

IMO -You were both in the wrong for not having the dogs on leashes.

lilkitty90 02-16-2011 10:31 PM

there is no leash law here, and that would have put my sister in a dangerous situation. being on a bicycle holding a leash with a dog lunging in another direction.

Spastic_Dove 02-16-2011 10:32 PM

I'm not 100% positive but I believe your dog would be the one at fault since it was the one who put teeth to skin even if it was in protection.

The remark about 'What if it was a stranger' scares me a little unless I'm reading it wrong. If your dog is prone to lunging at anyone who makes sudden movements towards you, you should be walking the dog with a muzzle and making sure you can contain her at all times. Little kids tend to run up to strange dogs out of curiosity and if the dog went to 'protect' you, you would be in big trouble if a person got hurt.

lilkitty90 02-16-2011 10:34 PM

oh no no no. but if someone were to grab a member of our family with a harmful intent. our dog WOULD react to that. dogs can sense "vibes" about people. and they know when a kid's playful vibe, and when a stranger's harmful vibe differientiates.

Creampuff 02-16-2011 10:36 PM

I'd go look at the yapper in question beforehand. Your dog attacked theirs, despite their dog being dangerous (having an aggression/nipping/biting issue unprovoked, other than simply a bicycle passing by) and leaving their yard. If my dog were to get out of my yard and attack someone else's free-roaming dog, I can be held liable for damages because I was "negligent" and my dog got out.

Second, talk with the family members. Since it wasn't a strange dog, they may be a little more lenient. Will the yapper need veterinary care? If it does, you may need to step up and offer to pay half of the vet bills (regardless of the situation, your dog did the damage).

In the end your grandfather will do what he wants. Eventually some cross country team or family just having some outdoor time will pass by, get bitten, go to the hospital, and sue him for having a dangerous animal at large. If you've brought it up to him before and that was his excuse, he obviously has no other way to learn but the hard way. (Lets hope it doesn't come down to such means!) I went through a similar event with my older sister and her snap-happy Pit bull mix.

In the end it's "wrong" for the opposing party no matter what side you look at. It's not Sophie's fault because she was protecting your sister. It's not Yappers's fault because s/he was "protecting the property."

lilkitty90 02-16-2011 10:38 PM

i'll definitely be going to look at her tomarrow to see the damage. but they are the type of people who just nurse the wounds themselves. i don't believe they've ever really taken an animal to the vet aside from spaying. and their yard is at least an acre from the main road, so the yapper doesn't bother the cyclers and such that go by. and no one comes down our road that doesn't live here. but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen either.

Spastic_Dove 02-16-2011 10:46 PM

Plenty of people have been bitten by dogs even if they weren't giving off bad vibes.

He should be keeping his dog enclosed in his yard and you should be keeping your dog on a lease. If she is prone to lunging at things that come at you, leave the bike home and just take the dog for walks.

flytobecat 02-16-2011 10:54 PM

You are responsible for controlling your own dog just like your grandfather is responsible for his. If you can not control the dogs with voice commands, they need to be on a leash.

lilkitty90 02-16-2011 11:00 PM

she is controllable by voice commands, but we let her out to potty, and didn't expect her to go meet my sister. my sister got her to stop of course which is how the little yapper is alive. BUT she had just fallen off her bike and got pretty banged up, so it was unexpected for her, and really not stoppable at the time. but she stopped when my sister told her to.


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