Dear Annie: I have an 8-month-old puppy, and I take her to a local dog park so she can run off-leash and play with the other dogs, which she loves. In the three months I have been taking her, “Phoebe” has never been attacked or fought with another dog. That was until last night, when Phoebe approached another dog that was on a leash and that dog attacked her. My puppy whimpered and howled while being bitten on her neck and back. I tried to get her away, but the other dog was so vicious.
The owner of the other dog just stood there making no effort to pull his dog away, nor did he apologize. I finally extracted Phoebe from the other dog’s mouth. As I was walking away, the owner said he doesn’t know why his dog doesn’t like other dogs. I was too shaken to reply. Besides, I felt sorry for the vicious dog, wondering what could have happened to make him like that.
Luckily, Phoebe was not severely injured. I did my best to soothe her, but it took several minutes to calm her down. Before I left the park, I warned other owners about the dog that attacked mine.
Why would someone bring a dog that hates other dogs to a dog park? There is a gentleman who arranged for the park to exist and is the “leader.” Should I tell him what happened? I don’t want to get the park shut down, which is why I didn’t call the police. What do I do? – Phoebe’s Human Mom
Dear Mom: If the park has a “leader,” then he is the person to notify. This owner seems ignorant of dog behavior and may have been trying to “socialize” his dog by bringing the animal to a pet-friendly park. But it sounds as if that dog needs training. It would be a kindness for someone to point that out to him and make a referral before an animal is seriously hurt.