This has been an awful week for for two families. My cousins dog killed a neighbor's dog and we just got back from a vicious dog hearing in the town. I'll try to be breif, but I would love to hear your input.
Sasha is a German Shepard, and at 8 years old has been a very good girl. She has not been an aggresive dog, and in fact is nervous of small dogs. I saw this personally as my two little guys made her nervous and she ran from them. However, when the door was not open to the house she turned to the dogs and showed her teeth when she felt cornered. She moved recently and in her new setting she mingled with the neighbor's six, small dogs. It was brought out at the hearing from the other dog owner's that Sasha was always a good dog and that the dogs often went from one yard to the other, and played together. However, at times the small dogs would bite Sasha and she would react by wrestling and posturing, but never did she hurt another dog, and when called by her owner, she came running.
Tragically, one day Sasha (90pounds) killed a pomeranian, (5 pounds). There was no blood to be seen. It seemed that her neck was broken when Sasha shook her in her mouth. As you can imagine the owners were devestated and there were acusations thrown back and forth, I can't tell you how awful it was for everyone!
My question is this? Although Sasha is a big dog, and the little Pom is tinny, could Sasha have felt threatened by her and her companions? There are six dogs that would constantly taunt Sasha. Three in tact females and two in tact males. At the hearing it was brought out that Sasha was so big and the Pomeranian was so small. But can a big dog be scared of a small dog? Esspecially, 6 small dogs? The SPCA officer was the most knowlegeable it seemed about amimal behaviour. The police cheif was the only one who said he thought the dog was vicious and was almost silly about how he took it to so personal, without really knowing what had gone on.
Sasha was used to a home in the country where she could come and go and now she will be very limited. My cousin intends on moving to help the situation. Sasha was found not guilty, of being a vicious dog. The two other's on the panel said that it was a terrible accident and said that Sasha should be on a leash and not let in the neighborhood, and of course that is what my cousin will do, but that she was not a vicious dog.
How would you all feel about this? I woule die if another dog killed my dog. But if my dog were free running and the other dog was also let out, it's hard to say if one was provoked or not. If my dog had a history of nipping at the dog, like this one did, I fear I would have to chalk it up to animal behaviour.
I am chastised for not "socializing my dogs" yet this is one of the reasons I don't. I have a large fenced in yard where they go and they come in the house. We go to the beach and play sometimes, but I'm afraid of the other dogs on a leash that are there, so I keep my dogs at home. This is just a rotten rotten thing that has happened, but I'm trying to understand it better. Has this happened to any of you on either side, and what did you do?
Thank you for your comments.