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I wanted to post to see if anyone has information or experience on this issue. I have a 1-year-old male golden who is literally the sweetest, happiest, bundle of love. I live in Anchorage, Alaska where we have an amazing trail system and I take him almost everyday for a walk. He is always on leash and we are typically working on walking by without greeting other people/dogs. I'm a super friendly person and would love the opportunity for him to meet other people and dogs, but I've had a few dogs snap at him unprovoked. This has probably happened a total of 4 times. He's typically wagging his tail hoping he gets to say hello. Of note, he has not been neutered. I have read that neutered male dogs may be more likely to attack intact males. Today while walking he was attacked by a lab mix so viciously I thought he was going to die. This happened while I had him on leash and was waiting for this owner and dog to pass the intersecting trail ahead of us. The dog deviated from his path to attack. I had actually stopped and stood in front of my dog because I've grown skeptical of dogs off leash. The attacking dog went around me to get to my dog. This was so aggressive that it left a puncture wound to the side of his neck. The other owner eventually got ahold of her dog and pulled him off after multiple attempts. So awful. My question is why would this happen?? Is it the smell of my intact dog? My energy anticipating an attack? The fact that another dog just feels the need to dominate a more submissive dog? Also, is my dog going to be okay socially? How do I help him after something so traumatic? He seems fine, but I'm worried about him having had this terrible experience. I have worked so hard to train and socialize him and he's just the best. So innocent and sweet. But now I'm feeling like its not safe to walk him on the trail because of other unpredictable dogs who are often off leash.
 

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Zeyadeen
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Sorry for the situation you are in, hope your golden is recovering and feeling better, i don't have any advice but I am sure other members will help you, take care and best wishes going your way.
 

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My dog was attacked by a little mutt in a nearby park. They both were on leash and the owners said their dog was ”friendly”. It was just supposed to be a nose sniff hello. Well he grabbed our goldens nose and wouldn’t let go. Blood everywhere. Scary and so upsetting. It took 9 staples to close the wound. I asked the vet if he would be scarred mentally about the attack. He said dogs don’t react that way. And that was 6 months ago. No ill effects in behavior from the attack. We learned an important lesson. We are leery of all dogs on walks and very rarely permit a greeting. Monty was neutered when the attack occurred. Some dogs are just aggressive. Beware. Our goldens are just such good natured souls. He never even fought back.
 

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Puddles
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Why do you assume your dog is the problem? Not everyone has a good natured dog, not everyone has worked as hard as you have to have a social dog. Protect your pups by not allowing them to be in a position to be taken advantage of. No nose to nose visits... no dog parks... no off leash play with strangers. Stick to arranged playdates with owners you know and dogs that have also been socialized as well as yours. Control the situations you can and avoid the ones you can't.
 

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I have had this happen, too, with my intact 1 year old. No puncture wounds but a neutered lab somehow pinned my 70 lb dog growled and snapped at him repeatedly. It was not playful—and of course the owner says “he’s never done THAT before”. Fletch wants to meet every dog and is super friendly this didn’t scar him or change him and now I just say hi to owners/dogs from a few feet away. I don’t think my dog needs to meet every dog nose to nose. In my opinion you never know how any dog is going to react to another.
 

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I don't have any advice but I'm sorry that happened to your boy. I hope he's ok and doesn't have any lasting psychological effects.
On second thought, I do have some advice - get pepper spray. It may or may not work but it's better than having nothing.

My dog was attacked by a little mutt in a nearby park. They both were on leash and the owners said their dog was ”friendly”. It was just supposed to be a nose sniff hello. Well he grabbed our goldens nose and wouldn’t let go. Blood everywhere. Scary and so upsetting. It took 9 staples to close the wound. I asked the vet if he would be scarred mentally about the attack. He said dogs don’t react that way. And that was 6 months ago. No ill effects in behavior from the attack. We learned an important lesson. We are leery of all dogs on walks and very rarely permit a greeting. Monty was neutered when the attack occurred. Some dogs are just aggressive. Beware. Our goldens are just such good natured souls. He never even fought back.
That's really scary. You would think allowing a quick sniff greeting and moving on wouldn't present much of an opportunity for damage but apparently that's not necessarily the case. Really glad your poor boy is ok and will definitely be rethinking how often I let Luna quickly greet while out and about.
 

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Pepper spray is a good idea. Thanks. Will consider that when we walk in the park.
Oh, I meant that to the OP because she comes across dogs off leash on hiking trails. When an off leash dog comes at us while hiking, my husband has Luna and I get in between them and the approaching dog with my pepper spray at my side ready to go. I wait and watch to see how close the dog approaches and what its body language is. I've only had one instance where I thought I'd have to use it but thankfully the owner trotted over and grabbed him before he circled any closer. I'd say less than half of the dogs I see off leash on trails actually have a solid recall.

I don't know if pepper spray would be useful in a close up confrontation that is already happening because I wouldn't want to temporarily blind my own dog by accident. But if my dog wasn't fighting back anyway I guess it would be better to be able to partially disable the other dog with blinding before pulling them off your dog to reduce the chance you also get bit.
 

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The real shame is that irresponsible owners who can't control their dogs walk them off leash. This limits your ability to enjoy places with your dog that you should have every right to access. Perhaps getting the owner's name and holding them financially responsible for their reckless behavior is an option to consider. But don't be hard on yourself. Sounds like you are doing all of the right things.
 

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Dudley and I have experienced the same kind of aggressiveness from other males. He had a vasectomy so is essential intact. At 2 years old, he still is so friendly and sweet. These events haven't changed him but I am very careful when passing dogs in agility class, etc. The owners always feels terrible and say they can't understand why their dogs would want to hurt him. He never tried to fight back.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you to everyone for sharing your feedback. I did report the incident to animal control and luckily I had caught the name of the dog. They found a registered dog with that name that met my description at an address near the area. They planned to investigate and get back to me this week. They also said it's really important to call and report these things so that aggressive dogs can be documented and owners held accountable. This allows animal control to take an aggressive dog if it becomes a pattern.

We walked today on a different trail and it was probably coincidental, but the park ranger was patrolling the parking lot. I also brought my ski pole to carry, and I think I will get some pepper spray as well.

Thank you!
 

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My opinion based upon observing dogs and their owners in my own neighborhood:
1. Most dogs are rude.
2. Many dog owners allow their dogs to be rude.
3. "Friendly dogs" are frequently not friendly.
4. I avoid all areas with unleashed dogs. If I couldn't avoid this I would walk with either pepper spray or a bat.
5. You will probably hear the owner say "Wow, he's never done that before".

My advice is to walk your dog elsewhere.
 

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the party's crashing us
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I own four intact males. I do not believe in the theory that neutered dogs for some reason go after intact males. I've never experienced this, ever. If anything, neutered dogs become "hall monitors" that simply don't like boisterous, exuberant dogs of any sort and will go after an energetic dog of any sexual status to make them chill out. Young intact males frequently are exuberant greeters so there you have it.
If you choose to own an intact male you absolutely have to get good at reading other dogs, reading your own dog, and anticipating what will happen. You also need to socialize your dog A LOT with friendly, well-behaved dogs so he learns how to meet and greet without being an idiot.
I've found many approaching dogs will back off if you intercept them, walk forcefully at them and yell "NO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE." They get the hint -- and so do the owners.
I've also found that the plastic casing on my trusty flexi-lead deters a lot of loose dogs when forcefully applied to their heads. Go figure!
Pepper spray is a terrible idea. You're more likely to get it on yourself and your dog, or use it when you didn't really need to.
 

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If anything, neutered dogs become "hall monitors" that simply don't like boisterous, exuberant dogs of any sort and will go after an energetic dog of any sexual status to make them chill out.
Yes! A year or so after Kaizer got neutered, he started reacting to dogs with a lot of energy. He really only barked once or twice at them, but I nipped that behavior in the bud real quick. I didn't realize it was a common occurrence.
 

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I’ve heard this happening a lot on here. So far Aidan’s not been attacked, but I don’t take him anywhere that’s an off leash area. He’s definitely more submissive type and is a super friendly pup.
 

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Mr. Beau
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I wanted to post to see if anyone has information or experience on this issue. I have a 1-year-old male golden who is literally the sweetest, happiest, bundle of love. I live in Anchorage, Alaska where we have an amazing trail system and I take him almost everyday for a walk. He is always on leash and we are typically working on walking by without greeting other people/dogs. I'm a super friendly person and would love the opportunity for him to meet other people and dogs, but I've had a few dogs snap at him unprovoked. This has probably happened a total of 4 times. He's typically wagging his tail hoping he gets to say hello. Of note, he has not been neutered. I have read that neutered male dogs may be more likely to attack intact males. Today while walking he was attacked by a lab mix so viciously I thought he was going to die. This happened while I had him on leash and was waiting for this owner and dog to pass the intersecting trail ahead of us. The dog deviated from his path to attack. I had actually stopped and stood in front of my dog because I've grown skeptical of dogs off leash. The attacking dog went around me to get to my dog. This was so aggressive that it left a puncture wound to the side of his neck. The other owner eventually got ahold of her dog and pulled him off after multiple attempts. So awful. My question is why would this happen?? Is it the smell of my intact dog? My energy anticipating an attack? The fact that another dog just feels the need to dominate a more submissive dog? Also, is my dog going to be okay socially? How do I help him after something so traumatic? He seems fine, but I'm worried about him having had this terrible experience. I have worked so hard to train and socialize him and he's just the best. So innocent and sweet. But now I'm feeling like its not safe to walk him on the trail because of other unpredictable dogs who are often off leash.
I had a similar problem with my golden, except he is full grown. We moved to a new neighborhood. The path I walked Mr. Beau on included 2 big barking attack dogs. Mr. Beau would get down and even be submissive. I was afraid for so long until I just let them dook it out. Now he gets so excited to see them and play.
But there is another dog, female. Her name is Sadie and I call her SNARLS. She gets along just fine with all of the dogs on our street but mine. She attacks us anytime we walk by. I now text the owner to chain her up when we walk towards their area. I tried to let them work it out and that didn’t work. Mr. Beau knows that Snarles is going to attack us if not leashed. I now will grab a few rocks to try and scare her away.
 

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You might try walking with an umbrella - one of those that pops open at the touch of a button. If you get charged, aim it at the charging dog (and hopefully between the charging dog and your dog) and pop it open. At the very least, it may startle the dog into retreating. At best, you may be able to use it to keep the dogs apart until the other dog's owner can get it under control.
 

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So sorry this happened to you. I always have intact males and don't have any problems with them. I have on occasion had other dogs try to run toward them. I don't buy into the whole intact vs neutered deal.
We camp and RV resorts have the best and worst behaved dogs. People leave there dogs in an RV all day and then take them out for a walk. Some of these dogs have no manners. I can normally spot a well trained dog on a leash from a good distance when they are approaching me. If I spot one that is all over the place and pulling the owner I put my dog on the side furthest away from them. I will have my dog sit and I will face my dog until they go by. It's sort of like saying we don't want to socialize with you.
Last year while camping I was chatting with another camper and Duke was laying down by my side when a dog on a retractable leash came charging toward us barking. The owner was being drug behind and I grabbed Duke. I think I yelled NO to her. She said "he just wants to make friends". I politely as I could asked her to please stay back. Duke is friendly and has been well socialized, but her dog was clearly out of control. It maybe weighed 30 lbs and Duke is 73 lbs. Duke is a very confident Momma's boy and I wouldn't test him on a barking dog running toward me. I don't really allow other dogs to come to close to mine unless I've watched them myself and seen that they are nice dogs and trained. I also don't want my dogs to "play" while on leash. Every trip we meet one dog I really like and about 10 that I think need some serious training. It's normally the little tiny ones that create the most ruckus.
 
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