Aspen got attacked

Hi friends, our sister recently adopted a dog after fostering him and today we introduced the dogs. Benny is a pittie and he’s the same weight as Aspen but of course packs more punch in his power and when they were sniffing one another Benny took hold of Aspens face in his mouth. I was terrified and screaming and trying to pull them apart. Benny let go after one of our brothers got hold of him but I just can’t stop replaying it in my head. I was so shaken after and worried that my little boy was severely hurt or will be aggressive towards other dogs in the future. Aspen is still intact and a very very confident dog and the rest of our family’s boys are neutered, as well as us not knowing Bennys history, it made a tough situation. Benny was not hurt and Aspen seems to be doing fine, we are just giving him lots of love. Is there anything I should be looking out for? Pain or behavior wise? Aspen came home and chewed on his toys and is now relaxing in bed after we cleaned up his scratches. Aspen is very sweet and would never intentionally hurt another dog. It just makes me anxious to think that this one terrible incident could make my loving three year old a scared, aggressive dog. I don’t know what to do.


I'm so sorry that Aspen and you had this dreadful experience.

But don't worry that it will result in a big personality change for him. It won't. He has a long history of positive encounters with other dogs, and this one bad experience won't wipe that out. What would be good, though, is to quickly follow this up with a good experience with a dog who he really likes and who he is totally relaxed about. I know that this might be tricky with the need to do physical distancing from other people...but is this something you might be able to arrange? During this meet up do your best to put on a show of being a cool about it as a cucumber - chat, be physically relaxed and floppy, smile a lot.

I would also avoid making him see Benny again, at least not until a long time has passed and Benny has proven himself to be very reliable. Personally I would never make my dog face an attacker ever again. And your sister should arrange some experienced professional help for Benny. Grabbing hard enough to leave marks during an initial greeting is, at best, a sign of a dog who doesn't have a clue.

I'm sure that others will have good advice and reassurance :)
My dad's dog took Shamas's face in his mouth once too. Being a normally defensive dog, I expected trouble, but he wasn't bothered because he saw Toby take verbal correction for his outburst, and he was praised for his calm. We did seperate the dogs, and we do always keep Shamas from going into Toby's blind spot, or sniffing his genitals which might trigger him into another outburst. Aside from those things, the two get along fine. There can be no balls or food around, as Shamas is food and ball posessive. That would be a thing to watch around Benny, being a foster.

Definitely want to give them both space, and don't push interactions between then until they are comfortable with each other- and then keep an eye on the tone of their conversation..if Benny is getting tense with Aspen, bring him back to your side for some positive play time.
Absolutely agree @Shamas mom, Aspen will not be interacting with Benny ever again. My sister does not even want to keep him but he’s still around because he is her boyfriends dog. I would never put my love bug through a situation like that again. That’s why we never go to dog parks, you never know what can happen with strangers dogs!
@alschwahn that's a horrid thing to happen, no wonder you feel sad for lovely Aspen.
I can imagine how you feel, it's happened ton Cassie who was attacked by a dog that came from 50yds away when she was right by my side minding her own business.
Good that he played with is friend and is happy.


I am so sorry, must have been so stressful for you. Aspen seems to have brushed this off, which is great! :hug: I do like @Oberon very sound advice as usual. I would only add, try and leave it a couple of days before venturing out again, just to allow things to calm down. Cortisol can take a couple of days to return to normal levels with an event such as an attack by another dog, even with very robust dogs such as Aspen.Don't forget to be kind to yourself, clearing stress hormones from your system applies to hoomans as well!


Thank you for your reassuring words @Oberon! He did get to play a with my MIL’s chocolate, Parker afterwards. He is still his happy self, playing and eating and snuggling. He just needs some extra loving, that’s what I keep telling myself.
That’s great. Quickly overlaying the bad experience with a good one was a fantastic move. Good to hear that he seems his normal, happy self :)


But also totally agree with Beanwood re. being mindful to let the initial stress dissipate a bit, especially if you’re not 100% sure you can guarantee a totally positive follow-up experience. In this case you could, so that’s fantastic :)


Queen of Turnips
Devon, UK
Huge sympathy @alschwahn , poor you and Aspen - what a horrible experience. It sounds like you handled it really well, and with @Oberon and @Beanwood ‘s reassuring advice hopefully neither of you will have any lasting effects. Look after yourselves particularly well over the next few days :hug:
Exactly what @Oberon said.

Maisy has been attacked by several dogs from one owner and I will not let her near them or her at all ever again.

The first time she was attacked, after calming down, she immediately played with another dog which I didn't intend at the time but it just happened and probably helped her.

A dreadful experience for you both but Aspen sounds unaffected, it might take you a while to get over it though, I would really keep an eye on Benny if you are in their company again. :hug:
So sorry to hear this. Do you have antibiotic gel to put on the wounds? With puncture wounds, our vet likes to leave them open to drain. But you say they’re scratches? Have you managed to clean them with an antiseptic?

Snowie was bitten by a dog. It wasn’t an attack. Snowie sniffed his bum in a very narrow path and the dog didn’t like it and bit Snowie’s tail. Since then, they don’t like each other one bit. Growl. Stiffen. Kick dirt. But it’s very much between them. They are both friendly to other dogs. It didn’t affect Snowie one bit regarding how he interacts with other dogs.

I hope Aspen isn’t affected.

Regarding his being intact, there are so many factors why dogs take a dislike to each other. I personally wouldn’t be making a fuss of his being intact. Snowie is 8 yo and intact. Some dogs like him, some (very few) don’t. It would be nice if I could ask them if it’s because of his balls!
@M.F. We do! We put antibiotic ointment on his face. They are scratches from the other dog getting pulled off. I would not call them lacerations, I just worry that there might somehow be tissue damage from the force of the other dogs jaws.

Of course now everyone thinks our boy is the aggressive one who instigated it because he does have his balls. But, I have never seen Aspen hurt anything or anyone, meanwhile this other dog sprained my other sisters dogs leg earlier this week.
It’s difficult to know what triggered the other dog’s attack. Friends of mine had a similar experience a while ago with their daughter’s dog. The dogs had known each other and played together for several years. My friends used to have the other dog to stay, and their dog(s) would go to stay with their daughter and SiL sometimes when they went away. One day the dogs were lying down near each other and suddenly the daughter’s dog, a normally placid staffy, grabbed one of the labs by the muzzle and wouldn’t let go. The lab had puncture wounds on her face, but they healed well.

They will never know what started it - maybe arguing over a toy, although they had all been lying down quietly. Since then the dogs have never met again.