Dangerous Dogs In Your Neighborhood?


This evening I was relaxing, scrolling through the news online and checking out dog pictures and videos on social media, when I came across a story that just made my blood run cold. It was posted by an acquaintance who lives one town away from me, and detailed how her husband had gone out that morning for a jog with their Australian Shepherd Zazu; they take a six-mile run together on-leash, four days a week. One this morning’s run, however, not a block from their home, Zazu was attacked by two Rottweilers, who were loose, with their owners nowhere to be seen.

The police were summoned, the dogs caught and impounded, Zazu rushed to the emergency veterinary hospital, but his wounds were too serious and he could not be saved. A neighbor, who heard the tumult and witnessed the scene, identified the dogs as belonging to a couple who lives nearby. They are older, she told the police – and one of their adult children who also lives there breeds the dogs and sells puppies for extra income. Usually, the dogs are never taken out of the yard – but they do get loose from time to time.

Loose dogs in the neighborhood

Personally, I don’t think there is a place in society for dogs who kill. And while no one is perfect, and everyone has had a dog who has gotten loose before, when you own large, powerful dogs (especially more than one), you have a greater-than-average responsibility to see to it that your dogs can not escape the security of your yard. I hope the owners of these dogs are held responsible for Zazu’s death, and I hope the dogs who murdered Zazu are not released back into the custody of their owners – or, perhaps anyone else.

I know that’s harsh. It’s not the dogs’ fault that they were inadequately contained. It’s not their fault that their owners failed to socialize them adequately, so that they saw a leashed dog as prey or an interloper in their neighborhood, as opposed to a potential playmate. It’s not their fault that they have been denied the stimulation of an active dog like Zazu, locked up with no exercise, reduced to a life of breeding and reproduction, over and over.

It’s not fair. But it’s not fair to Zazu and his owners, either, that two very powerful, aggressive dogs were in a position to kill. What if the dog they attacked had been being walked by an elderly or frail person? The person might be dead, too. What if the dog they attacked was being walked by a mother who also was pushing a stroller with a baby inside? I shudder to think of it.

People who keep dogs in a socially impoverished environment, for the sole pupose of breeding puppies to sell – that’s even worse. This type of person is literally the backyard breeder in the derogatory trope.

I am hoping that the dogs are designated as dangerous and steps are taken to make sure they can’t be a threat to anyone else in the community. And my heart goes out to the owners of poor Zazu; his dad will be forever traumatized by the memory of the TEN MINUTES he struggled to save his dog as Zazu was being fatally mauled.

What steps can Zazu’s owners take?

Zazu with his owner

I asked someone I know who is an animal control officer in a different community: What should Zazu’s owners do? She said, if there is any kind of record of the dogs being loose before, or any previous complaint made about their aggression, the local animal control could take steps to get a dangerous dog designation for the Rottweilers. If there is any sort of record of the dogs doing this before, or even just being picked up for running loose before, she would press the local court for the dangerous dog designation.

But if this is the first record of any complaint about the dogs, then their owners are likely to be fined only for the dogs “running at large,” asked for proof of licensing and rabies vaccination (and possibly fined for lack of same), and charged for the short impound; all that Zazu’s owners can do is sue for Zazu’s final vet bill, including cremation.

Obviously, I love dogs, and don’t relish the idea of any dogs being euthanized. But large, aggressive dogs in the hands of owners who can’t or won’t contain them? I can’t imagine living and walking my own dogs in that neighborhood.

Do any of you have any advice for Zazu’s owners? Have you ever been in a situation like this?


  1. I have no words to describe how they must feel but I have always feared this too. We live on 20 acres in the country and owners are the best. I try to picture what I would do if some strange dog came up to my dogs who run off leash. I always carry leashes to hook them up but the what ifs run through my mind.

  2. My heart goes out to Zazu’s owners and to the two dogs that will possibly lose their lives due to their owner’s failings.

  3. I live in an area where many dog owners do not have control of their dogs. My friend and I have started carrying whistles and pepper spray. I also have a small tazor. It is very scary. I hope Zazu’s owners sue for expenses.

  4. Does anyone have suggestions for how to keep your dog safe from loose dogs while on a walk and what safety implements to bring?

  5. So awful- I lived in an apt bldg in NYC and I had a male english cocker and a dachshund.A young stock broker guy( always away at work) lived in the building with a massive young rottweiler he had imported from Germany.The dog was bored and aggressive and he went after me and my spaniel on several occasions.The worst was when a young woman was walking him and the owner was out of town – I managed to run in the building before she completely lost control.The dog was aggressive to me too even without my dog growling and menacing when I walked past him on the street and he also tried to launch himself out of a window when he spied us downstairs one day.Needless to say it was not comfortable and the owner was irresponsible letting him loose on a river promenade a block away from us.I complained to the management( who ironically were fond of bully breeds they had pitbulls etc) Eventually I moved but that rottweiler may have been a pet but he was also a killing machine.I think this story is so heartbreaking I couldn’t even look a the beautiful photos of Zuzu without despair.I also had other incidents where unprovoked rottweilers have growled at me( without my dogs) in the city and although I love all dogs I think there are serious issues involved with owning one- why do you want a killing machine unless you are guarding Fort Knox.This is such a sad and tragic story.So many irresponsible dog owners in this world!

  6. So very tragic. In Tennessee, we have the Ti-Bo Bill (thanks to a TN senator). This bill lays the ground for owners whose dogs are attacked by other dogs (not under proper supervision of their owners). You can be awarded up to $5,000. This happened to the TN senator and his dog, Bo, was mauled to death. It happened to me as well – my Dalmatian was not killed but sustained a few nasty bites and had to go to ER. The other owners wouldn’t step up to the plate and pay the vet bills so we took them to court citing the T-Bo Bill. We were awarded $4,000. Another year later, the same dog was out roaming the neighborhood and killed one of my neighbor’s senior labs. They were devastated. Back to court we all went. Irresponsible owners are a danger to humans as well as pets.

  7. Research the state statutes and local ordinances re:dangerous dogs. Use the law that fits the situation best.

    Bring documentation of the dog’s fatal injuries to animal control and give a statement about what happened, along with the laws. Ask them to deem the dogs dangerous. This usually requires an escape proof enclosure on the property, muzzle and 4’ lead off the property.

    If animal control is unresponsive, contact the media. Make the story about how AC isn’t responding appropriately to a public safety hazard. Not about the dogs or owners. That will get messy. No one can argue with a story about an agency failing to protect the public.

    You can also contact the States Attorney’s office if dangerous dogs are designated by the court.

    Contact a lawyer for advice.

  8. Dear Karen:
    Where is your Animal Control Service in your community ! ? I don’t see why you just have to live with it ,
    Make a fuss, file a complaint each and every time you see a loose dog. Put your neighborhood on the map as an area that needs service! It’s still not safe despite your whistle, pepper spray, and taper. It’s the owners who need consequences. Been there done that!
    A fur mom.

  9. We had a dog next door who would run through the invisible fence and attack dogs being walked on the road. The owners were very responsible and paid for all medical care, and luckily Bridgett never killed another dog. If she had, the owners would have put her down… At least they said they would.

    I live in a rural community where it is legal to shoot dogs if they chase wildlife and local owners know this is the case.

    I agree that it was not the Rottweilers fault that they haven’t been socialized, and also that they must not be allowed to murder anyone else’s dog.

    This is a scary and sad event that I hope won’t be repeated.

  10. My dog was mauled by a pitt whose owner lost lost the leash. I got bit trying to release my dog. These owners, even those who walk big dogs on leash, should not own dogs they cant physically control.
    I, too, carry a dog whistle and pepper spray.

  11. My friend walks her small dogs in a neighborhood that unfortunately has more than it’s share of irresponsible dog owners. She carries a Taser and reports that just the sound of it scares away most dogs but if not, I’m sure she would use it on them.

  12. My dog survived a brutal attack by a neighborhood dog. This dog had attacked several other dogs, but no one filed a report with our local animal control. So, our attack was the first reported. Although the dog was deemed dangerous and is supposed to be kept locked in a cage at all times, I have seen it wondering the streets. If the other dogs who had been attacked had filed a report, and my report was not the first, this dog would no longer be a danger. Sad, but necessary for this very large aggressive dog. I have lived with a lot of stress since the attack. Please, if you see a loose dog or have an altercation with an aggressive dog, call the local authorities and insist on filing a report.

  13. I own Rottweilers and do Rottweiler rescue. I used to walk my dogs at 5am, both on leashes. One man on another street would wait for me to walk by then let his 3 medium/small sized dogs out, who would run across the street to attack my 2 dogs on leash. My screaming and yelling and kicking would deter them. Then I started walking one at a time and I carried my Dad’s whip antenna to protect my dog. The man was an asshole and knew what he was doing. His dogs roamed the neighborhood and pooped in everyone elses yard. He worked for the school district so figured he could do what he wanted. So it is NOT just large dogs, it is dogs that pack up.

  14. The dogs being put down is not much of a solution because it will not solve anything in the long run. The owners will get more dogs, fail to socialize them properly again, and will let them get loose again. I think we need a dangerous dog owner designation more than a dangerous dog designation, which will only apply to the same dog that was loose and aggressive before. The owners need to face harsher penalties that will provide enough motivation for them to secure their dogs (which will include any future unsocialized dogs they will own).

  15. Yes, my husband and I (separately) while walking a dog -have been in this situation multiple times, in towns with leash laws. We used to run our Weims on a grassy college parking lot; beside their stadium (off season) but were run “up on” by packs of loose dogs inside the CITY LIMITS… 3 or more times. The first few times, we were lucky. But I noticed (when RC Steele catalog still existed) you could BUY a mace dog deterrent spray; so I got one. We went out (forever more) with it.

    Btw, I did periodically checked the spray to make sure it still worked. (Mine could shoot 10-12 ft out). We moved to a new smaller nearby town, and I as I walked down my street a Rottie mix BROKE its chain, came across the street growling & launched itself at my dog and I. The mace was on my belt loop. I caught him in MID-AIR (in the face) with the mace! Worked like a charm! (He “folded up” & slunk away.) I then called Animal Control fearful, if he was not caught he’d recover & go after somebody else.

    AC told me it was within my rights to defend myself – using mace, if I felt threatened. (The post office carriers & UPS use mace.) AC also said it would do NO long term damage. The owner was cited for allowing the dog to run loose & amazingly…put up a solid fence. Win-win!

    Since that time, my husband & one of our large (85 lb) leashed Weims have been run-up on, by 2 and 3 Rotties on a greenway. He tried his best to shout at the pair & throw sticks; to no avail. They would not leave him or our dog alone. As they “circled” he shot mace into the face of the more alpha or aggressive one & again – they immediately “stood down” and disappeared.

    Some months later, another group of 3 dogs (at least 2 Rotts & another Rottie or Rottie Mix) did something similar, again on the greenway (and would not be deterred by milder methods) so again, he had to use the mace with NO OWNERS in sight. We feel certain had we NOT had (and used the mace) we would be telling a different story;……. if we were still “able” to talk.

  16. Sadly, if a previous incident was not documented this will be considered a first offense. Please report at large dogs with aggressive tendencies. This behavior almost always escalates until there is a tragic outcome. Many people hate to report a neighbors dog but by not doing so you tie the Animal Control Officers hands.

  17. I was walking my 2 JRTs when a pit bull rushed us. I quickly picked up the girls and put them on my shoulders. The dog circled while I yelled at the top of my lungs. NOBODY CAME. I got home and called the police. The neighbors have since moved. Thank God. After that incident I bought a $50.00 can of bear spray. I now carry the bear spray.

  18. Those dogs killed Zazu. In many counties that means they can and will be confiscated and put down. had they only injured Zazu they might have only had to be relocated to another county that did not border the county in which the injury occurred.

    Zazu’s owners can sue for damages. They need to get a lawyer and find out the county regulations.

    Obtaining a dangerous dog designation is notoriously difficult and usually means nothing. If the owners didn’t care about restraining their dogs to begin with, they won’t care again. Once dogs have deliberately attacked and/or killed it is only a matter of time before it occurs again. Packs who attack/kill have to be broken up.

  19. I have been in a similar situation. Fortunately, my dog did not did not suffer serious injury. My German Shepherd puppy
    was attacked by a Great Pyrenees that would “get out” from time to time. I informed the owners that they needed to keep their dog confined. They acknowledged the need to do that. When it happened a second time, I told them there
    would not be a third time and that I would put their dog down without hesitation. From that point on, I carried a hickory axe handle on my daily walks. The owners eventually re-homed their dog and all turned out well. I understand that the Pyrenees is a breed that “protects” its home ground, but because of this bred in behavior, they must be kept in an appropriately confined area. It is the owners’ duty to make sure their dog does not roam free to cause mayhem in the neighborhood.

  20. I cannot even describe how I am feeling after reading this. I am crying for Zazu’s owners and I am so mad, my blood is boiling. Loose dogs are a pet peeve of mine. That description isn’t enough, but I can’t write the words I really want to. My own little Yorkie was attacked twice, once by a Husky who was loose in the FRONT yard of a house I walked by. My Beanie was only about 3 and she was tiny, and I am sure the Husky thought she was a rabbit. Before I knew it this dog was over her with its mouth on her back, and there was NOTHING I could do except scream, while my poor little dog was screaming. The owner’s came flying out and grabbed the Husky. I was sure Beanie was going to be punctured and full of blood, but all she was full of, was the Husky’s spit. It must have realized that Beanie wasn’t a rabbit and didn’t clamp down on her. My Guardian Angels were watching over her. The STUPID owners couldn’t even hang onto the dog and it almost got loose again. Needless to say, I never walked by that house again.

    The second time, I was walking her with my friend who has a very large Shepherd/Mastiff mix dog. Big, goofy dog who loves my little Beanie. We walked by a house and a hound from hell Pitbull burst out of the front door, attacked Chara first, who fought it off while my friend was punching and kicking it and then it saw me with my dog on my shoulder. The dog jumped on me to get at Beanie and managed to basically scrape her back leg with its teeth. The owner came out with her 2 daughters and they could NOT contain this THING. Everyone was screaming and finally the THING was grabbed and pulled back into the house. We went back to my friend’s house and I put Beanie down and she couldn’t walk and her leg was bleeding so I took her to the ER hospital. The doctor was amazed that my dog escaped more serious injury and that I wasn’t mauled.

    Against my boss’s (who was an attorney) advice I went back to the house and told the woman that I wanted her to pay the vet bill. She told me that had “found” her dog on the street and the dog had been mauled by another dog, so they just took it in. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I just looked at her and again said I want you to pay the vet bill. She started yelling at ME, saying your dog is fine. By that time, I was literally seeing “red” and I had to stop myself from punching her in the face because all I could think of and hear was my dog screaming as the THING was jumping on me. I just told her she would hear from my attorney and left.

    Again, my Guardian Angels were watching over us because I know that we all were lucky. I had nightmares for weeks after this incident. Beanie’s injuries healed and I was reimbursed for the vet bill, but she never recovered from this mentally. She is extremely frightened of dogs and manifests that by acting very aggressive whenever she sees a dog, barking and going crazy on the leash to the point where I end up apologizing to whomever goes by me with their dog. Beanie does have a couple of dogs she is o.k. with, but that is it.

    Why do people think it is o.k. to just let their dogs off leash or not contain them properly!!

  21. We have two minpins when I walk them I carry pepper spray. I will not hesitate to spray any animal that appears to be aggressive. If owner is around I ask them to get their dog and inform them if their dog comes at my dog I will spray them.

  22. So I have tubes of pepper spray as had to move to location where two dog owners let their dogs run loose to potty. I carry the pepper spray on me and use against stray dog a few feet before it gets to my dog and me.

  23. When humans don’t provide appropriate care and supervision for their dog(s) one way or another the dog (and offer others as well) pay the price. I live in a relatively safe urban neighborhood but still there is always the danger of a “close encounter” with aggressive dogs. I carry “Halt” (pepper spray) but I’m aware of the limitations in using it effectively. Fortunately it hasn’t been necessary to test it and I would only use it as a last resort.
    I think it’s unlikely the owner of the Rottweilers will claim them since they would be held liable for the damage they caused. If unclaimed these dogs will ultimately be put down (NOT “euthanized”) but could be kept confined in isolation for months or even years if there are legal proceedings. If the owners of these dogs can be located they are the ones who should be punished.

  24. Such a sad situation!!! Really brings it home to ban the deed and not the breed!!! I’ve been in their situation, I was returning to my car from an event downtown in my city. I was accompanied by my mobility Service dog. A young German Shepherd charged across the street and tried to attack my SD. I yelled, screamed, and kicked at, and pushed that dog away from my SD. The owners were outside, but it was a child that came to try to get the dog. We were lucky and my SD wasn’t injured. However, he was very wary for a while of any Shepherd looking dogs after that.

  25. As a Whole Dog Journal subscriber, I’m a little dismayed that so many people want the dogs in question put down without even mentioning the possibility that they could be re-homed with a responsible individual and be loving companions. I admit that in extreme cases it might not be possible, but I don’t think the article established that just because a loving pet was lost. I think about the pits that Michael Vic abused who are now loyal, loving family members. My last two dogs have been pit bulls, and I can’t imagine a better dog breed when well managed: loyal, affectionate, playful, and protective. I know someone will tell me it’s just a matter of time before I get a dose of reality and I have “an incident” because pits are unpredictable, but I’ll keep being cautious, like I would with any dog, responsible, engaged, and having a great relationship with a supposedly vicious dog breed.

  26. I know how terrifying it is to have a dog attack you. Both my older dog and I were bitten by a dog that broke through a screen door. As a result of that attack my older dog developed fear based reactivity and that has been a long hard haul to work with and train her to not react. Again last year while walking both my dogs a very large dog came at us aggressively and my dogs stood their ground in front of me as owner ran up and dragged it away. I carry pepper spray and a small taser now. But, my gentle, and well trained pups are both rottweilers and definitely not killing machines. Because they are large and powerful I have made sure to train them and socialize them as any owner should do. I wish we had solutions to people who do not train and care for their often dangerous as a result, dogs. This is on the increase in my neighborhood and wherever we travel

  27. I’m so sorry Zazu was so brutally attacked by these loose Rottweilers. I’ve been bitten by a Rottweiler who sent me to the ER with a broken hand and 30 stitches. It took me almost 4 years to settle a lawsuit against the horrible, irresponsible owner. Now when I walk my dogs I carry a taser, which is legal per my attorney, to safeguard me and my dogs. Be safe. ☮️💟

  28. I have seen multiple stories on facebook in the last few months of similar happenings. Some pulled the poor min schnauzer right out from his fenced in yard. We travel and I have to walk my min schnauzer in strange places all the time. I am getting myself a very strong pepper spray that is made to stop bears. The one I am getting is in the shape of a gun so you don’t get “blow back”. Do some research and get something to protect your pup and yourself!

  29. This is so sad. It happened to my mom years ago she was walking her very docile doberman and a pit bull got out of its yard and mauled my moms Dobie, it was Thanksgiving day and we took her to the emergency vet and they were able to sew her up but she went downhill and passed away about two weeks later. It was terribly sad.

  30. I live in a community with a bunch of chained loose, and otherwise not socialized dogs. I have been advised by other trainers to carry treats and spray shield. Throwing treats at the other dogs may be enough to distract them if you see them early enough. I have also heard of trainers carrying spray shield. My understanding is that spray shield is strong essential oils that you spray on the ground which interrupts the dog. I don’t think any of these things would work after a dog is starting to attack. Personally, I treat the dogs in the neighborhood that I don’t know as dogs who could potentially harm or disrupt my dog. I try to avoid them before they notice us.

  31. We have a young field lab that was bit by a dog at the dog park (yes, I hate dog parks, but we were slowly and carefully socializing them) and her brother was bit by a rescue great dane. Our female began as a little shy and timid, but now she’s a little reactive. She’s not mean, but she feels she needs to defend herself. You are right, it is a long slow process to reverse. I feel we failed her.

  32. It is from ignorance like this that people label particular breeds “killing machines”. I have grown up with Rotties and Goldens and none of our Rotties are “killing machines”. I have witnessed several bites from cocker spaniels that required stitches, but I don’t label them “biting machines”. When you have a large breed – of any kind – the owner must take extra responsibility to socialize and train the animal because it is true that a bite from a large breed can do more damage vs a small breed. However, there are several small breeds that are annoying by constantly nipping and jumping on people – these owners should train their dogs as well. I’m sorry that your experience with a neighbor required you to move, but it was the owner’s fault he did not properly train the dog and exercise the dog. Rotties are incredibly social animals and it is not fair for them or any breed to be left alone all day – only for the occasional walk.

  33. Kind of crazy to think a certain breed has it in for you. Tragic what happened to this dog but like in almost ALL cases clueless owners are the real culprits. And dogs certainly sense fear and it’s pretty obvious

  34. To the Rottweiler lovers these dogs need experienced owners and they rarely get them- they do not belong in cities or even suburbs where they cant be monitored the damage they can do is catastrophic.I acknowledge that a well disciplined dog with a strong owner might be OK in civilized society but it is not often the case that the owner is competen and strongt.I live in the city it is a jungle I just avoid all pit bulls , rottweilers shepherds etc.The owner will say ” oh he’s friendly ” and I always politely say well my dog isn’t friendly and walk away and inevitably as I do that the dog will growl and the owner says ” oh he never does that”. My experience with that rottweiler years ago in my building was jarring .My dog has been attacked 3 times in my present building once by a german short haired pointer ( luckily a doorman pulled him off)and by a neighbors terrier mix ( in that instance the terrier mix bit the owner in his rage to get at my dog)and by a small terrier in a store.I am hyper about other dogs and am very tuned in to any sign of aggression . The city is full of clueless young women with head phones on or on the cell phone and totally unaware of their surroundings- usually they are walking pitbulls and to me this spells disaster. I think rottweilers should do what they were meant to do pull carts and work on remote farms- sorry those two that attacked the dog need to be put to sleep – it will happen again if they aren’t.

  35. My dog was attacked by another dog in the neighborhood, and has NEVER been the same. At the time, I would have gone for the aggressors eyes, but there was a little old lady who was screaming and trying to get the dog off. I now carry a product called Halt, which can be purchased online It claims to stop a dog attack in it’s tracks..

  36. Mhy two Shelties, both with assortede titles in obedience, herding, ability, Nose Work, and rally and I were walking along a well-used path at the beach with hordes of other people, dogs, bicyclists, skateboarders, and walkers/runners. I looked up and saw an unleashed Pitbull running towards us, head down, tail up, hackles raised, several hundred yards down the path. I yelled to the owner, “Call your dog!!” “Leash your dog!!!” “Get your dog!!!” “Get your F_____” dog” and about the time I got that out the Pitbull was on us, attacking my much smaller dogs. I started kicking him with everything I had in me when the owner sauntered up and said “Looks like you have a problem.” “YOU have the problem” I screamed. “You are breaking the law for starters. Get hold of him or I’m going to kill him right here and now!!” Thankfully the injuries to my Shelties were minor, but they have been left with a deep-seated fear of off-leash dogs and no amount of training or socialization has helped for the last half dozen years. They are fine in classes with all kinds of other dogs, but if a dog is running at them, they go berserk. “The best defense is a strong offense.” The pitbull owner left the scene unscathed and I was too concerned about my wounded furbabies to get information on who he was or where he hailed from. My heart is broken for Zazu’s family. Is there any useful defense (other than a taser or mace) recourse or legal way to reach these CPO’s (Clueless Pet Owners) right when these things happen?

  37. Its not the breed usually. I have found some Rotties to be pussycats. However when you get two or more dogs you have a pack. I was walking one day pushing a stroller and had a dog on a leash. Suddenly a German shepherd ran out from behind a wall. He was charging at us and barking . What to do in a case like this. I just yelled at him in my loudest and sternest voice. NO! GO HOME
    He stopped and went back into his yard. There was not a soul on the street and no one came out.
    Dogs know NO. they hear it often I am sure. It has worked for me on more then this occasion.

  38. Years ago while on a neighborhood walk, my adolescent pup survived an attack by a rottie/pit mix that broke loose from whatever he was tethered to in order to get at my dog. Marley survived, though he needed surgery, and I got bit on the hand while trying to help my dog and lost a week of work. I always carry pepper spray since then, and I’ve discharged it on two occasions . I aim in front of the dogs, and this stopped 2 of the 3 dogs. The third dog paused and then kept charging, so he got a face full and finally ran back into his yard. I’m sorry to hear about poor Zazu. I hope the owners of the dogs are punished.

  39. I’ve worked with dogs professionally for over 50 years, and the number and content of each of these responses to the incident described is SO typical. We haven’t managed to progress much in all my years when it comes to this set of issues, although we are light years ahead in our knowledge and understanding of dog behavior, cognition and emotion (motivation.)
    Why on earth can we not get past our obsession with blame and punishment and implement laws and enforcement practices that would actually reduce the number of such attacks by unsupervised, inappropriately raised and irresponsibly owned dogs?
    On an individual level, there are more and less effective protective devices one can carry: small, fast trigger operated umbrellas, various sprays, deterrent shake cans, etc. All require a level of vigilance and some preparation to deploy them properly in an emergency.
    But public policy? Because we view dogs as property, we are hamstrung to do anything proactive because of how knee-jerk the resistance to interfering with someone’s sacred property rights is taken. Yet dogs are not human persons, and the issues that would arise if they were so regarded under the law are also mind-boggling with unintended consequences. We need a new legal category, between objects and persons, which would acknowledge the reality, the limited autonomous agency of dogs and other beings, and the accountability of those who keep them, similar to the way parents are accountable for both their proper care of children and the impacts of their behavior on others.
    What if we calculated the costs of dealing as we currently do with animal transgressions, so as to have an idea of how much public spending goes down this drain. Then what if we created a standard by which people could own, or become registered guardians of, dogs – a new sort of licensure – which in addition to the required rabies inoculation, a puppy would pay extra by way of deposit which would pay for his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) prep class, held often and publicly accessibly, and first test. After passing the test, the annual renewal would be free or minimal, with provision to increase upon any offense upon a person or animal – the amount collected and used to pay for a training class? The penalty for the responsible person not meeting these responsibilities would be an annual fee equal to the puppy fee, and it would be reduced or eliminated by taking the class and earning the certification. Why not motivate owners, financially and with social pressure, to do the right thing by their dogs? We do it with parents of children (and I maintain we would do it more effectively if we let go of some of the judgmental attitude and fixation on blame and punishment and focused more on support and positive reinforcement.)
    Would it solve everything? Of course not. But I think a generation-long experiment would show dramatic reductions in terrible things like this, a better use for public money (to support the expansion and deployment of competent dog trainers) — and probably some unintended consequences that, for a change, would be welcome surprises.

  40. I had a neighbor who’s son passed away. Her son had four cats and a Pit Bull.

    Pit Bulls are one of the gentlest breeds, unless made aggressive by the owner or tied to a stake outside 24 hours a day, seven days a week and neglected.

    My neighbor took all the animals that her son had, but never did anything with them except give them the cheapest food they could find.

    My neighbors dog was tied to a tree in their back yard 24 hours a day for several years. They would take it water and food a couple times a week, but that was all the attention their dog ever received.

    Their pets, just like their two children, never received any love and attention. They treated them more like a toaster that you bring out for a short time when you want to use it, and ignore it the rest of the time.

    One day I was walking my two Chihuahua’s.
    My neighbor had the Pit Bull on a leash heading for her house. Her dog jerked loose and attacked my two dogs, almost killing the one dog.

    My neighbor blamed me for the attack because I did not turn around and Immediately run home when she was walking her dog!!
    Some people just should not own pets (and some people should not have children either)!

  41. Don’t know what she uses but I purchased a pepper spray product named Halt, supposedly used by mail carriers. Haven’t had to use it yet. I rehearse my plan in case of attack:

    Scoop Lily (20lb cockapoo) up, transfer her to my left hand and hold her high against my body, grab spray on my belt and turn sideways and point spray at attacking dog. Twice on my walks, large dogs have skipped over to where we are and i performed this maneuver but held up my spray hand and yelled stop! at the top of my lungs three times. Both times the dogs stopped and the owners came and got them. After reading these comments, I’m also buying a taser, anyone know of a good one?

  42. For 20+ years in my life I did golden retriever rescue. Goldens are known for their happiness, loving nature, and gentleness. During my years I had 5 goldens at different times who demonstrated aggression toward people or other dogs and, in one case, children only. I had possession of the dogs and completed very intense evaluations of each dog. My job was to find the great home for each and every dog I took in. For one young female who gave me 17 puppies, she was extremely dog aggressive. I was able to locate a young woman who understood the gravity of keeping her confined in the presence of other dogs. She had the physical stature to control the dog on a leash, and this dog lived a very long life with her. The other 4 dogs were people aggressive and by my evaluaton and a behaviorist’s assessment could not be rehabilitated to become safe around people. One particular young male was highly aggitated and crazy when he spied a child. I made the decision to put them down humanely. You can’t place an aggressive dog in the hands of new owners and expect them to keep others safe. This is expecially true of aggressive goldens. The population views them with such love and confidence.

    There are so many, many wonderful and safe dogs needing homes that there is no room for aggressive dogs in our society. To know that the rottie owners created these monsters and were breeding possibly genetic carriers of aggressive genes is heartbreaking. But, this type of thing happens so much by ignorant and greedy owners.

    I advise Zazu’s parents to sue for anything they can get. And, pursue the dangerous dog status on these dogs. It might take some sleuthing, but this wasn’t their first time being aggressive. But, also take my cyber hugs on this horrific tragedy. I’m so sorry.

  43. I agree with you Nancy, dangerous dogs, just like dangerous people should not be given a free pass. If a person kills someone they go to prison or get the death penalty, what makes it ok for a dog to do it? This problem is getting worse, read the news articles and you see it happens often. It’s not fair to the majority of good people and good dogs that they can’t go for walks anymore for fear of losing their lives. See the story of the little 7 year old girl in Detroit last month that was mauled to death behind her house by vicious dogs. Anyone that thinks those dogs should live to possibly do it again should take a good look at themselves. I’m not talking about a dog biting someone, I am talking about unprovoked attacks on people or dogs with the intent to kill! This is not normal dog behavior!

  44. I have had two of my dogs attacked by the same dog over the years. The owner never walks the dog, they would let her out of her yard in the evening to run loose. I walk my dogs daily, on leash. The first time, she came running up to my shepherd cross from the other end of the block and put 5 holes in my dog. The second time, she ran up to my male Great Dane and did the same thing to him. He just sat on the ground and allowed her to bite him. One of the wounds became infected and after paying the vet bill, I delivered the bill to the owner and made him pay me back. I reported this dog to the authorities and absolutely nothing was done. That dog has since passed away but the woman has got another one who is exactly the same, never walked and always ready to attack when people walk by.

  45. My dog was attacked by a dog in the vet’s office, held on lead by a 4 year old!!! No vet rep present, mother stood watching!! Fortunately my dog’s injury is not physical, but the trauma remains. Another time as we walked along sidewalk, on lead, me with my walker, a loose dog ran from porch where owner sat , saying, ‘I didn’t see you coming’.
    My heart goes out to Zazu’s family. I just do not know what the solution is . Stupid, irresponsible people are everywhere. The dogs are not the problem, the people are. I sound like a gun control opponent. But it is true: PEOPLE must be educated, punished, restricted SOMEHOW.
    I do not know how.

  46. We walk our dogs the same routes every day. They are Maltese’s – under 10 lbs. Last year a neighbor’s dog was off leash and attacked one of my dogs – almost biting him in half. The neighbor’s response was – oh he just doesn’t like your dog. No apology. Our dog had extensive injuries, even having to have a drain surgically inserted -obviously at great expense. We reported the incident and the owner was ordered to have the dog muzzled and on leash at all times. We wrote them a note detailing the expense,. They came over to talk about how traumatic it was FOR THEM to have to muzzle their dog. I can’t even look at them. Recently, a year later, the dog was again off leash and again came after my dog. My husband was able to jerk him off the ground by the leash and out of harm’s way but that action could have hurt my dog severely as well. We decided not to report it as it would probably result in the dog being euthanized and we don’t want that on our conscience. I’m just very angry at the refusal to acknowledge fault, show remorse or to comply with mandated actions but instead somehow making it our fault. From reading other comments, it looks like that’s the way it often goes.

  47. Forewarned is forearmed … any one as in ANY ONE running, walking, strolling with dogs (or alone for that matter) must carry a protective “weapon” – – – pepper spray, mace, or Wasp Spray are excellent repellents when any predator approaches … it won’t help in this case, but it might have warded off the big dogs enough to escape their jaws of death.

  48. In my experience, unfortunately we have been attacked by dogs whose owners lose control of them more often than we have had issues with loose street dogs where we live here in Ecuador. I have taken steps to educate myself on how to (as safely as possible) break up fights, and carry pepper spray that clips to my leash. I also tell owners from a distance whom I can tell don’t have full control over a dog who is fixating on mine that mine is unfriendly and they need to watch theirs. Saying your dog is unfriendly usually helps them shape up and be more vigilant. With loose dogs, bending over as if to pick up a rock off the ground, stomping and yelling, and posturing aggressively has prevented any attacks so far- you have to be assertive and proactive!

  49. I live in Florida part of the year where there are a lot of dangerous dogs! I carry pepper spray and (with a permit) a 38 revolver. If I ever need to use one or the other, I most certainly will!

  50. I think people who think aggression in the dog world isn’t normal should take a good look at themselves, because they begin with a premise that all dogs are born to be friendly to people and other dogs which is complete at odds with reality. As one person eloquently pointed out, any dog, even the venerable lab, can have biological issues that require the difficult decision to cull them from
    our ranks. I’m going to continue to believe the research that tells me that all dog breeds have the ability to be social and safe, and that the individual dogs of any breed that show tendencies to resist either should only be managed by people who have the energy, patience, and consideration to do so. Hopefully that’s a good enough look at myself for those skeptical of my compassion for both the aggressors in the story and the unfortunate victim. I place no blame on Zazu, obviously, and am sorry for his loss, but I don’t believe there’s enough information about the Rottweilers to say, “They’re killers“…”They’ll always find a way to kill again”…”They’re slaves to 100’s of years of breeding”…etc. If they are found to be uncontrollable I, too, would consider their euthanasia necessary. Knee jerk reactions are understandable in the face of tragedy, but still are unhelpful in educating people about how best to deal with dog behavior.

  51. I always carry Mace and have found that Halt doesn’t do much good. Had a vicious dog go after one of my Smooth Fox Terriers and it was like the dog had a laser attached to my little one. It took an entire can of Mace to slow the dog down so the owner could get to it, and she yelled at me because I “hurt” her dog with the Mace. I told her that if I EVER saw that dog loose again, I would call the police immediately. After that her husband walked the dog, always on leash. My heartfelt sympathy to Zazu’s owners. That but for the grace of Mace, would have been me.

  52. My heart breaks for Zazu’s owners. The dogs that killed Zazu are more than dangerous, they are vicious and should be euthanized. The owners should be fined and maybe never allowed to own a dog again. My 9 month old Standard Poodle has been attacked twice in the past 3 weeks. First by two very large (one looked like a shepherd/malamute mix) off leash dogs that charged him growling, hackles up, teeth bared. They jumped on him and he started screaming. I had to let go of the leash and he ran (fortunately, he was near a church and a woman heard the noise, came out and clapped her hands which startled the dogs — my pup got ahead and the owner was able to catch his dogs). He only had minor physical damage but, not sure what the long term emotional damage will be since he is already a fearful/anxious pup. Due to his nature I have been working for several months with positive trainers to help him. Just when he was making some progress our neighbor’s off leash small, aggressive dog went after him last night. My poor pup is not a fighter (lucky for the smaller dog). Fortunately, the owner got his dog immediately and said he would never let the dog off leash again (we will see).
    We live in a very congested area and there are too many dogs with irresponsible owners. Animal Control does not enforce any leash laws — their attitude seems to be, “let owners work it out”. I just purchased pepper spray, a loud horn, whistle and have a walking stick. Next a taser or cattle prod (long handle). Anyone else feel like they have PTSD?

  53. I have been in a couple of situations like this. Fortunately not with dogs as big as rotties. I had to stop walking with my border collie here in the country since most country dogs are loose & can be, (not always) aggressive. I usually carry a big stick when I walk & have had to use it occasionally sadly. I have had pit bulls set on me & my dog even tho I was on the sidewalk across the street when I lived in FL. I now take a gun with me if I walk with my dog.

  54. I am proud to live with a Golden, a Chocolate Lab (my retired SD) a young Black Lab. The Black Lab was supposed to be a replacement SD. It didn’t happen due to some form of trauma he suffered in the 10 months before I got him. What I know is his mom bit his right ear off. Those three would. Ever think of attacking anyone, animal or human, they just want love. My son and his Rottweiler lived with us at the time. We would take the Rottie to a field across the road from my house. The owner gave us permission to run our dogs on his 10ac field. Even when he would let his Dobie out Our Rottie would just come close to us and stand both dogs would bark and then begin playing with each other. Neither dog attacked the other. What was different our Rottweiler, he was a big boy, had attended training and passed his good citizen training. If he had been an untrained savage I have no doubt he could have murdered any dog he saw. But he was socialized and trained. He would go to work with me on some days. My coworkers didn’t mind. They all said they were amazed how gentle he was. I just replied this is what happens when you make sure they are trained. He, I’m sure could and would be protective if he need be. But he never had to be aggressive. I’m sure he scared an intimidated people who just saw him as a BIG Rottweiler. He weighed 110 pounds. My point is even a big headed Rottie can live a life of not being aggressive if he has been trained and socialized. When I see a Rottweiler being accused of being a savage I see a poor dog who has not been trained or socialized. They will suffer because of ignorant owners. The owners should held accountable and made to pay damages and have their dogs removed from their care, custody and control. Shout they be put down? It if evaluation shows they can be trained THEN they should be adopted by someone who only knows the breed.

  55. I know several people who’s dogs have been killed by other dogs. These are not free roaming dogs. They are pitbulls who have pulled leashes out of the hands of their owners. We currently have one who lives three doors down from us. He attacked another dog injuring it severely. I offered to take the dog and sit with him while he gets euthanized but his owner just can’t do it. I understand she loves him. I just pray when that dog gets loose again he kills someone or something it’s not a kid or other human being. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time.

  56. Two and a half years ago, my husband was walking our two terrier mutts about 5:30 in the morning, as usual. Suddenly two mastiffs attacked our dogs. My husband was able to grab our smaller one, Henry, (who had just had surgery the day before for cancer in his head) but he was unable to also pick up our Molly. My husband was finally able to save her by kicking one of the dogs in the ribs and throwing a large rock at the other one. Molly’s neck was split from one side to the other where her leash lays and her whole rear hip area was torn up like hamburger. We got her into our vet as soon as he opened and he couldn’t believe the damage. Her whole back was shaved, her neck shaved, stitches and tubes for drainage put in. In spite of all this and medications, infection set in. Poor thing smelled so bad I had to keep candles burning in the house. We took her to the vet every other day for about four months. Her neck healed fine but her hips still bear the huge scars where the skin died and no hair now grows. Animal control gave them a warning and the irresponsible owners finally paid all the vet bills. We understand they finally got rid of one of the dogs because they couldn’t keep it in. The trauma of this whole thing has stopped us from walking our dogs in the neighborhood. Every morning we get in the car and drive to the shopping mall to walk them (we actually have four dogs.)

  57. This is turning out to be important advice. Every report about the dogs, as long as it is tied to an address, will help build a file against them, which will help with the dangerous dog designation. Once so designated, if they attack again, the outcome is final, from what I’m hearing about this jurisdiction.

  58. First, I want to say I am so sorry for Zazu. To have to watch your dog being mauled to death is beyond awful.
    I would pursue any avenue possible to get these owners held responsible and to not allow them to have dogs, ever.
    Secondly, rottweilers are not innately aggressive, no dog is. In Germany rottweilers, GSDs etc are all living peacefully in cities, intact. They are trained and well-socialized.
    It seems to me that too many people here think that all a dog needs is food, water and a chain…and often not even that.
    Thirdly, I agree that these dogs should be euthanized. We had found a pitbull running the street. He was very sweet with people, but took a dislike to our female husky. He started going after her and became increasingly more aggressive until he mauled her. Thankfully, he did not do major damage but we knew where it would end, so had him euthanized. It was heart breaking but the best thing to do since we had no idea about his past life.
    Lastly, we live in the country, in Texas, and loose dogs are always a danger. Thankfully, neither myself nor my dogs have ever been attacked, although it came close multiple times. I usually just yell at them to GO HOME and NO, so far it has worked. But based on so e of the comments, i might get maze or pepper spray.
    Where i live it is legal to shoot dogs who attack, although i don’t have a gun…lol

  59. Pepper spray! I keep it on (not in) my fanny pack and ready to use in a nanosecond. Sadly, I have used it, aiming for the attack dog’s nose. I pity any dog I must spray (pepper spray is so caustic!), but my dog is overly friendly and submissive. She has scars to show that even “friendly” dogs who have “never attacked another dog” do, indeed, attack. I take no chances. It’s my duty to protect my dog from danger at all times.

  60. I would also get a coyote collar, you can buy them online. They have needle like extensions on them. . They also sell jackets of the same nature. If you live in coyote country and your dog runs loose.

  61. Yes. Having been in a similar but not as tragic situation.

    Follow the advice of animal control. Report the dogs. Canvas the neighborhood and see if anyone else has reported the dogs before or is willing to report them for another instance. Sue the owners in small claims court for the final vet bill and cremation and anything else you can. If the dogs are still released and you are concerned then be a stalker. Monitor those dogs with a contact in the neighborhood to make sure they are reported in the future every time they get out and every time they attack. It’s not being vindictive. As you say in your article. The next time it could be a child or older adult that is mauled or even killed.

    I had a similar problem with a dog in my parents’ neighborhood and the neighbors at the corner. They adopted a rescued German Shepherd. They were having him trained and we met on a walk and I slowly introduced the two. When my dog looked a bit skittish and the shepherd looked like he might lunge I stepped between them facing *my* dog. Instead the German shepherd turned and bit me on the thigh. I didn’t report it then as everyone was so remorseful, my parents were adamant I not report their neighbors and I felt it was partly my fault for stepping between.

    But it happened again without any provocation. We were walking the dogs and I had my dog sit at the corner waiting to cross. Their son opened their gate and the German Shepherd came running out over to my dog and started attacking him. The son ran after and the Dad soon followed and they got him off and my dog was not hurt. But I had warned them after I was bitten that if it happened again I would report their dog for all of the reasons you state. And I did. My parents were angry with me but I said what if it was a small dog and it was killed? What if he attacked a child? What if someone else was bitten?

    These people were very careful with their dog but I learned a few years later from my Mom that he’d done it again and more than once. No dogs were killed or people harmed but he had attacked at least two other dogs in the neighborhood. I’m not sure if he was reported or not. He still lives with them but is very old and now has Degenerative Myelopathy and is no danger to anyone.

    But it is important that ANY dog that attacks anyone or anything be reported for any attack. If they do it once they’ll do it again. If they keep doing it, the next time an animal could be killed or a human injured or even killed. We’ve all read stories of packs of dogs running loose and killing a human.

    So my advice is follow the law to the full extent you legally can. Sue them for all damages. Monitor those dogs and encourage anyone that has had encounters to report them. It is tragic that the dogs will have to suffer for the sins of the owners. Some people shouldn’t own dogs but unfortunately you can only address it after the fact when there has been a tragedy.

  62. True. But if it happens again with a different dog, there will be a record that these particular owners have had this problem before. That is when the courts step in and rule that those owners are no longer allowed to own dogs. Monitoring that is more difficult. They just move to a different county or even state and start all over.

  63. My husband and I both have a CCW license. I would not hesitate to shoot a dog or dogs attacking my beloved English Lab. If you don’t have a CCW think about a pellet gun, anything that will deter you or your beloved dog from being attacked. Now days you must be responsible for your own safety!!

  64. Laws of self defense in many states allow you to use proportional defensive force, up to deadly defensive force, to protect yourself, others and even your pets. Have read many reports of joggers, hikers etc. out on a neighborhood dog walk/run or out in the country being attacked by domestic and wild animals all across the country. One has to be prepared to consider how one will react in such encounters and think these situations through. Pepper sprays, up to and including bear sprays for those living in bear country, pocket knives and firearms are escalating defensive weapons. Learn the laws of defensive force in your state and be prepared. If an encounter occurs, defend yourself and others including pets, administer first aid if necessary, then call 911. Tell them where you are, what you need-police/ambulance, your name and what you’re wearing if you are carrying a firearm and holster it once the threat is neutralized then hang up. Seek legal advice if necessary and read your state’s statutes. Know the laws so you don’t become the one who lands in jail.

  65. I don’t fully understand dog behavior. I obedience-trained my Sheltie (oversized), and was interested in herding training but didn’t know how. Took him to a trainer who seemed to think he had some ability–was able to get sheep out of a corner, and seemingly used “eye”. Went to a group herding class run by a club where I knew no one. Was on one side of the ring with my dog when another dog ran around and started a fight with my dog, followed by its owner who yelled at ME that MY dog was aggressive…though he had been beside me and had not gone anywhere off lead or, as far as I could tell, provoked the attack. Did he? Did he challenge the other dog with his eyes and draw it, with a silent power, around the ring to attack? I didn’t go back to the group. I did become concerned about being with my dog on lead in groups lest he perhaps had such a powerful eye that he would draw attacks. No others happened but I did make a point to “keep walking” at times. My Sheltie and I lived contentedly on my farm (I fenced yard so that car chasing never got started) for his 12 years of life. But I’ve always wondered just WHAT I didn’t see and understand about non-verbal dog communication. Could a trainer comment here?

  66. This is the best response so far. Stop labeling the dogs and start labeling the owners. They need hefty fines and should be shut down

  67. Be aware: If you taser a dangerous dog while it is biting your dog, your dog is likely to be shocked also.

  68. The reason I would use the word killing machine is that once in fighting mode rottweilers and pit bulls fight to the death – their jaw strength, the fact that they clamp on and dont let go the fact that they are used for fight and protection g all this contributes.These dogs should not be allowed in cities.I would rather my dog got into a fight with an equal sized dog with a normal jaw who does not clamp down like the bully breeds do.I have seen and heard too many horror stories and I know how aggressive the rottweilers I have known have been.The problem is the owners but who is monitoring them and dogs that were bred for protection will be aggressive in a crowded environment like a city.All breeds can attack and bite but they dont all kill the way rottweilers and pitbulls do once they get started they dont stop and it is hard to stop them unless the owner has control and certainly not if they are loose.This is just common sense.I have heard endless stories of people banging on the head of a pitbull in vain to let go and I have seen it too.There are exceptions I am sure but unfortunately they are few and far between.

  69. I carry a canister of a combo of mace, pepper spray and tear gas that has a dye marker that sprays up to 30 feet. I first checked with our police department to see if it was legal if only used on dangerous animals. I also carry yummy foods to throw to distract. In addition to aggressive off leash dogs, we have a pack of coyotes living in a park near us who are always off leash and very territorial and aggressive during breeding season and with active dens. If getting big and hazing the coyotes doesn’t get them to back off, I use the spray. Between dogs and coyotes I have had several occasions in which it has prevented injuries for my dog and myself. It’s tricky when the wind is blowing but better to have a light exposure to it than be attacked.

  70. I had a similar experience many years ago with my dog, Teddy. He was a mixed breed male. Airedale Terrier/German Shepherd/Grey Hound. I was walking him on leash and was on my front porch. I attached my dog to the porch railing by his leash. I took a bag of garbage around to the back of the building, and when I came back for my dog, there was a large rottweiler, and it had my dog by the throat. I yelled at the other dog, hit it with my fists and kicked with my feet. But the rottweiler would not let go of my dog. Fortunately for my dog, the rottweiler had been reported for roaming at large. The police were just around the corner looking for it. They yelled get back. So I did. They then sprayed pepper spray directly into the other dog’s eyes. But it didn’t phase him. He still wouldn’t let go of my dog’s throat. One of the officers then pulled out his gun and shot rottweiler for a fatal result. If the rottweiler would not have been reported and the police not have been there, my dog probably would not have lived. Three weeks later the rottweiler’s owners came by and told me that their dog was such a big baby.

  71. I live in an area that has very high wind from time to time. After high wind fences are down and dogs are loose on the streets. When I walk my dogs I carry an umbrella, treats and pepper spray. If yelling “No, go home” doesn’t work, so far a treat does. They usually take the treat and go somewhere else to eat it. Only one dog kept following us to get more treats. I have a goofball senior male GSD and a senior female black Lab that would not hurt anything, even if it was hurting her. What happened to Zazu is my worst nightmare. Reading these posts make me want to keep my dogs at home where they are safe, but that wouldn’t be fair to them or to me. I’ll add a taser, and possibly a gun to my arsenal. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

  72. Very sad. I feel badly for my small dogs. I’d love to walk them down trails like I used to with my big dogs, but rarely do, it’s not worth the risk. While a big dog may survive an attack, in most cases, a small one won’t. There are just too many irresponsible owners out there that think their dog should be able to go free … whether they have control over them or not.

  73. Yes, sympathy to Zazu’s owners–what a sweet looking dog. So sorry. And thanks for the advice about sprays to research.

  74. I have the largest and most loving Rottweiler in town. He loves everyone and every dog. I know that some people have fear of him because of his breed and size and I protect him by having a very large six-foot chain link pen that he can come and go through the kitchen door any time he wants to go out. He has a Great Dane which comes to play about every day. I don’t walk him often even though I live in the country but if the day comes that I am physically unable to manage him (he does chase birds and chipmunks in his pen) I will stop walking him. I AM RESPONSIBLE for protecting him and making sure he does not cause a problem for anyone or anything else. I have always had Rottweilers and never had a vicious one but I have had a couple that I would not have loose in the house when a stranger was present. No matter what one says, some breeds are just not the cuddling type and owners who choose to have them should take extra precautions. In my opinion the easiest way to reduce the number of dangerous dogs is to make it expensive to own one. I like my Rotties because they have independent personalities and are not particularly needy or neurotic; however some personalities are attracted to the dangerous dogs because of their own personalities. Those folks are difficult to change.

  75. If something like this happened to one of my dogs it would break me. I really need to make a point of carrying pepper spray with me on a regular basis.