My dog injured a friend's dog - what are my ethical responsibilities?
May 5, 2016 1:59 PM   Subscribe

As the title says, my dog- an 100 lb Alaskan Malamute - injured my acquaintance/ friends' dog - a 22 lb corgi. Snowflakes of the situation inside. I want to do the right thing, of course, and would like your help in figuring out where my responsibilities start and end. (Corgi will recover fully in a couple of weeks and is already back to her stupid and cheerful self, for which I'm VERY glad, given the size differential of the dogs in this fight.)

The dog fight occurred at my house this past weekend, during a relaxed but crowded BBQ party. My husband and I are expecting our first kid (I'm 35 weeks pregnant), and basically wanted a chance to hang out with all of our friends before we descend into newborn madness. We have two dogs, and sent one of them to doggie daycare for the day because she hates parties, noise, and lots of people. Our Alaskan Malamute LOVES all people, and was very happy to wander around the party getting petted... until two of my husband's college friends stopped by with their corgi.

We were not told that they were planning on bringing the corgi to the party, and I would have told them VERY ADAMANTLY to not bring the corgi to the party if they had mentioned it ahead of time, because of the potential of dog conflict. As is very common with Malamutes, our Malamute loves all humans equally, and gets along cheerily with dogs in neutral territories (for six months he was going to doggie daycare every day with no incidents, for example), but is not a fan of strange dogs in his home, especially around his food and water (he was also starved as a young dog before I adopted him, which makes him especially touchy about food). Anyway, our friends came in with their corgi while both my husband and I were occupied (he was at the grill in the backyard, I was doing something in the kitchen), and the corgi immediately made a bee-line for our dog's food and water bowls. I was able to intercept our dog before he jumped on the corgi, but it was immediately clear that they were not going to be friends - there was significant hostile growling from both dogs when they were near each other from then on out.

To make a long story short, I spent the next 90 minutes or so doing my best to manage both dogs to keep them in two separate spaces with a neutral zone between them, which was challenging given our open floor plan, my advanced pregnancy, and the fact that I was also trying to hang out with the 40+ friends who'd come to wish us well. I didn't directly tell dog owners that they should leave with their dog (probably should have, but didn't want to be bad hosts), and my husband didn't either. Eventually, as I probably should have foreseen, the two dogs ended up in the same space without a dog-savvy person nearby , and they escalated from growling at each other to a dog fight. I was able to pull my Malamute off of the poor corgi in a few seconds, but he'd unfortunately torn the delicate skin near the corgi's eye in that time. She'll be fine - we were very lucky that he completely missed the eye itself! - but it required a few stitches at the vet, and she's in the cone of shame for a couple of weeks.

We were super apologetic about the injury, of course, gave her first aid at our house before they headed off to an emergency vet nearby that was open on Sundays, and have already paid $300 of the $500 vet bill. I'm also sending a "get well soon" box of toys and dog treats tonight.

Other tidbits:
- We aren't super close to this couple, but we've hung out with them a few times in the past year, and we want to do the right thing as well as not burn any bridges.
- This is technically not the first time the Malamute has attacked another dog, since there have been a few tussles between him and our other dog, especially when they were first learning to live with each other (and occasionally now when there's a treat that one has and the other thinks she or he can get away with stealing). He's also gotten into a tussle with my father's lab once (when the lab first attacked my other dog). I use the term "tussle" because the Mal is clearly not out to significantly injure the other dog, just to establish an appropriate dog hierarchy, which is very typical for Malamutes as well as some other large working breeds. If you've never seen this sort of thing between dogs before, it can seem really scary, but it normally only lasts a few seconds, and rarely results in anything more than a small nip that heals in a couple of days. That probably would have been the case with the corgi as well, except for the size differential and the bad luck of him grabbing the skin very close to her eye, rather than less delicate skin on a leg or torso.
- He's super friendly with all other dogs he meets on walks or in neutral areas, and is greeted with joy whenever he goes to doggie daycare (the staff all love him there, and even use him to teach adolescent puppies proper "doggie manners"). I've never taken him to a dog park because I can't know how the other dogs are going to behave, and well, he's a big dog that could cause significant damage to another dog in a few seconds. As was the case here. :(
- I think the couple are relatively inexperienced dog owners - which is fine, because they have a jolly little corgi, and it's pretty hard to screw up a corgi. (My husband also relatively inexperienced, as I brought the dogs into the relationship a few years ago, and he'd never been around dogs before.) Malamutes are definitely a more "advanced skills necessary" sort of dog - it's pretty easy for new dog owners to get in over their heads with a willful Malamute, and end up with a dog that completely runs the household. I don't think that's the case with me and my Malamute, but, then, I would think that, wouldn't I? (As an example of "inexperienced", I had to stop the couple from petting and speaking in soothing tones to my Malamute while he was growling at their corgi - that sort of behavior just tells a dog that he's doing the right thing, IMO. I ordered him to get up and move away into another part of the house instead of letting him continue to growl.)
- As you can probably tell from the tone in this question, I'm sort of annoyed at them that they put their dog (and my dog) into a situation where a dog fight could occur. Honestly, I think it's incredibly irresponsible to bring your dog to any non-public place without first checking that it'll be okay, and I would never bring my dogs over to someone's house without ensuring that it'd be okay with them. I fully admit that this attitude may be unfairly coloring my view of my ethical responsibility here.
- Regardless of the above, I totally admit responsibility in that it was my dog that hurt their dog. It totally sucks for their poor little pup, and I'm sure it's not the way they wanted to spend their Sunday. I feel awfully bad that it happened in general - nobody likes to see a dog in pain. I want to do the right thing, but haven't been in this situation before, and am worried that my irritation may keep me from doing what I should.

So, my question: should we be doing any more from an ethical standpoint beyond paying $300 of the $500 vet bill (the other couple first suggested half, given that they brought the corgi without checking with us)? And are there any other gestures we could make (other than the get well soon gift) to help mend fences?
posted by Jaclyn to Pets & Animals (61 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have dogs who are not okay with other dogs, and I would not offer ANY money to them, because what they did is unacceptable bullshit. This shit makes me furious, but I would have made them take the dog away immediately and you did not, so I guess you take on some liability at that point. (Don't ever do that again, even to be nice.)

Half would be generous. You have already volunteered so you're probably kind of stuck unless you want to pull a full reversal on what you've said so far. If I was stuck in that way, I would make them sign something saying they won't ask for any more money regardless of complications, which is not how you make friends, but they are not smart people so you have to assume this isn't going to go well.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:06 PM on May 5, 2016 [40 favorites]


Sounds to me like you've done all the right things. If they're reasonable people, I think you're set.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:06 PM on May 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


They were guests at your home and you knew your dog is dog-aggressive. You should pay the $200 and learn from this experience that your home is a No New Dogs zone or send the malamute to day care.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:07 PM on May 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't think you're even responsible for the bill. Who brings a dog to someone else's house without asking first? Seriously, what the fuck?

Your only failure here was not politely asking them to leave as soon as you realized there was a potential problem. Now you know that your dog isn't safe with strange new dogs in his space. Act on that knowledge in the future.

I say this as someone who has totally been there. My dog is both a literal and figurative son of a bitch when there are other dogs around, and we need to take active steps to make sure there are no problems.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:08 PM on May 5, 2016 [42 favorites]


You've been more than fair already, and I think you're done with your responsibility. It sounds like the other owners would have been fine with just half of the bill.

I was in almost the same situation, but it was my cat that did the injuring (to an uninvited dog), and while we were apologetic we didn't pay for anything. Bringing your dog to someone's house uninvited is rude and reckless, IMO.
posted by Huck500 at 2:08 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think you're more than fine.

Personally I'd be very peeved if someone brought their dog to my house, alone. I'd be very very peeved if they brought the dog to a party (hello, allergies?). And I'd be super pissed if they did that to my very pregnant spouse. Getting madder as I write, here.

So yeah, you're all set.
posted by Dashy at 2:09 PM on May 5, 2016 [17 favorites]


If you know that your dog has "tussled" with other dogs to the point of breaking their skin before (which I don't think you should be downplaying as much as you do here), and you knew your dog was starting to get aggressive, you should have asked them to leave with their dog, or simply put your dog inside away from the corgi. I think this is all on you.

It would have been far less awkward to ask them to leave, now you have to deal with the fact that your dog bit another dog on the face.
posted by cakelite at 2:10 PM on May 5, 2016 [47 favorites]


I think you've done enough, probably more than enough. It's shitty to take your dog to someone's house without asking. Agreed with mr_roboto that you could have firmly sent them home but it sounds like circumstances were a bit distracting. But now you know.
posted by ghharr at 2:11 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Like, I understand you didn't want to be rude and it all happened fast and they were dumb and rude first for bringing the yipper dog, but rudeness was way preferable to the yipper dog getting his face chewed. It stinks that it's such an expensive lesson, but now you know it's okay to hardline if you are ever in this situation again. Like, think of it as, "I am paying for not sending them home and I'm going to remember this the next time someone shows up with an uninvited dog."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


I ordered him to get up and move away into another part of the house instead of letting him continue to growl

If this had been my dog, my house, my party, at that point, my dog would be locked in a bedroom for the duration. They didn't do all the right things, but you are more in control, and this would have prevented trouble, especially with the "tussle" aspect.

I'd also pay the entire bill, but you seem to have agreed, so I guess you're settled.
posted by sageleaf at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


I'm a dog owner. Ethically in my mind, paying the full vet bill is all that's required.

They made a big mistake bringing their dog anywhere unannounced.

You made a mistake in that you didn't either 1) boot the dog once you saw it, or 2) lock either dog in a room for the remainder of the party.

If the fight had been before you or your husband were aware of the new dog, I would say that ethically you wouldn't even owe them any money (legally I doubt that's true, but ethically).

I have to say that I don't think I'd try hard to mend a fence with them. Perhaps I'm reading too much, but someone that brings their dog anywhere without making sure it's OK is likely to have other issues that makes a relationship with them high maintenance.

Perhaps ethically, it might be good to try to teach them some good manners of a dog owner, but I don't think they'll be receptive to it from you.
posted by nobeagle at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


It is not just that they brought the dog into your home without asking - but they also apparently failed to supervise their dog sufficiently to keep this from happening. It is one thing (and bad form) to show up with an unannounced pet, but a completely different matter to bring the dog and then let it loose around your party without checking with you that it would be okay.

If they brought a baby to your (soon to be but not yet childproofed) home unannounced and didn't monitor it enough to keep it from sticking its fingers in an outlet, would it be your fault?

that said, id probably just pay the money to avoid having this continue to be an issue and consider it a pricey lesson in dog ownership (for them) and hospitality/directness (for you - next time you would obviously tell them that they need to figure out how to manage their dog at your party instead of assuming it would be fine, yes?)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


Yeah, Snarl, but this wasn't a dog party. It's the responsibility of the dog owner to ask before bringing their dog into a new place; even without other dogs present, not everyone likes dogs, kids might be scared, allergies, etc. etc. I think the OP has been more than generous.
posted by MadamM at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


Wait, so they brought their dog unannounced, they knew the two dogs weren't getting along and let the pregnant hostess be in charge of keeping the dogs separated, and they didn't at any point offer a solution or even make motions to do anything to avert conflict between the dogs? That really sucks.

FWIW I'm a former owner of a large and temperamental dog who had separation anxiety and thus came along with me to a lot of places that wouldn't be expected. And I still think they are the ones who dropped the ball here.

You've gone above and beyond already, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Sara C. at 2:20 PM on May 5, 2016 [23 favorites]


Yeah, above and beyond. It's incredibly thoughtless to bring a dog to someone's house without asking first. My dog is super friendly to all dogs and I would be livid if this happened. Same if I'm out walking in a leashed area and someone has their dog off-leash and it runs up to mine. HOW DO THEY KNOW MY DOG IS FRIENDLY? It makes me so upset.
posted by Marinara at 2:29 PM on May 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think you've done everything you could have. In retrospect, you definitely should have asked them to leave, but I can imagine how hard that would be to do.

I do also agree that you're downplaying how dangerous your dog is to other dogs. Most dog owners in my experience downplay anything dangerous about their pets. I understand. You love your dog. But he's still dangerous to other dogs when they come into his home. You've learned a pricey lesson.

I wouldn't bother doing anything more to mend fences. At this point it's on them.
posted by purple_bird at 2:32 PM on May 5, 2016 [17 favorites]


I once lived with a dog who was not always okay with other dogs, especially small ones. One time, a party guest brought her little yapper without asking. We banished guest and dog to the porch without a second thought. You wouldn't have been a bad host to do the same. I think you're good, but be careful in the future.
posted by the_blizz at 2:35 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dogs don't know the difference between crawling babies that pull their tails and play in their water dishes and other puppies. Not till little people can order them around. / Advice from our vet and dog behaviourist we consulted.
posted by taff at 2:43 PM on May 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


These people are idiots and their poor dog paid the price. You've done enough. I think they should actually be on the hook for some of the money just so they learn that it will cost them, in case their dog getting hurt wasn't repercussion enough. I would be furious if I were you.
posted by Jubey at 2:46 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ethically, I think this is a situation where you both screwed up--them MUCH MORE than you, but it happened at your house and your dog was the aggressor--and you should be willing to pay to "make them whole" (that is, the entire vet bill) but they shouldn't ask you for the remainder, because they should have the good sense to see their own errors here and how they contributed mightily to the situation.

So, if it were me, I'd probably not offer to pay the remaining $200 unless they asked, but if they did I would pay it without arguing. I'd also probably not send dog toys and a get-well basket, or make copious apologies, because I'd see it as a regrettable but foreseeable outcome based on bad decision on both of your parts (them=bringing an uninvited dog and letting it run loose after seeing another dog growl at it, you=not telling them they couldn't bring their dog in or asking them to lock their dog in a bathroom/bedroom). Apologizing really profusely will, I think, have the unintended consequence of reinforcing a wrong belief on their part that only bad dogs bite, and your dog attacked theirs because of something in its personality (which they had no control over) versus because of the bad situation they had a hand in creating (which they absolutely did have control over).
posted by iminurmefi at 3:02 PM on May 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


I think you've done more than enough. They suggested half? Pay half, and don't be friends with them anymore. If it had been me (I would not have brought my dog, of course), I would be mortified enough that I would be apologizing to you, not suggesting that you split the bill with me.

I also agree that if they ask for the full amount, pay that, just for peace of mind that you've bought these inconsiderate people off and don't have to ever feel guilty about this incident ever again.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 3:22 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


From a legal perspective, most states have dog bite laws are based on strict liability. This means that it doesn't matter who is at fault; since your dog did the damage, you would be liable for the full cost of the damage.
posted by chevyvan at 3:25 PM on May 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Pay for all of it and be nice about it, if they get pissed they could try and get your dog declared a nuisance and other things. I'd also consider having this thread deleted.
posted by TheAdamist at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


For the good of society, don't offer to pay the rest of the bill, and don't apologize. Yes, you absolutely should have either told them to leave or locked your dog up; and yes, legally it is your fault (and if they ask for the rest of the money you'll have to pay it); but these people really need to learn not to bring their dog to other people's homes without asking the host first.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:29 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think so long as you spend the rest of your friendship not yelling at them for being inconsiderate, self-involved assholes for bringing an uninvited dog into another person's house, you're doing more than your share in smoothing this over, especially given that you paid half the vet bill.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:33 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


This was the Canary in the Coal Mine wake-up call that you needed. Your home is about to get a lot more hectic.

This will not be the first time as a new parent you need to FORGET being polite to head off trouble or just plain old discomfort for your soon infant/then toddler/then young child. As the owner of a malamute, you should already know this - sometimes you gotta speak up!!

Yes, nthing your malamute will not know the difference between a toddler or another small dog. You'll need to advocate between both of them, too. You should probably talk to a vet or behaviorist.

Canary, meet coal mine. Say hello.
posted by jbenben at 3:37 PM on May 5, 2016 [47 favorites]


No, no, no! NOT your fault! Who brings a dog uninvited to a party?! (OK actually, I've done that, back in my very early twenties before I knew better, but I would have totally accepted all the responsibility if something like that had happened). It's probably wise to have done as you did though, since I guess they could sue you if they wanted to be dicks about it, so best to stay on their good side. Let this be a lesson though, next time anyone is ignorant enough to bring a dog to your home without clearing it first, regretfully send them away explaining that your dogs are territorial with other dogs. It's as simple as that. Your dogs live there, their comfort and safety and your peace of mind come first.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Your downplaying of your dog's repeated biting problem is a red flag. If you are going to own a big dog that bites, you need to take appropriate steps to keep other animals safe from him- that means you need to assertively lead the dogs and perhaps other humans, separate the dogs, leave the area, muzzle the malamute, etc. It's your home and your dog- I think the fault is about 90% yours. Inexperienced owners of a little corgi are not able to assess the danger your dog presents. I think you should consult a dog behaviorist before your child is born.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:39 PM on May 5, 2016 [49 favorites]


What happens on your property is your legal responsibility. Pay the rest of the bill and hope that they don't sue. Yes, they were wrong to bring their dog and let it roam without them right by it but, knowing the nature of your dog you should have sent them away when they first showed up or locked your dog away in another room. You knew the harm and they didn't. I wouldn't invite them back and I certainly wouldn't send them any cards or letters that a jerky lawyer could help them use against you.
posted by myselfasme at 3:40 PM on May 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


I wonder if the Vet has to report the bite to Animal Control? In some states/counties that is the law.

You both did wrong by your dogs. You are liable and they could sue you. It happened on your property.

I have a nippy terrier. He bit a stranger one time 8 years ago. I watch him like a hawk and always put his and other people/ dogs safety first. And if someone doesn't like it, too bad for them.
posted by cairnoflore at 3:45 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Both of you dropped the ball on dog safety best practices here, but you reached a mutual agreement and you're even going $50 above and beyond what was asked. From an ethical standpoint, you don't owe anything else to your friends.

The corgi is the one who really got screwed through no fault of its own, so I'm in favor of sending it the treat package.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:55 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have a dog in this fight! Well, not this fight, but similar occurrences. In fact, I'm still paying off the vet bill for a labradoodle incident a couple weeks ago. While reading this question, I kept on waiting for the dog-on-dog action to occur.

Our friends came in with their corgi while both my husband and I were occupied.

And then your dog bit the corgi? Well, you shouldn't pay for those bills, because they should have asked before bringing the dog in! But wait, there's more.

To make a long story short, I spent the next 90 minutes or so doing my best to manage both dogs to keep them in two separate spaces with a neutral zone between them...

I didn't directly tell dog owners that they should leave with their dog (probably should have, but didn't want to be bad hosts), and my husband didn't either....


Why did these things happen? This was your house, and once you were aware that the corgi had arrived and the two dogs weren't getting along, it was your responsibility to manage the environment and keep your dog from ending up in this situation. If the floor plan is so open that there was no bedroom for one dog to hang out in, then both dogs should have stayed on leashes with owner supervision, or one dog should have left.

As a visitor, even a visitor gauche enough to bring a dog without asking, I would have taken my cues from you, because you know your dog best. If you felt that your dog was going to be any kind of risk, then something should have been done besides assuming that folks would keep them away from each other. That is not a management system, that is wishful thinking.

I know that my dog has issues with other dogs. It is my responsibility to help my dog avoid situations where somebody else's dog gets hurt, no matter how much of a dumdum that person may be. This can be difficult outside of the home, and I can see instances where the blame would fall on somebody else's shoulders. However, in this instance, it was your house, and you had the opportunity to see that they weren't going to get along, but didn't take concrete steps to keep them apart.

If they only asked for half, then you should only pay half, and be glad that they seem to acknowledge their own hand in the incident.


I had to stop the couple from petting and speaking in soothing tones to my Malamute while he was growling at their corgi - that sort of behavior just tells a dog that he's doing the right thing, IMO


That is most certainly your opinion. Their actions might have stressed your dog out more, though, which wouldn't have helped the behavior. Some people have easy dogs, and don't learn the same things that other dog owners learn.

posted by redsparkler at 4:01 PM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Just going to add in a note regarding babies and Malamutes to follow-up on taff's comment - not trying to thread-sit. I do appreciate all of the points of view I'm hearing here.

Malamutes were bred for a very specific purpose (working in close partnership with an Inuit tribe in South Alaska pulling heavy sleds), which greatly impacts their breed characteristics, including a desire for clear dog pack hierarchies and a strong prey drive. This also included living in very, very close quarters with human families during the winter, and thus they generally LOVE all humans - they're notorious as horrible guard dogs despite being big dogs because all humans are 100% awesome in their eyes. They typically have even more love for babies and small children, and have an extremely high tolerance for babies crawling all over them, yanking ears and tails, playing with their food and water, etc. - and my Malamute is no exception to that breed characteristic. He's hung out with many friends' babies and toddlers, and treats them oh-so-carefully - and very differently from dogs or puppies he interacts with. He will be the happiest dog EVER when we bring this baby home and he has his very own small human to sniff, lick, and generally worship. He has a very, very strong track record of being careful, putting up with pretty much anything and everything for awhile because he wants to be near the kiddo, and retreating carefully (rather than trying to discipline) when he finally gets tired of being petted/poked by a curious toddler still learning "gentle touch".

Our other dog, on the other hand, will need to managed much more closely with a baby in the house, but mostly because she's careless and thinks she's about a third of the size that she actually is.
posted by Jaclyn at 4:02 PM on May 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


I agree with those who say that you are seriously downplaying the danger your dog represents. Stop congratulating yourself for being an "advanced skills necessary" dog owner -- clearly you are less skilled than you think or your dog wouldn't have caused so much harm to another dog.

Incidents like this don't 'just happen' -- you are responsible for allowing the conditions that led this to happen. You knew your dog can be aggressive to other dogs and did nothing to prevent him from being aggressive to this dog.

If this happened on your property, it could happen off your property as well and the repercussions could be much more severe. As others point out, your child might also be at risk.

I would encourage you to speak to a vet or dog behaviorist. You have a dangerous dog, and you need to acknowledge that and take steps to protect others from him.
posted by crazy with stars at 4:04 PM on May 5, 2016 [27 favorites]


Jaclyn: "They typically have even more love for babies and small children, and have an extremely high tolerance for babies crawling all over them, yanking ears and tails, playing with their food and water, etc. - and my Malamute is no exception to that breed characteristic."

Malamutes are known to have hurt and killed children. Just in the last two years:

* A three-year-old girl in Wales
* A six-day old infant also in Wales
* A newborn outside Sydney
* A seven-year old girl in Manitoba

Malamutes are typically gentle, but they can hurt even family members. You have a dangerous dog that has already proved itself willing to do violence to others in its own territory. You should be much more freaked out than you are.
posted by crazy with stars at 4:14 PM on May 5, 2016 [45 favorites]


I'll be relatively charitable and mark culpability at 50-50, but two things:

- You have a lot more to lose in this equation

- Why the F was the 35wk pregnant woman responsible for chasing all of this down?
posted by rhizome at 4:17 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


That probably would have been the case with the corgi as well, except for the size differential and the bad luck of him grabbing the skin very close to her eye, rather than less delicate skin on a leg or torso.

It feels disingenuous for you to discuss dog behavior in depth and then throw this out there. Your dog did cause damage, and not just because of bad luck, or because a corgi is smaller than a malamute.

I use the term "tussle" because the Mal is clearly not out to significantly injure the other dog, just to establish an appropriate dog hierarchy

No matter what our opinions on hierarchy are, or how they may differ, I'll agree that there are acceptable instances where dogs may nip at other dogs as an a reprimand. As I understand it, though, dogs that are well-socialized with other dogs will have learned enough bite inhibition to not injure other dogs, even if one is a Malamute and the other is a corgi. Corgis aren't exceptionally tiny or fragile animals.

And very much agreed, you should not have been the sole person responsible for making these dog decisions. Even if you weren't pregnant, trying to keep two loose dogs away from each other during a party just isn't a recipe for success.
posted by redsparkler at 4:28 PM on May 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Again, not trying to thread-sit, but I have significant experience with this particular dog being around humans of all sizes, and am not concerned about danger from him toward humans. Every dog professional I've worked with agrees with that assessment. (I've worked with multiple dog trainers for training the other dog, who has a particular hatred of skateboards that we've been working on for the 8+ years I've owned her. The Malamute has always been included in the training since his reactions to skateboarders - or lack thereof - on walks impact the first dog.)

I obviously don't know the particulars of any of the other dogs in your articles, but I certainly recognize that Malamutes - like every other dog breed out there - have the potential to injure or kill humans. I also recognize that any dog can get into a situation or be pushed to a point where he ends up lashing out, often to very sad results if a small person is present. I do not plan on ever leaving my child - or any child - unsupervised with any dog, including my Malamute, and I wish this were standard practice with all dog owners (and parents). It'd certainly advert a lot of tragedies.
posted by Jaclyn at 4:30 PM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


You know your dog better than we do, definitely, so apologies if I am overstepping here - but what is the harm in talking to a canine behaviorist before the baby comes? If nothing but for peace of mind? The thing that stood out to me in your question was not that he bit the corgi. It was that you are 35 weeks pregnant, seem very invested in your identity and your interpretation of your dog's identity and breed, and really downplay the danger your dog poses.

Your dog bites other dogs. Full stop. That poses a danger, especially if he gets jealous of your baby. Your baby is not the same as a baby that belongs to someone else. Why not talk to a canine behaviorist about this? What's stopping you?
posted by sockermom at 4:31 PM on May 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


Your ethical responsibilities have been met, you paid more than half, sending the treats won't hurt if you want to do that. But your update gave me chills. My mum's dog is a small lapdog bred for children, ridiculously sweet and gentle, tolerated pulled tails and rough scritches and loud noises from children all day long. Until the day she was sitting beside my Mum on the couch and my 2 year old niece toddled over to them and made a sudden movement towards her, and the dog snapped at her. To another dog it would have been a snap on the muzzle - no pain, just a "back off" warning. On a 2 year old's face though it's a different story. She caught her just below the eye. You think you're relieved the corgi didn't lose an eye? Imagine what that relief is like when it's a tiny kid. It healed mostly but there's a small scar and it looked awful for a long time. We were all devastated and totally stunned because "she's just such a gentle dog! There were no warning signs!" We got a behaviourist in and the dog was muzzled around the kids until they were older, the dog was trained better and the kids knew how to behave around animals. If your dog God forbid hurt your child, or any other, you couldn't even say it had no history of aggression. You really, really need to remember that dogs are animals, even if they're animals we love to death, and get some proper advice about how to manage a dog with some territory-related aggression and a new baby.
posted by billiebee at 4:32 PM on May 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


[Folks, the issue of the dog's safety around children has been raised. Please leave it at that, as it's not the actual question to be answered.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:35 PM on May 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


Nthing everyone who says you need to take more care. It's your responsibility to ensure that your malamute is kept out of situations where he can "fail" and hurt someone. I find it extraordinary that after the first tussle, you let him continue to roam freely in an area with the dog he'd had the trouble with. You can't expect yourself to have an eye on him every second, so don't put yourself, and him, in situations where bad things can happen because your attention lapsed briefly. Even if that means you have to assert yourself unpleasantly. To the point of literally telling people to fuck off, if it gets that far. (i've been about two seconds from doing that with people ignoring my warnings that my friend's little dog is not a fan of strangers.) Rather they think that you're rude than anyone get hurt and your dog get saddled with a bite history.

In terms of liability, if the corgi's people have agreed to the $300/$200 split, that's fine, but I would have offered to cover the entire amount. The corgi really is the victim here, of two sets of people's carelessness, so I do think the treat basket is a nice touch. So in terms of specific individual amends, I think you're fine. Now do everyone the real favor and be more disciplined about keeping your dog safe.
posted by praemunire at 4:37 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do want to say that a list of deaths by dog breed means almost nothing without actual reporting in the articles. The first three I clicked on had absolutely no information about the situation in which the deaths occurred.

Of course they call the dogs "beloved family pets", but that can mean different things to different people, and many breeds suffer from a lack of accurate reporting in these circumstances. Any dog can be pushed to a point where it will attack, and the key is to know your dog and keep them far from that point.
posted by redsparkler at 4:40 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Pay half, don't let anyone bring a dog in future. My dog, as she matured, stopped being ok with strange dogs in our house. She was fine as a puppy and sub-adult and remains fine with other dogs on neutral territory or at their houses. She will resource guard and growl/snap if they come in to our house though. Now in my dogs case this has ended up with her being bitten twice by friends dogs, which made her more anxious about other dogs, so no more strange dogs allowed. Some people don't listen and you have to tell them firmly but that is your job as a dog owner.
posted by fshgrl at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


The folks who brought the corgi fucked up, but so did you. They failed their dog by bringing it, unannounced and uninvited, to the party. You failed your dog by neglecting to (a) ask the corgi owners to take it home or (b) confining your dog until the corgi left. Were I in your shoes, I would be paying 100% of the vet bill, sending the get-well-soon package, and apologizing like mad.

I find that being a dog owner means encountering lots of situations similar to this one. You and your dog are minding your own business, and then someone else is doing something with their dog - bringing it to inappropriate parties, letting it off-leash where it shouldn't be, allowing it to bark incessantly at passing dogs, unwittingly encouraging dog-dog aggression, etc. - that creates a frustrating situation. Even if the other dog owner is 100% in the wrong, you still owe it to your dog to protect it to the greatest extent possible from bad outcomes.

Stop congratulating yourself for being an "advanced skills necessary" dog owner -- clearly you are less skilled than you think or your dog wouldn't have caused so much harm to another dog.

Yes, this - a thousand times. I caught at least two major red flags in your post that make me seriously question your own dog expertise. You are not the dog whisperer that you seem to think you are.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:09 PM on May 5, 2016 [21 favorites]


You probably don't need me to tell you this, but if you are thinking people might drop by unannounced to see your newborn after s/he arrives, it's worth sending out a blast that no outside dogs are allowed during this time when all of you (your dogs included) are adjusting to life with a baby. If anyone offers to start a meal drop-off schedule for you, make sure they know to put it in caps next to your address.
posted by Pearl928 at 5:33 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Supervision is not enough, either between a Malamute and another dog or a Malamute and a child. I see the outcomes of dog-related injuries in the emergency department all the time, and one of the most common patterns I see, aside from children getting bitten in an interaction with a dog who 'guards' food and toys, is an owner of a large dog getting bitten when he or she tries to stop their large dog from mauling or killing a small dog. Because even breeds that are known for being wonderful, loyal family pets will seriously injure their owners (it appears to be mostly accidental but can still be very serious soft tissue injury) in the heat of the moment once a fight starts.

If you've never seen this sort of thing between dogs before, it can seem really scary, but it normally only lasts a few seconds, and rarely results in anything more than a small nip that heals in a couple of days.
That's not what I've seen and heard. From what I can tell, it is not unusual for a dog to get killed in a fight that involves a large breed.

I would urge you to forget supervision as a strategy for dealing with this, and consider complete separation (i.e. dog does not attend parties, play dates, etc - is never in the same room/indoor or outdoor space with such gatherings). The stakes are too high, both in terms of potential for injury and also the potential for your dog to end up getting put down. I am a dog lover and I would not want that to happen to a dog that you clearly love very much. Don't put her in a situation where failure is a possibility. As hard as it is to supervise a dog while you're 35 weeks pregnant, it's even harder when you're also trying to supervise an infant or toddler. I very much agree with the 'canary in the coal mine' point.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:52 PM on May 5, 2016 [18 favorites]


While you were both at fault, I have an additional suggestion: Whatever you do, when you interact with the owners of the Corgi, do not downplay the seriousness of the bite like you've done here.

It is very likely to raise red flags for people, whether you think it's justified or not.

(It raises red flags for me. I have a close friend who has a dog that gets nippy when it get worked up. I'm not afraid the dog will seriously hurt me--he's not big enough to do that by accident and he's never been aggressive toward me, but whenever she downplays the seriousness I start to get very worried and it makes me want to dig in my heels more. Whereas when she says something like, "Gosh, I am so sorry, I know it's a problem and I've been working with him on it," I am more likely to feel like my concerns are respected, to point out that the dog's behavior is indeed getting better, and accept that she's doing what she can.)

This is a people-management piece of advice. You don't want them to feel as though you don't recognize how serious it was, like you so very clearly don't. Your dog could have destroyed their dog's eye. Whether that would have been intentional on your dog's part or not, your dog could have maimed their dog because it was out of control.

I think that by only asking for half, they were being very fair to you; they seem to recognize that they also fucked up by bringing their dog over without your permission. Unlike the more doom-and-gloom commenters, I don't think that you should dump them as friends (really, guys?), because it sounds like they're being reasonable despite the initial stupid thing they did. So pay them what you said you would pay them, and send the treats to their dog as a make-nice present. And take their concerns about your dog's behavior seriously if they bring it up.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:31 PM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Ethically, I think the $300 plus basket of treats puts you in the clear. As pretty much everyone above has pointed out, they were exceptionally rude, but you were too polite by not asking them to remove their dog from your home. It sounds like you may be underestimating your dog's aggressiveness and capacity to do harm, which may have supported your thinking that this was a manageable situation. It doesn't appear that your very justifiable annoyance at these guests bringing a dog to your home without asking is coloring your perspective. Rather, it seems your love of this dog and breed may be preventing you from seeing the situation, at the party and in general, clearly. I'm sure he's a lovely dog and is clearly a beloved member of the family, but you may need to reevaluate how you view these "tussles" and his ability to cope with changes, no matter how small or temporary, in his home territory. Good luck & congrats on your baby!
posted by katemcd at 7:13 PM on May 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Paying more than half the vet bill, and sending a treat basket seems more than fine to me. I think you are being very fair about it. I agree that them offering to split the bill indicates they feel at least partly responsible (and rightly so), because they brought the dog over without asking you if that was ok, nor did they take proper responsibility to control their dog while it was at your house.

Unlike a lot of people here (at least apparently?), I've actually owned a Corgi. They can be quite aggressive with other dogs, including bigger dogs, and I am not assuming your dog was necessarily the sole aggressor/instigator here, just because your dog is bigger and was defending his territory. I like Corgis, but they are a working breed (cattle herding dogs), not sweet harmless little lap dogs. (Anyone remember Queen Elizabeth getting bitten breaking up a fight among her Corgis?) I think your mistake was in not telling the couple immediately to take the dog home, or in not locking up your dog for the duration if you did not want to ask them to leave. If I had seen someone with a Corgi show up at my party, I would have been worried about what the Corgi might do just as much as the Malamute!

Anyway, I don't think you need to do more than you are already doing to compensate them; I think you have responded appropriately (and you just need to have a plan in place, that you and your husband have agreed on in advance, if any guests show up in the future with unexpected pets in tow.)
posted by gudrun at 7:25 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think you did the right thing to pay the $300, send the treat basket, and offer your sincere apology. They were wrong to bring their dog and expect you to have supervised both at your party (how inconsiderate of them!) However, you are the gatekeeper at your home and it was your much bigger dog who bit theirs so you have to be the one to now make amends.

I love dogs, and am looking forward to adopting one (soon, I hope!) Right now we only have cats but we always had a dog growing up. Despite my love for canines, I approach some dogs with trepidation and with good reason because I've been bitten before. On rare occasion I've left homes where I feel unsafe and my fears unaddressed. When walking outside, it annoys me when owners don't try to restrain their dogs when I'm meeting them for the first time. I believe a fear of unfamiliar dogs is very primal so I don't understand why some dog owners don't get this. I don't expect all dogs to be well-trained or well-behaved but I do expect the owner to at least try to hold back their dog, etc. when I'm approaching on a first encounter. I sense you definitely do this, that you're mindful and cautious and recognize the power of your large dog, so it's really just about tweaking your plan for houseguests.

Even with just our cats, we've had to totally adjust how we welcome guests into our home. I want to think that most people are chill with cats (mine are awfully cute!); then I remember how sometimes I can be tense around new cats (we had mean ones growing up!) We inform people of our policies and we stick to them; we also listen to their needs and preferences and try to be as accommodating as possible in advance. This could be simple and obvious like vacuuming multiple times a day or immediately cleaning the litter box. Or it could mean putting them (the pets ;-) in a separate part of the house for a few hours or even taking them to spend a night with family (their petsitters when we travel.) Sometimes you have to choose between animals and people -- and it's OK to choose animals as long as it's a clear and well-stated boundary to the people.

I agree with the posters above who recommended you be extra careful when having your dog and soon-to-be-born baby (congrats!) together. I agree with you that your pups would, in most cases, do whatever they could to protect you and your child. However, dogs and cats are still wild animals at heart and can accidentally injure or even kill when scared, provoked, etc. Also, sometimes the things animals do instinctually to care for their young are very harmful to human babies. My cats are very sweet but I still wouldn't trust them alone and unsupervised with a baby for more than a minute because you just never know! I believe you will be able to right by your pets and right by your baby but I'd definitely err on the side of caution, especially at first. Your dog will adjust, your child extra safe, and you can have peace of mind.
posted by smorgasbord at 8:58 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


This wasn't a "dog fight", this was your dog attacking and injuring another dog.

Yes, they should have asked before bringing the Corgi, but you knew your dog was aggressive and you didn't prevent the inevitable from happening when you very easily could have.

I'm very concerned about how you're downplaying and excusing your dog's aggression. It sounds like you need to get him some (more) training in how to behave around other dogs. Also sounds like you need to put up some warning signs on your property. And make absolutely certain he cannot escape your home (do you have an electric fence?)

You should pay the rest of the vet bill, be glad he didn't actually *kill* the Corgi, and make sure this doesn't happen again in the future.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 9:33 PM on May 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm surprised that there aren't more lawyers in this thread. Your friends definitely fucked up. They put their dog at risk, and their dog was injured. You also made some mistakes, and now your dog is also at risk. It's pretty likely that your dog is now on record as having attacked another dog, since their dog went to the vet. It varies by states, so you should check your local laws, but in the research I did (before having to put down a dog who'd bitten) indicated that the second recorded bite was where your dog was likely to be declared a dangerous or vicious dog, raising your legal liability significantly (in our case, we were worried about losing our home-owner's insurance). We had been working with both our vet and a vet behaviorist-- that should absolutely be your next step here. As your dog's owner, it's your responsibility to protect him; and that includes from smaller dogs who try to get his food.

I haven't read this site, only skimmed it, but it looks like it might be a useful collection of legal issues around owning a dog who has bitten (or one who has been bitten).
posted by instamatic at 3:33 AM on May 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


OH HELL NO! You don't owe them anything. It's their responsibility to deal with their dog. What kind of morons show up to someone's house with a DOG?

My sister was dog sitting for a friend, the dogs all get walked together every night, they're all part of the same pack so to speak. Sissy's dog bit one of the guest dogs. Sissy paid, for one reason, SHE was charged with watching the dogs.

You've already paid. If they ask for more (and they better not) simply say, "I'm very sorry that Wally got injured by Fifi. If you had asked us, we would have told you to leave him at home, since Fifi, although loving with humans, doesn't do well with strange dogs in her territory. In reading up on this, it turns out that we're not liable for the behavior of our dog. Certainly, we're very sorry that Wally got injured, but dogs gonna dog. This is part of what they do. In future, I recommend leaving Wally at home or at least asking your host if it's okay to bring your dog to a party. "

FWIW, I got my JD from People's Court and Judge Judy, so do read up on your local dog statutes. But I'm pretty sure you're not responsible, not an iota.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:08 AM on May 6, 2016


Some fault attaches to both sides, so it sounds like you did the right thing in offering to help pay for the vet bills. Your friends probably should have checked with you first before bringing their dog. For your part, knowing your dog has injured other dogs in the past, you probably should have asked them to take their dog home and come back, or lock your dog in a spare room for the remainder of the party. These things happen.
posted by ageispolis at 7:44 AM on May 6, 2016


"In reading up on this, it turns out that we're not liable for the behavior of our dog."

That is simply not true. While the details and wording of the law varies from state to state, the owner or handler is almost always responsible for injury their dog inflicts.

In this case, it appears the OP lives in California. CA law explicitly states that the owner is responsible for their dog attacking, even on their own private property, as long as the other party was there lawfully, which they were.

Furthermore, if the OP lives in San Fran, if a complaint were lodged against them, they might very well have to go before a "vicious and dangerous dog panel" to determine their dog's fate.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 8:51 AM on May 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


You know your dog is aggressive toward other dogs and yet you allowed guests to bring their (uninvited) dog into your home.

At no point did you EVER tell these people that your dog was aggressive to other dogs and they should best remove their dog. This seems negligent on YOUR part. Whether or not they're rude idiots for bringing their dog to your house is 100% irrelevant because you allowed the dog to enter your home and they had absolutely ZERO reason to think their dog wasn't safe as a guest.

1. Apologize to these people for not warning them and giving them a chance to make an informed decision about whether or not their dog was safe.
2. Offer to pay ALL the vet bills. And extra doggie treats.
3. Train your dog to be less aggressive.
4. Until you get #3 done, never again let your dog near other dogs or babies or children.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:17 AM on May 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


I have an Akita, a VERY similar dog to a Malamute. Spitz type breed, 85Lbs, willful, smart, a lot of "it depends" with other dogs, adores children, etc.

You made some mistakes but you're not in the wrong here.

1. I would never EVER bring my dog to someone else's house with their express permission. Full stop. That's doubly true if I know that there will be another dog there. Even after talking about it before hand, I would still make sure I had a backup plan in case I need to remove my dog from the situation; a collapsible crate, a baby-gate in a side room, the back of the car (as long as the weather is cools, rather than warms the car), or something. I can be pretty confident that my dog will be okay or I wouldn't bring her but even then it's not like I can ask her and you can't control how another dog is going to react.

2. Once the dogs had growled at each other, I would have separated them and kept them apart. Had I been the corgi owners, that's when I would have gone to my backup plan. Had I been in your shoes, I'd like to say that that's when I would have kicked the other dog out of my house, but they're friends, there are a bunch of people there, you're trying to be a good host. I get it.

In some jurisdictions, after a 2nd documented attack like that, the dog get's put down. There are no other options, there is no recourse. These people put in a situation where their dog got attacked and it's not really your fault. But YOUR dog pays the price and it would be hard not to think of those people as, "the people who killed our dog" from the point on. You were put in a shitty position and didn't take quite the right actions, that doesn't mean you're at fault. You've already done more than enough.


To the folks concerned about the Malamute and babies, don't be. My dog is the same way. She'll play rough with me and wrestling with other dogs so hard they nearly draw blood is her jam. Put her next to any baby or toddler and she treats them like a Faberge egg. It's kind of a miraculous thing to see but the pack instinct runs STRONG in spitz breeds and their respect and concern for the "pack's cubs" knows no bounds. That said, any time my dog meets any new baby or child, it's done in a controlled environment and we go slow. While I firmly believe that when my new niece is over, the dog present the least danger of any living thing in the house (my niece's parents included) they don't hang out together without supervision. I have no doubt that the OP will take the same precautions with her own child. But once they're confident that the dog and baby will get along, the amount of tolerance that that kind of dog will show to a baby or toddler is INSANELY high and is so obvious it's palpable. I had a Samoyed in my teens (another Spitz breed even more closely related to Malamutes) and exhibited precisely the same attitude towards kids.

To put it bluntly, the folks worried about the OP's baby don't know what they're talking about. That's not to say spitz dogs haven't or can't attack a baby, just that's it's so far out of character for these dogs as to seem ridiculous.
posted by VTX at 9:53 AM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Once again, folks, this isn't a general debate and the question does not involve babies. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:02 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks to all who have weighted in - I expected to hear many differing opinions on such a controversial issue, and did indeed hear many opinions. :) I've marked some best answers, but appreciate hearing from everyone.

As I mentioned in my initial question, there's quite the long story regarding the time between the corgi arriving at the house and the time of the dog fight, and it included many things, such as me putting corgi in the one space where it could be separated from the Mal (owners removed it without my husband or I knowing that to take the corgi for a short walk - in retrospect, I should have put my Mal away instead of the corgi), the corgi being on a leash at the time of the fight (not my idea - leashes can drastically changes a dog's behavior, since "flight" or submission have been eliminated as options, and corgis, as was pointed out above, are tough little dudes who do not typically back down from bigger creatures), and, well, a bunch of other things that I don't think are very pertinent to the main question of "have I appropriately discharged my ethical responsibility here or not, given that my dog was the one that injured their dog?"

I do appreciate the reminders that I should have gone with my gut in asking the corgi to leave the house permanently once I could see trouble brewing between the dogs over the dog food. I also greatly appreciate the reminder that it is always my responsibility to set dogs up for success, and I failed in that responsibility here to my Malamute and to my friends' corgi (who got the worst of everything, poor girl). She will indeed be getting her treat basket, and the friends have reported that she's completely back to her normal happy self, other than being in the cone of shame for ten more days until the stitches heal. It looks like it's water under the bridge.

I also appreciate the intentions behind the concern over my unborn child/all future children my dog can come into contact with, although, yeah, not the question I asked. I think I've said enough about why I am not particularly concerned about the issue, but I hope all other dog owners or parents of kids are reminded that dogs are big strong creatures that can cause injury very, very quickly, whether by accident or on purpose, and therefore dogs and babies/children should never be left unsupervised together. I guess the one silver lining of this incident is that my husband - who has never seen an actual dog fight before - was reminded that our Malamute is a big powerful animal, even though he normally acts like just a cuddly teddy bear. Until this incident, the whole idea of "dogs can do damage really fast" had been just an intellectual concept for my husband, I think, and I'm glad we were both reminded of that fact before we bring a new kiddo home.

And...since I can't stop myself... In defense of the Mal being generally considered an "aggressive dog" or not knowing how to avoid drawing blood when fighting: this is the third time he's ever drawn blood on another dog in eight years of ownership. First time was a small nip to the leg when my GSD mix jumped on top of him from the stairs in the first week I owned him, when he was really unsure of the entire "living in a house with people who don't beat and starve me" situation and still recovering from being neutered a few days earlier. Pass for those reasons, to my mind. Second time was a small nip to the hindquarters when the GSD mix tried to steal his peanut butter-filled Kong from right under his nose a few months later - pass because she was really asking for it - he had already given her plenty of growled warnings that stealing would not be tolerated (then & in other similar situations), I had stopped her twice and warned her away, but she was determined to find out what would happen if she pushed the limit (and yes, she had her own peanut butter-filled Kong at the time). ALL other dog hierarchy tussles/fights (mostly with the GSD mix - a dog who lives to push limits if there ever was one - but also with other dogs in other times/places, all with contexts that I'm not going to get into here) have resulted in much sound and fury, the other dog(s) eventually submitting or just walking away without my Mal pursuing, and no injuries to any dog involved. Like I said initially, the doggie day care where he's been going for years, and was once attending daily, has used him to train the adolescent puppies new to the day care to not be too mouthy or rudely boisterous with the other dogs, because he's very good at putting up with puppy shittiness until they cross the line, and then soundly smacking them down (without injury) when they cross said line. Hopefully the fact that a bunch of dog professionals trust him enough to use him for puppy manners training is at least some evidence that I'm not just incredibly biased in favor of my own dog. If not, well, then strangers on the internet think I'm wrong.

I honestly think the difference in this particular instance with the corgi was either the fact that the corgi was leashed and didn't feel like she could back down, which increased the seriousness of the fight, or a tooth/claw just ended up in the wrong place through bad luck. Still sucks for the poor corgi, though! Also, for anyone who doubts a corgi's strength and resolve, I did find a small scabbed-over wound under my Mal's left ear last night that I'm about 95% sure is from the fight, so it looks like the corgi got in at least one good nip. Corgis are tough dogs! They're bred to take on big cattle and not back down, despite their teeny cute little legs and smile-y dog faces. Good dog for people looking for a big dog mentality in a small dog body (or just adorableness).

posted by Jaclyn at 6:05 PM on May 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think you're handling the various responses really well and as I am not a dog owner I have absolutely no advice to offer in that regard.

But in terms of your husband's friends, I could charitably see the situation whereas they heard that your were putting your one dog in doggy daycare but your malamute just LOOOVES parties and is totally mellow, and thus may have seen the party as more dog-friendly than it obviously was. That plus not being aware of your dog's issues about space & food may have been why they brought their corgi with them.

Still not a genius move, but not obliviously boorish...
posted by amicamentis at 10:35 AM on May 10, 2016


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