Home > Entreaty, Reflections, Safety > I kicked a dog, and I DIDN’T like it

I kicked a dog, and I DIDN’T like it

A little blur of brown shot out between two fenceposts a foot or two away. He was aimed directly at my 50-pound collie mix, Sai.

I wasn’t too fazed initially. Lots of small dogs come up running around here, but almost all are 100% more bark than bite. They shy away the first time I shout.

This pug came growling and latched onto my dog’s legs. I yanked Sai back so he couldn’t get the pug in his jaws, a situation so much more difficult to resolve. I shouted at the pug as I pulled my dog’s leash. I prayed I could deter the pug from its attack.

It was undeterred.

The next time it lunged, I kicked. I’ve had to try dislodging dogs from other dogs’ mouths, and it’s something I never want to do again.

That wasn’t enough for the pug. It still wanted to show my dog who was boss.

So I kicked again. Harder. Roaring at it.

The pug backed away.

I shook as it strolled off. I’d had to kick a dog.

I don’t want to harm any living creature, but I’d had to kick a dog.

“Your pug attacked my dog, you [redacted]!” I shouted at the pug’s house, hoping the pug’s owner would hear and take better care to restrain their aggressive dog.

I felt horrible to have kicked a dog, but also glad no one was seriously injured or killed in the incident. And once again, I found myself wishing all dog owners understood that aggression is aggression no matter the size of the dog, and that all dogs must be properly restrained for everyone’s benefit. Humans, small dogs and big dogs alike can be hurt or killed trying to defuse a situation like this … a situation that would never have been had both dogs been properly restrained.

sam nye

Size does not determine aggression

For more on this topic, please see:
Aggression is never adorable


  1. October 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Can I reblog this? I don’t reblog often but this is an important issue to me. I own two dogs of which are German Shepard/Pitbull mix and people tell me all the time they are going to grow up and be aggressive.

    Oh yeah, aggressive. They’ll suffocate you with dog drool and lick you to death. Totally!

    I 100% agree with this post!

    • October 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

      By all means! I volunteered at a couple of pit bull rescues previously and got to play with some of the gentlest dogs. The most aggressive dog on one of the compounds was–no joke–a chihuahua. Being around many dogs, it feels vitally important for me to share this. All dogs can live long, peaceful lives with the right guidance. None should have to die en masse because people fear them based on misapprehension.

      • October 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Exactly!!! Chihuahuas are so much more prone to aggression than any breed I have seen

        • October 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

          Though the ATTS cautions against using test pass rates to label breeds instead of gauge individual dogs’ temperaments, I was not surprised chihuahuas have a low pass rate: http://atts.org/breed-statistics/

          I first acquainted myself with this test to be able to demonstrate that folks’ perceptions of “good” dogs and “bad” dogs were just that: perceptions, and also to highlight that the same measures should reasonably apply to all dogs. Not just big ones or ones of certain breeds! Sadly, this message has not translated well no matter how many times/ways I have tried to express it in conversation. I always hope there is some impact in the long run!

          • October 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

            There really is no good or bad dog. It’s based on breeding, temperament and facts about the breed itself. Pits were bred to be nanny dogs during WWII and then during the 60’s were trained to hunt hogs due to their powerful jaw strength. Dotsons were bred for badger hunting, Dobermans were guard dogs, etc etc.

            People need to do proper research before getting a dog. Also while I am on this rant, mutts are awesome. That is all! 🙂

          • October 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

            You should know I just want to smooch this ^ comment, it is that delectable! 😀

          • October 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm

            As a dog trainer, owner and hopefully one day breeder(I don’t have the funds, equipment or decent property size to even think about doing it at this time!) I need to be educated on many breeds and know what I’m talking about.

            It’s also my duty to educate others.

  2. October 11, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Reblogged this on From One Crazy Life To Another and commented:
    A lesson to be learned here. Never judge a dog by its breed alone!

  3. October 11, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I ❤ Sai so much and can't help picturing him as an introvert who feels sad (and oddly justified to stick just with his family pack) after each of these occurrences. Sorry you both had to experience this kind of thing yet AGAIN in your neighborhood.

    • October 11, 2014 at 11:57 am

      ♥ I wish we could get out of here faster, but it’s going to be at least a few more months! I feel so sad for Sai, who hardly ever gets out of the house anymore because of the terrible situation with dogs being off leash here. He gets 1- to 2-minute walks nowadays. (He only got longer today because an assessor was measuring the house.) Dude needs to run and work, but here … every attempt is a risk.

  4. October 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I once had to kick a boxer that attacked my dog. It was no fun—but better than ending up with a seriously injured pet. Last week an extremely aggressive pit that runs around uncontrolled in the neighborhood came at my dog but then moved on. I was really shook up because Peeper was in a stroller—and at perfect dog level. Aggressive dogs of any kind need to be controlled to protect everyone else.

    • October 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Absolutely agreed! The first incident in this neighborhood was when I was pulling Li’l D in a wagon. The dog went for him, which was a terrible, terrifying feeling. It felt much better to get the dog focused on me, but I should never have been in that yay-it’s-only-attacking-me position to begin with.

  5. alienorajt
    October 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Hear hear! Very well said!

  6. October 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    This is one of those things that really gets in my craw. Sadly, that dog will eventually bite a child and will most likely be put down as a result. But the fault will lie with the clueless human caregiver.

    Fortunately, some places are wising up and are holding the human accountable as well.

  7. October 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    A lot of people who have dogs shouldn’t.

  8. October 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Difficult situation, but you were right. Little dogs can get so feisty. Pugs are usually house dogs, only going outside to be walked by their owners, so I’m surprised it was running around loose.

    • October 12, 2014 at 5:40 am

      I was surprised by that as well! This is the first time I’ve seen a pug off leash, ever, and the first time I’ve encountered anything other than snugly behavior from one. It was a little bigger than the pugs I’ve seen previously, which makes me wonder now if it’s a mix.

  9. Jen
    October 12, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Well you did what you had to do! I’m glad no one was hurt. How irresponsible of the owner!

  10. October 12, 2014 at 5:07 am

    You did what you needed to do. Do not worry yourself over this one my friend. Most of would have done the same thing. I would have taken it one step further, I would have called Animal Control.

    • October 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

      Thanks for the reassuring words! I will be calling Animal Control, but I need to go back to the house and get the address first. I will be making that return walk sans canine, of course …

  11. October 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Many years ago I almost got in a fist fight with a neighbor when I explained how their little dog came after my Golden Retriever. My guy barked at him twice and if I hadn’t gotten in the way the little monster would have been left a lifeless mess all because the owner didn’t take proper care of him.

    It might have been uncomfortable but your kicking him might have saved his life.

  12. October 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I’m glad you and Sai are okay, and my heart breaks for you because that is such a scary situation, and having to kick the dog because the other owner wasn’t doing their part, just isn’t fair! I would have been shaking long after walking away!

  13. October 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Very scary, and totally justified, Deb. Hope you were able to contact the owner later and tell him/her what happened. Any size dog can be aggressive.

  14. October 13, 2014 at 5:27 am

    I would have kicked him too. I love dogs but when they are aggressive you have to do what you have to do. That dogs needs to learn that it’s not ok to do that.

  1. August 8, 2015 at 7:59 am

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