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Discussion Starter #1
There's an agility trial held near me every 3-4 months. Misha's only 10 months and obviously too young to trial, but on the suggestion of his trainer, we've been going and sitting with him a distance from the ring and having him practice focus and obedience so that he'll be very used to the trial environment when he does start competing. It's not uncommon for young dogs and puppies to be brought to the event for exposure. Today we were at the trial and we were walking around the edge of the ring in a more quiet area to walk back to the parking lot area. The competition rings are surrounded by another fence which is bordered by concrete paths. People set up their crates and chairs along this secondary fence, but it's also the walkway that people are frequently walking their dogs through. So we're passing crates and chairs, making sure to give them a wide berth so we don't upset the dogs in crates. One of the spots has some folding chairs with two terriers on leashes. As we come kind of near, one of the terriers starts barking, so we back up even further to give them space. I assumed their leashes were tethered to the fence or something. But apparently not, because the terrier jumped off the chair and charged us, dragging the other dog with it. I instinctively tried to block it from reaching Misha, but it bit my hand. I pulled back and it lunged and grabbed Misha's tail and he cried out. At that point the dog's owner (who was present the whole time) was able to grab her dog. Thankfully Misha wasn't actually harmed. My finger has a minor puncture but nothing really serious. A lady who witnessed it came and talked to us afterward, and I think she talked to the trainers who requested that we report the incident to the AKC rep so they had it on file in case it happens again. So we did that. Everybody was really nice.

I was pretty freaked out immediately after it happened. I've never seen a dog suddenly act so aggressive. It wasn't a "stay back from my territory" reaction, but more of a "I'm going to murder you" and it gave absolutely no warning. The owner said the dog was normally friendly with other dogs. Maybe that's true. But it certainly decided it wanted to attack Misha without even meeting him. In retrospect, I wish I'd been able to pick him up. I think I didn't because he was a few feet away from me, and I was holding the leash with my right hand. I don't think I could easily pick him up with just my left. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to block the dog with my hand, but if I hadn't I think Misha would have actually been injured. So I'm glad I did. He is showing no signs of being bothered by the encounter, though of course I was very worried about it being a bad experience for him. I think this was a highly unusual incident, as usually people are very careful with their dogs at these events.
 

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That is not good. It’s my understanding that AKC will ban a dog from its events if it is aggressive like this. I thought it was a once and you’re out kind of thing. Perhaps someone else will know more.
I hope your hand feels better soon, and Misha’s tail. It sounds like Misha handled it pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is not good. It’s my understanding that AKC will ban a dog from its events if it is aggressive like this. I thought it was a once and you’re out kind of thing. Perhaps someone else will know more.
I hope your hand feels better soon, and Misha’s tail. It sounds like Misha handled it pretty well.
Thank you. Yes, it seems that may be possible. But it seems the incident was in a weird gray area because it was outside the ring, the dog was attacked but not injured, while the person was not attacked but was injured. And the dog that was attacked was not a competitor. They had three different forms for reporting incidents and this technically didn't fit any of the three. So it'll have to be reviewed but I'll never know the result. It was strange as that dog had many dogs walk past it, and I'm sure Misha walked past it multiple times without incident before it did attack. Misha definitely did not provoke it. I would not bring him if he were reactive to dogs. The last thing I want is to cause trouble for anybody. But I also would not want this to happen to another dog. I let him play with a local buddy of his later after the trial, and he was behaving totally normally, so hopefully he is fine.
 

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I hope you called your doctor about that wound since it was a puncture. Keep a close eye on it, hopefully it will heal nicely on it’s own but watch for potential infection. That was a trauma event so I’m glad Misha wasn’t seriously affected by it. I’m so sorry this happened to you and Misha.

It is highly unusual but these things do happen. All kinds of things happen at trials. You did the right thing and it was good you had Misha play with a buddy so he didn’t develop any fear of dogs. I also wouldn’t let this stop you from continuing your your practice of going to get Misha prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hope you called your doctor about that wound since it was a puncture. Keep a close eye on it, hopefully it will heal nicely on it’s own but watch for potential infection. That was a trauma event so I’m glad Misha wasn’t seriously affected by it. I’m so sorry this happened to you and Misha.

It is highly unusual but these things do happen. All kinds of things happen at trials. You did the right thing and it was good you had Misha play with a buddy so he didn’t develop any fear of dogs. I also wouldn’t let this stop you from continuing your your practice of going to get Misha prepared.
Thank you Skylar! I will keep an eye on the wound. I have disinfected it. I will keep an eye on Misha's interactions, but so far he seems his normal happy go lucky over confident self. And he may never see another Australian terrier in his life, so I'm not too worried about his feelings for them being soured. I will keep taking him to trials for sure.
 

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I'm so sorry that this happened to you and Misha. I think you two handled it very well. I've never heard of this happening at an event before. Are they going to get banned? Please take care of your hand.
 

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I am sorry that happened to you and Misha. I can picture the scene...terriers can be really weird at times. I have a cairn and she is sweet as can be but don't get in her area, which happens to be anywhere she pleases. LOL Poor Renn will walk out and she will block his path only because she wants to see if he left any treats behind , then when he looks at her she goes all yippy yapping barks and runs. Other times she could care less, you just never know.
 

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I hope your hand is okay and that Misha really is none the worse for wear. What happened to you and Misha was a rules violation. The owner of the terriers should have known better to leave her dogs "loose" on the trial grounds.

Somewhere in all of the various AKC rules books, you can find the rules pertaining to everything under the sun applying to all kinds of dog shows. One of the relevant items is the one linked to below which is the form used by club show committees to report incidents involving dogs that attack other dogs and/or people (even if there are not injuries). I have been at events where there were such occurrences (they are rare but not unheard of). In the one I am most familiar with the handler was sanctioned and the particular dog was banned (and there were no physical injuries).

As to other aspects of what happened here dogs are not supposed to be tied to chairs and such. They need to be on leash and in the hand of a person or in a crate with the exception of those events where the performance is off leash as in agility and upper level classes of obedience and rally. In those events the dogs must enter and leave rings on leash. In fact at the end of obedience class individual exercises which all end off leash the last words the judge says to the exhibitor after exercise finished are "please attach your leash to your dog's collar and leave the ring with your dog under control."

Adherence to rules does not begin and end at the ring gate. Rules apply all across the expanse of the show/trial grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I hope your hand is okay and that Misha really is none the worse for wear. What happened to you and Misha was a rules violation. The owner of the terriers should have known better to leave her dogs "loose" on the trial grounds.

Somewhere in all of the various AKC rules books, you can find the rules pertaining to everything under the sun applying to all kinds of dog shows. One of the relevant items is the one linked to below which is the form used by club show committees to report incidents involving dogs that attack other dogs and/or people (even if there are not injuries). I have been at events where there were such occurrences (they are rare but not unheard of). In the one I am most familiar with the handler was sanctioned and the particular dog was banned (and there were no physical injuries).

As to other aspects of what happened here dogs are not supposed to be tied to chairs and such. They need to be on leash and in the hand of a person or in a crate with the exception of those events where the performance is off leash as in agility and upper level classes of obedience and rally. In those events the dogs must enter and leave rings on leash. In fact at the end of obedience class individual exercises which all end off leash the last words the judge says to the exhibitor after exercise finished are "please attach your leash to your dog's collar and leave the ring with your dog under control."

Adherence to rules does not begin and end at the ring gate. Rules apply all across the expanse of the show/trial grounds.
Thank you that is very good information. I did not know they were not allowed to be tethered, but I will watch out for it in the future. It definitely seems like a good rule as you can't really tell how long a tether is so there's still quite the potential for danger there. I only know that the incident will be reviewed, but they can't share outcomes with us. I remember the AKC rep saying something about aggressive dog training, as if the owner of the dog might be required to fulfill some training requirement.
 

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What a terrible experience, especially since you were so respectful of the competitors and just wanted a no drama experience with your dog. And you!
 

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I’m glad you and Misha are okay. It could have been a lot worse. In my book this dog owner is very irresponsible and should have been thrown out.
 

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How upsetting, I’m glad you are ok. You are correct that these things are rare, and AKC does have guidelines for handling dogs, and sanctions for failing to follow the guidelines. Here is a copy of AKCs guidelines, at the least, this would be considered mismanagement of the dog, it’s good you reported it so there is a record.

As the owner of a reactive dog who does compete in agility, I am well aware of the guidelines, and diligently manage her so she can continue to compete. We’ve never been reported, and I’ve actually found that people are pretty understanding. She is not the only reactive dog that competes in agility, it’s up to the owner to manage it. Dogs are dogs after all, and what you described is not atypical dog behavior, especially for terriers. The human needs to understand their dog, and manage them appropriately.

Terriers can be scrappy little dogs, and the owner should have been aware of this tendency. I very much doubt this was a first time behavior, but you never know. Probably more likely it was a first time report of the behavior. Now that it is on record, they will have to take steps to manage it if they want to continue to compete.

I hope this doesn’t sour you to agility, it’s a great sport and the people are usually great. One of the parameters AKC uses is “ conduct prejudicial to the sport. “ Below is a snip from the Guidebook, which can be found here in its entirety.

One test in connection with any kind of scene or altercation occurring during an event is whether a family attending an event for the first time would be likely to decide, after witnessing such an incident, that the sport is not for them. While the number of people witnessing the incident should be taken into consideration, conduct that is known to only one or two people at an event can also be prejudicial to the sport.
 
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Top of my head I know at least two dogs that got attacked at events. :(

And I realize, that we break the rules all the time: Whenever our poodles are on othe grooming table.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How upsetting, I’m glad you are ok. You are correct that these things are rare, and AKC does have guidelines for handling dogs, and sanctions for failing to follow the guidelines. Here is a copy of AKCs guidelines, at the least, this would be considered mismanagement of the dog, it’s good you reported it so there is a record.

As the owner of a reactive dog who does compete in agility, I am well aware of the guidelines, and diligently manage her so she can continue to compete. We’ve never been reported, and I’ve actually found that people are pretty understanding. She is not the only reactive dog that competes in agility, it’s up to the owner to manage it. Dogs are dogs after all, and what you described is not atypical dog behavior, especially for terriers. The human needs to understand their dog, and manage them appropriately.

Terriers can be scrappy little dogs, and the owner should have been aware of this tendency. I very much doubt this was a first time behavior, but you never know. Probably more likely it was a first time report of the behavior. Now that it is on record, they will have to take steps to manage it if they want to continue to compete.

I hope this doesn’t sour you to agility, it’s a great sport and the people are usually great. One of the parameters AKC uses is “ conduct prejudicial to the sport. “ Below is a snip from the Guidebook, which can be found here in its entirety.

One test in connection with any kind of scene or altercation occurring during an event is whether a family attending an event for the first time would be likely to decide, after witnessing such an incident, that the sport is not for them. While the number of people witnessing the incident should be taken into consideration, conduct that is known to only one or two people at an event can also be prejudicial to the sport.
Thank you for the information! I missed this reply earlier but that is very good to know. It makes sense. And don't worry, we're still planning to continue! I have wanted to do agility for a long time and am quite determined to keep at it. Our trainer has a malinois that she's had to work through some reactivity with. And a lot of the dogs I see at trials have some mild reactivity. I know it can be a challenge to manage at times, and I have a lot of respect for people that are able to do it well and have their dog maintain focus.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Top of my head I know at least two dogs that got attacked at events. :(

And I realize, that we break the rules all the time: Whenever our poodles are on othe grooming table.
That's a good point. I don't know if the same rule applies with grooming.
 

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Generally rules are rules throughout show grounds. It always amazes me to see spoos relaxed and lounging on their frooming tables.
 
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