Out of control dog with gentleman with dementia

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by perfecto, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. perfecto

    perfecto Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    2
    My dad and step dad both have dementia and I know how hard it is for sufferers to maintain independence and pleasure in life, and this post is in that context and with an understanding that people with dementia in the community are vulnerable to the risk of an adverse reaction to their actions.

    Yesterday I allowed my puppy of 4 months to say hello to a dog (with a wagging tail) being walked by an elderly man. When, after a couple of seconds I pulled my dog away the other dog attacked my pup. The gentleman did nothing at all to control his dog, and I had to wade in and rescue my dog who was upset, but thankfully (and having been checked by a vet) appears to be physically unscathed, though was noticeably cautious with other dogs today.

    It turns out the gentleman has dementia and I'm sorry to say, not realising it and being quite shaken myself, I shouted at him that he should have pulled his dog off.

    I am now worried that the dog could attack another dog, or even a child, and that in that situation the gentleman is at risk as well as the third parties. I believe a passer by who intervened made the gentleman's carer's aware and presumably they will (or should) log the incident, but have no certainty of this.

    Should I inform someone in authority, and if so who?
     
  2. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    182
    I would say so, the local authority dog warden should know what steps, if any, to take? x
     
  3. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    Your puppy's confidence may have taken a hammering. If you can get him / her into a well-run dog training club (one that helps to socialise dogs and build their self-confidence) ASAP it would be "A Good Thing".

    To my cost, I learnt that pulling a puppy away from another dog could prompt an attack. Dogs work on body language and jerkiness (behaviour like a prey animal???) invites aggression.
     
  4. curtainsgalore

    curtainsgalore Registered User

    Nov 2, 2014
    46
    My Mum with vascular dementia and Alzheimer's was reported to the council for not picking up after her dog, we had tried to get her to pick up, but she had never had to in the past and forgot as soon as we told her. 15 dog walks a day, as she couldn't remember going out.
    The local authority wrote her a letter saying they were going to fine her, unfortunately this letter came 2 days before Mum had to go in a care home after wandering in freezing conditions with her dog and the dog going into Wood Green.
    What my rambling is actually about is the local authority will follow up cases, especially if there is a risk of someone not being in control of their dog. It does need reporting.
    Hope puppy's ok
     
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,481
    Female
    London
    What would a fine have helped? It needs reporting, but to Social Seevices so the gentleman can get the support he deserves, not so he gets in trouble. Which means the dementia diagnosis needs to be highlighted.
     
  6. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    I'd suggest a bit more liaison work with those who currently assist the gentleman - eg his family or his carers.

    They need to know that in one instance at least the gentleman hasn't been able to control his dog, causing potential risks to him as well as to the other parties. A doggy confrontation might cause his owner to fall; or get bitten; or to have to pay vet bills for his own dog and compensation to the other owner.
     
  7. perfecto

    perfecto Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    2
    Thanks for all your advice. I have contacted a local carer charity that helps people liaise with social services. I am not seeking to punish the gentlemen and hope they will be able to steer a course with sensitivity.

    My pup seems fine and we already have him in training classes but wasn't aware of the risk of pulling him away (in fact we'd be told to pull him away after 3 seconds, but this attack was quicker) so thanks, we'll discuss it in class this week.
     
  8. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    I think the problem with pulling a dog away, making it move abruptly and like a prey animal, is more troublesome when the other dog has either a high prey drive or is itself a touchy or nervous animal.

    I'd already heard from my neighbour that their dog had lived as a stray abroad, having to find its own food (some of it live, presumably) and it was considered aggressive towards other dogs. Oddly, it was a first-class family dog around the family's children.
     

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