Bad, bad dog, what would you do? - UPDATED

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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This afternoon I was walking my 4 dogs around the fields near our vets, a few miles from where I live. We were nearly back at the car, walking down a public footpath which is also the drive to 3 or 4 nice big houses.

I noticed at the end of the drive that I didn't have Corky. Then I heard a commotion from the biggest of the houses. Its 2 5 bar gates were wide open (they always are). I hastily caught and tethered the other dogs and rushed in. Corky was in the back garden (through another open gate) in the chicken pen (also with an open gate) doing his best to kill a chicken. The owners had just arrived on the scene.

I grabbed and beleaded Corky and apologised profusely, offered to do anything I could, etc. The chicken wasn't dead (though I expect it is by now) and the chicken's owner and her mother were starting to shout about who had left the gates open. They didn't say a word to me or acknowledge me at all except with glares, and after a few minutes of excruciating waiting I gathered up all the dogs and left.

Of course they should have kept their gates shut, and they will soon lose their other chickens to a fox if they don't, but I feel terrible. Should I send flowers? An apologetic letter? Reiterate the offer to replace the chicken? Or just leave well alone?
 

CharliesAngel

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Jan 15, 2010
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i would go back round there and offer compensation again

them leaving the gates open doesnt make any difference in the eyes of the law unfortunately.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I think I would go with a gesture (flowers/a bottle) and apologise again and offer to pay vets bills if, in the unlikely event, its still alive and to replace it if its not. Naughty Corky, but dogs will be dogs.
 
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KP nut

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Dec 22, 2008
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Oh how awful for you. No advice really. If it were me I'd probably leave well alone or write a letter. You apologised profusely at the time and they were unreceptive. They may well not really want to see you again! A letter making the offer of compensation gives them the opportunity to decide whether to take you up on it or not.
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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Naughty boy, and this is the one that killed a baby rabbit too? Out of interest, has he ever been gundog trained? I only ask because I thought they were trained not to mouth (and I would assume that would also mean not killing). We had a (non-working) cocker while I was growing up and she was so gentle - she once randomly brought a budgie in from the garden, completely unharmed and later reunited with it's owner.

One of my ferrets did a 'Corky' to a neighbours chicken - he escaped whilst I was cleaning their court and whilst I was searching for him I heard the loudest commotion from next door and instantly realised where he was. It seemed an awful long way round from our back garden to theirs ... He was hanging onto a seemingly lifeless hen's neck and I had to hit him over the head with a piece of wood to make him let go. When I returned a few hours later to apologise again and enquire the fate of the chicken, to my surprise it was up and about and appeared unscathed, although I don't know whether it ever laid again. My neighbours are lovely and very understanding, I hope your chicken people are too - although I have to say they sound a strange bunch if their first reaction is to start arguing amongst themselves, and then to completely ignore you, how odd!
 

orbvalley

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Jan 15, 2008
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This happens in our neighbourhood quite often, fortunately both of our dogs have taken my neighbours chickens and cockerel on as part of their family but not all dogs do. The embarrassed owners usually offer a replacement chicken/cock and personally if it was one of ours I'd also be taking flowers or small gift xx
 

Jane&Ziggy

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He was hanging onto a seemingly lifeless hen's neck and I had to hit him over the head with a piece of wood to make him let go

Fantastic image! No Corky has not been trained to the gun, but at least he did let go of the chicken when I grabbed him.

If I can make myself do it I shall take a bottle of fizz, an apologetic card and a £20 note and leave it at their front door. I don't really want to meet them and I don't want them to have my address either, if I am honest, but I do feel awful.
 

MrC

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Fantastic image! No Corky has not been trained to the gun, but at least he did let go of the chicken when I grabbed him.

If I can make myself do it I shall take a bottle of fizz, an apologetic card and a £20 note and leave it at their front door. I don't really want to meet them and I don't want them to have my address either, if I am honest, but I do feel awful.

Considering your dog has killed one of their pets/livestock not wanting them having your address or you meeting them is quite a selfish reaction. If my dog had killed someone's animals and had precious form I would be having a serious think about the dog personally no matter how much I loved it.

Take responsibility for what YOUR dog has done and either write a letter or personally and knock on the door. They may be perfectly understanding or you may get your head torn off but either or you need to speak to these people. It may stop them reporting you to the police and your dog being taken from you.

ETA if my reply sounds harsh let me assure you it is not meant to be, it is just the response from someone who's family has had to replace livestock from cowardly people who left a mess behind after their uncontrolled dog has gone on the rampage. Being a country girl at heart and the fact that my parents brought me up to take responsibility for my actions if they harm others I just couldn't do what you did then contemplate not speaking to these people in person.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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I honestly don't think that killing a wild rabbit constitutes "previous form" but I do take on board what you are saying. I want to offer to pay the vet bill if the chicken survived, anyway. A letter feels like the way forward.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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Yes, good idea. I feel so bad it might make me feel a bit better, too.

I couldn't have been more distressed and apologetic when it happened!
 

misty

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Oct 6, 2016
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Oh poor you it's the worst isn't it when your dog shows you up. Have you considered keeping Corky on the lead or putting him on a 10m line? One of mine can't be trusted off the lead so he goes on a 10m line. My collie, who can, started running far away and I worried about what she might do when she was far from me (not that she ever has but these things do happen). I put her back on the 10m line fora bit and it reminded her to go no further than that distance when she was off again. Sounds like he can be a handful!

Anyway I do like the card and wine idea and I feel so sorry thinking of you there feeling helpless but I'd get him on a lead or line at least for now because if something else happens it's not going to be good if it was taken further (I don't think it will be but best be safe).

I'm no expert but just my thoughts - owner of 3 very naughty rescue dogs!
Xxxx
 

domane

Gracie's mum
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Gosh.....our Ruby has had mice, rats, baby rabbits, pigeons and pheasants whilst she is out in the grounds with Dom. I never thought of her as having "form", just being a greedy lab!!

Interestingly, back when we did have chickens here, she took absolutely no notice of them. Neither the ewes and tiny new lambies that roam on 100 acres of our employers' land.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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Well I went to the house and fortunately (because I was feeling very anxious) nobody was in. So I left my bottle of nice wine and a carefully composed note, offering to pay for vet/new chickens.

I got the most lovely email from the lady this morning thanking me for fessing up. She said that she and her neighbour have lost more than 20 chooks to loose dogs in the last year or so and I was one of the very very few who had offered to do anything. But she breeds chooks and is expecting 2 lots of babies so doesn't need any restitution.

I replied thanking her for being so lovely! So a good outcome for me, though not for the chicken. And strictly lead for Corky when we are in that vicinity.

I really really wanted to say to her that if she closed her front gates, or her back garden gates, dogs would not come in to her garden. But I didn't.
 

Mary Poppins

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That is such a lovely thing for you to do, I doubt that most people would have. But yet, she has to take some responsibility over keeping her gates shut.
 
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