Post # 1
I take my puppy for a walk to the park every day. Every now and then there’s this other puppy, same age, same energy levels who my puppy plays with. Mine is much bigger (22kg retriever v 12ish kg staffy cross), but the other puppy is much faster.
Anyway. Today they were playing as normal. But then the other puppy’s foot started hurting a bit. Now I am very familiar with the staffy breed and know they can be a bit dramatic. It could have been a prickle (my boy was absolutely covered in them) or maybe a slight sprain. She was able to walk on it, just didn’t like her owner touching it. I thought enough was enough so I thought it best to take my pup home and away from the situation. He was still wanting to play.
Now Im thinking maybe if it ended up being something major that the owners might think we might be liable for some of the vet bills (if it got to that). I know I never would expect it if it happened to my dog (it was two puppies playing in a public park) and they do seem like nice people, but you never know. I feel really bad about it. Especially as I felt I needed to remove my pup from the situation, and wasn’t able to see if she was ok.
Anyway. What do you think? If your dog was just playing with another dog at the park and he/she got a bit hurt, would you hold the other party liable?
Then again, it could have just been a prickle, and I’m waaay over thinking it.
Post # 2
if it was through just general play then i wouldn’t even think twice. Dogs run about, and they aren’t always the most coordinated! as you say, maybe the poor thing stood on something sharp, maybe they just sprained it, but that wasn’t your dogs fault.
If your dog was chasing them (in an aggressive way) then it would be different, but i don’t think you have any need to worry.
Post # 3
I’m mom to a super fragile girl…she’s a chihuahua whippet mix who is 21 pounds soaking wet, on a good day, right after a meal. She’s got the long spindly legs, the general submission/fear thing going on, all of it. And I take her to the dog park all the time. It’d never enter my mind to get upset for a minor strain/sprain she obtained while playing/running around. Dogs will be dogs, and it happens. If someone’s dog bit my dog, then sure, I’d probably escalate it/expect them to pay for the stitches and antibiotics. The size thing wouldn’t come into consideration at all. FI’s parents have a lab mix who weighs over twice what our girl does, and they play together all the time.
Post # 4
If your dog had ATTACKED the other dog, that’s one thing. But an injury obtained by good-natured play is a non-issue in terms of it impacting on you.
Post # 5
You are totally fine! You’re definitely not liable for that. Now if your dog had attacked or bit, that would be another story.
Post # 6
It sounds like the dog got injured playing around. It’s not like your dog attacked her dog. I think unless there are other marks that show an attack you have nothing to worry about. Maybe give your dog a break from the park for a few days
Post # 7
Right, sounds like just general play and nothing aggressive. Price of admission sometimes when you take your dog to a dog park, accidents happen and that’s part of social play!
Post # 8
sbl99 : if my dog were attacked by another dog then I would expect the owner to pay for the vet bills. But if he got a little scratch or strain while playing normally? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t stress too much over it!
Post # 9
Your dog wasn’t fighting with the other dog, they were playing. In play sometimes things happen that are no one’s fault. Had your dog attacked and bitten the other dog it would be a different story, and you would be liable for vet Bill’s. But in this case you are not.
Post # 10
I have a DRAMA QUEEN of a dog. She once got bowled over by an overly excited larger dog and HOWLED screaming the limped over to me on three legs. I thought “oh jeez, here come the vet bills”. I comforted her, checked out her paw – no visible injuries. After ~30 seconds of comforting she took off and resumed playing like nothing had happened
All that to say – I may not be the best owner to ask as I now roll my eyes a bit whenever my dog “gets hurt”.
However there was a time when a very rude male dog would. not. stop. humping. her. She was so scared and tried to fight him off, he just got aggressive, and she was in panic-mode trying to get away. She came away from that mentally scarred but no physical trauma – believe you me though if there was a way to quantify mental trauma expenses I would absolutely have tried to hold that owner accountable.
Dogs playing and engaging happily with one another? Injuries can happen, especially with rambunctious youngsters.
One rude/obnoxious dog bullying another dog? Yes I will hold the bully dog accountable for any injuries to the ‘victirm’
Yesterday my friend had her 2 year old pointer at the park and she was playing chase with another dog. Managed to slice her paw open on who knows what (couldn’t find what it was afterwards) and needed stitches and is now on 2 weeks leash-only exercise. It happens – nobodys fault, just an unfortunate accident.
Post # 11
If your dog was just playing with another dog at the park and he/she got a bit hurt, would you hold the other party liable?
As a dog owner, no, I wouldn’t. If the other dog did something aggressive/violent to hurt my dog, it would be a different story. But getting a minor injury during normal play with another dog is just assumption of risk, IMO.
Post # 12
Thank you everyone who replied. It’s pretty unanimous that I have nothing to worry about. And I agree, if it was something vicious then I think the situation was different. But my boy doesn’t have a mean bone in his fluffy body. I hope when we go to the park later today his buddy is there fit as a fiddle.
Post # 13
sbl99 : My dog is extremely fast and does not lose his energy until he’s been playing for an extensive amount of time, that being said, he definitely chase other pups/dogs to the point where they can sprain their ankle or step on a pokey from not being able to keep up with being chased.
It’s hard to tell ‘at fault’ situations, but for sure if my dog went to go attack another dog, then thats different. Otherwise, I call my dog when its getting too much and i calm him down, and if hes still too hyper and his eyes are darting everywhere and ears perked, we leave. Dogs will elarn that play time is cut short bc they did something they werrent supposed to…they will learn to understand ‘when mom says enough, i need to stop playing how i am’.
Post # 14
If your dog had been playing more aggressively than the other pup then I would say you had some responsibility there, but if they were just playing together and having fun, this is just a case of shit happens.
Post # 15
sboom : no my pup has never shown aggression to anything except his own reflection. It remains to this day the only thing he’s ever barked at.