Poor Maddie got in a fight, seems ok, what to watch for?

Poor Maddie.   We had the Corgis at the park, running around with a bunch of dogs they see regularly.  Honestly we were not watching really closely since we've never had a problem.  Not sure what happened, but the next thing I know Maddie is flipped on the ground with a lab-mix biting her.  


Maple (the other dog) never showed any signs of dog aggression before.  She is dog-submissive and gets a little frustrated that whenever anyone throws a ball, someone else gets it.  My guess is she was just frustrated and cranky and Maddie was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got nailed.  Maddie can be a little obnoxious at times with other dogs, so maybe she did something to set it off or maybe she just got too close while Maple was feeling cranky.   


Anyway, Maple's owner hauled her off and Maddie toddled away.  I had to wave a treat around to catch her because she was avoiding me too (I hollered to try to get the dogs' attention off each other.  Maddie is very submissive and I think she thought I was mad at her).   When I got her, her shoulder and side of her neck was all slobbered on and the fur mussed.  I saw no blood, but she carries a ton of coat and honestly I can't even get down to the skin in spots. 


I felt all over carefully and she did not yelp or pull away.   She is, however, a very soft dog as I mentioned and she would not necessarily protest if something hurt. 

She seems  a little sore all over right now (doesn't want to jump on the couch, walking a little short in front) but she is not favoring a particular body part.   She is interacting with Jack as normal and ate just fine.   She is acting the way she does when she over-exerts herself, so I'm thinking she's sore from being slammed by a 60-pound dog.  


I know to watch for limping, heat, swelling, or signs of infection (fever, lethargy) from an unseen puncture.   Anything else I should keep an eye on?  And my thought is that she does not need to see the vet, and I'm fine just keeping an eye on her for a few days.   Anyone think differently?


I feel bad for poor Maple's very nice owner, who kept apologizing like crazy.  I told her these things happen but she seemed mortified, and it was Maple's birthday today too.  :-(    We walked them next to each other after and at first Maddie didn't want to go near her, but after a few minutes Maddie was running around after tennis balls again.  


Any advice much appreciated.  Thanks!

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Regarding pit bulls in dog parks: dog parks are a breeding ground for disaster. - am glad you have a positive attitude about the breed. Having owned the breed for several decades and fighting breed specific legislation for 15 years it is refreshing to find someone who is willing to look beyond the media myth that surrounds the breed. I appreciate your enthusiam for accepting the breed. However you will find very few knowledgeable pit bull advocates who give a thumbs up to dog parks for pit bulls. It is simply a dangerous idea for the reputation of the breed. Just as corgis herd somewhat naturally, labradors love water, beagles hunt-pit bulls are generally dog aggresive. This does not make them bad dogs it is just an inherent trait of the breed. Those who love this bree know this and never set their dogs up for failure by placing them in a position to "lose it". We socialize with other "bomb proof" dogs that we trust. We know a snarky look from an otherwise sweet dog can lead to a horrible fight. And I for one can attest to how quickly and horribly an unintentional dog fight can turn deadly. Keep in mind I am telling you this because of my love for this breed. They are and always will be my breed of choice. I lost my 16 year old APBT 2 yrs ago to cancer and it took me 2 yrs to heal my heart enough to get another dog. Whether choosing a Corgi was in my best interest is yet to be seen...lol. After years of having a compliant people pleaser this is surely an eye opener!
I hope you find no offense in my response. I am passionate about the American Pit Bull Terrier and am knowlegable about the breed. I am putting some links up which come from people I know that I respect and would bet my very life on their experience and know how.

Thank you.  I agree:  pit bulls + dog park = bad idea.


Pits are SWEET and lovely with people.  Steady, friendly, extremely tolerant.  But many are dog aggressive, and worse, many don't show that til they are 2+ years old.  So people take their young pitties out playing with other dogs and everything is jolly and great, until it's not.


Dogs are individuals BUT to say that pitties are no more likely than other dogs to be dog-aggressive is basically to say that selective breeding is 100% ineffective.  Anyone who loves purebreds does so with the assumption that breeding tells.   And yes, any dog might chase rabbits but if you want the best odds at having a dog who WILL chase rabbits, get a beagle.  Many dogs will learn to do water retrieves BUT if you want the best chance at getting a dog who will keep bringing stuff back, despite waves and cold, get a lab or a chessie.  And if you want a dog who is more likely to be game in a fight, and ignore other dogs' surrender signals, get a pit.  


It's interesting that you brought this up now because just yesterday, Jack was charged at the park by a pittie who was so incensed at the sight of another dog walking by that he squirmed out of his harness just to run over and attack.  Now, my husband is partly to blame because even though the pit was posturing and making noise, my husband continued to drift slightly in the dog's direction (cutting the distance between him and the pittie from maybe 20 feet to 15, but drifting nonetheless).  He also failed to position himself between the two dogs.


Anyway, despite the fact that Jack never even looked in the other dog's direction, said pit bull got loose, charged over, and tried to grab the back of Jack's neck.


Luckily for us the dog had bad aim (he was still running while he was grabbing) and hit Jack across the widest part of the base of his neck.  I really believe that Jack was too wide there for the dog to get a hold.  My husband yelled very loudly and charged at the dog, who spooked and ran.  


Many pit bull rescues recommend responsible owners carry a bite stick and know how to use it.  Regardless, who takes a dog that is that dog-aggressive to a busy park on a Saturday afternoon?   It's like taking your beagle to the rabbit show at the 4H club.  


I have known many lovely pit bulls and I think they can be fabulous dogs for many people.  I do wish more people were like yourself, though, and recognized the possibility for extreme dog aggression.  The one that charged us should not have been out without a basket muzzle.   It is just fortunate for everyone involved that we were not walking a narrower dog, or someone might have been badly hurt.  


My experience with having been charged twice by dogs that meant to maul my dogs (the other was a German Shepherd that also got away from its owner) is that if you make a ton of noise and charge the dog BEFORE it can make a hold, you can sometimes confuse or startle it enough to break off its attack.  

I wanted to add that there are several pit bulls I see regularly that I will let Jack greet and even bounce with calmly on-leash.  I don't allow Maddie to do the same.  That's because Jack is generally calm with other dogs, speaks "dog" very well and responds instantly to any other dog's "back-off" signals by giving physical space, and generally only corrects other dogs for bad behavior if they are physically running over the top of him during play.  Maddie, on the other hand, can be snarky and is prone to over-react to dogs in her personal space, and will also initially respond to other dog's "back off" signals by arguing back, before deciding she's intimidated and ducking behind our legs.  Therefore I don't' consider her a good candidate to interact with pit bulls, who are not always likely to be tolerant of that sort of behavior.
Beth I don't think I have ever heard it explained as well as you have done. I have been advocating for pit bulls and responsible ownership for many, many years. Your statement "And if you want a dog who is more likely to be game in a fight, and ignore other dogs' surrender signals, get a pit" sums up the issues surrounding the breed in a way I failed to do in my earlier comments. Thank you for your comments and for giving this jaded old BSL fighter and pit bull lover a fresh insight..


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