Couple Tries to Break Up Dog Fight, Husband Killed
Couple's pets turned on them: reports
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2013 11:40 AM CST
Not the boxer in question.   (©)

(Newser) – The husband of a former Arizona mayor was killed and she was injured after they tried to break up a fight between their pet dogs Saturday night and the animals turned on them. Tom and Diane Vick attempted to intervene when their 40-pound boxer attacked a smaller dog, a cocker spaniel, according to the Arizona Republic. Their four other dogs reportedly began fighting, too. Tom Vick, 64, a popular high school teacher, died yesterday morning and Diane Vick, 65, was "pretty well beat up," according to the current mayor of Bullhead City. The cocker spaniel also died, and the five other dogs will be euthanized, per a request from the family, adds the Republic.

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Showing 3 of 105 comments
BC
Jan 6, 2014 12:46 AM CST
My heart goes out to the Vicks, their family and the dogs. That said, I did note from the article they own(ed) six dogs. Six. Anything more than two forms a pack. With pack structure you get hierarchy issues and all the problems that come with them, including fighting within the pack. That many dogs should never run free together. They should be kenneled, with only two, or maybe three, together at a time - never all six, that's just asking for trouble - NOT that anyone would think it would result in such an extreme outcome - the kind of trouble I'm talking about is recurrent fighting between the dogs, injuries and possibly death to a member of the pack, as in the cocker spaniel's case. As someone who has been in the middle of two dog fights (my sister's shepherds - five females and one male), and as the owner of an Akita, and someone who has worked with nationally recognized dog trainers (to ensure my Akita is as well behaved as possible), I have made it my business to know as much about dog fights as possible. What I can tell you is this: there are often signs of an impending fight, so you can often see it coming if you know what to look for, but sometimes it will erupt out of the blue (and is scary as heck). Pepper spray can sometimes work to break up a fight, but many times it simply increases the pain the already fighting dogs are feeling and they instinctually attribute the increased pain to the other dog, which drives them into a deeper rage and ratchets up the violence even more. Throwing water on them will almost never work - I've held a hose at full blast against one bitch's muzzle/ nose (and then down her throat) and it didn't even faze her, she head a death grip on the other dog and was intent on killing her, period. The only time I've seen water work is if you can carry both dogs and submerge the aggressor under water, after a minute of not breathing, s/he will let go, but you better be ready to grab one of the two dogs and drag him/her into another room, because they will try to start up again the moment breathing is restored. Best way I've found to break up a fight (but you'd better be *very* careful when doing it) is a two person approach: each person grabs the hind legs of a dog, lifts them high, above the dog's head (like a wheelbarrow) and drags backward in a circular/spiral pattern. When you haul the dog's legs above his head, he *will* let go and swing around to see what's going on - but he will be in fight mode (which means no one is home in his head, the thinking brain has left the building) so he will likely try to bite whoever has his legs, even his beloved owner he was just licking that morning. That's where the circular spiral action comes in - if you pull in this manner, the dog will be so busy side-stepping and trying to remain upright, s/he won't have time to turn his/her anger on the human holding the legs. Just keep pulling until you've got a good distance between the combatants. If you can, drag them into separate rooms and lock them in until they cool off. If you're outside and they have leashes, tether them to anything sturdy you can (separate trees, street lights, etc.). Wait for them to cool off (20 minutes or more), then grab your dog and head home, giving the other a wide berth.
Dave Ehrman
Jan 2, 2014 7:25 PM CST
They should have grabbed a hose, water bottle or something (chair, rocks). At least throw something at the dogs that would distract them. I am sad to see they put the blame solely on the boxer. Having a boxer myself, they are gentle giants and non-agressive animals. Just so sad that automatically people associate them with pit-bulls and want to put a lot of blame on them as being mean. Do some reaserch guys and you'll see boxers are non-agressive and it takes a lot before they snap, they agre great family dogs and have a high toleerance before they even think of attacking anyone or anything. I have seen some dog fights not get broken up over pulling them apart, you risk getting bit that way. (I have also seen that too) I have been to the dog park where German Shepards (Bad dogs) intiate a fight and turn on people for touching them. I grab the water dishees and throw cold water of the dogs andf then start banging the dish and have everyone surround the dogs and start yelling, and throwing water bottles this will 99% of theim break up the fight. If you do touch the dogs, makes sure the other owners grab thiers at the same time, otherwise you risk getting bit. At least, and as last resort, you would kick the dogs in the side or chest. People need to cary pepper-spray.
Allan Bradley
Jan 1, 2014 9:04 AM CST
Change the picture you schmucks, a Husky is not a boxer or part of this article,, I suppose we should be happy you didn't frame a pit bull?