Dog Attack!

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by NafzigerLawn, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. NafzigerLawn

    NafzigerLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    This week my helper and I were mowing a property that I have been maintaining for at least five years. It is an Emerald Zoysia lawn that we mow with John Deere commercial 21” walk behinds. The customer has had one dog for about 15 years which is pretty much deaf and blind. They have another dog that they adopted three years ago which has not given me much trouble. This week they were keeping their son’s dog that bears amazing resemblance to a pit bull.

    My guy was mowing the front yard and I was doing the edging and string trimming. As I trimmed the outside of the fence the new dog came up to the fence and was snarling, growling, and barking at the string trimmer. I decided to try to do the trimming in the back yard and see if the dog was just interested in the string trimmer. I went into the back yard and preceded to back away from the dog while speaking softly to it. However the dog kept approaching me snarling and growling. When it was within a couple of feet from me I tried to kick it, but it jumped up and bit my boot. Then I tried a second time and hit it in the side of the head.

    We brought the mower into the back yard and started around the yard. After a few minuets the dog went and lay down. When the bag was full and the mower was shut off, the dog came out started to threaten my guy. We found a 1x2 and I used it to herd the dog back into a corner of the yard so that we could switch bags. I did not hit the dog, but apparently I scared it enough that it jumped the fence.

    When the wife of the customer came home I told her what had happened. She yelled at me and said: “THAT DOG HAS NEVER BITTEN ANY-ONE!” I said, “I really don’t care if it hasn’t bitten anyone. That dog was threatening us and we took reasonable measures to protect ourselves.” She kept saying that the dog had never bitten anyone, and I told her that in the future we would not go into the back yard if any of the dogs were loose. She turned and walked away and said in an angry tone, “Well I don’t see why your guy had to carry that stick!”

    Later that night the lady’s husband, who I normally work with, called me and asked if we had any trouble with the dogs that day. I told him that we had, and I told him how the dog was behaving. He said calmly, “Did you hit the dog with that stick.” I said, “No sir, we carried the stick as a precaution, and let the dog know that if it tried to attack us it was going to get hit.” He said, now angrily, “THAT DOG HAS NEVER BITTEN ANY-ONE! And if you ever want to mow my yard again you will have to do it by yourself! I do not want your guy mowing my yard ever again! As a matter of fact I don’t want him in my yard, NO! I don’t want him on my property ever again!! Is that understood!?!” I said, “Sir, that is an entirely unreasonable request. That guy works with me and he will be there with me if you want me to mow your yard during normal hours.” He said, “The only way that I will let you keep mowing my yard is if you do it by-your-self, and that’s the way it is!”

    So, what would you do or have done?
  2. mikeslawnlandscapeohio

    mikeslawnlandscapeohio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    As soon as the guy started to get nasty I would have said. Your final bill will be in the mail,all services are canceled. There are to many lawns out there to mow to put up with problem customers, dogs and so on.
  3. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    At this point, I'd call him back, well, probably Tuesday, tell him you're cancelling services.
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,697

    Drop him. You do not need those kind of customers.
    Personally, I would have given that dog a face full of string trimmer line at full throttle. In fact, I have done that to vicious dogs that have threatened me, in customers yards. Believe me, they back off in a hurry, and I do not care what the homeowner thought about it. You used great restraint in my opinion.
    If for some reason, you think you want to keep doing this lawn, tell the customer that from now on, if one of his dogs threatons you, you will kill it on the spot. He can either work with you, or get someone else to mow.
  5. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,034

    You could offer to show him how the dog acts around your equipment................It may keep the next guy or God forbid, a kid from getting bit. On a side note, I do not let any of my customers yell at me. I will walk away and cancel all future work.
  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    somebody needs a visit from the Lawn Ninjas!!! hmmm nice nite time treatment of round-up icecubes!!!
  7. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Believe me, I would not hesitate to drop that dog on the spot for a quick less in animal control. But that's a little unprofessional.
  8. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,267

    If the dog (possible pit bull no less) was growling etc, why did you even try and do the yard? There is no way I would go into a yard if any dog was being aggressive towards me.
    I would of just let owner know what happened and bill for full mow.
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    honestly i don't service property's where the dogs are loose in the yards. even though i own a dog and know to watch out for a dog while i would be mowing or trimming i just don't service a property if a dog is in the yard. i would have done the front yard and then left and made a phone call to the client as to why the back yard was not serviced.

    even before that i would have already discussed this with the client before the first service was ever performed. as i said i do not service property's with dogs loose. even though i'm carefull and know to watch out for dogs when working around them, i do not want the responsibility of an accident happening nor do i want that on my conscience.

    i think the clients are very justified in being upset and acting that way. if all the dog did was walk your way snarling and growling your actions were NOT necessary. that is not what i would call attack mode for any kind of dog.

    if you are afraid of getting bitten that much you should have never set foot in the backyard when you noticed the dog barking at the trimmer from the other side of the fence. and you certainly should not have tried to bring the mower back there after you tried to kick the dog and hit it in the head. if it went that far you should have just said screw this and left. if you have to go to the extreme of defending yourself in that way why keep trying?
  10. N.TX

    N.TX LawnSite Senior Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 473

    Next time just shoot the dog and then they wont have to worry about you hitting it with a stick.

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