Dog owner warns others after vicious attack

A DOG has been left traumatised after suffering a ‘vicious and sustained’ attack while out with its owners.

Eloise Ballay, 16 with her dog Harvey, who was attacked by another dog while walking on the beach.

A DOG has been left traumatised after suffering a ‘vicious and sustained’ attack while out with its owners.

John Fairbairn, 45, was out with his wife and four-year-old Cockapoo Harvey at Grandes Rocques beach when the attack occurred.

He now wanted to warn dog owners to be on their guard.

‘It was quite a bad attack and went on for a while. There was a bit of biting and scuffing, but then we heard yelping and that’s when we realised it was serious.

‘He was attacked by a staffie [Staffordshire bull terrier], which picked him up by the neck and shook him like a rag doll. He was under severe attack.’

His daughter, Eloise Ballay, 16, said she was furious at the assault. ‘I am very, very angry at the woman whose dog attacked ours.’

Neither dog was on a lead.

Comments for: "Dog owner warns others after vicious attack"

John West

Unfortunately sometimes dogs do just snap, no matter how well they are trained. It's how the attacking dogs owner reacts in those situations that would be the most telling.

Not that any of this takes away from the fact this must have been terrible to witness.

I hope Harvey recovers quickly.

My family experienced something similar along the Fairy Ring a few months back, although it was a pack of dogs (one owner) and wasn't your 'usual' dog breed culprits.

Sadly I can see the impending 'bad owner' comments coming (which of course there are bad owners) but I think it's more of a lack of training for both owner and dog that leads to most of these attacks.

I would like to see compulsory dog training - having done this with our dog at Island Dog Training I couldn't recommend it more!

Paul Doran

I agree John. The Island Dog training centre is fantastic; sadly most people just don't put the time into their dogs and it shows.

Yvonne Burford

Having just acquired a working cocker spaniel puppy, I have been reading up about dogs and found Jean Donaldson's Culture Clash to be a fantastic insight to canine behaviour, I really recommend it.


Yes I must get a copy, my the wife all most bites my head off every time I come home late from the pub.



Take her out to the pub with you.


A staffy picked this dog up?

There is a bit of a size difference. A staffy being smaller.

A staffordshire bull terrier has a height to the shoulders of 16".

If it was bigger it was not a Staffordshire and was probably a fellow mixed breed mongrel. With a bot of staffy in it or another breed all together and should not have been named as a certain breed!

Oh Dear

Staffy are incredibly strong it wouldn't surprise me if they had the strength to get the dog in the photograph off the ground. They may be short but they are extremely muscular.


I have owned one and find it absolutely offensive that a particular breed be tarnished by one dog that hasn't even been identified.

If you saw a young kid from Les Genats bully or attack another child, would you say all States House kids are savages or would you say his parents haven't done a very good job?

Im pretty sure you'd say its down to his upbringing/environment.

Same thing goes to any dog. its behaviour is a direct result of how its been raised.

A "staffy" would not lift that dog up. A larger dog may lift it off its feet, pick it up to its own shoulder height but not a shorter dog.

Oh Dear

Local, of course I wouldn't tarnish all states house children with the same brush.

I wasn't blaming the breed, I was just saying that they're very strong dogs and with a bit of momentum they probably could lift a slightly larger dog. If only for a brief moment.

I don't think you can really compare children to an animal. Dogs fight and hunt in the wild. It's their natural instinct. If you think that they only attack because of the owner then I'm sorry but I think you're wrong. How can you blame the owner without knowing who he is? We at least have evidence (whether right or wrong) as to what breed the dog is. There is no evidence to suggest that the owner of the dog has raised it badly.


We can blsme the owner quite easily as he did not have the dog u der comtrol. Dogs are pretty easy to read. They have been domesticated for thousands of years!

Its absolutely the owners fault. All breeds of dog need carefull raising or things like this happen.

Stop being a know all. I know this breed. I doubt very much you have ever owned one.

A well raised dog, does not attack another for no reason.

Although I will say this. There was a spaniel that attcked someones much larger dog along lancresse common a couple of weeks ago. The larger dog was on the lead and the spanial wasnt. Possibly this dog started the fight?

Oh Dear

I agree with you that the dog should have been on the lead and therefore under control. Making accusations about how well the dog was raised is just wrong.

Either dog could have started the fight. They're both perfectly capable of being vicious and displaying their natural behaviour. I'm uncertain as to why you're getting so defensive about staffies, I haven't actually blamed the breed. I've blamed the species.


'Oh Dear,,

I don't really think you know very much at all about dogs.

you're far more likely to be attacked by a person than a dog.

of course dogs have to be trained but they for the most part are not the vicious time bombs you seem to think that they are.

I have owned dogs for years and have never had a problem, that said you have bad owners and yes you can have bad dogs,

I've seen well brought up dogs that are a problem and dogs that have been awfully treated and beaten that are still lovely friendly creatures.

Should a dog really never be allowed to run free,no I cant accept that we do share this planet you know,we don't own it.

I personally think the summer dog ban on certain beaches should be extended all year.that way if you don't want to meet a dog off lead you can go to one that dogs are not allowed on and stay away from the dog friendly ones.

Oh Dear

I'm not saying that all dogs are ticking time bombs at all. Most go their whole lives without harming another dog or a person. However, they're all capable of suddenly turning and doing some serious damage. It's happened countless times in the past.

I think restricting dogs to certain areas is the best thing to do. Allow them to have ample space to run around without spoiling areas that are frequented by everyone onthis island. Not eeveryone is a dog lover. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with "he wouldn't harm a fly". I think the fairest way to handle the situation is to allow certain areas for dogs.

Dave Jones

Good luck with the Spaniel Yvonne.

We had a Gun dog but it kept going off.


Dave - I hear that Pedigree Chum has gone bust, and have called in the “Retrievers”

Oh Dear

Cor, blimey. A dog attacked another dog. Unfortunately that's how animals behave. I can't believe people still get shocked by this sort of behaviour from dogs. It happens very frequently. They should be kept on leads. Luckily it was two dogs fighting and they didn't decide to go for a person.


When will people learn... keep your dog on leads... don't let your dog run up to other dogs/children/adults etc without you being there to control them. Even if your dog is friendly, sometimes they just don't get on!!

Dave Jones


I love it,

Er! not Pedigree Chum of course.

jack mitchell

A PROPERLY trained dog will not bite or attack other dogs. A PROPERLY trained owner will keep a dog on a lead. The owner of the Staffordshire should have been chucked into the sea along with her hound.


I haven`t seen that method on any dog training programs :)


Since when was a Staffordshire a hound?



Even a PROPERLY trained dog is likely to bite or attack, if it feels threaten!


Blimey you are all so heartless!! Why should that innocent looking dog be treated like a ragdoll by a vicious staffie? It's a fair point that they should have been on leads. However, I am petrified of dogs and would not feel frightened by the above animal as he looks incredibly placid. If a staffie was running around I would do my best to avoid it as they look aggressive and have a reputation.


Sarah looks can be deceptive. Have you seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail? that rabbit is far worse than that staffie.


Nothing the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch can't handle.


Ah yes but when should the grenade be thrown?


I'm appalled by this comment!! Having worked with animals mainly

Dogs for many years now...I have alot of experience with various breeds, I would certainly be more weary of a Dalmatian, poodle or jack Russell hurdling towards me then a staffie!


@Sarah, please don't tar all Staffies with the same brush. Unfortunately this breed does have a bad reputation. However, 99% of the time this is due to bad ownership and poor training.

Sadly, certain people purchase Staffies and other bull breeds purely as a status symbol. They wouldn't portray quite the same 'tough' image if they were walking around with a golden retriever or a King Charles Spaniel on a lead! Some people will even go to the extent of training their dog to become aggressive, both to people and other animals.

Staffies are actually a very friendly and loving breed of dog. We have our own rescue staffie, and made sure that she was properly trained and socialised from the outset. She is now fantastic with other dogs and children.

Often, these people will find that the dog isn't quite cracked up to be the vicious dog they would like it to be and that is one of the reasons that staffies are one of the most common dogs to be found in UK dog homes, as they are then simply abandoned.

A recent study on dog aggression recently showed some of the smallest dog breeds to be the most aggressive, with the Dachshund (or sausage dog) to be the most aggressive! Link below:

Interestingly, the Staffodshire Bull Terrier doesn't even feature on this list.

Of course, the damage inflicted by a Dachshund, or other small breed would be far less severe than that of a staffie, so these attacks go widely unreported, whereas most attacks by staffies often feature in the news.

This is unfortunately how they gained their poor reputation. I'm not suggesting that no staffies are vicious. Like any breed of dog, there will always be the exception. However, please don't think that they are all the same.

Oh Dear

Sarnia, good post.

I'd just like to say that ALL breeds can be dangerous. They're animals. Sometimes instinct over rides training. It doesn't matter how well you train them, if they feel threatened or territorial they're going to revert to natural instinct and attack one another. There are hundreds of cases where well raised dogs in good families have attacked children.

Unfortunately for Staffies, they do have a very strong bite and will do a lot of damage.


I know it does not always happen, but in the UK it is illegal to have a dog off a lead, I personally am not a lover of dogs so feel intimidated when a dog approaches me, surely if Guernsey is UK the Law applies, your dog should be on a lead, dog lovers take note, not everyone is happy to be around a dog, so when out walking keep your dog under control especially when another dog and owner is approaching. Just keep Dogs on a lead, and under proper supervision in your propety.

Oh Dear

We have different laws.

I agree that there should be a law regarding dogs on leads. However I think it's good to allow the animal to run around. I think there should be designated areas. If they attack people or other animals then at least it will be contained in one area.


The Control of Dogs Ordinance lists a number of places where dogs must be kept on leads at all times. They are mostly streets in Town and the Bridge, but there are some other places as well.

Terry Langlois

1. it is not illegal to have a dog off a lead in the UK. There may be local bye-laws to that effect in some places, but it is not a general rule.

2. Guernsey is not in the UK, so UK law does not apply

Guernsey Person

I know not all Staffie type dogs should not be tarnished with the same brush, but in all fairness you never really do hear of labrador/border collie etc. attacks? Notice how the majority of reported attacks are from staffies/bull mastiffs/bulldogs etc. I feel awful for the dog/family involved and do believe the owner should be identified, or next time it could be a human.


The 3 most aggresive breeds of dog are the sausage dog, Chihuaha and Jack Russel...

All down to idiots buying dogs they know nothing about from idiots who breed rubbish examples together to make money. The puppies are sold to anyone and are not given the best of training so to speak, to the point they are neglected. Also, with poor breeding comes possible mental health issues like L2 HGA wich a decent breeder can identify in a parents genes before they even bother breeding.

You need a licence to own a gun or a car. Why do we let anyone breed what they want together and then let any moron buy them. As you can see, an animal has a mind of its own and with poor breeders can start with behavioral issues that an inexperienced owner will not be able to cope with. Hemce Staffordshire bull terriers being the most likely nreed to end up in rescue centres/kennels.

Just Sayin'

Perhaps it's because those are the ones that are reported on. Who said the media was fair?

Oh Dear

They tend to do more damage than alot of other dogs. They also have a reputation for being fighting dogs. This doesn't mean that they're the most vicious.

Facts wrong

Your ae quite wrong there Guernsey person it appears that it is only when a bull breed attacks that the press go to town. My dog has been attacked twice funnily enough by both a lab and collie the first time when she was a pup, the attack was quite vicious we gave the lab the benefit of the doubt as maybe the pup went a little to close. The second time there was no reason as by this time our had matured out of her puppy stage. We didn't report either attack as though quite shaken our dog was ok. Also due to the fact our dog is a 100% pure breed staffy we probably wouldn't have been taken seriously


All dogs should be on leads, I always walk mine on alead and are really fed up with those irresponsible dog owners who allow their animal to run on ahead, and cause mayhem, let alone see where they have pooed so they can pick it up.

All dogs should be walked on leads and hunting dogs only released when a kill has been made to fetch it back.

Oh Dear

There was an incident a few years back where I walked a dog for a friend. As I walking around I kept him on the lead the whole time. Another (much smaller) dog came sprinting up and started snarling and growling. As someone who has not owned a dog or even spent a lot of time around them I found the experience rather frightening. The owner of the dog was out of sight and walked very slowly around the corner holding the lead. He started calling his dogs name as though it was a child and wondered why it wouldn't go to him. In the end (after what seemed like 10 minutes to walk 20 yards) he had to pull his dog away by its' collar. Then he informed me that his dog "wouldn't hurt a fly", which really annoys me every time an owner says it. I wouldn't say it about my cat or even a hamster. You don't know what you're animal is capable of. There has been one moment in my life where the owner has warned me about their dog.

This is an example of a bad owner. The dog may have been raised well but the owner clearly couldn't care less what his pet was doing.

In my opinion, if you don't believe that your dog could even pose a minor danger then cleary you're not responsible enough to own one.

Dave Haslam

Its a catch 22 situation with Staffies and Bull Terriers in general.

Personally I like dogs but wouldn't go near any of the Bull Terrier breeds, but that isn't a slight against the breed itself, its a slight against some owners that buy them to look hard, and treat them accordingly.

I'm sure the majority of them are lovely dogs, but you cant risk a dog that strong and powerful being the one that's owned by someone trying to be hard.

I also feel for the responsible Staffie owner, they must get incensed by some owners.

Staffy not for status

Would love u to meet mine Dave, we are not staffy owners for the status symbol purely for the love of the breed. They are people lovers and the breed in general prefer humans to other dogs. They are often called nanny dogs due to their good nature towards children. Sadly in Guernsey there are some owners of the breed that have no idea and also haven't done there research before buying or are getting from bad breeders. It's a shame as like you say the irresponsible owners of the breed are spoiling for the owners that have the breed for the right reasons


Some people refer to those animals which behave in an aggressive manner as 'Rescue dogs.'


...and to people who talk cr*p, as 'idiots'.


AJ - I had a rescue staffy X for 14yrs who was attacked on numerous occasions by smaller dogs, one of the attacks being 3 chihuahuas hanging off his sides & tummy, yes I agree sometimes you don't know a rescue dogs history but that's a that's a very shallow reply to voice, you clearly know nothing about dogs.


I think a dog training scheme should be compulsory as powerful dogs are a lethal weapon. I like Staffs but they need firm training as they can be very belligerent with other dogs.


AJ I'm not sure what you mean by your comment.Are you saying that a rescue dog is always aggressive?

If so that's a ridiculous statement.


Just referring to this paragraph ‘It was quite a bad attack and went on for a while. There was a bit of biting and scuffing, but then we heard yelping and that’s when we realised it was serious.'

Why did you not react sooner? Surely if you know you dog you would of known it was unhappy and reacted a lot quicker instead of allowing the attack to get into the biting stage?

I have grown up with staffies since I was little and I can tell you now that I have met all different kinds of dogs breeds that are just as or more aggressive than a staffy! Just because they get bad mouthed doesn't mean they are all bad! And quite frankly if you're scared about your dog getting attacked keep it on the lead I do! I only let mine off on a really low tide when no one is around. I'd rather do that they run the risk of one of them being 'attacked'

Unfortunately no matter how much you train dogs it's still there natural instinct to attack, dogs are just like all other animals in the wild except we have humanised them!

Also to the people that don't like dogs, why not stick to the areas that dogs aren't allowed in? Then you know for a fact that you and your children can play and not worry?


Unfortunately any dog can attack another it doesn't matter what the breed is. I own a staffie that has been attacked by a border collie and a westie local dog just ran back to me tail Between legs scared..a little toy dog that regularly walks on a beach (more bark then bite) will see my bitch of with a bark. Staffies are actually known to be one of the easiest dog

Breeds to train because they naturally way to please humans.


What an awful thing to happen. It doesn't matter what breeds of dogs are involved. It's horrid for both parties. Having your dog attacked is horrid, being the owner of a dog that's attacked another is horrid.

The dogs should have been on leads but weren't. It happened. It'll always happen.

What else is there to say?


I was attacked by an off the lead Jack Russel while sat eating lunch on the common. Maybe a should have gone to the press.


I find a lot of the comments on here assume that the "staffie", assuming that's what it was, has attacked without warning. That would have not happened and had either set of owners been close enough then they should have picked up on the warning signs. Also these comments assume that the cockapoo was entirely innocent in all aspects of the attack. Knowing this "breed" of dog I know they are unpredictable at best given the fact they are in fact mongrels and a mixture which includes poodle, a notoriously skittish breed. I also know that they do have a tendency to get into another dogs face which can cause issues in highly strung animals. Before anyone starts I'm not saying the so called staffie is the innocent party here as it does take 2 to tango and as it would have given warnings and peoples tendency to humanise their animals it is the owners fault for not paying more attention to them. They are animals at the end of the day, not children and when they feel under threat they will attack no matter what breed they are. You can not with any certainty say "he/she wouldn't hurt a fly" or anything similar.


To the people saying all dogs should be on leads. It's not really fair

For an animal to be on a lead for all walks they need to have a natural run, I agree that the owner should be close

To there animals, especially when other animals/people are near. I mainly only

Walk my dog of the lead but will always call her back

To me when other dogs/people

Approach or are seen to be coming my way. If I wanted to walk my dog on the lead I would go to places where dogs

Are only allowed on lead such as public

Parks and resivour not that all owners do tho. As a dog owner I wouldn't expect my dog to attack or be attacked by another but it

Does happen and owners should be aware it's more

Common then alot of people realise. I don't feel you can

Blame animal or owner unless it is clear the animal is

Naturally aggressive and the owner is being irresponsible, for all any of

Us know it may have been the first

Time this dog has attacked another. The way the owner deals with the incident should really be the question we are asking. Well in my opinion it is?!

Oh Dear

Does your dog come running back every time you call him/her back? I've seen plenty of people try this in a soft voice as there animal runs further away.

A lot of owners talk to their dogs as though they're children. You should use a firm voice. In the dogs mind you're the leader of the pack and you should ensure that is enforced.


As a matter of fact yes my dog does come back very time I call her back. My dog know that myself my husband and owner are all alpha in relation to her 'pack status' she even has to wait until we have all eaten before she gets fed. We keep our alpha status reinforced at all times we only play when we want to play not when she wants to. He even licks me under the chin no where else...this is a natural behaviour of a lower ranking pack animal 'bowing' to the alpha. I have qualifications and have studies for many year on animal behaviours etc.


Are you people that say dogs should be kept on leads at all times serious? Really?? A dog needs to be let off lead to run and exercise. The only time a dog should never be let off lead in a public place is when it is aggressive to other dogs. It should also be muzzled if this is the case.

Oh Dear

I think there should be designated areas for this. A lot of people feel threatened by dogs. Would you feel safe if I walked past you on a beach if I had a gun in my hand?

It might sound ridiculous but that is how many people feel.


I don't understand why they're putting all the blame on the staffie... If they were unaware of what was going on, why blame the staffie for maybe even getting scared by the other dog. One dog is not more vicious than another, one is just stronger and more powerful.

Nick Le P

Much like smoking, dogs should be heavily taxed and banned in public places!

Ich Dien

If idiots were to be heavily taxed and banned in public places Nick Le P, you would be home-bound and penniless.

Nick Le P

Thank you, and in so doing I wouldn't be

viciously biting anyone

annoying others, whilst claiming I never hurt anything

leaving my waste behind for others to walk in.

I was once out with my toddler who, when confronted with a Great Dane somewhat taller than him, was frightened and burst into tears. Its owner called from some 40 yards away, "don't worry, he loves children!".

The problem is dog owners just don't get it, I rest my case.

sleepy time

I agree Nick, they're an absolute pain in the backside, as are most of their owners.

If one approached one of my children in a threatening way I'd have no hesitation in connecting my booted foot with its jaw as a preemptive strike, they are dangerous animals yet their owners seem to consider them harmless little pups who'd never hurt a fly.

guern abroad

Dogs should be on leads when in any social place with either other dogs or other people.

Articles like this are annoying.

If you have a dog then walk it on a lead, if it is not on a lead then be close to it and accept it may get into a social tangle with another dog. Other dogs and other people can bite or be bitten. The smaller the dog the more irritable their disposition and the more cross bred the more irrational they are.

Local Dad

Far too many pet owners treat their animals like spoiled children and not animals. This is neither natural or fair to the animal and until this basic error is corrected stories like this will continue.

Dogs are great pets but they are essentially domesticated wolves, not human beings.


I think it's the dog owners that should be trained as much as dogs

I cannot understand the mentality of dog owners who quite properly pick up their dogs mess in a plastic bag then chuck the bag into the bushes!

You've only got to walk around some cliff paths to see these bags hanging in the bushes like Xmas decorations

Many dog owners cannot read either especially in the summer on the beaches where signs are quite clear stating no dogs on the beach and of course there's always one or two running about unsupervised

I've been rushed at by dogs before supposedly playing but when you have a dog with filthy feet jumping up at you it's very annoying '' he won't hurt he's just being friendly' a good kick in the bo......cks usually does the trick though!


If you kicked my dog.... I wouldn't hesitate to kick you back!!

I do agree regarding dog litter I find it highly annoying also, especially when there are dog waste bins and generally waste bins along/at begging of these walks!


We used to have a staffy, and you really couldn't ask for a dopier, cuddlier, more affectionate dog... towards humans. He unfortunately was occasionally defensive around strange dogs, which is why we would NEVER have dreamt of taking him out unless he was on a lead. If he so much as growled in the direction of another dog, we'd give him a sharp tug on the lead, tell him off, tap him on the nose, and he knew to shut up. If we'd let him run loose he almost certainly would've had a scrap with another dog eventually.

Unless you know for certain that your dog is not the type to be aggressive towards people or other dogs, it should be on a lead. If you're not sure, it should be on a lead. If it's a young dog and you haven't completed it's training, no matter how sweet natured the dog, it should be on a lead.

Honestly, it's so basic. If it's too much for you then you shouldn't have a dog, simple as.