English Bulldog attacked my chicken in my backyard-are they killers?


10 Years
Mar 23, 2009
Sherman-Denison, TX
I've had a horrible 16 hours...for the past several years I've had problems with a neighbor's (I'll call him Billy) American Pit Bulldog, Lefty, coming to MY yard and trying to kill my Golden Retreiver, Buddy. After the 4th attack, which could have killed me in front of my children's terrified eyes, and it attacking one of his friend's dog, he finally put it down about 2 years ago. This dog also reached through his fence into his backyard neighbor's fence (they join) and killed one of their small dogs (after a hefty vet bill to try to save it). This neighbor was so afraid of saying anything, her husband made her keep quiet about it. I lived in terror EVERY day because of this dog while he was alive. Billy also has a French Mastiff who has been in my yard at least twice rapidly approaching my sleeping retreiver on the porch, but I was able to get Buddy inside before anything happened; however, it's been at least a year since that happened.

I live in a neighborhood where some neighbors have fences on part of their property (min. land size is 2 acres), but most don't. I've tolerated, as well as others who live here, other dogs coming into my yard ALL the time and I know my Buddy would join up with the group and sometimes visit with them or go to their properties - this rarely happened in the last few years of his life since he had hip problems and was aged. He never attacked another dog - only when defending himself in his yard against the pit bulldog. These visits from other dogs were rarely any trouble, until Lefty.

Billy apparently has more money than sense. He had a home invasion and installed a HUGE iron fence around his entire 5 acres about 4 or 5 years ago- couldn't have been cheap. His dogs were getting out because he didn't either close the gate(s) or didn't secure it properly or going under the fence when small. They still have the Mastiff who spends most of his day barking at us whenever we're out from across the street (we live on a cul-de-sac and I'm at the end of it) and now they've added an English Bulldog, Abby, to the mix. Abby leaves the property daily - I've stopped several times on my way home and tried to put her back in w/o the Mastiff getting to me. She seems to be a very sweet dog, but I know little about English bulldogs. Billy's closest neighbor ("Frank") told me he use to put Abby back in and finally stopped cuz he figured if Billy didn't care enough about the dog, then it wasn't his job to do so for him. He also said he WITNESSED the mastiff reaching through the fence and attacking the little dog 1st. Guess, Lefty came along about a week later and finished the job. I had another neighbor come to my house last Friday with Abby on a leash asking if she was ours and telling us that Abby spends every night at their house.

So yesterday, my chickens were out milling around my yard just outside my office window where I was studying and I decided to take them some BOSS and feed the birds at the same time. Billy's dogs were at their fence line, barking away at me, but I didn't think they could get through that section of the fence so I headed to the backyard to clean the coop out a bit. I then heard a huge chicken commotion out front and seconds later, Topsy, a BO, came running and squawking with Abby nipping at her heels. I spent the next 2-3 minutes chasing them both around the acre backyard (and I live on a terrace, so that's not easy!) trying to get the dog away from Topsy. My mini doxie, Bella, was very upset and barking at Abby, because she grew up with those chickens and feel they are her best friends - eats with them, etc. Eventually they all made their way into the run (Topsy knows that's safe haven) and Abby cornered her under the elevated coop. I was able to occasionally grab a hold of Abby which allowed Topsy time to get away, but I thought the dog had killed or maimed her. After I got a good hold of Abby, she started lunging at Bella! Long story short: I carried this 40 lb. dog to my car, had to rest for a few minutes before trying to get my dog inside, which wasn't easy, and then headed to Billy's house to have them get their #*@ dog! They weren't home and since I couldn't trust their fence or dog, and I didn't have a place to leave her in my house, I took Abby to Billy's best friend's mother ("Suzie") who lives in the neighborhood and asked her to take the dog and to give Billy a message that if his dog killed my dog, that he would be met with an attorney and "it" would be met with a shotgun. My main concern is that if his dogs attacked my small Bella, she would be killed.

On the way home, I stopped at Frank's house to ask him what he knew about English bulldogs (he loves the American bulldog, but is a very responsible, caring owner and I never feared his dog). Frank told me LOTS of information re: the neglect of and abuse by Billy's dogs and of the personal problems Billy had been going through. About 1 hour after the incident, Billy comes to my door and says that Suzie told him that I threatened to kill his family...they never even came into the brief conversation I had with her - only the dog. So, GEEZ! Basically, the gist of the conversation was that he was the ONLY neighbor who had built a fence in the neighborhood (not true) and that he kept his dogs in all the time (definitely not true!). He accused me of being addle and lying about what his dogs do or have done on a daily basis. He also said that Buddy use to "terrify" his children and that they couldn't cross the dam to get to Suzie's house (the beginning of the dam is on my property!!!), which I found interesting cuz whenever I saw Buddy at the empty lot next to my house where the beginning of the dam is located, they weren't afraid at all and appeared to be playing with him. There's also a bridge over this pond they could have used instead! In other words, he didn't want to admit any fault. I strongly apologized for my use of words, but that they had been directed at his dog only and that I had sprained both my ankle and back trying to get his dog off my property and had been extremely upset. There's tons more to this "conversation", but not worth mentioning.

So, two questions:

1. Was I wrong?
2. Are English bulldogs killers?

Sorry, for the long story, but I only had 3 hours of sleep last night and my body hurts all over! Gail


12 Years
Dec 29, 2009
Springfield, VA
Animals will always have the ability to forget all they have learned and well . . . behave as animals but people who don't take care of or responsibility for their animals put their furry friends and everyone else in harms way. A dog running loose can cause car accidents, scare people, hurt themselves or other animals.

Sorry you had such a difficult day. Thankfully all your loved fluffies survived to enjoy BOSS another day. Step back and count your blessings, taking good care and pampering yourself until your body rebounds.


10 Years
Dec 14, 2009
I would start taking pictures or videos of his dogs out and about. Make sure they are date-stamped. Talk to the local police or animal control. The neighbor who has already lost their dog should have spoken up, and they probably feel awful. You don't want to lose any of your animals, and end up in a similar position, so I would urge you to document in case of further threats on your chickens and dog. If "Billy" is not accepting responsibility for his actions/inaction, then you will have to watch closely and do what you can to make sure that he doesn't get away with it again. As long as he is not admitting any fault on his part, this will happen again. Good luck.


11 Years
Nov 15, 2009
San Diego, California
Your neigbor is just trying to intimidate you. You should have reported the dog to animal control a long time ago. report the most recent incident and see a doctor to document your injuries. Photograph the dog on your property if possible. You can sue the dogs owner if you should choose for medical bills and for property losses. You have a witness, your neighbor. Make sure animal control interviews him when they can. I promise your neighbor is just a bully and he will most likely leave you alone after he gets cited by animal control. You can't just allow him to dictate how you live and what is or isn't a problem.


11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
east freetown, ma
the next time you put his dog in your car ,drive it to the pound. If he has to pay money to get it out , it might make a difference.
Some people are idiots, I found a dog walking in the middle of the road in front of my house.I'm on an old state highway. It almost got hit by a semi.I grabbed the dog ,it had a collar with the owners number on it.I called and explained that his dog was loose and had almost gotten hit. Told him where my house is ,and he says well i'm in the next city over , just let him go ,he will fing his way home.
I told him he could pick the dog up at my town's police station.We don't have a full time dog officer.

Frankly your whole neighborhoods lax attitudes about loose dogs is what perpetuated the whole incident.
you admit that your dog would join the pack and roam the neighborhood.Pack mentality is not something you want to run into. Your dog might be the sweetest thing in the world alone .But packs can be dangerous


Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
Waterloo, Nebraska
Especially if you're a chicken.

Even if a dog is good with other animals when it's at home, it will follow the lead of the pack when roaming. There are only dog rules when roaming. People rules don't apply when they are unsupervised. Roaming dogs are always a bad idea. Nobody should have a dog if they are unable to contain it.

The next time the bulldog is in the yard, take it to the pound or shoot it. I wish I lived closer. I like English Bulldogs and would love to take it off your hands.


10 Years
Mar 23, 2009
Sherman-Denison, TX
Thanks all for the comments. My Golden Retriever, Buddy, had to be put down last Fall and was mostly housebound for some time before that. He was never quite the same after the last attack by "Billy's" pit bull. After that attack, he brought over an expensive bottle of Dom Perignon with a note apologizing for Lefty's action and hoped all was well and signed his name. I couldn't drink the champagne since it felt like blood money to me, but I fortunately saved it and the note, so have a bit of evidence already.

My lil Bella, the dachshund, does run loose on MY 2 acres, but doesn't go into other yards - she's too much of a sissy to leave my property! She will cross the cul-de-sac and bark back at his dogs when they have initiated barking at me, but she has not been stupid enough to go though his fence. He claims that's reason enough to antagonize his dogs to do what they do, again he doesn't want to claim responsibility. Fortunately, he admitted that he had to kill the pit bull after it attacked a friend's dog, so I don't have to worry about that anymore, but I don't know what his French Mastiff would do if it could get to Bella. I am going to start taking pictures - even when I pass his house and Abby is out again, which she is inevitably going to do. I really don't want to escalate this any more than it has, and hope that "sleeping dogs will lie". I'm not sure what I will do when Abby comes to my yard again.. at least I have his new phone # now - I think he disconnected the last one cuz I was leaving messages all the time about his dog! I just wanted to know if anyone had any experience with English bulldogs hurting or killing other dogs.


11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
No experience with bull dogs here. But I think that ANY dog can exhibit negative behaviors, even the sweetest family dog, under the right circumstances.

Well, it certainly sounds like you need to keep your chickens penned up for awhile. In a dog-safe run for sure. If Abby gets out daily, then no free-ranging is going to be safe. It's hard when someone else's irresponsibility affects our own quality of life, and it sounds like he's not being a gracious neighbor, so for now it sounds like you just need to be proactive.

Or build yourself a nice big solid fence.

Are there leash laws where you live? In my city, you can't leave a dog outside during the day if it's barking incessantly. Why wait for something bad to happen? I agree with Purr. If Abby is leaving the property daily, then she needs to be turned over to the pound each time you catch her in your yard. Every day if need be. Same for your neighbor who gets a visit every evening. After paying a few fines (I believe they go up each time the dog comes in??) maybe Billy will be more cognizant to keep his dogs contained. I don't think that you need to identify who you are when you drop them off. And then animal control will at least be aware that there is a problem.

And probably wouldn't be a bad idea to keep your little doxie away from his fence line for awhile - no need to fuel the fire.

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