People have been left divided after footage that shows two dogs fighting in Home Depot sparked a debate over whether our canine companions should be allowed to accompany us into stores given the potential risk of dog aggression.
In a dramatic video posted to TikTok (opens in new tab) on April 20 that has already generated over seven million views and close to 30,000 comments, a small crowd can be seen gathered around two dogs embroiled in a scuffle.
The larger pup, a Pit Bull, is on a leash and is quickly pulled back by their owner with both of them appearing to leave the store. But it’s the two female owners of the smaller dog that have got everyone talking.
While one of the women picks up the little dog and cradles him in her arms, the other woman sits sobbing and screaming on the ground, asking for the dog's name and for the police to be called, with concerned store staff and fellow shoppers gathered around her.
@wtfisthis211 (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - Littlest of the Big B’s (opens in new tab)
- Best dog leashes: Keep your pooch safe and under control
- Best dog harnesses: Get the right fit for your pooch
Although the captioning of the TikTok video itself (“Dogs fight at Home Depot, lady is pissed her dog lost”) is not something we agree with (what we see is a distressed pet owner), the footage does raise a valid question of whether dogs should be allowed to accompany their owners into stores.
And it’s that very question that’s been dividing netizens this week who seem split on what the verdict should be. One user writes “If they aren’t service dogs they shouldn’t be in stores!”, while another adds “Umm people.... just a thought..leave your dogs at home...they will be fine at home without you.”
But others feel that it’s the way dogs are managed in stores that’s what’s most important. “The pit bull is on leash. The smaller dog is not,” one netizen says, with another user agreeing with the sentiment “It's amazing how they immediately blame the Pit Bull when it's on a leash and the little dog is not…keep your dog on a leash!”
Although a lot of stores are dog-friendly, it's worth bearing in mind that while some dogs will cope well with large crowds and other animals being around, for some of our canine companions, these things can cause them to feel frightened and behave in ways they wouldn't outside of those circumstances.
"Fear is a common cause of aggression in dogs," explains vet Catherine Barnette. Have you ever heard the phrase fight or flight response? When your dog is scared, they have two options - run away or stick around and fight. While many dogs prefer to flee, aggression can arise if your dog feels trapped in a fear-inducing situation. Fear aggression is most common in a dog that feels cornered."
Thankfully, both dogs appeared to part ways relatively unharmed, but this incident does serve as an important reminder to all of us to keep our dogs on a lead when we’re taking them into stores.
Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.
Get the best advice, tips and top tech for your beloved Pets