Attack on NDSU Sheep Proves a Lesson to Dog Owners - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Attack on NDSU Sheep Proves a Lesson to Dog Owners

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Many unanswered questions tonight surrounding a vicious dog attack on the NDSU campus that left a dozen sheep dead.
Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman shows us what might have lead to friendly house pets turning violent.
"Any loss is a great loss," Greg Lardy, NDSU Animal Sciences Department Head, said after dealing with a bloody scene on campus this morning.
It's a tale of two personalities, how family pets wearing tags could become killers.
"Two dogs attacked sheep at the NDSU sheep unit sometime between 9 PM and this morning," Lardy said.
The attack left seven sheep dead and five more injured so bad veterinarians had to put them down.
"Our assistant manager and two student workers entered the barn early this morning and found the dogs and some of the injured sheep," Lardy said.
The dogs found in the sheep barn were friendly towards humans but animal behaviorists say it doesn't mean they can't have aggressive tendencies.
"Kind of like a cat and mouse game, a cat will play with a mouse until it dies... Well if a dog's in that frenzy, in that state of mind, they're going to do the same thing," Mary Higdem, dog trainer at F-M Obedience, said.
Higdem says these dogs are interested more in the hunt than the kill.
"If the sheep are there in the neighborhood playing with them, they're always going to see those sheep running and playing, it's just the thrill of the game," she said.
Higdem says after the first attack, it's more likely they'll return.
But this tale could end wagging, Higdem says training and supervision could set aggressive dogs back on track,
"If you have a dog that's going after other dogs, get help. Get help right away, don't wait until it's too late."
Trainers say dogs will show signs of aggression as early as puppies, and the growls and playful bites that might seem cute could turn into something more violent.
As far as today's attacks, investigators have not yet shared where the dogs came from, who the dogs belong to and whether the owner will face any charges.


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