Domestic Animal Services has confirmed it is investigating a serious dog attack in Kambah that left a a small dog cowering in its own backyard with severe puncture wounds.
Romeo, a small black two-year-old spoodle, was attacked by two dogs on Saturday, which owner Rachael Bartram said were malamutes.
The attack happened about 9.30pm Saturday near Proby Place on the walking path between Sinclair Street and Harrington Circuit. The malamutes were roaming off leash without an owner, Ms Bartram said.
Ms Bartram's brother, Lance, wrestled one of the dogs off family dog Romeo, allowing it to run to its nearby home. Mr Bartram had to prevent the malamute from attacking Romeo again in their own backyard, she said.
"One of the malamutes bit down hard on our dog's hindquarters and shook him violently with a clear intent to kill him," she said.
Romeo required urgent veterinary treatment for severe puncture wounds, which cost more than $300.
Ms Bartram said she had seen the two malamutes twice, and on one occasion they had come up to the family home and sniffed at Romeo through the fence. "They seemed perfectly friendly," she said.
The family hasn't taken Romeo for a walk since the attack, Ms Bartram said. "I'm not sure if it's safe enough for me to walk our dog again."
A Domestic Animal Services spokesman said rangers were investigating the report, which was of "high priority" for the team.
A decision on whether the dogs that attacked would be seized would follow an investigation, the spokesman said.
Ms Bartram said she was glad Domestic Animal Services was taking her complaint seriously and that if her brother wasn't around to keep the attacking dogs from Romeo, the spoodle could have been killed.
"It's not okay that [the dogs] are out and being so aggressive," Ms Bartram said. But seizing the dogs if it's the first time they have attacked may not be the answer, she said.
The managing director and head trainer at Sit Drop Stay, George Lygidakis, said malamutes could be great pets but owners must control them.
"You will require more control and respect than with other dogs," he said.
Mr Lygidakis, who offers dog training services in Canberra, said categorising dog breeds isn't a good idea.
"It’s not the breed, it’s owners that don’t have control. Don’t put [malamutes] in compromising situations. You don’t throw a malamute in a dog park or allow them off leash unless you know they are good with other dogs and you have off leash control. It’s not going to go well," he said.
"You don't just buy them as cuddly teddy bears."