Gladiator Maximus: Anchor Bitten In The Face By Rescued Dog

Television anchor, Kyle Dyer, was bitten in the face by a 85-pound Argentine mastiff named Gladiator Maximus during an interview this week. The dog was the scene of a heroic rescue in icy waters after falling into the water while chasing a coyote. Firefighter Tyler Sugaski who rescued the dog is shown here with the owner 39-year-old Michael Robinson. The video is below.

Robinson’s potential liability raises some interesting questions. He was cited with failure to have his dog on a leash, allowing a dog to bite and failure to have a vaccinated dog. The dog ran into the lake because he was not on a leash in the first place and Robinson allowed him to chase the coyote.

Under the common law, Robinson is protected by the “one free bite rule.” The rule is a bit of a misnomer, as reaffirmed recently in Georgia. It does not take one bite to put a pet owner on notice to attach strict liability. It is sufficient if a person knew or had reason to know the vicious propensity of the animals. If there were prior incidents or complaints, the case could resemble the case of lawyers Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel who were both sued civilly and convicted criminally in a horrific dog attack case.

There may be suggestions about a vicious propensity in the breed, though I have never seen such presumptions with mastiffs as opposed to breeds like pit bulls.

Chasing a coyote is not necessary evidence of a vicious propensity since most dogs chase animals. However, there may be other prior evidence of the propensity. If not, a case would be handled in negligence. Yet, there could be a plaintiffs’ conduct question in how the television lights and set would affect an animal and the failure of the studio to have better animal control precautions.

Source: Herald

34 thoughts on “Gladiator Maximus: Anchor Bitten In The Face By Rescued Dog”

  1. That dog knew something about her. Probably a dog hater. But the guys with the dog gotta know that bringing a dog into a studio and having all those people and lights etc are going to put him in a strange land. Then when she puts her puss in his face.

  2. The owner may have been reluctant to tell the anchor on live TV to leave Maximus alone and not put her face so close. In a normal situation, I can’t believe anyone would allow a stranger to put their face so close. Maximus was sort of wedged in and being held by his collar so had no way to gracefully exit. He only gave her a warning nip. If he wanted to do damage, he could have. Maximus was only defending himself in what he felt was an uncomfortable and possibly threatening situation.

  3. Some people have a way with dog language, some people . . . have not way. I would suggest (as have others here) that Ms. Dyer has not way.

  4. It seems that not all people know how to accept what dogs are telling us. I did not see a vicious, malicious or aggressive action of this dog, just a dog doing what comes naturally. it did not seem to be a aggressive bite but more like a dog saying ” hi, you’re to close to me and here is the warning to stay away” . All k9s bite, it is one of the ways they talk to us, warn us, and tell us that they want thier space left alone. Sorry this nice lady was on the receiving end of this warning, but I do not think it was a intentional bite to hurt: more of a reaction the same way a person may push back if pushed or shoved, afterall this dog did not know her and here is a person sticking her face in his face and pulling on his neck. I would never do that to a strange dog.

  5. I feel bad for the lady but it was stupid of her. It is also obvious to me that the owner has no control of his dog.

    People have a tendency to treat dogs like humans. In a pack mentality, canines look at humans like two legged dogs. There is a pecking order and getting in the dogs face was a dumb move. The owner allowing her to do that was stupid as well as dangerous.

  6. I agree with Diana and Dredd – the dog had survived the great shock of being in freezing water (the coyote went under but Max was strong enough to keep paddling), then being warmed up, then the bright lights, unfamiliar surroundings of a studio and a negligent anchor woman treating a shocked dog as if a cuddly stuffed toy!

    The dog’s owner bears responsibility for :
    1) not ensuring his dog was in a quiet environment to recover from the shock of the icy pond and subsequent rescue.
    2) not letting the dog recover from the shock and putting him in an unfamiliar environment the next morning.
    3) for letting the news anchor get in his dog’s face

    Both the owner and the news anchor have contributory negligence.

    Channel 9 has a good reputation for being dog friendly and promoting canine events. That doesn’t cover being dog stupid.

    Channel 9 over-reacted in the ‘surgery’ story. They need to stay quiet and apologize for their anchor doing a stupid thing to a traumatized dog.

    I hope both the dog and the news anchor recover and both the dog owner and Channel 9 learn from this unfortunate fiasco.

  7. According to the media aoutlest you would think that he ripped her whole face off. Her reconstructive surgery was probably a few stitches. The headlines should read: Anchorwoman molests dog and gets whats coming on live T.V.

  8. it slays me when people are surprised that dogs will bite with “out any provocation” It matters not the breed, and sometimes not even the training, because dogs have limited ways of communicating with human beings and biting is one of them! I thoroughly enjoy dogs, but I always keep in mind that they have the capacity to maim or kill, and in a sense they are completely unpredictable. It’s unfortunate that the owner was not able to communicate with the anchor how to handle the dog.

  9. Wow, what a pretty dog! My pit mix Baxter has a similar face and smiles a lot – but when he doesn’t like something, it isn’t hard to figure out.

    Hey interview lady – this here dawg is so tough he’ll chase coyotes! i wouldn’t just assume he’s a cuddly widdle play thing if i were you. Sorry about yer face.

  10. bettykath:

    Correction: “With a bit of training, the sort that all dogs humans need, the pit bull is one of the most docile and loving of pets.”

  11. I agree with Diana.

    But I can’t let the comment about pit bulls go unchallenged. I know more than a half dozen pit bulls. The only reason I don’t have one is b/c I don’t have enough room. With a bit of training, the sort that all dogs need, the pit bull is one of the most docile and loving of pets. I’m visiting today and got a good morning lick from three of them. If you’ve actually run into a pit that has been hostile, check out the owner b/c that’s where the responsibility lies.

  12. “YOU NEVER put your face in a dogs face. Especially a strange dog’s face. I agree with your assessment Sling. That was a “get out of my space” message.” -Diana Hanford Demarest

    That pretty well sums it up.

  13. Was the pet over the shock of almost dying, and all of the trauma that flashing lights and lots of people running around could have engendered?

    Sometimes that comes out a while after the traumatic event, and perhaps was stimulated by the bright studio lights, strange gadgets, and strange people all around.

  14. Thanks for the video. This clears things up. How stupid is she? YOU NEVER put your face in a dogs face. Especially a strange dog’s face. I agree with your assessment Sling. That was a “get out of my space” message.

  15. Considering the way in which it was being molested by a stranger, I have a certain amount of sympathy for the dog.
    Handling any dog that way is foolish and inconsiderate. It’s a sentient animal – not a a stuffed toy.

    Not so much a “vicious propensity” as a doggie way of saying “Get outta my face”.
    It didn’t press home an attack. Just one snap. “Stop doing that, Lady!” End of.

    It might be that the owner should have intervened to stop the woman from annoying the dog.

  16. Good morning Professor. I think you mean bitten not beaten. 🙂

    I don’t believe it’s a particular breed’s vicious propensity. The stupid owners are the problem. When one owns a power breed such as a pit bull, mastiff, German shepherd or the like, it is a huge responsibility.

    Irresponsible owners who don’t take the time to train their dogs and have them under control (as in ON A LEASH!) at all times are at fault. The breeds get a bad rap.

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