Swans are beautiful creatures who normally pose no threat to our four-legged best friends. However, like any animal, swans can become agitated and territorial. Especially when they feel threatened or are protecting their young.

This past Saturday, a Cocker Spaniel was swimming joyously in a duck pond in Dublin, Ireland. However, the dog unknowingly grew closer to the swans and her cygnets. Protecting her babies, the swan made a beeline for the dog while the dog’s owner shouted in hysterics for his dog to come back to shore.

Source: Flickr

“We started screaming at the swan, trying to distract it,” the owner reported to the Irish Times. “The poor dog didn’t realize what was going on and swam straight for the swan.”

Source: Pxhere

The dog’s owner said the swan lifted her wings and beat down the dog continuously “with one wing and then the other. That stunned the poor thing. Three or four more slaps and she was gone.”

The attack was devastating to watch and the dog’s owner was understandably shaken to witness such a horrifying act. His beloved dog, who had no idea what she was doing, seemed like a threat to the swan and her babies. And out of instinct, the swan acted.

“They need to put up signs telling people to keep their dogs on leads around the pond. The swan was just protecting its cygnets,” The owner said.

This is a tragic event that should remind ALL dog owners that animals will instinctively protect their young. Animals are also unpredictable and owners should use caution when allowing their dogs off-leash, especially around others.