A dog was killed when another dog attacked it in an off-leash area of the Esquimalt Lagoon Tuesday afternoon.

A five-year-old American bulldog was chasing a ball when a smaller terrier-type dog approached it, trying to take the ball, according to CRD Animal Control.

The bulldog's owner tried to move his pet away from the terrier, but it followed and again tried to take the ball.

That's when the bulldog attacked, taking the terrier in its jaws and shaking it violently.

The smaller dog was quickly determined to have died as a result.

Police were called to the scene and found the owner of the deceased dog had left.

They spoke with the owner of the bulldog, who has since made arrangements to have the dog destroyed, according to CRD Chief Bylaw Officer Don Brown.

"Dogs get very protective of course of toys and food," said Brown. "It's unfortunate that something like this happened."

The off-leash area of Esquimalt Lagoon is a small section of shoreline below the high tide mark. The area encompassing the bridge to the washrooms is an on-leash area, Brown clarified.

He's reminding dog owners to keep their pets on a leash if they're unsure about their behaviour.

offleash dog attack esquimalt lagoon

The on-leash and off-leash areas of Esquimalt Lagoon are shown. (Colwood.ca)