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Help! My dog bit someone

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by novicedogowner, Jul 8, 2009.


  1. novicedogowner

    novicedogowner PetForums Newbie

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    Hi
    I need help please. We have female black lab/rottie cross - rescue dog that we've had for 4 months. My teenagers out with her - met a couple walking the other way, minding their own business. She went towards them (on lead) they pulled her back, couple went past and then she lunged, jumped up and bit woman. Couple have just come round to say she spent last two hours in local hospital having wound dressed, tetanus injection and antibiotics. They were very reasonable but ...

    So - what do we do now - I know kids won't be walking her on their own again and we have a muzzle which she will be wearing all the time she's out.

    We have been working so hard with her because she's aggressive and unpredicatable with other dogs but this is the first time she's shown aggression to people.

    What do we do now??? :confused:
     
  2. brackensmom

    brackensmom PetForums VIP

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    on no i am so sorry that this has happened. did the couple say there were going to police or anything. Also have you contacted the rescue centre you got her from.
     
  3. mypets

    mypets PetForums Senior

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    Hey! i have no advice for you about dogs, but try not to worry...I feel really sorry for her being like that and in a rescue place in the first place...you are doing a wonderful job in training her..and for you to give her a home...

    well done you! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  4. Dingle

    Dingle PetForums VIP

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    Have they reported it to the police? If so it may be out of your hands & the dog could be destroyed!

    Do you know the full history of the dog?

    How old is the dog?
     
  5. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear :(

    I have to agree with the others, do you know the history of your dog? The sad thing is, after only 4 months your teenagers shouldn't be really walking your dog. I don't think that's enough time to really get to know a dog and understand how it reacts in certain environments - especially a rescue dog

    I hope those people don't decide to press charges :(
     
  6. novicedogowner

    novicedogowner PetForums Newbie

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    Yes - i have contacted the rescue and am waiting to hear from them ...

    The couple seemed very reasonable and said they just wanted me to know so that I could take steps to do something about it. they said what if it had been a small child - indeed - what if it had??

    I don't think they will report the incident but you never know ... after conversations with their freinds/family or whatever they may be encouraged to do something ...

    This is the 1st time our dog has ever shown aggression towards a person tho' she can be aggressive towards other dogs. We have seem a behaviourist who gave us basic obedience exercises to do. When I take her out and there are no distractions she's really good at basic commands, she's fine in the house around food issues etc.

    She does bark at people walking past outside and pulls the post and newspaper out of the letterbox ...

    I'm just a bit shocked, upset and ashamed of her behaviour ...
     
  7. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    As has been said earlier i would contact the rescue your dog came from,and find out why he was in rescue in the first place,
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. Welcome to the forum and congratulations for taking on a rescue

    I am sorry to hear this has happened. One of my rescue's has bitten people, so do know how you feel.

    Get in a behaviourist. I usually give really long replies on aggression, but because she is a rescue and you have not had her long, you need to ensure you are doing it correctly.

    Where do you live?

    Chin up x
     
  9. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    It's understandable that you feel ashamed, I would be too if my GSD did the same thing. The best thing is to not panic. You said you've seen a behaviourist, are you still seeing them? Why not try training classes?

    The couple seem very decent so I doubt they're going to suddenly change their mind :)

    Don't stop taking your rottie out, but maybe go to somewhere no other people go then work it up slowly? Do you know if she was socialised properly?
     
  10. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Irrelevant, what can the rescue center do? You have taken on this dog and it needs to be dealt with.

    Basic obedience is not enough and I am not sure that the behaviourist couldn't have done a bit more.

    You may find she was protecting the kids. Usually a dog bites because it is fearful or is trying to protect (because it doesn;'t think the humans can do the job)
     
  11. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Hi, maybe you could contact the people to let them know what measures you are taking to make sure it wont happen again, that way they will see you are being responsible and less likely to report.

    I agree with having a muzzle on for now, but training classes and behaviourist would also be good idea to sort it out :)

    x
     
  12. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Hi novicedogowner, don't panic that'll only make you feel bad and do nothing to remedy the situation. You must be gutted but you're taking the right steps to prevent it from happening again which is great news.

    Taking on a dog with an unkown past can be very tricky, you just don't know what can trigger an old emotion to reappear. I agree with the others, seek out a good behaviourist and get them involved asap. You said that you've already seen a behaviourist who gave you some basic obedience tasks to work on.... I don't really think this person is a behaviourist, sounds more like a trainer parading as a behaviourist to me?

    Speak to your vet asap and see if they can refer you to a reputable behviourist. (Just as an aside, if your vet offers medication to calm her aggression, don't accept, as tempting as it may seem, as it will only delay her rehabilitation.)

    You can also find a good behviourist here Canine and Feline Behaviour Association

    Chin up x
     
  13. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    I would still try and get some info about her past family and if she displayed any aggression when in rescue. It would help you build a better picture of the reasoning behind the aggression. With most rescues it is fear based; with my dog it was grown up men and large dogs, once we knew that we could take direct steps to correct our boy.

    Dogs don't attack for fun, they are not like us humans; they always have a reason and mostly give out warnings in their body language before they do; those warnings are what you are looking for so you can spot what makes her react, situations, people. The other thing is are you all very calm when you walk her, if you fear she might attack an individual that is what she is going to do for sure as she basically reacts to you change of state of mind. So calm and tranquillity, unfortunately the muzzle you have to use might be stalling her recovery or delay it as if she is fearful that will make her even more so.

    Stay in touch with the couple she bit to check on the bite and to keep them informed on what you are doing, they sound reasonable people. At the end of the day dogs are made aggressive by circumstances and she is much better off with you taking steps in her recovery then with somebody else resorting to putting her TS or worse use her as a weapon or tropky

    well done for taking her on!!!! You are a star!
     
  14. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    You may find out something about the dog's past by going back to the rescue, but it's not uncommon for people to lie about why they are parting with their dog. You can find out what the dog was like in the rescue centre. You are dealing with this as responsibly as anyone could.
    If your dog is insured, you will need to inform the insurance company of this incident.
     
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