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What the hell just Happened?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by shetlandlover, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. I took the 3 dogs out for a walk (its their last before bed) and because Alaska broke her leg in april she missed out on alot of social events because the vet told us to keep her in, so shes still a little odd with strangers..sometimes not always.

    Anyway, walking back some drunk man came over (not odd because everyone in my area is usually drunk) and started trying to stroke Alaska, Alaska backed away and tired to break from her collar, I calmed her and the man continued to talk to us (I didnt want to talk back but did incase he was dangerous) and followed us down the main road for a good 15 min trying to stroke Alaska, Alaska gave him the same reaction everytime (which isnt strange she back away from people she doesnt know so I wasnt to worried) but then I picked her up to calm her down and the man put his hand on her to stroke her and she bit him. Lucky he was drunk and just flapped it off (She didnt bite him hard but I think it was a warning bite) then she nearly slipped her collar, the man then moved on to Scorcher (who because of her past hates men) and she let him stroke her but didnt look at him or even react to being touched (she does that) then he said to Alaska "Im not going to hurt you, she *pointing at scorcher* will bite my legs off" I just smiled and kept walking he then said about how big scorcher will get once shes fully grown (he obviously thought she was a full breed I never correct them because that might just stop any attacks, since me and my dogs have been attacked before, but before we got alaska).

    Anyway, What happened? Im taking Alaska to training lessions which start on the 3rd but shes never bit before well not when shes not playing.

    Was she scared? Or could she feel I was scared? Or was it the man?
    Walking down our street after that happened two teenage chavs walked past (hoods up and everything) and she jumped at them to play just fine.

    I'm shocked because my dogs dont bite! And Alaska hid by my legs for the walk which she has never done before.
  2. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

    Feb 14, 2010
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    Dogs, even well socialised ones, de-socialise. Socialisation wears off! Back to the drawing board with remedial socialisation work and preventing incidents where she is likely to be upset as far as is possible.

    ALL dogs bite - inhibited bites, which happened here, are a normal part of doggie communication. Her more subtle discomfort signals were ignored and she escalated her distance increasing signaling to the point that she delivered an inhibited bite.
    Unfortunatley you can't prepare the world for the dog, so we gotta prepare the dog for the world. Take it slow and best of luck :)
  3. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

    Apr 30, 2009
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    I think as you said it was a warning bite :)

    About 2 weeks ago me and Leah84 went to the beach with my dogs. Afterwards we decided to go to the pub and there was a child who was INTENT on winding Candy up, stroking her too hard, trying to pick her up etc. She's an old girl at 13 and has become less tolerant of people so she snarled and bared her teeth at the child (who I was in the process of trying to teach to leave Candy alone as she was very tired from her walk). She didn't move to bite him and I didn't reprimand her as that's how she was telling him off.

    It doesn't make our dogs aggressive when they are obviously giving off clear warning signals :)
  4. Thank you.
    Over the past few months we have done loads of socializing work with her but she has never met a drunk person before.

    She has the lessons to help her too and It will help us both to deal with things like that. I saw she was getting upset and tried to calm it but we litrally were stuck with this guy and I didnt really want him following us home so I just had to stick it out until I got to the nearest route away from him.

    She seems fine now, shes back playing with the cats. Usually she deals with new people well, she will back away until she gets a sniff then shes fine. Maybe it didnt help he didnt back off?
  5. ninja

    ninja PetForums VIP

    Jan 4, 2009
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    you picked her up,
    so when he then went to stroke her again she had nowhere to go to get away from him,

    also picking her up to calm her down would seem to her that there must be something to be scared about.
  6. I picked her up so she didnt slip her collar. I also picked her up because she was spinning on her back legs in the air and I didnt want to damage her leg any further. I tried to calm the situation down by letting her hide behind my legs, even letting my other two dogs go infront so the guy would stroke them. I picked her up because her leg isnt fully healed and I dont fancy her going through what she had to go through before all over again.
  7. kittysoo

    kittysoo PetForums Member

    Mar 9, 2008
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    what gorgous dogs you have. It was very brave of you to even talk to that man - anything could have happened. May be you passed on your tension to the dogs. I'd give drunks a wide berth or birth :lol:

    Sounds like she was fine after though so l would'nt be too worried -maybe a one off due to the bloke being a bit unstable.:eek:
  8. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

    Oct 20, 2009
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    Color me paranoid for living in a similar place where drunks and crackheads like to just walk up and either slop on you and your dog or, worse, follow you around with potentially malevolent intentions, but I think it's pretty normal protective behavior on the part of the dog to give a warning bite to someone she thinks is going to harm you.
  9. tippi

    tippi PetForums Junior

    Jun 11, 2010
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    I agree with Dagny - its the dog I feel sympathy for in this situation. I understand that you don't want your dog to bite but from your description the man just walked up to you and then followed you for 15 minutes, to be honest I'd have been surprised if one of the dogs didn't react in that way. I agree with you taking them to classes though because you want them to react through instructions and not instinct.

    Sorry it strikes a chord at the moment because I went for a later walk than usual with my two and a young (drunk) lad started calling me vile names, really put me on edge and spoilt what should have been a lovely summer evening walk!
  10. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Feb 12, 2009
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    I imagine she felt cornered with nowhere to escape too. Nervous dogs need an escape route, you took that away so she snapped in fear. Very bad idea to pick up a nervous dog then let someone put a hand out to them. I understand why you did it and I am sure it would have been hard to stop him doing it but maybe an explanation about the broken leg could have made him back off.
  11. silly gilly

    silly gilly PetForums Member

    Apr 7, 2008
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    I think you coped very well, my terrier will take dislikes to some people and situations, he doesnt bite but he will growl and show his anxiiety. We are lucky I live in quite a sheltered area and dont meet drunks or drug heads but I know that my lurcher would go for anyone he would percieve as a threat to me and you coulodnt get a nicer dog than him normally. Someone told me that he was a Sheltie cross greyhound and the more I look at your dogs beautifull heads I think they are right hes got the nose, eyes and the look. He is very intelligent so they could well be right. Try not to worry too much:)
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Mar 19, 2009
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    Why *you* picked her up doesn't matter to Alaska, how Alaska reacted was probably, as someone else posted, because she didn't have any alternative once she was *restrained*. That's not a criticism of you, just that events conspired against you in this instance, and these things happen so quickly, it isn't until afterwards that you can start to work out the whys. If Alaska is frightened, picking her up to her, as someone posted, will reassure her that there is something to be frightened of, regardless of your intent, but will also mean that if you can't get her away from the *thing* that is causing her distress, then she has no options left to her except to react, that's how I see it anyway. Again, not a criticism, just analysing the events as I see them.

    It might be worthwhile investing in a new collar or two if they're a bit loose and the dogs are prone to slipping them, something that will tighten up without getting too tight, like a half check? I use slip leads with my two, but they wouldn't be suitable for your dogs I don't think, particularly in this sort of incident where they would just be pulling to try and get away.

    I hope this incident hasn't given Alaska a set back, and that you can carry on her socialisation. I know with Tau, one of my girls, she is soft as muck but takes a while with some people to warm to them, particularly loud men, she won't let my brother fuss her as he's too *in your face* and she just doesn't like that. Mind you, can't imagine picking her up to carry her off, 27kgs is a bit much :lol:
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