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Discussion Starter #1
My worst fear has come true... my dog attacked someone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/worried.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":worried:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
I returned from vacation on Sunday. About 5 minutes after I got home my neighbor came up and unlocked my front door and started to come in when she was rushed by all three of my dogs. The two friendly dogs just barked at her and ran away (I rounded them up later). The other dog, with known aggression issues, bit her several times. As soon as I heard her shouting, I ran out and the dog backed off, I put him in a crate and went to see what happened. She was bit on the arm, then as she turned to get away she was bit on the stomach, and finally on the leg. None of the bites were too serious, the last two were more like scratches, but the first bite was a 1/4" double puncture wound to the upper arm.<br><br><br><br>
She let herself into my house because I had given her a key with instructions for checking on my cat while I was gone. (The dogs were staying elsewhere). I told her that I'd be back early Sunday and she knew not to let herself in once I was back. And in fact when I heard her shouting, I had the telephone in my hand getting ready to call her to let her know I had made it back on schedule. She later told me she thought I was coming back Monday. I guess the confusion resulted because the email I sent out at work (we both work at the same place) said I'd be returning to work on Monday, but I know I told her I'd be back home on Sunday.<br><br><br><br>
After the incident, I took her to the bathroom so we could examine the extent of the injuries and get her cleaned up. I let her know that the dog was up-to-date on all his shots and rabies vaccine, and told her that she should go to the hospital to get the injuries looked at if she wanted to and that I would cover the costs. She didn't want to go, but when I called her today, her arm is still throbbing in pain and she probably will be going to the doctor to have it looked at. I've transferred some of my sick days to her so she won't lose any pay.<br><br><br><br>
But I don't know what to do. So I guess I'm just ranting, frustrated and kind of worried. This is the first time the dog's bitten someone while under my care. Technically he's not my dog, he belongs to the shelter, but I've been fostering him on a "permanent foster" status for nearly two years now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/">
 

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Discussion Starter #2
quick update: Talked to her again and the pain and swelling have gone down so she probably won't be going to the hospital. She's planning on returning to work tonight. If she does go to the hospital then the dog will probably have to be quarantined back at the shelter for 10 days. But I think that's the worst that would happen.
 

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Wow, that's awful KP. So sorry it happened. I had a dog once, when I was a kid, and he attacked on two separate occasions. We ended up having to give him away after he bit my mom. The bites were pretty bad and we were lucky neither of the two victims pressed charges. One was the daughter of a friend and the other was a passerby. I hope it all works out ok for you. Keep us posted.
 

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Wow, Kpickell. It must be frustrating and upsetting to know that he would do that. I hope it works out okay, for all three of you.
 

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Thanks. My coworker did return to work, and says she's not hurting much, but has some very nice bruises and bandages, and pretty much the entire homeless shelter has heard about my "killer dogs" now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"><br><br><br><br>
What's upsetting is that I was actually already very much aware of his potential for that type of an attack because he was returned for protective aggression issues, and I let my guard down. I knew my friend still had the key to my house, it just never fricking occured to me that she'd come in the door minutes after I got home. What are the odds... I also feel at blame because I haven't been going through the aggression protocols like I should. In his previous home he bit a stranger as they were coming into the house, in what were very similar circumstances. But I've never gone through any protocols to address that type of situation. It's guess it's kind of hard since I don't have any visitors. I'm also realizing in hindsight what a mistake it was to teach the dogs to remain quiet when people come over! Normal dogs would probably bark when someone comes to the door, but mine sit silently and wait for you to come in the house...and then apparently attack you. Oye.<br><br><br><br>
Well I guess everything worked out this time, and I can get in gear and try and make sure nothing ever happens again. Fingers crossed.
 

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I'm glad it worked out for all 3 of you and that your coworker wasn't severely hurt. I know all about hindsight. Too bad we can't have that beforehand but it never seems to work that way.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that! I'm glad your friend is getting better!<br><br><br><br>
What type of dog??<br><br><br><br>
An FYI: Depending on local laws, there could be a zero tolerance on a dog bites near you. That's very important to know when you're out with your dog. Also, if your dog bites someone, you're fully libel for all costs (insurance does not matter). So, any visit to an ER is an automatic ~$1K to $2K+ bill. Plus, time off from work.<br><br><br><br>
My guess is that he was being a good protector and protecting you because he loves you so much. But, if someone comes up the the two of you quickly on the street and he bites, that could be the end for him.<br><br><br><br>
Breed specific rescues and their forums could be very helpful in finding ways to teach your fur-kid not to bite.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry, I don't have any advice or experience on how to break a dog from a biting pattern. I have ~20 years experience with Springers (a non bite, non kill retriever breed). Please, for <b>your fur-kid's sake</b>, it sounds like it's time to teach him to never bite. It would be horrible if your fur-kid was "punished" for protecting you, someone he loves.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kpickell</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
He's a black lab (also a "non-bite, non-kill retriever breed"). Seen in my avatar.</div>
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I thought that your Avatar was a lab. So, I thought that your dog that bite may also be a lab, or the dog in your avatar.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
So, with ~20 years experience, I may be able to offer some advice. <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Chances</span> are your Lab was protecting you. That's different from a dog that is just plainly aggressive (like many guard/fighting breeds).<br><br><br><br>
If you had a blatantly aggressive dog, I'd be concerned for the safety of others and you.<br><br><br><br>
I do *not* have any <span style="text-decoration:underline;">personal</span> direct experience on a retriever-breed biting. But, I know the breeds and other people. You best bet may be to teach your dog that he does *not* have to protect you. Do NOT buy the typical BS that it's purely a dominance issue. Kids (human) will protect their parents. Friends, relatives, etc also will protect those they care about.<br><br><br><br>
Like most Labs and Springers, Pjr is SUPER friendly. She's also not young. Yet, when Pjr thought that a young big male German Shepard may be getting too aggressive with me (I was blocking him from getting too close to Pjr), Pjr gave a "warning growl". WOW. I can't think of *any* other time that I've heard Pjr growl! I'm <b>sure</b> that Pjr was protecting me!<br><br><br><br>
So, I pulled Pjr back and re-assured that I was okay and I took the *huge chance* and got more physical with the German Shepard! I was ready for a fight! THANKFULLY, that HUGE German Shepard that would've made mince meat out of me backed off. He was interested in Pjr, not fighting.<br><br><br><br>
However, in the situation that happened, a NON-invited person enters the house without you knowing, other than making the doggie Very Submissive, I don't know of any easy way to teach a doggie not to do that. Very Submissive doggies often loose a lot of their personality and, IMHO, the *intelligence* and FUN that makes having smart doggies so great.<br><br><br><br>
When people tell you to abuse the doggie by putting on a choke collar, make no mistake, their goal is for a Very Submissive doggie. That makes "sense" for many fighting/guard breeds. But, IMHO, not for retriever-breeds.<br><br><br><br>
So, if your doggie gets "protective" of you, reassure him that you're FINE and you can take care of yourself. Do not award, pet, or condone that behavior. He has to learn that he does NOT have to protect you.<br><br><br><br>
Of course, if you wanted and/or taught him to be protective of you (many people do that with Labs - Uhm, no comment), then you've succeeded and he did exactly what he was suppose to do. In that case, it would be the person is at 100% fault. Note: I do *not* think that was your intention!<br><br><br><br>
I think that it would be nice of your doggie got your friend a $50 (or whatever) present with a card saying something <i>"I'm VERY sorry! I was protecting my mom and I didn't know who you where."</i><br><br><br><br><br><br><b>I hope that your friend keeps getting better!</b>
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, he has both territorial and protective aggression. He does NOT have any type of dominance aggression and he listens to me very well and respects me tremendously. But when he's meeting a stranger for the first time, he seems to always be on alert and has lunged at people for reasons that don't even seem apparent to me, so introductions have to done with great care.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">So, if your doggie gets "protective" of you, reassure him that you're FINE and you can take care of yourself. Do not award, pet, or condone that behavior. He has to learn that he does NOT have to protect you.</div>
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Yes, but that's so much easier said than done. I've been trying for a year and half.... Sometimes he seems to be doing really well, but othertimes he does pretty bad. There's an agility competition coming up in one week, but I think I'm going to cancel as I just don't want to take a chance that he'll bite the judge. And no, I don't want a protective dog at all. If you read some of my other posts on here, you'll see I'm quite opposed to the idea of using dogs as protection. I want him to be like my other two dogs who greet people friendly with a wagging tail and (ideally) who even when faced with an intruder in the house will simply bark or run away.<br><br><br><br>
Here are some older threads about Starbucks which discuss his aggression:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=36705" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=36705</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=38008" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=38008</a>
 

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stangplus2birds: what exactly is your "~20 years experience" that you keep mentioning? or does that just mean youve just owned dogs for that long?<br><br>
I'd just like to know where some of this information you are submitting is coming from. i cant say that i really agree with it. submissive dogs are less intelligent? and choke collars arent abusive...they are a training tool and can be misused of course but i wouldnt straightout call them abusive. even though i dont really know where you were going with that in your post.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">That's different from a dog that is just plainly aggressive (like many guard/fighting breeds).</div>
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and that, i'm not even going to touch.
 

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Oh no! kpickell! That's awful! I know you've been working really hard on his aggression/guarding issues!<br><br><br><br>
Does the shelter have a behaviorist or trainer on staff that you can consult with?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Does the shelter have a behaviorist or trainer on staff that you can consult with?</div>
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Not really. The closest certified behaviorist would be a couple hours away and more expensive than I could afford. I have of course consulted with many of the staff, dog workers, and he goes to agility classes with a local trainer.
 

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Here's another picture of Star, with my 1 year old neice. Starbucks was great with her on vacation, he'll tolerate pretty much anything from little kids.<br><a href="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/d/d7/d76f732f_vbattach4657.jpeg"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.veggieboards.com/d/d7/525x525px-LL-d76f732f_vbattach4657.jpeg" style="width:515px;height:384px;"></a>
 

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This is probably not helpful (so why am I writing...?), but our black lab is generally extremely friendly, though he becomes anxious around unexpected circumstances. He has always warmed up to strangers when introduced to them at a reasonable pace. However, he did deliver a bite to the face to one person who attempted to become too-intimate-too-quickly. ("I have labs, I love labs, gimme a kiss....").<br><br><br><br>
I still wonder about this person, more than about the dog... he's not off my potentially-dodgey list. That is Shadow's <i>only</i> bite. (And it wasn't much of a wound, a little cut to the lip.)<br><br><br><br>
Shadow <i>loves</i> to be bossed around by my friend's 7-year-old daughter ... I monitored them closely when she was 5, until it became abundantly clear that they had a connection.<br><br><br><br>
The situation you describe reminds me very much of the time I was asked to house-sit a great dane. I'd met him as a puppy, but a little time -- and 70 lbs. -- had passed. I let myself in with a key, and I saw the moment when he could have been aggressive ... and it all ended well. (A week spend watching TV on the sofa together.) But that moment could have gone otherwise.
 
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