My dog bit someone! Help!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by FattyBumBlastie, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. FattyBumBlastie

    FattyBumBlastie New Member

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    I'm so scared of losing her--not now, but in the future.

    I have an 8 year old black lab mix. She was rescued when she was 2 after being a stray. Jesse's never been very friendly or affectionate with strangers. With us, she isn't a licker, but has always been nothing but friendly with me and my boyfriend.

    When she was younger, she always aggressively went after cats, squirrels, noisy cars, barking dogs, and little dogs. She would get into a frenzy and lunge, spin, and pull. Now that she's older, she's not as aggressive when it comes to chasing them, but she still lunges, snaps, and spins briefly.

    She does this occassionally with people, too. Jesse looks like a black lab, her tail is always up and wagging, and she looks very friendly. As such, people always try to come up to her and pet her, even if I hold her back and tell people she's not friendly, they keep approaching. The reason why I tell people that she's not friendly is that she has occcasionally lunged and snapped at people who walk towards her, even if they are a dog person who knows to approach slowly, crouch down, put their hand out for her to sniff, she still snaps at them. Not all the time, but I'd say 40%. But it seems that as she gets older, I'd change that number closer to 80%.

    Long story short, the other day I had a young woman come up to try to pet Jesse, even though I told her not to because Jesse wasn't always friendly. The woman kept coming and said she loved dogs and they loved her. I tried to hold Jesse back, but she lunged forward and bit the woman's thigh. It wasn't a bad bite, but Jesse tore her jeans and left a scratch on her skin. The woman wasn't upset and just walked away, still baby-talking to my Jesse!

    Thank goodness the woman was understanding, but I know that if it was anyone else, Jesse may have been taken away from me! From now on, I'm telling people hands-down that Jesse is NOT friendly at all and do not approach.

    But I don't understand--why is she like this and why is it getting worse and worse??

    I don't want to lose my baby. :(
     
  2. GSDMom

    GSDMom GSDMom

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    that is very scary, you could of been slapped with a HUGE lawsuit
    what if Jesse had bit a child? I know you are feeling terrible about this but OMG
    you have to do something about your agressive dog ASAP. contact a training facility that deals in aggressive dog behavior - get some help before it is too late!

    Bon
     
  3. FattyBumBlastie

    FattyBumBlastie New Member

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    Oh god, I know! But I'm more worried about her being taken away and put down rather than a lawsuit. :(

    It's so strange. I have a VERY friendly American Staffordshire Terrier that no one approaches because they think she's dangerous, but everyone always tries to pet Jesse.

    I always thought that as she got older and grayer that she'd calm down, but it doesn't look that way...
     
  4. Old Dog

    Old Dog Ol'Dogger

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    Use common sense. This is an older abused in the past dog. She has her reasons for acting the way she does toward strangers or she could be protecting you! So you know she does this and you say she is not warm and fuzzy so why subject her or people outside her family to her. Then it could be fear making her do it there is no way to know without going to a qualified behaviorist. I would do some training on her but untill then keep her away from the public or put a muzzle on her when you have take her out. Just like the lady she nipped people are STUPID "dogs loves me" right!! Don't put your dog at risk or anyone else, it is not your dogs fault.
     
  5. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    I would only let her out with a muzzle, for one. You were lucky.
     
  6. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    You told the woman to stop, the women didnt. I see no fault in it.

    If I told someone to stop and not come any closer, and they still charged me, I would portray it as self defense. In FL I can even use deadly force now :)
     
  7. Sirius

    Sirius Imagination ROCKS.

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    Yeah. Muzzle Jesse. It's for the best. She can still growl and show you that she does not want to be touched, but she can't hurt anyone with the muzzle on.
     
  8. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    It was dumb of her to keep coming forward when you told her not to, so I think it's partially her fault. But enrolling your dog in training classes and buying a strong muzzle is a good idea.
     
  9. FattyBumBlastie

    FattyBumBlastie New Member

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    Thanks for the input, everybody. Jesse's unpredictable. I know that. Sometimes she's friendly, sometimes she's not. More and more, she's not. I guess part of me, just in wishful thinking, hopes that maybe, just maybe, this time she'll react differently, but I know how lucky I just was and I'm NEVER going to take that chance again. From now on, to everybody "She's not friendly. She WILL bite you."

    However, is this behavior something that can be modified? Or is this just her personality and something I can't change?
     
  10. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    well it may or may not be able to be somewhat corrected. You allowed her to go so long without teaching her no it's not right to growl and bark at people so she may not be able to learn a new way. I'm not being mean to you because lots of people do this. I made the mistake of letting my 8 month old lab jump up to greet everybody and now I can barely take her out in public without her jumping at everyone. So I would try contacting a trainer who deals with aggressive dogs and asking them but until then muzzle her when she is outside to prevent her biting someone else and getting taken away.
     
  11. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Shiner was the same way. She looked cute and sweet so everyone thought she'd love them.. Heh.

    It seems like being out in public is stressful to Jesse, anyway. I'd keep walks in public places near a lot of people to a minimum and keep her muzzled if she -does- have to go near a bunch of people.
     
  12. FattyBumBlastie

    FattyBumBlastie New Member

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    I'll buy a muzzle today, thanks everybody.

    Penny--my very friendly AmStaff that no one approaches is my avatar.

    There's a picture of Jesse in my profile picture. Looks truly are deceiving.
     
  13. Chithedobe

    Chithedobe New Member

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    What a horrible thing to have happened!
    I've just pm'd you some resources that I've found especially helpful with training and socializing my borderline aggressive 5 month old pup.
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Would you mind sharing those on here? Do you have links?

    I do know that telling a dog, "No" for growling is a huge mistake. If they growl and you stop that, they may well go straight for the bite. The growl is a warning. The underlying issues need to be dealt with from the inside out. You should get yourself a reputable, positive methods trainer/behaviorist to help you. And use the muzzle when out in public. What a shame. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this dangerous situation. Let us know how things work out.
     
  15. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    Just don't put your dog in the situation, that she feels the need to defend herself.

    I also think the muzzle is a good idea, at least you can be sure a small child will not run up and get bit in the face.

    And just telling approaching people "The dog bites, please stay back"
    Should be enough for even the dumbest of people. LOL

    Best of Luck,
    Julie.
     
  16. I_LOVE_cInDeR11

    I_LOVE_cInDeR11 I_LOVE_cInDeR11

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    My Grandparents Just Got A New Puppy. A Miniture Shnauzer. He Is Constatly "marking His Territory" All Over Their House. They Said If They Can't Find Any Way To Train This Dog, Then They'll Have To Take Him Back To The Pound. I Think They Should Take The Dog To A Few Training Courses. What Do You Think?

    >oh And They Are Also Trying To Name Him To? Any Suggestions? Thank You
     
  17. Chithedobe

    Chithedobe New Member

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    Sure thing :) First off let me say that I think Jean Donaldson should cut me a check soon; since reading her book "Culture Clash" I have reccomended it to EVERYONE and think that her sales have certainly increased :) But that is resource #1, "Dogs are from Neptune" (also by Donaldson) is #2. I've yet to read this book but have heard that it speaks more specifically about SEC aggression (sudden environmental change) which is what I'm working on with my pup (am impatiently waiting for it to arrive). There is also a VERY moderated Yahoo group specifically for the discussion of aggressive behaviors in dogs, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agbeh/
    This group is like none other I've been on and has very strict rules about posting (all posts are approved and edited when needs be by the owners). But their file section alone is invaluable! It only promotes positive training methods, mostly classical and operant conditioning.
    I would by all means reccomend anyone dealing with aggression problems to seek out a reputable trainer/behaviorist. However I'm forced to go it alone due to our very remote location. I've only found 2 trainers that speak English on this island and both have suggested to aggressively correct my 5 month old pup when she reacts aggressively. I quickly found that this did nothing more than escalate her reaction and before all was said and done she was barking at me. Through the suggestions I have gotten from the list and the book and maybe a week and a half of serious positive reinforcement on our daily walks I can now walk Chi without her going crazy if someone approaches us. Rather than barking like she wants to eat them, she turns and looks to me for a treat :) Yesterday we were able to stop when a jogger approached and she offered me a beautiful down instead of wanting to eat the jogger (evidently liver tastes better than what she thinks a jogger tastes like :) ) I have to add that Chi has never bitten, she is fine with people in very public situations but was displaying serious problems when we walked through our quiet neighborhood and just one or two people approached.
    I also have a list of links that would take me forever to post on the nuts and bolts of positive reinforcement and clicker training but I can post if you want them. Several of them have "lessons" on how and what to teach with the clicker - I'm seriously considering having one surgically implanted into my hand just so I always have it!
    Training has all of a sudden gone from an event I dreaded to something that is so much fun for both of us! And her improvement is just beyond belief. WooHoo for the help of the internet and some really great and devoted people :)

    ~Tracy
     
  18. BigDog2191

    BigDog2191 Big German Shepherd

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    No, you can change it. Many people will tell you it's not going to happen and it's either because they don't WANT to or they've never dealt with an aggressive dog. It takes time.
     
  19. bridey_01

    bridey_01 Kelpiefied

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    Great post Chithedobe! Sound behavioural training is the only way to go.
     
  20. i would have to agree behavioral training is great
     

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