View Full Version : Bad Dog Bites...Again
Scott E Dog
05-14-2004, 08:55 PM
:confused: Hi folks. Figured there'd be a message board somewhere for Man's, and Woman's, Best Friend.
My "Best Friend" seems to have a penchant for little kids, and even a few big kids. I have a Border Collie/Russian Spaniel Mix...maybe something else in there too but the two I mentioned seem to dominate.
And Chester is his nameO...
We cannot allow any kids, other than our own, to come anywhere close to Chester...Maybe he has some Pit Bull in him cause he attacks, and yes, he bites. He is such a sweet dog to the family but we are on edge with him anytime someone new comes around, especially kids. The Vet called it "fear aggression", I call it a "potential lawsuit".
Why do some dogs act this way? I can understand a dog being protective if threatened or if its owner is threatened, but this is rediculous! All anyone has to do is get within reach of him and he freaks! He has officially bit 3 kids, attacked 2 others. Add to that 1 bit adult and 1 or 2 more attacked. I think only one incident was reported but we are fearful that Chester is digging his own grave. What can we do to prevent him from behaving this way?? We try our best to keep him out of these situations but tonight our 7-year old daughter had a friend over, so, we put Chester in the basement while they played...no problem. The kids left to go to the other girl's house to play so I let Chester upstairs again. Well...some time later the girls came barging into the house again to get some toys and Chester said to himself.....MEAT!!! While the bite was not serious it was bad enough, especially for a 6-year old little girl who was visibly shaken (She got over it pretty quick though...kids are like rubber). He got her good enough to draw blood, whether a puncture or just a smalle chunk of skin was hard to tell, but I'm sure it hurt! Her parents were very understanding too, probably more so than we are. Chester is in an extended "time out" right now.
Is there anything we can do? Chester is about 5 years old, 25#, Average Intelligence, Above average attitude. Help!!
Scott E. Dog
05-15-2004, 07:26 PM
Sounds like you have a major problem, I would seek out a dog behaviorlist, and I would do it fast. I don't think if he was part pitbull would have anything to do with his behavior, pits are wonderfull dogs if trained and treated properly. Any dog can bite it's that some do more damage when they do bite and those are the only ones you hear about. I don't even think I would really trust him around your kids until you are able to speak to behavioralist about this. This could get worse just like a sore if left untreated.
Good Luck, let us know what happens.
05-22-2004, 05:19 PM
not all pitbulls attack or bite...our chihuahua would bite a stranger before our pitbull...
05-22-2004, 09:17 PM
I just have a golden retriever puppy so I cant help too much. He bites but playfully not to hurt but because he doesnt know better yet and Im trying to get him what "no" means! I would probably think about seeking some type professional help for your problem cause that could be awful if someone got seriously hurt and your dog has a reputation for it! Lots would wonder why you hadnt had him put down I would think. Good luck!
05-22-2004, 10:31 PM
When did this behavior start? When he bites does it appear to be for no reason and only to those he is unfamiliar with?
Have you had this dog since he was a puppy? If he is fear aggressive this behavior could be the result of a lack of socialization when he was a puppy. If this is the case, a canine behaviorist/trainer can likely help him to overcome his fears.
Scott E Dog
05-23-2004, 06:34 PM
Yes, we've had him since he was 5 months old and he went after my daughter once, she was 3 at the time. He learned his lesson about that immediately. He has, however, gone after several people since then, mostly kids. The adults he has gone after have been 1) Dressed in a hooded raincoat which we made the excuse that he was scared by the appearance, and 2) My mother-in-law who approached my wife quickly to give her a hug. Both incidents were minor. Ahh, then there was the Halloween incident where we put him in the basement to avoid all the trick-R-treaters and he escaped through the basement door that was left ajar. He didn't attack anyone then but I heard the call of a neighbor saying "CHESTER'S OUT!!" and I ran quickly to the sceen to see her fending him off with a broom!! It ended up as a humorous situation that could have been very very bad.
He mostly seems to bite for no reason though, other than he doesn't like little kids. The incidents were like this: 1) Nephew bent down to say hi to the "cute little puppy", 2) A neighborhood kid was riding his bike out on the neighborhood road (Dog doesn't like bikes or cars), 3) a neighborhood girl came in to the house with my daughter while I was outside talking to a neighbor and 4) another neighborhood girl came in to the house, running, with my daughter. We were in the house this time but he was quick to attack.
He is 5 now. Would a pet behavioralist really help? He is really a sweet dog to us and people he knows. We try our best to keep him under wraps but sometimes things happen unexpectedly, especially when you have a forgetful 7 year old. We'd hate to put this dog down, but we'd also hate for him to seriously hurt someone.
Now, when he was a puppy the vet did label it as "fear aggression" and said we should put him in contact with as many people as we could to "socialize" him. Well, we didn't do that. Not because we didn't agree or believe the diagnosis but because we are usually quite busy and also tend to keep to ourselves with the spare time we do get. Sounds like this may have compounded the problem.
We recently got another dog to keep him company and maybe settle him down some. This dog is a Lab mix we got from the SPCA. He is 6 months old and very friendly and lovable. Not as playful as we would have thought but the dogs get along great. Perhaps this will help?
I appreciate all the responses.
05-23-2004, 11:25 PM
The most critical time for socialization in puppies is prior to 3 months of age. Before this age a puppy should be introduced to various people, places, noises and situations. You did'nt get the puppy until after this point but still it would have been easier to socialize a 5 month old puppy (even though he was fearful already at this age because he was'nt well socialized during the critical period) than it will be to socialize a 5yr old adult. I do think a canine behaviorist can help or at least give you some suggestions if nothing can be done to modify this behavior. There are a few here that will actually give a free evaluation...so you may be able to find some that offer this in your area. I highly recommend that you consider this.
Dogs do learn things from one another so I guess its possible that the new puppy (provided that he has been well socialized) can help in some areas but I'm not sure that he will actually make your older dog any more comfortable around strangers or children. Keep us posted.
05-26-2004, 08:48 PM
Yes, we've had him since he was 5 months old and he went after my daughter once, she was 3 at the time. He learned his lesson about that immediately. He has, however, gone after several people since then, mostly kids.
What did you do to teach him that lesson and are you doing the same for each new incidence of biting?
Scott E Dog
05-29-2004, 09:30 AM
Well, suffice it to say when he went after my daughter the first and last time, he was forcibly taught an unforgettable lesson. No no, not anything PETA would be concerned with, but I think the lesson he learned was you don't go after one of your own pack. He has received the same treatment, which includes a "Doggy Time Out", each time he has bit someone else. He has never bit the same person twice so, for all I know he may be ideltifying new people to his pack each time he gets in trouble and thinks everyone else is fair game *shrug*.
Perhaps we need to muzzle him any time there are kids around playing?
06-24-2004, 01:58 AM
I had an australian shepherd I took from a friend when he was 3 years old. He was fine before, but when he came to me he became very over protective. I tried every handling technique and every way possible to separate him from any possible situation where he could have bitten someone. My dog ended up biting 11 people and some of them several different times. Then he would crawl up in their lap and love on them. I tried everything!!! But realized there was no way possible to intervene or prevent it every time. Eventually I had to put him down. Fear biters are so unpredictable, as well as children. And the two combined are bad news from my experiences. Maybe he's just trying to let them know who's boss....but overall....humans are the main concern. Maybe you could find a more appropriate home for him...perhaps someone who doesn't have many visitors...or at least the kind he likes to bite. But you don't want to give a liability to someone else either.
07-03-2004, 09:17 PM
I am afraid you will have to buy a muzzle
for chester. As he is one of those dogs that are always
going to a gard dog.
I had a border and he was just like Chester
You never knew when he would bite.In the end.
I bought a muzzle.He would have had to be, put to sleep other wise.
Borders are very protective to their family.
Your children come top of his list mother next and father last
I do not think you will ever change him.
Like my father used to say the dog is only allow one bite
Then its the long walk.Chester has being given a lot of chances.
It's up to you know not, Chester.
That little girl could be scared of dogs from now on
07-04-2004, 08:56 AM
one of my lhasas bit my niece (almost taking her eye out) and i too punished her like a would punish a child. she gave my niece three warnings to leave her alone and Erin didn't so starr bit her. starr gives growling warnings before nipping or biting. she hates small kids, any adult is her best friend. some dogs see children as a lesser then them, that is why some dogs attack kids. a vet told me that. anyway, i muzzle starr when she starts to growl now. just in case.
07-04-2004, 05:13 PM
i agree with cat&dogmom. you need professional help. chester has bitten WAY too many people--one is more than enough. if the right person reports a dog bite, chester may be court ordered to be euthed.
last winter near my house, a 7 yr old girl was bitten by a collie while she was sled riding. there were lots and lots of people around. someone managed to videotape the incident and it turned out that the dog was going after the sled to play but accidentally got the girl. even so, the dog was "put on trial" and the judge was considering euthanasia because of the extent of the injuries. they dropped the charges because it was an accident.
but my point is that if an accidental play bite can be dealt with to this extent, who knows what will happen if someone charges you if chester bites their kids. not to mention the lawsuit.
let us know how things go.
07-06-2004, 02:19 PM
I also have dogs who have agressive tendencies, and what I have to do is keep them away from people..period! I refuse to have them euthanized. But, I understand that the general public needs to be protected, so, I do not EVER let them out of my yard, or strange or new people meet my two dogs that are unpredictable. He sounds like he is good for you, and doesn't go after your children any longer. After consulting with a behaviorist, don't put him in situations where he may become agressive. Also, I would suggest not getting another dog, because your current dog has issues right now, and adding another to the mix might be too overwhelming. Just please understand that you took him on, and it's for life, don't give him away, or euthanize him because it might prove to be difficult. It is always hard, and takes time to change behaviors, in ourselves and in our animals. Please give him the same chance he would give you.
It is never too late to teach a dog new tricks but, it is very time consuming. That alone could keep you from taking him to training or behavioral classes. Nevertheless, I would give that heavy consideration. In the meantime please try a muzzle. It may not seem fair to him but as a mother of two children and two dogs (lab and pit who are very friendly) I know kids come in and out of the house constantly. You cannot police all activities since you have better things to do I am sure. With the utmost respect I say that responsible pet ownership is key. You cannot have a biting machine loose in your house as long as guests are welcomed. A muzzle may keep him from being dangerous. Regardless of how minor a bite may appear or how quickly a victim may recover, a biting dog is an endangerment to everyone. It will only take one non underatanding person to hold you liable. Don't chance it. Best of luck.
07-21-2004, 05:34 AM
Sounds mean, has much as this hurts, and as much as I love animals, I never thought I would say or do this, but you need to put that dog down. A dog that bites is a dog that can not be trusted. You can work with that dog until you are blue in the face, but how will you ever trust it again? I had a German Shepherd that we had gotten from the pound, she bit my neighbor, I thought is was because she ran from the dog. Then she went after one of my husbands co-workers, I thought it was because he was being mean to her, then she bit a kid just for being there. I didn't know her background when I got her and still don't, but I can tell you that it was not good. I worked with that dog everyday for almost a year. I taught her how to trust me, how to play, how to drink from a water dish, and not the toilet bowl. I taught her how to take a milk bone and eat it and not hide it until later. I showed her she could not steal bread off the counter. I loved that dog with all my heart, but no love that I gave her, I could not trust her. You could lose everything you have if that dogs after the wrong person. Good luck, do what is best for you and your family and for the dog.
07-25-2004, 08:46 AM
Most importantly it is your job to protect people from your dog. Keep him in the basement whenever there is a question about someone coming over. Other than that i think you should buy a muzzle, go to doggy school and contact a behaviorist. There are medications that might help him calm down. Otherwise good luck, and remember that he can improve, but may never be 100% trustworthy around strangers.