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Help - my dog bit a man this morning....

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  • Help - my dog bit a man this morning....

    I'm unsure if I can going to get shot down in flames for posting this, but I need help.

    Daisy is a 4.5 year old cross-breed, spayed. I have had her from 6 weeks old, from the NCDL. We also have a 2 year old labrador.

    Daisy is as good as gold indoors, she's never been a problem and has never shown any aggression towards the family.

    About 9 months ago, she started to show dog-aggression whilst out on our walks, and once bit a collie on the nose for no reason (she didn't draw blood). She will sometimes try to "nip" our labrador when out on our walks too, for no apparent reason at all. Somet days she is fine, other days she is like this.

    BUT, this morning, for no reason I can think of, we went to walk past a young lad (about 17yrs) and Daisy bit him. She bit his leg (once, in one place), but luckily he had jeans on so the skin is bruised but she didn't draw blood (but did rip his jeans) and she caught his finger. I took the boy back home with me and made sure he was OK etc, he kept saying he was fine and I put a plaster on his finger and made him a cup of tea etc.

    Obviously I guess I now have the possibility of the police knocking on my door - what is the situation if this happens?

    BUT, more importantly, I clearly don't want this to happen again. I am going ot muzzle Daisy before she leaves the house in future for obvious reasons, but I know this isn't solving the problem but only masking it.

    I would add, for everyone's benefit, if I had any doubt that Daisy would hurt one of the members of the family then I assure you she wouldn't be here, truthfully. Her aggression/anger whatever, is limited to outdoors.

    Can anyone give me some advice?

    I have tried to contact the only two behaviourists I have found in my area - one is off sick, one has waiting lists of 8 weeks.

    Thank you


  • #2
    What happens now depends on so many different things, but before reall answer can be given we need a little more information. What is she a cross breed of, and where do you live are the two most important. I would also consider calling a local dog trainer and asking for their help in this area. Around here, Nova Scotia, as long as the injuries were not bad, no blood, and assuming you got reported, and that your dog is not a rottweiler or a pit bull type breed, and even if it is, for the most part, you will get taken to court, depending on the dogs history, you will then have your dog labled ferous and dangerous, meaning you are not allowed to rehome the dog, it must be on a leash at all times and in control, and must be muzzled whenever out in public.

    But where your at and the breed of your dog may make this a completely different story. But who knows, maybe he wont report you. As for muzzling when you walk, this is probably the best thing you can do. Unfortunatly without being able to see the dog doing the behaviour I myself could not tell you why shes doing it, and weather or not she is feeling provoked or not. I would suggest also a vet visit, make sure she not feeling some kind of pain that would be causing a sudden change in behaviour. Throat or paw issues, anything that might be making her uncomfortable during walks.
    The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.


    • #3
      Thank you for your reply.

      Firstly I am in the UK - sorry, didn't realise this was a US based forum. :?

      Daisy is a Staffie-X-something. Didn't really want to say she was Staffie-X as I didn't want people to steteotype her... :(

      I was thinking about booking a visit to the vets to see if there is any medical reason for the change.

      Also, few other things while I think of it. Again for the last 9 months or so, Daisy has started being a problem on her lead. Not pulling on it, but biting the lead. I was getting somewhere with this with her (I have been stopping dead still until she lets go of it etc) and this has slowly been improving, but it is like she is frustrated with something. Now I know she could be frustrated because she is off the lead but Daisy stays on her lead (an extending/flexi lead), because her recall is terrible and now I wouldn't trust her around other dogs anyway. Not sure if this helps at all.

      Thanks again - and any other advice you can give would be appreciated.



      • #4
        hi vicki. i'm here in the uk too. where in the country are you? i can try to recommend someone who can help you.

        your right about the vets its always worth getting her checked out as she may be in pain hence her defensive reaction.

        after that then some one-one training will be in order (a behaviourist is only an advanced trainer but many dont have any formal qualifications hence the offer to recommend one).

        if i cant find you one did you know the NCDL have their own behaviourists? if i cant find your trainer i will try to find the number you will need.
        all dalmatian rescue 01255 220 649 (uk)


        • #5
          Thank you - I am in South Wales.


          • #6
            OK and I have thought of one more thing which may be significant.

            Thinking back on it almost all day, the aggression seems to have started at around the same time that I switched to using a harness on Daisy, to help reduce her pulling on the lead. She has a Lupi harness, which is specifically designed to reduce pulling.

            BUT, the whole principle of the Lupi harness is that when/if the dog pulls, their front legs get brought up (off the ground) so they cannot pull forwards (they pull upwards instead). So, everytime Daisy pulls to get to something/someone, and I try to stop her, her front legs and head get lifted - which, as I understand it, is an aggressive stance? Is this right?

            Could this be contributing to the problem?

            Thinking back to this morning, Daisy was a few feet in front of me when I saw this lad walking towards me. I quickly pulled her back into me as close as possible, which meant I would have (or could have) pulled her front feet off the ground.

            Am I "barking" up the wrong tree, or could this harness be making her aggression worse?

            Thank you



            • #7
              Not sure if it contributes or not, but as far as harnesses go, I prefer things like a halti. The head harness. Having their head gives more control IMO than a harness around the chest.
              "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras


              • #8
                very often a harness will provoke dogs to pull all the more. i would recommed the halter 8 head collar made by the TRPD http://petcraftproject.proboards24.c...2101364&page=1 you will have to scroll down to item 257. they are only £5 atm and this includes p&p

                Julie Saban monmouthshire 01291 689845. julie is an ADTB member and so must only ever used reward based training. if she isnt close enough to you then check out this list of apdt instructors. again they can only use reward based training and must take at least one training course a year themselves to remain members
                all dalmatian rescue 01255 220 649 (uk)