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My dog bit someone today...

February 12th, 2011, 05:30 AM
Hi everyone,
I'm hoping for some advice on this: so this morning I was taking Charlie (my dog) for a walk around our apartment building. When we came inside, waiting for an elevator, a neighbor (whom I've repeatedly reminded not to approach/pet Charlie because he tends to bark/nip the air near the
m in fear (he was abused by previous owners) came up behind us and put his hand in front of Charlie's mouth. Charlie nipped his hand, startled, and I immediately pulled his back and asked the man if he was ok. He started yelling at me that I have a 'vicious dog'. The man was wearing gloves so I kept saying "I'm very sorry, he's never done this before. Are you alright? Did he make contact with your skin?". The man just kept ignoring me and yelling, he then got on the elevator and left. There were no witnesses, and Charlie has NEVER bitten anyone before. Later that evening I was walking Charlie again (now with a muzzle) and saw a note the man left saying "would Charlie's owner please call me. He bit me today and I want to make sure he's had his shots". I understand the man's concern, and Charlie's up to date with all his shots/check-ups and I can provide information. I'm more than willing to take responsibility for Charlie's actions but I'm terrified what the consequences are. Even though the bite didn't leave any cuts/bruising, this man seems serious (asking for shot records etc...which again I'm willing to provide). Does anyone know what I should do to prevent them taking my dag away from me? I don't know what his/my rights are in Toronto.

February 12th, 2011, 06:27 AM
By law, you must provide proof of vaccinations if your dog has bit someone (even if they're not up-to-date, something is better than nothing). I wouldn't be worried about Charlie being taken away from you unless this is something that happens repeatedly. This man was incredibly ignorant for putting his hand in your dog's face, he should know better. Continue to be as polite as possible though and reassure your neighbor that something like this will never happen again. Once he's calmed down, I would provide him with some written information on how to never greet a strange dog. This website is a must read for not only guardians of dogs, but for everyone who should come in contact with them as well

I would strongly recommend Charlie wear a muzzle when out in public from now on to keep him, and others, safe. Have you considered, or are you able, to consult with a qualified, experienced behaviorist to help you help Charlie overcome his fears? I can empathize with your worry :grouphug: but suggest you do everything possible to keep him, and those around him, safe.

February 12th, 2011, 07:53 AM
I had a rescue Bulldog who had a history of biting and when I adopted him he bit a friend of mine she needed 9 stitches she was not going to report it but the hospital called the police. I called AC and reported the bite he said I was the first person who ever reported there own dog. Long story short they let him stay with me during the quarantine. They were not going to put him down. I tried to find him a home out of the city with no kids and a very calm setting to no avail. I did have him pts he had a long history of bites. Yours is minor and the dog was on a leash and honestly this guy had been warned before. Amazing how stupid people are. But use the muzzle.

February 12th, 2011, 08:13 AM
Hopefully Charlie is not a bully breed.
Listen, the best course of action is to cooperate and remain cordial. Do not let emotions run at this time. This is clearly the man's fault however in the eyes of the law, this is not the case.
Provide whatever it is that he wants. You don't need more aggrevation at this point.
I would take caution in public and keep him muzzled around people and perhaps get enrolled in an obediance course or contact a behaviouralist as if anything comes out of this, you are proving that you are taking extreme measures to ensure that this does not happen again.
I think you will be fine..and so will Charlie.
Best to you.

February 12th, 2011, 09:11 AM
The man sounds so foolish. Why would he do that to any dog especially a dog whose owner has asked you not to approach him. Maybe seeing Charlie with a muzzle will appease him somewhat and the fact that he didn't break the skin is also in your favor.

February 12th, 2011, 09:11 AM
Thank you so much for the advice everyone! I'm a little more relieved. Rest assured Charlie is (and forever will be) wearing a muzzle on his walks. I will keep you all posted with the outcome. Thanks again for the advice and support;)

February 13th, 2011, 12:19 AM
Hi again all,
So the outcome was that I called the man and asked how his hand was. He said that although Charlie hadn't peirced his glove/skin, he had 2 small bruises on his finger. He did admit that he felt somewhat responsible for the nip but agreed that I should muzzle Charlie as well as not have the 2 of them in the same elevator. I also agreed to email him Charlie's rabies certificate (which my vet was able to email me the same day). He said he had no intention of reporting me as long as I took better precautions. I also asked him to update me on how his hand was doing. So clearly this guy understood he may have exagerated his injury, but I can understand his concern to a degree.
For future reference: I called Toronto animal control and explained my situation, mainly inquiring whether I should report the nip myself. They said that the only way they would take action with Charlie would be if Charlie had broken skin. If this had happened the man would report it to public health who would then send an investigator to my home to see if Charlie would need to be quarantined. Thankfully this was not the case, and they told me the man has no grounds to report Charlie but that I should give him the medical records as a courtesy. They also said that because I had everything in order (his shot records up to date and his license) there was no grounds for a report.
This was a definite wake up call for me and Charlie and I think its important for every owner to do their research and know their rights/responsibilities. A lot of info can be found on your cities website under "by-laws".
Thanks again to everyone for your advice!
Ashley and Charlie

February 13th, 2011, 06:11 AM
So glad it worked out.
Now that we know alittle about you and Charlie, I would hope that you will stick around and share more stories and pictures of Charlie.:thumbs up

February 14th, 2011, 06:07 PM
:thumbs upI am also so glad everything worked out in the end. We all hope you stick around :):grouphug:

February 20th, 2011, 07:56 PM
Glad it worked out, I would muzzle your dog as well get him a bib or something that says Don't touch me, I am working or in training, something of the sort to keep people away. I did that when I adopted my Doberman as she had some serious issues as well. It's one more step to keep people away from your dog and keeping him safe. Keep training him and working him, he can only get better!!!!
:thumbs up