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Old July 19th, 2009, 07:34 PM
Rottielover Rottielover is offline
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Hypathetical question.

I do not know if this should be in training, or health. In my case with Harley it is mental health.
What would you do if your dog bit a child. Let's make it clear Harley has not yet!!! I say yet because his reaction around strange kids is getting worse. If the bite occurred and was not a child's fault at all but the insecurity of your dog mixed in with high prey drive, how would you handle it. Every time a child cries or is playing, or even riding a bike, you can see the anxiety and stress level grow. I am getting to the point of a basket muzzle outside at all times, but this does not help what is causing the issue.
Kayla is safe, he is confident and secure with her because she is above him in the pack.
What would you do if your dog bit a child.

I am trying to stop the possible chance, I need to take precautions, Kayla can not even have friends over because of his reactions. I tried putting him a rom, all you can hear is the pacing in the crate, and the panting.

Last edited by Rottielover; July 19th, 2009 at 08:13 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:03 PM
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I don't know what I would do if Jasper bit a child. I am having the exact same problem with Jasper to the point that family whether adult or child don't come visit us anymore. I don't take Jasper for a walk I let my husband do it because I cannot handle him. He jumps out at people walking by and he's just too strong for me. We have been through training and a behavoirist but it has not helped. I hardly ever go see family because I cannot take Jasper and cannot leave him home because he tears things apart and when he's in his kennel all he does is yelp and bark and somethimes bangs his face on his kennel door and injures himself.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:25 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Growing up and having dogs my whole life the rules always were that if our dogs bit unprovoked they would be put down. Little harsh I know but honestly if one of the dogs ever did attack a child I don't know what I would do. Just knowing those were the rules growing up my parents and now myself work very hard at preventing these behaviors. High prey drive is no excuse for biting, Meiko has a child nipping incident on him from when he was younger but this is why we spent countless hours and a lot of money with behaviourists with him.
I have met Harley in person and he is a spectacular dog but judging by your concern I think it's time that he gets some major behaviour modification done, it's never too late.
Prey drive can be harnessed into something good. We were and are lucky enough to have Meiko working cattle occasionally and this has helped a great deal, my biggest dog motto is "tired dogs are good dogs"
I am currently concerned about Karmas temperament and guardian nature right now and have found by changing the "rules" and buckling down with her has made some improvements, she can not be trusted offlead at all at this current time so tiring her out is quite difficult as walking does nothing to both physically and mentally drain her...
Time to get tough and creative with him IMO
Prey drive or not he needs to know the limits
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Cathy1 View Post
I don't know what I would do if Jasper bit a child. I am having the exact same problem with Jasper to the point that family whether adult or child don't come visit us anymore. I don't take Jasper for a walk I let my husband do it because I cannot handle him. He jumps out at people walking by and he's just too strong for me. We have been through training and a behavoirist but it has not helped. I hardly ever go see family because I cannot take Jasper and cannot leave him home because he tears things apart and when he's in his kennel all he does is yelp and bark and somethimes bangs his face on his kennel door and injures himself.
Tired dogs are good dogs!

He needs to have some energy drained and on a daily basis, this boy sounds as though he is bored out of his mind.

I stand firm that mostly all behaviour problems dogs have is due to owner error, that was the case with my Meiko, he is not wiired wrong, we did things wrong with him this causing bad behaviours.

Have you done just plain obedience training with him? Dogs not excercised regularly will lunge, pull, bark at other dogs ect...
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:51 PM
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If the dog is unprovoked and bites a child, it needs to be put down. Period. I have done it before myself.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 11:14 PM
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Prevention, precaution, management and you greatly reduce the chances of a bite.

What is his reaction around strange kids? How do you react?

Quote:
Originally Posted by erykah1310 View Post
I stand firm that mostly all behaviour problems dogs have is due to owner error...
I wholeheartedly agree. This can be applied to when something we're doing in an attempt to correct an unwanted behavior isn't working, it's time to re-evaluate our approach.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:29 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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I had a series of gates in my home where my beagle lived quite well, my own two kids could do anything with her but from the time she turned 4 till she passed away at 14 1/2 she hated kids....she bit one of hubs friends who I warned not to pet her and tore my sis in laws ankle up when she accidently stepped on her while she was sleeping. did I raise her wrong? probably, this was back before they had ob classes and all the resourses they have now. oh and she was walked 5 miles a day, plus run in the back yard and field next to us a couple times a day.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 08:45 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I had a dog for 11 years that was unpredictable around kids and men. For 11 years I worked on reinforcing positive encounters - but I had to supervise everything and I was so close to ol' Max that I could read every movement, posture, eyes, head etc...

If I ever felt or saw anything that was unusual - I immediately removed him from a situation. When unknown kids came to our home, Max was not left with them.

If he ever bit a child???? It really would depend on why he bit, and how severe the bite. I would not jump to a conclusion and destroy him unless I understood why.

In saying the above, if the conclusion was unprovoked - as much as I loved my Max, I would have done the responsible thing.

If you get this sense RottieLover, then you must take precautions immediately. Never ever leave him unattended. Your daughter is growing up now and will be inviting friends over. Ensure that you teach her to never let anyone in your home without fair warning so that you can move him into another part of the house away from the children.

What concerns me the most about what you posted here and several times prior is that he has a high prey drive. If this is the case, young children running and playing normally will be a problem.

I would try desentizing him immediately. Put a muzzle on him and start walking him near playgrounds but at a safe distance. Ensure that you leash train him everyday and do not give him one inch...not one.

If you need more information on this very serious topic - you know where to reach me.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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lUvMyLaB<3 lUvMyLaB<3 is offline
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My situation although similar is different, my dog now has dog aggression from a terrible incident. She has never and I am sure will never bite a human, my little dog when younger bit my face, and actually bit my daughter so she needed stitches, she got between him and the cat that wanted to eat him, so I didn't blame him, but we worked with him, and now have him at playgrounds and around kids all the time, he was a rescue, but he was young enough that we could reverse it quick. I have had great success with a behaviorist, I had to bring from winnipeg, over 2 hours away, and worth every penny. There are ways to work on it, and work everyday. I agree about tireing the dog, especially working dogs. You should not have to live a life where no one can come over and your kids cannot have friends, that is no good either. There is help out there if you are willing to get it and work at it.

I would always work with a dog as much as possible when the signs start showing. If a dog bites out of aggression unprovoked at a child the situation needs to be looked at with clear eyes. If kids were running and playing and a dog bit out of a prey response, then I think being pts needs to be honestly considered. If a dog bites for a reason, being hurt, provoked, then I feel they should have a chance to be rehabed. But that said I think if someone has seen aggressive signs something has to be done quick and often. Keeping the dog isolated and in turn isolating the whole family will not help, but hurt, and may make the aggression work. As much as I worried about having my dog around other dogs, I had to get the skills to handle it, and do it. There has been one episode where my guard was down and she got at another dog and bit it, drawing blood.. Dealing with this towad humans must be so much harder and scarier.. use the muzzle if that is what makes you calmer, your energy is important. And do the work with a muzzle on. But don't isolate.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Sorry to hear about this RL, it's never an easy situation when dealing with possible aggression in our beloved animals.

I agree with a lot of the information you've been given here as far as helping Harley deal with his anxiety towards children.

The only thing I want to add is that you need to be extremley cautious while taking Harley to parks, regardless of whether or not he is wearing a muzzle. If his trigger is children playing in the parks and laughing, screaming, running around; you will need to be extremley aware of his reactions and body language before you even reach the park - innterupting any unwanted negative behavior at the exact correct moment.

In your situation, if you don't know which signs to watch for, I highly reccomend getting a hold of a behaviorist that will be able to help you watch for those signs and help Harley understand his role around children.

As for what I would do personally if a dog bit a child? I agree with BenMax on this one. I can't say that I would be quick to put the dog down, however it would depend soley on the situation, the dog, and the severity of the bite and the dogs past history with this sort of thing.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 10:31 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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LUvMyLab3 - Isolation is a big word. Depending on the severity of this situation - the dog being removed from any situation where there is potential danger every procaution should be taken. Isolation? Well if having children over and removing the dog is isolation then I guess this is the responsible thing to do. Some dogs (as mine) where highly unpredictable and I could never leave him alone with anyone other than my mother, sister or father. He never responded perfectly well with people as he had been shot and beaten with a shovel from his previous 'owner'. For this reason - he and I worked diligently together, everyday for 11 years until his passing. I worked with specialists initially, and then grew from there with the knowledge I had. He was never 'isolated' however he was removed from situations. I never ever wanted to be in a position where I had to make 'that' decision. And thankfully - I never had to.

Baily - you are correct. The key to this is knowing your dog well and reading all the signs and signals he presents. Indeed, someone with extensive knowledge should be consulted. Rotties (in general) are very difficult dogs to read. They are steady and reading Ben's (my rottie) body language was very different that reading the shep's. For this breed, I highly recommend a specialist.

At the same time Baily - I believe in desensitizing your dogs wherever there is problematic situations. As stated, a safe distance and with a muzzle. I truly believe in this as I have had my share of successes with this process with dogs and horses.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erykah1310 View Post
Tired dogs are good dogs!

He needs to have some energy drained and on a daily basis, this boy sounds as though he is bored out of his mind.

I stand firm that mostly all behaviour problems dogs have is due to owner error, that was the case with my Meiko, he is not wiired wrong, we did things wrong with him this causing bad behaviours.

Have you done just plain obedience training with him? Dogs not excercised regularly will lunge, pull, bark at other dogs ect...
He gets plenty of exercise. Since he has a problem with small dogs we don't go to the park but we go to my sisters farm and let him run and play with her shepherds every morning for about 3 hrs. then he gets playtime in our backyard in the afternoon plus my husband takes him for a 1 1/2 walk at 10:00 pm because there are no kids out. We have the same problem in obedience class because there is a mix of small and big dogs so we did private classes but still dislikes kids and small dogs. We are still in private classes with our 3rd trainer.The humane society told us he had a little problem with kids until he gets to know them. I wasn't to concerned because I don't have kids. When I happened to "meet" someone from another forum that knows Jasper we were able to connect with the previous owner and ask questions. I will try and find the email I got from her and post it.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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Here is the email I got from Jasper's previous owner.


We were Jasper's second owner. He was 11 weeks old when we got him, the first owner only had him about 9 days but sent him back to the farm because children and toys did not mix with him.
Jasper has always humped but before he was fixed he would urinate while humping my 2 yr. old girl so the vet said neuturing would stop the urinating but not the humping because the humping is a dominance issue. He used to play with the neighbors dog (a Charles Cavalier) in our backyard but one day he got mad because the other dog had a toy he wanted and attacked him and we ended up paying a $326 vet bill. About 2 weeks after that he dug under the fence and went after the neighbors dog again and tore her ear so there went another $219.00. Please do not leave hin unattended with a small animal. Jasper can not be left alone for more than 30-45 minutes. I took him the the store with me and when I came out he had dug a hole in the seat of my new mini van and my husband said I could not take him anymore. It cost us $986.40 for a new seat. When I left him home he tore my couch cushion to threads, so I started confining him to the kitchen but I came home after being out for about an hour and he had gotten over the gate and killed our 3 month old kitten. The kitten had died of a broken neck and the stomach was tore open. He has always had a problem with being greedy. He would always take toys, and food away from my daughter resulting in her being bit. On Dec. 3/05 my daughter went to pick up her drinking cup off the floor Jasper ran and grabbed her face resulting in 8 stitches across her cheek. One day he is fine with her and the next he is mean with her. He could no longer be trusted around my daughter. We tried obedience but he had issues with other dogs there and the trainer wouldn't allow him back. He offered to do private classes but it would have costs us close to $1000.00 by time we were finished and decided not to. With everything he has done I had enough and we sent him to the humane society. I have never felt more relief in my life since letting him go. It may sound cruel but I can only handle so much. I hope your doing better with him than we did.



Jasper is staying with us. I have no plans of re-homing him or sending him back to the humane society because I am worried that they would put him down because of his history. I don't want that to happen. I pay close attention to him and if need be will be muzzled to protect kids, dogs and himself from being injured. We have kids next door to us and if they are outside we take him out on a leash so he can't get close to the fence because he ends up hurting himself trying to bite through our privacy fence.

A pic of Jasper and the fence he tries to bite through.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:32 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I don't mean to thread jack but who is that other dog by the fence? What is the story behind the reaction of the black muzzled dog? Look closely at the body language of both. What is this telling you? How do you interpret this?
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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BenMax, I was just about to ask the same thing.

Cathy, good for you for wanting to work with Jasper, but unfortunatley this dog sounds like he needs serious rehabiliation. From what you're saying, it sounds like he's displaying serious anxiety after being left for a short time, and that needs to be addressed by a proffesional. I know it's costly for training, but can you look around and find a behaviorist that will better be able to accomodate your price ranges?
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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The dog at the back is my other dog Duke and the front one is Jasper.They are playing in that pic. They both run and jump on each other all the time and never had an aggressive moment with them. I call them and they come running but when Jasper is focused on a child or small dog Jasper acts like I'm not even there so I have a whistle that I blow and that usually gets his attention. He is fine with big dogs he just doesn't like small dogs or kids. When Jasper sees a small child or small dog his hair goes up, tail tucks under, then the growling and pacing starts I know what the email said about their kitten but we have 2 cats and Jasper has never touched them except give them a very wet lick when walking by but I still keep my eyes and ears open. I have spoken to a retired trainer/behavoirist that is willing to help me but he travels all summer so I have to wait until the end of August.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:45 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy1 View Post
The dog at the back is my other dog Duke and the front one is Jasper.They are playing in that pic. He is fine with big dogs he just doesn't like small dogs or kids.
Cathy1 - can you please open your own thread in regards to your situation. I think you may require some help but in your own thread.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Sorry. I started my own.
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....d=1#post803684
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Old July 20th, 2009, 05:36 PM
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lUvMyLaB<3 lUvMyLaB<3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
LUvMyLab3 - Isolation is a big word. Depending on the severity of this situation - the dog being removed from any situation where there is potential danger every procaution should be taken. Isolation? Well if having children over and removing the dog is isolation then I guess this is the responsible thing to do. Some dogs (as mine) where highly unpredictable and I could never leave him alone with anyone other than my mother, sister or father. He never responded perfectly well with people as he had been shot and beaten with a shovel from his previous 'owner'. For this reason - he and I worked diligently together, everyday for 11 years until his passing. I worked with specialists initially, and then grew from there with the knowledge I had. He was never 'isolated' however he was removed from situations. I never ever wanted to be in a position where I had to make 'that' decision. And thankfully - I never had to.

Baily - you are correct. The key to this is knowing your dog well and reading all the signs and signals he presents. Indeed, someone with extensive knowledge should be consulted. Rotties (in general) are very difficult dogs to read. They are steady and reading Ben's (my rottie) body language was very different that reading the shep's. For this breed, I highly recommend a specialist.

At the same time Baily - I believe in desensitizing your dogs wherever there is problematic situations. As stated, a safe distance and with a muzzle. I truly believe in this as I have had my share of successes with this process with dogs and horses.
no no, that was not my intention, and I think it was not Rl that said it, it was a post after that.. about not taking the dog out, or letting people come over... Just saying that wont help the behavior get better.. I think I tried to say that I would use the muzzle and start working on it, keeping safe distance from anything that triggers him, and interupting the behavior. I wanted to keep my dog in and away from dogs in the beginning but had to be coaxed out, learning her behavior triggers.. Do you know what I mean? Then when he begins to get alert you interrupt it then and there, and do it again, and again, soon you can get closer.. Anyway.. ALl I was trying to say, was that keeping the dog at home, locked away, and not having visitors over would make it worse.. thats all..... Sorry for explaining it in a way that did not convey what I am actually thinking.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
At the same time Baily - I believe in desensitizing your dogs wherever there is problematic situations. As stated, a safe distance and with a muzzle. I truly believe in this as I have had my share of successes with this process with dogs and horses.
Sorry BenMax, you must've added this later, I didn't notice it when I read your comment. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

I agree wholeheartedly with desensitizing dogs to their triggers. But something I have seen over the course of working with particularly aggressive dogs, is that when the owners continue to introduce their dog to a certain situation over and over (because they believe that desenitizing will help) the problem effectivley worsens, simply because the dog is not learning anything being in that situation.

Not to mention that a lot of owners are already nervous, expecting a situation to play out, and doubting their dog; which is not a set-up for success.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:17 PM
Rottielover Rottielover is offline
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I just want to make it clear, Harley is far from being aggressive. He is fearful of certain situations, uneasy around things. Having a high drive does not make a dog aggressive, just a little harder to work with.
I really do not know how to explain it really well, when he hears kids outside on a walk, tension grows, body language tells me he is uneasy around that situation.
His posture becomes stand offish, looking back and forth trying to figure out where and when kids are coming.
I stay far away from parks on weekends, stresses him out too much.
He has never lunged at a child, but if given a chance I know he would run them down, what would happen next I do not know, nor do I ever want to find out.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
He has never lunged at a child, but if given a chance I know he would run them down, what would happen next I do not know, nor do I ever want to find out.
Your gut instincts are usually the ones that lead us to the truth. You know Harley the best, and it really sounds like he has a fear and an insecurity around children.
And you're also right - a high drive doesn't make them aggressive, but when that is coupled with fear and insecurity it can easily trigger aggression in a dog. There isn't just *one* type of aggression.
Sometimes if a dog does not understand something, they want to make it stop...which is why they will become anxious at certain sounds or objects. (Flight reaction). If they can't get away, some will fight. Which is obviously bad when that frustration/fear is directed at people or other animals.

I agree that it's best to keep him away from things. You know your dog best, what he can/can't handle.
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