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Thread in chat "My dog bit me"

(18 Posts)
serin Sun 02-Oct-11 11:35:09

Hi, I have started a thread in Chat about my rescue dog, who has bitten me.
I wondered whether you would take a look and give me your thoughts on what my options are.

I didn't post here first as I am aware that I have probably done things all wrong and at the moment we are all upset and would appreciate advice rather than a flaming.

It as all going so well with him. sad

elmofan Sun 02-Oct-11 12:30:33

Was it a "warning " type of bite from your dog ? or did he draw blood ?

Curiousmama Sun 02-Oct-11 12:32:50

Agree with posters who said get him to vet, then behavioural specialist. I'd definitely tell the rescue centre you got him from how wrong they were about him though. Just hope they aren't making a habit of this could be very dangerous. Imagine if a child gets attacked? Luckily your dcs are older but what if you'd had a toddler or baby?

Vallhala Sun 02-Oct-11 12:49:51

Hi Serin.

Contrary to what you feared, you'll generally get sounder, more experienced advice than you will on Chat. smile

Two people on there made sense - Bemybebe (who I believe has relevent professional experience) and notmeagain, who, as she says, also does. I'm an independent rescuer and work with all manner of dogs and all temperaments as a hands on volunteer as well.

notmeagain said this:

"As a professional who works in this field you must:-

Take the dog for a check with the vet to rule out any physical cause

Speak to the rescue centre(but do not take training advice from them unless they are trained behaviourists)

Contact a trained behaviourist either APDC or APDT for correct advice and assessment.

Many dogs that appear aggressive to the unknowledgeable can easily be given a behaviour training regime and all the old behaviour can be corrected. However you do need skilled and professional advice.

In the meantime keep the situation at home calm, do not do things which you know will cause your dog to react, keep him quiet ,exercise on lead and do not allow him to meet people at the door. You may need door gates to give him space to be separate.

You must act on this quickly though -the behaviour will not get better on its own."

The question is, what do you want to do, how committed would you be to putting in the work and the money to change his behaviour? Bluntly there's no point in making recommendations and giving advice if you feel you haven't the funds or personal resources to carry them out.

While you give that some thought I'd like to ask you to pm me the name of the rescue (can't say I'm best impressed with them atm!). I can at least then give you an idea of what, if anything, to ask of them, what to expect and so on, whether you approach them for advice, for practical support or whether you approach them to return pooch. I may even be able to negotiate/suggest further ideas.

If you make the decision that he needs to go to rescue please look at where very, very carefully. A dog which has "bounced" back from an adoptive home is harder to rehome a second time, a dog which has bitten harder still - many rescues will just kill him. Dogs Trust would probably either refuse to take him or use "health reasons" to do so - ie that his mental health was suffering. They claim to have a no kill policy but I can tell you as a rescuer that there's no way that they would be able to take in, rehabilitate and rehome the number of dogs which might come into them with similar stories to your own.

Some rescues will take him back and rehome without assessment and rehabilitation - you don't want that either.

It's possible that your "rescue" is not a rescue at all, but a council pound - usually boarding kennels and the like which also run a stray rehoming pound as a sideline. If he goes back there he'll have a 99% chance of being dead by midweek. Another reason why I'm asking you please to pm me the establishment's name, so I can advise further if rescue is the route you want to take.

As for contracts stating that he MUST be returned to where he came from, well, there is no legal precedent, no test case as no rescue has ever enforced such a contract to my knowledge. So, it's doubtful whether they'd stand in court - they're a good way of ensuring that decent rescues get dogs like yours back and can rehabilitate or offer lifelong sanctuary rather than have you take him straight to the vet to be killed, that's why decent no kill rescue uses them. If yours is not a no kill rescue, if it turns out to be flaky and unreliable/dubious, as the cat friendly claim suggests, I'd ignore any such contract and, if I wanted the dog in a rescue, would choose a more appropriate one for him.

My own opinion is that the rescue he came from should offer full support, call in a behaviourist and so on. As I said, whether they will or not is open to question depending on who they are.

Or, going back to the beginning, this IS something you can do, it's FAR from the worse case I've ever heard of and it's perfectly possible to overcome it. If I can, anyone can - I dealt with very similar (funnily that was a Jackie too) when the owner dumped him on me having given up on him. He was rehabilitated, trained and rehomed and now lives with kids, 4 other Jack Russells... and cats! smile

chickchickchicken Sun 02-Oct-11 13:02:01

OP - i just quickly posted in chat and came over to type a longer post. i have read valhalla's post above. i re-read it just to make sure there wasnt anything i thought i could add and there isnt. i agree with everything she has said. same for notmeagain and bemybebe

just to add i have two jack russells and they are my 'breed'. they are lovely, clever dogs. i get so cross that they get a bad name when of course it comes down to owners (not meaning you but original owners) giving them appropriate training and exercise

serin Sun 02-Oct-11 13:48:11

Oh valhalla, thankyou so much for your lovely and very helpful post.

We have been to the vet, who could find nothing wrong medically and dog was as good as gold there. He is as good as gold most of the time, lets me bath him and not possesive about food etc.

If it was just up to me I would have no hesitation re; keeping him and working with him but I fear that DH may have other views when he comes home. I am also concerned re; the safety of the kids.

He brought blood, elmo. I cleaned it up myself (NHS) and I am up to date with vac's. Vet took a look at wound, said it seems clean enough. Vet also said I should never leave him with the kids unsupervised,and that I needed to talk with DH about rehoming.

Kids scared of dog now. 2 of them want him to go.

I will PM you the name of rescue Valhalla.

elmofan Sun 02-Oct-11 14:03:34

Oh ok - Sorry i just thought he might have just nipped you as a warning if he was scared (my dog has done this ) but if he actually made you bleed than he meant to hurt you sad . I really hope you get the help and advice you need what ever your decision is, i wish you good luck [hugs]

silentcatastrophe Sun 02-Oct-11 14:47:19

I do sympathise with the feeling of letting the dog down. Our youngest was a bolter. He used to leggit and run and run and run. I contacted a very good behaviourist, who suggested someone closer, who in the event turned out to be as helpful as a chocolate teapot. We found a sheepdog trainer by chance and went to see her. That was some weeks ago, and now we are living with a completely different dog. I have been asked what we did to change his behaviour. It seems so simple and I don't know if her system works with any breed of dog. If you like, I will give you her name.
It was horrible having a dog that was totally out of control. Hard to love a dog like that.

musicposy Sun 02-Oct-11 15:04:26

Will post on here rather than chat as it's less hysterical and I will probably get flamed on there sad.

I said earlier my parents had rehomed all sorts of rescue dogs. Their current dog they've had around 5 years. When he came to them he was 2 and had had no training whatsoever - couldn't even sit, was like a wild animal, really.

One day, about 2 weeks after they got him, DH went in there and bent down to stroke him. He flew at DH and bit his face - DH had to have stitches and still has the scar. Had it been one of the girls they would have been in serious danger.

My parents took him to the vet to check over, thinking really that the vet would put him down, hoping, I guess, that the vet would make the decision. It seemed awful to put a dog down, but my girls were quite young and I was worried for them - I thought it would be them next. Vet said he probably had something in his past which caused him to react like that and it was my parents call what to do. They knew if he was returned to the rescue the outcome would probably be a PTS too. So they brought him home and kept him. I wasn't happy with their decision at the time, I have to admit, and I vowed I would never consider a rescue dog (bear with me, doghouse people, I've learnt a lot since then).

They got in a trainer and got him beautifully trained. They gave him lots of rewards and never any punishment, knowing what he was capable of. He was kept safely apart from any visitors for a long time.

Now he is nearly 7. He's a lovely dog. Nothing like that has ever happened since and I am certain it never would. If I tell him to go to his bed (as I often do if the girls are round) he is obedient and lovely. The girls stroke him gently if he comes to them and he loves it, but we let him approach us rather than vice versa, which is good practice with any dog.

My point is, the situation can be turned around. But that rescue (it was an RSPCA) let us down very badly. They knew there were young children regularly in the house, and visiting men, and they had not said a word about the fact he might do this. Your rescue have let you down too, because they should have checked this dog better. I've since learnt lots more about rescues from being on here, and my next dog will be a rescue - I know what to look for now. But just because your rescue didn't do their job doesn't mean things can't be changed for this dog.

I understand your terrible dilemma, I've been party to it myself. Good luck.

Vallhala Sun 02-Oct-11 15:32:58

musicposy I think that you're very right. It's important to point out here that this is NOT a rescue dog, serin's pm to me confirmed what I feared, that she adopted him from a POUND.

At the risk of boring you all stupid, PLEASE do yourselves a favour, MNers, and ensure that you are adopting from reputable RESCUE, who will homecheck, assess, offer full support, neuter, vaccinate etc, and please do the dogs of this world, rescue and I a favour by doing so too.

serin or musicposy, if you go back onto the chat thread please would you make it clear that this is a POUND dog and that there are huge differences between rescue and a pound. Taking an unassessed poundie into a family is potentially a huge risk but this would NOT be something that would happen with a decent rescue.

I fear I might say something a little impolite if I return to a thread full of cries for the poor dog's blood. Thank you. smile

musicposy Sun 02-Oct-11 16:43:32

Went over there to do just that and toboldlygo has done it already. smile

ChooChooWowWow Sun 02-Oct-11 18:11:51

I'm not very experienced and I'm sure you will get brilliant advice from the people who are already on this thread.
I just wanted to say I posted a while ago about our rescue dog who had nipped several people and was very aggressive in protecting the family. We saw a dog listener who spent 6 hours in our home pretty much training us, not the dog.
It was expensive but money very well spent. She is a different animal. Very calm and much happier in herself. The advice we were given was very simple to follow but quite intense for the first two weeks.
I would definately recommend a specialist.

Curiousmama Sun 02-Oct-11 20:37:17

That's interesting Vallhala am not thinking my dog came from a pound. No home check and let me take him straight home. I paid for him and he was chipped and vaccinated. He was hard work as in very scared of other dogs so acted aggressively. Luckily I could spend time and it only took 2 weeks to socialise him.

Really hope you get this sorted OP, awful situation sad

Curiousmama Sun 02-Oct-11 20:37:46

meant am now thinking!

serin Sun 02-Oct-11 21:23:43

We are going to give it a go with a behaviourist and plan B (if it all goes err...tits up) is that he will go to my cousins. She has experience of terriers and he likes her and her collie.

I would like to say thanks to everyone for your help and support.

musicposy Sun 02-Oct-11 22:22:03

Sounds like a plan smile
Glad you have come to a decision, and a good one, I'd say. I really hope it all works out for you, and the dog smile

Curiousmama Sun 02-Oct-11 22:23:45

That's good news best of luck.

chickchickchicken Sun 02-Oct-11 22:30:13

do post again if you need any further help or advice. i have seen lots of supportive threads on here when people have needed to rehome their dogs. the only occasions when they havent been have been when people are trying to make money out of rehoming their dogs or are not rehoming in a responsible way for the dog's future welfare. neither of which apply here. good luck

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