My dog just bit the window cleaner...

(20 Posts)
FooFightersFan Thu 12-Sep-19 13:34:49

Exactly that. I'm shocked and pissed off (with the dog AND myself) and feeling crap.

The window cleaner 'knows' our dog, and that he's very excitable and noisy when he comes to clean the windows.
I keep the dog indoors and also try to keep the cleaners out of sight by shutting the dog in the hallway. Despite this, the dog and window cleaner have met and interacted before - he has a dog and so he's 'used' to them.

Anyway, by accident, the patio door was left ajar and as I came into the hall, the dog darted and got into the garden. Then he got through the side gate to the front of the house and that's when he jumped up and bit the window cleaner on the leg.

The window cleaner was obviously pissed off but kind off dismissed it. I apologised and offered to clean his wound etc but he said he had stuff in his van to patch it up. There were two puncture marks on his leg. With a trickle of blood. I could not stop apologising!

I am so cross with myself for being less than vigilant with the doors being closed. And I'm upset that the window cleaner got bitten. And I'm cross with myself for not having better control of the dog.

He is usually v excitable when anyone comes to the house - barks and jumps at the door, but I always have him by the collar when I answer the door (if it's friends etc) or else I put him in another room if it's a delivery or similar.

Dog is and always has been reactive to noises and people coming towards the house. Noisy and excitable but not aggressive. But I guess this was an incident 'waiting to happen'.

What do I do? My gut reaction is "we can't keep him"!

OP’s posts: |
JJSS123 Thu 12-Sep-19 13:39:24

Have you got kids? Or do your friends/family have them? That would be the deciding factor for me.

Breathlessness Thu 12-Sep-19 13:42:53

Of course you can keep him confused. Now you know the risk you need to manage it properly. No more holding his collar at the door. Put him into another room first every time. Change your side gate or add a lock so it can’t be left open - then if he gets out the patio doors he’s still contained. If someone is working on the house, inside or out, he’s shut away securely. Contact a reputable local dog trainer and get their help dealing with his response to callers.

Floralnomad Thu 12-Sep-19 14:24:56

I never get it when people say ‘we can’t keep him’ , loads of people have dogs that bite strangers it’s just a case of being extra careful and because a dog bites a stranger doesn’t make it likely that it will bite a family member.

FooFightersFan Thu 12-Sep-19 15:01:33

breathless I totally hear what you're saying about now having to be extra vigilant. Yes.
I do have kids, they are teenagers, but I'll need to make sure that they follow any new rules wrt opening the front door to visitors.
Urgh. I know floral, it's a knee jerk reaction. I've calmed down a bit now but it shocked me almost as much as the poor window cleaner.
Urgh. I just needed to vent and get it off my chest.
He is a good dog really, just noisy and super energetic (yes, I do walk him enough and I play with him and I'm at home most of the day with him).
I think a visit from a dog specialist might be worth a shot. Our local doggy daycare offers advice (they are very good with our dog when he visits and they know my dog quite well.
Thanks for the responses

OP’s posts: |
FooFightersFan Thu 12-Sep-19 15:06:56

Would a crate be useful? Perhaps I could train him to use it and then put him in there when we get visitors or callers at the door.

OP’s posts: |
Windydaysuponus Thu 12-Sep-19 15:09:55

Our not so friendly ddog is shut in the utility room when anyone comes.
All dc know the drill.

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Dontgiveamonkeys1350 Thu 12-Sep-19 21:24:06

Mine used to be excited when the door went off. I taught him the command to back up. Which meant he had to jump on the sofa. I then taught him to stay there till I let him off. Too. Awhile for training but was brilliant as I could open the front door in peace.

December2019 Thu 12-Sep-19 21:34:17

@FooFightersFan what breed of dog have you got?
I think crate training might be a good option and plenty of tall safety gates and just make sure they're shut tight at all times to keep the dog confined and secure to certain parts of the house when you have visitors or window cleaners

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Thu 12-Sep-19 22:52:40

My dog bit the plumber once. She knew him quite well and had met him several times before, accepted treats from him, etc. He was doing some work in the flat and I was at work. Dog obviously unnerved by someone being in the home when I wasn't. I am always present now for anyone coming in as I don't want it to happen again.

villainousbroodmare Fri 13-Sep-19 01:05:40

You'll need to be very careful wrt kids' friends. I also think that a generous cash present for your poor window cleaner would be in order.

sanmiguel Fri 13-Sep-19 06:14:19

Hi Op.
something similar happened with our dog, in that he's always been reactive to noises outside the front door if he thought someone was coming in and we always held him by the collar when we answered the door.
He was however a great dog, fine with kids and other dogs. We always let him straight out of the car after a journey and he'd go straight to the front door. Wasn't an escape artist or anything, had good recall.
One particular day however, we let him out of the car and the dog and child both arrived at the front door at the same time and we were faffing about getting bags out, when the postman cut through from next door's house into our front garden to deliver our letters. He got as far as hand to the letterbox (not sure why he didn't pass them to us or the kid, but anyways!) the dog bit him.
Similar thought processes to you.... to cut a long story short we kept the dog with more supervision, understanding of the triggers, training, always shut him away in another room when someone knocked at the door etc as opposed to just holding his collar and actually, towards the end he was deaf and no longer heard the door and would sleep right though the window cleaner/postman visiting. He died several years later at nearly 15.
Good luck.

spot102 Fri 13-Sep-19 09:54:56

Had similar, mine bit the gas man visiting next door. Dog was great at home and with my kids who loved her, unfortunately also a nervous reactive type
As guy reported her to police she ended up in dog jail + court + dog asbo + lead and muzzle outside house at all times + no-one under 18 could take her out the house. And yes it does show up on your DBS, so worth being careful!
And we did keep her, had kiddy gates in house and hyper vigilant at all times (even kids). Did get to be a routine, but when she died and we could all relax I then became more aware of how stressful it had been!!

sanmiguel Fri 13-Sep-19 10:14:06

Same as @spot102 in that despite all of the above, we loved him dearly and was happy to put all the time and effort into making sure it didn't happen again (also had call from police and used lead and muzzle afterwards in public, but didn't go to court thankfully! We did give big apology to post man and we're out on banned list so had to pick post up from delivery centre blush) but it's only now since he's passed we realise the stress/anxiety from having to be so hyper vigilant all the time!

FooFightersFan Fri 13-Sep-19 15:20:45

dontgiveamonkeys Thanks, I've managed to get him to go to his bed when someone comes to the door, and he will, reluctantly. But will only stay a few seconds before he gets off and I have to repeat again and again. Which I know is all part of his training. I shall persist!

OP’s posts: |
FooFightersFan Fri 13-Sep-19 15:23:44

september I asked the dog trainer at the daycare about crate training and he said that it would be difficult as dog is almost 4 and very excitable.
Dog is a mixed breed, possibly a patterdale cross - he was found as a stray and sent to a dogs home, where we found him.

OP’s posts: |
FooFightersFan Fri 13-Sep-19 15:26:46

sanmiguel yes, that sounds v similar to what happened yesterday. Just goes to show that you can't ever be complacent with a dog in the house sad I guess I'll be more switched on from now on.

OP’s posts: |
FooFightersFan Fri 13-Sep-19 15:30:37

spot that's awful! I didn't even know that that could happen! Now I'm worried I'm going to call the window cleaner and check how he is... and if he plans to report me.
He's a really nice guy, I'm so gutted that my dog bit him. No one ever deserves to get bitten by a dog like that.

OP’s posts: |
Dontgiveamonkeys1350 Fri 13-Sep-19 18:27:31

It did take time. And lots of tries. But it did work. Keep going

MrsMozartMkII Fri 13-Sep-19 18:39:13

Get a behaviourist in to help you. In the meantime crate the dog.

Our dogs are penned when anyone comes. All outside doors are kept locked all the time, unless there's a barrier up to let air flow. The side gate is permanently locked. They're all friendly but they're big dogs and this is their home which they'll guard.

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