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Any coming back from a bite?(34 Posts)
Our dog just bit me whilst out on a walk this morning. She was on her lead whilst walking around the edge of the field where I usually take her and we came across another dog coming the other way. As you do. She started lunging for this dog so I tried to distract her with treats, didn't work, so moved my hand down her lead to get better control whilst apologising to the other owner and suggesting they carry on walking (they'd stopped rather than carry on for some reason, although the walker was quite a young lad so maybe didn't quite know what to do?). She immediately started twisting her head from side to side towards my hand and eventually managed to bite my lower arm. The other dog and owner had moved away by this time and I managed to get her walking so we carried on home pretty sharpish. Have cleaned and dressed the bite but it bloody hurts.
Bit of background. We've had her a little over 7 weeks, quite a large Romanian rescue, 15 months old, very puppy-like in some ways such as mouthing a lot (although we have been dissuading that and had mainly got it under control). She approaches any and every dog and person, which is a bit issue, and I make sure she's on her lead if there is any chance of her coming across other dogs or people that she doesn't know, although it's still a problem even on the lead as she's strong. NB - she does spend time off lead, we take her to a local dog field to work off some energy, for example.
We're due to start with a trainer very soon (they told me to leave it 8 weeks to settle her in before starting formal training) but to be honest, I am not at all confident about taking her out anymore.
She has many redeeming qualities and is a very sweet girl in many ways, but I really don't know where to go from here - any advice?
Do you know her history from Romania?
A dog trainer will help you. With my boy when he was younger I would simply walk at a good pace or walk off in opposite direction if another dog was getting close. I never stopped. You will get there in the end it takes times and patience and understanding as your dog is a rescue. I wish you luck x
It’ll be redirected aggression - that explains it quite well...
If you’re not confident taking her out just now, don’t... contact your trainer to update them on what you need, take a few days to just play and train with her at home, let her stress levels go down.
And take it from there...maybe look for somewhere quieter till you’ve got a training plan.
CatToddlerUprising not too much, she came over to the UK about 2 weeks before we adopted her and from what I can gather she was in a pound over there from a pretty young age considering her pet passport photo (looks a couple of months at most in it). So much of what she is experiencing is completely new to her - and I very much appreciate that.
I would contact the trainer and let them know what's happened, they might escalate the training for you.
I think it's extremely upsetting and would make anyone nervous of their dog if they were bitten. I feel like it's a known issue that if you get close to a dog when it's wound up like that then it could bite you because it's hysterical and not thinking (do dogs think?!). Not that I blame you at all. So for me I think I could excuse it because it was an explainable accident on the dogs part. However I would get expert advice from a reputable trainer, be extremely careful for a long time and also be careful who she can get close to. Hopefully it won't happen again
Can I ask if you actually had hold of her collar rather than her lead? I worked with some dogs in rescue who are very averse to being touched on/around the collar area.
That's a really useful article tabulahrasa - makes a lot of sense. She has come across dogs on her walks many times before and never behaved so aggressively, but she was quite excited due to the field recently being ploughed and she was sniffing and digging every few metres.
She’s very new to you. She’s young. She’s a foreign rescue (so recently been through big upheaval and probably has a traumatic history). It sounds like the bite was a moment in time and she lashed out because she was all fired up, she does sound like she has some dog aggression/fear/anxiety. She’s definitely worth some time and work and shouldn’t be written off.
It’s natural that you’re shaken up after this and I agree with PP that you should give yourself a day or so to get over it and then walk with another person during very quiet times of day or in secure fields where she won’t be distracted or bothered by other dogs and the risk is low. Getting 1-1 training is a great idea. Are you getting support from the rescue organisation?
Hope your arm feels better soon and you and your girl can build a bond together.
Can I ask if you actually had hold of her collar rather than her lead?
I wasn't when she bit me (was holding her lead, albeit closer to her collar than usual to try to gain some control), although I did briefly afterwards to try to stop her doing it again!
Sorry but I wouldn't feel comfortable with her after that. She has bitten and injured you, she is a dangerous dog at this point and needs a specialist. At the very least I wouldn't have her near me or anyone else without a muzzle.
Did you discipline her after she bit you?
Did you discipline her after she bit you?
Well, I told her she was a bad dog in rather shocked voice and took her home, but I'm not sure what else I could have done to discipline her when outside of the house (she was already on her lead)? She has been relegated to the conservatory/lower part of the garden (which is a courtyard) for the time being as we both needed some time apart from each other (I can still see her, she has water).
Get some training and give her another chance. I was bitten by my first dog many years ago - over a bone - really my fault. I had her for 15 good years and she never did it again. I have been bitten by a couple of my other dogs when very excited - breaking up a dog fight ect.
What do you mean by that, @LadyofTheManners?
I understand it was a bit of a shock to you but honestly I think you need to not try to build this up in your head and just carry on your normal walking routine and get a training in sooner if possible.
Is it possible to body block her for control if she sees another dog rather than trying to hold her close to her collar?
Try not to take it personally.
Yes, redirection, in a dog which possibly hasn't properly learned bite inhibition as a pup.
When dogs are over excited and/or frustrated, it has to come out somewhere and somehow. Sometimes it's just barking and others, mouthing or biting.
It's far from uncommon and a good trainer will help you sort this out. It doesn't make her 'dangerous' and you should be very careful about 'punishing' a dog already over threshold.
As pps have said she simply redirected and bit you - she didn't set out to bite you and it wasn't necessarily aggression. It's really nothing to take personally.
A trainer can help you avoid this happening again.
Let her calm down, don't walk her for a day or so and just spend time with her at home.
When you do start walking again, keep moving and walk away from rather than towards other dogs. Give her time to adapt and keep her well away from situations that make her uncomfortable.
Yes redirection BUT you do need professional advice on how to avoid her triggers and what is best for her at the moment.
None of us can tell tell you without seeing her in rl but I would not be walking her at all at the minute. Also have a read of trigger stacking and think what has been happening in the days leading up this event.
It doesn't make her 'dangerous' I would disagree with this - if the triggers are not worked on then she will continue with the behaviour.
It's redirection - this doesn't mean she's aggressive or beyond help, she just needs some specialist help.
You've not known her very long, she was out on a lead (which can stress some dogs out anyway) and had a face-to-face interaction with another dog. All those things on their own can be problematic, let alone when you have all three happening together!
I totally understand how stressful it is when your lovely dog gets upset and barks/lunges/bites but it can be solved, I promise.
Sounds to me like it was all a bit too much. The field the other dog. New surrounds.
This dogs world has been turned upside down. Imagine yourself if I were uprooted and sent to another country. No say what was going on etc.
Telling a dog they are a bad dog is useless. They can’t understand English and have no clue what ur saying or doing or understand what you expect them to do.
I agree. Not the end of the work. Get a trainer to help. Remember this the next time ur out. And walk the dog away from the situation or ur setting them up to fail.
Telling a dog they are a bad dog is useless. They can’t understand English
To be fair to the OP, I'm not sure saying it in Romanian would have been any better.
:D :D :D
The time a dog associates one action with another is very small.
So ‘punishing’ her any time after 30seconds after an action is pointless as she won’t know why she is being punished for.
Your initial ‘bad dog’ is fine as she will understand the tone but anything after that won’t help.
Putting her in the garden for a bit of a calming decompression (for both of you) is fine but she won’t associate biting you with being banished to the garden.
Redirection aggression can be fixed. She’s not a write off.
Hi OP, I would suggest that you consult a qualified behaviourist rather than a trainer. As PP have said, don’t walk her for a few days so that her stress levels can return to normal. In fact, I would be tempted not to walk her at all until you have consulted the behaviourist (missing walks won’t kill her but a bigger bite history might). Spend this time rebuilding your bond with her; work on basic commands and her focus on you (for high value treats ).
Just out of interest, how have you been dissuading mouthing?