Dog bit neighbour

(19 Posts)
KormaKormaChameleon Thu 27-Aug-20 11:24:36

Sorry this may be a bit long and rambly, I'll try and stick to relevant background info.

We have a 2.5 year old Bearded Collie and we moved to our current house with him when he was 9 months old. We're in a really rural area and live in one of a cluster of houses in the middle of nowhere.

Our next door neighbour has an elderly Jack Russel who throws himself against the window barking whenever I walk by with my dog. A couple of weeks after we moved here the JR got out of his garden and went for our dog - I wasn't there but DH said the JR drew blood from our dog.

Our dog isn't completely blameless - I don't know if this started happening after the attack or just before but our dog went from looking a bit confused and put out by the JR barking to starting to bark back and trying to go up the window of next door's house. So we started always having him on a lead to walk past. We hoped maybe the situation would improve when our dog turned 2 and was neutered.

So this is how we've been managing since then, the JR has got about 2 more times in the nearly 2 years since we've been here, both times he's gone for our dog and both times our dog has been completely passive, trying to hide behind me, lying on his back, trying to get away and wining.

Our dog is obviously stressed walking past the house, he strains in the lead and careers around the road and will pull whoever's walking him, sometimes there'll be a lot of barking then the minute we're past the house he relaxes and walks quietly, as he does anywhere else.

He is great socially with other dogs and is best friends with our opposite neighbour's dog. So much so that we share the dog walking and take them out together.

Our opposite neighbour was walking the dogs yesterday and there was this huge explosion of barking. Jack Russel was in his garden but having a right bark at our dog, mine reacted more forcefully than he ever has - lots of barking and pulling on the lead and our neighbour got bitten twice on the leg by my dog.

Neighbour thinks our dog was stressed and there was no malice in the bite, he's called it a nip but it went through his jeans.

I think our dog does get stressed and wound up walking past our neighbours. However, he's now bitten someone sad

We have a 2 year old and our opposite neighbour has a three year old. Where we live is so quiet they are often in the road between our houses. They also come out with us for walks.

I now have a situation where 10 meters from my doorstep, for whatever reason, I have an environment where I can't trust my dog.

I was brought up in a fairly strict farming family where one bite meant being put to sleep.

Our dog is so lovely, a truly gentle nature who I trust around any other dog or children, he's been amazing with our baby who is now a toddler. He has so much going for him. But I can no longer trust him in a particular situation that is really close to home and that we encounter everyday, where other people and children could be involved.

What would you do? Any advice or perspectives would be really welcome, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
cupofdecaf Thu 27-Aug-20 11:32:18

Gosh it does sound like your dog was reacting.

The concern is though that it's escalating and I think one of the dogs needs to be rehomed to avoid it getting worse.

It doesn't sound like you're going to take the traditional farmer route with the shotgun (I hope) as you have said your dog is lovely. However what if a child gets in the way next time?

Could a family member without other dogs or children take your dog?

A very difficult decision, you have my sympathy.

Foobydoo Thu 27-Aug-20 11:33:40

This must have been awful. I wouldn't consider pts under those circumstances. Your dog must have been terrified.
Have you thought of working with a behaviourist who could help your dog overcome his fear?
In the meantime it may be better for only you or a member of your family to walk your dog. Is there a different exit you could use to avoid the other dog?
This doesn't sound very nice but if the other dog is elderly you may not have to put up with it for too much longer. Your dog is still young.
Have you spoken to your neighbour about keeping his dog away?
Another option is to muzzle your dog until it is well away from your house. I would speak to a behaviourist first though as this could cause other issues.
If you do get desperate there are rescues that can help in these circumstances rather than going straight to pts.

Anotherlovelybitofsquirrel Thu 27-Aug-20 11:38:24

A bite and a nip are two very different things. He was clearly terrified. You should have his back so to speak.

Do not put your dog down over this. If you do, you shouldn't ever have another dog because ANY dog could do this, no matter the age or breed.

AmberShadesofGold Thu 27-Aug-20 12:03:02

1. Start muzzle training your dog now so that he is confortable in a muzzle
2. If outside your home is such that you cannot guarantee other people are not within biting distance then he needs to be muzzled for the time being - while you figure this out. Even if this is not needed, still muzzle train as a safety measure in case needed in the future.
3. He will never get used to the Jack Russell without training. It will only escalate and could end up "spreading" (generalising) to other dogs, people etc. Get some help in the form of a professional, accredited behaviourist. e.g.

It's a rubbish siutation and neither you or your dog is to blame but you do need to act quickly and decisively to minimise risk and to help your dog (behaviourally) move on to safer behaviours.

tabulahrasa Thu 27-Aug-20 12:05:36

That’ll be why he bit your neighbour...

Really you want to get a behaviourist in to help you work on your dog, not because he’s bitten so much as he’s living in a really stressful situation.

Have you tried talking to the jack Russell’s owner?

SBTLove Thu 27-Aug-20 12:07:37

I wouldn’t PTS or label him a danger, your neighbour sounds very dog savvy.
Is the JRT owner approachable to suggest they secure their garden and take some responsibility for their dog? Can you walk another way?
One bite resulting in pts is very outdated attitude as there are often reasons for a reaction.
TBH you’ll end up inundated with the dog haters on here.
Find a qualified behaviourist for your dog to deal with this.


RiaRoth Thu 27-Aug-20 12:13:27

You may not feel you can trust you dog but at least he is consistent so you know what he is going to do and what are his triggers. That makes the situation way easier to deal with.

If your dog is not put in the same situation again he will not bite.

I do not know the situation in rl and can only make suggestions eg
walk the other direction away from the heighbours, drive past neighbours house in car etc. This may be ridiculous ideas but you may have alternatives that would work

vanillandhoney Thu 27-Aug-20 16:06:56

If your dog has bitten (even if there was no blood) then I think, for now, you need to consider a muzzle. Next time it may not be a nip. Muzzle training needn't be a negative thing and should be fairly easy to do.

We have the same issue with our dog hating our neighbour's dog (also a Jack Russel). Neighbour often has his dog out the back off the lead and he's gone for (and bitten) my dog in an unprovoked attack more than once. My dog is now terrified and will bark and growl and make all sorts of noise through the gate at him - never at any other dog or person, though.

Is there any way you can avoid going past the neighbours' house? Go the opposite direction or cross the street to avoid it? Or go out the back gate or something? I would do my best to avoid coming into contact with the dog, even if it meant going out of my way to do so. You could also consider driving to the end of the road to walk the dog.

Unfortunately while your dog is so stressed, training him will be impossible. Personally I would just avoid the dog and neighbour until you can get the help of a qualified behaviourist.

simba65 Thu 27-Aug-20 16:23:39

poor dog. definitely don't PTS!

Muzzle when walking past the house, eventually treat train to keep quiet. Give him time. He's just scared.

Floralnomad Thu 27-Aug-20 16:26:56

I can’t even see why PTS would cross your mind in this instance , this is a clearly stressed dog with a very clear trigger and you’ve continued to put him in this position , it’s hardly his fault that he has finally snapped and nipped someone / something . As pp have suggested there are many things that you can do to alleviate his stress .

picklemewalnuts Thu 27-Aug-20 16:41:19

Can you walk the other way, cross the road, and give him a bit of space? If you did lots of little outings (minutes) in the other direction with lots of treating until he relaxes knowing that he won't be triggered that way.

How about going out in the car for the start of each walk, for a while?

Crazydoglady1980 Fri 28-Aug-20 06:57:09

Have you spoken to the neighbours with the JR would they be willing to help with the situation? If they would could you suggest a time where they do not allow their dog access to the windows their dog launches themselves at, so you can take your dog past the home or do some training?
The difficulty is that every time this happens it reinforces your dogs responses and that is going to continue until something changes

Roselilly36 Fri 28-Aug-20 07:05:01

I owned a Beardie from a pup till he was PTS at 13, he was never aggressive, but he could react in fear. He was the most gorgeous dog, I never left my children unattended with him though, as he suffered ear infections etc and I was always worried that if they pulled his ears he may react. I just kept them separated. Please don’t have your dog PTS he’s so young.

StrongTea Fri 28-Aug-20 07:27:24

I have beardies, situation is difficult but sounds like the jr terriers owner could be a bit more helpful. There are bearded collie facebook groups where you will get some good advice.

QualityFeet Fri 28-Aug-20 07:37:13

In the wrong situation any dog can bite. I would change things round, train and manage the situation. I have a neighbours I walk past with the squeaky ball or tug toy... works a treat. My dog had a bite history before coming to us and with a few rules hadn’t been a problem for any of us.

Medievalist Sat 29-Aug-20 07:30:10

I can’t even see why PTS would cross your mind in this instance , this is a clearly stressed dog with a very clear trigger and you’ve continued to put him in this position ,

^^ This. Have you tackled your neighbour about his dog's behaviour? Is there an alternative route you can take? Have you tried a behaviourist to see if your dog can be helped to deal with the stress he's placed under?

This is a clear case of redirected aggression. You can't keep placing an animal - or person - in an intolerable situation and not expect them to snap. Literally in a dog's case.

We had similar with our 4 year old GS/lab cross. She's a nervous rescue and we've had her since she was 6 months old. Neighbour's barky JRT ran up to her on a walk as we were on a narrow path. She was on a lead so couldn't get away and got really worked up as the other owner failed to get his dog under control. Our dog ended up biting dh on the leg. It would never in a million years occur to me that it was her fault and she should be pts.

Tomatoesneedtoripen Sat 29-Aug-20 08:52:09

it sounds like a mistake, there were being separated. the dog reacted.

myworkingtitle Sun 30-Aug-20 07:58:23

I totally sympathise, we used to live next door to 3 difficult dogs & had to walk past their front door/windows to get to our house, I could see it driving my puppy mad. Luckily we moved away when he was 12m. I hope you can find a solution to your problem that isn’t so drastic as advised up thread.

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