Tucker bit my dad

milos_mommy

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IMO - there is no such thing as a dog who bites for no reason.
Unfortunately, plenty of dogs bite for "no reason"...the reason being they're poorly bred and simply "wired-wrong". Maybe I shouldn't say "plenty", because most dogs who bite do have a reason and with proper handling it can absolutely be managed, but lots of dogs do bite simply because they aren't "all there".
 

smeagle

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Unfortunately, plenty of dogs bite for "no reason"...the reason being they're poorly bred and simply "wired-wrong". Maybe I shouldn't say "plenty", because most dogs who bite do have a reason and with proper handling it can absolutely be managed, but lots of dogs do bite simply because they aren't "all there".
Personally I don't agree it's plenty - IMO dogs that bite because they have some kind of mental imbalance in their brain are quiet rare. And a mental imbalance is, IMO, a reason - we know that is what is causing the behaviour.
 

sillysally

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My biggest issue with keeping a dog with HA is not that they would bite ME so much as the idea that others, whether in my own family or just the general public would be at serious risk due to my decision to keep the dog. I would be very upset if my dog bit me, but I would be devastated if either of them hurt someone else (other than someone attacking us, etc). Yes, you can manage and yes you can have back up plans for your back up plans, but sometime s*it still happens, and dog bites do both physical and mental damage to those biten. When dealing with HA it's not just about the dog and it's not just the dog and it's family that need to be considered, especially if you live in a fairly popopulated area.

And while every dog has it's limits, I do think it says something about a dog's temperament if it bites just because it is annoyed. There are plenty of dogs taken for horrific situations that don't bite when made to do things they'd rather not.

As far as the pit bull issue, yes, pit bulls are dogs. However, the media and the public at large does not see it that way and unfortunately perception is reality. It may not be fair, but that's just the hard reality of owning bully breeds. I'm not as hardline as many pit bull people when it comes to temperament in pet dogs (not breeding dogs), but I totally get where that mentality comes from.
 
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I don't think I could keep a truly HA dog, either, but whether I would consider a dog that bit to be truly HA would depend completely on the context/circumstances of the bite.
 

smeagle

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My biggest issue with keeping a dog with HA is not that they would bite ME so much as the idea that others, whether in my own family or just the general public would be at serious risk due to my decision to keep the dog. I would be very upset if my dog bit me, but I would be devastated if either of them hurt someone else (other than someone attacking us, etc). Yes, you can manage and yes you can have back up plans for your back up plans, but sometime s*it still happens, and dog bites do both physical and mental damage to those biten. When dealing with HA it's not just about the dog and it's not just the dog and it's family that need to be considered, especially if you live in a fairly popopulated area.
Absolutely, and you have to be willing to live with managing an HA dog if you have one.

But I would never make a decision like PTS without a very good behaviourial assessment first. Then I'd be able to decide if I could live with the dog.
 

Picklepaige

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If the dog is stressed and/or mentally messed up, then by all means, give the dog some dignity and put it to sleep. That's not what I'm talking about.

Take Maggie, for instance. She's bitten me before, because she is a resource guarder of high value objects, and I was stupid and tried to just snatch it away. She didn't break the skin, and she gave plenty of warnings (growling, stiff posture) so it was completely and totally my fault.

But, according to many people on here, she should be dead, because how dare she bite a human. She has never, and will never, bite again, because from now on, I use common sense and don't snatch bones away. Problem solved.

Even if for some freak reason she did bite again, she has amazing bite inhibition. Like I said, she didn't break the skin or leave any sort of mark whatsoever, or even hurt.
 

Chewbecca

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I guess when I think of an HA dog, I think of HA as a dog who would go out of his way NOT to be around humans, and in turn, would choose to bite a human if confronted by one, or around one.

A dog that bites, one time, in a situation where there is high stress or an obvious reason that the dog bit (not talking about unpredictable biting), does not equate a human aggressive dog to me.
 

Picklepaige

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^ I agree.

If a dog mauls a person for looking at them, then the dog should be pts, just like I think a person who shoots someone for looking at them should be eliminated from society.

Biting, in my opinion, isn't as big a deal as most people make it out to be. Cat scratches and horse bites are far worse, in my experience, and those don't even get made into a big deal.
 
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I guess when I think of an HA dog, I think of HA as a dog who would go out of his way NOT to be around humans, and in turn, would choose to bite a human if confronted by one, or around one.

A dog that bites, one time, in a situation where there is high stress or an obvious reason that the dog bit (not talking about unpredictable biting), does not equate a human aggressive dog to me.
Thank you!

There seems to be a very WIDE definition of HA in this thread. We dont know that this dog is reacting to "being annoyed". He may be in pain, he may be just that fearful, etc
 

Danefied

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I do think the HA thing needs to be clarified.
HA is not redirected aggression (love the "if you can't bite the one you want bite the one you're with" totally stealing that one :))
HA is not resource guarding.
HA is not reactivity due to fear or pain.
HA is not poor bite inhibition.

Dogs who are TRULY HA are very few and far between, and yes those IMO should be PTS. It is not in a dog's nature to want to bite humans and I can't imagine a dog who feels that way about humans being happy living with them.
 

JacksonsMom

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I grew up with a HA dog. We got a GSD puppy from a crappy "breeder". As a pup, she was fine. I remember taking her into my neighbors houses and she was great with the kids, even cats and dogs.

Unfortunately, we were way too dog dumb and inexperienced to handle a GSD, never did much of any socializing or training. I was 10yrs old and vaguely recall teaching her sit and down. Never walked her. She was too much for me and my dad was at a weird place in his life. So she just had the backyard. Anyways, she started turning very HA. We could not trust her at all. If guests came over, she would maybe pick one person she liked, and then pick another person to hate. She actually did bite two of our outside family members and the fact that she was sooo over-protective of me was NOT good. I couldn't even have friends over because she tried to attack one of them.

To be honest, I'm actually surprised we dealt with it as long as we did. But we really loved that dog, she was amazing with the family when it was just us, so I guess we just learned to live with locking her away when guests come over, etc. She was fine with other dogs but tried to kill our cat at the time so the two of them constantly had to be separated as well.

When she was 4 years old, a worker guy came to our house unexpected and Sadie, our GSD, was outside without us knowing (she was under the deck). She just went AFTER him. She could have done worse, he didn't need stitches but had a lot of puncture wounds. He legally had to call AC and well... they basically told my dad if it were to happen again, he would be fined or charged, etc, and gave him the option of putting her down which he sadly had to make. I wasn't home, thank God, but came home from school (first day of HS) to my dog just being gone. It was so sudden and I was in shock -- cried for days.

Anyways... long story short, I know my dad made the right decision. She was getting to the point where we just did not know what to do with her anymore and it was way out of our league. I don't think we could have just re-homed her to anyone, either. She wouldn't have done well, for the fact that she was so attached to me for one, and two, it would have been risky. In our case, I guess PTS was the right answer.

But, like, if she only didn't like certain things or certain genders, etc, I think it could have been controlled more. But she was unpredictable and that was the problem. If she had bit me once, let's say if I was trying to cut her nails or something, we wouldn't have been like "straight put to sleep right now!" or anything. I don't think one bite = death sentence.
 

Southpaw

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The majority of people in this thread (I think I may be the exception, as I did say I would go into management mode if training mode wasn't an option) aren't talking about letting it continue. Preventing a behavior and desensitization&training isn't really letting it continue.

Yes, it's selfish to keep a dog who is so fearful of people that he submissively urinates and snaps at all people, including his caregivers, and is genuinely miserable.

No, it is not selfish to crate a dog in a separate room who is fearful of strangers in the home.

No, it is not selfish to seek out a behaviorist and work with a dog who fearfully snaps at men.

I agree with your last line, although I would be more hesitant to euthanize then some.
I was addressing the "I love my dog too much to do that" sentiment that was being shared.
Because I do love my dogs but there is always a line.

I'm talking about a dog that is in constant fear, stress, etc. A dog that easily/quickly resorts to biting.

Of course I don't think Tucker falls into that category. Both my dogs are fearful of things and will growl--maybe I'm just lucky that they don't bite. I would manage in this situation. Molly snapped at me once after she raided the garbage, and I was trying to take it from her. She had never snapped before and was normally okay with people taking food and toys from her. Lesson learned was to either keep her out of the garbage, or find a different way of taking garbage back from her. Worked for us.
 

AliciaD

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I was addressing the "I love my dog too much to do that" sentiment that was being shared.
Because I do love my dogs but there is always a line.

I'm talking about a dog that is in constant fear, stress, etc. A dog that easily/quickly resorts to biting.

Of course I don't think Tucker falls into that category. Both my dogs are fearful of things and will growl--maybe I'm just lucky that they don't bite. I would manage in this situation. Molly snapped at me once after she raided the garbage, and I was trying to take it from her. She had never snapped before and was normally okay with people taking food and toys from her. Lesson learned was to either keep her out of the garbage, or find a different way of taking garbage back from her. Worked for us.
Okay, :) I agree.
 

AliciaD

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Personally I don't agree it's plenty - IMO dogs that bite because they have some kind of mental imbalance in their brain are quiet rare. And a mental imbalance is, IMO, a reason - we know that is what is causing the behaviour.
And lets not confuse not knowing the reason with there not being a reason. Lots of people say their dog bites randomly, but on closer examination and history there's a pretty clear reason.
 

*blackrose

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Chloe is "one of those dogs". While she has never bitten in terms of breaking skin, she is not shy about air snapping or nipping.
For example, she hates being groomed. I was determined to get her undercoat out one day and just went at it while ignoring the warning signs (aka, glares) she was sending me. I got tooth smacked on the arm for my trouble and she left a bruise. I just muzzled her and finished the job (to which she stood there and pouted the entire time), but I didn't hold it against her for nipping me. Coming from a dog that you used to not be able to touch with a brush without her screaming and trying to bite, letting me rake her out for 15 minutes was pushing her limits and I knew that. I pushed them, she snapped. Pretty basic cause and effect.

She isn't a bad dog and we don't live in fear of her. You just have to know how to handle her.

She has made loads of improvement, but I still don't trust her to NOT snap in certain situations. We just manage it. So far it has worked out just fine. If she ever seriously bites someone in a situation that is "normal" (aka, something that frequently happens in day to day living), I honestly don't know what I would do. The thought of having her put down literally makes me sick to my stomach. I'm really, really hoping I never have to come to that decision and the fact that I've seen some major results with her in just these past few months has really made my a very happy person. :)

As to the OP:

Chloe used to be really touchy about handling/restraint/being physically moved. Lots of positive association with being physically handled made everything so much easier. Treats and games really helped. But to me, it sounds like Tucker has less of a "don't touch me" issue as he does "I want to do what I want and I won't let you stop me" issue.
If it were Chloe doing that, she'd be on a strict NILIF doggy bootcamp regime. All valuable items would become restricted access. No couch, no bones, no toys, no nothing without her doing something to earn them. I'd also work with her on accepting physical handling. Lots of quick, fun sessions with me being a rude human and wrapping her in a bear hug, grabbing her, rolling her around, etc. Lots of treats and fun play time associated with it. (She used to not accept physical handling, and that is how I got her over it.)

But you also have to realize you can't always be confrontational and have the dog be an angel about it. Say Chloe is laying down in the middle of the floor and people keep bumping in to her causing her to growl and snap. We could try to physically move her (which she may or may not be fine with) or we can walk up to her and say, "Chloe, move" (a command I taught her). Then she'll get up out of the way and go lay down somewhere else. No growling, no snapping, no confrontation, and the desired result was acheived - she moved out of the way.
 

elegy

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I guess when I think of an HA dog, I think of HA as a dog who would go out of his way NOT to be around humans, and in turn, would choose to bite a human if confronted by one, or around one.

A dog that bites, one time, in a situation where there is high stress or an obvious reason that the dog bit (not talking about unpredictable biting), does not equate a human aggressive dog to me.
Agreed. And I also don't see a dog who gives plenty of warning and bites but does not injure to be a serious threat, even though it is most definitely Not A Good Thing, and something which needs to be addressed.

And I have euthanized a dog for aggression. Most people here probably don't remember that. He was an old dog I pulled from the shelter. He went after me, bit me several times in one sustained attack, drew blood, tore clothes, and continued after me even as I scrambled backwards. I didn't see it coming at all. He probably gave signals, but they were smaller than what my casual eye observed. He also tried to attack (not just bite, but full-on attack) the vet. The behaviorist I consulted didn't try to talk me out of euthanizing him. He had a bunch of strikes against him, unfortunately, and I was not willing to live with a dog who would attack that aggressively with that little warning.

It is something I find very hard to live with, at times.
 

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