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Discussion Starter #1
Last week Thatcher went out for a day.
Since he arrived home from his outing he has not been himself and
has been leaping at any larger dog that he meets along our walks
such as the nicest Portuguese Water dog who once was his playmate,
an ancient Great Dane and a massive Bulldog.

Last night as we were returning home from our dusk walk,
the very large amiable adult bulldog began to approach us off lead.
I spoke loudly to his walker/owner so to insure that I was heard.
"Your dog is lovely, however mine is not friendly.
Do you mind leashing him while we enter here?",
I asked while pointing to my front door which lay across their path and
a dozen steps away.
The walker/owner smiled "Oh he's friendly." and came closer.
I gave Thatcher's leash a slight tug to insure that he was at my heel and
quickly responded, "Mine b--"

It was too late.
The massive bulldog had come too close.
Thatcher lunged and bit the bulldog full on the chin.
The startled owner yelled profanities.
The bulldog crapped the sidewalk.
Thatcher wagged his tail.
I jerked the lead and apologized profusely.

The sight of his bulldogs bloody chin made my point a bit to obvious for my liking.
It took 20 minutes to comfort the rattled walker/owner and
tend to the bulldog crap in the walkway as well as clean the bulldog's wounded chin.

Upon our parting, the walker/owner finally clipped the lead on the animal.
Then threw over his shoulder,
"That little guy of yours doesn't know what he bit into ...".
Wrong. He did and he just didn't care.
And that pretty much sums up the issue.

Thatcher wags his tail and projects a most friendly demeanor just as he leaps forward and bits the approaching dog on the mouth.
Is this the act of a dog that was bullied?
Are these the actions of a dog that has finely begun to see me as his "owner"
and therefore has become overly protective?
I do not know.
What I do know is that this is a dangerous habit that must be broken
or he will be put down by the Association.

I would appreciate any suggestions or advice offered regarding this matter.

Thank you for your input.

- K -

Please note, I am a gregarious individual who knows all the people in my area - These are not strangers' that are being attacked.



- K -
 

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Hi can i ask is he a rescue dog or have you had him since a puppy?

Does he mix with any other dogs at all?

I was always told that you should have a loose lead whenever a dog approach's ,i appreciate prehaps this has happened before so prehaps you where nervous it may again hence why you pulled on the lead.
For him to bite like that with no warning sounds as if he is fearful ?

Personally i would seek professional help from a trainer ,sorry cant be more help good luck x
 

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Can he really be put down for a dog on dog bite! Bearing in mind, you had Thatcher on a lead? I could totally understand if you were letting him run wild over your neighbourhood but he is under your control, surely it is down to others to keep their dogs safe and also leash their dogs especially when you warn them.

As for why he as started doing this, where did he go for the day? We're there other dogs around? Have you spoken about this with who ever was caring for him that day?
 

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I believe Thatcher is an older dog you have taken on?

Rescue dogs sometimes do not show a behaviour until they have settled into a home and it sounds like he has a problem with other dogs now either due to something in his past or something that happened on his day out.

The most important thing now is to try and change his association with other dogs and keep him safe whilst you do that as not all dogs are going to be as calm as the bulldog sounds. I would be keeping him on a lead and when you see other dogs and he behaves calmly give him lots of treats and let him keep his distance. As he starts to get more confident you can allow him to get closer but for now I would be keeping him a good long way from all dogs before he gets himself into real trouble.

Do you have a good positive reward based training class nearby you can go to. These can be excellent as a resource for letting dogs close to other dogs whilst still being under control so not close enough for bites to happen.
 

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its hard to say without seeing the behavior and seeing you. so i would defiantly get to a training class so you can get direct help with someone who can be hands on.


(this thread is an excellent example of Way you should respect owners with dogs on lead, just because your dog is friendly doesn't mean the dog they are walking up to doesn't have issues )

does he give a warning, growl, curl lip, is his tail high or low, is it a happy wag or more of a tense ready to strike wag. he will be giving of a signal to say I'm going to bite some dogs just do it so subtly we don't registered it.


you could try stepping the the side putting him into the sit getting a treat or toy out and get his eyes on you. ( this may require the watch me game in the house where you reward for eye contact) and try to keep his attention as the dog passes.


in some cases its face to face that causes the problem the dog feels challenges to bights first, so when you see another dog coming turn and walk in the same direction with with them. this is ideal if you can arrange it with a friend who has a nice calm dog and you car repeat the exorcise several times. (both dogs on lead ) have the friend walk to wards you on the pat and just before the dogs meet turn and walk in the same direction.


is it all dog, or just male dogs, or just un neutered dogs.


when did the behavior start

how old is your dog

is your dog neutered

what are you feeding your dog



because when he bites the draws blood, you may want to concidder a muzzle for the time being till you can trust him a little more, it sound horrible but its for his safty as well as the other dogs. and i would also help others be more respectfill of your request for them to lead their dog.
just make sure its a basket mizzle not a fabric muzzle a fabric muzzle should never be used on a dog walk as the dog cant pant and can over heat, where as a basket muzzle alowes them to pant, drink and take treats but not bite.
 

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Very good advice from Kendal. I've see the 'Watch Me' game in action. Rather than your dog eyeing the other dog you stop and turn so your dog is facing you and not the other dog. Distract with a treat or toy and keep it going until the other dog passes by. Lots of praise and reward at the end. :)
 

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I'm not sure if you have looked up the dog bite laws for Florida. My husband and I had to look them up quickly when our Schnoodle bit a nurse on the butt at the vet (she forgave us quickly) and again when our cockapoo Amiee Jane attacked one of her playmates during a play date. Kendal's advice is great. Miles has a muzzle for outings since we can't trust him with other dogs/ or human males.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi can i ask is he a rescue dog or have you had him since a puppy?

Does he mix with any other dogs at all?

I was always told that you should have a loose lead whenever a dog approach's ,i appreciate prehaps this has happened before so prehaps you where nervous it may again hence why you pulled on the lead.
For him to bite like that with no warning sounds as if he is fearful ?

Personally i would seek professional help from a trainer ,sorry cant be more help good luck x

Donna,

Thank you for your response.
Thatcher is truly a Cockapoo.
I inherited him from an acquaintance
(For more on that, please, search "Thatcher by Inheritance"
as the full story is posted there.).
He is now five years old.
I 'pulled the lead' after he attacked so I am not sure how that would have added to the issue.
Yet, I appreciate your questions as they helped me see the event from another perspective.

Again, thanks.

- K -
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can he really be put down for a dog on dog bite! Bearing in mind, you had Thatcher on a lead? I could totally understand if you were letting him run wild over your neighbourhood but he is under your control, surely it is down to others to keep their dogs safe and also leash their dogs especially when you warn them.

As for why he as started doing this, where did he go for the day? We're there other dogs around? Have you spoken about this with who ever was caring for him that day?
Wellerfeller,

Unfortunately, animals may be labeled dangerous to the community after dog-on-dog violence by the Community Associate. The bylaws require that such animals be put down. My contract with the Association binds me to this stipulation. If I lived across the street in another neighborhood this would not be the case.

Thatcher went to the veterinarian that he has had for the entirety of his life last week. As this vet is located almost 2 hours from my home, I informed them of his owner's current medical state and presented paperwork from the attorney involved which outlines my custody of Thatcher. Next, I requested a full check-up, as well as the routine maintenance of his nails, ears, and glands. Please note that all of this was discussed when I made the appointment as well so none of this came as a surprise to the office staff.
Then I was told that they would not release the records to me but only another veterinarian's office due to the "Privacy Act". Though this is not correct, I was prepared for the eventuality and provided the information of the vet which my family has used for years and that is located within walking distance of my home. My readiness visibly surprised the associate I was speaking with at the time. However, I had no reason to expect any malice.

When I returned to pick-up Thatcher, he ran to me and jumped into my arms. I was surprised as this had never happened before. While in the car, he strained to lay his head in my lap. By the time we had arrived home he had a fever and runny eyes. By evening a visible limp had developed. I called the clinic and left a message on their emergency line. I called every hour on the hour for the next few days and received no answer or call back.
In the mean time, I called the vet near my home. She walked over to the coffee shop between her clinic and my home to meet us.

Thatcher's nails had been clipped bloody and then covered with black wax to hide the injury. His ears had been scraped. His hind quarters were raw and he had a mild sprain of his right foreleg. What inspired this ruff treatment of their regular client is something to which I can not attest. However, the matter is now in the hands of Thatcher's attorney (Yes, that is a very odd phrase!).

After caring for his sprain, nervous licking (something I had never seen him do before), fever and missing skin Thatcher began to bond with me in a new manner. It is as if he now sees me as his owner/caregiver rather than the person that feeds him and takes him out to play. Since he has been able to walk freely he has been this strange happy-go-lucky attack dog.

Again, thank you for your response to my post; I appreciate it and hope that I answered your questions in an easy to follow manner.

- K -
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I believe Thatcher is an older dog you have taken on?

Rescue dogs sometimes do not show a behaviour until they have settled into a home and it sounds like he has a problem with other dogs now either due to something in his past or something that happened on his day out.

The most important thing now is to try and change his association with other dogs and keep him safe whilst you do that as not all dogs are going to be as calm as the bulldog sounds. I would be keeping him on a lead and when you see other dogs and he behaves calmly give him lots of treats and let him keep his distance. As he starts to get more confident you can allow him to get closer but for now I would be keeping him a good long way from all dogs before he gets himself into real trouble.

Do you have a good positive reward based training class nearby you can go to. These can be excellent as a resource for letting dogs close to other dogs whilst still being under control so not close enough for bites to happen.

2ndhandgal,

Thank you for your response.
I am not sure if Thatcher is truly a "rescue" dog.
However, I understand your point regarding behavioral issues with in the transition period. As we hadn't experienced any issues other than his initial tendency to bark at every sound he heard, I thought we had come out the other side.

I have been looking into positive reward training classes and have not been able to find one that I am able to attend with Thatcher. Until that time, I continue to keep him on a lead. As of this time, we have not been able to find a treat that distracts him enough to be of use. He eats well but is not into "treats" or toys. Not to make light of your suggestion, but if I could figure out how to keep a dragonfly in my pocket we would have solution!

Thank you for your input; I will continue to look for the suggested training class as well as a treat that will capture Thatcher's attention.

Again, thanks.

- K -
 

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Discussion Starter #11
its hard to say without seeing the behavior and seeing you. so i would defiantly get to a training class so you can get direct help with someone who can be hands on.


(this thread is an excellent example of Way you should respect owners with dogs on lead, just because your dog is friendly doesn't mean the dog they are walking up to doesn't have issues )

does he give a warning, growl, curl lip, is his tail high or low, is it a happy wag or more of a tense ready to strike wag. he will be giving of a signal to say I'm going to bite some dogs just do it so subtly we don't registered it.


you could try stepping the the side putting him into the sit getting a treat or toy out and get his eyes on you. ( this may require the watch me game in the house where you reward for eye contact) and try to keep his attention as the dog passes.


in some cases its face to face that causes the problem the dog feels challenges to bights first, so when you see another dog coming turn and walk in the same direction with with them. this is ideal if you can arrange it with a friend who has a nice calm dog and you car repeat the exorcise several times. (both dogs on lead ) have the friend walk to wards you on the pat and just before the dogs meet turn and walk in the same direction.


is it all dog, or just male dogs, or just un neutered dogs.


when did the behavior start

how old is your dog

is your dog neutered

what are you feeding your dog



because when he bites the draws blood, you may want to concidder a muzzle for the time being till you can trust him a little more, it sound horrible but its for his safty as well as the other dogs. and i would also help others be more respectfill of your request for them to lead their dog.
just make sure its a basket mizzle not a fabric muzzle a fabric muzzle should never be used on a dog walk as the dog cant pant and can over heat, where as a basket muzzle alowes them to pant, drink and take treats but not bite.

Kendal,


Thank you for all the information.


In answer to your questions:

Thatcher does not give a verbal warning nor does he curl his lip.
He stiffens his body into a point just as he does when he is hunting dragonflies, birds, lizards or his ball at the beach.
Then he relaxes and wags his tail as he does when I say, "Where is your ball?" at home.
He appears completely calm and happy right before he pounces.

As I mentioned in my previous response, I have not been able to find a treat that he enjoys to the point of distraction and yet will continue the search for one so that we may engage in your suggestion soon.

My family and I have been walking the dogs on leads as you suggested without a response from him. So family dogs are unharmed by him but friend dogs are fair game in his mind. We will continue to work on this.

So to answer your question: Thatcher is jumping *all* dogs.
This behavior began last week.
Thatcher is five and altered.
He eats a diet of turkey and rice or chicken and rice depending on the day.

Again, thank you very much for your response; it was both encouraging and helpful.

- K -
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very good advice from Kendal. I've see the 'Watch Me' game in action. Rather than your dog eyeing the other dog you stop and turn so your dog is facing you and not the other dog. Distract with a treat or toy and keep it going until the other dog passes by. Lots of praise and reward at the end. :)
MillieDog,

Thanks for taking the time to reiterate a good training exercise; I appreciate your input and will endeavor to implement this game into our daily routine.

Again, thanks.

- K -
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not sure if you have looked up the dog bite laws for Florida. My husband and I had to look them up quickly when our Schnoodle bit a nurse on the butt at the vet (she forgave us quickly) and again when our cockapoo Amiee Jane attacked one of her playmates during a play date. Kendal's advice is great. Miles has a muzzle for outings since we can't trust him with other dogs/ or human males.
Lynn,

Thanks much for your reply.
As odd as it is to say, I am glad that I am not the only one that has encountered this biting issue. I have looked up the bite laws for the state but have encountered and issue with the contract with the neighborhood associate that we signed when we purchased our home. For the time being, I believe our walks will also include a basket muzzle as well as hope that this issue will be resolved.

Again, that you for posting regarding Miles and Amiee Jane; I appreciate it greatly.

- K -

PS: Can you imagine a playdate with our three all scampering about wearing their muzzles? Sheesh! What a sight that would be.
 

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If he is not trat motevated try toys. like a ball on a string or a tugg toy. something interective you can use the play with him. some.dogs just have no interest in food but will do anything for a ball etc.

another thing to try is shouting to other dog walkers that you are training him and would like their help so that as you walk up to them you can turn and walk with the keeping your body between thatcher and the other dog(a little tricky if he isnt good at heal work but not imposible.) but i would still recomend the muzzle it isnt nice to see but it protects all parties particuaraly as that her is un predictable at the moment. it will alow you to be confidant round other dogs.


do you tence up when you see another dog comming.

if your not comfertable with walking side by side with another owner yet just bring him to the side of the path and get him to sit and watch the dog go past.


you could also try taking a dog he doesnt react to out on a walk with just you and thatcher to see if having another dog with him makes him better.


are their any dog walking groups in your aria that always meet at a set time that you can join.
 

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After coming back from the vets in that sort of state I am not surprised he has been affected poor chap!

I hope he soon recovers and has no lasting damage done by this visit.

With regard to the treats the trick is to find something really nice and get him used to doing bit of training in calm environments. Really nice treats, like liver cake, baked liver, cheese, hotdog or chicken. When he will respond well in the house move out into the garden then the street. For getting his compliance around other dogs you need to start far enough away that he is aware of them but still happy to take treats and interact with you. Too close and he will be too stressed and this is probably why he won't take the treats. As he gets used to working at a distance you can move closer (although this is over a matter of weeks - not minutes)

Good luck with him - a muzzle is also a good idea to prevent any further problems and hopefully will also give people a visual clue to keep their dogs away from him.
 

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I know it's been said a few times but a muzzle is really the first thing that should be done, any dog, even if they've only snapped once, should be muzzled until an assessment is completed to ensure it is of no danger to other dogs, or other people.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello all.

After a week of playing "Watch Me" and
the discovery that Thatcher adores my old Frisbees, we are making progress.
(Mostly on my preemptive skills.)
I still have not found a treat that distracts him well.
Yet, Apples are doing wonders.
I am not the odd dog walker that carries a bright green apple in her pocket
"just in case".

Again, thank you for all your wonderful tidbits of advice and sympathies;
I appreciate you greatly.

- K -
 
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