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Discussion Starter #1
I got a text message from a co-worker last night that her dog jumped the fence and bit her neighbor. This was a pretty bad bite that required numerous stitches in the neighbors hands and legs.

Just a little background on what I know of this dog: "Taser," from what I can tell is a boxer/hound with maybe some pit mixed in. He is a beautiful dog and from the way my coworker talks, he seems to be relatively smart. Taser was abandoned out in the country and had been shot at several times for chasing livestock before someone finally caught him and took him to the animal shelter - where my coworker adopted him. They've had him about 2 years or so. I'm guessing he is probably around 3 years old. They got him neutered and is all up to date on his shots.

When they first got Taser, he was very timid and codependant. He would not got to the bathroom unless they were standing right next to him. My coworker and her husband worked pretty diligently to get Taser over these issues. They walked him - a lot. Trained him basic commands and manners. And then it seems to me they just stopped. I'm not sure if they just got bored with the daily routine or complacent that he didn't need all the exercise anymore.

For at least the last year, Taser has been confined to a kennel and their backyard. They do let him in the house but confine him to his "bed." From the way they talk, the don't interact much with him unless they are scolding him inside to go lay down.

Sigh....

So... their backyard borders the alley and the trash dumpster where all the neighbors take their trash. My coworker did say that Taser always barks and goes crazy any time someone takes their trash out. "but that's really the only time he barks" but they just know he is just being friendly and saying "hi" to the neighbors...(another sigh)

I have tried constantly the last several months to convince her that Taser is really developing "mail-man syndrome" and that this is not a good behavior to develop. I've tried to get her to read these boards and I've even printed off stuff for her about proper socialization. I've offered many times to take Taser home with me a few times a week for some play time, and a chance to learn to play correctly with my dogs. I did talk her into finally getting him some toys and a Kong so he at least has something to do... I've shown her different breed characteristics of what I think Taser is - and how they are all very high energy dogs and they WILL get into trouble if not properly trained/exercised. I have also offered to stop by and at least take him out for a walk since he never sees anything but his backyard and his bed in the house.

So last night, he jumps the fence and attacks a neighbor as they are putting their trash into the dumpster. From the sounds of it, was very vicious. My coworker said they haven't decided now if they are just going to have him put down since they can't trust him now.
I'd like to tell her that it is their own fault - NOT the dogs!
I'd also like to offer to help her with him but she hasn't been receptive in the past, and from the way they talk - they are entirely blaming the dog and have pretty much made up their mind.
I would take him in a heartbeat but I'm at my limit of dogs right now.
I'm hoping I can get some positive feedback and then I will print this post and stick it in her box.

I also hope that for those who think they want a dog, maybe by reading this sad story, that they will learn that dogs are not shelf animals. They are a daily commitment that you just can't quit when you are tired, bored or whatever.
If a person isn't willing to put the time into a dog, every day. For the rest of the dogs life. then.... get a cat.
 

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I think you've said it all, really.

What a sad story. I don't see that as the dog's fault. The owners failed to exercise him, failed to keep him socialized, ignored his growing barrier aggression and failed to properly contain him. That bite didn't ever need to happen. It was totally preventable.

Dogs need an hour or more of walking every day- EVERY DAY- for life. Dogs need interaction, dogs need socialization, dogs need training. If you can't do that, you need to rehome the dog, or not get one in the first place. The sheer number of people who think you can stuff a dog in the back yard for a decade and that's just fine drive me insane.

There's a husky around the corner from me. He's always out in the back yard on a zip line. He's always, always, always outside. He barks constantly. I fear the day he gets loose. I fear it for myself, my dog, the neighborhood children and for him. That will be the end of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are right. This was a totally preventable bite. All the warning signs have been there for quite some time. I feel bad for the lady who was bitten and I'm really glad it wasn't a little kid.

I feel sad for the dog worse tho. We all know that this happens far too often and that this dog will more than likely be PTS.

I wish there was more that I could have done.
 

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I know how you feel. I've called Animal Control on the husky, but he has adequate shelter, food and water, so according to them, he's fine. You know, until he escapes and bites someone, then he's dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The owners still haven't decided what they are going to do with their dog. I suggested some training, along with regular walks, etc. I also recommended that they always keep Tazer muzzled when he is outside and in public. At least for now.

Does anyone know of a rescue that would take him? I would, but I really don't have room for any more dogs. I know that a lot of rescues won't take a dog with a bite history and our local shelter would immediately euthanize him because of the bite the other day.

Here is a picture of him.
taser.jpg
 

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I agree, but I have to be the stickler to say do not get a cat. Cats have needs and are intelligent pets. Do not get ANY pet if you don't want to commit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just an update...something about this whole thing was just not setting with me, and I just couldn't let it go until I did my own investigating.

I went to see the lady that was bitten by Taser. I was able to see for myself the attack wounds. NOT what I was expecting at all! She was "bitten" on her finger. It looks like a really bad paper cut. The "bite" on her leg is a scratch, which to me doesn't look like a bite or a teeth mark at all. When I mentioned it to her, she said, " oh yeah, I guess I did that when I jumped over the fence to get away from that horrible dog!" Ok then. I asked her if there were any warning growls and I wanted to know an exact play by play of what happened. She says that she was putting a bag of trash into the dumpster and Taser just trotted up and bit her in the hand. She then got scared and jumped over the fence to get away from him. I asked her if he was growling or snapping. She says, "no, but he just wouldn't quit and I couldn't get away from him."

Don't get me wrong, a bite is a bite- and its NEVER ok. I just had to see for myself. So another 2 hours goes by as I patiently listen to this woman complain about the "horrible dog" and how she is traumatized for life and etc.

I stopped by my friends house, unannounced. I wanted to see for myself how aggressive Taser really is around strangers. I got no bark, no growl, just a couple sniffs. I played with him a little in the house with toys, treats and food. No problem taking anything away from him or offering it to him. He takes treats very gently from my hand. This was all (not real smart with a potentially "dangerous" dog, and I would never recommend this to anyone, but I had to see it for myself!!!!)within the first 10-15 minutes. I asked my friend to go outside with Taser because I wanted to see how he acted with her. As they start walking out the door, he starts getting a little excited and starts "mouthing" her hand....then as they are walking, he is nipping at her leg. My friend said he always acts like that when he gets excited.

IMO, this really doesn't sound like a dog attack as it was originally described to me. Taser is a large dog and I think that if he was "attacking" anyone, the bite would have been a LOT more serious. The small cut on the lady's hand - if it was a vicious attack - should have taken the finger off, if not mangled the hand completely. The "bite" to the leg didn't even happen, as per her own admission, she did that herself when she jumped the fence. I wasn't there. I didn't see it happen. But it doesn't add up. And... with the way Taser "mouths" my friend, I'm almost thinking that he was playing with the neighbor lady and drew blood in the process. Then when she freaked out and jumped the fence, he got scared and ran home. Several witnesses say that he did NOT continue to try to get at this woman. That as soon as she started screaming... he ran home!

I'm not an animal behaviorist or dog trainer by any means. But I'm very sceptical now that this was even a dog attack.

I still hold firm that Taser has GOT to have more exercise and training. He needs to be taught some manners. I printed off the sticky of "the bite stops here and NILF" and gave those to her. I've also given her a copy of "Don't shoot the dog" and "Scaredy Dog." Two excellent books, in my opinion. I also think that for now he should always be muzzled when out in public and even when he is running out in the back yard. (he's proven that he is an avid fence climber) My friend was offended at the suggestion of a muzzle. Again, IMO - and as I told her. You are not muzzling him to protect people. You are using it to protect your dog!

I think I've got her talked into taking Taser to some training classes (muzzled.) I've spoken with one of the gals that holds the class and she too thinks that something isn't right about the whole attack story but is going to withold judgement until she can meet Taser herself.

I just can't seem to let this go. I know he's not my dog and not my responsibility. But its also not fair when people are so quick to blame the dog when actually, I don't think the dog is at fault. I've been almost to the point of begging my friend to continue to work with Taser. I don't think that he should be destroyed, and after talking to the alledged victim, seeing the bite... I'm just not convinced that this is an aggressive dog.

I feel like I'm on a mission here, so if anyone has any other suggestions please feel free to voice them!
 

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Obviously, fault on the owners for neglect. I hate seeing dogs stuck on a short line outside all the time, or trapped in an apartment, etc etc. I've had friends I've wanted to condemn because they live in apartments and decide to get dogs, and not small ones. It's irritating as a person, and it's wrong for the animals to be confined to a yard and given practically no attention. I won't claim to be the best dog owner. There's a reason I've stuck to cats. I lived in an apartment and felt it wrong to confine a dog to the same. I've had unpredictable schedules and long hours. Even now, I absolutely hate that I don't have a fenced yard to let Jax roam and that'd been my biggest delay for getting a dog. But I pondered it, and realized that was the only hold up for me, and that I could give a dog everything else necessary, and also gain from it myself in having a companion to run with, making me get out each evening to work out as I know he needs it. Now, no, I haven't stuck to taking him out every single day, or as consistently as long, as I did the first 2-3 weeks I had him. I admit that some of the excitement has worn off. Even so, I absolutely love this guy and he's become my buddy. He needs the attention and exercise so whether I want to or not, I make certain he gets it nearly every day. It's part of having such an animal.

Obviously your coworker and her husband lost that new-dog excitement and simply let the poor guy fall to the wayside. And continued to ignore negative signs even when pointed out to them.

As I was reading your story and proceeding posts, I couldn't help but think that the people are simply fortunate to have options with him, rather than being forced to have him PTS. Then came your follow-up. Isn't that the way it goes? Big dog goes up to a stranger. Big dog wants to play, but may be a little too rough for someone who does not know him and his tendencies. Stranger takes it as an "attack" and reacts accordingly. Big baby of a dog is now the bad guy. Not to say he may not have snapped a little at the woman, but yeah, a dog of his size? If it were true aggression and an attack, she'd have more than a tiny cut to show for it. And she darted over a fence after screaming? Sheesh.

I really hope it all works out for the poor guy.
 

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Geeze, when we decided that Pierce was gonna be our dog and moved him into home meant that walks in big compound were necessary to see him doing the dump/etc thing. He would get into the zoomies and attack thing with me. He would full speed run by and do a nip at body program, small circles and then dive in and bite at the boots and he was growling etc. Sounds bad huh.

Wrong the dog does not have a mean bone in his body, in the home when I'm sitting on recliner he will try to part me from my slippers with a sneak attack, there is the same growling and snarling etc. If he got the slipper it was a in the home game of keep-away . At least with this dog it is a Boxer or a individual idiosyncrasy but no aggression at all.

It's possible that somebody watching would think that an attack was imminent until they saw the laughing and no running program. The big clue is that attacking dogs don't just scratch people. Maybe you have to get bit to know the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately, since he did draw blood, they consider this a dog bite. And the city has now labeled him as a "dangerous dog." According to our ignorant dog catcher, once a dog draws blood, you can never "cure" them of that. I tried to tell him that Taser is a DOG not a wild animal. He hasn't developed a taste for blood and to tell people that is irresponsible and stupid.

Taser is not my dog and I can't guarantee that even with proper training he will never bite anyone again. However, my own dogs have never bitten anyone and neither has any signs of aggression. BUT, I can't guarantee that either of them wouldn't bite under the right circumstances. They are dogs - and any dog will bite if they are pushed far enough.
 

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I don't know how far you want to take this, but you have the right to challenge the dangerous dog finding. You can at least be heard by a judge.

I worked in an area where the animal control officer labelled a dog as dangerous for killing a chicken. That one got thrown out in court.

This situation stinks. It's part of the reason that my dogs are never in my yard without me. I don't want to be trying to figure out the truth from the misinterpretation, so I stand out there myself.

I hope this all turns out the best way possible. A dangerous dogs label is really hard to live with. In my state, there are many conditions that must be met to continue to keep the dog. They are do-able if you really are committed to the dog, but they're expensive and hard. I doubt this owner would go to the trouble to comply if things are already this messed up.
 

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This is sad. My dog bit a little girl (not Sadie) it was only one puncture, hardly any blood, but still a bite. (not "play bite"either)

We had a choice of either:
1) confining her to a kennel, cemented bottom with in-closed top, w/muzzle on at all times when she was in it.
2)Give her to someone that was NOT in the city limits, she would never be allowed in the city limits again.
3) Or PTS. For good or for bad... we opted for the PTS.

If she was getting aggressive, we didnt want to give her to someone that could not handle her.

She was in the "pound" (for lack of a better word) for just one night then we took her to the vet. (she just had her shots a few days earlier, so that was not an issue)

Luckly the parents didn't press charges on us, but they had every right to. There was a police and hospital report of it.

All I am trying to say is, in most situations, if a dog bites and draws even just a little blood, they are PTS. At least in most cases. You may be able to fight this with a statement from the person that was bit. But she kept sayig "attacked". If she called the police and made a report, it is going to be hard to prove the dog didn't intend to hurt her, that it was just "play bite"

If you do persue this, I wish you all the luck in the world.. but if you win.. what will happen to the dog? Sounds like the owners dont really care. Sounds to me like YOU are the only voice for the dog.

That makes you a very special person..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update...

My coworker ended up taking Taser to the vet and had him PTS last week. Their homeowners insurance gave them a choice of either getting rid of the dog or losing their insurance.

I'm really bummed out that it had to come to this, but I'm trying to understand.

What is REALLY driving me nuts tho.... my coworker is already out shopping for another dog! I got pretty snarky with her the other night about it, but I did give her several positive reinforcement training books and highly suggested she READ and REASEARCH before getting another dog.
 

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Of course they're getting another dog. After all, it's the dog's fault, never the owner's. They just need to keep trying until they get that magical dog that is born knowing manners and commands and never needs any interaction or exercise.

:frusty:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Of course they're getting another dog. After all, it's the dog's fault, never the owner's. They just need to keep trying until they get that magical dog that is born knowing manners and commands and never needs any interaction or exercise.

:frusty:
Funny, that's what she said she's looking for now!

The only breed of dog that I know of that is like that... you can buy at walmart for a couple bucks and its stuffed!
 

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wow.... wow.... i hate people.... what a GORGEOUS dog that was too... what a shame....
 
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