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Currently I'm not dealing with any attacking dogs, but increasingly people in my circle have been asking for help with their dogs. The latest request is to handle resource guarding. Thinking it would help, the owner would take toys and bones away from her puppy, and then give them back. Now the puppy has grown into a 100+ lb dog and is growling and biting over bones.

The rescue I'm working with also had 'aggression issues' which really weren't aggression at all. He's simply afraid of women. His growl can seriously intimidate people, because he weighs in at 150 lbs, but after less than 1 week of socialization and love, he isn't growling at my wife anymore and seeks her out for attention. Last night my daughter and her friend were both able to pet him without any growling.

Both of these instances are highly likely to resolve well, but when you deal with dogs on a regular basis, and sometimes go help others with their dogs, you run the risk of getting bitten. I study expressions and body language to get a feel for when problems occur, and so far have done quite well at detecting a problem approaching. However, let's say I miss something important and now I have a dog biting me. Besides not freaking out, I'd like to hear advice on how to handle this. Expand the scenario to an off-leash dog that attacks out of nowhere. Once engaged, I'd like to have an idea of how to diffuse the situation and get the dog calmed down, or at the least to get the dog to stop aggressing.
 

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Keeping calm is always important no matter what! Anger, frustration, fear, panic, violence only make the attack worse and it doesn't help the dog. Your best bet is just letting the dog tire itself out. I worked on a dog for a client and when it lunged at me, I just let it freak out and I used the leash to keep it from getting too close, by pulling up a bit on the leash. You just keep it up in the air but you don't really pull up hard or you'll hurt the dog's throat, it just makes it easier to move around and keep it's distance. After a bit it relaxed, and just stopped trying to kill me.
If there is no leash and it's actually grabbed onto you then you have to pull up on the collar that I hope is there, and do pull up a little hard but not too hard, just enough for it to release, and then you hold the collar in a more relaxed position, until the dog relaxes. Don't ever try to pry the mouth open, most of the time you won't be able to lift 150+lbs of pressure off your limb, and you risk getting bit even worse.
Off leash attacks like when your walking your dog you want to hold your dog, and when it comes close stomp your foot on the ground and yell as hard and as loud as you can and that will discourage most dogs from continuing. Should a dog continue, I recommend carrying a walking stick, or something that can be used to keep distance, and hitting it on the ground until it gets discouraged and you can also use it to jab an off leash dog from getting closer.
If it's an off leash attack while you were working with the dog, then refer to what I said about about holding the collar and pulling up.
 

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The more you move and panic, the more the dog will become fixated on you. It imitates prey, and will increase their desire to hold on and maybe even try to shake and rip into you. Like EdDTS said, being calm is absolutely important. One method, if you have both hands free, is to push on the pressure points on the dog's head. There are two, one on either side of the head, where the jaw connects with the skull. It's hard to describe exactly where it is, but you can probably find a diagram on google. If you apply even and firm pressure on those pressure points, it will make the dog release its grip and sometimes will open it's mouth all the way. Do not apply crushing force on those pressure points. This is not meant to hurt the dog, only to get it to release. This is effective if the dog is not in kill mode but in holding mode. I've done this before, and have known other people who have used this technique to get dogs that are latched onto their pups to release. This is only one method, you have to use your best judgment on what to use in particular situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One time I was bitten by one of my own dogs who had gotten into a fight with another dog. The fight exploded suddenly, and was entirely my fault for not monitoring the situation better. This was a long time ago, so I can only plead ignorance. When I pulled my dog away (a 40-lb Aussie), he whipped his head around and bit my hand. I didn't react in any way, and stared calmly into his eyes, flexing my hand to reduce the chance that he'd bite through. I know looking right into his eyes was probably not a good thing, and I knew that even then, but I had a hunch and went with it. For about 3-5 seconds, he had a crazed look in his eyes and held onto my hand painfully. Then the reason slid back into them, and I saw an "Oh shit" look instead. He released my hand and licked it a few times in apology. I hugged him and calmed him down, and took him home.

This only worked because he was my dog and loved me dearly, so thanks for the input about diffusing dog attacks. I hope to hear from more people. I generally carry a small handgun with me, but I'm not interested in shooting to resolve issues. Eventually I'd love to become a professional dog trainer. Ideally I'll notice body language and read situations that could lead to an aggressive outburst, but in the case that I do get attacked, I'd much prefer to stop the attack without harm to the dog.
 

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If the dog is seriously holding on, you can use your hand, or a collar if its wearing one, and apply upward pressure to the dogs throat directly behind the jaw. This will cause the dog to "choke out" eventually losing its grip. Most of the time fighting against the dog works, but if not the choke out will cause it to release or lose consciousness.
 

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im sorry maybe its just me but im a little concerned. in your other posts i hear about you "assisting" families with their training problems, and it seems youre always asking for how to fix it on here. i really think these people need to get a real trainer to help them instead of you going and dealing with problems that youre not properly trained to handle.
 

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im sorry maybe its just me but im a little concerned. in your other posts i hear about you "assisting" families with their training problems, and it seems youre always asking for how to fix it on here. i really think these people need to get a real trainer to help them instead of you going and dealing with problems that youre not properly trained to handle.
It's a tad scary.

I would love to have a video of this calmness that comes over people while a dog is chomping on them and maybe breaking a finger or two.

Then OP on one hand does not want to hurt dog but other hand is carrying a handgun. Why bring up a handgun in reply at all unless it's a possibility. It's a tad confusing, but I confuse easily.

Oh and then getting advice online how to handle the aggression.
 

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However, let's say I miss something important and now I have a dog biting me. Besides not freaking out, I'd like to hear advice on how to handle this.
Good, qualified behaviourists never "miss something important", which is the reason why they very rarely get bitten, if ever.

My advice would be to refer your friends to a true professional who is equipped to prevent any further aggression, not foster it ... as seems to be the potential here.
 

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I would love to have a video of this calmness that comes over people while a dog is chomping on them and maybe breaking a finger or two.
umm yeah. i have the video of when i was attacked at work breaking up a fight. i had a 110lb american bulldog on one hand, and a 50lb pit mix hanging off my right arm thrashing back and forth.... i was so calm that i... oh wait no... i beat the crap out of that dog till he came off my arm then launched him overhand into a kennel and shut the door... then proceeded to pass out when i saw my bloody hand and bloody arm (im fine with blood, as long as its not my OWN). i was supposed to get stitches... i was too scared lol. so i refused stitches at the hospital because the only reason i would get them is to "reduce the scarring" f- that. those scars remind me every day that my job is dangerous and i need to be prepared for anything to happen.
 

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umm yeah. i have the video of when i was attacked at work breaking up a fight. i had a 110lb american bulldog on one hand, and a 50lb pit mix hanging off my right arm thrashing back and forth.... i was so calm that i... oh wait no... i beat the crap out of that dog till he came off my arm then launched him overhand into a kennel and shut the door... then proceeded to pass out when i saw my bloody hand and bloody arm (im fine with blood, as long as its not my OWN). i was supposed to get stitches... i was too scared lol. so i refused stitches at the hospital because the only reason i would get them is to "reduce the scarring" f- that. those scars remind me every day that my job is dangerous and i need to be prepared for anything to happen.
GDM, I am so sorry cause when reading your reply I started laughing and it's a very good thing I was not drinking anything cause I would have sprayed all.

Yes that's pretty much the action/reaction that happens in the real dog bites person world, getting dog off arm/hand/leg etc does appear to be the program that needs 1st attention in the real world. Sometimes there is even screaming and crying going on.
 

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GDM, I am so sorry cause when reading your reply I started laughing and it's a very good thing I was not drinking anything cause I would have sprayed all.

Yes that's pretty much the action/reaction that happens in the real dog bites person world, getting dog off arm/hand/leg etc does appear to be the program that needs 1st attention in the real world. Sometimes there is even screaming and crying going on.
dont be sorry, i def. threw some sarcasm in there! i love how the responces were all about keeping "calm" and using "pressure points" and not "hurting his throat". really? i dont give a damn! you know what my solution is? punch the crap out of their face directed mostly into the nose, choke the hell out of them, beat them if i have an object to beat them with, etc. i really dont give a damn about not hurting the dog. seriously? that dog crossed a BIG line and its not locked onto my arm saying "oooookkkk but im going to try to attack you gently so it doesnt hurt you, but i am going to have to do this ooook?" uh no. and i would really like to see the "calm" these people talk about. did it hurt when i was being attacked, truthfully no. because of adrenaline. had i remained "calm" and THOUGHT about what i was doing, it would have hurt like a mother. it didnt hurt until after i got the dogs off and looked at my wounds, THATS when it hurt. the only thing i thought about when it was happening was getting the dogs off as quickly as possible because i knew what my arm could potentially look like if i didnt. it was bad enough as it is, i have nerve damage in that arm from that dog. had i remained calm and tried to get him off nicely, i probably would have had serious issues that would have resulted in needing surgery....
 

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Yep, if some dog grabs my arm, I am doing whatever I can to get my arm out of its mouth before it does the death shake. I love dogs and don't want to hurt any dog, but if I have to, I will. I had my arm grabbed and clamped very tightly once (after the incident, my arm swelled up and turned a variety of colors -- and I can still see two faint bite marks today, 10 years later), and when hitting the animal's face with the palm of my hand didn't work (it didn't even blink), I kicked it in the neck to make it let go. I felt bad, but it was necessary -- I didn't want to end up with a mangled arm.
 

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Yep, if some dog grabs my arm, I am doing whatever I can to get my arm out of its mouth before it does the death shake. I love dogs and don't want to hurt any dog, but if I have to, I will. I had my arm grabbed and clamped very tightly once (after the incident, my arm swelled up and turned a variety of colors -- and I can still see two faint bite marks today, 10 years later), and when hitting the animal's face with the palm of my hand didn't work (it didn't even blink), I kicked it in the neck to make it let go. I felt bad, but it was necessary -- I didn't want to end up with a mangled arm.
I agree, everyone has the right to protect themselves from either it be a dog, human, or wild animal. It's unfortunate when it comes to dogs, you know it could of been prevented if the owners raised it right and took the necessary precautions. Accidents happen though, and we try our best make sure both parties aren't horrible injured.

(Also, I have to comment on your sig pic, it's so cute! I squeal every time I see your two pups xD)
 

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It's unfortunate when it comes to dogs, you know it could of been prevented if the owners raised it right and took the necessary precautions.
this is actually completely untrue. the dog who got my arm, and did as carntastic said "the death shake" was taken care of to the full extent. the dog was socialized, trained, had been attending daycare since he was just a few months old. never ever ever saw an ounce of aggression from him. if any scuffles happened between dogs, he was typically running the other direction away from it. this time, he just decided to snap and snapped bad. he KNEW he was attacking me as well. its not like he bit me in the process of fighting with another dog... he stopped, looked at me, looked right at my face and jumped/lunged and grabbed my arm and started shaking it..... you have to remember dogs are animals, whether we love them or not. not every bite can be prevented.
 

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this is actually completely untrue. the dog who got my arm, and did as carntastic said "the death shake" was taken care of to the full extent. the dog was socialized, trained, had been attending daycare since he was just a few months old. never ever ever saw an ounce of aggression from him. if any scuffles happened between dogs, he was typically running the other direction away from it. this time, he just decided to snap and snapped bad. he KNEW he was attacking me as well. its not like he bit me in the process of fighting with another dog... he stopped, looked at me, looked right at my face and jumped/lunged and grabbed my arm and started shaking it..... you have to remember dogs are animals, whether we love them or not. not every bite can be prevented.
That's so strange, I wonder what caused him to snap like that. I know dogs are still animals, I guess I try to be a little too optimistic when it comes to the capability of a dog (well, compared to that of a human). I would be more scared of a human coming at me than a dog....opposable thumbs can be more scary than a jaw full of teeth, the types of torture that they can inflict are endless.
 

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I guess I try to be a little too optimistic when it comes to the capability of a dog
thats the thinking that gets people bit. always remeber just because a dog has never bitten, doesnt mean it cant or wont.
 

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thats the thinking that gets people bit. always remeber just because a dog has never bitten, doesnt mean it cant or wont.
I know, I like to think with the mentality that anything with a mouth can bite. I never approach a dog I don't know, and I make sure I don't make direct eye contact. Even if a dog approaches me, I never reach out to it. If there are dogs roaming loose, I make sure I steer clear of those areas. I try to be as safe wherever I go, even if it's at a friend's place. I'm not the kind of person that thinks all dogs are friendly. I am more worried for my little dog, she's not cautious at all when it comes to other dogs. She's overly friendly, which isn't always bad, but I have to be extra vigilant for her sake.
 

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unfortunately im the opposite when it comes to roaming dogs. all the dogs have owners and there arent many loose ones ever, so if i see one, i typicalls go get it nd get it back home. kind of a weakness of mine... i cant just look the other way. fortunately with my training and behavior background, i know how to handle them and how to catch them.
 

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I would be more scared of a human coming at me than a dog.....
I was attacked by a neighbors dog when I was 7 years old , and again by a friends dog when I was 15..and by a pit bull when I was 25 years old..

Dog bites.."Real Dog Bites" are Extremely Painfull ...trust me..
 
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