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After walking with Spirit, my friend, and the dog she was dog sitting the unexpected happened. She snapped and bit my foot.

Not sure if it matters or not, but Scoobie is a small intact male Maltesse and Spirit is a spayed female. I'm pretty sure I know why I got bit, but would probably do it again too. Scoobie and Spirit seemed to get along fine except that Scoobie tried to mount her all day. Spirit would just move or spin around each time. I just assumed that they'd figure it out on their own, especially since Spirit is much bigger.

Back at the house Scoobie tried that once too many times and was quickly backed against the sofa with Spirit starting to growl and show teeth. So I did the only thing I know and stepped between them and directed Spirit away. I explained to my friend that I believed Spirit was about to strike and that they need a few seconds to calm down. Again Scoobie tried to follow Spirit's retreat so I blocked.

Before I knew it Scoobie jumped up and bit my friend's hand then bit my foot hard. I asked my friend to take Spirit into another room to keep her out of it while I handled Scoobie. I reached down & grabbed Scoobie right behind the head and held him in place for the 10 or so minutes it took my friend to put Spirit away and tend to her bleeding hand. I did not want to reinforce the idea that biting people will make them go away. She attempted to strike again several times, but I had a good grip. After my friend brought over the leash and kennel we put him back in there and he finally calmed down, sort of.

This is the little terror just minutes earlier. (lower left)
2012-03-03 13.20.02.jpg

And here's the damage to my foot. It took an hour for me to be able to walk on it. If it was deeper I'd have been in trouble.
2012-03-03 14.41.00.jpg

While I'm pretty sure Spirit will never bite me, I also accept the possibility that other dogs will while I'm protecting her and made up my mind not to back down if a single dog bites me. So how many time have you guys been bit?
 

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I back down to any dogs, because I don't like to be bitten. If Scoobie is not heeding her warnings, then he needs to be separated or redirected onto something else. I have an intact male, but he does not attempt to hump any of my other dogs.

I have been bitten by my own dog in stupid error. I've been bitten by dogs at work largely during redirects in a fight and never badly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I back down to any dogs, because I don't like to be bitten.
I don't like to be bitten either, and do back down when given adequate warnings. However, I'm of the mindset that if I back down after a bite that I'm reinforcing the concept that a bite will get people to back off vs the dog walking away or giving us a reasonable time to heed his warnings.

If Scoobie is not heeding her warnings, then he needs to be separated or redirected onto something else. I have an intact male, but he does not attempt to hump any of my other dogs.
Since Spirit is my dog I was in the process of removing Spirit from the escalating situation. She trust me a lot & I can redirect or even grab Spirit without danger. Other peoples dogs, not so much.
 

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I don't like to be bitten either, and do back down when given adequate warnings. However, I'm of the mindset that if I back down after a bite that I'm reinforcing the concept that a bite will get people to back off vs the dog walking away or giving us a reasonable time to heed his warnings.

Since Spirit is my dog I was in the process of removing Spirit from the escalating situation. She trust me a lot & I can redirect or even grab Spirit without danger. Other peoples dogs, not so much.
Well, a dog doesn't think that way. When out of options, some dogs bite. If they GOT to a bite their warnings were not heeded. I don't know why you WOULDN'T want someone to back off from a dog bite. Should they continue and be re-bitten? I would personally avoid this situation and dog in general with my own dog.
 

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For me, I don't let dogs "figure it out on their own." I know a lot of people think that the dogs will just work it out, but sometimes I don't like the path they take on the way to their conclusions. I don't like dog fights and vet bills or dogs who bullied or got bullied and I don't ever want my dog walking around thinking that he or she will be responsible for battling an offensive dog. It can make them reactive.

So, we differ there. If a dog is playing rudely, I just leash the rude one up and end the game.

I also don't think that dogs learn much being pinned to the ground after the fact other than some people are scary, but if you were just trying to contain him until your dog could be moved to a place of safety, then I understand that you may not have had any other choice.

I've been bitten plenty. Mostly by my own dogs. Mostly intervening in scuffles. It took a few bites for me to get smarter about not letting dogs "work it out." Been there, done that! Survived! I consider this lesson bought and paid for in blood!

I regret how many times I behaved stupidly and how long it took me to figure things out.
 

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i hope they both have their rabies vacc current. Clean the wound thoroughly with antibacterial soap, or a mixture of diluted Betadine/iodine so it is the color of tea. If you notice any pus or red streaks going up your skin from the bite, get to a DR or Emergency room immediately. You can get septic poisoning, and lose a foot/leg or your life.
 

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i hope they both have their rabies vacc current. Clean the wound thoroughly with antibacterial soap, or a mixture of diluted Betadine/iodine so it is the color of tea. If you notice any pus or red streaks going up your skin from the bite, get to a DR or Emergency room immediately. You can get septic poisoning, and lose a foot/leg or your life.
The good news is, even if you don't check for red streaks, the pain will be so incredibly bad that you can't mistake it for anything else! And you don't need a microscope!!! The red streaks will stand out bold and beautiful on your skin!

I'm ashamed that it never even crossed my mind to chime in on first aid!

I think I'm trying to block out bad memories. In my pathetic tale of hospitalization, it was a cat. And I got to add the rabies series for good measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess I've been spoiled by my previous success with "let them figure it out". Though I certainly understand where you're coming from.

Pinning him to the ground was mainly for his safety. After he bit my friend then me I have no reason to not believe that a 2nd bite or that he'd go after Spirit who I'd fully expect to defend herself. That plus I know that my agility is nothing compared to most dogs.

I don't recommend it for others and obviously it's best to avoid the confrontation to start with, but unless there is a clear territory or resource I can back away from to end it I don't see backing away as an effective response after teeth have punctured me. Dogs are too fast to dodge or outrun so my options are limited.

I asked and he's current on shots. I washed it and will check in the morning.
 

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I hope you don't have to deal with infection. As a precautions, have your friend keep a close eye on him for 10 days. That would mimic the rabies quarentine that he would have to honor if you reported the bite. If the dog were to start showing rabies symptoms in 10 days, get treated! I am confident that he isn't going to become an uncordinated, drooling, angry mess in the next 10 days, but the protocol for observation is there for a reason.
 

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I don't know how it works in your state, but, here in Mass, if someone seeks medical attention for a dog bite, the health care provider is required to report the bite. Then, the dog must be quarantined on it's own property for 10 days. Do not, however, forgo medical any necessary medical attention for that reason!

I will only let dogs "work it out" very briefly. If the obnoxious dog backs off the first time it is scolded by the harrassed dog, it's fine. If the offending dog persists, game over and they are separated. It's my job to protect my dogs from rude dogs and it's my job to make sure my dogs aren't allowed to be rude. We have two females in the house, one elderly, one young. The elderly dog is much more self-confident than the younger and sets pretty solid limits for acceptable behavior around her. The young dog has very good dog manners (she spent her first three months in a pack environment), but old dog has certainly reinforced them. If young dog pesters the old dog to play and the old dog growls, young dog backs off on the first request. If she didn't, I would crate the young dog until she was ready to behave herself.

A visiting rude dog is asked to leave, and not invited back until they've learned some manners. I booted my brother's dog from my house a few years ago for this reason, he was only allowed to come over if he stayed leashed until he had some further doggy socialization and training and learned NOT to bother my older female. I didn't want either dog to get hurt and my old dog shouldn't have to put up with that.
 
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