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Hi, I got my dog almost 3 years ago. He was a rescue. We all love him. It took time but he can put his face to ours, even lick our faces, fall asleep with his head on ours, etc. He is my second son.
He bit someone that came into my house today that was someone he perceived to be an intruder. This is the second time he has done this. The first time was when an AC repair man came into the house from the garage and I hadn’t yet introduced the man to my dog or let my dog know that I was okay with this person entering the home (which is what I normally do so he knows everything is good). He bit this persons leg but it was very mild, he went in his crate, the AC guy was fine.
Today, he bit my friend’s arm and I took her to the ER. She came in the front door without my opening it and just jumped in. My dog immediately went over to her and backed her into a corner. She learned forward to give him her arm to smell and he bit her, full jaw wrapping around her arm. Luckily, she’s fine and not pressing charges. I paid for the ER visit and am checking on her tomorrow.
I feel like my dog was just doing what is instinctual so I’m not angry with him though I have kept saying to him, “Sunny. You bit someone today” with disbelief and concern in my voice and face. What I am posting about is more about his feelings. I know it’s probably absurd but he seems upset with himself. He’s been moping and looking at me weird, keeping his distance. When I called him up to my bed, he didn’t jump up with joy and excitement. He looked at me with his ears back before he came up. Then, when he got up, he put his head into my stomach and started breathing super deep breaths. He was almost in a ball and his a birdie collie/corgie mix so he’s medium/large.
He kept looking at me from the corner of his eye and then closing his eyes, with deep breaths. I started saying, “It’s okay, sunny. It’s okay” and he eventually fell asleep.
I know how I feel about today and how my friend feels. But does anyone know how my dog could be feeling?
 

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Hi.

Your dog bit someone . . . And your main concern is how he's feeling now?

He's picking up on your feelings. Even if you're not angry with him, he can sense your disappointment.

Keep the dog locked away in another room or behind a stair gate when visitors come. Give him a stuffed Kong or long lasting chew to keep him busy. It seems like you've got away with your dog biting two different people. A third victim might not be so generous.
 

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I'd definitely address the biting with more urgency. Do you know how severe the bite to your friend was? That can tell you something about the mental state of the dog when he was doing the biting.

Confident, stable dogs don't bite first and ask questions later. Even dogs bred for guardian work. They might growl, hard stare, body-block, etc. when they aren't sure about a stranger in their home, but a bite would be extremely unlikely unless the stranger was overtly aggressive towards them. A dog who bites like yours has is far more likely to be insecure and anxious, and take extreme action (biting) to try to gain some control over the situation. Add onto this that there was likely a lot of commotion during the event - shouting, panic, possibly someone pulling him away, etc. - and you're clearly still upset, and I think you have the explanation for why he's out of sorts. He's not guilty over the bite and doesn't understand he did something 'bad', he's just anxious and unsettled after all the intensity of the event itself and continued strange behavior of his owner.

I would consult a behaviorist at this point. You need to take this seriously - the next 'stranger' your dog sends to the ER might not be so understanding, and he likely already has a record over this bite because medical personal are legally required to report dog bites, even if your friend doesn't pursue legal action. There's also always the chance that the next person your dog reacts badly to could be a child, or elderly, or decided to bend down so their face was in biting range, or otherwise have factors that lead to a 'minor' bite causing serious injury. I always suggest finding a behaviorist that has worked with biting dogs before, and someone certified by a reputable third party organization. The ones I am personally familiar with are the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). All three have search functions on their websites to find trainers and behaviorists near you who have passed their certification criteria.

While good behaviorists exist outside of organizations like these, there's no legal regulations on who can call themselves a 'behaviorist' for animals, so you could just as easily wind up with someone who watched a heavily edited show about dog training on TV and now thinks they know how to work with a biting dog. Going for someone certified guarantees a base level of accurate knowledge based on modern scientific understanding of how dogs think, behave, and learn and a base level of experience working with a variety of dogs.

Implement an airlock system (a gate or making the entryway a dog-free zone, depending on your house's setup) so that the dog doesn't have direct access to the front door, and put up a sign asking people to knock and wait to be let in. Put him away completely when you have someone coming over, especially people like repairmen or other contractors that have no reason to need to build a relationship with your dog. Work on muzzle training - the MuzzleUp! Project has some brilliant training advice to make this a comfortable and positive experience for owner and dog on their website. This will give you one more tool you can use to help protect others and your dog as you work through this - though always remember a muzzled dog can always still knock people over or slam them surprisingly hard with their snout, so it doesn't make a dog 100% safe, just limits the damage they can do.
 

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Seriously you are putting your dogs life on the line here.

One of mine would lick an intruder to death the other will bite I have no doubt. He is nervous and doesnt like strangers so we have a sluis system, a baby gate so that he cant come to the front door .. I no longer leave my back door on the latch so that people can walk in because I cant be 100% sure how Murphy will react.

I protect my dog as well as other people because my dog matters to me. I dont want him to end up dead because he nips some fool who wanders in uninvited and scares him.
When introducing Murphy to new people I make sure its done carefully and in controled situations too.

You have to be so careful so start now if you cannot train use barriers while training use barriers and stop leaving your door open so that people can walk in. His life is in the balance here.
 

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I'll add the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists https://www.dacvb.org/search/custom.asp?id=4709 to DaySleepers' list. They are board certified veterinarians in the specialty of behavior.

As mentioned already, you are putting your dog's life on the line. You absolutely must take steps now on managing all interactions with people, since he now has a bite record. DaySleepers' suggestion of an airlock is a good one, as well as not allowing anyone inside the house until the dog is confined. Muzzle training is also an excellent suggestion, and not taking him anywhere without him being muzzled would be a good practice. (And yes, being whacked by a dog wearing a muzzle can leave bruises...)

Even though your friend says that she isn't pressing any charges, don't be surprised to find your local animal control on your doorstep, with orders for your dog to be quarantined.
 
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Seriously you are putting your dogs life on the line here.

One of mine would lick an intruder to death the other will bite I have no doubt. He is nervous and doesnt like strangers so we have a sluis system, a baby gate so that he cant come to the front door .. I no longer leave my back door on the latch so that people can walk in because I cant be 100% sure how Murphy will react.

I protect my dog as well as other people because my dog matters to me. I dont want him to end up dead because he nips some fool who wanders in uninvited and scares him.
When introducing Murphy to new people I make sure its done carefully and in controled situations too.

You have to be so careful so start now if you cannot train use barriers while training use barriers and stop leaving your door open so that people can walk in. His life is in the balance here.
I agree with this, your dog is your responsibility at all times. I hope your friend is okay! There are a lot of threads here that you might find helpful. :)
 
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