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Our 35-40 lb rescued cattle dog/staffie terrier mix attacked a little jack russell several weeks ago outside our apartment. For some reason he has had it in for this dog for quite some time and this time did some pretty significant damage. I think if I werent there to pull him off he may have killed the dog. He has also bitten a larger dog in the neighborhood who had to get stitches, but it was more of a 'bite and run' incident which we paid for.

He groans (not growls) whimpers, and cries in some situations with other dogs and people and has nipped a few times, although I cant say it was completely unprovoked. One instance of the nipping was when we were coming home from a walk in the woods and our neighbor walked right up to him as if to pat him. He hopped up and nipped her upper arm, not quite breaking skin. He didnt try to tear or continue, just a single nip. We also had another incident prior to this when we just got him from the shelter where he legitimately bit a friend of ours on the butt when he dove on the ground for a frisbee. I'm not sure what to make of this incident because given the 'dive and roll' on the ground right in front of the dog I can see how the dog could have perceived this as some sort of threat.

We have taken him to a 'camp' for training to absolutely no avail. We have done better with him ourselves. I have ramped up the rules with him by not allowing him outside without a leash and trying to avoid conflict with other dogs and humans by wal;king the other way.

Otherwise, inside the house and with our 6 year old dog he is wonderful. He is fairly obedient for a young guy, knows a number of commands, does not exhibit any aggression towards us and is very affectionate.

The problem is since this last incident we have had to remove him form the apartment complex. He is now staying at the shelter where we adpopted him, but we are paying for him to stay there and the bill is adding up!

We love hims so much that we want to keep him, so we are trying to move but the area we live in is extremely difficult to find renters and homes that allow dogs.

Still, we feel confident we can find a rental which suits us, but there is almost no chance that our next property will have a fully enclosed fence and means of keeping him completely isolated from society.

We are worried about getting sued for a million dollars and losing everything we have so early in our lives!

Should we continue to pursue other living situations and plan to see a behaviorist or does this dog sound hopeless??

I may have an easier time surrendering him to the shelter if I knew his fate a little better, but I cant stand the thought of him being put down!! I dont think he deserves that!

Please help, what would you do??

Thanks!
 

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Dog aggression is NO reason to have him put down, VERY seldom does it translate to human aggression and it IS manageable. However I would NOT allow him to be alone with your other dog, fine for them to be together right now supervised, but PLEASE separate them when you can't be there to watch their interactions.

To manage this dog it's extreamely IMPORTANT that he's trained, train ed and trained some more. Especailly work on him paying attention to YOU and train a secure sit/stay, work with a trainer or a behaviorist that trains using ONLY operent conditioning as he needs LOTS of reenforcers to see paying attention to you (and your spouse) as being more rewarding than fighting another dog. I also reccomend you get the book "Fight" it could be valuable in helping your dog.
 

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Thanks Carla.

This instills some hope in me. Our other dog is clearly 'The Boss' in the house oddly enough because she is the sweetest girl you could ever meet. So, I will take heed to your advice, but I'm not too woriied about our two dogs together. I'm worried that he'll bite someones hand and sever a tendon or something and we'll get sued. I dont think he would ever severely injure a human, but he could bite and run so to speak.

Is there any chance we could find 'renters insurance' or some sort of policy that will cover us and the dog if the unfortunate happens?? Or is he SOL
 

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Thanks Carla.

This instills some hope in me. Our other dog is clearly 'The Boss' in the house oddly enough because she is the sweetest girl you could ever meet. So, I will take heed to your advice, but I'm not too woriied about our two dogs together. I'm worried that he'll bite someones hand and sever a tendon or something and we'll get sued. I dont think he would ever severely injure a human, but he could bite and run so to speak.


Is there any chance we could find 'renters insurance' or some sort of policy that will cover us and the dog if the unfortunate happens?? Or is he SOL
Dogs can get along for years and then one day they just don't get along for some reason. You say that hasn't happened yet, but your dog has already shown dog aggression so I would not risk it. Please don't take that sort of chance.
 

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Has he made an attempt to bite a human? Like I said dog aggression does NOT mean he'll become human aggressive.

Just in case, do a look up on the site for 'how to break up a dog fight' there are several good threads and advice on how to break up a fight WITHOUT getting bitten (as in redirected aggression).
 

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Dog aggression is a very complicated thing that involves so many different factors, that it's hard to understand without a proper evaluation. There's different levels of dog aggression and different reasons behind it. Sometimes it's prey drive, sometimes it's fear, sometimes it's a combination of a lot of things. Sometimes it doesn't pop up until later in the dog's life when they were just fine with dogs in their younger years, sometimes people teach them to be that way, sometimes it's just the way they are.

I have a DA dog named Charlotte, who was a rescued street dog found by my husband in Nashville, TN. When she was found, she was emaciated and covered in scars from dog fights. Obviously she had dealt with other dogs a lot during her time as a stray. The homeless pet population in Nashville is astronomical and rivals the regular homeless population. It's scary to think what she had gone through in her life just to survive. We suspect her DA is most likely linked to her past and due to fear and her mistrust of other dogs. In just about ALL the cases with Charlotte, it's always been as a result of another dog behaving overly excited, threatening, or aggressive towards her or us, be it the dogs are behaving that way out of over stimulation, fear, territorial, or are DA themselves. And obviously she can pick up on that better then we can. However, she does just fine with well socialized, gentle, non-confrontational dogs, such as our other dog, Marlin, and a group of doggy friends she knows well.

About a year ago, before we realized she had a DA issue, she was attacked by a large lab at a park and left a very large gash in the side of it's face. I can't say I necessarily blame her, because given the events that lead up to the attack, I think it was mostly in self defense on her part. The dog that attacked her definitely had some DA issues of it's own, but the power she demonstrated during this was kind of frightening, and it sort of scares me to think what kind of damage she could have done if we didn't intervene as quickly as we did. From that point on, she would lunge at the end of her leash towards dogs that would pass by, regardless of how far away they were.

So, my husband and I teamed up, did a LOT of research and talked to various dog trainers, and this is where she's at with passing dogs these days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jlq4X6Vve4

It's an issue that we will probably be dealing with for the rest of her life, but the point is DA CAN be managed with the right kind of training and persistence. DA should NEVER be the primary reason to have a dog put down. It's rare that DA can turn into HA aggression. My recommendation to you is to seek out a behaviorist and a trainer for help, and to ALWAYS keep your dog on a leash in public areas. As for the nipping issue, that sounds to me more like because he's part Cattle Dog. It's a VERY common problem with them because it's instinctive of the breed. For that, I'd reccomend joining Aucado and asking for some advice on how to handle that issue. Very kind, helpful people :)
 

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Thanks, this is very encouraging. I have a few calls into insurance companies as well to see if anyone would be interested in dog liability insurance. I found the website www.xinsurance.com/ that looks like they offer 'animal liability insurance.
 

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Since the dog has bitten people it is very doubtful that you would be able to get any sort of insurance. Were the bites reported?
 

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Like others said, it's all about management. Your dog being an am. staff mix and being dog aggression is not uncommon. For me personally, DA is not a reason for euthanasia. You don't have to ISOLATE him, but you do have to keep him away from other dogs. It's not cruel or unfair, because when you think about it he does not LIKE other dogs so it's stressful to be around them. Some dogs just don't like other dogs. Some dogs are DA, some have same sex aggression, some dogs are dog selective. With training you can work with your dog to tolerate the idea that other dogs exist and not be reactive. My Dachshund is dog selective. If properly introduced to new dogs he is comfortable with their existence, but is not interested in interacting. If we were to just randomly walk up to any new dog he would bite.

I don't want to theorize on his biting of people in those instances, as I wasn't there but I would find a nice positive trainer and begin work ASAP. I can tell you that if he were turned into my shelter (billed as no kill but we are low kill) if he were to bite any one while in the facility it would severely limit his chances of being adopted, and it's really hard for DA dogs to get adopted. We have two dogs that I would say without a doubt are DA and they haven't gone without interest- but the internet is homes with other dogs that we cannot adopt to so there they sit.
 

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Our 35-40 lb rescued cattle dog/staffie terrier mix attacked a little jack russell several weeks ago outside our apartment. For some reason he has had it in for this dog for quite some time and this time did some pretty significant damage. I think if I werent there to pull him off he may have killed the dog. He has also bitten a larger dog in the neighborhood who had to get stitches, but it was more of a 'bite and run' incident which we paid for.

He groans (not growls) whimpers, and cries in some situations with other dogs and people and has nipped a few times, although I cant say it was completely unprovoked. One instance of the nipping was when we were coming home from a walk in the woods and our neighbor walked right up to him as if to pat him. He hopped up and nipped her upper arm, not quite breaking skin. He didnt try to tear or continue, just a single nip. We also had another incident prior to this when we just got him from the shelter where he legitimately bit a friend of ours on the butt when he dove on the ground for a frisbee. I'm not sure what to make of this incident because given the 'dive and roll' on the ground right in front of the dog I can see how the dog could have perceived this as some sort of threat.

We have taken him to a 'camp' for training to absolutely no avail. We have done better with him ourselves. I have ramped up the rules with him by not allowing him outside without a leash and trying to avoid conflict with other dogs and humans by wal;king the other way.

Otherwise, inside the house and with our 6 year old dog he is wonderful. He is fairly obedient for a young guy, knows a number of commands, does not exhibit any aggression towards us and is very affectionate.

The problem is since this last incident we have had to remove him form the apartment complex. He is now staying at the shelter where we adpopted him, but we are paying for him to stay there and the bill is adding up!

We love hims so much that we want to keep him, so we are trying to move but the area we live in is extremely difficult to find renters and homes that allow dogs.

Still, we feel confident we can find a rental which suits us, but there is almost no chance that our next property will have a fully enclosed fence and means of keeping him completely isolated from society.

We are worried about getting sued for a million dollars and losing everything we have so early in our lives!

Should we continue to pursue other living situations and plan to see a behaviorist or does this dog sound hopeless??

I may have an easier time surrendering him to the shelter if I knew his fate a little better, but I cant stand the thought of him being put down!! I dont think he deserves that!

Please help, what would you do??

Thanks!


Frankly..... You need some help.... I am not going to hazzard a guess as what is going on here. He is going after dogs and people.

You have a cross of two breeds that tend to have some very strong drives. And they typically express them in different ways. Confused genetics is what I call it. That is not a correct term. But you can have some really strong drives that at times can be conflicting. What I mean by that is you may have some strong herding drives with a drive to kill (lets call it what it is) smaller animals of a terrier. That is what I mean by conflicting.


Both Staffies and ACDs can be dog aggressive. I have lived with one of the other most of my life.
This is something that CAN be controlled and managed. But it is never going to go away. And I would not leave this dog alone with another dog without supervision. I have little doubt that this dog would take it all the way if he went off on a dog and was not stopped. This most recent incident needs to be his last. You need to manage it and ALWAYS err on the side of caution.

The human aggression may well be just some herding behavior gone awry.... Maybe not. Hard to say without me seeing it.

The first incident with the neighbor, is not an uncommon one with ACD's.... Two things are going on there.....
There is a manouver ACDs will do with a testy cow/bull/steer... The breed is known for working from the rear of stock. But they will put a stop on a steer that is approaching by running up and nipping them in the shoulder or face. There are two different moves they commonly do. More in your face dogs will rush in, jump up, nip, and stair at the stock daring it to do something. Others will rush in, nip to the side and try to lead the cow into a spinning.

I have seen them use this manouver on people as well.

Then there is an ACDs natural suspicious nature and aloofness.

So with the neighbor he may have been either doing a herding behavior as if a steer was rushing in.... Or.... He may have been just being a Cattle Dog and saying back off and give me some space.

The frisbee incident That is just TOO MUCH stimulation for a Cattle Dog to resist. My boy that has been in the ring well over 100 times, had that many judges put their hands all over hime, met thousands of people, gone to schools, done seminars, etc. Would find that hard to resist. It just stirs up too much instinct and looks like way too much fun....

Of course that is speculation on my part but I have seen and can envision Both ACDs and pittie type dogs doing these behaviors.

This needs to be ALL the human bite incidents......


Here is what you need..... Without holding any punches.....

1) You need help. GOOD professional help from someone that is well versed in drivey dogs. ACD experience is a huge plus. Tell me what part of the country you are in and I might be able to point you in a direction.

2) You NEED to MANAGE this dog. Keep him on a very short leash so to speak. You cannot afford another dog or human incident. People and the courts seldom see a difference in dog and human aggression. Your dog has already built a large paper trail of aggressive behavior. Whether it was true aggression, provoked, etc or not, does not matter. He hurts another dog or bites another person and chances are you will be sued and you will have NO defense. This dog is a HUGE responsibility and liability. That is not what you want to hear but it is what it is. I would be remiss if I did not mention it.

3) Limit his choice. Only provide situations where he can make good choices and reward that.

And
4) You need help.... I know I said this but you cannot afford another oops with this dog. It sounds like you are considering to turn your life upside down to keep this dog. That is commendable. But you need to make it work.
 

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He has bitten two people and two dogs. He should not be out without a muzzle. Get help with a very good trainer/behaviorist. This is up to you to keep him from being euthanized. Don't let him have access to bite again.
 

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He has bitten two people and two dogs. He should not be out without a muzzle. Get help with a very good trainer/behaviorist. This is up to you to keep him from being euthanized. Don't let him have access to bite again.
^^This. You have an obligation both to the dog and to the rest of the world who, frankly, doesn't need to be subjected to the danger associated with a dog that's bitten both people and other dogs on several occasions. I find it disturbing that the JRT is the second attack and that there's been two attacks on humans before any action seems to have been taken about it. It's not right to put the rest of the world at risk. This dog needs to be contained & trained before he's out in public again without a muzzle.
 

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What Johnny said. I can easily envision the human bites as herding breed behavior gone awry, but that said it could also easily be something else. I have had a herding breed dog that was set off pretty easily by movement. I was young and stupid and got nailed by him twice. I would expect an ACD to be much more driven than my dog was. But even if it is not 'aggression' you can't afford to have a dog bite someone. Period.

The DA I am not as familiar with but I would expect the same thing. Management.

He has bitten two people and two dogs. He should not be out without a muzzle. Get help with a very good trainer/behaviorist. This is up to you to keep him from being euthanized. Don't let him have access to bite again.
I agree about the muzzle. Dog should never be off leash and should be muzzled in public.

Definitely find yourself a good trainer to help you deal with these issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks guys. I agree we need professional help, BUT its never as black and white as it reads on the internet. The dog is a liability. The previous 'attacks' weren't all what I would consider 'attacks.' The JRT attack was. The others were nips or just as a previous poster described as herding tupe bites. Either way theyre bites and cant be tolerated. Does he want to kill small dogs? Maybe. Does he want to kill/hurt humans? No. I dont think so.

He goes NUTS in the car anytime we go by horse ranches or cattle and we live in colorado so there are many! He seems to see them from literally a mile away and starts whimpering/growling.

All that said, before the last incident he was playing great with a strange dog. I cant explain the situation, but it is what it is. He should NEVER be off leash in public. We'll see if we'll even be able to get him back, all depends on our housing situation! Thanks!

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6818312446/" title="ollie by nca777, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7176/6818312446_4b027a7447.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="ollie"></a>

 

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Given your dog's history, he should never be off-leash. If you can't control your dog's biting while he is on the leash, he definitely needs a muzzle. I'm having a hard time envisioning a situation where someone gets to you and bends over your dog without you noticing, particularly if you have a dog who has a proven history of biting... I guess you need to be more vigilant and tell people that your dog is not friendly before they get close enough to be bitten.In the meantime, working on getting your dog to "choose" you by redirecting his attention onto you (with a toy or a treat) when he sees another person or a dog is a good idea.
 

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There should be no "buts" about it. If you do get the dog back, what happens if your leashed dog is walking beside you, and a 6 year old child runs around a corner, into this dog?

You can tell people all day not to pet the dog, but things happen. You can't control other people or other dogs. So make it safe for all involved. He shouldn't have to be euthanized for a mistake that can easily be prevented!
 

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Sure. One of the nippings was on-leash, but it was within the first few months that we adopted him.

It's difficult for me to fault myself for the first incident or two as they were in the first few months. How else am I supposed to know how the dog will react in such an atypical manner until it happens?? It seems like a catch-22 because theres a period of time needed to get to know the dog, but in that time an incident may occur. Sure, in hindsight, I will be much more cautious with a newly adopted dog, so it has been a learning experience. Its just unfortunate it may affect the fate of the dog, when with a little more knowledge and experience I couldve avoided this. Maybe states should issue dog licenses for owners to make sure they have proper education before owning/adopting. I would be fine with this rather than go through what we're going through now!

Our 6 yr old catlle dog is the most gentle spirit you could meet, guess we just lucked out with her. Wish I could figure out how to post pictures...
 
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