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Second Strike

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

  
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Tyson

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 30, '11 5:58pm PST 
Tyson bit our daughter today... on the face. She had two punctures, one of which needed 3 stitches. She removed one while we were in the hospital and the Dr. said as long as the other two were in for a minimum of 48 hours she'd be ok. She's also taking 2 different antibiotics because she's allergic to amoxicillin. She going to be fine and isn't even hesitant around Tyson.

Tyson was on my bed trying to take a nap. I was in my room and so was my daughter. My daughter thought it would be fun to harass him. He started growling and I told her to leave him alone. She stopped and so did he. After a minute or so, she started to pester him again. Repeat of the previous scenario. The third time, he growled again and told Lily to leave him alone again. I heard Scout barking at the back door and went to go let him in expecting the same results as the previous times. I got about halfway across the living room (ranch styled house) and I heard him do his bark/snap. He bark/growls when he snaps to correct dogs. I immediately threw the pup in the kennel, grabbed a towel and ice pack and got us ready to go to the emergency room. While in the ER, the admitting nurse said that they would have to call animal control and I let her know that we were in Weld County. I then told her that Weld County has 4 officers and that they may not be able to come right away. A while later, one of the police officers from our town came, questioned me and took my statement. After chatting with him for a while, he asked me why I didn't want the incident reported. I said that I never said anything along those lines only that I knew that our county had limited officers and runs at the county shelter and knew that they (either the town cops or county AC) would probably have to come to our home. I also told him that I didn't call them myself as I was more concerned with getting my daughter to the hospital and knew that, like bullet wounds, dog bites were automatically reported. He then explained that the town no longer had an AC officer (I live in a small town), the police department just recently took the responsibilities over and that he would have to contact his boss to find out how to proceed (either impound Tyson or whatever). Tyson is now under quarantine for 3 days (after verifying that his shots were up to date) in our home. He isn't happy about being in the kennel but is accepting it for what it is. The officer had originally said he should be put in the back yard and just left alone. I told him that Tyson was an indoor only dog and that we had a large (too large) kennel we could use. He said as long as the kids and people were kept away from him.

I know the whole situation is completely my fault and I should have disciplined my daughter more severely than the slap on the wrist (just telling her to stop) I gave her. She just turned 4 a couple of days ago and for the past month has entered into a particularly rebellious stage. Please, don't chew me out for what is already done.

This is Tyson's second strike and we are going to court to talk to a judge about him in January. The ticket is for vicious dog. Obviously, I am very concerned about it. Does anyone have any advice for training we can do (once his quarantine is lifted) that may help save his life?
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Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 30, '11 6:17pm PST 
Wow! thinking You know what went wrong and I commend you for it. Most people would blame the dog and get rid of the dog. What was the first bite involving. You say this was his second strike. Has he bit a child previously?
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Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 30, '11 6:30pm PST 
Consulting a behaviorist or trying for his CGC might help.

But really, at least consulting with an attorney is HIGHLY advisable. Like, I would pay for an attorney before I'd pay for lessons. You need someone who can understand the letter of the law and exactly what needs to be done. Most lawyers will do a consult for a few hundred bucks and you get a couple hours.

Everyone's laws are very different. They might allow you to keep him under your dangerous dog laws (here dogs must always be on a leash, muzzled when out of doors, signs put up). Or your area might really be strict on two strikes and your out. Or, maybe they are only strict if a person is pressing for it which you wouldn't press for it on your own dog so they might go easier. This is why an attorney really should be contacted ASAP.
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Tyson

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 30, '11 7:04pm PST 
The first was a boy I was babysitting. We never really got a straight answer as to what exactly happened. He had been messing around with Tyson's food bowl all day but Tyson doesn't resource guard except against our naughty pup who tries to steal from his bowl. Also, he and Tyson were playing ball. Tyson LOVES playing ball and will do it until he is in pain from exertion (arthritis). One of the stories that the boy told was that he had, once again, been playing with Tyson's bowl and he snapped. The other was that he had been playing ball with Tyson, Tyson had jumped up to get it and missed. When Tyson jumps up to get a ball, he isn't very steady as he is VERY well trained not to jump on people. Between the two stories, I thought that the second was more in-line with his personality and my experience with his behavior. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten accidentally scratched from him losing his balance from jumping for the ball. If we're sitting on the sofa while having him chase the balls, we can pretend to bury the balls in the sofa and he'll become shark dog to get it while not "jumping up". When I say shark dog, think of the whales that come onto the landings at Sea World on their bellies. When the cops came that time, Tyson had actually greeted them at the door with me. He had on his normal grin, didn't leave the front door until given permission and really loved up on them. After putting him through a few moves and talking to them about the two different stories the boy had given, they decided to just leave it at that. I had to virtually hunt down the boys parents in my effort to find out how he was and offer to pay for any medical bills. They didn't need any assistance with the medical bills as the boy qualified for medicaid. That incident was 2 or 3 years ago. Since then, Tyson has played with and been around many, many kids and not shown any aggression other then warning growls. If he were to growl at child (not my kids), he got put in a time-out or we left wherever we were. It was almost always because the child was being obnoxious (in his face or jacking with his bad leg). That happened probably a handful of times total. The growling at my kids usually ended up with me telling him to leave him alone and him either on my bed, in the kennel (we've only just gotten it within the last 6 months) or laying down right next to me. We have a rule that when the dogs are in the kennel that they are to be left alone as that is their bedroom and they want alone time.

The kennel to which I am speaking of is 48in long by 30in wide by 33 in high. I had gotten it so that the greyhound mix we were caring for could stand all the way up in it. It ended up being so large we could put both dogs in at the same time.

I know that I'm giving a lot of information but, to get help, it's better to give too much as opposed to not enough.
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Tyson

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '11 5:56am PST 
I had some thoughts when I woke this morning. One of the is to get a wire basket styled muzzle. Two, do umbilical leashing to ensure closer monitoring. Three, talk to our vet about a long term (daily) solution to Tyson's arthritis. I know his arthritis wasn't the cause of our incident but it may have been a contributing factor.

With the muzzle, I would require him to wear it most of the time except when he and I are alone or he is in the kennel. This is because he bit my daughter and, once, when he was injured, he really looked like he was going to bite my hubby. I know these things don't happen every day but I'd rather he was used to wearing one than try to put one on him when he is in pain and more susceptible to a strike. I don't want him to lose out on going out with us because of my lapse in judgement. I know that some (usually including me) frown upon Leerburg's method of training but I think that in our situation, we'll follow his muzzle training path. It encourages the handler/owner to try to make the muzzle experience a good thing. On their website, they suggest that for pets with aggression to children to not only keep them muzzled but to keep them leashed, control the environment and continue training. By the way, I had already decided that was a viable option for us before having looked at the site.

While writing this something dawned on me, at what point does a normal person realize that their dog has become an aggressive one despite their best efforts? I've always given him the "benefit" of doubt. "He's only acting like he's going to bite because he's injured." "Don't most dogs with arthritis snap at the vet during an exam?" "Of course he's growling and snapping at her, she won't leave him alone."

ETA: At one point, the officer had told me to stop blaming myself and that the dog should have known better. I chose not to comment. Dogs only do what they think they have to when they are scared, hurt, annoyed or threatened. If if wasn't my fault for not controlling the situation, who else was there that could change it? My daughter? The dog?

Edited by author Thu Dec 1, '11 5:59am PST

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Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '11 7:15am PST 
Before you start muzzle training I'd wait to see what the court says. Many will not allow the basket style muzzles for public use (although around home it would be fine).

And really, I still suggest an attorney before you have to go to court. You said "I don't want him to lose out on going out with us because of my lapse in judgement" but the courts may decide just that. In many areas dangerous dogs are not allowed out with the general public. They are at home or the vets, period. Just like a person on house arrest that can go form work to home and that is it.
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Member Since
07/14/2011
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '11 8:11am PST 
"While writing this something dawned on me, at what point does a normal person realize that their dog has become an aggressive one despite their best efforts? I've always given him the "benefit" of doubt. "He's only acting like he's going to bite because he's injured." "Don't most dogs with arthritis snap at the vet during an exam?" "Of course he's growling and snapping at her, she won't leave him alone.""

What do you mean by aggressive? If I'm standing next to somebody in line, and they start shoving me, I say please stop. They keep on shoving me. I say please stop. They keep on shoving me. I give them a shove. They keep on shoving me. I hit them.

Dogs don't have words. Tyson was telling your daughter to stop, and she didn't, and he told her several times. And then you left them alone together knowing she was annoying him, and he didn't like it. I don't think he's being at all unpredictable, or aggressive. He gave her tons of warning. Not all dogs are comfortable with kids. That doesn't make them aggressive. Please don't label him aggressive. If your daughter is harassing him, separate them. If need be, don't allow Tyson on the bed anymore, and get him his own bed, and keep your daughter away from it. Four year olds can't be expected to fully understand what they are doing and how it is not nice to the dog.

I too would get a lawyer to help explain to whomever that Tyson is able to communicate clearly, and give lots of warning when he is uncomfortable. This bite was the result of you not paying attention to him, not because he is a vicious unstable dog.

Good luck!
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '11 11:00am PST 
Guest makes several good points. I honestly think that if Tyson was a truly aggressive dog, he would not have given your daughter as many warnings as he did. I also agree with Tyson's Mom that his arthritis is a contributing factor. He is more easily hurt by your daughter's advances. 4 year olds can learn how to behave around dogs, keep explaining to her that he needs his space and what the warning growl is. I'd also set parameters for their interactions. For example, you can tell her that if he is on his bed that means he's resting and not to be disturbed.

Tyson's Mom, I'm glad that you are not blaming Tyson alone. That would be unfair. I'm sure that you won't be leaving your daughter and Tyson alone together unsupervised. It might be worth your while to get a legal consult as B&D suggests. That way you'll know what you are facing specifically in your area. This is critical because as you stated law enforcement has sort of taken over the duties of AC. Police/sheriffs rarely know much about dog behavior (even the ones with 'K9 units' quite honestly) and often rush to judgement in my experience. I don't agree with his statement to you regarding wether or not it's Tyson's fault. A truly human aggressive dog would have bitten more readily and much sooner than Tyson has.

It is commendable that you are willing to see things from Tyson's point of view and advocate for him. It sounds like he's mostly done very well in your home. I hope things work out ok for all concerned.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 3, '11 3:44pm PST 
Tyson when I took Sabs to the vets a while ago she was so sore she could not turn or lift her head. She cried when the vet was examining her but she did not snap. Not saying that means anything but I wouldn't go so far as to call snapping normal. I would talk to the vet about a fix for the problem if he is in pain. And I would definitely consult a lawyer.
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Tyson

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 5, '11 8:21am PST 
So, here's what I've got going. My hubby is going to bring home the phone number to a legal advice line that is offered as a benefit for his job. I'm planning a visit to the vet. Due to finances, it might be more towards the end of the month. I also spoke with a trainer at Petsmart who suggested a class that also starts at the end of the month but currently has no one in it. That means if it continues to stay that way, we could get private lessons for group rates. Even if a few people sign up, most of her classes are pretty small anyway. Her biggest class right now has 5 pups in it. I don't think this is necessarily indicative of her but more of the area we are, it's semi-rural/semi-suburban. She made a few suggestions that I'm putting into practice. Instead of having Tyson sit at corners during walks, start teaching him "Stand". This way, he knows not to continue walking (I forgot to tell her that he already knows both wait and stop) and it could be useful with the vet. She also suggested that when Tyson growls, we teach him that he can go into the kennel and not be bothered. I never really kennel/crate trained him so now is as good a time as any. The goal isn't to punish him for growling (we definitely want him to continue signaling) but we do want to offer a place of respite.
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