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Thread: Dog bite - who is at fault?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Dog bite - who is at fault?

    I went down the beach with Maggie as usual. As we got out of the car another couple with a young GSD got out of theirs. dog on leash barking like a loonie at us, didn't think much of it, looked about 6 months old and I assumed over excited to be at the beach.
    About ten minutes later we crossed paths on the beach the GSd still on leash and barking again. I asked how old and they said 4 months and smiles saying she was all bluster, at which point she lunged and bit my arm, very very fast. I was too close and had relaxed thinking it was just yapping like puppies do.
    i walked away and said to my husband its OK that was my fault for getting too close. When I had a close look I had a 2cm cut, blood and its starting to swell. we tied it up with a hanky and finished our walk.
    Back at the car park they are still there and i asked if the dog was being trained ( yes with a name ) my husband informed them I had been bitten and they were very apologetic and embarrassed. I had no interest in pursuing it and we parted company.
    As I watched them put the dog in the back of their car I noticed the hindquarters, hip displasia very obvious or emerging but not at all strong. This beautiful looking dog is a bucket of tears the hands of this perfectly nice midle aged couple who have got a huge problem and no skills.
    Now I still think I was too close but it was highly aroused and beyond agressive. sooo odd for such any very young pup . Is this temperament from lousy breeding? I get puppy stupid biting this was not it.

    I totally misread its body language because it was very young and I didn't think a dog that age would be so aggressive. I see an ocean of heartbreak ahead for them, I hope I am wrong. Meanwhile I am a wiser woman. I should have paid more attention to Maggie she stayed well away, she got the message!
    Last edited by farrview; 01-05-2014 at 11:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Oh what a horrible situation to be in, for you and the owners of that pup!!
    I personally think no one is necessarily to blame in this situation here. Yes you could have read the dogs body language more, and yes the owners could have dealt with their dogs frantic behaviour before taking her out like that but one has to consider both sides. You were busy talking to the owners who seemed to be implying that the dog was just excited/enthusiastic. The owners are clearly not knowledgeable in dog behaviour or the health of the breed they have. Which of course is a bad thing, but considering what the facts are (their lack of knowledge about dogs) they were probably just as shocked as you were about this. So i wouldn't want to put the blame on you or them, its just an unfortunate event that happened and can now be taken care of. I never used to really know how to read a dog's behaviour very well when i first got Koda. I remember the first time he lunged at another dog. He didn't bite it, but it was such a shock to me i was devastated, so even though the owners of the GSD have probably made a heck of a lot of mistakes with their dog, i can relate to how they must be feeling.
    I guess the lesson through this for you is to assess dogs before you approach them. And the lesson for the owners is to.... well.... deal with their pups behaviour!!

  3. #3
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    Hi Farrview

    "with a name" - is that a name you have some respect for or is it associated with "guard dog training"?

    I'm wondering if doing nothing now - given the dog already seems to be a bundle of potentially dangerous problems - will lead to something really bad later - or they are really working on getting the problems sorted.

    It could have been over excitement and over enthusiastic "play" but that doesn't make putting it's teeth in excitement on you at all ok. The fact that you still have an arm with muscle on it - suggests to me that it was just play. But still completely unacceptable. Baby dog teeth are really SHARP too.

    So just as the dog's behaviour was unacceptable, I'm not sure I'd be too thrilled with the ignorant handlers in charge of a dog that can do a lot of damage in a very short time. That is also unacceptable to me.

    But how do you tell them that - in a way that they will be pleased to hear it and willing to do something about it? Without getting chomped again too?

    Maybe suggesting the name of a trainer you respect. And also pointing out the dangers that dog poses to small children and dogs even tho it's just play - it still does a lot of damage and they have to set limit on play - the same way a good parent will stop children playing dangerously.

  4. #4
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    I didn't recognise the name, was going to suggest one but didn't. It isn't my mess now all is over but they sure have a tough walk. She seemed mortified but he looked a bit pleased the dog was barking so maybe he is an idiot.

  5. #5

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    Oh ‘farrview’ - very sorry to read what happened. Hope you are up to date with all your shots and that you will be OK. Be careful with infection.

    How is your arm this afternoon ?

    Maybe the pup you saw may not be a candidate for hip problems – it is just the breeding lines used. I almost cry when I see show line GSDs – with the much exaggerated slope of back and back legs looking knock-kneed.

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=g...w=1163&bih=825

    At least there is one thing to be thankful for – and that is the pup was on a lead ! Shame about the owners' attitude.

    Take care !

  6. #6
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    The wound looks clean but i will have to go and get another tetanus shot tommorrow I think. It has antibiotic ointment on it and the swelling has gone. Thanks for asking. The dog had the most beautiful face but the body was just sad.
    oh my goodness i just looked at the link and yes that is exactly what the dog looked like I thought it was a flaw!
    Last edited by farrview; 01-05-2014 at 06:29 PM.

  7. #7

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    Pleased to hear that things are looking up ! A tetanus shot is a bugger of a one to get - but well worth keeping up to date with them - particularly as an animal owner.

  8. #8
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    farrview,

    Don't blame yourself...you've done nothing wrong... sounds like this dog has a serious temperament problem and from what you've said the owners are no help as they haven't got a clue as to what just happened. At this age the worst thing you could expect is a serious licking and shouldn't bite like that when adults either. I would be scared of this dog and you should report it HD or not.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  9. #9
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    I was bitten by a dog at the beach a few years back now.

    I went to the doc and they said if I was fully vaccinated when I was younger then you are protected for life and don't need a tetanus shot when you are bitten.

    I did a little reading up and it says cuts in contact with soils and manures usually receive a booster as they ate considered "high risk" but nothing about bites.

    I think it's a "better to OD the tetanus than to not be fully vaccinated and risk anything". I didn't have the tetanus and I was fine

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pawfectionist View Post
    I was bitten by a dog at the beach a few years back now.

    I went to the doc and they said if I was fully vaccinated when I was younger then you are protected for life and don't need a tetanus shot when you are bitten.

    I did a little reading up and it says cuts in contact with soils and manures usually receive a booster as they ate considered "high risk" but nothing about bites.

    I think it's a "better to OD the tetanus than to not be fully vaccinated and risk anything". I didn't have the tetanus and I was fine
    I always err on the side of caution when talking about things like this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ on a forum !

    People may or may not be fully immunised - and as far as tetanus shots and boosters are concerned - it tends to be very much age related and how long ago a person was last immunised.

    A couple of links:

    Immunise - Tetanus (Lockjaw)

    Tetanus vaccine | NPS MedicineWise

    Pleased to read that you were fine !

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