Hi guys, need a little bit of help here, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I have a 20 month year old pure bred German Shepherd, Male, desexed.
Last week we were at the dogs beach in Point Lonsdale Vic, we were playing together off lead for a good 40 minutes we encountered many other dogs and people whom he played with with no trouble what so ever.
At this point a lady jogger was jogging towards us, she ran in between my dog and I (a distance of about 3 to 4 metres), we were engaged in play and Duke (my dog) had his ball in his mouth, as the lady ran between us Duke got intrigued and went in to have a sniff when he did this the lady screamed "get away" in a high pitched voice and kicked her leg out at him, not making contact but it was a clear kick out. This I think frightened Duke and he then bit the lady resulting in 5 stitches to the ladys leg.
This is totally out of character for our dog, we are regulars at the off lead beach and have never seen any signs of aggression from him before, when we told our obedience instructor she was in total shock not understanding where this could of come from.
After the incident I walked the lady back to her car (during a tirade of insults, which I copped on the chin) , made sure she had all of my details so she could get in touch with me and offered to pay her medical expenses and do the right thing.
In the aftermath the lady has contacted the council and despite not wishing to take it to court the council has now submitted to declare our dog as a "Dangerous Dog", the legislation states that a dog that causes any laceration should be deemed a "Dangerous Dog".
Now if this is approved by the council, we will need to build our dog a mesh enclosure, concrete slab floor, 1.8 metre high with a floor space of 10sq metres, this is virtually impossible for us, we are renters and cannot erect a permanent structure, nor do I wish to, our dog is enclosed safely in our back yard and has never gotten out.
I am of course going to appeal the findings of the council, they have not come to see the dog to do an evaluation nor have they forwarded on medical reports of any kind, and I feel I will be able to appeal the decision based on accidental provocation.
i am not condoning my dogs behaviour, but I feel I have taken all the necessary steps to bring up a safe and loving dog and think this is a one off accident.
He has been for obedience classes, been regularly socialised with other people and other dogs and we have never had a problem with aggressiveness.
Another thing I am worried about if I do have to build a mesh cage for our dog is the fact this could also lead to separation anxiety which could cause barking and in turn would cause trouble with our neighbours.
Has anyone got any advice they could offer?, we are very distraught about the whole situation and like I said am not condoning his behaviour however we are taking the necessary steps to address the issue not like some irresponsible dog owners who choose to ignore the problem.
Many thanks for taking the time to read all this.