Advice please. My dog bit my niece. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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My dog's name is archer. He is 1 years old and is 100lb. He's my big baby! I had 9 kids with me and we took archer to the creek and he loved the water. We came back home after an hr of fun and all the kids took a shower and came out to play. My sister and I was sitting by the tree house along with my nieces and nephews. Archer was with us and my niece who is 7 years old hugged him from the front. Archer backed up and walked to my sister and all I heard was a bark and my niece screamed and got up and ran and archer ran after her and bit her in the butt. My sister ran and tugged on his leash and he stopped. Archer ran to me with his ears down and whined. I had to hit him. All my nieces and nephews were shocked. I tied him to the tree and went to check up on my niece. Everyone came and saw the bite mark. It wasn't that bad but it was bleeding.

*When archer was about 7 months, some white girl approached him and pet him roughly. He was traumatize, and when he see white little girls who are around the age of 7-9 years old, he tried to lunges at them and bark crazy*

I called my brother and told him what happened. He wants my dog to be put down. Once a dog bites, they'll bite again. I got mad and said "he grew up around Kyle (5) And kalia (3) and never once bit them and your kids kyle (16) and Kaylee (14). He loves them. He was around 9 kids (4-16 yrs old) and only bite kaylena (7) who hugged him in the front.

My sister and I talked about what happened. A lot of people said he looks aggressive. He may be big but never aggressive. He never growled or never had bite anyone til now. My sister saw the whole thing and said that archer let a big bark and as soon as my niece got scared she fled and that's when he bite her in the butt. My sister said that kaylena was face to face with him and trying to hug him in the front. but I told her I always hug him in the front. I always let him give me kisses. But she said that he didn't even growled just barked and only attacked her.

I need advice, tips to help him. I need to know if this is aggression and what I need to prevent this from happening next time.
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post #2 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 01:27 PM
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Sounds like he was uncomfortable and barked. Your nieces excited reaction escalated the situation.
This dog has limits and they weren't respected by the adults and children. Doesn't matter how many children he's around, he was not comfortable being hugged. Even though you do it, it's not the same with someone else. You have a bond built.
This dog should not be around unknown children and as an owner you need to set limits.
German Shepherds tend to build a bond with their owner. Outside of that they could be uncomfortable.

That said, no child should be traumatized because of carelessness. No matter if it's deserved or not.

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post #3 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 01:37 PM
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Many dogs don't enjoy being hugged or even touched and petted excessively.They may tolerate it from their owners,but not actually enjoy it.
When he backed away from your niece he was giving a clear signal that he was uncomfortable.When she persisted,he felt he had to bite to make her understand.
Sounds to me like a hectic and fun day for all and your dog needed some time alone out of the chaos to relax and recover.
What I would do in the future is no longer allow hugging.When there is a lot of noise,fun,kids,and chaos - give your dog a space off by himself where the kids don't have access.
It really sounds like he just wanted some peace and quiet.That doesn't make him an aggressive dog.

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post #4 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudpump View Post
Sounds like he was uncomfortable and barked. Your nieces excited reaction escalated the situation.
This dog has limits and they weren't respected by the adults and children. Doesn't matter how many children he's around, he was not comfortable being hugged. Even though you do it, it's not the same with someone else. You have a bond built.
This dog should not be around unknown children and as an owner you need to set limits.
German Shepherds tend to build a bond with their owner. Outside of that they could be uncomfortable.

That said, no child should be traumatized because of carelessness. No matter if it's deserved or not.
Yup. This was on you, OP, and management is on you going forward.

I think IF you allow him around kids anymore, there need to be rules in place for how they will interact with Archer. Strict rules. I won't tell you whether to privilege the dog or the kids in terms of who gets a time out if things get crazy, that has to be up to you to manage your human relationships, but you should build that framework for how people in your home interact with your dog. Like how you approach the dog, NO HUGGING, do not run in the yard, whatever works for your situation. My #1 rule for kids visiting my home is STAY OUT OF THE DOG'S KENNEL. I don't think I need to worry about her, but that's the one thing that would stress her out is having some kid trying to play in her crate. (Yes, I've had to reprimand a kid for that before...repeatedly.)

If my dog had a bite history of any kind, I personally would be inclined to just put the dog up when kids visit, because where I live, my dog would suffer heavily for any incidents.
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post #5 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 02:55 PM
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Teach the kids what you expect from them and be firm with them. Keep that session of contact with kids short and fun for the dog and put the dog somewhere else afterwards to prevent accidents like this one . He did nothing wrong; he is an animal that showed that he was uncomfortable being hugged and backed off. His next move was a bite. He should have never been in this position. He is not a stuffed animal that has come to life. Hugging is not a sign of love in dogs; it is a signal of domination, so that's why he was not OK with it. It is very dangerous to allow kids to hug dogs.
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post #6 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 03:59 PM
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Wolfy dog has it correct. That's why so many kid get bitten on the face. Dogs DO NOT like being hugged!

I had a GSD who was not good with kids. I think she had probably been in a situation where no rules and limitations were put on the kids, and they abused her. When she bit/nipped them she was kicked out of the house to fend for herself.

The worst she ever did when she bit was make a red mark on the skin, and maybe a few drops of blood. I talked to a professional trainer about it, and she told me, "If you dog were really dangerous, you'd be talking a trip to the hospital and major stitches. What she's doing is warning the kid they've gone too far, like a mother warns her puppies. But kids don't have nice thick fur coats to protect them, so they really feel it."

We made sure she was very closely supervised when kids were around. If we couldn't supervise, she was kept separate from the children. I had this dog for 15 1/2 years, and there was NEVER a serious incident with anyone, even when a little brat of a girl deliberately stepped on her tail.

I also bought a book I thought would help. It's called Childproofing Your Dog, by Brian Killcommons. Rule # 1 is NEVER let you child play with your dog unsupervised. You NEVER know what they are going to do! https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B002WAUVBE/...ng=UTF8&btkr=1

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post #7 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 04:10 PM
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As the others have said, dogs in general do not like being hugged. In dog language, it is very rude and overbearing. Dogs might tolerate hugs from their owners or people they are very comfortable with, but that doesn't mean they enjoy the hugs and certainly not from other people.

All dogs, even the most tolerant, are capable of biting if they are pushed far enough. A bite like this does not have to happen again with appropriate management. Archer was probably extra tired after the earlier activity, and we all have less patience when we're tired. Careful management from now on, especially around children and do not allow them to hug him or get in his face. General rules for all dogs, no matter how kind or tolerant the dog normally is.
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post #8 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 04:14 PM
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Archer backed up and walked to my sister and all I heard was a bark and my niece screamed and got up and ran and archer ran after her and bit her in the butt.

I wasn't there but is there any chance this dog was playing. Or if not playing overcome by instincts to chase a fleeing prey and bite. Correct me if I am mistaken but a dog attacking wouldn't bite in the butt. He would have had to probably lean down to bite her there. Again I could be way off base but what I read didn't sound like a full blown aggressive dog attacking.

I MAY NOT BE THERE YET. BUT, I AM CLOSER THAN I WAS YESTERDAY.
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post #9 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 06:26 PM
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I agree with cdwoodcox.. It does sound like he was uncomfortable with the kid hugging him, (where he actually could have bit her good in the face) but he backed off to get OUT of that situation, bark, the kid runs, his natural instinct to chase/maybe herd the kid kicks in..

My suggestion, don't let kids hug/hang on your dog..No I would not put him down because of this,,it's on the OP to manage situations like this, and teach kids not to hang on or hug the dog..especially ones he's not familiar with..

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post #10 of 90 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 10:02 PM
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From your description, he wasn't comfortable with the hug and barked. When your niece screamed and ran he chased and bit in the butt.

This should have never happened. He is a young dog that was over-stimulated, and then the kids were not taught to be respectful of the puppy and the owner did not put the pup up when things were chaotic and the day was already enough. That which runs must be chased, amped up from all the kids, the hubub and the playing/river, and then he gets hugged and communicates that isn't ok, and then he reacts to the girl's reaction.

I have little tolerance for dogs who bite kids. On the other hand, all animals have limits. In the end, this is up to you, the owner. There are dogs that would not have bitten with that set of circumstances. And others would have bitten the child when she hugged him.

He is young, just growing into his adult temperament. It can get worse, or he can get better, or you can get a lot better at managing him around kids, and putting him up after enough interaction.

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