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Old 02-01-2014, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Attacked at daycare - advice

Hi - I am hoping you guys can give me your advice and opinions. I have a two year old german shepherd, Gauge. I have been taking him to a daycare at our vet office about two days per week since he was about six months old. This past week i got a call from the vet he was attacked at daycare by a pit bull.

The dogs are inside most of the time during the winter and the girl who watches them went down to get a dog someone was dropping off at daycare. When she was going back upstairs she heard all kinds of commotion and hurried in. She said the light somehow got turned off and Gauge was on top of the other dog with the other dog clamped onto Gauge's leg. She said it was hard to get him to let go. Gauge ended up with four deep punctures in his front leg (they put in stitches and a drain) and a deep puncture on his head. The other dog was completely fine with no wounds.

I feel so bad for him and putting him in the position of getting hurt. There are a few things that bothered me about the whole situation after. First, they brushed off the incident saying the other dog must have just got scared, since it has not had any previous aggression. So, that dog gets to stay with no repercussions. Next, the vet said well sometimes dogs just play rough, it's like boys on a playground. I totally get that, since Gauge does like to play rough, but this seems a bit more than playing rough. Also, during the winter, there are 15-18 dogs in a living room sized room, seems quite small upon looking back (during nicer months there is a large fenced area outside). I also don't think they should ever be alone unsupervised, even for a minute. For these reasons, I don't think we would be comfortable taking him back.

We were taking him there because the days I go into the office he would be alone at home for about 10 hours (I work from home 2-3 days/week). We live out in the middle of no where, so there are no options for dog walkers to come in around here. It is so hard to know what to do that would be the best for him. Do you think he would be ok left alone 2-3 days per week as long as we exercised him when we get home? We do try to do classes with him, but those usually are on Saturdays. We also have a couple friends' dogs he seems to play well with, so we could do more play dates - he seems to like to play. Or should we look into finding a different daycare - just makes me nervous not to be there to supervise myself. I sure hope this doesn't affect his temperament - he has such a goofy/easy going personality. Ideas and thoughts would be appreciated - thanks in advance!
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If the pit is still there I would not leave my dog. Even before the fight I owuld not leave my dog with a pit. The comment of "She said it was hard to get him to let go" tells me the pit was fighting, not playing. Pits grab on and shale and it is very difficult to make them let go.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If the pit gets to stay, I would not go back. A friend's dog recently attacked Molly. They have been friends for about 6 months. I did some reading on dog attacks and I read if the dogs get together again, they will probably want to continue the attack.

Like your dog, Molly did not bite the dog attacking her. I'm curious if this is a GSD thing, fierce barking and mouthing but not biting? I hope your dog is not affected by this and keeps his goofy personality.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I kinda understand the boys playing on the play ground thing, because I have seen it. They were probably playing and one of them didn't like what the other did and so it escalates and fast. I'm not fond of the doggie daycares, especially for bigger dogs. There is not enough supervision and the space is to small from what I have seen. Then there are toys in the mix. Last week for the first time I seen a nice young working line GSD in the daycare, it was a recipe for disaster. He was very ball driven and another bigger dog there was to. I could just see a fight breaking out over the ball . At one point they leashed the GSD , well not they but one person who weighed about a hundred pounds and carried a squirt bottle. I didn't like anything I saw and it wasn't even my dog. As for your dog, he is older and as long as you exercise him he'll be fine at home. It's a much better option then daycare at this point.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would find another daycare. To leave the dogs, even for a second, unsupervised is wreckless.

However, as for the incident, since no one say what really happened it's going to be impossible to figure out. I wouldn't find either dog faultless and if the lights were out and Gauge jumped the other dog, the other dog might have panicked. That doesn't mean that dog is aggressive (per se)

Regardless, that's not the point, if there is no one in the room, it's just dangerous all around - incidents can happen in the blink of an eye. I wouldn't care so much if the other dog is still there (since when they found Gauge he was on top of the other dog so he very well could have had some part in what happened as far as instigating it). What I would care deeply about are their policies and procedures. Might be a good idea to find a new daycare.

Where are you located?
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That many dogs in a small room with only one person watching them already does not sound like an ideal situation. Them getting left alone ever is even worse.
Can you have someone (a dog walker/pet sitter or a friend) come and let your dog out/play with him on the days you have to be gone 10 hours, or maybe go home for lunch?
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It doesn't matter what the breed is...things escalate really quickly between dogs. Boys will be boys, and things happen. The biggest problem I see in this situation is the size of the room the dogs are kept in. If you don't give a dog a chance to escape, leave a situation, many times you'll see a fight break out. A dog might've tried to get away, but the room is too small and the other one easily cornered it or was able to continue doing whatever it was doing.

Pick a different day care...or just don't take your dog to one. My dog got kicked out of daycare at 5 months of age because he would boss dogs twice his size around and corner them. He also wouldn't really listen to anyone but me so the "handlers" were too worried to do anything.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge View Post
This past week i got a call from the vet he was attacked at daycare by a pit bull.

...the girl who watches them went down to get a dog someone was dropping off at daycare. When she was going back upstairs she heard all kinds of commotion and hurried in. She said the light somehow got turned off and Gauge was on top of the other dog with the other dog clamped onto Gauge's leg.

How do you know the pittie started the fight? I'm curious how they made that determination? Nobody saw it start.

Just because your dog got hurt doesn't mean he couldn't have started the fight.

Personally, I would not stay because of hte lack of supervision. But I would also not assume my dog was innocent in the incident.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the responses. I am located in Wisconsin. I guess I didn't word it correctly, I do not know who started to fight, I just meant Gauge was the one with the wounds from it. It sucks, because no one was there to see what happened. I had someone letting my dog out around lunch back when he was younger, but they moved away. We haven't had luck finding anyone else since there isn't much around us. I am not able to come home on lunch since my work is about 45-50 minutes away.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm sorry that this happened. It doesn't sound like an ideal situation though with that many dogs in a small space.

He will be ok home alone a few days for 10 hours. I had to leave my dog for that long 4 days a week and she was fine. I walked her before I left and then took her for a 5 mile walk and played with her when I got home.

If I was going to be gone longer than 10 hours I left her in my truck and then took her out during my lunch break and after work but that wouldn't be possible in Wisconsin right now.
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