Dog bite... can't let go - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Dog bite... can't let go

Our GSD is almost 6. We have two children, a 7 yo and a 4 yo. She is wonderful with them and very protective of our family. We live in a housing community and some neighbors have 'feared' our dog due to her aggressive barking if she is on the porch or her lead in the yard. She has never jumped off the porch (she easily could) and if people actually come close to her she has always calmed.

A few times she has broken her lead. She doesn't listen well to me in these situations, but will listen better to my husband. She is obviously more protective if the children or I are out.

Recently a neighbor woman was walking by and her lead broke. I ran outside and yelled for her as firmly as I could, but she would not listen. Before I could get to her she nipped the woman's calf. Right after this she ran back to the porch, as if she knew she screwed up. This woman has never been around her and I have no idea why she did what she did. I was in complete shock. The scene involved the woman walking backward up the road firmly telling my dog to stop and go away. Then a neighbor man who had been mowing yelled at her too. I'm not sure if she was escalated by this?? The woman insisted it was okay, but her husband is upset and said he never did feel safe. Then I hear another neighbor say my dog got loose and he had to run in his house for fear she would bite him (no one told me this when it actually happened).

Well, we initially said we'd get rid of her, but we have not. For one we have tried, but it is difficult to rehome a GSD who is park of a family "pack". People are leary. Second we don't want to get rid of her. She is a wonderful dog and my children adore her.

We have taken measures to assure she cannot do this again: kennel out back is now in place if she is out for any length of time. Mostly she is just out on a leash with an adult then back in. She is no longer on the front porch or just on a lead.

Well, the issue is not over- we got a letter asking us to remove her by Oct 1. (like 10 days notice). At this point my husband feels she will have to be put down. I am sick over the whole thing, feeling it is my fault. I should have brought her in earlier that day but was dealing with a family issue long distance and hadn't made it outside yet.

We are appealing the letter- any advice? I thought of also getting a muzzle to assure safety if she is out. Sorry so long of a post. I am just not sure if there is any hope for the situation and need some advice.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 06:50 PM
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Who issued the letter?

Sorry, but you guys really messed up. Your dog continuously broke her leash when outside and has appearantly been causing havoc in your neighborhood for a while and yet you continued to allow to be outside on an inappropriate line and once again she broke it, this time she bit someone. It could have easily been a child.

Your dog is acting anxious and territorial. This is not the protective you think you want it is good.

She has practiced this behavior over and over and over again. And she has always been successful at driving the scary thing away.

Sorry, you can probably try a rescue, but with a bite history I don't know.

Very sad situation this dog is now in.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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The board where we live.

Over 6 years she has broken a lead maybe 4 times. We buy new ones... it's not like it was the same one. She'd bark but keep a distance or just come home. I have even had a stranger come onto our porch while she was on it barking and she left him alone. There was just something about this situation that provoked her.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AmePhoenix View Post
There was just something about this situation that provoked her.
Sure, there is something: lack of training, exercise, socialization and management. Mostly your responsibility. Unless you invest time, money, education and training (strong commitment) in this dog, you should find her another home. This is how GSDs get a bad reputation.
You painted a good picture so now you have to make a decision. I don't think she should be put down but you need to take her to someone who is experienced with the breed.
Maybe someone here has resources for you.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:21 PM
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To be clear, by "broken the lead," do you mean she lives in a yard, tethered (or chained) without a fence? If so, the answer is to build a privacy fence, if your neighborhood will allow it.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well, if I was looking for an attack and scolding I would have just talked to my neighbor... Thanks for nothing.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:30 PM
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This is the worst outcome. Were these leashes that broke while you were walking her or did you have her tied to a post or tree?

When it is recommended that you never chain a any dog - it didn't mean do the same thing and use something that was not made of chain. The frustration of being chained makes them aggressive.

Lack of proper confinement, lack of training. 5 days to rehome? Instead of inquiring about a rescue, there is talk of killing her. What part of this is her fault? What did she do wrong that she has to be put down? If you cannot rehome her in time. It would be at least something to pay for someone to board her while you find a home for her. Please don't let her pay the ultimate price for your negligence.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:34 PM
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So if it's the board, they can't make you put her to sleep but can mst likely fine you if she isn't gone? Is there an appeal process where you can present a plan to keep everyone safe and happy?

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:36 PM
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I agree with Stone.. This situation should have been taken care of six years ago! "Please don't let her pay the ultimate price for your negligence."

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:43 PM
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Wow. Mad at the neighbors for getting bit by their loose dog. A dog that has harassed the neighborhood before. Can anyone say fundamental attribution error? People never want to admit they are the cause of an something bad happening. They would rather look for an external cause. The dog is protective, the neighbor was a stranger, the dog didn't like the victim's perfume, etc. But it couldn't possibly be because the owner refused to properly contain and train the dog. Nope.

However, in this case, the responsibility is squarely on the dog owner. They only have themselves to blame, especially after using the same confinement method that failed more than once before.

Frankly, I'm surprised only the HOA is involved. I'm a female dog. I would have called the cops and AC if a loose dog had bit me. With this dog's history of irresponsible management it likely would have been confiscated and is unlikely the dog would be returned.
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