And... He "Bit" The Neighbor. :/
So I'm on the fence about this one, and am now questioning Draco's temperament in general.
OK. So I live in a rural area, and several of the neighbors have dogs... most somewhat, to considerably, smaller than Draco. And t first he was very dog-reactive with them, but now that he's gotten to know the "locals", he's perfectly fine around them, other than maybe playing a little rough (he's usually super high energy), and possibly trying to dominate/Alpha some. Mind you, all the other dogs run free around our little country community, so I sometimes let him as well, and there's never been an issue, other than an occasional growl, or snarl, from one of the others when they're done "playing" but he's not quite there yet. He does, however, have a rather high prey drive (I have a few cats, and he constantly chases them, and even fully "mouths" them playing, but has never injured one), and a pretty high defensive drive, with his hackles usually coming up when he barks at something (which isn't constantly, but he can be rather vocal).
So I was out tilling the garden last weekend, and he was out and about with me. My new neighbor(s), who are relatives of the old neighbor (recently deceased, and while the relatives and I have spoken a couple times, we're not really "friendly" as of yet), decided they were going to mow the lawn with their riding mower, which I frankly thought little about and remained focused on my own laborious task. Not long after the neighbor/he started mowing, however, I noticed Draco had run down and was barking around his mower, which he had done to me a couple weeks ago when I mowed, and which he also did, even as a pup, with the vacuum. And while the latter used to be cute when he was small, I've since (mostly?) broken him of the vacuum as it was a pain to actually get any vacuuming done! I also searched the forums, and it doesn't seem this is a completely uncommon occurrence, with any of the "machinery" above?
Anyway - when it was me on the mower the other week, he got a little close to the tires and discharge chute a couple of times, but I was vigilant of his location, and able to stop and command him away. And he went down the neighbors the first time or two, he was circling, and barking at, his mower as well for about a minute, but quickly lost interest, and came back up and laid down near me. However, the third time he went down he apparently "bit" the neighbor on his lower left leg (although, in no way trying to minimize the situation, I will say "nipped", as there wasn't any blood, per se, but there were a couple of surface scratches from a couple of his teeth, and a noticeable spot where there indeed was a little pressure on the calf muscle, but not enough to puncture or bleed). I saw him waving his arms at me and then heard him yell "He bit me!", at which point I recalled Draco (who knew he was in trouble, as he did NOT want to come directly to me, but avoided me a little), grabbed him by the collar, and immediately took him in the house, before going back over, inspecting the situation, and making sure the guy was indeed "alright". He seemed relatively cool about it (all tatted and whatnot) when all was said and done, and said he appreciated the fact I came over, but I wasn't completely convinced. I do, however, understand his (increased?) concern about the kids and whatnot, and assured him Draco would be under strict, leash supervision for quite a while... which I must say I hate to have to do, but he brought it on himself.
Now I did teach Draco rather good bite inhibition as he was coming up, and as I said, despite his high prey drive, he's never clamped down on a cat. He has scratched me a time or two while we were playing rough, but never anything I would consider an "aggressive" action. However, he apparently also has a strong reaction to kids' (which they do have next door) high-pitched squeals, and often approaches and barks when it happens (there was even a TV commercial that came on frequently that started off with a girl squealing "Daddy", which would set him to barking every time). And while I don't have kids of my own around here, he was socialized some last summer at local festivals and the like, and never had an issue with kids, or them petting him, but not so much over the winter (obviously), from about 5-9 months, although I did have a friend and her 4-year old (who can be a terror) stay with me for about a week over the holidays and he was just fine around him.
But then the neighbor stopped me coming up the drive the other day, and asked me if he had all of his shots (which goes without saying, he has), and said they had mentioned it to him "at the doctor" (but didn't say whether the visit was specifically about that), and he wouldn't want for them to have to come and take Draco for a 10-day observation period. This kind of set me off a little... along with the fact that he has made a few random "observations", and comments, about how many "toys" (boat, jet ski, motorcycle, tractor, etc.), and cars, I had. Either way, while I'm undoubtedly appalled by the unfortunate situation (which was hopefully just an "antagonized - by the mower? - anomaly), and fully understand my direct responsibility in it (which is primarily my carelessness, and he shouldn't have been down in his yard in the first place), I sincerely hope "someone" isn't contemplating trying to milk this relatively minimal incident for whatever they can... as I can get rather "aggressive" as well, when provoked!
Regardless, I'm now re-evaluating" what his defense threshold, and nerves, might be, based on the few things I've noted above. However, overall, other than just being a usual ball of energy (and I crate him during the day while at work), he has always seemed to be a relatively "clear in the head", and has never really given me an intuitive feeling of being an "aggressive" dog. Perhaps I might be mistaken, though?
EDIT: Oh yeah. He (as most, I'm sure?) loves to tear the insides out of his cheapo fuzzy stuffed toys, and squeakers out of his squeak ones, but I was reading a "killed my pet rabbit" post on here, and I've never noticed him doing a "kill shake" or anything of the sort with them. As I said, I just don't necessarily see an "aggressive" streak in him... but he admittedly sure does love to chase things!
Last edited by dzignr_tastz; 04-20-2018 at 10:12 PM.