And... He "Bit" The Neighbor. :/ - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 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?

Opinions?



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.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dzignr_tastz View Post
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?

Opinions?



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!
Im not sure you'll like my opion. But if I was to be "nipped" by a neighbor's dog on my property I would be pretty pissed but not im not the suing type. However if out on my property and the same dog that had bit me appeared on my property while out with my kids in an aggressive manner of any sort it would be that dogs last mistake. To have to have fear for the safety of myself or loved ones on my own property is not something I would tolerate.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 10:52 PM
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I used to have a GSD who was obsessed with farm machinery. He would chase me around the arena while I dragged it every morning with a little tractor and a big rake. I thought that was harmless fun for him until he decided he wanted to also chase and attach the riding mower which meant he was way too close to the blades.

So, if that's what your dog was doing ... with my dog it had nothing to do with aggression towards people, the bite could have legitimately been an accident or maybe the guy tried to kick your dog off while he was busy trying to attack the machine.

But motives don't really matter when a dog bites someone.

On the whole it kind of sounds like the dog is running amok & when they do that and just act on whatever impulse then they tend to do impulsive stupid stuff and that's just their mindset. The story of what the dog does with cats bothered me. I wouldn't let that go on if I were you.

As for the legality of the bite I really don't know, I guess you better read up on your local dog bite laws.

I would suspect that things would look better for you no matter what happened as a result of the bite if you could show that you were really turning over a new leaf with this dog because you realize he isn't suitable to just run about loose. If animal control showed up at your house and found you in the process of building a sturdy fence to contain your dog I bet it would make an impression on them. It might also make an impression on your neighbor that you care and are taking steps to control your dog, which might go a long way toward future relations.

The dog would probably benefit from some training with you just to exhaust him mentally so he is in a calmer state.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 10:53 PM
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You should be questioning your management of him, not his temperament.

You may not like this but your neighbor is probably fixing to sue and honestly I don't blame him. I am not sure if you realize how dismissive your post came across, but let me be clear that your neighbor has an absolute RIGHT to do yard maintenance on his property without fear of your out of control dog assaulting him. You had a responsibility to get your butt over there as soon as your dog ventured onto his property, apologize for the trespass, get your animal off his yard and secure him.
You acknowledge that you allow this dog to harass and bully other dogs in the area. Not cool. And you acknowledge that you saw the dog bothering him and ignored it.
Since most of your posts manage to mention that you have money, use it to fence to property and hire a trainer. The consequences of you continuing down the path you are on will be your dogs death.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 11:00 PM
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You won't like my opinion either. I'm sorry, but it seems like you are down-playing this whole situation. What I see in the situation is a man, minding his own business and mowing his yard (certainly not antagonizing the dog), when the neighbor's dog comes up and inappropriately approaches him, not once but three times, finally ending up in a "nip"....Nipping is minor biting, but still biting.

If a dog "nipped" me, I would certainly want to know if the dog was up-to-date on his shots. I couldn't assume that someone who had allowed their dog to free roam into my yard several times until it bit me had also made sure that the dog was UTD on his shots. I don't think the neighbor is being unreasonable, especially with him having children in the house. I do hope that you'll count yourself fortunate that he is handling it better than I could. Build a fence, train your dog, and mend the relationship with your new neighbor.

I don't understand what the neighbor being "all tatted and whatnot" has to do with the situation?
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 11:00 PM
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Either leash your dog every time your outside or build a fence. Neighbor shouldnt have to fear having his kids outside
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
You should be questioning your management of him, not his temperament.

You may not like this but your neighbor is probably fixing to sue and honestly I don't blame him. I am not sure if you realize how dismissive your post came across, but let me be clear that your neighbor has an absolute RIGHT to do yard maintenance on his property without fear of your out of control dog assaulting him. You had a responsibility to get your butt over there as soon as your dog ventured onto his property, apologize for the trespass, get your animal off his yard and secure him.
You acknowledge that you allow this dog to harass and bully other dogs in the area. Not cool. And you acknowledge that you saw the dog bothering him and ignored it.
Since most of your posts manage to mention that you have money, use it to fence to property and hire a trainer. The consequences of you continuing down the path you are on will be your dogs death.
I totally agree that management is the issue and not the dog's temperament. We have several houses on my road that are owned by people who live out of state and they are very rarely here. It is a rarely traveled dirt road. I can walk my dogs up and back for 45 mins off leash and never see a person or a car the whole time. So, one day we walk up there and some of the out of towners are there. We had gone up through the hay field and coming back down the hill my younger dog saw a man standing there where normally there is never a man. So he bounced on his front legs a little like they do and gave this big bark. I immediately called him back and leashed him. When we came back by on the way back I could see the man was still out so I preemptively leashed the dog because I already know he may bark at this man and I know even if my dog doesn't, that this guy owns the property and I'm not going to let my dog bark at him. My dogs are absolutely never allowed to just run about and bark at whoever they want and bum rush whoever they want. I'm fine if the dog wants to bark and alert me that there is a man where there is normally never a man, and then immediately call back to me. That's why I treat barking the way I do- which is, let me know and await further instructions. Bark does not equal charge without thought.

I can't possibly say how many dogs I know of who have gotten into stupid, stupid, unnecessary trouble because the yard isn't fenced. A fenced yard is simply not an option for me, it's a necessity, so my dogs can chase chipmunks and play without any worry. The worst thing that can possibly happen is they run to the fence barking and I call them back. I rarely leave them out alone but if i hear them start carrying on I always go check. They are offleash outside the fence daily and have very good voice control but still, it's just such a breather to have them in where they can do whatever and if they charge off into the woods I don't have to worry--- it's a good sized fenced area and I enjoy watching them chase squirrels and run around and we can all be totally relaxed.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 11:10 PM
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lots of unrelated back story, quotations and parenthesis. everyone has their own interpretation of bites, nips, mouthiness... but bottom line, if a strange dog were to have ANY non playful open mouth contact with any part of my body - to me, it’s a bite.

not entirely sure of what types of opinions you’re looking for, but some things I noticed in passing... there shouldn’t have been a THIRD approach, and I feel Draco should be properly managed/contained for more than “quite a while”... read: forever.

I won’t pretend to understand the customs of rural living... but from what you describe, it doesn’t sound like Draco has the temperament or training for that type of freedom.

It never feels good to be taken advantage of and I do hope this isn’t a case of milking..... but if he were to pursue this in a legal fashion, he’d be well within his rights.

I’d be looking into both training and permanent containment options. Especially with kids in the picture...regardless of his previous positive history with them.

take care.

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 12:00 AM
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First, the dog was in prey drive. Chasing the mower and probably accidentally nailed the guy while he was biting at the mower.

But..BUT....

WHY did you allow him to continue to go bother the neighbor while they were mowing THEIR property? On what planet was the first time he did it acceptable??? You showed zero courtesy for your neighbor and zero regard for your dog's safety.

Before you decide to get "aggressive" at this man who your dog was allowed to harass and bite, you might want to consider that YOU are 100% at fault. And you just admitted to it on a public forum that can be read by their attorney.

YOU failed your dog. Now you better hope that the county doesn't come take your dog and possibly euthanize him as a dangerous dog.

Living in a rural area and the other guy being tatted are lame reasons for any of this. And your dog didn't "bring this on himself". YOU caused this with lack of training and management.





Last edited by Jax08; 04-21-2018 at 12:03 AM.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 12:06 AM
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It's time to build a fence (immediately).

I've lived places where everyone's dogs run loose.... Doesn't matter. This one is completely on you. Fence or leash at all times, and a fence is much better because it also keeps other dogs or non-family people out of reach of your dog.
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