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I'm terrified and sick to my stomach that I may lose Thor.

He's bitten the same guy he bit a few months back. AC was automatically called (I understand the need for this so am not complaining about it) and they will be back Thursday to discuss what must be done....either another 10 days of automatic quarantine or the worse possible scenario, they will take him. As this particular attack (and yes, let's call it what it was...an ATTACK) was unprovoked, I fear it will be the latter. I keep bursting into tears as I can't bear the thought.

I had both Freya and Thor out for their walks, both on leashes. I wanted to work on them being off-leash and coming when I called. I let Freya off first and let her romp, calling her two or three times to return to me. She was figuring it out nicely, so I leashed her again and released Thor. Same thing...he romped around but returned to me the first time I called him. I let him go again and he ran off down the road....then stopped! His ears pricked up, his hackles rose. I could see this even though I was a quarter of a block away. I called him, my eyes searching for what caught his interest. I know there is a pack of feral cats that live in the area and thought he might have seen one of them, though his hackles don't lift for them usually, just his interest is piqued. But Thor didn't come, nor did he move....he just stood there.

Then I saw George coming down his steps. I watched as Thor tensed and called to George to 'get back in the house'. Unfortunately, I was too far away for him to hear me. I called Thor again, but he just stood. You have to know I was racing towards him by this time, dragging Freya along, as I knew...I KNEW...what was going to happen. Thor, ever since the first time he bit George for what he perceived as a threat to me, has hated George. Even walking past his house, Thor glances at it, his ears up, his hackles often up as well, even though no one is around.

Sure enough, George reached his driveway and Thor took off, circling George and lunging at his legs. George started squealing and screaming and hitting out at Thor with a bag he had in his hand. I told him "Just stand still, George, don't move" but let's face it, even if he had heard me, it would have been hard to stand still when a 100 lb. shepherd is nipping at your legs. I called Thor again, told him "Leave it! Come!" and he started back towards me. George turned towards the house but half way back to me, Thor turned and ran back again. Fortunately, George had gotten to a safe place under the house and with a few barks, Thor finally listened to me and came back. I leashed him at once and wondered ' what do I say to him? how do I correct his behavior? will he even understand what I'm telling him if I say bad dog or no biting or anything?'

Besides, I was shaking so badly I could only be grateful that I had him leashed by that time. I finally reached George's house and as he was climbing the stairs to the door, I called, "Are you okay?" When he said, "Thor bit me again and ripped my pants" I blanched. I am surprised my legs held me up. He pulled up his pant leg and blood was dripping down. Deja vu!

I took both dogs home, got in my truck, drove back to George's and piled him in to take him to the doctor's....again. Fortunately, this time it was just some scratches and one small puncture so they cleaned him up, put on some antibiotic salve, gave him a prescription for antibiotics and I took him to the pharmacy and then home. Naturally, they called AC and the vet to check up on Thor's shots. I will pay for the prescriptions and whatever his medicare doesn't cover, plus a new pair of pants and socks, but that does not solve the problem.

The doctor tried to make me feel better with a little joking comment; i.e. "You have to keep these two out of the same playground." I know he was trying to make me feel better but I don't.

Thor doesn't bite anyone else. I've had strange men all over the house during the replacement of my heating system, Kat (my daughter) has friends in and out of the house all the time, we meet other neighbors all the time when out for walks, but Thor only goes for George. I don't know what to do and I'm sooooooo frightened that AC will see him as a vicious dog and want to put him down. Just typing those words make tears gush. He's NOT vicious! Dang, Seamus attacked him and he REACTED, he was not PROACTIVE in that event.

What's wrong with Thor? What do I tell the AC when they get here? I don't want them to take him but I fear they will. Even the problems with Seamus dim compared to this dilemma.
 

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I'm sorry you're going through this but I do have to ask... why did you have Thor off leash anywhere near George's house, or in any area where this could happen? I understand you were working on off lead recalls, but this isn't the way to do that. It should only be done in a secure area, not out in public. And a dog who isn't reliable or who has any sort of aggression issue or previous bite history, even if just toward one person, should never be off lead.

Has Thor been evaluated by a behaviorist or trainer? Has he been through formal training? If not, I would make sure to do that ASAP.

His aggression toward George may be just an isolated incident. Dog's are capable of hating specific people, but being fine with others, just as we humans are. If you can prove to AC that is the case, that he is not a dangerous dog in general, it will help you. To do that, he would need to be thoroughly evaluated by an objective, outside party. I'd start calling now to make appointments for evaluation and training. That way you can show to AC that you are already taking steps to deal with this.

Purchasing a muzzle, and agreeing to have Thor always wear it in public may also help appease AC.

Also, start researching the dog bite laws in your area so you know exactly what they are. Don't trust the local AC guys to educate you in that. Find it out yourself.
 

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i have to agree.

i have friends who have both dogs who have bitten. (i've posted about them before)

their young dog got out the yard and bit a guy. she was kept on a long lead in the yard for a long time (unsupervised, of course) and then they decided not to bother. and she got out and bit a woman.

if you know thor bites, that he has that history, you really need to be responsible to ensure that doesn't happen again, especially if the bite occured the same way twice - i'm sorry, i know you're upset, and i would be to, but that is preventable.

thor shouldn't have the freedom. i have a dog that bites, though i've only ever been scratched, not punctured by her, and i worked really hard on leadership, curtailed her freedoms, and worked hard on bonding her to me. she spent months tethered to me inside, and she still, b/c of aggression issues, is tethered to me (traffic lead) outside.

i don't know what to suggest you tell AC. can you say 'i made a mistake, these are the steps i am going to be taking to ensure it doesn't happen again?'
 

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There are other ways to work on "off lead" recalls other than just taking a leash off of a dog that has bitten someone before. Even if it is just that one person, that person lives where you do which means letting him off lead is a bad idea... you knew that right??

I don't know what AC will do. I hope they don't take Thor. It was poor judgement on your half though. I hope things turn out ok. I hope George doesn't hold it against you. I hope Thor doesn't have to pay for a lapse in your judgement... Good luck and I am sorry this happened.
I know it has been really rough lately with Seamus.
 

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Wowzers. Can't believe you let him off lead in a public area like that. I use a 30 foot lead when I'm evaluating new dogs or working recalls. You can buy them up to 50 feet. Buy one of these for your recall work from now on.
 

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I use a (mostly) enclosed tennis court, and stand blocking the exit. This gives good space for offlead recalls, oracticing the retrieve game, and letting him burn off steam as I live in a big city and have no yard.

I am wishing you the best. You have been through so much stress lately with Seamus. Yes, this was very bad judgement. I wish it hadn't happened, for your sake as well as Thor's and George's. I hope everything turns out OK for Thor, and that you are able to find a nice fenced area to practice recalls, or use a good longline.
 

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As a word of caution, be careful with tennis courts as some of them don't close properly. My aunt had her dogs (non GSD) running in there when her Aussie jumped on the door and opened it. He got out and bit a kid on the leg that was running by.
 

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I am so sorry this happened and that you may loose Thor.

At the same time, I can only echo what everyone else here has already said: what were you thinking just letting them off leash in public to work on off-leash recall. That is not the way to do it.

When you start working on the off-leash recall, do it on a long line. That way, you can reinforce the command if it is not followed - and you can reel your dogs in if they're not listening at all. Once you get a good recall that way, work in an area where you can let them off-leash safely - an enclosed sports field, a fenced yard, something along those lines. When you have a good recall there, work on it off leash and without a fence in an area that has no people and other pets - like on a hiking trail in the woods.
 

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Diane,

If you get to keep Thor please do not ever let him off leash outside of an enclosed area again. This scenario was a recipe for disaster. Heck, he could have gotten hit by a car! In this case he did something else that may get him killed. This s sad, and not his fault.
 

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Every one of you are right. What I did was stupid stupid stupid. The fact that I live on a back road where there are hardly any people living at this time of year (virtually all the houses are summer rental cottages for the tourists and there aren't any around now) makes little difference when I do know that George lives there.

As for training, I have less idea how to do that than most. I see the wisdom of a long line (50 feet or so) NOW...but now is a bit late. I will discuss all this with the AC when they come and promise faithfully never to leave Thor off his leash again unless we're way the heck out on the beach and not a soul is in sight but a lone seagull.

And please, I beg all of you not to repeat again and again that I should talk to a good trainer or a behaviorist. I don't know how many ways I can explain that the nearest trainer/behaviorist is well over 4 or 5 hours away from me, that I live on a pension, that it takes more than I can afford to buy gas just to drive to the vet's (70 miles away), which I've done 3 times this past month. I'm alone here, folks. You all are my best line of information. I have no one else to ask.

I know all my dogs could use more training...I'm not dense. But whatever they know depends on much I know....and I'm just one old lady who happens to love her dogs to death. I try to train them with NILIF and lots of hugs. Probably entirely wrong but that's all I have.

But I do appreciate your all telling me what I did wrong this time. It was totally dumb on my part to release Thor within a mile of George's house. Thank God George still likes me and has offered to plead Thor's case to the AC himself.
 

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Diane, maybe George can do that, and speak for Thor and for you. Your own words admitting poor judgement may be enough, too.. that is what I hope. Being isolated is not easy. Do you have a dinky little sleepy mini-library there? It takes an annoyingly long time, like 2 - 3 weeks sometimes, but the lil library can interlibrary loan order, for FREE, training DVDs or Videos from the big jumbo library branches in NC. They get shipped via US Postal, lots of times! But, it may make you feel better, give you more to learn and enjoy, and teach you neat dogtraining stuff too. You are doing what you can.. I applaud your efforts. I hope this goes well for Thor.
 

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Wow, you're very lucky that George is such a nice guy!

I really hope all works out for you & Thor and wish you all the best!
 

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I echo what everyone else has already said..To add, if I were you, I would speak to George, and PROMISE him you will never put him in this type of situation again, hopefully he will be as understanding as he seems to be, and this will help with AC as well.

I would also be very unwilling to let Thor off leash off property ANYWHERE until you are a 100% sure of his reaction no matter where it is.

I also hope everything works out ok
Diane
 

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Quote:I will discuss all this with the AC when they come and promise faithfully never to leave Thor off his leash again unless we're way the heck out on the beach and not a soul is in sight but a lone seagull.
NO. No more "unless" or "if." Your dog can no longer be off lead. When you least expect it, someone will come around the corner and that will be that. As it is, you stand a very good chance of your dog being taken and euthanized. Your neighbor is an absolute saint- tell him I want him as my neighbor... as ALL my neighbors! If things work out such that you still have the dog, invest in a long line, invest in an e-collar, learn how to use the latter (paging Lou Castle, Lou Castle to the front), and use BOTH on your dog. You can actively train your dog for off leash work while he is on the long line. This will make no difference on the dog. Also, when you do long line work, get a muzzle. There is nothing wrong with this and it will be an excellent safety measure for you, your dog, and the public. Should anything happen, the dog won't be able to do anything. Get a wire basket or leather muzzle for good airflow.

Quote:I try to train them with NILIF and lots of hugs. Probably entirely wrong but that's all I have.
This is what you need: a short leash, a long line, a muzzle, an e-collar if you can afford it, a clicker for positive training, a couple good books (check out the leadership info link in my signature), and read everything you can regarding training and behavior on this board. Finally, repeat after me: "If the dogs are outside, they are ON LEASH. The dogs are NEVER OFF LEASH when outside, no matter what."
 

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Originally Posted By: DianaM

NO. No more "unless" or "if." Your dog can no longer be off lead. When you least expect it, someone will come around the corner and that will be that. As it is, you stand a very good chance of your dog being taken and euthanized.
I agree. IF Thor gets through this, all it will take is one tiny lapse in your judgment, moment when you're distracted, or have become complacent and that will be it. Use a long line or an ecollar. There are some cheaper ecollar models available, and a long line doesn't cost much at all. Heck, you can make one with some clothesline and a bolt snap from the hardware store. But I would never, ever have this dog off lead again.
 

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Diane, I am so sorry to see that Thor is in trouble...I know this is terribly upsetting for you...

In Ohio we have a three bite law...I will be praying that that is what your state has also...

I will be watching for a post after you have dealt with AC...Hugs to you tonight, Judy
 

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I cannot believe this happened TWICE!!

This is why dog laws are passed. If dog owners were more respondsible then goverment would not have to be involved.

I know I am being harsh but your dog already bit. What were you doing training without control??????

I know after the fact is easy to see what went wrong and I truely am sorry for everything.

Can you imagine poor George. Attacked twice. Not safe in his own home?
 

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I know that you said you don’t want to hear it, but you and Thor need the help of a real professional. I know it won’t be easy or cheap but the alternative isn’t pretty. In my mind you really don't have another choice except re-homing him and I know that would be heart breaking.

If Animal Control agrees to give Thor another chance it will most likely be his last one. I know that you love him and would hate to see his life end prematurely because you couldn’t figure out how to handle him.

People on a message board give great general advice but if you dog starts attacking even just one neighbor you need professional, hands on help.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03I cannot believe this happened TWICE!!

This is why dog laws are passed. If dog owners were more respondsible then goverment would not have to be involved.

I know I am being harsh but your dog already bit. What were you doing training without control??????

I know after the fact is easy to see what went wrong and I truely am sorry for everything.

Can you imagine poor George. Attacked twice. Not safe in his own home?
Hey, climb down off your cross! someone needs the wood. Dianne has repeated over and over she used poor judgment . You are not adding anything new here that hasn't already been mentioned.

Do you have anything constructive to say
 
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