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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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!
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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I looked back at a previous post and am noticing that Draco is only 10 months old.... not only does he seem to have the (i now hesitate to say) temperament nor training for this lifestyle - he certainly doesn’t have the maturity. You are barely entering the knucklehead teenage years - prepare for things to get a lot worse with the lack of authority, structure and boundaries. All that hackling in such a young dog points towards insecurity...not “high defensive drive”.

It can be challenging out in the country, but please do right by your dog and community, and get the right kind of help now.
 

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I also live rural. I would love to fence my 12 acres sure would make my life easier. Dogs bite my 6 year old was nipped at a dog park! The dog took his whole forearm from the side into his mouth. My 6 year old was behaving. The dog was just freaked out by him for some reason. No marks left but that was the straw that broke me Apex even tho so friendly isn't allowed at the dog park. No I didn't sue or make a big deal of it.

Not having a fence has made me incredibly responsible for trying to train dog. I put in so much effort he is now 14 months and still on a long line. There was a time where he didn't need to be but he grew out of it. I think a time will come where he won't need it. The issue is my training imo not my dog noob here. We have a pack of dogs that roam my dog is not allowed. They live a ways away only come my way if someone walks up to where they roam they follow them out to about my house and return home. He isn't allowed off property period not even leashed walks. I'll drive away from home for leashed walks or walk leashed on property. He doesn't care for leashed home walks lol. I think a 30' long line is what I use. The back woods of our property I do let him off leash and he respects the boundaries but it's still a risk at this point. He is getting really good at respecting the front of the properties boundaries where our home is where all the distractions are. We had neighbors when we first moved here their dogs free roamed pooped in our yard, they would come into my yard and bark bark bark at us I have kids so I was real happy they moved soon. I have a neighbor who has an agressive dog she leash walks sometimes unmuzzled. My dog would rush her dog if I allowed it I know because I was that jerk who made a mistake. I just think it's best if your dog knows his boundaries and stays with in them reguardless of temperment. All that time outside on a long line and walking our boundaries has been a benefit. Once I know the obedience is there and he can resist temptation he will be off the long line. Trust me I know how much of a pain it is I just think it's in everyone's best interest.
Stuff happpens it's what you do after that matters. Apex opened our storm door yesterday....hmmm didn't know he could do that oops again. I ran out after him he was gone could not see him called his name went to the side of the house called again returned to the front and he was standing on the front porch waiting to be let in...small victory he chose to come home. Still I won't be leaving the front door open with access to the storm door. He knows to sit at doors to go outside when leashed but I don't know yet how to teach you can't go out a door period without a release....wonder if that's possible. Sorry this is long I have a hard time being to the point. My point being put your dog on a long line. Manage him until he has earned the freedom just like they earn freedom in the house. Apex still chases my cats so he is crated at night still and when no one is home which is rare he has come a long way given time we will get there. Otherwise he is good in the home. Apex can't recall off other dogs or cats given time we will get there. Hope my story helps.
 

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@Fodder my tag won't work I bet....I don't know how... I would be interested in the barely entering teenage knucklehead phase. Apex is a good dog...I always here teenage phase as 7 months but I feel I'm more in it now lol. I really try to have patience Apex is brilliant such a great dog with a dodo noob for an owner. I have loved the experience but sometimes wonder what comes with 2+ years. I hope relief and some relaxation lol
I guess it depends on how long it takes for him to figure out what the heck it is I am asking lol
 

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I could not get through this. It is so frustrating. Would you let your brats run about barefooted getting in the way of the tires and the output of your mower? Of course not. They can lose toes, or worse, and what shoots out of that output can do serious damage. Put the darn dog inside, crated if necessary while you mow your lawn!

And, I don't know where you live, but letting your dog have the freedom to run the neighborhood, playing or fighting with whomever he chooses, coming home when he feels like it -- well, that isn't working for your dog. Dogs are NOT humans. Letting them run the neighborhood is irresponsible dog ownership. So now your dog has bitten someone.

If you continue the way you are going, you will probably be sued, and someone is going to take the decision about whether or not your dog lives or dies out of your hands.
 

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OK. I'm not going to bother replying to these directly (although I'd sure LIKE to!), but I'm frankly confused as to how anyone concluded I was "dismissing", or "downplaying", the situation? So why DO you think I'm concerned enough to POST about it in the first place? Just looking for opinions to make myself feel better about the situation (like I really care at the end of the day what what any of you "think" of me), despite my knowing, albeit in hindsight, that there was ultimately NO "excuse" for it, primarily on my part? But I guess none of you ever made a bad decision, or, NOT "knowing all" (as you obviously do now?), failed to realize a situation for what it actually was before it happened? But whatever. Judge me as the "horrible owner who simply didn't train his dog well enough" with your elitist attitudes if you want. I also clearly stated, and accepted, MY ultimate and "direct" responsibility for it, so I'm not sure if trying making me feel worse by repeatedly reiterating my very own words somehow makes you feel better about yourselves, or what, but.... more power to (a select few of) you?

Furthermore, I clearly stated I was not trying to minimize the situation, or the seriousness of it, or the blatant necessity to make some major adjustments at this point (and have, and he doesn't go out off-leash unless it's quickly, late at night, when no one is around, to do his business). If anything, I was simply clarifying the seemingly minimal amount of physical damage Draco actually did, which COULD mean (but is in no way definite) it was accidental... for I tend to believe if he "BIT" him with wholehearted aggressive intent, it most likely would have been considerably worse. Nothing more... nothing less. Additionally, it's not like Draco just randomly ran up and bit him; the mower was obviously an important variable (and one I was asking about... so thanks to those who actually addressed it) that has apparently been asked about on here several times, in multiple threads, even though I wouldn't even attempt to say the neighbor riding it, or mowing his grass, was in any way "provocation" by OUR definition (albeit maybe his). But in reality, I just, mistakenly, took it as periodic "playing", as he did with me on my mower, and... lesson learned (even if it was accidental)? Fool me once... shame on you; fool me twice...

But doesn't that "property" standard go both ways? My dog off his property... his (and everyone else's) off mine (and everyone else's)? However, the two dogs, and others, play together (usually primarily in my yard), enjoy doing so the majority of the time, tails just a waggin', and in fact, one of the other neighbor's dog is MUCH more blatantly aggressive towards his (but not mine) than Draco is. Furthermore, I'm not sure where some came to the conclusion that I just sit back and let him "bully" any of the other dogs, and don't correct him if I think he's "playing" inappropriately, or that he doesn't have ANY training, or relatively good recall. Sure, he could use additional work, as could most, and I'm working on that, as time and weather allow, but some of your replies just seem like little more than... pompous assumptions?

And bottom line, I grew up with nothing BUT Shepherds as a kid in the 70's (admittedly... 40 years ago, when crap was "simpler"), and even rode a couple of them around the yard at times, and likely pulled their ears, and tails, and whatever. Yet they never bit, or nipped, me, OR ever had any "formal training", AND coincidentally, "ran - TOTALLY - amok"! They obviously DID have good NERVES, or a low THRESHOLD, or whatever applicable, inherent, genetic contributing factor kept them from doing so, which unarguably isn't something you can TEACH; thus why I came asking about temperament... not your opinion on whether or not I can, or can't, "break him" of his possible genetics.

But screw it. The better majority of this just seems to be more of the same "if your dog isn't a $3,000 pedigree, and just came from a backyard breeder, he's not worthy" (which ironically could be the actual case here, and what I WAS asking for opinions on?) elitist garbage I encountered on my initial visits here... although this time it's "if your dog doesn't have $5,000 worth of professional training, then you, and thus he, suck". nonetheless, thanks, and a thumbs up, to those who actually tried to at least offer something constructive, and not simply post stalk me, and judge my financial position, or consider if I even WANT to "build a fence" versus other obvious, perfectly acceptable options, like the long line Apex1 just suggested (which I already HAD, as well as a 4' leather, E-collar, choke collar, and most recently, as a result of the incident, prong collar), but truly didn't feel it was necessary to use it around the yard as he never "ran off", and knows his relative boundaries (which USED to be the very same neighbors yard, as the prior resident was elderly and never came outside), although he has been pushing a few recently. And "fence, fence, fence"! In another thread I was reading, someone's GS "nipped" some kid that was taunting him OVER a fence, so even that's not a guaranteed prevention... not to mention my neighbor admitted his kids are "dog shy" since his very OWN dog "nipped" one of them once because they wouldn't leave him alone! So it DOES happen, regardless of training, or oversight.

But whatever. Seriously considering just going, and asking, elsewhere (yet again), just to see if they can manage to do anything other than "judge". And before anyone else claims that's what I was doing with my "tatted" comment, or that I used that fact in any way as an "excuse", or reason, or anything else, apparently you took THAT out completely of context, too, and I simply meant that, in my personal experience, "tatted" people are usually a little more laid back, and less uptight, about certain things.

Hmmm. Applicable? :/
 

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Whenever your dog bits or nips someone who is not breaking into your home or car, or physically attacking you, it's entirely YOUR fault! Not the dog's temperment, not the dog's behavior, YOU!

I've lived in rural areas most of my life, and I've been bitten by numerous dogs, BUT...never on my own property by someone else's dog.I'm entirely with the previous poster who said that your dog would not be allowed to do this again, or EVER with mine or anyone else's children on my property and live to do it again! Build a kennel man!
 

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And, I don't know where you live, but letting your dog have the freedom to run the neighborhood, playing or fighting with whomever he chooses, coming home when he feels like it -- well, that isn't working for your dog. Dogs are NOT humans. Letting them run the neighborhood is irresponsible dog ownership. So now your dog has bitten someone.
Yeah. THIS bunk. He VERY rarely goes outside (and supposedly "runs the neighborhood") unless I go outside as well, except for maybe letting him out from being crated when I get home, the other dogs come over, and I let him free run for 5 minutes after doing his business, with the sliding glass door screen open, in the immediate vicinity of the 2 or 3 bordering yards (a 30-yard radius?), and always within whistling distance ... and COMES 99% of the time if and when I do! :/

"OMG!! Your instinctual dog nipped someone! You horrible, irresponsible owner who obviously just always lets his dog run amok!!!"
 

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Whenever your dog bits or nips someone who is not breaking into your home or car, or physically attacking you, it's entirely YOUR fault! Not the dog's temperment, not the dog's behavior, YOU!

I've lived in rural areas most of my life, and I've been bitten by numerous dogs, BUT...never on my own property by someone else's dog.I'm entirely with the previous poster who said that your dog would not be allowed to do this again, or EVER with mine or anyone else's children on my property and live to do it again! Build a kennel man!
And IMHO, you are dead wrong? A dog that has bad nerves, genetically, and misinterprets a non-threat as a legitimate one (such as in your example), very well COULD bite in the wrong situation, regardless of training, and it has very little to do with the owner, but more so the inherent genetics of the dog itself.

(Or is EVERYTHING I've read elsewhere just totally wrong, and this place - and the people in it with their "opinions" - is just the end all, be all of German Shepherds?)
 

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OK. I'm not going to bother replying to these directly (although I'd sure LIKE to!), but I'm frankly confused as to how anyone concluded I was "dismissing", or "downplaying", the situation? So why DO you think I'm concerned enough to POST about it in the first place? Just looking for opinions to make myself feel better about the situation (like I really care at the end of the day what what any of you "think" of me), despite my knowing, albeit in hindsight, that there was ultimately NO "excuse" for it, primarily on my part? But I guess none of you ever made a bad decision, or, NOT "knowing all" (as you obviously do now?), failed to realize a situation for what it actually was before it happened? But whatever. Judge me as the "horrible owner who simply didn't train his dog well enough" with your elitist attitudes if you want. I also clearly stated, and accepted, MY ultimate and "direct" responsibility for it, so I'm not sure if trying making me feel worse by repeatedly reiterating my very own words somehow makes you feel better about yourselves, or what, but.... more power to (a select few of) you?

Furthermore, I clearly stated I was not trying to minimize the situation, or the seriousness of it, or the blatant necessity to make some major adjustments at this point (and have, and he doesn't go out off-leash unless it's quickly, late at night, when no one is around, to do his business). If anything, I was simply clarifying the seemingly minimal amount of physical damage Draco actually did, which COULD mean (but is in no way definite) it was accidental... for I tend to believe if he "BIT" him with wholehearted aggressive intent, it most likely would have been considerably worse. Nothing more... nothing less. Additionally, it's not like Draco just randomly ran up and bit him; the mower was obviously an important variable (and one I was asking about... so thanks to those who actually addressed it) that has apparently been asked about on here several times, in multiple threads, even though I wouldn't even attempt to say the neighbor riding it, or mowing his grass, was in any way "provocation" by OUR definition (albeit maybe his). But in reality, I just, mistakenly, took it as periodic "playing", as he did with me on my mower, and... lesson learned (even if it was accidental)? Fool me once... shame on you; fool me twice...

But doesn't that "property" standard go both ways? My dog off his property... his (and everyone else's) off mine (and everyone else's)? However, the two dogs, and others, play together (usually primarily in my yard), enjoy doing so the majority of the time, tails just a waggin', and in fact, one of the other neighbor's dog is MUCH more blatantly aggressive towards his (but not mine) than Draco is. Furthermore, I'm not sure where some came to the conclusion that I just sit back and let him "bully" any of the other dogs, and don't correct him if I think he's "playing" inappropriately, or that he doesn't have ANY training, or relatively good recall. Sure, he could use additional work, as could most, and I'm working on that, as time and weather allow, but some of your replies just seem like little more than... pompous assumptions?

And bottom line, I grew up with nothing BUT Shepherds as a kid in the 70's (admittedly... 40 years ago, when crap was "simpler"), and even rode a couple of them around the yard at times, and likely pulled their ears, and tails, and whatever. Yet they never bit, or nipped, me, OR ever had any "formal training", AND coincidentally, "ran - TOTALLY - amok"! They obviously DID have good NERVES, or a low THRESHOLD, or whatever applicable, inherent, genetic contributing factor kept them from doing so, which unarguably isn't something you can TEACH; thus why I came asking about temperament... not your opinion on whether or not I can, or can't, "break him" of his possible genetics.

But screw it. The better majority of this just seems to be more of the same "if your dog isn't a $3,000 pedigree, and just came from a backyard breeder, he's not worthy" (which ironically could be the actual case here, and what I WAS asking for opinions on?) elitist garbage I encountered on my initial visits here... although this time it's "if your dog doesn't have $5,000 worth of professional training, then you, and thus he, suck". nonetheless, thanks, and a thumbs up, to those who actually tried to at least offer something constructive, and not simply post stalk me, and judge my financial position, or consider if I even WANT to "build a fence" versus other obvious, perfectly acceptable options, like the long line Apex1 just suggested (which I already HAD, as well as a 4' leather, E-collar, choke collar, and most recently, as a result of the incident, prong collar), but truly didn't feel it was necessary to use it around the yard as he never "ran off", and knows his relative boundaries (which USED to be the very same neighbors yard, as the prior resident was elderly and never came outside), although he has been pushing a few recently. And "fence, fence, fence"! In another thread I was reading, someone's GS "nipped" some kid that was taunting him OVER a fence, so even that's not a guaranteed prevention... not to mention my neighbor admitted his kids are "dog shy" since his very OWN dog "nipped" one of them once because they wouldn't leave him alone! So it DOES happen, regardless of training, or oversight.

But whatever. Seriously considering just going, and asking, elsewhere (yet again), just to see if they can manage to do anything other than "judge". And before anyone else claims that's what I was doing with my "tatted" comment, or that I used that fact in any way as an "excuse", or reason, or anything else, apparently you took THAT out completely of context, too, and I simply meant that, in my personal experience, "tatted" people are usually a little more laid back, and less uptight, about certain things.

Hmmm. Applicable? :/
You let your dog harass your neighbor not once, not twice but three times. This is all on you and has nothing to do with the dog at all. And it isn't a bad decision at that point, you just couldn't be bothered. You are claiming that we are being elitist (which is funnier then you know in my case), yet not one person responding has done anything but defend your dog.
We gave you suggestions, build a fence and train your dog.
 
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