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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?)
That's the point, young dogs of sound genetic temperment frequently make incorrect decisions about what is and is not a threat. It's up to the OWNER to help them learn the difference, WHILE ensuring that NO ONE gets bitten innapropriately!

Your dog is fine, your management of such a young dog just needs to ratchet up a notch or three - especially if there are kids in the neighborhood. Come on dude, I wasn't attacking you, just stating the obvious!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Maybe the issue is I'm just asking the wrong freakin' people??? Hmmm. Let's consult the actual experts...

https://www.germanshepherdguide.com/temperament.html

Third paragraph (follow along!)...

"If I only had a dollar for every time someone has told me "It's all in how they're raised!" (read: "trained") ... No, it's not. It's all in how their DNA came together."

Now I, again, clearly stated, and accepted, my role, and responsibility in the incident. As such, I did NOT need to hear, repeatedly, about that. I asked who thought his temperament, based on all the (apparently unnecessary to some?) "background info" I divulged about the rest of his apparent temperament and demeanor, might have CONTRIBUTED (not "caused"... as that was obviously 100% ME, dragging him down there by the scruff of his neck!) to him having been down there, barking at the mower, in the first place? Kind of thought that might be clear given my intro sentence discussed "temperament", and the majority of the post was about how he acts aside from the relayed incident.

Friday night comprehension just isn't what it used to be... :/

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.
Au contraire, mon frere! I simply didn't view it as "harassing" (thus, the "bad decision"), but just as a "pup" (which he still is, albeit a bigger one?) periodically playing stand-off with a new, big "toy". The neighbor didn't seem particularly perturbed by it, surely didn't stop and motion for me to come get him, and ultimately said when we spoke after that he NEVER expected him to do that (and even admitted himself maybe it was accidental)... which I obviously didn't, either, or he wouldn't have been down there. And while, as I said, we're not "best friends", we have had a couple of decent length, friendly conversations, and I certainly didn't think a "Hey. Would you mind? He's kind of getting in the way." would have been out of place, were it the case, nor would it in any way have been offensive to me.

And you have almost 3k posts (given, it's not 31k like some "experts", but still), so you obviously must think you "know" something (and I'm sure all are as entertaining as they have been here)? Hmmm. Let me go post stalk a little as well and check...

That's the point, young dogs of sound genetic temperment frequently make incorrect decisions about what is and is not a threat. It's up to the OWNER to help them learn the difference, WHILE ensuring that NO ONE gets bitten innapropriately!

Your dog is fine, your management of such a young dog just needs to ratchet up a notch or three - especially if there are kids in the neighborhood. Come on dude, I wasn't attacking you, just stating the obvious!
Now there's a constructive answer I can accept! ;) And there weren't (young, at least, and he's fine with the few teenage ones) kids, until about a month ago.

However, I do still have concerns at this point whether some of the things I've "rationalized", such as his hackles coming up so often, might be underlying signs of some nerve issues? I mean, it's primarily just he and I, and he's constantly under my feet, and while he's very smart IMO, he definitely has some authority/rank issues (then again, so do I?), so much so that I've been attempting (with some success?) some non-conventional Food Routine training.
 

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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?)
That's the point, young dogs of sound genetic temperment frequently make incorrect decisions about what is and is not a threat. It's up to the OWNER to help them learn the difference, WHILE ensuring that NO ONE gets bitten innapropriately!

Your dog is fine, your management of such a young dog just needs to ratchet up a notch or three - especially if there are kids in the neighborhood. Come on dude, I wasn't attacking you, just stating the obvious!
agree
 

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OK the point I was trying to make is that even if the bite was an accident it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to your neighbor or the law. It's why I would never let anyone outside my family play with my female ever in her life. She has been sloppy and grabby with toys when she plays, I fixed it with myself and my family but if someone teased her with a ball or who knows, I could imagine her grabbing for the toy and nicking someone's hand and regardless of her intent they can say she bit them.

I should have taught her better when she was a pup but I was late catching on and she had already played sloppy for awhile and if the person doesn't make her adhere to the rules she could revert. So I have never let anyone outside my immediate family play with her. Not risking it.
 

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Yes kids can taunt dogs behind a fence but not if you are supervising. Introducing an e collar and a choke chain and whatever else to this situation is not the solution in my opinion.

Build a good fence and still supervise your dog. If the kids approach the fence you do as well and say please don't bother the dog and take him inside.
 

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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

WOW

NOT ONE RESPONSE mentioned the dog's pedigree, price or origins. NOT ONE. I have NOT read other posts of yours to have any preconceived opinion of the dog or you.

What I saw was a rather caviler description of the dynamics of a very laid back rural area where dogs run loose, and your dogs behavior in that context. A phrase I heard all too often as a child "IF EVERYONE ELSE JUMPS OFF THE BRIDGE, ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT TOO??" Just because it is common behavior does not make it right or acceptable.

A little concern about being sued by a new neighbor who may indeed be contemplating that action.

A young dog who is not given boundaries or who has an owner who understands the drives of the dog

I see alot of good advice about training and containing this dog. For the protection of the dog and his well being and so he has a future. No one wants to see repercussions that will cause the dog to be PTS due to behavior in the future if he is not trained and continues to run and becomes aggressive as an adult. Yes, I see several statements that call for accountability for the dog's behavior, none mentioning the price/origin of the dog BTW, and while some are not the most polite....I understand the frustration of the responses given the APPARENT tone of your original post. I agree that everyone is more concerned with the dog's future and cares more about what could happen to him than your feelings. I also agree that you must be concerned to some extent to post, and it is human nature to present any situation in the best light possible for one's own well being....which is being taken harshly here ....


All that being addressed, I tend to agree with the responses....get an area fenced for the dog, don't let him go roam with the neighborhood dogs - he is not a grade school kid who needs buddies - and have a heart to heart with the neighbor to attempt to deflect any hard feelings that a lawsuit would spark.

Good luck and hope it all turns out ok for Draco.

Lee
 

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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.

Hmmm. Applicable? :/
Something here popped out at me-- he is going outside off a leash when no one is around or after dark. I wouldn't do that. The dog has bitten someone. He needs to be under your control 100% of the time.

To me it doesn't matter if you "want" to build a fence. It's the right thing to do, the best solution for your dog. There are a few ways using an e collar on the dog could really mess things up and potentially make things much worse, not the least of which being that the e collar or choke collar or any other collar only works if you are there and supervising and sooner or later something happens where you step away or look away for a moment or you think no one is around and you let the dog out and then a kid comes running out of nowhere. That's why I believe in fences. My dogs are very trained but what about that moment I go to refill my coffee cup or what about my neighbor's dog who does run around off leash? That dog is friendly but my female GSD does not appreciate her trespassing on our property and no way am I risking my dog's reputation, my dog is behind the fence so nothing is at risk. Even if I am out there with the dog and the e collar it doesn't stop my neighbor's dog from running up in my yard to steal a toy, which she has done, and I can tell you just what my GSD would think of that.

So I don't think your other options are "perfectly acceptable" Even if you do train your dog not to leave your property what happens when those neighbor kids kick a ball over into your yard and run to get it without thinking?
 

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Elitist? I have a 10 week old GSD pup. She is the first GSD that I have ever owned. She is not from a well-known line. Her pedigree pales in comparison to many of the dogs on this forum. I am not an "elitist", I am just a dog lover. That said, I am sorry that you have been offended. It was not my intention to offend you, and I am sure that no one else on this forum meant to offend you as well. We are all simply concerned that your god is headed in a direction that will result in a dog that is not trustworthy. This is dangerous for you because you would be legally liable, dangerous for the dog because biters frequently have to be killed, dangerous for your neighbors because they can't even mow their lawn, and a poor representation of the GSD breed.

I also live in a rural area where most people allow their dogs to run free. I've seen dogs get tangled with coyotes and end up torn up or even bred. Dog fights, poor social manners....but the worst is the dead dogs that have to be shot for running livestock. Genali will be kept home and under control. She will not run with neighborhood dogs for these reasons. A fence is your friend, whether you want it or not.
 

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Whenever we ask for opinions on a public forum we are certainly going to receive some we don't agree with and some that really get under our skin.
It's time to stop the criticism and offer friendly constructive plans of action.
 

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@dzignr_tastz , some reasons you are getting strong responses are:

1. Every act of harm committed by a German Shepherd has the potential to affect other owners of GSD's. Breed specific legislation and restrictive bans are on the rise.

2. If you scan this board you will see dozens of threads started by people who are having very real trouble finding homeowner's insurance that will cover GSD's. Pedigree doesn't matter, and they don't care what was spent on the dog. Each incident or report can contribute to policies that affect all of us. This is a very big deal. There are (already) only a handful of options left in some areas.

3. A really important detail that many people are pointing out is that this bite happened to your neighbor on his own private property. If I don't want to interact with someone else's animals, I can choose to stay away from them. It's a completely different matter if those animals harass me or harm me in my own private space. If your neighbor wants to mow his lawn twice a day in a rodeo clown suit, with a plate of cheeseburgers balanced on his head while dragging frisbees behind his mower, it's his yard and his life and he is entitled to do so.

We can't control our neighbors, we need to control ourselves and our domestic animals.

When I visit family in the (rural) area I'm originally from, I've been jokingly made fun of for "babying" my personal dogs because I don't let them run loose with the locals. If the dogs aren't actively engaged with me (playing fetch, on a walk, etc) they're gated on the deck or put indoors. We used to have a fence there, but it got ruined in a flood, so the cost effective solution was to install a solid gate across the top of the steps on the back deck. Problem solved.

I don't care if people there think I'm a control freak.... my dogs aren't going to be part of the roaming horde. This lets me enjoy my time thoroughly, and stay friends with all the neighbors, knowing my dogs are not left in a position to cause a problem with anyone.
 

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I feel so bad for this dog. He's still a puppy. Not once has the OP claimed responsibility. He came here to "get opinions to help him feel better".

Here's the opinion....

1. Stop blaming the dog.
2. Hire a trainer to teach your dog a solid down, the boundaries of your yard and stop chasing motorized vehicles.
3. Build a fence.
4. If you won't do any of that, find him a new home.
 

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I'm always puzzled when folks post their concerns/problems to the forum and then argue (sometimes rudely) when members offer suggestions for better addressing/managing the situation.

I get feeling defensive; I don't much enjoy discovering that *I* might actually be the source of the difficulties that I'm facing. But you know what, OP? Life is full of challenges like that.

My advice is this: Step away from the forum for a couple of days. Then, pull on your gender nonspecific Big Girl Panties and reread what's been posted. There's a lot of wisdom and more than a few excellent suggestions. Some may not have been delivered in an easy to hear fashion, but that doesn't change their value. Don't be too quick to dismiss the message simply because it didn't come with a 'Feel Good' delivery.

Aly
 

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I just read this thread. You were given very good advice on how to protect yourself and your dog. No one judged the pedigree of your dog (in fact, most defended your dog). No one is making the argument that a 3k dog is better than yours. Projection? A lot of people on this board rescue and rehabilitate dogs from unknown lineage and various breeds - I was one of them. My best dog was $85 from the pound - a Rottie/Shep mix. You came to a place that has a wealth of knowledge. Use that knowledge to help you and your dog.

I always find the "elitist" argument silly and irrelevant. It's often used to deflect or invalidate an argument when you can't do so with facts. You came to a board specifically dedicated to the GSD. I assume you did so because there were "experts" here who could help you. Then you judge them for their expertise because you don't like what they are telling you. If the bulk of the options are saying one thing - stop being defensive - and hear what is being said. Take it in and come up with a plan to resolve this situation.

I've owned mutts, rescues, dogs from back yard breeders my whole life. I finally have my first pure bred working line GSD from a good breeder - and he's been the most work for me. I've had to learn a lot and I've had to come here for help. I also had to be receptive to the advice I was being given. Because my way clearly wasn't working.

I was also bit by a neighbor's dog when I was 5 years old. I had to have 2 feet of gauze stuffed in my thigh before my leg could be sown back together. I couldn't walk without ripping open the stitches. I had to be carried to the bathroom. I had to re-learn how to walk. This was back in the late 70's where EVERYONE let their dog run free. So my strong position comes from the fact that NO ONE has the right to make someone else live in fear of a dog on their own property.

Not all dogs are meant to run free. Just because your neighbors do it, doesn't mean it's right for your dog or your breed. Your dog is relatively young so this could get worse if you don't get a handle on it. I would hate to think your dog will pay a price because he wasn't managed correctly. I know my dog is dog-reactive. I'm working on this issue now so he's safe around other dogs. It's a lot of freaking work. But I love him, and I want to do what is best for him. I took him to a trainer who basically confirmed it was my fault that he wasn't getting better. I had to be open to hear that so I can fix the issue. Nothing is solved by getting defensive and turning the discussion back on the people who are trying to help you.

JMO
 

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I have numerous relatives that are/were farmers, and when I was younger, it was acceptable for them to let their dogs run loose. That has changed - we live in a more urbanized world now, and even the areas that were once country now have hobby farms, or 'estate residential' properties, where the owners aren't happy to see loose dogs running around and possibly biting their kids or chasing their livestock.

Also there is the risk to your dog. Never mind what happened to the neighbour, or the risk of him being shot if someone suspects he's chasing their livestock (both are things you should be concerned about, though): my main worry would be traffic. One of my uncles moved from a quiet side road to a farm that fronted on a major highway. One of his kids got married, and bought their first-ever purebred dog, a yellow lab. As they always did, they let him run loose. He got out on the road, and got hit by a car. He was lucky, he lived, but the damage was so severe, he limped for the rest of his life.

I used to see these dogs come in when I worked for the vet. It was so common, we had an abbreviation for it that we wrote on the admission form: HBC.

Please, don't let it happen to your dog. You need to do something to keep him safe. And if I were you, I'd build a fence. That has been my first criteria the last 3 times I've moved: a fenced yard to keep my dogs safe.
 

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I live in the country too and its MILES between neighbors. We don't let Inga run loose, ever.

As a health care professional, my ears perked up when I read this

" 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).

and

" 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."

The OP said that the neighbor mentioned having sought medical attention. I would like to point out that the day AFTER an injury can look much worse due to bruising and swelling.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
OK the point I was trying to make is that even if the bite was an accident it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to your neighbor or the law. It's why I would never let anyone outside my family play with my female ever in her life. She has been sloppy and grabby with toys when she plays, I fixed it with myself and my family but if someone teased her with a ball or who knows, I could imagine her grabbing for the toy and nicking someone's hand and regardless of her intent they can say she bit them.

I should have taught her better when she was a pup but I was late catching on and she had already played sloppy for awhile and if the person doesn't make her adhere to the rules she could revert. So I have never let anyone outside my immediate family play with her. Not risking it.
All fair statements, and likely somewhat similar to my situation? And, like you, I was simply making an assumption, based on what I'd seen, that he would never do that sort of thing, was obviously wrong, and from this point forward, I will proactively ensure it NEVER happens again, regardless of the necessary method(s) used.

Yes kids can taunt dogs behind a fence but not if you are supervising. Introducing an e collar and a choke chain and whatever else to this situation is not the solution in my opinion.

Build a good fence and still supervise your dog. If the kids approach the fence you do as well and say please don't bother the dog and take him inside.
I didn't "introduce" anything new to this situation other than the prong collar, which I had contemplated previously, but tried a basic choke collar first on a whim due to easy accessibility (which worked with mixed results, and I wanted more solid ones). The E-collar has been used for months for training correction... boundary included, to some extent.

But seriously? Now I have to build a fence AND then take my dog inside if someone so chooses to violate it's boundary? What ever happened to "you touch a hot stove, and you get burned!"? Oh wait; I know. A society full of entitled idiots (which is a whole other can of worms)! That same "I enter your house, to rob it, and you shoot me, so I sue you" mentality. Mind you, that is not the case in my particular situation, and again, I'm fully accepting responsibility for what happened in HIS yard, but that proverbial double standard seems to be rearing its ugly head again, and if he had an issue with my dog being in his yard, based on my dog's actions, or simply "because", he certainly could, if not should, have simply approached me and said "Please don't allow him to do that", and I would have respected his wishes? Disaster averted (as well).

WOW

NOT ONE RESPONSE mentioned the dog's pedigree, price or origins. NOT ONE. I have NOT read other posts of yours to have any preconceived opinion of the dog or you.
However, maybe those things should have been (here), versus in any of my previous threads, since this situation, as I presented it, was focused on temperament, and very well COULD have to do with his breeding, and background, and genetics? Regardless, my point was the same, which is what I received for responses initially, when I was simply posting pics of him as a pup, and I as a new member; he wasn't "good enough" being from a BYB, and not "full-blooded", etc., etc. And this time, I'm receiving the same thing, but regarding a different avenue; my TRAINING isn't "good enough", or from a "professional". And while that attitude may actually be more applicable in this situation (as there were several things I could have done to prevent it), it just feels like the same, overall, "I'm better than you, AND my dog is better than yours!" elitist attitude (thus far).

wolfstraum said:
What I saw was a rather caviler description of the dynamics of a very laid back rural area where dogs run loose, and your dogs behavior in that context. A phrase I heard all too often as a child "IF EVERYONE ELSE JUMPS OFF THE BRIDGE, ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT TOO??" Just because it is common behavior does not make it right or acceptable.
Just to clarify... I was usually the FIRST person to "jump off the bridge" (once, quite literally!) ;) lol

Still here...

wolfstraum said:
A little concern about being sued by a new neighbor who may indeed be contemplating that action.
I'm frankly not, and am likely, but cautiously, over-analyzing and reading too much into his probably unrelated comments. And mind you, I never said it happened yesterday? But if that does happen, I'll deal with it (as well) at that point, and would honestly have no issue whatsoever paying for his doctor's visit (if it was specifically just for that), but trying to go on disability or something over it would be a bit... overboard?

And forgive me for my personal experiences probably coming into play here, but someone once attempted to sue me for a cool $1M over an low-speed auto/motorcycle (and I'm also a rider, so do not take that situation lightly, either) accident which was, AGAIN, admittedly my fault, although I was in an unfamiliar area and the stop sign I "ran" was obstructed from view by trees. A true "accident", and not just carelessness. However, when all was said and done, and my insurance company went to bat for me, it came out that the jerk was born with a congenital birth defect at the base of his skull where the spine enters, and he was simply trying to claim, and "cash in" on, that said "damage" was supposedly caused by the accident.

People, in general, CAN be slimy nowadays... and many (not necessarily here) seem to continue to prove me right in my assessment. :/

wolfstraum said:
A young dog who is not given boundaries or who has an owner who understands the drives of the dog
Yet more assumptions? He was GIVEN (general, being rural) boundaries, which previously included the same neighbor's yard as it was never used or occupied. Those boundaries, and the situation, recently changed, and I simply didn't react, and change THEM, quickly, or firmly, enough. Furthermore, I have done considerable research, and reading, from day one (or before), and fully "understand" the various drives, and thresholds, of the "dog" (or breed, generally, as well as mine specifically), and I'm not sure where you come to this conclusion?

wolfstraum said:
I see alot of good advice about training and containing this dog. For the protection of the dog and his well being and so he has a future. No one wants to see repercussions that will cause the dog to be PTS due to behavior in the future if he is not trained and continues to run and becomes aggressive as an adult. Yes, I see several statements that call for accountability for the dog's behavior, none mentioning the price/origin of the dog BTW, and while some are not the most polite....I understand the frustration of the responses given the APPARENT tone of your original post. I agree that everyone is more concerned with the dog's future and cares more about what could happen to him than your feelings. I also agree that you must be concerned to some extent to post, and it is human nature to present any situation in the best light possible for one's own well being....which is being taken harshly here ....
I'm not one to "sugarcoat" anything (if you can't tell? lol), and tend to tell it like it is. If he drew blood, or I thought it was a solely "aggressive" act, and not just an "accident" (despite my obvious responsibility in suddenly not allowing him to be in the area where it happened), I would openly present it as such, for again, at the end of the day... I don't really care what any of you "think" of me? However, neither of those were the case, IMHO. Yet I'm also not sure how you necessarily continue to equate "elitist" to "price/origin", instead of a general attitude of "I'm better than you", and "Would NEVER let me dog "run rampant, or even leave my sight" (although some have inadvertently admitted to doing just that?)

wolfstraum said:
All that being addressed, I tend to agree with the responses....get an area fenced for the dog, don't let him go roam with the neighborhood dogs - he is not a grade school kid who needs buddies - and have a heart to heart with the neighbor to attempt to deflect any hard feelings that a lawsuit would spark.
We already had that (lengthy) discussion, immediately after it happened, and the bottom line seemed to be that he appreciated the fact that I came down, apologized, made sure he was alright, was genuinely concerned, took responsibility (which I openly did, on the spot), and ensured it wouldn't happen again, one way or another. However, his follow-up a few days later (although asking about the shots was a genuine concern, and one that I had considered myself, albeit after the fact) just made me a little uneasy as to how genuine his initial reaction was, or if he had reconsidered his "options". Nothing more.

wolfstraum said:
Good luck and hope it all turns out ok for Draco.
Thanks.

Something here popped out at me-- he is going outside off a leash when no one is around or after dark. I wouldn't do that. The dog has bitten someone. He needs to be under your control 100% of the time.
Another assumption? Perhaps if there is confusion, you should ask for clarification before jumping to conclusions? Who said I "wasn't around"? I open the sliding glass door, walk out on my rear deck, may have to even coerce him down the stairs at times, and am fully supervising as he walks 20 feet into the yard and does his thing. And again, he has excellent recall (admittedly not perfect in the company of distractions, but there are few to none at that time?) without the E-collar correction... and if anyone is lurking in my yard at 11 pm at night, or 2 am in the morning, then I'll deal with any potential repercussions of a REAL "bite" at that time.

People are so quick to jump from both a mistake on my part, and likely his, to "OH MY GOD... contain your vicious, unattended attack dog who is randomly victimizing multiple people on the street!" (like that Pit Bull video going around) :/ Again, I stated, in my original post, any and all obvious "behavioral" problems I've personally noticed (other than the occasional counter surfing, although even then knows to sit, without command, and wait while I fill his water dish), and that is what I was asking for insight, or opinions, on.

To me it doesn't matter if you "want" to build a fence. It's the right thing to do, the best solution for your dog. There are a few ways using an e collar on the dog could really mess things up and potentially make things much worse, not the least of which being that the e collar or choke collar or any other collar only works if you are there and supervising and sooner or later something happens where you step away or look away for a moment or you think no one is around and you let the dog out and then a kid comes running out of nowhere. That's why I believe in fences. My dogs are very trained but what about that moment I go to refill my coffee cup or what about my neighbor's dog who does run around off leash? That dog is friendly but my female GSD does not appreciate her trespassing on our property and no way am I risking my dog's reputation, my dog is behind the fence so nothing is at risk. Even if I am out there with the dog and the e collar it doesn't stop my neighbor's dog from running up in my yard to steal a toy, which she has done, and I can tell you just what my GSD would think of that.

So I don't think your other options are "perfectly acceptable" Even if you do train your dog not to leave your property what happens when those neighbor kids kick a ball over into your yard and run to get it without thinking?
And I can tell you MY Shepherd would have absolutely no issue with your "neighbor dog" scenario, and would likely play (albeit maybe a little rough, and bouncy) with him. Regardless, and BOTTOM line, I'm not "building a fence" (at this time), PERIOD, and you can't MAKE me... so stop wasting your finger strength rehashing it? However, if there's even a remote chance of "kids" being around at any given time, which there isn't, or shouldn't be, at the times I noted, he will be leashed until I, and anyone else involved, feels comfortable otherwise.

@dzignr_tastz , some reasons you are getting strong responses are:

1. Every act of harm committed by a German Shepherd has the potential to affect other owners of GSD's. Breed specific legislation and restrictive bans are on the rise.

2. If you scan this board you will see dozens of threads started by people who are having very real trouble finding homeowner's insurance that will cover GSD's. Pedigree doesn't matter, and they don't care what was spent on the dog. Each incident or report can contribute to policies that affect all of us. This is a very big deal. There are (already) only a handful of options left in some areas.

3. A really important detail that many people are pointing out is that this bite happened to your neighbor on his own private property. If I don't want to interact with someone else's animals, I can choose to stay away from them. It's a completely different matter if those animals harass me or harm me in my own private space. If your neighbor wants to mow his lawn twice a day in a rodeo clown suit, with a plate of cheeseburgers balanced on his head while dragging frisbees behind his mower, it's his yard and his life and he is entitled to do so.

We can't control our neighbors, we need to control ourselves and our domestic animals.

When I visit family in the (rural) area I'm originally from, I've been jokingly made fun of for "babying" my personal dogs because I don't let them run loose with the locals. If the dogs aren't actively engaged with me (playing fetch, on a walk, etc) they're gated on the deck or put indoors. We used to have a fence there, but it got ruined in a flood, so the cost effective solution was to install a solid gate across the top of the steps on the back deck. Problem solved.

I don't care if people there think I'm a control freak.... my dogs aren't going to be part of the roaming horde. This lets me enjoy my time thoroughly, and stay friends with all the neighbors, knowing my dogs are not left in a position to cause a problem with anyone.
Thanks for the constructive points, and all are fully understandable. However, at this point, it seems everyone here (other than you, of course) is just kind of... grasping at straws, and going off the deep end? There have been no complaints, and I seriously doubt there will be any unless I, now FULLY aware of the potential situation, fail to do my part (which I admitted to doing in this situation) from here forward.

I also agree, being a self-proclaimed Libertarian, with your stance on my neighbor, and his rights. It WAS irresponsible on my part to allow Draco to act as he did, but I also did not interpret his actions to be what they ultimately ended up as. Again... a (first, and only time) MISTAKE on my part, and lesson learned. That said, and remedied in the future (as I, for one, DO learn from my mistakes), my only reason for posting was to (hopefully, which obviously didn't work in most instances, and was admittedly unrealistic to begin with) get some more experienced opinions on how his drive, and thresholds, and overall temperament may have played a role in this situation, as a whole and all circumstances considered, so I can take them into account when planning for said "future". This was obviously the wrong spot to do it, however, and in fact, I do need to simply go speak with an "expert" trainer, and have him professionally evaluated.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I feel so bad for this dog. He's still a puppy. Not once has the OP claimed responsibility. He came here to "get opinions to help him feel better"
Seriously??? From my OP...

"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 clearly didn't "blame" the dog (see above)? I just asked what, in his genetics, could have contributed to it (as I'm relatively sure not EVERY dog just innately "chases motor vehicles")?

Go troll somewhere else. :/
 

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A Fence is your best defense. If your neighbor whom you dog has bitten and also has little children, sees you having a solid 6' fence built around your property he may decide not to sue you.
 

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uh huh. Yup. And you ignored the part of stop blaming the dog ("he brought it on himself"). Get a trainer. Get a fence.

No. Not every dog will chase a car. But most any with a minimum amount of prey drive will.

There is nothing wrong with your YOUNG dog other than a lack of training.

Just trollin' along here......
 

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I live in the country too and its MILES between neighbors. We don't let Inga run loose, ever.

As a health care professional, my ears perked up when I read this

" 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).

and

" 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."

The OP said that the neighbor mentioned having sought medical attention. I would like to point out that the day AFTER an injury can look much worse due to bruising and swelling.
Touche. However, I also noticed you left out the beginning of the first part you quoted...

"(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)".

Regardless, while you make a good point that there could have been some additional bruising or swelling, I also fail to believe that any punctures that weren't there immediately afterwards spontaneously opened up the day after, or the day after that? And is anyone in disagreement with the fact that my, OR your, dog has the ability to literally DRAW BLOOD upon initial bite if they so choose? As such, I was simply stating that I don't think he was in "attack" (human) mode, "per se", and perhaps just got a little careless, or confused, possibly in prey drive activation, which was ultimately spurred by the mower?

And ultimately, isn't that what "bite inhibition" IS; knowing not to put too much pressure when "play" biting? For that matter, I suppose since he's scratched my forearm with his teeth before while we were rough-housing, and it was sore for a couple days, then he's obviously bitten ME, his owner, as well? :/

A Fence is your best defense. If your neighbor whom you dog has bitten and also has little children, sees you having a solid 6' fence built around your property he may decide not to sue you.
Again... touche. However, would him seeing me have him on a leash at all times, versus allowing him to run freely around the yard, likely not have the exact same effect?

uh huh. Yup. And you ignored the part of stop blaming the dog ("he brought it on himself"). Get a trainer. Get a fence.

No. Not every dog will chase a car. But most any with a minimum amount of prey drive will.

There is nothing wrong with your YOUNG dog other than a lack of training.

Just trollin' along here......
Duly noted (already)... thus the 28k posts. ;)

And he, ultimately, did "bring it on himself"? I, as an owner, didn't force, or command, him to go down there, or to chase the mower (he's never chased a car, or gotten far enough away TO), or to bite. He did that entirely on his own. I, unfortunately, ALLOWED it to happen, as a result of carelessness, or lack of clarity, or education, but I certainly did not force his actions. Those were his own (admittedly, likely natural given his apparent temperament) ones.

But thanks for the confirmation? Guess the general consensus is HE'S "normal", and I'M the schmuck? Guess if I fix the latter, then, all his issues are solved!
 
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