German Shepherds Forum banner

My 4 month old GSD was bit.

2899 Views 20 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  tibvixie101
I was at a dog park. There was a retriever of some sort there (brown with gray and brown spots). The dog never responded when his owner called him. Baron (my GSD) was getting to know a beautiful female Akita. They were sniffing each other and then the retriever came over and started sniffing. No big deal. I decided to let Baron off his leash since they seemed to be getting along well. Not 30 seconds after I let Baron off his leash, the retriever attacks him. Baron had never been in the situation and immediately became submissive and rolled onto his back, the retriever got his leg pretty good. I grabbed the dog by his neck and pulled him off pretty aggressively. He was jerkin his jaws back and forth really trying to hurt Baron. I pretty much lifted the dog by his neck and threw him to the ground where he tumbled. Baron was yelping horribly. I went to tend to Baron and the dog came back for more, I punched him in the nose pretty hard. He snorted/sneezed because of it. All the while, the dogs owner was making his way over to try and control his dog... which ended up running from him anyway.

The owner was a reall a-hole. He was nonchalant about it. Very uncooperative. I didn't know what I could do in that situation, what my rights were, so after telling the guy he needs to keep control of his dog, I decided to leave and go to the vet. Baron had two wounds that I could see. One was bleeding quite a bit. He was slightly limping, but wasn't hurting too bad. On the way out of the park, he wanted to go say hi to a rottweiler... so I guess that's a good sign that he wasn't scared of dogs.

Now, I have a question. I couldn't tell if the other dog was neutered or not, but I'm assuming the retriever got aggressive because of the female akitas presence and wanted to show that he was the dominant male. If Baron was neutered would this have happened? He's not neutered, I'm debating whether or not I should. I hear it keeps them healthier, so I'm going to do some research into it. This is my first step, getting your guys' opinions. I want him to keep a certain amount of aggressiveness about him. I want him to be protective of his home and myself if the situation arises. Will neutering him affect that?

It's been 3 days since he was bit and he's jumping around and what not like a normal puppy... he just has a sizeable hole in his leg. lol. Doesn't affect him much, if at all.

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post and for any advice/suggestions you may give.

Take care.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
I also have a Baron, he's a rescue about 3+ yrs old. He was neutered at the rescue. But he sure is a great watch dog. The neutering seemed to settle him down some, but GSD's are naturally protective.

I've heard pros and cons about neutering and at what age.

Good luck with your decision, and I'm glad he's doing well and not traumatised about the attack. It's one of the reasons a lot of people on here are not a fan of dog parks.

Neutered, not neutered, whatever. Nothing would have made a difference other than to NOT EVER TAKE A YOUNG DOG - ANY DOG IN MY OPINION - TO A DOG PARK. You have no way of knowing about the people and dogs that are there, and you are exposing your puppy to these dogs in an uncontrolled manner. You will get different opinions on this, but to me the risk is just too great. Your puppy may well be traumatized and dog aggressive for the rest of it's life. It may not be as well, but that will take careful action by you moving forward. When a puppy is taught that strange dogs will attack him and are aggressive, and that you will not protect him, his only choice is to protect himself. As far as dogs are concerned, the best defense is a good offense, so when something like this happens they tend to try to "warn off" all strange dogs by barking/growling/hackling. Hopefully he is not too hurt by this, and can recover. You need to get him around dogs that you know to be neutral or friendly to puppies and control the interaction on leash. Make sure you relax, as if you tense up your pup will react. Repeat.
See less See more
Yeah, I've decided not to take him to a dog park anymore. I wasn't a big fan of them in the first place, but he likes to go run around with other dogs so I gave it a shot. I have a few friends with dogs that he gets along well with. I'll make sure he has more play dates with them.
We avoid dog parks also. Rylee has many friends that she plays with. This way we know the dogs she is playing with and they all get along great. About my opinion it's the only way to go. It prevents testicular cancer for one. Judy
I also live in Vegas. The dogs parks here are not good.

There are quite a few of our local clubs that have been trying to change the way our dog parks are run.

If you need any other info on them feel free to send me a PM.

By the way, which dog park did you go to, Dog Fanciers by any chance?
I'm so sorry this happened to you and Baron. Is he going to be okay?

In my opinion, based on what you've written in your post, I think there were mistakes made on both sides.

It's very obvious that the owner of the dog who bit your Baron had no control over his dog whatsoever and that his dog was being aggressive since he attacked yours not once, but tried to come back for more. The owner should have profusely apologized and given you his contact information - had he been a nice person. He wasn't, and that's unfortunate, but there is little you can do about it, especially if the park is posted as "use at your own risk", which most dog parks are.

I also think that you did a couple of things wrong bringing your very young puppy to the dog park. The first is that your dog was originally leashed when you entered the park and when he and the female Akita were checking each other out. Being leashed puts your dog at a disadvantage because he cannot run away or communicate effectively with body language if he is tethered to you. Because of this, most parks have a sign that says all dogs must be unleashed. Many parks require that you take off any special training collars (prongs, chokes, etc.) as well so your dog won't get hurt. The other thing, IMHO, is that taking intact dogs to the dog park is almost never a good idea. I doubt it would have prevented this attack, but it's not something I would do.

Personally, I am with ZeusGSD on the matter of dog parks.

We have a small dog park locally and it's great fun if it's empty or there are just one or two other dogs in the park. But when there are a lot of dogs, it's frankly quite dangerous because most owners have no control of their dogs and don't supervise them, either. I saw one lady who was walking around talking on her cell phone while her young puppy went around humping other dogs. Many owners let their dogs run in the park and play with other dogs while they have training collars on - prongs, chokes, head collars that could seriously injure them during rough play. And some peoples' dogs are just so out of control by the time they get into the park, they rile up all dogs that are there which starts fights. We never ever go anymore if there are other dogs in the park. We go and do stuff like hiking or meeting up with dog friends instead.
See less See more
I'm soooo paranoid of dog parks! What I've been doing is signing my dogs up for as many training classes as possible, so they can get socialization and self-control in controlled environments with a limited number of dogs and a professional trainer present. The club I've found is really good about letting the dogs get to know each other before and after class so there's not all that tension while we are trying to work. We also found a fenced in baseball field and now invite people/dogs we trust for play dates. The dog park is just too much of a free for all for me to try. We have a playdate with a new dog friend (Deirdre who just signed up on this board) this weekend...
I am also one of those people who do not go to dog parks. I know there are alot of people who go to them but for your exact experience I avoid them. You need to be able to control your pups experiences and make them positive so they have good experiences. At a park you can control your pup but cannot control others.
My guy was bit when he was about 6 months old. He was on a leash being walked by Dh; another dog, who was off leash approached like he was friendly and before DH could do a darn thing, the dog bit him.

(the owner in our situation was a real jerk too. What is with these people?)

So, these things happen. We don't go to dog parks either. But don't beat yourself up.

I'm glad that he's behaving like normal. Be prepared that your dog may be a bit wary of other dogs if you're unfamiliar situations. Be sure that YOU (who may be understandably nervous) do everything you can to not be nervous. Carry a water bottle, bear spray, whatever it takes. You don't want a dog that's dog shy (which can turn into fear aggressiveness). Take him out as much as you can. Make those ventures upbeat and happy. Talk to him a lot during the walks and make him realize that one bad experience doesn't mean the whole world is unsafe.

I want to challenge something you said head-on: You don't want an aggressive dog. You want a CONFIDENT dog. An aggressive dog is a dog that doesnt have boundaries and he's incapable of discerning what should be attacked (if he's dominant aggressive) or what might hurt him (if he's fear aggressive). A confident dog sees the world as generally a safe place, but he's capable of seeing when things are unusual and keeping an eye on the unusual things.

Your goal in the next few months (well, heck, for the rest of his life) is to establish that the world is pretty much safe; to boost his confidence (through solid positive obedience and a loving home), to channel his energies (through regular exercise and other activities). Once he understands all that, he'll be the kind of dog who will naturally protect his family and home. When/Whether you neuter him won't matter.

It will help you keep him from roaming the neighborhood and creating unplanned and unwanted pups, which is an excellent thing. It can help prevent health issues down the road. But if you wanted to wait a while to neuter (and if you plan to stay out of dog parks and keep your dog in a escape-proof yard), it seems to me that you can wait a while.
See less See more
well this seemed to me to becoming a dog park bashfest.The owner of the other dog IS resonsible for the dogs actions. I take my dog to a park oce and a while,BUT they they are the same dogs all the time.So I know them.all the owners stand in a circle and we all just talk about dogs,tips etc. I know there names,dog names etc. If this guys comes there alot maybe the same thing,you could get his info or at least have him baned from the park.Also my dog was attacked at about 5 months,dog jumped on his back.It WAS not at a dog park it was in my neigborhood.He was off leash,mine was not and just came charging.He became tangled in the leash a fell.Was this the first time at the park?If it was why did you just let him in,didn't you walk him with leash on first to get to know the dogs? I have noticed that my dog knows the other ones and if one dog comes in that they all don't know they are all leary of the dog.I have alos seen that if one dog starts crap all of them are right they putting the dog in line. Don't write off dog parks just wait till your dog is about 1 yr and do what I say,walk him first to know the dogs then get him calm,wait till his tale is down,that is submission then let him off.Also you have to have complete control of him,at 4 months that iffy. I can call my dog in mid run playing ball even if another dog is chasing it to stop and come.He will.Also get him out socializing him alot it will help,if you act scared he will also.good luck.
See less See more
I don't think it's a "dog park bash fest".

Not all dog parks are created equal. There are some that are very large where you can walk with your dog and not immediately have 10 or 20 dogs all in one place mobbing each other. And there are some where it's basically just a smallish fenced in area.

I think it's important for people to understand that dog parks can be very dangerous for your dog. There are many people who don't understand that their dog needs to be friendly, well-socialized, and up-to-date on shots. There are a lot of people who leave prong collars, choke chains, and Haltis on their dogs while they are playing with other dogs, which can injure their dog or another. And there are a lot of people who are just not responsible for their dogs or don't watch them at the park.

If your dog park is well controlled and well organized, that is great, but many - maybe even most - are not. I see all manner of idiocy at the one closest to me, which is exactly why I only go there if there are no other dogs or only one or two other dogs.

Also, most dog parks specifically forbid walking your dog into the park while on a leash. That puts the dog at a disadvantage toward the unleashed dogs and a lot of dogs are reactive or aggressive when leashed and confronted by unleashed dogs. It's not a very smart thing to do, which is exactly why most dog parks have it as one of their first rules on the big signs at their entrances.
See less See more
Should of punched the Owner in the nose.
Originally Posted By: JesseAlexander
He's not neutered, I'm debating whether or not I should. I hear it keeps them healthier, so I'm going to do some research into it. This is my first step, getting your guys' opinions. I want him to keep a certain amount of aggressiveness about him. I want him to be protective of his home and myself if the situation arises. Will neutering him affect that?
Unless you have some very specific reason, breeders contract, show ring or some other off the wall excuse there is no reason not to neuter. Age is the only big decision to make. Your dogs size, looks and self confidence are what will make him deterrent to people coming at you or in your home. As far as being protective, well more often then not unless you spend a significant time training he won`t necessarily be reliable.
Neutering him will not make him less protective. Neutering him will not make him unable or unwilling to guard your home and property. If he is an adult when neutered, he will remain basicly the same in most respects.

BUT.. neutered dogs also fight at dogparks. It's not a cure-all for behavioral issues or dominance issues either.

Don't avoid neutering for fear he will become too wimpy.
But don't neuter thinking he will be much safer at dog parks.
See less See more
Just stay out of dog parks. Let him play with dogs that you know have responsible owners and are UTD on shots.
I agree with everyone,if you don't know the dogs don't go in.i've gone to parks without my dog to just feel them out,talk to owners try to setup a meeting time,since you already met there dogs.I've been to a dog park now about 6 times.the first time I walked in and just let him go,BIG mistake he took off the dogs chased and knocked him down.he came running to me muddy and slobbery.I calmed him down and once he was calm so where the other dogs.The next time I took him there I walked him in on the leash and told him to lay down,he did and all the dogs came over and smelled him.He was in a submissive postion so no dog had a problem with him. then he got up and was fine.Thats why I said keep him on the leash,he's young and might get scared and run and thats what will happen.
I agree that not all dog parks are alike. In our city we have one private park that has some supervision, a trainer on site, many different fenced in areas. This is the park we use, as our dogs can be pissy with other dogs at times and they can get to run there and still be safe. The other park we have is a city park; it is pretty large, but no supervision at all except from the owners and the dogs are pretty much all together.

My other thought is that not all dogs are dogpark dogs and if people would just use common sense...lots of dogs love other dogs and they have a great time there and it seems to be a good experience, but some dogs just don't have the temperament for it and should not be taken there.
Thanks for all the replies. Sorry I haven't updated, I've been busy moving and internet was the first to go.

Baron is doing great. His wounds are almost 100% healed. He has no permanent damage physically. Mentally he seems to be just fine as well. It appears as though he has shrugged it off.

As for dog parks, yeah... I was wary of them, but I wanted him to be social (I don't have any friends with dogs his size that he can play with) so I saw it as a suitable option. Not so much anymore.

As for the neutering, turns out North Las Vegas has a law where unless you have a breeders license, you must spay/neuter... so I guess that answers that.

TMARIE - I am not sure of the name of the park, but it's located on Tenaya and Alexander streets.

Thanks again guys.
See less See more
Good to hear he has no lasting affects from the incident.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.