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Discussion Starter #1
Hello I have a three year old GSD who bit someone yesterday. We rent a house and do not have a fence so we put up a dog pulley runner that goes the length of our back yard. There is this guy who lives several houses down that has 4 jack russel terriers and our dog goes nuts whenever he sees this guy. When this man first moved in his dogs would get loose everyday and we told him that if they came into our yard the dog might do something to them and we told the man to not approach our dog either. Zeke barks alot but is friendly to ppl and plays with my kids and their friends. He has gotten loose a couple of times and was friendly to strangers. Anyhow yesterday this guy came into my yard looking for his dogs. My dog was on his runner and not running around loose and the guy came up to him. He said he did not realize how long the runner was. So when he went to walk away my dog nipped him and he had a scrape that drew blood. He said he did not even feel him bite him and did not notice the scrape til later. I felt bad for the guy but at the same time I'm irritated he came into my yard. We have very large open back yards and he could have seen if his dogs were near here without coming into my yard. I've also told him more than once that my dog does not like him. I'm just not sure what to do now. We like to take our dog places with us like the park etc. and I often take him off his runner to play fetch and run around with us in the sprinkler. Now I feel nervous. The man said if he got sick or infected he would let us know, but it was superficial. I wish I would have taken a pic of it now. I'm not sure if I should be upset with my dog since the guy came into my yard after I've told him not to. I just do not know what to do or think.
 

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First I would not be upset with the dog at all. This guy came into your yard.

I would however call the local Animal Control and explain the situation to them so that you don't have any nasty surprises. Make sure to let them know that the dog was restrained on your property while his run loose.

I would also contact a trainer/behaviorist to evaluate your dog as back up.
 

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I'm not so sure about getting AC involved....
I would keep in contact with the guy and see how he is doing over the next few days. It does not sound like he is going to be a jerk about it.

It was not your dogs fault but I would not leave him on a tie out again, honestly. You never know who might wander into your yard, next time could be a little kid. Just too much liablilty to me. Obviously a fence is the best option but not everybody is in the position to put up a big fence. Maybe a kennel run if you cannot do a fence right now.
 

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I suggest AC because if HE calls AC it could turn out badly for the OP. depending on how they work they may just come and take the dog from her. If she is the one to call and explain the situation and ask how she should handle it, they may be able to tell her how to deal with the situation without having a bite record on her dog.

I personally would like to be the one in control of the situation if my dog ever bit someone. I would be a mess waiting for the AC to show up at my door. This guy might be fine now, but who knows, he may have a friend that will talk him into suing her.
 

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I see your point but I wonder what the laws are in that state? I think the OP needs to find out asap. Once you call AC you are really no longer in control IMHO and I think it will go on the record as a bite regardless of the circumstances. Not really sure what the right answer is here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I looked up the laws for my state, it looks like he would not be able to sue me. I cannot put up anything but a temporary type fence but I will look into getting a kennel. I used to have a fence made with garden fencing and posts but he would jump up on it and it eventually broke down. Maybe I'll put up a new one and still have the runner so it keeps ppl out but still gives him alot of room. I do not really like the idea of a kennel since they are alot smaller than what he has now.

http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/Virginia.htm
 

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maybe it's just me, but you could also always supervise your dog when he is outside.

....i may be the only weirdo who doesn't want her dogs outside unless i'm there with them - even if i'm just reading a book while they're out on their lines - but it's certainly an option.
 

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Glad to hear he cannot sue you. I am not able to take the time to read the law you posted though.

My yard is fenced and my dogs are never out if I am not home or able to keep an eye on them outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm a stay at home mom so I'm normally here when he is outside. He has a certain bark that tells me someone is near and I always check to see. Yesterday I ran to the grocery store and forgot to bring him inside though. I'm really annoyed at myself for that.
 

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Yea, but if some little kid wandered in or something it only takes a second. Since you know he will bite I would just not take the chance of leaving him tied out even when you are home.
 

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Chris I agree with you 100% on this. I'm just not willing to take the risk as so much can happen that can either immediately or eventually put my dogs lives in danger. Either I am outside with them or they go out to potty and come right back in.
 

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Selena, sorry to hear about your troubles.
Doesn't sound like much will come out of this and I certainly hope not.
But maybe you should take the advice of some of the others, and myself and don't in the future leave him unsupervised.
Just incase someone stupid enough ,or a child not thinking clearly wanders into your dogs area.

I mean, they would be in the wrong, but would you really want a situation to arise either way?

Also, you mentioned he got away before, and now you forgot to put him in when we left the house?
You've got to stay on top of it a little more.

I'm sorry if it sounds judgmental or lecturing its not my intention.
Just.. Im sure you already know this.. so Ill stop here.
 

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Unfortunately the dog is in the wrong regardless. The dog is guilty until proved innocent. I think that is wrong but that seems to be the way it goes.

Thinking that way it makes sense to me to be proactive and purchase a kennel. A runner is not a safe means to secure a dog, for the dog or the public.

And have you thought of this...... Are you sure your dog bit/nipped the guy at all? If he says he did not feel anything and did not notice til later who is to say he didn't catch it on a nail on board, the siding on a house, the jamb of car door, the sun, moon, venus or other object??

Hope this all works out well for you and go buy a kennel for your peace of mind and your dog's protection.
 

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Hey Selena,

Please don't beat yourself up too much about this. Things happen, we forget, we learn, we move on. I also wouldn't be mad at your dog. This guy came on YOUR proporty. I know my GSD would have had a complete conniption over this.

It sounds like the neighbor, as foolish as he was, is being reasonable about all of this. Sounds like he knows he shouldn't have done what he did.

I'm in Richmond too! Welcome to the board!
 

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Selena - Have you thought about an invisible fence? They can be bought relatively inexpensive and installed rather easily yourself (myself being 9 months pregnant and my husband installed our last weekend) and your landlord may allow that since it would only raise their property value when you move out. Have you asked the landlord if you can put up a fence? They may allow it since that would also raise their property value.

In the case of the dog...this irks me to no end. Seriously, it does. When my Dobie was still with me I belonged to a group that would meet a few times a year in different places in the country. One woman had three very well trained Dobermans that would guard her house if someone broke in, but they were friendly dogs when not "working". Someone did break in at night and got bit by one of her dogs. Now, this person had broke into HER home and sued her when her dog bit him INSIDE her home. He admitted that he was in her home illegally at the time the biting ocurred as she had cameras outside her house and he could not dispute that he was in there.

While she won the suit about him breaking in, HE won damages from HER because her dog bit him!!

Dog laws are strange.

I would definitely be careful about leaving your dog outside without you home, though. It was a mistake and you know that, so enough said about that.
 

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Invisible Fence would keep the dog in well enough, but unless everyone in the neighborhood wears a collar, it won't keep anyone OUT of the yard, and this is the problem. The dog was in the yard, the neighbor trespassed on the yard.

Mandalay, that story boils my blood. I would have appealed. I can't believe judges are rewarding crooks like that. That only encourages them to break in. HE should have had to pay HER for pain and suffering! What a world...
 

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I agree about being proactive and managing the environment. I too rent and have a HUGE yard. There are kids next door, and there's a toddler living in our duplex. Though it's "my" yard, I can't control who goes in it b/c there are no fences and not really a clear boundary. Kenya sticks with me, Coke has a tie-out with a 30' radius. Anytime kids are in my yard, I keep my dogs with me on shorter leads. I don't even want one to unintentionally scare a kid or knock a little kid over. Sometimes the kids ask to play with the dogs, which I allow but they are not allowed to handle them (ie, I have the dog on a leash, I let the kid throw the ball or the stick, or I put the dog in a down and let the kid pet its head for a few seconds). The dogs are never outside unsupervised, not because *I* can't contain them, but because I can't control who comes into my yard, regardless of whether they have the right. I also don't want to do anything that would jeopardize our relationship with the landlord (and his insurance).
 

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This story found on stella awards frivolous lawsuits-DO NOT ever assume you are safe if you are right-be proactive and cover yourself any way you can.

4th Place : Jerry Williams of Little Rock , Arkansas , was awarded $14,500
and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next-door
neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard.
The award was less than originally sought, because the jury felt the dog
might have been just a little provoked at the time, by Mr. Williams who had
climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a
pellet gun.
 

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Originally Posted By: DianaMInvisible Fence would keep the dog in well enough, but unless everyone in the neighborhood wears a collar, it won't keep anyone OUT of the yard, and this is the problem. The dog was in the yard, the neighbor trespassed on the yard.
Excellend point DianaM...I did not even think about that.
 

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Originally Posted By: ttalldog4th Place : Jerry Williams of Little Rock , Arkansas , was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next-door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than originally sought, because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time, by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.
Woa. Thats insane. They acknowledged the dog was provoked and lowered the award as opposed to eliminating it completely?? Who in their right mind would climb over a fence, shoot a dog with a pellet gun and then sue the dog owners??

Couldn't the owners counter-sue about trespassing and causing harm to their dog?
 
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