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I don't know about your dogs and family, of course, but in my house dog biting is NOT part of normal family dog behavior.
It is not about my dogs or your dogs. Biting is a normal part of communication for all dogs. Through training, socialization and management, we aim to increase the dog's bite threshold so that the dog never feels the need to bite. But all dogs can bite and all dog's have a bite threshold that once they are pushed past it, they will bite.

To the OP, please consider the Ruff Love program I suggested. You will not change your dog's behavior by simply having your daughter feed and walk him. he needs a more structured approach. Jan Fennel's book is interesting but rather outdated (focuses on the outdated dominance theory of being "alpha", eating before your dog, going through doors first, etc). Ruff Love is more behavior oriented and more to the point without much "fluff". It is a more structured, more in depth version of NILIF.
 

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1. So being that she is older it is ok? did I say so? I thought I was relaying the facts as I understood them.

2. Yes that is a possibility. With the number of people on messageboards here and elsewhere I am sure there would be someone willing to take the dog in. I feel no urge to take on a six year old dog with a bite history, bad back, and epilepsy. That may make me a bad person. Someone on this site that has deeper pockets, better homeowner's insurance, and more time and patience than me might have their palms itching. Unfortunately, if that person takes on this dog, they will not take on another needy dog from another situation.

3. Yes the piglet greatly contributed to the situation. How much?? We will never know but it did play a significant amount. Do you have a dog with epilepsy? If the answer is yes, I need not continue what I am saying because you will already know. IF the answer is no, than there is no reason to continue my thought because you have no capacity to understand it.

Maybe is the operative word. We will never know. Coulda, shoulda, woulda....

There you go it is the owner that helped contribute to this whole situation. I don't address it b/c the owner has already admitted to it. That is all spoiled milk.

Yes, but the owner who understands that they contributed to the situation should at least make an effort to fix what is broken. Which is what the OP sounds like they intend to do.

If a man kicks and whips his dog every day to make it aggressive and keeps it away from all other people including people in his family to make it mean, if that dog bites his child. Do you condone him killing the dog?


Moving forward, the 1st question is if the daughter is ok with the dog being there.

If she doesn't mind working on her issues with the dog then great and hope it works out.

If she isn't then there should be no question.....dog goes before my kid goes.

If her daughter doesn't want to deal with the dog, are you going to force it on her? This is all about how the daughter feels in the home with the dog and her comfort level plain and simple. I think the problem is as much the daughters as the dogs, and to just dump the dog will not help the daughter at all.


There are some people that blame the daughter for the second bite for running. Come on.... How can you blame someone for running? Dog already bit her so I won't blame her for trying to run. Everyone says what people should do until they are in the situation...then its a WHOLE different ballgame. For someone to run from a dog that is attacking them that they do not know very well, I cannot blame them, even if I KNOW it would have been better for them to stand still. But this girl has lived with this dog for SIX YEARS??? In that much time, 1 you should not be afraid of the dog, and 2 you should know not to run. But whatever. [/QUOTE]


Lastly, for the girl to say, "he is really biting me", like she was thinking he was just mothing, and the owner thinking he got his tooth stuck. Well, I think people can spazz about things that are not really that bad. Injuries and accidents happen with dogs.

My sister was passing out steak to my dogs through the fence. Whitney's tooth cought her hand while passing the steak. There was no blood, but it hurt. And my sister thought she was bitten, though she did not think it was the dog's fault. That is an accident.

If this dog is allowed to mouth the arms, and for some reason his mouthing is a little amped up (maybe because of the pig), to the point of say, a nip, well, I don't know. If a GSD BITES you, there is no maybe about it, it is bad.

Hospital happened here, wondering whether for the first bite or both bites, whether skin was broken both places, whether there was also bruising, etc?

It is EXTREMELY possible for a person who is afraid of dog or even a dog, over-react in a situation, and cause there to be more of a reaction then there would have been. I think that should be taken into consideration when you think about how to dispose of the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Hi Everyone, I just want to say that I do blame myself completely, thats why I even feel worse causeI could have prevented it.. As far as the bites, yes he punctured both arms, they are both swollen and black and blue.. I guess it could have been worse.. Yes she has a fear of him now, but she is trying not to show him.. He is still excited to see her, she still pets him and kisses him, She is feeding him. She is making him sit, speak, paw or down before she gives him treats. You would never know that a couple of days ago this dog attacked her. The pig played a tremendous part. I still get nervous when I see her with him. Sometimes he just looks at her funny, I cant explain it. So I am just keeping a close eye. BTW does anyone want a baby mini piglet?? Again I thank all of you, Its amazing how much I learned on this forum in just 2 days. I will take all your advice, put it all together and do my best with Nieko.
 

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I just want to say that I do blame myself completely,
You shouldn't feel that way. Everyone posting is basing their statements on knowing the end result. The only way you could reasonably blame yourself completely is if for the last several years you threatened your daughter with dog attacks and taught the dog to run down pigs for food.

Just because something could have been done differently does not mean everything would be fine if it had been done differently. Rather than blaming anything, anyone, or yourself you should just think about what can be done make things better. I hope your daughter is feeling better.
 

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Blame is a weird thing.

I would be much more concerned if the owner was blaming his breeding, his lines, his breeder, his trainer, or even his epilepsy. When one puts the blame on others it means they do not have to do anything differently.

But there is no reason to harbor a ton of guilt.

Not all dogs would have acted this way, given the same situation.

This is not blaming the dog, it is just a statement. Dogs are all individuals, and not necessarily what their environment makes them.

And when we know better, we do better.

If you take no responsiblity looking backwards on this, the dog has little hope of improving. But beforehand, we look at a dog we know and never consider that the dog might bite a family member, even if there is a quirk here or there. So now you know that his bite threshold is not very high, and improving the leadership all around will be helpful I think.

I am sorry this happened to your daughter. Those bites sound painful. I do not blame her for being frightened. I hope that she realizes that the added excitement was just too much for the dog and understanding that will help prevent future issues. And I hope she can some how work with someone who can help her, give her the tools she needs to be more safe around dogs. If she gets jumpy around this dog, I am afraid that it may happen again. On the other hand, if she helps this dog learn how to be a better canine citizen, they can learn together and both get over this incident, and the next puppy or dog she has will start off on the right foot so to speak.

We do not generally learn the most form our best dogs. We learn the most from our toughest dogs. Good luck with your boy.
 

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You shouldn't feel that way. Everyone posting is basing their statements on knowing the end result. The only way you could reasonably blame yourself completely is if for the last several years you threatened your daughter with dog attacks and taught the dog to run down pigs for food.

Just because something could have been done differently does not mean everything would be fine if it had been done differently. Rather than blaming anything, anyone, or yourself you should just think about what can be done make things better. I hope your daughter is feeling better.
I completely agree! It's not your fault! Even if your dog is highly trained and at the top of his game, he is always an animal first as my trainer would say. You can't control every aspect of an animal. You never know what they are thinking. Many people say they trust their dogs completely around kids or other people. I never 100% trust my dogs and I am always paying attention to both my dogs, you never know what can set them off or make them unhappy, especially if they are stressed and ill. My dogs are people friendly and dog friendly, but sometimes you just never know. That is just my opinion! I hope your daughter does work with him, I think it will help! Keep us posted on how it goes!
 

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Dogs bite. :rolleyes:

My new german shepherd is great, but I do know that she is jelous of me when I give attention to another dog. I noticed this right away, and I am aware of this character in her, and I plan accordingly.

Now you know that your dog acts "wierd" around your pig, you can take action to reduce friction in that situation. :cool:
 

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You know, flame me if you wish, but that sounds unstable and I would not permit it, she was not hurting him or threatening him and he bit her bad enough to puncture and leave bruising. That would be a dead dog in my house, or it would be a dog with "Strike #1" on it, if I feed it, give it shelter, and treat it well it had better not hurt me or my family.

Strike #2 can happen any time if you and her don't both step up big time. He could have done real severe damage if you didn't get him off of her.

Do you ever have kids who visit?
That is my concern, he's shown he is willing to attack people. What if it's a kid near him next time he gets grumpy? I mean, if you and your daughter are fine with him and will work with him that is completely your choice, but I would never let him around kids. One bite to a small kid from a dog like that can be damaging for life.

Saying get rid of your other pet because on dog went off on a human because of it, redirecting I guess, is ridiculous. YOU are in charge, that is your home. Your dog does not get to choose who or what lives there and that is no excuse to redirect his aggression or frustration on an innocent human.
 

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ok I guess I have to say this, APBT, weren't you just posting about muzzling J because you have a houseguest staying with you and J is thisclose to nailing him?? Are YOU in charge of YOUR home?

I am in no way condoning what this dog did, and I don't think the OP is either. However, for whatever reason, the dog doesn't like the daughter and vice versa. The dog has a medical condition, has NEVER done this before, and I think the OP should not blame herself, and I also think she'll take steps to try and rectify the problem.
 

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Saying get rid of your other pet because on dog went off on a human because of it, redirecting I guess, is ridiculous. YOU are in charge, that is your home. Your dog does not get to choose who or what lives there and that is no excuse to redirect his aggression or frustration on an innocent human.
IS it ridiculous? Why do we bother socializing our puppies and older dogs then? Why not just drop them into whatever situations we think are ok and expect them to behave appropriately? Our dogs don't make the rules. They live by the rules we give them. But if we change the rules after SIX years, how fair is that?

I havne't seen anyone say that Neiko has done anything but follow the rules that his owner set for his whole life, up until this incident. Yes, he was too dominant with the younger daughter, but the OP admits she (and the daughter) did not address that well enough. So, in effect, it was allowed. Allowing something means it's ok. That's one of the rules.

Let's break down what happened, because clarity is often in the details:

1. Suddenly, a creature -- that Neiko has NEVER encountered before -- comes into the house. He's curious. Likely stressed.

2. Then they yell at him, making him MORE stressed.

3. He showed good bite inhibition up front.

4. Then the daughter ran, which triggered things in his brain we can't begin to undertand (was it prey drive? a need to control her in the presence of this unknown creature? who knows?) and the second bite wasn't nearly as controlled.

5. The growl and movement toward Rosey is almost certainly redirected aggression (in that state of mind, he wasn't aware who it was).

6. Even despite the fact that he has pain issues, when Rosey puts him on the ground, he calms down.

Let's also look at what Rosey has said. Since her mom had cancer, Neiko was by her side during those two years. His life changed dramatically, but he coped with that. The children grew up and moved on. But he stayed by, as most likely, Rosey leaned on him more than she had when he was younger. Is is likely that he grew more protective of her during this years? I think so. Is it completely normal that this would happen? Yes. But we need to recognize that this may be the case.

So... things change over time, and we ask more of our dogs, without our realizing it. We add more to their duties, which may be stressful for them Then BAM! we toss something into Neiko's world that he has NEVER been socialized to. He's perhaps edgier than he used to be. We KNOW he has epilepsy and pain issues. Despite all of that, he exercises restraint at first.

But he's not perfect. But none of us are.

Would I trust this dog? I would. I would definitely get him evaluated, work with a private trainer, and keep working with him.

But this black and white idea of "my house, my rules" is crazy. You can't simply change the rules of the game in the 4th quarter and expect someone who has been a good team player all these years to adjust automatically. I would be very concerned if someone brought a creature that I've never seen before into MY living room too. Under stress, we tend to revert, especially if our training isn't current. Whose fault is it that Neikos' training isn't current? I'm not saying it's Rosey's, exactly. I understand that she had other family obligations. But it's certainly not Neiko's. He doesn't deserve to be rehomed.

He deserves to be conditioned, trained, and worked with. He deserves to be treated with all of the love and respect that he has given this family all of these past 6 years.

Follow MRL's wise (highlighted bolded) advise. Have him evaluated by a vet and a behaviorist. Then get busy. :hug:
 

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If this dog was under proper control and had the understanding the Rosey is the leader having a strange animal caged in her house should not make him attack a family member.

Stress, unless it's extreme - such as you are beating the life out of your dog, is no excuse to actually ATTACK a human in the household.

Just as an example, a little mutt I know that has fear problems has been hit by a car, shattering both front legs, forced to live in a medium sized crate for about 20 hours a day, more if she's unlucky, she gets screamed at, hit, and has her cage beaten to scare her when she makes noise, she is attacked by the cats in her home through the bars of her cage, and YET this dog who goes through such trauma every day would not redirect on me even when I picked her up by the neck directly out of a dogfight. That is a stable dog.


I really do not think Rosey 'changed the rules'. The rules did not change, she brought a new pet into the home and it caused him to bite a family member.

If, right now, I went out and got a cat (which J has never interacted with) I would expect him to listen to me and not hurt ME just because it's something new.

I never said take the dog out back and shoot it because it's just a bad old doggy. It sounds to me like this is part human error and part unstable dog. And if he was kept, raised, and trained properly I would see no reason to keep that dog alive if he opts to attack instead of back down when confronted by a human family member.
 

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ok I guess I have to say this, APBT, weren't you just posting about muzzling J because you have a houseguest staying with you and J is thisclose to nailing him?? Are YOU in charge of YOUR home?

I am in no way condoning what this dog did, and I don't think the OP is either. However, for whatever reason, the dog doesn't like the daughter and vice versa. The dog has a medical condition, has NEVER done this before, and I think the OP should not blame herself, and I also think she'll take steps to try and rectify the problem.
Of that particular dog, with bad breeding and weak nerves and a shatty temperament? No, his fear takes control in some situations. If we are rushed by a dog on a walk he tries to run first, even if I do try to calm him. And yes, I want to muzzle him as a precaution so I won't have to keep him separated constantly. Ever had a dog-aggressive dog? One that can be walked around other dogs and sit next to them but if they're pushed an inch will really let the other dog know about it? That is J with people. J is fear aggressive to strangers and new people. Not even I can be on top of him if he's loose 100% of the time. If the friend ignores what I have told him and goes to pet J I would rather he has a muzzle on so if he did bite he would not hurt anyone. It's unfortunate that J was born into such a horrible temperament, because he really tries to be good for me but he can't help it.

He is not a normal dog by any means. He has had a crappy, fearful temperament with anyone new since he was a small pup, he only accepted two people outside of family who visited very often. Which is why I opted to keep him responsibly and strictly instead of euthanizing. He is either at my side leashed or confined from strangers by fencing/crate/or chainspot.

However, if he ever hurt a human in my family for a trivial reason I would have him put down myself, because I would rather give a home to a dog with a stable and trustworthy temperament. I can do anything to this dog and trust that he will take it without trying to rip my arm off. I love him dearly but if he ever showed he was willing to bite me or anyone in his group of people for little reason then I would do the responsible thing.

I hope that answered your question.. if not feel free to ask more.

Now, the 2nd part of your post I agree with and I really hope they find out what the real problem is and fix it.
 

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APBTLove, When you have a dog with epilepsy, I am sorry, but you do not want to add unnecessary stressors to that dog's life.

Watching a dog sieze is bad, not knowing when the next siezure will happen is worse. Dogs can become scared and aggressive coming out of a siezure, and they pee themeselves, sometimes they walk funny for a couple of weeks aftwerwards. Sometimes they have brain damage, revert to being a puppy, run around the house afterwards bumping into things and trying to figure out where they are.

Sometimes it starts out with bad siezures, sometimes light siezures, sometimes there are months between siezures, sometimes they have several in a month. All you can really do is give them the meds and try to avoid unnecessary stressors to try to make siezures less violent and less frequent.

If people have a siezure dog and then get a pig, and the pig seems to stress the siezure dog, get rid of the pig. Clear and simple. I would not try to have it live upstairs with my son, I would get it out of my home. Because a dog I lived with for six years means more to me than the new pig. The new pig can get a new home. The dog, with its age and medical conditions, and now the unfortunate bite history has little to no chance of getting a new home.

Not everything in life is black and white.
 

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I think this situation is very unique considering the medical conditions of the dog. Epilepsy in people is scary enough, but humans can at least understand it to a point. Dogs CANNOT.

My mom and dad's dog has epilepsy as well. He developed seizures after I moved out of the house, so I have only seem him have one. It's really crazy and it's quite obvious that he is totally not in control of himself. My mother has told me in the past that right before or right after (not literally right.....like within and hour or so) he has a seizure that he has GONE AFTER their other dog quite badly. Something he doesn't do normally.

Epilepsy does weird things to the mind and seemingly "minor" stressers to normal dogs is very bad for them.
 

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I agree with Sue (and other posters), when you have a dog with medical conditions as this, everything isn't black and white.

And yes, I've lived with dog aggressive dogs, one who had weak nerves, shatty temperament, they can be managed quite well if you know what the triggers are.
 

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He is managed well. I don't push him past his endurance and he has not reacted to a single person or dog I've had him with because I make sure his triggers (which are touching him or threatening) are not met. The last time he reacted was because a group of four teens ran up on him and being as he was on a leash, he tried to run but couldn't, he then barked at them and hid behind me.

He is managed perfectly well and behaves himself as long as he does not reach a trigger. When he gets scared by a human or dog there is not much I can do until I get him to calm down a bit and focus on me. Otherwise his natural instincts take over and tell him to run, if he can't run he will fight. Though I am not sure why we are discussing my (stranger) fear-aggressive dog because I am getting him a muzzle that he can wear comfortably around my guest. It's a precaution until I can trust J around him completely. J doesn't know this man and is wary of him.

Thank you for sharing Selzer. I have never owned an epileptic dog nor had a real reason to research on it so I was not completely sure what all the effects are.. I DID have the chance to share a lot of time with a pit/husky who had pretty bad seizures. After a particularly violent one his eye even clouded over. HE just got slower and slower mentally with each one, and started to lash out at his owners when he was uncomfortable. I talked them into putting this poor dog down. He was only one and his seizures were frequent and obviously very rough on him. HIS quality of life was dwindling and he was a threat to their kids. I guess I tend to look a the big picture more often than not and I should slow down and take it piece by piece. To me, a dog with a medical condition that has made him unstable enough to attack someone he's known and lived with(?) for 6 years sounds serious enough to consider letting him go. If his condition has him confused and upset so easily how can he be happy?
 

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I make sure his triggers (which are touching him or threatening) are not met.
Neiko's "triggers" appear to be novel critters in his home. I don't see why we should respect some dogs' triggers and not those of other dogs. Rosey was not aware of this. Now she is. We move on.

I would like to see Neiko evaluated by a neurologist to make sure that his epilepsy is under control. It would be nice to have him evaluated by an orthopedist to ensure that his pain is well managed. I would also recommend a veterinary behaviorist for their input (and recommendations on training).

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

neurologists: ACVIM

orthopedist (search small animal general/orthopedic surgeon) ACVS - Find a Surgeon in Your Area

With those three specialists on board, you should have a clearer idea of what Neikos' condition truly is. Is medicine indicated one, two or all three fronts? Would rehab (physical therapy) for pain help not only for the pain issues but also to burn energy and give him something safe but interesting to do on a regular basis?

What do these three professional specialists think is his prognosis? Once Rosey has this information, then she'll be in a position to make a wise, informed, compassionate decision that is best for her dog, herself and her family.

In the interim, I would really like to see people, especially those who live in glass houses, stop throwing stones. For anyone (who I presume is a lay person) to be even suggesting euthanasia OVER AN INTERNET FORUM over one incident in which the dog showed bite restraint initially, appears to have recovered rather well at the end (he didn't remain aroused for any considerable time afterward despite the stress he seemed to be under; in other words, he responded to his owner) is just irresponsible.

For anyone to do so when the dog has veterinary issues that may or may not be under control, when the owner has stated very clearly that she has been dealing with very significant family medical issues of her own, and when the owner is clearly feeling responsible for all of this --- well, that, in my opinion, is cruel.

This is an internet forum. This dog needs professional evaluation. When a member comes here asking for help, there should be lines that should not be crossed so glibly.
 
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