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Discussion Starter #1
I hope she is not too mad at me for being unsympethetic.

I had a party last nigh. My brothers, my sister, her husband and my parents. Not a big deal. Mostly food. We bbq'd steaks and well, there was grizzle and fat left over and people went back and gave it to the dogs.

Lisa fed Tori, Arwen, and Dubya, across from Heidi and Whitney, then she gave Heidi some, then she offered Whitney some who after quite a bit of anticipation, snatched the morsel and connected with the offering digits.

She acted all secretive like she did not want her husband to know about it, and told me my dog bit her. I asked her if it broke the skin, No. Then I asked her which one, and how it happened.

I said it was an accident and she agreed. I told her that you need to remind the neandrethal's to be gentle before offering. I think she thinks I blamed her for what happened. But I told her if the dog did it aggressively, I might have to put the dog down.
 

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Why would you put your dog down for accidentally biting someone? It is not like the dog chased her down. The pup was probably excited about the treat after watching all the other dogs get theres.

No way I would put a dog down after an accident like this but there might be details I dont know.
 

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"I said it was an accident and she agreed. I told her that you need to remind the neandrethal's to be gentle before offering. I think she thinks I blamed her for what happened. But I told her if the dog did it aggressively, I might have to put the dog down."

I would never think of putting a dog down for an accident. I was very relieved. The way she acted when I came in the house when she told me the dog bit her was like she was afraid someone would overhear. I was afraid she went out to Tori and the dog BIT her.

This wasn't a "bite" however hurt or afraid it made my sister. This was an anxious dog trying to secure a tidbit of steak fat. If she had bit her for real, there would have been blood.

Whitney will be two in August, and there is no excuse for my not training her to take things nicely. I am working on this with the three younger pups (Whitney is one of these). This happened because the litter stayed together for nearly 14 weeks (I had five pups at thirteen weeks, and at fourteen weeks I had three), and when I would offer treats to the mob, they would snatch and run. A couple of times, I did get bloody fingers. At this point, I am usually there when treats are handed to my dogs, and I remind them to take it GENTLY. I only give treats when everyone is separated in their kennels or crates.

A few weeks ago Heidi was loose while I was passing out treats and while I was giving Dubya his, she sailed up and closed her chompers around my fingers. The treat went through the kennel to Dubya.

I am afraid that because I was relieved, she feels I was not genuinely sympathetic. If a dog of mine aggressively attacks and bites someone, I would have to seriously consider euthanasia. I have one now, Tori, who is so frightened of people that she may bite someone. I have to manage that. I released her yesterday when Mom was in the yard, she ran away, but came when I called her to me. She wanted no part of Mom, but she was not aggressive toward her. She would bark at people and retreat when she was in her kennel. I feel fairly confident that she will practice flight first, but if there was no other choice, she may resort to fighting.
 

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Sounds like she just got grabby taking a treat from your sister, which is not the same thing as a bite. My dogs still do that from time to time, and I know that if I have something really yummy and exciting I need to remind the dogs to take it gently, and they will.

Time for more work with the dogs on being gentle with their mouths, and a chat with your friends and family about giving food to your dogs. They should offer it on a flat hand rather than held between their fingers, or maybe not give them food at all.
 

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This is how Ava takes high value treats:


So if people are skitchy about that kind of thing, I tell them not to give her anything and I do instead. She knows gentle, if it's a regular treat or a person she's never met, she's good, and she takes nicely from people who are sick, disabled, kids-but show her a "normal" person with a piece of meat and all bets are off!

In fact, AmyM and LaurieB from this board have experienced the Avathusiasm for food!

What really cracks me up is when my dogs who take part of my hand off to get a treat go out in public and sit politely, wait nicely, and then take a treat gently with their lips and I look at them like who are you trying to kid (but glad they have manners out of the house).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That was awesome, LOL.

I have to show my sister that picture.
 

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I agree with Cassidy's Mom. I work with my dogs to take food nicely, but there's also a good way to offer food and a bad way. Both my dogs can get a bit "grabby" with their treats with strangers, not really with me (either because I work on not being grabby, or I offer treats a different way...). One thing I've found that works well is to have the person offer the treat on a flat palm, not in their fingers. Now I am rarely around horses, but I remember someone telling me the same thing when giving a treat to a horse - offer on a flat palm to avoid accidental bites. At the fireworks show this girl was petting and having Kenya give paw for treats, but she kept holding the treat pinched in her fingers and holding it out above Kenya's nose, then if Kenya went for it, she'd kind of pull back. Her mom and I both said to put it in her hand and offer it on the palm. I also gave Kenya some verbal corrections for being a little grabby and told the girl that she should offer the treat to the dog, not hold it up and let the dog grab for it. It should be her decision to offer the treat or not, but it should be offered in a way that the dog doesn't have to grab for it.
 

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Great Pic, Jean! I want a dog like that...how big is your pool?
I have found when my dogs are grabby, to enclose the treat in my palm and say "take it nice", then they are slower to take it and more gentle when I slowly open my palm flat. But with a child, this probably would not work...
 

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Originally Posted By: onyx'girlBut with a child, this probably would not work...
True, with little kids, I usually ask them to have the dog do a trick and then just drop the treat or throw it to the dog. Sometimes they think it's fun to have the dog catch the treat, or make the dog wait while they put the treat on the ground and then release the dog. Not really how *I* treat my dogs, but I don't want the kids getting nervous and twitchy with the dog's mouth on the treats!
 

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I have actually held a child's hand open with my own to feed treats to Dena, and it worked just fine. The little girl was about 3 years old at the time. It IS hard to get them to follow instructions, so I just uncurled her fingers and gently held them in place while she reached out with the treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Two of my dogs are in pens that open into other pens (with dogs in them). Whitney is one of these. So my sister had to offer it through the chain-link. I can give them treats through the fencing and get them to take in nice by reminding them to. But there is no way for the open palm there.

Believe it or not they CAN take it nicely when the fingers are pinched around it, but my youngsters just need that reminder.
 

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The following comment you made is scary:

"But I told her if the dog did it aggressively, I might have to put the dog down."

I take Shepherds as rescues and the last two have been labelled aggresive. My ex took a Chow whio was returned to the Milwaukee Humane Society 3X for biting.

So we work with these dogs, and I would never think of poutting the dogs down. I could elaborate, but then my response will be deleted.
 

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Having a dog that is really aggressive and is a biter is a liabilty, plain and simple. Not everyone wants to just "pass the buck" esp. when there are more people out there who dont really know what the heck to do with a dog that is aggressive.

If it came down to it, most times putting an aggressive dog with a bit history is more humane than letting it go from person to person, eventually hurting someone then having to have all the legal stuff to go through, only to have the dog put down in the end anyways.

Its not as cut and dry and Ive been in that situation before and I put the dog down, and id do it again in a heart beat. The dog we had could have killed my son if I hadnt literly thrown myself infront of him (son, who wasnt even LOOKING at the dog). I had the dog put down and believe me, I kept enough calm to have it done humanely. I was close to shooting him! Have no regrets about it and Id make the same choice again if I had to.


Edit to add: IMO you have to look at WHY and HOW the dog bit someone, not just that it bit
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That is my feeling. My girl whitney was just excited and exhuberant and accidently nailed the thumb while trying to get the steak.

My girl Tori is scared to death and if someone foolishly walked into her kennel and chased her into her dog house to pet her, she might bite them out of fear. I would not put a dog down for that.

My brother's Bitch and my Arwen both provided me with serious wounds while breaking up separate dog fights. This was not aggression toward dogs, bitches or people in general. This was pack aggression, and certainly does not require a death sentence. It requires leadership, training, and management. I try to provide that. But these dogs are no danger to other people or other people's dogs.

If a dog was playing with a stranger or family member and suddenly attacked for no obvious reason, I am sorry, but barring some weird disease that is treatable, that dog will most likely be put down by my vet.

I think that people who take on aggressive dogs are few and far between and should be given the credit they are due. However, for most of us, taking on a truly aggressive dog, is kind of like carrying around a time bomb. We do the German Shepherd Dog breed no favors by keeping the dog and making a foolish slip and getting somebody bitten or mauled.

I think too that people do not have the same definitions of aggression, and bites. The rescues that you may be dealing with may have been seriously aggressive, or they may have been still mouthy and still puppies when their ignorant owners turned them in as aggressive. They may be fearful, lifting the hair and baring the teeth. I do not know and I am not judging. But I am only concidering the worse type of aggression here. Aggression that is not simply fear, maybe comes out of nowhere, and may not have any warnings.

I put down an aggressive dog. Plenty of warnings on his part. Also a lot of pain, and short fuse, and a naturally dominant demeaner with a weak, inexperienced leader. I took care of him for seven hears, 5 1/2 after the accident that caused him so much pain. All that time I watched as he got scarier and scarier. I could not excersize him because of the painful injury. After a few close calls with family members, and a bite to myself -- not even significant, I put the dog down. It was the right thing to do at the time. If I had that dog today, it would never have progressed as it did, so it was my fault. It would not have been right to give him to anyone else, even if anyone would take him.
 

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For heaven's sake! That's not aggression.

Excited dog taking food from fingers through a pen??

Not hardly...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree, notice the quotations around the word "bit." Unfortunately, my sister was afraid what her husband will think so is afraid of him finding out, AND she is going to hold it against her.

Getting cracked by a puppy while bending over a jumping puppy isn't aggression either, but she still holds it against Cujo.

I am glad that Cujo landed with Mom, He was going to go with this sister.
 

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LOL... who would she blame the if she blistered her hand while touching the burner?
 

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I do not disagree with your comments, because it sounds like the dog you describe would be very difficult to rehab.

The comments you made, describing the dog as really aggressive, and putting your son in danger make perfect sense.

Unfortunatley, Selzer's commets are not as specific and seem a bit short sighted. As I mentioned, I have served as a rescue for a few dogs described as aggressive, and with a little TLC they adopted well to our family.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
As I said people describe aggression differently. Many people look at a fearful dog and say it is aggressive. An aggressive dog (the way I described it) would not be safe to place with a little TLC.
 

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Wow! Havoc took some food from our agility class instructor last night. About remove her hand - of course she had steak...... no excuse. But I would not even consider that aggression. We both laughed about it but it is something I am still working on. Little Piranha.
 
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