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Granny

What to do????

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Granny

I have a 1 1/2 year old yellow lab and its a very friendly dog. Last night two of our nieces (17 & 18) came over when we were not home. They were going to let the dog out to run for a while but it was growling at them so they left him in. When I got home they told me what happened and I kind of just blew it off. I let the dog out and he was fine. One of the nieces came out and gave him a treat and walked to her car. The dog ran over to her playfully and then ran back to me on the front steps. It seemed that everything was fine so I went in the house. Two seconds later I hear the dog growling and barking. I go outside and the dog had bit my niece! The dog was sitting on the steps and she walked up and started petting him. Then out of no where the dog bit her on the arm. There was only one tooth mark on her arm and it didn't break the skin but she did have heavy jacket on.

We have never seen this dog act like this before. He is usually fine with anyone that comes over. I am very concerned about this. This is the first dog my wife and I have had. I don't want to wait until something like this happens again.

What do I do?????

Thanks,

Granny

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lumbertick

It's hard to give advice without really knowing the dog and the kids. You might want to just start with a health check at the vet. Something just doesn't seem to add up??? Some how your dog perceived these two as a threat. I am guessing that people don't usually come into your house when you are not present. If it was mine it would be either kennel time or be gone though...I won't tolerate an unpredictable dog...it's too much of a liability.

lt

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lawdog

Yes, biters are not acceptable, but if this is truly uncharacteristic, there seems like there has to be more to the story. A nice dog doesn't just attack without provocation of some sort. There has to be some percieved threat or something wrong that caused this. If you can't get any answers from the girls or the vet, I'd agree the dog should be put down as hard as that may be. frown.gif

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ironranger420

Granny,

Sounds like you have a good guard dog. smile.gif But seriously, this reminds me of a dog we used to have. It was a boxer and was very, very protective. From your post it sounds like the dog becomes agressive with individuals only when you are not present. If you are around, the dog acts fine. My thoughts, and I'm by no means an expert, just a guy who has owned many dogs in his lifetime, are that the dog considers everybody it encounters as a threat. As long as you are around when people are around, the dog then knows that this person is o.k., and not a threat. Our boxer used to go after people if the dog got to the person before we did. My friend had come over one day, and he knocked and just walked in. Well the dog took off ran to the door, jumped up on the guy and knocked him down and pinned him. he never bit him, but scared the heck out of him nonetheless. If I had answered the door, and let my frined in, the dog wouldn't have thought twice about going after this guy. This dog's first thought was always, PROTECT! To answer your question, you are going to have to get stern with your dog when it does this. You are going to have to let it know that it is not acceptable. How you want to do this is up to you. But don't be afraid to use a little force, and lots of repetition. Hope this helps.

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Granny

The girls did not do anything out of the ordinary. We have had many different people over to our house with kids and other pets and the dog has been fine. The only other time he acted up at all was when a repair man stopped in to fix our treadmill. I had someone open the door for the repair man and they said the dog was barking and not the friendly type of bark. Once again we were not home. We live out in the country and a lady walkes by our house every day in the summer. The dog will bark and run out to the road but never anything more. I would really hate for this to happen again and a part of me says stop it here and the other part (big part) says it was just a rare thing that happened. Thanks for the info so far, and keep it coming.

Thanks,

Granny

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SCUMFROG

Were they wearing the same perfume, or use the same soap? Or maybe that time of the month. (sorry if I can't post that.) Some thing was telling your lad that these people are not good and I need to protect my master. Is it a boy or girl dog? Dogs can sense things we can't, and will let you know how they feel about you. I have 3 dogs and they also bark at certain people and others they let pass. My akita knew when my sister-in-law was pregnant before she did, he kept poking her tummy and was very protective of her when she was over. I would test this dog before I'd put it down. He's only doing what he thinks is right, protecting HIS family.

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Bexter

It is so hard to tell what the dog is thinking. Keep an eye on your dog and monitor the behavior. It is strange that the dog did that out of the blue being that it's not an agressive dog. If you notice a limp or something like that you'll want to check it out.

I read in a post above that the dog is just being protective - that could very well just be the case.

A while ago I had a friend come up to visit and she had her little guy with (he was 3 at the time) - he was toddling around the house and my shorthair kept paying attention to him and almost kind of "holding him up" when he was walking and the dog would not quit sniffing at his head! I thought it was strange - but the kid was at the dog's eye level really too. The dog did not get agressive at all - just acted like she was protecting him. Not much after that incident with the dog - the boy ended up being rushed to Mayo Clinic via air ambulance - found out he had a brain tumor. My friend thinks that the dog maybe knew something and that's why she was protecting him like she was. It is very possible.

Dog's can seem so humanlike - but they always demonstrate that pack behavior once in awhile.

Just keep an eye on your dog Granny. I understand your frustrations and your worry.

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Granny

I contacted the guy I got the dog from and he gave me a little insite. He told me that this dog has done this before. I think the story went something like this....neighbor kid(s) are throwing rocks at the dog. Neighbor kid comes over to play with other family kids and is chasing one of the family kids across the yard. The dog goes after the kid doing the chasing and bites him in the arm. No blood but a firm bite.

This sounds like the same bite that happened last night. Is there a difference in dog bites? Could this be a protective/defense bite instead of an attack bite? Does a defense/protect bite deserve less concern or do I need to worry about this dog hurting someone in the future?

Thanks again,

Granny

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Stiff

It makes me very sad (to the point of feeling a little nauseous), but I have to say that if it were my dog, I'd have him put down. frown.gif Especially, since it sounds like it is not the first time this has happened. Any of us would feel much worse if we had this kind of warning, decided to give the dog "one more chance", only to end up with a much worse tragedy. I don't envy you your position at all.

Only one other thing - Whatever you decide to do, I definately wouldn't give the dog away.

Good Luck, Tony

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Bexter

Granny - I agree with Stiff. If this dog has done it before - you might not want to wait around for the next time. I would have the dog put down as well as much as I hate to say it (and that is such a hard decision to make too just had to put my old dog down a few weeks ago). But Stiff is 100% right - it might happen again if it's happened more than once. You don't want that next time to be tragic.

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Granny

Once again, thanks for the info. Even if its not what I want to hear. Not sure I will have the heart to put him down though.

Granny

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lumbertick

Again, I hate to even say it with so little info, but it sounds like you have a dog with some serious issues. Typically it takes a bit of tormenting to get a lab to react this way. You might talk to a professional handler on this one...I know how hard it is to say just put him down. I have never heard of any one having any success with this one...maybe some else has. I have spent a lot of time with dogs, but I know that there are plenty of guys and gals out there that know a lot more. I would say its worth the phone call. I recomend Pete Fischer out of Albany.

lt

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Granny

I will get a hold of Pete Fischer. I found his number.

Thanks,

Granny

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Fishook

How old was your dog when it was separated from the litter? Sometimes a pup separated too early, at 4, 5, or six weeks of age, can be deprived of its littermate/social development. This in turn, can result in an insecure dog and becoming a biter is a common result. While this is a general rule, I would check into it. If you find this to be true, I have to agree with those who have advised the dog be destroyed.

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BLACKJACK

Granny, have you had this dog neutered? That would be the first step. Then you need to do some training. Get friends to come over and see how he reacts, you as the leader of the pack need to let him know in no uncertain terms that barking, growling at friends and family is unacceptable. Be tough with him. Until you can train/convince him that being aggressive is unacceptable, don't give him any unsupervised time or you and some kid is going to pay the price. Good luck.

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jblabsnduck

Your dog is just protecting you and his house. He feels insecure when he does not have YOU in his sights. Most likely this was caused before you got him, the kids throwing rocks and stuff at him. It is not a good thing but it could be a good thing if he is a inside dog and someone breaks into your house.

I hate to say it but I would have to agree with putting him down unless you make sure he is not allowed to be around other people without you there. He feels threatend by other people that he does not see on a daily bases. I am guessing he is fine with your wife? I have had dogs like this before.The dog sees it as "my master is not around so I have to make sure these people will not hurt me". With you around the dog knows everything is OK.

Just my 2 cents worth.

I have been making sure my dogs know who my daughter(19 months old) is just for this reason.

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Granny

Well we have made the decision to keep him for now. Anyone one who has met this dog can not believe he would do something like this, not that it changes anything. The two nieces stayed at our place all weekend and he was fine with them the rest of the time.

We are going to get him fixed and be a little more carefull with him. And I explained to my wife that one more bite and he is going to be put down. I know this is going against everthing you guys have told me but I just can't do it. I just hope that we didn't give him one too many chances!

Thanks again and I appreciate all the info.

Granny

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Jackpine Rob

Good luck Granny.

A relative had a really nice, friendly and playful dog. The pooch was young, full of p and vinegar, but got along great with the kid in the home, and seemed all around OK.

Then he took in after a visitor.

Several months passed, no more incidents, we all kind of forgot about it, and then the dog got aggressive with the owner.... A little enforcement and obedience work, a neutering, and all went well for several months, then it took a swipe at me. I went ballistic immediately, and closed in and made the thing understand in no uncertain terms that its teeth had no business in contact with me.

At that point, I recommended the dog be carefully monitored at all times, and possibly put down.

Several more months went by, no more incidents, until we were at a family function.... I heard my relative yell my name, and the tone in his voice brought me on the run. He was engaged in an honest to god battle - his own dog was doing its darndest to inflict maximum damage - attacking the owner as he brought food and water into the kennel. There was blood.

I jumped into the fray, subdued the pooch, and had the relative back out of the kennel and hold the door, while I slowly backed to the door, releasing the dog and slamming the door shut as quickly as possible.

The beast tried coming through the chain link... It was truly frightening to see the out-of-control nature of that dog.

They put him down later that week.

Bottom line for me is that once they bite, you really have no clue when they might try to do so again - or who they might do it to.

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ReelTimes

I have had lots of labs...all well bred with solid hunting and trial stock. I have had a couple that were rather protective but never in the field or while training or out in the yard or when playing with kids. I recall one time when the water/gas man walked right in our house to read the meter and my son and daughter (both 3-4 yrs at the time) were in the kitchen by the door. The dog did go after the guy and bit him as he ran out the door. He no doubt saw the stranger as a threat to the kids. I have had others that would growl at a stranger who looked out of place and have no doubt would have meant business if an intruder walked in the house with no one home. All my labs, including the protective ones, were great with kids. I agree that I would not keep an unpredictable dog. You may be able to minimize this by putting the dog in his kennel when he is not under immediate supervision but it is no fun to have a dog you can't trust. Best of luck.

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crappiefishnfool

Well here is my 2 cents worth..

I wouldn't put the dog down just yet. I would work with either a muzzle when around strangers or people the dog has acted agressivly towards. This is not acceptable behavior, but you know i wrestle with my dogs (both Labs) and they give a FIRM bite, but never break the skin. I HAVE had my 85lb male growl and show teeth at a friend who had come to let him out while i was gone and he has been over before and never acted this way. I have owned labs for years and they are a protective dog of their property and owners. If they feel threatend at all they will be not afraid to show it. My male will go bonkers if mail man or paper boy comes up the walk, (i feel sorry for them if he ever gets out) he almost goes THRU the window when they are even across the street and he has NEVER even been outside when they have come or have never been tormented by them. Just a charecteristic of a lab. Just gotta break them of the habit and like i said try the muzzle thing. If you wanna know more, just email me..i can tell you lots about labs. Feel free to see the pics of my dogs at http://photos.yahoo.com/jtaschuk

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LABS4ME

"Just a characteristic of a lab?" confused.gif I've owned, handled or trained probably close to 30 labs and I have yet to put my hand over an aggressive or "protective" lab. I'm not saying mine wouldn't give a good bark if someone came around the back of the house at night... but I can guarantee you, I don't have to worry about what any of the labs I've had will do if they get outside when a stranger approaches. Any overly aggressive lab should 1.) never be bred EVER! no matter what kind of success they've had. 2.) If they go after somebody and bite them, they should be put down. Now I know there needs to be some lee way in the posts involving strangers walking into the house with kids... I'd probably give the dog the nod on that one, as long as that is the only time aggression is shown, but if they go after ANYBODY that is just coming up the walk, they are done! Labs have never been bred for, nor known for being a "security" dog. I can honestly say that every lab I've had (and as far as I know, bred), is as safe to a stranger running free in the yard as it is behind a latched gate. There is no room in the breed for aggressive dogs.

I'm sorry to be so stern about this, but this is not a characteristic or trait of a lab and never should be.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Eric Wettschreck

I absoulutely refuse to own an aggressive dog. Period.

I'm not a dog expert by any means, but I've owned a bunch of em. I've put a couple of them down due to aggressive traits. To each their own, and I'm sorry if I'm preaching, but in my book if it bites it dies. If it even thinks about taking a bite, growling, showing aggressive behavior, it's getting put down.

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Flash

Granny,

Just so you know, Minnesota has a one bite law. You won't be charged criminaly for the first bite. Any bite after that you could be charged with a crime. Not only you, but the person you got the dog from. He never should have given you that dog knowing that it bit someone. I'm in the insurance biz and if your insurance company knew your dog bit someone, the cancellation would be in the mail as soon as possible. Put the dog down. The third bite may be a lot worse. Who do you like better, the dog or your neice. I cannot believe her parents would send their daughter to your place with a dog like that around. I've seen what a "nice" dog can do to a childs face. Sorry to be so stern but this drives me nuts to see someone put a dog before a child. These are my thoughts.

Flash

"Set the Hook"

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GoodToGo

A cousin of mine was bitten in the face by a "nice" dog. Several surgeries were required to reconstruct his lower lip. Now that your dog has bitten two children, consider carefully what could happen to the third. If you can ensure that the dog will never be around kids again, supervised or not, the risk may be low enough for you, but how enjoyable will that kind of vigilance be for the next 12 years? A dog that bites is like a horse that kicks. It defeats the purpose of having them around. I know it is a hard thing. Good luck, I hope you make the right decision for yourself.

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Granny

Well after reading these posts over and over and over I realized I was letting my feeling for this dog get in the way of what really needed to be done. So after finally convincing myself that I needed to take care of this dog is was time to try and explain things to my wife. I must say that this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life. Thanks for all the information and advice!

Granny

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