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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Need Help, dog bite

I'm in Va and my rescue bit a guy on a bike. We have had him 3 months and he has never shown any sort of aggression. We were walking on the sidewalk and a person on a bike was coming the other direction. I tighten his leash and moved over. Our dog lunged and bite the guy in his left calf. The guy yelped but did not fall off the bike. I moved to the side and Bob helped him off his bike. We looked at his leg, it was red but not bleeding. His pants were ripped. The guy called friend and we called 911. He was offered medical assistance, he declined. We even offered to take him to prompt care. Bob and the guy talked to 911 and they took a report. We exchanged information. We asked if he was going to be okay and he said he would be fine. We offered to replace his pants. What else should we do ? What is animal control going to do? Will we lose our dog? We have never had a bite before. I think he was spooked by the bike. Help, we are don't want to lose our dog. He is a rescue and does not have a bite history. We don't know what to do....The bite looks like a scrape.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 04:43 PM
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Oh Boy ! The only thing I can think of is - just how close were to the guy on the bike ? Could he thought - the way you peddle a bike , the guy was kicking at him ?

I thought that riding a bike on a sidewalk was against the law ? Well anyway it is around here

I have no idea on what will happen or any advise to give you, I'm sorry !

Best of luck Blue !
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Oh Boy ! The only thing I can think of is - just how close were to the guy on the bike ? Could he thought - the way you peddle a bike , the guy was kicking at him ?

I thought that riding a bike on a sidewalk was against the law ? Well anyway it is around here

I have no idea on what will happen or any advise to give you, I'm sorry !

Best of luck Blue !
He was close but we both had enough room to pass. The guy was ignoring Bigwig, just ridding. I think Bigwig did not like the bike.

Animal Control just left...10 days house arrest. She said it was not a bad bite and that we were the nicest and most helpful people she has interacted with in a very long time.

We just feel awful, the guy has special needs. But we talked to his counselor and they took him to prompt care to get checked out.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 05:25 PM
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So sorry this happened. I have been through a similar case (not with a Doberman) and know how you feel.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 06:03 PM
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Oh, I'm so sorry that happened. I would have been worried and felt badly, too.

It sounds like you handled it as best you can.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 09:00 PM
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I'm really sorry.

Personally, I'd be getting a trainer involved right away. It could be prey drive, anxiety, who knows, but it is definitely something that needs to be addressed.

Edited to add - if it were me, I would also immediately start muzzle training him. All dogs should know how to wear a muzzle, and good dogs wear muzzles too. For now, until you know more and for safety, once he's muzzle trained and LIKES his muzzle, I'd have him wear a muzzle on walks because that will prevent something from happening again, and it will make YOU more relaxed because you won't be worried.

Go to the Muzzle Up Project for instructions and all kinds of info: https://muzzleupproject.com/
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Last edited by MeadowCat; 05-07-2020 at 09:02 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-08-2020, 12:15 AM
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Like Meadow Cat I would also seriously consider muzzling him. The correct use of a muzzle is neither cruel or necessarily uncomfortable.

Years ago, we had a boy who spent a good portion of his days muzzled. Not because of an aggression issue, but rather a very serious issue with pica that could not be controlled. He became inured to the muzzle very quickly and in a short time treated it no differently than his collar.

Incidentally, most folks tend to naturally give a muzzled dog a rather wide berth.

In any case... I am sorry that this happened. Hopefully this will all work out. It sounds like both the fellow who was bitten and Animal Control are acting very reasonably. My guess this is due to you immediately taking responsibility and acting appropriately under the circumstances, for which you are to be commended.

Best to you

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-08-2020, 02:06 AM
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I feel you handled it as good as it could be. You owned up to the responsibility, followed up on it. i agree that a trainer could help. This dog could use some help building confidence and also learning that you are the most important thing and to ignore other stimulus. A Canine Good Citizen course might be helpful. Good luck.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-08-2020, 08:03 AM
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I had a Dobe that had a problem with bikes, too, because (before we got him) he'd been teased by kids on bikes. So he had a bad association with them. I'm guessing when you tightened the leash and pulled him toward you, he thought YOU were afraid of the bike/rider and was trying to take care of the problem for you, because obviously that bike was "dangerous." With my boy, I practiced with the neighborhood kids on their bikes by walking down the road and when they passed, I talked to the kids in a happy voice ("Hi! How are you today?") and put Thor in a sit beside me. He'd growl at them, at first, but because I wasn't stressing over them, he accepted it grudgingly. Eventually, with a bit more practice, we could walk right by them.

Bikes are a hard thing for a dog - it's a combination of human/machine that some dogs don't understand completely, and the speed they're moving will often trigger their "chase" instinct. Do you have someone that could ride their bike around with you, to practice desensitizing Bigwig?

Another example from my personal experience is another dog I had, who absolutely adored me, and liked my horse just fine. If I was on the ground, leading the horse or grooming her or something, no problem, but the minute I got ON the horse, he went absolutely nuts. We (me and the horse) went from being two things to one "monster" thing, and he freaked out and kept trying to bite the horse's legs. Same kind of thing as the bike riding. Once they understand, it doesn't scare them, but it takes a little bit of work.

I think if you could find a trainer or behaviorist, they could help with this, and might have some better ideas. It shouldn't be too hard to fix.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-08-2020, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
I'm really sorry.

Personally, I'd be getting a trainer involved right away. It could be prey drive, anxiety, who knows, but it is definitely something that needs to be addressed.

Edited to add - if it were me, I would also immediately start muzzle training him. All dogs should know how to wear a muzzle, and good dogs wear muzzles too. For now, until you know more and for safety, once he's muzzle trained and LIKES his muzzle, I'd have him wear a muzzle on walks because that will prevent something from happening again, and it will make YOU more relaxed because you won't be worried.

Go to the Muzzle Up Project for instructions and all kinds of info: https://muzzleupproject.com/
I totally agree. We got a trainer's number from our vet. She has dobermans too! And I'm going to order a muzzle this morning. My neighbor was already terrified of Bigwig before this....animal control sitting in front of my house yesterday did not help that situation. However, his sister loves Bigwig. So, that helps.

This just awful. I feel like one of "those people with those bad dogs."

My dog, my fault. I do take responsibility for his actions. I've had 4 other large dogs and this has never happened before.

We are working with the mans consular and have paid for his pants, any medical cost, and a little extra.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-08-2020, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
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I totally agree. We got a trainer's number from our vet. She has dobermans too! And I'm going to order a muzzle this morning. My neighbor was already terrified of Bigwig before this....animal control sitting in front of my house yesterday did not help that situation. However, his sister loves Bigwig. So, that helps.

This just awful. I feel like one of "those people with those bad dogs."

My dog, my fault. I do take responsibility for his actions. I've had 4 other large dogs and this has never happened before.

We are working with the mans consular and have paid for his pants, any medical cost, and a little extra.
Listen, don't blame yourself - it's not like you saw it coming and did nothing. You'd seen no signs before. This was truly out of the blue; you're a responsible dog owner and you immediately owned the problem and are taking action. That's truly all someone can ask of you. Especially with a rescue dog, sometimes we have no idea of a dog's triggers or behaviors until they appear; a rescue dog truly takes quite a while to settle into their new home and really show all of who they are.

What matters is that you're taking it seriously and doing everything right for safety. No one could ask you to do more.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-08-2020, 10:25 AM
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I agree with what others said about the cyclist breaking the law. In most states bikes are required to be on the roads and the sidewalks are strictly for pedestrians. It's good that you owned up to it. I'd suggest getting a trainer. You can try to desensitize the dog to strangers on bikes but it's very difficult.

Also, my dog, Mav, is not a fan of bikes, never has been. I can ride on one and he'll jog along just fine but if someone else is on a bike, they should die. He has had zero bad experiences with bikes. It's just how he's always been.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2020, 10:51 AM
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So sorry this happened but lilke everyone said, you have handled this wonderfully. You did everything you should have. We have had quite a few dogs come to rescue that are reactive to bikes, etc. and the adopters have worked with dog like everyone has suggested and they all turned out OK. You don't know all of Bigwig's background and why he is reactive to bikes. I have a lot of confidence that you and Bigwig will be OK.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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So sorry this happened but lilke everyone said, you have handled this wonderfully. You did everything you should have. We have had quite a few dogs come to rescue that are reactive to bikes, etc. and the adopters have worked with dog like everyone has suggested and they all turned out OK. You don't know all of Bigwig's background and why he is reactive to bikes. I have a lot of confidence that you and Bigwig will be OK.
Thank You!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 09:00 AM
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You handled the situation as best you could, and honestly, better than some other people in that situation. I agree with everyone else, training and muzzle work will be necessary going forward. You mentioned that this was a rescue. Do you happen to know his backstory? Maybe that could give you some insight on why he reacted the way he did.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2020, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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You handled the situation as best you could, and honestly, better than some other people in that situation. I agree with everyone else, training and muzzle work will be necessary going forward. You mentioned that this was a rescue. Do you happen to know his backstory? Maybe that could give you some insight on why he reacted the way he did.
The only thing I know is that he was given up when he was bit by an unknown animal.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
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The only thing I know is that he was given up when he was bit by an unknown animal.
Do you think that this could have been a player in this event ? He was unsure of the bike -- Bite first before you get bit maybe ?

BTW- been very busy here and just catching up some this morning - But you did a good job on this .

Best of luck going forward
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 08:51 AM
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Do you think that this could have been a player in this event ? He was unsure of the bike -- Bite first before you get bit maybe ?

BTW- been very busy here and just catching up some this morning - But you did a good job on this .

Best of luck going forward
That could be it or that bite was somehow related to a bike being present hence his reaction. Either way, you handled it well and I wish you luck with this.

When someone you love walks in through the door, even if it happens five times a day, go totally insane with joy - David Dudley
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