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Old 07-18-2012, 07:06 PM
2,873 posts, read 4,740,596 times
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Can I ask how long your dog has been going to this trainer/day camp? Have you had him since a puppy? Has he been going to the same trainer for 3 years?

If so, you need to find a new trainer. Your dog has poor recall and impulse control. Not all trainers are for all dogs...they may have experience with GSD in general, but Shep is an individual.

Old 07-18-2012, 08:23 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,704 posts, read 10,121,886 times
Reputation: 8525
The hospital I work at has 2 security dogs. When the first two retired two new GSD's were brought in. The dogs are trained in security work by a dog trainer that is experienced in such and they continue with training exercises with the dogs in the police department on a regular schedule. Well my boss had to go down to security and walked in and one of the new dogs was wandering the office instead of being in its crate and no one was in the office with it. My boss is terrified of dogs so when the dog came up to him to check him out he was frightened and quickly lifted his arm up away from the dog. The dog followed that arm and grabbed it too hard and did puncture the skin. My boss did go to the ER and was treated for a dog bite but being he is a diabetic it still got infected and he was very traumatized by the event. Despite it all he did not file a law suit nor did he insist they get rid of the dog.

A few days later I asked one of the handlers what they were going to do and at that point they were not sure. He said the dog had been refusing to do a bite in bite training so they had been working on that. ( before this incident) Well they did end up getting rid of it and bringing in a new dog as these security dogs have to be reliable as kids often grab at them as they walk the halls and many staff members tend to shower them with attention. I think this poor dog was just brought in too early. I also have to say that people that are afraid of dogs often make direct eye contact with the dog and many dogs see that as a challenge. That also explains why people that are afraid of dogs often claim that all dogs bark at them..of course that fuels their fear. I am not saying it was Toms fault that your dog bit him but perhaps he made the mistake of making direct eye contact and maybe when the dog reacted he moved his arm or body too fast??

I am hoping that Tom is not someone that will try to sue you and that you can move foreward and prevent this from happening again. I have always stated that one of the most important things my dogs learn is bite inhibition and feel it should be covered in obedience classes.
Old 07-18-2012, 08:37 PM
18,856 posts, read 31,596,438 times
Reputation: 26106
The issue is protective dogs without guidance, will go into "breed" mode if not being handled. I had this problem with our Norwegian Elkhound. She was fiercely territorial. She was a great dog...just very protective and food aggressive as well. If I was there, she behaved. If I was not there...she just did whatever she wanted. Some dogs are like that....no matter how much training they have.
Old 07-18-2012, 09:02 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,472 posts, read 43,550,710 times
Reputation: 47208
Honestly your posts show you are more worried about your insurance, you dog and have very little compassion for the poor man bitten. If this had happened to me I would have taken Tom to the emergency clinic immediately with every reassurance I would pay for his medical costs. Simply showing a big of compassion for the man might be enough to keep him from suing you but he has every right to take you to court over this . But the most important consideration in all of this Should be the HEALTH OF THE MAN. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU NEVER DID MORE THAN BLAME HIM FOR YOUR INABILITY TO CONTROL YOUR DOG.

This very incident could make him unable to make a living. his worst fears have been realized. Imagine how he will feel if he encounters another dog on his next job. I imagine his career choices are limited as it is. Please reach out to the mAN, OFFER TO TAKE HIM TO YOUR DOCTOR. HE PROBABLY DIDN'T WANT TO GO RIGHT AFTER IT HAPPENED DUE TO THE EXPENSE.
Old 07-18-2012, 09:03 PM
2,873 posts, read 4,740,596 times
Reputation: 4291
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
The issue is protective dogs without guidance, will go into "breed" mode if not being handled. I had this problem with our Norwegian Elkhound. She was fiercely territorial. She was a great dog...just very protective and food aggressive as well. If I was there, she behaved. If I was not there...she just did whatever she wanted. Some dogs are like that....no matter how much training they have.
In this case though the owner was right there, but wasn't able to control the dog. I do agree that some dogs are just more protective than others, in which case they can't ever be allowed to free roam. Once a dog has proven they will bite, even a minor wound, the owner needs to make sure the dog is never put into a position where it can happen again...not just for the protection of other people, but for the dog's sake.
Old 07-18-2012, 09:38 PM
18,856 posts, read 31,596,438 times
Reputation: 26106
Right...Elkie usually had to be on a leash in order to be in "attention" mode. No leash...forget it. Leashed...she was aware she was a working dog. No leash...no control. On a leash..she listened to everything. Worked with her for years...finally when she was three or four she started to chill.

Is this dog fixed? That could be an issue as well, if the dog is not fixed.
Old 07-19-2012, 08:11 AM
Location: Upstate, SC
19 posts, read 45,718 times
Reputation: 32
First of all, I do not blame Tom. I take full responsibility and know Shep and I need recall training stepped up. I now realize that a leash is ALWAYS mandatory. I guess I thought it was silly to leash a dog from the house to the car, but will NEVER take that for granted again.

We started the assessment with the trainers yesterday. We use a facility that is a K9 facility. They are specialists for German Shepherds and they are as surprised about the situation as we are. We have been using them for about 2 months. They have a board and train program. Our dogs go there 3 days a week. During the assessment we had to answer questions about the situation. Our lawn service comes to our 2 acre property every week, usually Thursday, and yesterday was Wednesday, so even we werent awarenthey were there at that time. The service workers got to our property when we were leaving, and we typically open the back of the suv and the dogs hop in. Shep had a detour and ran across two acres to Tom. Tom noticing Shep running towards him and panicked (I would too). Had tree limbs in his arms, and started to run behind the tree. No doubt Shep should have been leashed. It's not Toms fault. We did offer to take Tom to the ER. He went back to work after taking 20 min to clean out the wound and dress it. I called and checked on him 6 hours later and he said he was fine. He wasn't worried about the wound, he was worried about Shep. He did give us a picture of the wound to give to our trainers. Yes we do worry about being sued. No stitches were warranted. The bite is a surface nip with a very small amount of blood lost. It looks like it will heal in a few days. But it is a bite, and that changes all the dynamics of Shep.

During the assessment we learned (and sort of knew) that Shep is a working dog. He needs a task. He doesnt care about being dotted on (his sister is sweet and passive, doesnt like to 'work' and loves to be dotted on). It was reiterated that the dog must always be on a leash. He doesn't like dog parks and he doesn't like to 'play' with other dogs...a common GS trait. He understands commands (obviously not well enough), and is very protective of our property. This particular incident triggered something in Shep to make him go after Tom. We start shock training on Monday. An at at home assessment is also scheduled next week. We will need to add ALOT more structure, but I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to help my dog be a good citizen.

I'm extremely concerned, because I love my dogs more then some people. I haven't ever had an aggressive animal and want to do the right thing. I would be devastated if I had to put our animal to sleep because of a biting habit.

This GS facility can accommodate up to 50 dogs, but all the handlers there have had some training and most of them have German Shepherds. They have a board and train program, and the dogs have ALOT of interaction with people and other dogs. They don't randomly throw the dogs into another pen with other dogs. They assess behavior and actions and can quickly divert a problem with a personality before something happens. The owner trains all the K9 dogs for specific missions, His son in law is the lead trainer (and police man) and will bring his bite suit and other training gear for the at home assessment. He stated that even police dogs are leashed 99% of the time. The 1% is when they are on a mission and under strict control.

After speaking to my lawyer, he doesn't seem concerned and felt our proactivity was proper. He stated that you can't be sued for something that doesn't have permanant damages. he doesnt feel we need to report anything to the insurance company because there are no damages, and he doesnt feel we need to 'provide a payoff'. We have video surveyance that shows Tom still working an hour and half after the incident. Our GS facility asked us to check on the lawn service to see if they had insurance, because if they didn't, any injury on our property (tripping on a tree root, and breaking an arm) would allow them to sue us. I didnt think of that....My lawyer agrees with that, as well.

I will keep you posted on next weeks progress.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate all your comments and suggestions.
Old 07-19-2012, 08:13 AM
Location: Upstate, SC
19 posts, read 45,718 times
Reputation: 32
Yes...Shep was neutered at 8 months.
Old 07-19-2012, 08:36 AM
Location: West Virginia
12,386 posts, read 31,331,354 times
Reputation: 8075
#1 Your doing Drop Off Training which means Your Not involved! You personally are Not involed with Training this dog! #2 You Need to Control your dog so Find a trainer that will Teach YOU to Teach the dog & Work with BOTH of you! The Only person/s this dog is going to be 100% dependable to is the Trainer! Hes Never going to respect or Listen to YOU! I would Not do Shock Training! Thats Not ging to teach the dog Your Boss!
Old 07-19-2012, 08:52 AM
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,042,895 times
Reputation: 3566
Now that everyone has b-1tched at you.

Some different advice.

I know you wanted to be responsible and get ahead of the problem. (calling insurance agent and such .)
Pay out of your pocket for any bills associated with the incident if you can and keep it out of the hospitals and away from the police or animal control all the better for you and your dog.

Next time, don't call. only call if they are or have gone to the hospital or if they have called the police.
If they don't want to go to the doctor, don't suggest that they do.

What will happen if they do? The Doctor is going to file a report.
The Dept of health will now get involved and the police will make a report.
1. You now have a dog with one bite on it's record.
2. The dept of health will want you to quarantine the dog.
and see the rabies vac cert.
They will want to see the dog
and if you don't have the facilities to contain the dog you will have to find a place that does.

Any dog can bite someone. ANY.

next time your dog bolts don't try to recall the dog this almost never works.
(any good trainer will tell you this)
Give it the down command this will work much better than trying to recall the dog or telling it no.

I have bought trained dogs, but I already knew how to handle them.

We do train& handle dogs, but the best way is to train the owner and then the owner trains their dog.
The dog has to have a bond with you and see you as dominant and the master or it will not listen to you.
This could be your problem.

Last edited by snofarmer; 07-19-2012 at 09:02 AM..
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