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Old 09-25-2016, 10:29 PM
 
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Hello, have a question for people knowledgeable about dog behavior--today my landlord's dog bit me in the ankle. I had walked into the backyard where the owner had taken it to do its business. It's HUGE so it lunged out of the owner's grasp even with the leash on, ran at me barking and then chomped down on my leg and twisted, and only let go when the owner ran over and stood in front of me yelling. It didn't break the skin but it feels sprained and I can't really walk on it, and there is a lump. The landlord said it only does that to someone it thinks is intruding, and if we just introduced me to the dog and had it familiarize with me, then it won't ever happen again. I was wondering if this is true, and once the dog gets used to me it'll be safe, or if a dog that bites once will have a decent chance of doing it again even if it has some contact with me--since I'm just a tenant and it'll only see me sometimes. Is this normal behavior for dogs and safe for me to keep living there, since it's a really big dog, or wiser for me to find a new place if I can? The landlord lives upstairs and it's a given that I'll be encountering the dog at least sometimes when I go in and out of the house for work.

Also, Even though the bite itself didn't break the skin, I had some open wounds on the ankle from an allergy--should I go get it checked out to be safe? The landlord said the dog had all its shots.

Thanks!

Last edited by springlime; 09-25-2016 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,235 posts, read 5,896,154 times
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Get checked out create a paper trail in case it would happen again.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:57 PM
 
6,981 posts, read 4,455,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springlime View Post
Hello, have a question for people knowledgeable about dog behavior--today my landlord's dog bit me in the ankle. I had walked into the backyard where the owner had taken it to do its business. It's HUGE so it lunged out of the owner's grasp even with the leash on, ran at me barking and then chomped down on my leg and twisted, and only let go when the owner ran over and stood in front of me yelling. It didn't break the skin but it feels sprained and I can't really walk on it, and there is a lump. The landlord said it only does that to someone it thinks is intruding, and if we just introduced me to the dog and had it familiarize with me, then it won't ever happen again. I was wondering if this is true, and once the dog gets used to me it'll be safe, or if a dog that bites once will have a decent chance of doing it again even if it has some contact with me--since I'm just a tenant and it'll only see me sometimes. Is this normal behavior for dogs and safe for me to keep living there, since it's a really big dog, or wiser for me to find a new place if I can? The landlord lives upstairs and it's a given that I'll be encountering the dog at least sometimes when I go in and out of the house for work.

Also, Even though the bite itself didn't break the skin, I had some open wounds on the ankle from an allergy--should I go get it checked out to be safe? The landlord said the dog had all its shots.

Thanks!
No, its not normal behavior for dogs with good owners.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,530 posts, read 47,699,472 times
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Go to doctor, get checked out, get or update tetanus shot, give landlord the bill.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:42 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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The landlord's dog bit you in your backyard? Are you renting a room in the landlord's house?
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:32 AM
 
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My questions are why were you in the back yard and is that part of your lease agreement. Is the back yard fenced? I'm assuming not since the dog was on a leash.


Generally, if a bite doesn't break the skin, no harm no foul. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have it checked, though.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:18 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,724 posts, read 10,616,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyNameIsBellaMia View Post
My questions are why were you in the back yard and is that part of your lease agreement. Is the back yard fenced? I'm assuming not since the dog was on a leash.


Generally, if a bite doesn't break the skin, no harm no foul. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have it checked, though.
Unless he has been told specifically not to go in the backyard, none of that matters.

Yes, you should go to the doctor and hand the bill to your landlord. You may need to leave depending on other factors associated with being bit, including how they react to recieving that bill. A large dog that is willing to put their teeth on you is not a good situation, and an excellent reason to be leery of sharing mutual green space with it. That it physically got itself and leash away from the owner's control is the most concerning part, besides what if the landlord hadn't gotten there quick enough?

You might want to also ask this question in the renting section, with questions about what your rights would be in this situation. There are states where the landlord would have to pay for expenses you would incur moving, so if you do decide to post there you probably ought to put your state in the opening sentence.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:53 AM
 
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To answer questions in the thread-- yes I'm renting a room from the landlord, and my entrance is through the backyard. The dog isn't usually there except to go to the bathroom. The landlord has been really sorry and accommodating, and offered to help with moving expenses etc if i need to leave, so I'm not concerned about the renting laws/issues part. Though, the owner kind of asked if I could avoid going to the hospital since the dog might get in trouble if i did or something?

I like the place I'm living and it's hard to find decent affordable apartments in this city, so I don't really want to have to move again, but the main concern is whether my safety is at risk enough that it moving is necessary.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:49 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,724 posts, read 10,616,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springlime View Post
To answer questions in the thread-- yes I'm renting a room from the landlord, and my entrance is through the backyard. The dog isn't usually there except to go to the bathroom. The landlord has been really sorry and accommodating, and offered to help with moving expenses etc if i need to leave, so I'm not concerned about the renting laws/issues part. Though, the owner kind of asked if I could avoid going to the hospital since the dog might get in trouble if i did or something?

I like the place I'm living and it's hard to find decent affordable apartments in this city, so I don't really want to have to move again, but the main concern is whether my safety is at risk enough that it moving is necessary.
Ah..... Your municipality must have mandatory bite reporting and aggressive dog statutes. If that is the case, yes, I am sure the landlord really, really wants to keep you away from an ER or urgent treatment facility. It would be interesting to know whether or not he is already on the first strike list, I would almost be willing to bet he is. Your landlord's dog may be under a court order that if he bites again he has to be euthanized.

Yes, there is something to be concerned about if you must go through what that dog considers as his territory to get to your room. He has already shown 1) he is territorially aggressive, 2) his owner does not have the ability to keep him under control at all times, 3) he is willing to bite, 4) he does not release when his target is subdued, and 5) he is capable of causing physical harm.

You need to consider very carefully whether the benefits of living there are worth the risk of the dog threatening you again. Only you can make that decision, based on what is more important to you. If you do decide to stay, you and the landlord need to come up with a system that lets you know when the dog is outside so you can minimize your contact. Better yet, would be if you can come up with a way of getting to your living area without going through the backyard. I would also get a written agreement from your landlord about what will happen if he tries to attack you again or actually bites you in the future, this would include any medical costs, 100% of any deposits, and assistance with moving costs.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:21 AM
 
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Thanks Oldhag1, that's really useful info--I wanted to get it checked out at the hospital, but if my area has mandatory dog bite reporting does this mean I'll get in trouble if I refuse to give detailed information about the dog? The owners overall have been nice people and I don't want them to lose a beloved pet. At the same time, I don't want to put my own health at risk by not seeing a doctor just to protect an animal that attacked me. I was hoping I could just go, and tell the hospital a dog bit me but not reveal which dog it was.
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