Dog bit me - my fault - then I kicked it - need (much) better strategy

[148596]

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Posting under a different name due to, well, obvious failures in subject line.

Dog is a rescue. We've tackled
* poop training - it had been shut inside and punished for indoor pooping as would hold on until night time. This has now been tackled by spending sometimes literally the whole day outside walking until dog _had_ to go and then praising like mad & treating. Also praising and treating Other Dog for going (much to bemusement of Other Dog). Crating overnight was initially a horrendous mess in the morning but now has the desired effect. Slow progress, started off only going in the specific spots where it had been praised before, but now (almost) accident free
* jumping up - I asked for a sit before exciting things happen - the sit is now mostly not required but reinstated for a day or so if any jumping happens
* mouthing - plenty of toys offered, none of any interest, so this has been tackled by simply taking all hands etc away immediately and being feirce with strangers who 'don't mind' (Dog is small and very cute/affectionate) about doing the same - It's my dog, I _do_ mind

However I've never trusted this one's bite inhibition. So, if there an ailment to treat or similar (Dog has poor skin) Dog is muzzled.

So, anyway, Dog found a bone in a place where I wasn't expecting one to be. 'Drop' is usually effective but wasn't. Bone was huge compared to Dog and trailing on floor. So I stupidly stood on it and bent down to remove other end from Dog. Queue Dog dropping bone, biting hand and then picking bone back up again. In between the biting and the picking up again I kicked the dog. Not hard (which, whilst I don't want to do it, might have possibly been effective). So, worst of both worlds. Skin was broken and hand hurt like h*ll. So, there was also an (involuntary) 'oww' as well as a fierce 'no'.

Was in shock, (had had a rough day for other reasons - the dog walk was my calming reward!), didn't know what to do. Sanitised hand (thanks to C19 now always have sanitiser available). Then Dog dropped bone and Other Dog picked it up. Other Dog I trust completely so I opened mouth by putting fingers in like for putting bit in to a horse's mouth, removed bone and binned it.

Was still hurting when back home so Other Dog was allowed cuddles, Dog was banished to rest of house. This was becasue we both (or I anyway) needed a time out from Dog.

So, what are better ideas please? This was a blinking mess. I don't currently have funds for a trainer (see above about stressful day) and have never had a good recommendation in the area when I did have funds (I have literally gone up to anyone with an obviously well-trained animal in the park and asked when I wanted one!).
 

[148596]

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Should have said - That's the first time any dog of mine has bitten a person (or animal of any kind actually) so I have no experience of this or 'go to' response.
 

DressageCob

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I don't see the benefit of banishing the dog later on, after the event. The dog won't know what the issue is at that point. To allow one dog to interact and be with you, and to ignore the other dog and not let it in the room because you needed a break and your hand hurt is not appropriate. Especially when after the event (your post suggests you travelled home and then continued the snubbing there).

Obviously you know kicking isn't the right response, but I can understand why that happened. With my puppy when he went through the mouthy phase I would yelp then walk away.
When I went through a food guarding phase with my previous dog I found the best option was to trade. I always kept a supply of fresh cooked chicken or sausage, which invariably was better than whatever had been stolen by the dog. I trade with my current puppy too. I'm not then competing for whatever "treat" they have stolen, I'm offering a trade up.

In terms of properly responding to biting, I'm sure others will know more than I :)
 

CorvusCorax

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How long have you had the dog? What is the rough type if you don't want to mention breed?

Dogs bite, horses kick, cats claw, electric fences shock..for every reaction there is a reaction.
Not big or clever of you but an instant response to pain. And dog bites fricking hurt. I don't know the dog well enough to say if this plus isolation was a good or bad reaction. And you obviously feel bad enough about it to post, so it's not as if you routinely play keepy-uppy with dogs.
But dogs routinely take 3-5 seconds to link behaviour to consequence so I'm guessing the isolation was for you and not for the dog.

Now you need to rebuild the relationship.

Essentially he had something and he was afraid he would lose it and he tried to stop that using the only tactic at his disposal. So the relationship isn't right.
He needs to think either that when you take something, that is your right, everything belongs to you anyway, that's fine (which is easier to instill in a stable animal you've owned from puppyhood) or he must think that if you take something from him, he'll get something back/a swap/it's not the end of the world.

This will take many repetitions of adding food to an empty bowl, playing swapsy with two of the same item (so one hasn't got a higher value than the other) and he may be a candidate for Boot Camp, in that all his movements and actions are controlled by you until he gets a clearer picture of How Life Is.

There are things you can do to mitigate it happening again. Approach him from the side...a head on confrontation can be seen as very threatening.
Use a short, light hand line with no loop on his collar so that you can remove him from conflict situations without sticking your hand to near his mouth.

It really does depend on the type of dog he is. There's a big difference between a dog who is scared and stressed and has learned that humans just take his stuff and hurt him (you don't know what may have happened in his background) or a dog like one of mine, who because I was a bit soft when he was younger, learned that if he did or didn't want to do something, he would put it up to me to try and get the result he wanted.

Do you like the dog? I know you're probably trying to stay vague and it is horrible to be bitten but it doesn't sound like there's much affection there.
 

Clodagh

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Cc qualified to comment and I’m not, but don’t beat yourself up. The kick was an instant unthought response and I probably would have done the same. Snubbing dog, well sometimes we do just need time away from them.
Dogs move on really quickly, try to do the same.
Agree with CC do you actually like it? We had a border terrier dog who I hated and tbh it’s hard to build a relationship through a real level of dislike.
 

[148596]

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How long have you had the dog? What is the rough type if you don't want to mention breed?
Three years or so - that's why it was such a surprise! 16lb fluff ball.

But dogs routinely take 3-5 seconds to link behaviour to consequence so I'm guessing the isolation was for you and not for the dog.
Absolutely.

It really does depend on the type of dog he is. There's a big difference between a dog who is scared and stressed and has learned that humans just take his stuff and hurt him (you don't know what may have happened in his background) or a dog like one of mine, who because I was a bit soft when he was younger, learned that if he did or didn't want to do something, he would put it up to me to try and get the result he wanted.
Honestly I suspect it is a bit of both. e.g. Dog not toilet trained but then punished for going.
Initially Dog was fed in a separate room from Other Dog. Now quickly got to a stage where they happily share a bowl (less washing up - yay!) and I can remove the bowl, e.g. to top it up, at any point - no issues at all.

Do you like the dog? I know you're probably trying to stay vague and it is horrible to be bitten but it doesn't sound like there's much affection there.
Oh, I'm really cross but with me, not Dog. Dog has been hard work but does the job was acquired for perfectly. Dog is also immensely valuable to other family members, including Other Dog. We wouldn't be happy without Dog.

Thank you for your other advice. I used to always carry treats on walks for the toilet training. Still have little bag for them attached to lead although it was empty at the time of incident. Swaps is a good idea and would be easy to implement. I'll have to practice it with high value food I think as Dog is already completely fine with normal food (and even regular treats) being removed/shared with Other Dog etc.
 

YorksG

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We use tests as reward for all sorts of things, but not for handing over things that I want out of dog mouths, simply because of i want it back and don't have a treat to hand that's going to cause me issues! One of the labs is a terror for trying to run off with stuff, but she's ace at sitting, so I tell her to sit, she does and puts down forbidden item. I pick up item and praise like mad! She does often get a tear for sitting at other times,
 

[148596]

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Agree with CC do you actually like it? We had a border terrier dog who I hated and tbh it’s hard to build a relationship through a real level of dislike.
It's not as immediately compatible with me as Other Dog but much 'cuter' so I do sometimes get annoyed with random people making a fuss of it more than they do of Other Dog who would die for me. But it's actually fine as Other Dog isn't particularly interested in strangers where as Dog really likes the attention.

Since social distancing Dog has been a bit miserable about walks as getting less attention and off-lead scampering (Dog likes to sprint a little then flop; Other Dog likes to walk which is just easier for on-lead walks). Maybe Dog was so unexpectedly fierce over the bone as it was more of a highlight in less fun times for Dog in general.
 

[148596]

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And I should say, credit to Dog - it's the first time we've had a 'drop' fail in years. Other Dog I have to shake upside down (not literally - but I will sometimes pick up for easier access to the mouth!) and prize mouth open to retrieve anything!
 

meleeka

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I think it’s one of those things that can just happen. Move on from it and the dog is likely to too. I never give my dogs bones because one of them I couldn’t trust. I know you didn’t actually give it to the dog, but a super high value thing like a bone isn’t something I want to compete with. I think you can only keep practicing the leave it command and up the stakes by asking the dog to leave really good things eventually.
My terrier doesn’t always leave small fluffy things when told, but I’ve found a firm
Voice and pushing her witH my foot, rather than kicking, gets the result eventually. She wouldn’t bite me over such a thing I don’t think, but I have a phobia about dead things so there’s not a chance Id take it from her. I think you just need to be calm and patient and accept that dogs do sometimes bite in the heat of the moment without thinking.
 

[148596]

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Ok, so, I just tried this. Took two of my usual reward treats and broke one in half.

Placed half treat near Dog and said 'leave/drop it'. (Dog knows 'drop' means 'don't put in mouth' as well as 'put out of mouth' - we don't have separate words for them).

Dog looked confused (not something we normally practice tbh) but left the half treat after an attempt at sniffing.

Then lots of 'good dog' and I gave the whole treat.

We did it three times. (Then did the same with Other Dog to make it fair).

Feels like progress!

Also feels more like The Incident was a one-off. We have successful 'drops' a few times a week with bones found out on walks and now we can get them with treats too. Thank you all.
 

[148596]

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We use tests as reward for all sorts of things, but not for handing over things that I want out of dog mouths, simply because of i want it back and don't have a treat to hand that's going to cause me issues!
This makes sense. I've usually trained (I'm not experienced dog owner, but to the extent that I've trained) with treat + praise together initially, then praise + occasional treat, then mostly just praise once behaviour is established. Hence not having a treat to hand on the walk - I no longer need to treat for outdoor poops!
 

Levrier

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No idea why everyone is being so nice to you quite frankly - I’d say the dog needs to be rehomed to someone has the first clue what they are doing what they are doing with a rescue and doesn’t think that kicking a dog when they are stupid enough to get themselves bitten is simply an ‘instinctive reaction’.

I’ve been bitten once by one of my rescues in 20 years, it was my fault - I put her into the situation where I let it happen. I didn’t have the slightest inclination to hit or kick her, it was MY FAULT.

I don’t give a damn whether it suits you/your family/your lifestyle to keep the dog - if you act like that you shouldn’t have the dog IMO
 

[148596]

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No idea why everyone is being so nice to you quite frankly
Thank you for your candour.

Perhaps people have recognised that this was a one off incident which I've immediately taken steps to address. Or perhaps they read between the lines about the other things people (me) are dealing with in 2020. Or perhaps they just recognise that everyone is fallible. Everyone has certainly been nicer to me than I have felt towards me. And I recognise that.

I searched on here for previous threads on bites before posting. As far as I recall - and I could be mixing you up - your dogs came up as having sometimes taken chunks out of each other (sight-hound ears I think?) or been out of control chasing dear. Those are your failures (and not ones I share - I was very, perhaps over cautious due to being aware of my inexperience introducing dogs and they are uniformly great together). This is my failure (and not one you share). More than happy for you to have the moral high ground. Appreciate advice. Albeit I'm not intending to action yours immediately.
 

[148596]

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a super high value thing like a bone isn’t something I want to compete with
I think this is the thing. For whatever reason this bone was higher value, at that time, than any food or treat, or even other bone we've ever encountered. And I wasn't expecting that.

On the phobia of dead things... You should have seen me when Other Dog found human poop... Trying to use poop bags as gloves to get it out of the mouth!
 

Quoth

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You need to redifine the nature of your relationship.

I think CC's notion of boot camp is your best bet though this may not be easy if other family members fail to be consistent.
 

Karran

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I'm prepared to be shouted down and told i'm a bad owner but I've been in that situation with Miss Collie (also with the toileting!) and yes. I've lashed out (once) in the heat of the moment in a way i'm not proud of and regret. I've also had to shut her away for my own sanity just to calm myself down, realising that I'd make the situation worse by escalating it and fighting her, before returning in a better frame of mind and being able to deal with it, without tears, losing my temper or causing the situation to worsen.
She resource guarded toys, food, her spot on the bed/sofas and her go-to was teeth first, no warning growl as she'd learnt that that got her, her own way.
I don't have the experience that a lot of you had/have and have learnt the hard way how to deal with a reactive/guardy dog. It was a short, steep learning curve for me. I wasn't proud of my actions and researched how to deal with it better.

Now we only have issues with resource guarding of food which I've been dealing with using CC's methods above and I think you'd do a lot worse than to try that!
 

Goldenstar

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CC ‘s post is a good one and one to study .
no ones perfect and you did fall below perfection today .
You know that the fact you post shows that .
We have a rescue we found her injured at the side of road she had been dumped with a dislocated hip .
The experience is so different from the carefully chosen Labrador puppies I am used to getting .
I don’t and never will trust her like I trust the ones I have had from puppies
You need to be an inspiring leader that’s what dog respect and respond to .
It’s a shame you got bitten but it’s a warning to be careful You need to be mindful with this dog.
Ignore the unkind poster you are not the first and you won’t be the last .
 
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skinnydipper

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Now quickly got to a stage where they happily share a bowl (less washing up - yay!) .
I'm not going to comment on the resource guarding which has been covered, but this caught my eye.

I hope you don't mind a tip. I would feed them using separate bowls. It is easier to tell if one of the dogs has a reduced appetite which could be a sign of illness, not caused by an obvious intestinal upset.
 

MrsMozartletoe

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It was a one-off response. You've recognized it as such and are seeking help and understanding as to how to ensure it doesn't happen again.

I've only had to teach 'swap' with one of my dogs. It's one of the current Rotties. He's been treated exactly as his brother (littermates) but whilst I have no compunction whatsoever about taking anything from his brother, this one I'd not unless it was threatening his life.
 

[148596]

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I would feed them using separate bowls. It is easier to tell if one of the dogs has a reduced appetite which could be a sign of illness, not caused by an obvious intestinal upset.
I completely understand. As it happens I watch them eat with a hot drink before bed becasue feeding them last thing has helped Dog manage not to poop overnight. If I wasn't doing that or spending so much time picking them up/cuddling on sofa etc I might not notice. Dog arrived flabby (hadn't had walks before, used to have to be carried as couldn't keep up with Other Dog) but now looks like a proper dog shape. So, I do monitor their eating and condition etc in other ways.

Will reply to everyone else tomorrow as tired now. Thanks all.
 
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I completely understand. As it happens I watch them eat with a hot drink before bed becasue feeding them last thing has helped Dog manage not to poop overnight. If I wasn't doing that or spending so much time picking them up/cuddling on sofa etc I might not notice. Dog arrived flabby (hadn't had walks before, used to have to be carried as couldn't keep up with Other Dog) but now looks like a proper dog shape. So, I do monitor their eating and condition etc in other ways.

Will reply to everyone else tomorrow as tired now. Thanks all.


I know you say that the dogs share happily but I would want separate bowls. What if you need to mix medication with food for one of them? And I would be wary of causing a resource guarding issue, if one of them is a bit unsettled for some reason. It really isn't hard to put 2 bowls down at the same time and is another opportunity to emphasise that your word is law. Ours are taught to finish their meal then sit and wait until they have all finished when they can lick up one another's crumbs if they so desire.
 

[148596]

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What if you need to mix medication with food for one of them?
In practice I feed medication by hand so I can be sure it doesn't get eaten around. But yes, I do have separate bowls if necessary for any reason!

For meat meals I separate them but for kibble they aren't that fussed and if one seems to be getting more than the other they'll move over on voice command. I do take the point about it being a useful opportunity to micromanage though.
 

Auslander

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No idea why everyone is being so nice to you quite frankly - I’d say the dog needs to be rehomed to someone has the first clue what they are doing what they are doing with a rescue and doesn’t think that kicking a dog when they are stupid enough to get themselves bitten is simply an ‘instinctive reaction’.

I’ve been bitten once by one of my rescues in 20 years, it was my fault - I put her into the situation where I let it happen. I didn’t have the slightest inclination to hit or kick her, it was MY FAULT.

I don’t give a damn whether it suits you/your family/your lifestyle to keep the dog - if you act like that you shouldn’t have the dog IMO
I said what I thought, I have no intention of saying any more so no need to get involved as usual TP - this being a forum I am entitled to post my view regardless of whether you like it or not
Seriously! You're the first to get moany/flouncy when anyone says anything to you that you don't like. Maybe try being a bit kinder to a poster who has admitted from the outset that she didn't handle the situation well, and came here asking for help.
 
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