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Aggressive Attacks

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Sam Bovey, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Sam Bovey

    Sam Bovey New Member Registered

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    my gf had suffered a serious attack from our American Staffordshire bull terrier. he's usually the most loving soppy intelligent dog...my gf went to move his brand new bone he was chomping on off our new curtains and without warning he violently attacked her in which she was hospitalised...as we have him still with us...were (more my gf) is so on edge worried he's going to attack again...we don't know what to do? we love our dog so much but she doesn't feel safe now....we wanna see if we can figure out how to stop or prevent it from ever happening again....try all options before having to give him up or be put down...we don't know what to do?? need some help...anyone please?? ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated ;-)
     
  2. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Well to be honest you're probably not in a good frame of mind to make a decision about it at the moment. I know that having been bitten by our rescue cross breed myself I was shocked and saddened as well as hurt. BUT once you get over this you have to ask What went wrong? Dogs always have a reason to bite. So when you can discuss it calmly consider this. Taking a high-value food item off ANY dog (including a 15 yo partially sighted miniature poodle!) is an absolute no-no. Dogs live in the moment and their survival (in their minds) stems from having enough food. Never try to take food from your dog or pick up food that is near him which he looks upon as his. I work in dog rescue and explain every day that the two flash points are always food and beds (which the dog treats as his- it can be a chair, say). I would book a session with a good local trainer who can take you both through a way of remaking your relationship with your dog so that you all stay safe. And yes the dog that put both me and my partner in A&E is still with us 5 years later. Please get someone who if possible can come to your home really soon to give you guidance. Here's just a few things to do now: feed your dog on his own in a quiet place. Only pick up the bowl when he has walked away and preferably left the room. Stop giving any treats that he brings and eats with you. Don't give fuss and attention at the moment nor eye contact. Try to keep everything calm in the home and ignore him. But don't be harsh nor shout at him. Let him be with you and give you affection. Let everything settle down. I'm sure you'll get other good advice but this is the basics.
     
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  3. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Active Member Registered

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    Did he growl first ......and what do you mean by a serious attack ....
     
  4. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    When I was newly married OH and I had a row.. I pretended to stomp off out the door but actually I hid in a walk in cupboard..
    OH knew i hadnt gone out and our angry words turned into a game of hide and seek. I could hear him going from room to room looking under beds and behind curtains calling my name and saying he knew I was hiding..The last place he checked was our spare room and as he opened the cupboard I assumed he had seen me and I stepped forward laughing at being found..
    OH jumped screamed and slammed the door shut .On my head!!!

    Although painful I reasoned that he had acted in surprise /shock /fear and decided not to get rid of him. Since then I have learned not to jump out of cupboards and he has never shut my head in a door again.

    The moral of this story? No matter how logical or intelligent the being we can all be surprised and act on a split second instinct rather than reasoned training. The trick is to learn the triggers and work to ease or eliminate them.

    Take the advice given in the above posts get some help learn your dogs trigger points and work to avoid causing another situation where you and your dog are in danger.
     
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  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    The advice above is great - I would just add that your dog was enjoying a bone. If you were enjoying a lovely meal in a great restaurant and someone tried to take it from you, you wouldn't be pleased either.

    You and your gf should also learn to read his body language as dogs rarely go straight to bite - they would far rather remove themselves from the threat or scare it off. They will therefore give a series of signals that they are unhappy, but unfortunately most people don't recognise them because they can be quite subtle. To begin with there is often wide eyes, lip licking and yawning. There is also muscular tension in the body. Then the ones we sometimes do see - growl, snarl, nip then bite. If the early signals are not seen (or, in the dog's view, ignored) he won't bother with them because us stupid humans pay no attention anyway; so he may then go straight to the bite. So it's important never to ignore a growl.

    Please also check out the body language thread Body Language
     
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  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm so sorry this has happened and hope your GF recovers well. I agree with the comments above that you need to find a good behaviourist. Choose a positive one - if anyone mentions dominance, being leader of the pack, reducing the dog's status, walk away.

    How old is the dog, and how long have you had him for? Has he ever shown any guarding behaviour before, or aggressions/tension in any other circomstances? If this is new behaviour, he should have a full vet check.

    My dog is a resource guarder and has had OH down A&E on one occasion. In some dogs the behaviour is so entrenched that training will never be able to eliminate it completely so management becomes key. In our case this has meant no long-lasting chews or bones (he has chicken carcasses but he can eat them in minutes), and being VERY careful with food in the house. If he manages to nab something then it's his - even if it's something potentially harmful to him. Outside the house he's muzzled so he can't guard food he finds.

    There's a long post I wrote about food guarding on another forum which will give you some tips for making him more relaxed and safer round food: Resource guarding - Positively | Victoria Stilwell | Forum

    Hope that helps.
     
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  7. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Can only agree with all the above advice, take time, the love and trust with your dog will hopefully return..
     

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