I was bitten on the hand by a dog in our playgroup yesterday. Long story short....he tried to bite me once after taking a treat from me and letting me pet him. No warning growl or anything. He came pretty close to my face, but I got back, and he was on a leash. He was separated from the group immediately, and kept away for about 20 minutes. He came back (still on his leash) and seemed OK...I was an idiot and went back to greet him again. He's always been fine with me before, so I didn't feel I was in danger at all. I approached him slowly and quietly, gave him another treat, pet him, and he bit my hand without warning again. He put a pretty deep gash in my thumb, so I went to the doctor to make sure that it was well cleaned and to see if it needed stitches.
While I was being treated, Urgent Care faxed a report to Animal Control and I am feeling SO guilty. I would honestly hate to see anything happen to this dog, but I would also be devastated if he bit someone else and I HADN'T made the report.
My hand is really not all that bad...just uncomfortable because I have to use it and because a couple of the spots keep opening up anytime I move my thumb. The doctor didn't do stitches because he thought there would be less of a chance of infection with just a dressing. He did put me on antibiotics for five days.
So, I feel so horrible. Would you have reported the bite?
I dont know thats a tough one. Im a softy for animals and if i though there was a chance of the animal being put to sleep even if the thing attacked me I wouldnt. If it was my kids I would.
If you think the dog will do it agin then maby you should if you dont think it will then probly not. Maby you could just boy the owner a muzzle and tell them that sence the dog tryed it 2 times you think it should ware it to protect the dog and other people
I wouldn't,the dog had warned you prior and while it shouldn't have bit you you are the human and should have known it was stressed.
Was this like a training session or just a doggy play group? What are the rules of the place? Has the dog always been warry?
I would talk to the owners and express that some dogs are just not meant for play groups and if they want to avoid getting labeled a dangerous dog(higher insurance etc) they may want to stop taking the dog.
***Edited By: joce on 1/29/2006 4:16:49 PM*** Reason: f
I was bitten by a great dane once. I was just walking by a house while a neighborhood garage sale was going on. A housesitter was just leaving the house and couldn't keep the 2 danes from bolting. The larger male mostly just got my arm in its mouth and pulled. It didn't break the skin, but it ruined my shirt. I went to urgent care just to make sure it wasn't messed up on the inside (I was a little flustered!). They INSISTED ON REPORTING. I was NOT given a choice. It didn't matter that there was no stitches required. I felt bad because the dog owners weren't even there when it happened, and they never intended that the dogs get out. The thing to keep in mind is -- DOGS SHOULDN'T BITE PEOPLE.
***Edited By: NoDogYet on 1/29/2006 4:18:12 PM*** Reason: fix
Absolutely, and I would carry it to the fullest extent of the law. The dog should have been removed from the playgroup the first time it tried to bite you, that is not acceptable behavior on any level, and the owner should have known that and taken steps to protect others, which they obviously didn't. The owners need to be woken up to an aggression problem that their dog has, how are you going to feel if it bites another member of the group in the face? And you kept quiet because you wrongly feel it was 'your' fault somehow, it wasn't, the dog shouldn't be there in the first place. It is not your fault, we as humans always try to reason out canine behavior and place the blame on ourselves, no you shouldn't have gone near the dog again but it still shouldn't have bitten you. And it shouldn't be allowed in such social situations if its aggressive and snaps without warning.
First do not blame yourself, second file the necessary reports to protect others and do whatever you have to, I have a feeling that you won't because you wrongly blame yourself, but think of the damage that the dog could do to someone esle. Its bitten once, it will again.
Out of curiosity what breed/breeds was it? Mini poodles and Chihuahuas can be quite vicious.
i wouldnt have reported it. a bite and an attack are two different situations. the dog should not have bitten, but neither should you have approached either. being in a group of people and other dogs could have just been added stress on the dog. everyone is aware of the incident now. talk to the owners to see if he has done it before or acts differently at home. most dogs bite out of fear. the class activities may have been too stressful for him and caused him to react the way he did.
I would report it. You never know what the dog has already done and what it will do in the future. It is best to report it and let the proper authorities handle the situation.
In my experience, I've found that trying to take these things into my own hands (such as talking to the owner) has just created more problems which resulted in the authorities being called in the end anyway. May as well skip the extra stress of all the extra steps.
Also, if you don't report it, how do you know that the dog didn't have some kind of disease that could be putting you at risk?
***Edited By: k9trainer on 1/29/2006 4:53:20 PM*** Reason: add
I would not have reported it. I would ask for compensation for any medical bills you incurred though. I'm not saying it's your fault, but perhaps you should have stayed away from the dog after the first incident. The owners of the dog are the ones at fault for having the dog in the play group in the first place. Many dogs act differently on a leash (one of mine is very aggressive on a leash, and very friendly off leash). The dog may be a wonderful dog who was just scared or not good in a group of humans and dogs. Just because the dog bit does not mean it's dangerous or a threat. It just may need training or rehabilitation if it is a rescue that has been abused in the past. Hopefully it won't get put to sleep.
***Edited By: Cinnaeve on 1/29/2006 5:19:30 PM*** Reason: edit
Fill out the report in case the dog bites someone else in the future. And for the future, always stand side ways, call the dog to you, never reach out to an unframiliar dog, especially over the head. This is a threatening gesture especially if the dog hasn't been properly socialized with people. A dog doesn't understand what your intensions are, I'm sure he thought he was being threatened.
***Edited By: sue on 1/29/2006 5:23:14 PM*** Reason: rhet
It's a play group run by the trainer I use for my dogs' obedience classes. It's run specifically as a socialization class for dogs under 20 pounds (just a better alternative than the dog park for the littler ones). The trainer does a great job of supervising, and training during the session, helping the dogs get the oppoortunity to interact appropriately, and to LEARN those skills if they do not know how.
This dog has been going to this group weekly for almost a year. Some days he never comes off his leash. Last week he was doing well enough to be off leash, playing ball with the others. His owner brings him to group specifically so he can get some controlled exposure to other dogs because he has been dog aggressive in the past. He interacts very, very well with my older dog, but can get snippy with other dogs without warning. To my knowledge, he's never been aggressive with a person. I have pet him, played with him, given him treats, given him commands, etc. before this and he never showed me any type of aggression.
When he tried to bite me the first time, he WAS taken from the group and put in another room for about 20 minutes. He came back still on leash and seemed very calm. He even let my little one come nose to nose with him, something he usually does not tolerate at all.
I believe he is a French Bulldog. He's not a rescue...these people have had him since he was a pup. They don't seem to be the type to abuse im, given all of the work they are putting into socializing him.
The owner has been GREAT with me, offering to pay all medical expenses, and calling to check on me. She was very upset about the whole thing.
I do completely accept MY responsibility in the situation. His first attempt to bite should have been all the warning I needed. I guess I just put too much stock into my previous interactions with him.
Animal control called me first thing this morning...urgent care faxed a report in to them when I went in for treatment yesterday. They told me the only consequence at this point would be that the owner must keep the dog confined for 10 days (he cannot be outside his fenced yard without a leash). They have already gone and interviewed the owner and have to pass the report on to Animal Control in the county where the bite took place, rather than the county where I live.
I guess what's done is done. I feel terribly guilty for inadvertantly doing anything that made this dog feel threatened. I think he's a great dog, and I was honestly one of the very few people in the group that would interact with him at all. At the same time, he does have some issues. I would never forgive myself if he bites again and I HADN'T reported.
You did the right thing, perhaps that alone will keep the owners more vigilant and no one esle will get hurt. I have a strong sense of community, I could never not report something like this out of fear that someone esle could get hurt.
You sound so sweet, but he is not a 'great' dog, he is a dog with temperament issues who probably needs one on one work with the trainer and shouldn't be in a group like that.
Don't feel guilty, you may have saved someone esle.
i am glad that you are okay. frenchies are not known for being aggressive. my two will lick people , cats, dogs to death ! that one may have come from an abusive situation. very sad. i would have gotten bit too. probably several times, because i love the breed so much i cant keep my hands off of them. thankfully mine never seem to tire of the endless hugs and kisses they get from me, hubby and my two girls. at night its a big kiss fest before they settle down and go to bed. i hope things work out for the dog. sounds like alot of love is needed to pull him through the issues he is having. if they can not handle him, they can send him here. he would get plenty !
Although it isn't the best way to be for a dog, to try and take a treat away from a dog that hasn't been trained for this means that aggression will be inevitable. It is an ingrained thing with dogs to be protective of their belongings, esp. food. A pup should receive this type of conditioning where a treat or a bone is given and removed so that it learns to accept this type of behaviour. I wouldn't have reported it, the owner has admitted responsibility and has offered to pay so I don't see what the problem is? From the sound of things, that dog is not likely to be aggressive just for the sake of it, it was only preventing its tasty morsel from being confiscated.
I think you have been a tad harsh, Wench, in your response. I would hope that you wouldn't make a "business" out of suing people since it has become rather fashionable lately, wouldn't you say? After all you did say you would you would carry it to the fullest extent of the law!!
"Filing a report" and "suing" are vastly different things.
If you are in a car accident, you need to file an accident report. It doesn't mean you have to sue the other driver. It doesn't even mean that you have to file an insurance claim. You need to file the report to officially record that the event occured.
If you know the dog and the owners and know if its up to date on its shots I would just let it slide. I was bitten pretty bad by a dog when I was grooming. Just so happened they had just gotten his boosters the week before. That was another reason I quit grooming. If he had not been vaccinated or up to date, I would have been in for it. I just went to the doctor and they also gave me a tectnous (sp.) shot. I know our own dogs sometimes will bite too hard when given a snack if they think one of the others is going to get it. We just tell them, easy, don't bite, and it helps them to be more careful. It might be he was afraid some other dog was going to get his treat.
Didn't you say you gave the dog a treat and then tried to pet him? If he was still gobbling down the treat, then you know how some dogs get about food, we humans should know not to pet them while they are eating. It is their instinct to get hyped up about someone touching them while they are eating b/c in the wild, it's every dog for himself, if say a wolf would just let another wolf eat all his food, he would starve! I have always been told not to mess with dogs while they are eating, regardless if they have a history of aggression or not.
When my neighbor's dog bit my son on the hand, the emergency room reported it. It's teeth went into his hand and ripped down the side of his thumb. It wasn't a life-threatening injury, but it was painful. The dog had already bitten two other people before him and was not turned in either time. If you have a dog that bites, then you should do everything that you can to keep it from happening. Letting the dog outside alone in a subdivision is not being responsible. How many children have to get hurt before those people wise up?
If your hospital is like ours, then you had no choice in the matter. They have to report dog bites.
I agree with NoDogYet. There is certain protical (sp?) (steps/regulations) that you have to go to. It happened there is nothing you can do now. You aren't screaming and yell and making a fuss, which is good.