We are at our wits end. Our 2yr English Mastif Cross has snapped out at my 27yr old daughter and has cut the top skin layer 2cm away from her eye, to which she has had 5 stitches. This attack was totally unprovoked, my daughter was strocking him goodnight. He is a rescue dog, we have had for two years and he is now about three and half years old. In the house is very well behaved, if for any reason I have needed to go by his bowl or him when he is eating he is quite happy about it. He performs his sit, paw giving and playing with great humour. However he is very aggressive to all other dogs. He has killed a cat and will try to attack anything smaller or bigger than himself. We have tried behavioural lessons with treats, with a trained dog behavourist. We have tried him in agility school. When he goes out he has to wear a halty (a strap that goes around his nose attached to his collar)and we walk him when there are least people out. We rang the rescue centre and their advise was to bring him back. We donot want to do this. What is your advise? Is there something we can do to stop or change this?
We have a rescue German Shepherd that was in seven homes by the age of three. We got him and was going to evaluate him and then find him an appropriate home, but he decided he wasn't going to any more homes and stuck to my husband like glue. Three and a half years later we still have him and always will. My youngest daughters were home with him the first year he lived with us. They are in college now. When they come home they have to be careful hugging their father in his recliner because Tiny[rescued G.S.] will snap at them. Rescue dogs you have to be careful with you don't know how they were raised and what will trigger some unwanted actions from them. Then again it could have just been something your daughter did without realizing it that trigger his response. I raised a white German Shepherd from a puppy. A year ago when she was four we were at the vets office just sitting in the waiting room. The receptionist walked past her several times with no problems. Then the receptionist walked over to Sugar and slightly leaned toward her and Sugar come unglued. She didn't bite her. But the slightly leaning toward her set my dog off and she is not a rescue dog. Just to be on the safe and comfortable side if I were you I would put the dog in the backyard or in a crate when your daughter comes to visit, so dog and your daughter both feel more comfortable durring the visit. Good luck with your dog. Hope some of my experiances were helpful. MLW
I am so sorry you have found yourself in this unfortunate situation. I do not have any advice that you will enjoy hearing, I'm afraid. Having been bitten by a dog myself, I have little tolerance for unprovoked attacks especially on a family member or familiar person. It seems to me you have had to choose between your dog and your daughter and sounds like the dog has won; how sad for your daughter. Perhaps you will consider putting the dog in a pen or crate so that your daughter can visit you and still feel safe. Granted, this does not solve the problem, and does not help when you must take the dog out of your home such as to the vet or on walks, etc. Only you can decide how much risk and liability you are willing to assume for the sake of your beloved dog. Not everyone will agree on how much to tolerate. In the end the responsibility is yours. Best wishes as you struggle with these issues and decisions.
thank you for your words of help and support. I guess you think yes he's from the rescue so what did you expect...and he has been fine since but we will always have the doubt...we keep a constant vigual on him as he is a silent dog. And on the positive side he is a well behaved and compliant dog in the house...We are hatching another plan...we know a large dog breeder and he knows about our dog and has offered to kennel him for visits with the other dogs to try to socialise him with dogs that are balanced...well we;re thinking about it..
I would make sure you have something in writting saying you are not liable for damages done by your dog. What if you dog suffers suffiant damage due to a fight, are you ready to pay for that? If you dog doesn't do well with other dogs, why insist on it? Many dogs go through life not getting along with others.
As far as getting along with your daughter, Don't allow the dog to have the run of the house. How did she get bit near the eye anyway? Was she down in the dogs face, alot of dogs don't like that and feel threatened by it.
The situation is not as bad as it seems, you make it worse then it is. Get the dog used to confinement or crate. do it slowly, that way when you daughter visits, she can feel safe, and the dog can have it's safe spot also.
Do you have problems controling the dog on a leash? The only reason I ask, is you talk about walking him only when there are not many people out. You should be able to walk him, and if people or other dogs approch have control. If not, basket muzzles are wonderful. It doesn't have to be tight. Good luck,
YES to the last post, if your boy is a fighter you do not want to bring him in with other dogs. A dog fight involving many dogs can be deadly, to any of the dogs or to those trying to help. I work at a kennel for Golden Retrievers and these are all VERY WELL BALANCED DOGS and yet, there was a fight. Seven dogs against one, I have dealt with a few of these fights and it is not good. And I'm dealing with one of the most naturally chilled dogs, I thought the female that was attacked was going to die. It took a half an hour to stop and it was the most physically exhausting and mentally debilitating moment of my life yet. If you have a friend with a dog try walking them together.