I am an animal lover and get along friend's with no problems. My brother and his wife live upstairs with an Australian Cattle dog they adopted about 2 years ago. At first I thought he was going to be a very nice dog because he was so docile. Turns out he was sick with a respiratory infection and mange. Once he got healthy he got mean. My brother thinks is funny that he is only aggressive towards me, but I seen him go after others. He was abandoned before the animal shelter took him. My piano students and their parents are afraid of him, but the dog REALLY goes nuts at every little noise I make downstairs. When I bring them their mail he jumps on top of the baby gate at the top of the stairs and snarls, slobbers and barks ferrosiously. I've tried giving him treats only to have him attack me when I turn to walk away. He wasn't being disciplined so I had to get a spray bottle with vinegar to keep him away from me. I stopped because he just got more aggressive. My brother blames his behavior on me and says if I just spent more time working with the dog he wouldn't do that. I believe he does it because my brother allows it. The dog's OWNER needs to have control of him. This dog is cooped up inside day after day while my brother and his wife who are retired are not active people at all. The dog gets about 15 minutes of tossing a frisbee outside once a day. If he is outside he chases and jumps up on my piano student's cars scaring them half to death. He's constantly biting my feet, ankles, hands and wrists. I don't have health insurance if he injures me. I had a huge bowl of hot rolls in my hands today, and the rest of the family was around when the dog was attacking my ankles from behind and I had to kick him HARD. My brother gets mad at me for defending myself and he laughs if I don't stand up to him. My cats don't attack people or act like a wild animal. Why is it ok for a dog to to this? Why won't this dog learn that there are consequences to behaving like that. I really think this dog is not ok mentally. Unless my brother gets control of this dog I'm going to grab his neck and twist it next time. I'm THAT angry! These dogs make the WORST pets EVER! I refuse to be some stupid animal's chew toy while my brother lives in denial. Sorry - I needed to vent.
How awful for you. Is this YOUR house that you allow your brother and his wife to stay in, or vice versa? If this is your house, I suggest that you kindly but firmly tell your brother that he must either see a behaviorist about the dog and correct his behavior, find a new home for the dog, or take the dog and go somewhere else. It is not fair for you to be fearful in your own home. If this is not your house, I'd start looking for other living arrangements, and let him know that while care about him, you do not wish to live in a place where you do not feel safe. All of this easier said than done. If nothing else, maybe this will drive the point home to him that Fido's behavior is not cute, funny, and endearing. I understand your anger. It makes me angry just reading about it.
Edited to add-- What happens when he bites one of your piano students? Not to mention when they choose to go elsewhere for lessons because they do not feel safe at your home.
***Edited By: shinyblackpit on 11/27/2009 1:20:54 AM*** Reason: added
"Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those that matter, don't mind...And those that mind....don't matter."
Cattle dogs can be extremly aggressive, and they are known for a nasty streak. The biting at your ankles is herding behavior typical of both the cattle dog and shepherd. I know I have alot of people who have own cattle dogs now come to me looking for and Australian Shepherd pup because of the bad problems they has with the dog. As far as the 15mins outside playtime, that is a good bit, as long as the dog is getting inside mom and dad time. Neither breeds has to be outside running for miles as long as they are given the proper attention.
I totally agree with shiny..., if it is your house, you have to make him understand that it is also a buisness, and you are liable for injuries. You can not tolerate a dog like that when children are around, and yes you can be sued for even the smallest injury. Not to mention the customers you are losing due to word of mouth.
I personally feel there is no reason to allow that kind of agressiveness in ANY breed. It todays world there is just no room for that kind of behavior.