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MarkH

Help! My BC bit a 10-year old.

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My son and his friend(Cody) had been playing with my 5 year-old BC(Doug) for several hours. Cody sat down and put on a baseball helmet w/ cage mask. When he stood up, my BC saw this helmeted creature as a threat and bit him in the thigh. There wasn't any blood, but it did leave abrasions and bruising. Doug has never done this before.

 

We treated the bite with ice and Lanacaine. My wife, son, and I took Cody home and explained what happened to his parents. The father wanted to take Cody to the doctor and we insisted that he send us any bills.

 

I don't know what the laws are here, but I'm very nervous about what will happen with Doug should the dog-bite laws be very strict. Of equal importance, how do I go about making certain that this doesn't happen again?

 

Doug seems somewhat typical for a BC in that he is pretty focused on doing what he thinks is supposed to be done. Nonetheless, I do not need a guard dog and I would be very happy if he would NEVER attack a person, no matter the circumstance.

 

I need advice on how to proceed. I'd hate to see Doug locked up for observation, much less 'put down' as a risk. Doug is not vicious. You can take his food, take his toys, fall on him, pull his tail, stumble over him...he never bites, doesn't even growl. How do I protect my dog from his own protective nature? Thanks y'all.

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Wow. That's a serious problem. I had two biters (non BC's) and ended up putting both down after repeated incidents. You think you want a dog that will attack intruders, but most dogs can't really tell an intruder from the UPS man. In most places, all dog bites must be reported, so if the boy went to a doctor than the doctor is by law required to notify the county (or parish, in Louisiana). They will probably follow up to make sure all innoculations are up-to-date. But now the dog has a public record of biting, If he were to bite somebody else, there's real liability there because you already know he has bitten once, and someone could claim you were negligent.

 

But it sounds like an isolated incident. If he's generally gentle and trustworthy, just ask that nobody put on batting helmets in his presence. Seriously, just be on the lookout for situations that could spook him. But be vigilant.

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I am terribly sorry to hear of this. Any one of us could find ourselves in your shoes. It sounds like it was a fluke thing, but that doesn't matter too much in the eyes of the law.

 

I think it WILL matter that the bite did not puncture the skin. That will likely be your saving grace, coupled with the age and history of the dog.

 

Doug is not vicious. You can take his food, take his toys, fall on him, pull his tail, stumble over him...
Given your description, I would have no advice for you other than to keep Doug away from children, at least until this blows over. In the future I would be extra cautious of Doug around children and take "better safe than sorry" measures, even ones you did not feel were necessary before this.

 

Did you witness the bite? Or was it told to you by someone else?

 

Again, sorry to hear of your predicament.

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Under the circumstances, if the bite is reported to the health department, then I would structure your dog's life so that there will never be a second time. If your son has friends over to the house, separate Doug from them----period, no exceptions. Better to change the way you are currently doing things by setting strict rules and guidelines for the kids and Doug, than to lose Doug and stand the possibility of being sued.

You're not doing this because Doug is a bad dog, but you would be doing it for his sake.

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My son was bitten by a Husky last fall - ended up w/ 3 stitches in his cheek. There was shared resposibility in the incidet - the owner had the dog chained in the front yard unsupervised, my son walked into the property and startled the sleeping dog. The ER advised me that they would have to report the bite (I had already called AC to report it while on the way to the hospital).

 

AC required a 10 day home quarantine as he had UTD vaccinations. Had he not been UTD, they would have taken him in for the observation. The owners have been STRONGLY encouraged to not keep the dog in the front yard w/o supervision.

 

We knew this dog - he's generally a sweet lovey dog. Definately not vicisous. My son had no business going up to it while asleep w/o the owner present (but 9yo boys risk it anyway). It just proves even the best behaved/trained dogs can be unpredictable and act instintively.

 

You'll have to exercise extreme diligence w/ Doug from here on out.

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hi mark:

I am so sorry this happened. As the first responder wrote, it is now public, and confirmed information that your dog has bitten someone. The only option you have is to be hyper vigilant for the rest of that dog's life. Keep him from *anything* that *might* set him off. This will be lots of work, but you can't risk another bite, or the law will get involved, and I can't think of anything worse than having my dog taken and then have someone else decide what to do with him. That all said, I am really sorry it happened, and if you need advice on the ins and outs of preventing aggression, please write- that is what the boards are here for.

Julie

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THANKS ALL FOR YOUR RESPONSES!

 

After getting past concern for the boy, my next reaction was sadness. At best, I suspected what most of you confirmed; Doug must be kept away from other people. At worst, this lovable, protective dog may be put down.

 

He was having so much fun while playing. The boys were batting tennis balls and he would retrieve them with his usual boundless energy. This is a dog that won't even 'play' bite, nor does he chase or herd running children. He does, however, seem fearful of strangers.

 

I did not witness the event and the boys weren't very helpful in the reconsrtuction. Indeed, they were oddly tight-lipped. We explained that we weren't trying to blame them, that we just want to learn from the incident so it could be prevented in the future. From their account, the boys were doing nothing unusual at the time. I am not surprised that Doug reacted to the helmeted person. You can get a reaction from him by walking oddly, putting on a costume, even donning a hat. I AM surprised that he bit the boy. I wonder if the boy might have made a threatening move -- in jest --, but I do not want to blame the victim.

 

I take to heart all of your advice. One complication is that we have two other dogs; a Brittany Spaniel and a Beagle. Doug is the alpha-male and he will not be understanding of the restrictions that are reserved for him. He'll have to get over it. In most every respect, he is the perfect dog. He is low-maintenance when you need to work on something else. His manners in the car are impeccable. He understands. or quickly learns, the verbal commands that make him a good companion.

 

Though he is young and has many years ahead of him, I believe he can adapt to a worthwhile life. He has become a risk, a liablity. He is a much bigger asset. I WILL be vigilant. Is there training that can minimize this risk?

 

Thanks again,

 

Mark

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"You can get a reaction from him by walking oddly, putting on a costume, even donning a hat.".

 

Aside from exercising extreme caution in supervising your dog, I would suggest working on the above quoted issue to reduce his level of reactivity toward those types of things. You may never make him totally comfortable around "odd" things, and you can't cover every single base, but you can at least do some work that might help make him less likely to react negatively in the future. If you're interested in doing this type of thing, PM me and I'd be happy to help with some ideas.

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It sounds more like a fear bite than anything. Doug might've been looking away, then all of a sudden some strange, masked figure appears and his immediate reaction was probably to protect the kids, get it away. We also had a problem with our dog nipping a neighbor out of fear shortly after we first adopted him, he slipped out of the door going into the garage, the garage door was open, he was out front on our property, and our old mean neighbor (we moved from this house one week later, btw!) swung a shovel at him. And hit him several times, and injured him on our property. He barely nipped his calf, it was a small bruise (NO punctures even), but we still had to quarentine him and the neighbor was not even questioned for coming after our dog first. That's just how it is, unforunately, :rolleyes: stupid people can do almost anything they want to injure a dog but when a dog injures a person its a huge deal.

 

I would *definitely* suggest desensitizing him, like Lisa suggested! Have your whole family wear hats, masks, umbrellas, and other strange apparel in a controlled environment in your home. Give him lots of treats and praise when he doesn't react to the item of clothing. After he's gotten used to you wearing it, have your neighbors wear a hat or mask and have him on a leash with the neighbors offering him treats. Gradually take him out in public, leashed, where a lot of people wear hats, glasses, and strange clothing. He NEEDS to get used to it - people wear strange clothes everywhere. Also, find a reputable behaviorist to talk to, and enroll Doug in Obedience classes ASAP! Personally, I DO NOT think its right to permenantly keep your dog away from people!! Maybe until he is better trained and socialized, but NOT for the rest of his life. . that will probably just escalate the problem. He needs training, desensitizing, and socialization. Border Collies are extremely sensitive dogs. . I don't think Doug should've been allowed to play with 2 10 year-old boys unsupervised in the first place. Please don't blame this on your dog, he was probably very confused and frightened. Also consider that a bruise on a persons skin requires VERY little effort on the dogs part! A small nip can produce a bruise on human skin. . if he ripped open the childs leg, maybe euthanasia should be considered, but I honestly think this is an issue of poor socialization and supervising. Kids can scare dogs SO easily, and the kid was probably running at Doug or something. . I'm sure.

 

Right now, you might want to keep your dog in a reputable local kennel that offers quarentine. Animal Control will probably want you to do this anyway, and its MUCH better he be quarentined for 10 days at a good, clean kennel than at the local animal shelter.

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You should be able to do a in home quarrantine with your dog..... especially for a bite like this.

Kids are kids... I dont think ANY dog should be left unsupervised with children. %75 of the dogs that we get into rescue come in with a bite on a child, usually a first bite. The large majority of those bites...happened unsupervised with the dog playing with children, the rest are due to resource guarding and dominance issues. These bites are not happening just on small toddlers but ages 16 and under. Its interesting how people EXPECT theirs dog to tolerate....

Perhaps your boys were tight lipped because there was more to the story... dogs bite, even the nicest dog put in a situation that it feels threatend may bite. Its possible that your dog even growled first but the boys didnt notice .

This christmas by nephew who is 6 , was playing with one of my BCs. She is 8 and fabulous with kids, very well trained, worked on sheep/agility/flyball/CGC ect. ect. I was sitting right next to them watching and enjoying and before you could say BOO! My nephew who we tell the rules to ALL the time decided to tackle her down as she was laying in front of him. Well guess what! She bit him, No she didnt break the skin but it sure did get his attention..!!

and he still really couldnt understand why his friend had bitten him... we can train our dogs but training our kids is another story.

Hope it all works out ...

Cheers

Cindy

http://www.bordercollierescueont.com

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Mark,

 

I think you might want to consider desensitization, as has been mentioned several times, under the instruction of a behaviorist and/or trainer. What you do during the desensitization process is just as important as how Doug reacts, so you might want someone to monitor both you and the dog while working with him.

 

Did I miss something---is the dog to be quarantined? Many places will allow the quarantine to be within your home.

 

I also want to commend you for not making excuses for unacceptable behavior. While all signs point the finger of blame to the boys, it's still ultimately the dog, as you are finding out, who pays the price. You are one huge step ahead in the game because of how you are approaching this issue. You'd be surprised how many don't and make excuses for their dog's behavior.

 

Also, even if the skin was broken--that alone isn't consideration for euthanasia. Look at it this way. You were given a warning. If Doug's intention was to hurt the kid, the results would have been far different.

 

I think with your attitude, you can turn this unpleasant experience into a positive learning experience---and never leave the kids alone with the dog again. I leave it at that.

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One thing I wanted to add regarding the liability issue. If your homeowner's insurance company finds out about the dog bite, they will cancel your policy if you keep the dog.

 

Sad but true, but they don't want to be financially responsible should your dog bite again.

 

If the boy does have medical bills, pay them out of your own pocket if possible.

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Thank-you all for the advice. Lisa, I'll get to work on the desensitization right away.

 

As I write, Doug (the BC) is playing with the beagle, the least dominant of my three dogs. Doug gets down on his belly so as not to intimidate the smaller beagle. The beagle runs at him and paws and barks. Doug runs away with the beagle giving chase; he also takes his turn as the pursuer.

 

I just got back from running errands in the car with Doug. He sits in the passenger seat with a constant grin. Doug would rather take a ride in the car than eat. At each destination, I used to leave the windows all the way open, but now I leave only about six inches at the top of each as I worry that someone may try to pet him. BTW, it is still cool enough to do this, but hotter days will soon cut off this practice.

 

In February, I was in Lowe's for about 45 minutes. When I came out, I noticed that the front door of the car was wide open. Doug was just sitting in the back seat, awaiting my return. I'll never find out what happened that day, but I do know that I can trust my dog to stay.

 

He's a great pooch. Well worth heeding your good advice so as to assure a long happy life.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

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Quote: "I would *definitely* suggest desensitizing him, like Lisa suggested! Have your whole family wear hats, masks, umbrellas, and other strange apparel in a controlled environment in your home. Give him lots of treats and praise when he doesn't react to the item of clothing. After he's gotten used to you wearing it, have your neighbors wear a hat or mask and have him on a leash with the neighbors offering him treats. Gradually take him out in public, leashed, where a lot of people wear hats, glasses, and strange clothing. He NEEDS to get used to it - people wear strange clothes everywhere.".

_________________________

 

Erica, I hope you don't think I'm picking on you, but I would NOT recommend starting desensitization this way. The dog needs to be aware of these strange things at a distance from them that he is NOT going to have a negative reaction. The point is to PREVENT any negative emotional reactions to the stimulus by controlling the intensity of the stimulus, while creating a positive association.

 

By allowing for the option of the dog having a negative reaction (a lot of people seem to think that desensitization is simply exposing the dog to the scary thing, and when the dog doesn't "act aggressive" you reward him; this is not exactly accurate and can lead to a lot of problems), you're setting him up for failure, and the problem could actually escalate. It's really important that while you are working on desensitization, you eliminate your dog's exposure to things that he finds frightening, as much as possible. That means that he should be able to be around people he knows and trusts, but if you have any question about how he might react to someone, better to not have contact. It might be tempting to "test" him to see if your efforts are working; do not do this. If he has a negative reaction, it can set your efforts back light years.

 

Also, I would absolutely NOT recommend having neighbors or strangers wear strange things and encourage the dog to approach for food. What happens when the dog approaches a strange looking person thinking that they will have food, but they do not? Then the dog is in close enough proximity to the person that if he does become frightened, he can easily land a bite. Since you already know that he will approach and bite someone that he is afraid of, it might be better to teach him not to approach scary people.

 

A safer starting point would be to pinpoint one particular item of attire that he finds frightening. Determine the distance from the person wearing that attire that he can be without being afraid. Is it ten feet away? Fifty feet? Does the person need to be a dot on the horizon in order for him to not be frightened? That's where you start, under a controlled environment, on leash, with the dog feeling *zero* threat, period.

 

Determining whether he is frightened is not simply evidenced by a lack of "aggressive behavior". A dog can be very stressed but not growling, barking, lunging, or snapping. This can easily be seen by the dog's other nonverbal behaviors, such as posture, ear carriage, facial expression, etc. An open mouth, relaxed ears, soft eyes, loose tail, etc., are all pretty good indicators that the dog is relaxed. Also check if the dog's pupils are dilated. Dilated pupils indicate sympathetic nervous system activation, which is basically "fight or flight" reflex in response to a percieved threat. Also, can the dog take treats? If the dog won't take treats, won't follow known commands, won't pay attention to the handler, etc., that's a pretty good indication that the dog is under a lot of stress. Another thing to look for is if he locks his eyes onto the person and it's difficult to get him to look away. That indicates that he is wary of that person. You want to be able to get him to look at you easily with the scary person around. He shouldn't be snatching treats roughly while staring at the person out of the corner of his eyes, but rather, should be relaxed and able to give you his full focus and take treats as gently as he normally does when he's happy.

 

You might need enough distance to start that you can't really do this in your living room. You may need to start in an empty parking lot where you can get enough space between the dog and the person wearing the scary item that your dog can be relaxed and happy while you stuff him full of treats. One session would consist of the person just standing at that safe distance while you feed your dog treats for thirty seconds, then move the dog further away while stopping all goodies, for about ten to fifteen seconds. When moving the dog away, lure him by holding a treat in your closed fist and say "this way" or "go away" or "let's go" or whatever phrase you like, as you lure him to turn and move away from the scary person (this will come in handy later if he is actually frightened by someone; you can get him to move away rather than approach and bite). Move the dog back closer, but remaining within the safe distance, and repeat. Do this only three or four times per session, once per day or every other day. When that becomes so easy for him that he is totally relaxed and happy as evidenced by his body language and behavior, then decrease the safe distance in a tiny little increment, such as two feet. Again, repeat the exposure at that distance for a few sessions in a row, until he is totally relaxed and happy at that distance. Over time, you can progress until the person is just out of leash range, and your dog remains relaxed and happy because he is getting his face stuffed with treats. Just remember that any time you change a component, whether it be the item of clothing, the person wearing it, the person's behavior while wearing it, your location, etc., you need to start way back at the beginning, at that initial safe distance, and move up from there. Don't just assume that because he is great around your neighbor wearing the hockey mask that he will be great around your child with a big clown wig. They are very different situations, and each situation needs to be broken down into its smallest parts and worked on from there. This is NOT a quick fix, it will take a lot of time and work.

 

Also, a note on treats. These should not be kibble, dry dog biscuits, or even commercially prepared dog treats for that matter. The treats should be things like: roasted pork chop, steak, chicken, liver, etc. Basically real "human" food, cooked and chopped into bean-sized pieces. They should be kept easily accessible in a ziplock bag inside a treat pouch worn on your waist. You can get meat on sale or if you eat meat, just buy a little extra for training whenever you go shopping for your food. That way, it doesn't have to be hard on the pocketbook. The only time he should ever get these goodies is during desensitization training.

 

A note on locations: Use a variety of locations. Don't always train at the same place every time. Find three or four different places that you can train, and rotate. Avoid places where you are likely to encounter a lot of people, dogs, or activity. Parks and school yards should not be used, at least not yet. You'll get there some day, but to start, you really need an environment that you can control a little better, such as a church parking lot in the middle of the week, a bank parking lot after hours, etc. Industrial areas can work well, as there may not be a lot of foot traffic.

 

And lastly, remember that he will behave differently while "on territory" than while off. That means that he might be great about the guy in the big sombrero when you're down at the bank parking lot, but the guy with the big sombrero walking into your yard is a different matter altogether. I personally don't think you should try doing these exercises on territory until you've gotten a good grasp of how it works and how to read your dog and how to set up appropriate exercises while away from home. When starting at home, you'll need to set him up to succeed, and you'll be better able to do that once you get some experience under your belt.

 

This is just for starters. There is a lot more that you can and should do, but this should give you a good place to begin.

 

Good luck!

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Wow! Lisa, thanks a million for taking the time to post such a detailed response. I especially like the focus on controlling the situation to result in success and reward. If I've learned nothing else about this curious breed, I have learned that they are too driven and too darned tough to shape their behavior by punishing negative actions.

 

My guess is that no amount of physical pain would dissuade Doug from protecting my son from a perceived threat. Instead, I'll set about the long task of teaching him to remain calm in the presence of things he may not understand. I can see much work ahead of me to change this controlling dog, but he is worth it.

 

Old Joke:

 

Q. What do you get if you cross a Boder Collie with a Pit Bull?

 

A. A dog that wants to rule the world, and CAN.

 

 

Thanks y'all.

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

You've gotten a lot of excellent advice thus far. From your description it sounds like Doug is a fearful dog -- a good dog, but a dog who is anxious about situations where he cannot predict what will occur, or people who seem unpredictable to him (note the "to him" -- that's what's important). I have a dog like this, but worse, and have had excellent results with a program of behavior modification including desensitization and counterconditioning under the supervision of a veterinary behaviorist.

 

The key to a successful behavior modification program is to proceed at the dog's pace. Always work with him at a distance or in a situation where he is aware of the thing that scares him but is not reacting -- i.e., within his comfort zone. Gradually you will widen that comfort zone. And always, always control the situation so that it can be a learning experience. If in doubt, don't risk it. Doug is better off being protected (i.e., sheltered) than exposed to situations that frighten him if you cannot control them. Remember that fear reactions are partly inherent and partly learned, and that the more times a dog gets to "practice" the undesirable behavior, the more ingrained it becomes.

 

Patricia McConnell has an excellent pamphlet out with a step-by-step desensitization program for fearful and anxious dogs. It's called "The Cautious Canine" and is available for about $5 from Dogwise.com or Amazon. Dr. McConnell is a behaviorist and has Border Collies. Another useful book is "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. Her tone is very blunt, but there are a wealth of insights in her book and it is very easy to understand.

 

Good luck, and you should be commended for caring about your dog as well as the people around you. My fearful dog is my favorite dog and soulmate, and I will never accept anyone telling me that he is a "bad" dog. On the contrary, Solo tries very, very hard to be good, even though it is difficult at times. And as a couple of people have noted, the fact that Doug didn't really hurt the kid is a good sign. If he really wanted to do damage, he would have done damage. He has good bite inhibition and that's a good start.

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You're very right, Lisa!! I probably should've thought about that more. . I kinda mixed up socializing (what I've done with my dog and strange people) and desensitizing! Im really sorry.

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I agree witht he desensitizing...another good book by Patricia McConnell is The Other End of the Leash. She goes into a lot of detail on how to 'read' your dog to know what he is thinking (in your case, when he is starting to get stressed) and she has a chapter on how confusing it is to our dogs that our silhouette constantly changes (hats, umbrellas, backpacks, etc).

 

Good luck and keep us posted!

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I really do not know if your Doug needs much desensitizing. I take it he has never had a problem with people before this incident.

 

The playing and chasing balls over-excited him. Children do not seem to know when a dog is over-excited nor do too many adults.

 

I personally would not leave any of your dogs anattended with strange children or even adults.

It doesn't hurt to crate them when you have company and cannot watch them. It will also make you able to relax more and enjoy the company.

 

I have a border collie that has gone to nursing homes, etc. I never paid much attention to him around kids or strangers since I knew that he would never bite.

 

On a past Christmas Eve, my 5 year old grandson came up to tell me that Tux tried to bite him. My heart went into my throat. In the hub bub, I wasn't watching either dog or child closely. Grandson had played ball many times before. No problem. They were playing ball. After Tux had retrieved the ball many times, grandchild decided to "hide" it from him under his shirt. Dog jumped up and tried to "retrieve the hidden ball." No bite intended. Fortunately, Tux jumping and trying to grab the ball under the shirt made no physical connection.

 

Could Cody have "hid" a ball in his pocket? And the dog was just trying to get the ball and wasn't biting at all?

 

Just a thought. I know it really doesn't matter any more how it happened but do keep all your dogs, for their own sake, supervised and crated if you cannot supervise. No exceptions.

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I really do not know if your Doug needs much desensitizing. I take it he has never had a problem with people before this incident.

 

Mark mentioned (in a later post) that Doug has always been fearful of strangers, and is wigged out by hats, costumes, walking funny, etc.

 

My guess is that it was just a matter of time before an "incident" occurred, and that Doug has been giving off warning signs for a while, but they would not be anything someone would notice unless he or she knew what to look for. The "I'm really scared of you and I'll bite you if I get a little more scared" facial expression can be kind of subtle. I've gotten good at spotting the dilated pupils and mesmerized look, but Solo's easier to read since he has yellow eyes. It would be harder to see in a normal brown-eyed black and white dog.

 

The good news is that Doug obviously has a much less sensitive "trigger" than Solo does (it took five years for him to be set off) and that he has good bite inhibition.

 

Fly has grabbed me on occasion for reasons similar to the one Terry described -- she just got too excited, I had a frisbee in my hand that she went for and missed, etc. Very different from a nip/bite with intent. Solo has never grabbed me out of excitement (I think Solo would rather die than ever do this), but he has gotten me a couple of times (and then looked like he wanted to die when he realized who he'd gotten) when I got between him and a couple of stupid people who were determined to pet him and would not take no for an answer. Like Doug, Solo doesn't break skin and clearly does not really intend to hurt people, but it still doesn't feel great, it leaves bruises, and is something that has to be prevented at all costs.

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Melanie, your post seems to hit the target. I have always been nervous about Doug around strangers, especially playgrounds with so much random activity. I kept thinking that the exposure would help him 'get over it'. Indeed, I felt that Doug SHOULD permit strangers to walk up to him. It did not occur to me that I should not let strangers approach him.

 

With the benefit of hindsight and feedback from the more learned BC owners, I now see that an incident was inevitable. On several occasions, young children have run up and hugged the doggie. I could tell that it was stressing Doug, but I kept rationalizing away the possibility that he might not be able to contain his discomfort. Indeed, on those occasions where I would just sit with Doug beyond the outfield fence, away from the crowds, he seemed comfortable, interested, and satisfied with the situation. In retrospect, I can't really say why I put the dog through the stress of the crowds.

 

All in all, I guess we were somewhat lucky. The boy is fine and I have learned much about how to read and raise my Border Collie. I'll work with him to ease his stress. Of greater importance, however, I'll keep him out of stressful situations.

 

Thanks, all!

 

Mark and Doug

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Mark, if you haven't been contacted by Animal Control by now, it's possible that the incident wasn't reported. If you're still on good terms with the boy's parents, I would ask them if they took him to a doctor, how things went, etc. It would be good to know.

 

I was once bitten by a neighbor's Doberman, bad enough so I thought I had to go to the ER (punctured a fingernail). They tried to get me to tell who owned the dog, but I wouldn't. (There was a little standoff: they said the law required it, I said sorry, they threatened to summon the police, I threatened to leave w/o treatment, they backed down as I was going out the door and treated me anyway.) AC called me a few days later (the hospital must have reported it to them) and was surprisingly reasonable: asked me if I knew the dog was UTD in its rabies vaccination, I said yes (dog went to the same vet I did, and I checked), they said to keep an eye on the dog for 10 days if possible and let them know if there seemed to be anything wrong, I said I would. That was it.

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There was a little standoff: they said the law required it, I said sorry, they threatened to summon the police, I threatened to leave w/o treatment, they backed down as I was going out the door and treated me anyway.) /QUOTE]

 

I've broken up my share of dog fights over the years. I can pretty much tell if a visit to the doc is necessary for antibiotics. One time, I wound up on IV's for 3 days---I developed cellulitis.

 

Anyway, I have been told that I MUST make a report, that it's the law, blah, blah, blah. If it were a strange dog, I would have, but in all cases, the dogs were dogs I knew. This is exactly what I tell them. I've also gotten up, grabbed my purse and began to leave if they became too insistent. In each and every case, I was treated. I guess the need to treat overrides beaurocratic red tape.

 

I agree that if AC hasn't contacted you by this time, it probably hasn't been reported, in which case, you can consider this whole incident a warning and that you have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

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I am late to updating myself on all these posts. I did read the 1st day or so, but didn't get a chance to catch up til today.

I am also finding out that the obedience training used for most other dogs, does not necessarily work the same for BC's. And I am an obedience trainer, worked with dogs for years, but my new BC boy, is dusting out some old crevices in my brain, to be sure. I don't care how much someone knows, my feeling is there is always room to learn more, more, and then some more, and I am learning so much from these boards! My last BC boy was no where near as sensitive as Phoenix. Much more laid back. I am thinking because I know for a fact that Phoenix came from 2 working parents, I don't know about Wolfie because we rescued him off a busy highway. I like Mark, have always thought exposing your dog to "crowds, strangers, etc.", IS desensitizing. I have done sooo much more reading since I got Phoenix. He is only 8 mos. old, but I am seeing "fear", behavior rearing it's ugly head in him as well, more and more. I am hoping this is a phase. He did make contact with my hand ever so slightly (didn't even leave a mark), last week when he got excited over another dog. He did exactly what Lisa said..... would not take treats, turned his head away from me, eyes bulging, hair up on back, etc.. I could not get his attention until I stood in front of him and blocked his view from the other dog.

Lisa I would like to ask you and/or anyone else who can give me advice... if you either see or become the recipient of your dog nipping or biting... how would you handle the "right now", what would your "reaction", be???

Again I am learning soo much about the "hard wired", BC. I did BTW get Phoenix to settle and behave, eventually, but I guess I will back off of the known stressful situations for now.

Also, do you think this is a phase for his age right now???

He is such a sweet boy, but when he gets focused on something it is becoming increasingly difficult to get his attention on me.

Mark, I am sooo glad that it seems things will be ok, unfortunately your mishap, has possibly saved me or others from the same situation.

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