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Discussion Starter #1
Not looking for advice on what to do with the dog but more like how do I interact/care for the dog until her last days.

Short story.. She bit my girlfriend who lives with me. I have had the dog for 6 of our 7 year relationship and the GF has been living with me for 4 of those years.. She is a 60 pound mix and at this point the girlfriend wants nothing to do with her and is scared of her. The gf has been checked out and on the road to healing.. (4 punctures and tear on her forearm).

At this point I am not sure what or why the dog turned suddenly. I have a vet app on monday to find out if there is any underlining medical issues that I may not have known about. But at this point, if there are non to explain why she turned, its fair to say the dog will be euthanized.

I dont have the money to get a behavior trainer or other. And the whole trying to find a home/rescue for a dog that has just attacked someone is morally wrong and cant justify giving the dog to someone else that may get attacked for no reason as well.

I cant help but feel like I have failed the dog, my girlfriend and myself.

The dog itself is playful, wants to cuddle, like she has no idea what had happened. My biggest problem at this point is guilt and not knowing how to respond and care for the dog now.

Do I pet her, do I act like nothing happened? Do I take all of her toys away? Do I lock her outside? I have to seperate her from my girlfriend. Not because the dog is bullying her, but just that the GF is scared of it now.. Do I continue to take the dog for walks, play with her? Do I treat her like some criminal now? I am so lost =( My girlfriend is in pain. I have never felt so depressed and worthless and like a failure. The worst part is knowing that I will more than likely be putting her down and it sucks to feel like this. Just looking for some guidance and some kinda of comfort to know that I am not some ******* who didn't try..or maybe I am..

Thank you for your time..
Jonathan
 

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I think you may be jumping to a decision a bit fast. There is almost always a reason for a bite and you can bet I'd try everything I could to find out why it happened before ever thinking about killing my dog. What happened and what lead up to the bite? What was going on? Playing? Sleeping? Eating?
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Believe me the last thing I want to do is put her down, she is a friend for almost 7 years. But I cant afford special training..the medical examine alone is going to cost me a couple hundred that I already can not afford. She was going into her office like she normally does, dog lays in the middle of hall way all the time...we walk over her all the time, have accidentally stepped on her in the middle of the night one or two times as well with no issues.. She came home for lunch.. walks into her office like she has for the past 6 years, and gets a chunk ripped out of her arm.. I was standing in my office when it happened, No growl, nothing, I turned around to my gf screaming and my dog jumping off of her.. I would love to find a new home for the dog, the GF will not have this dog in the house and feel safe..I would rather find a new home, but feels hopeless.. I am waiting for the vets 2 cents when I bring her in on monday before I do anything, but i feel like I already know the outcome =(... I have had 3 other dogs in my lifetime and never had to do experience this.. just not sure what to do with myself either..
 

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Sorry if I came off blunt. Just so many people put a dog down like they are disposable. It's a touchy subject. I know I could not do it. Could you get your dog to wear a basket muzzle for the time being?
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I understand, this is why I came here. I read a couple of the topics and it looks like you guys/gals have a lot of good advice and experience. I am just lost right now.. in disbelief..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The worst part I feel is like I dont know what or how to treat my dog... I want to play, pet, let her know I still love her.. but I feel that it my enable her more thinking that oh, if I do this, I will still get to play, have fun, etc..
 

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Treat the dog like normal. I can guarantee you she has forgotten about the bite. She will not connect your actions now with the bite.
 

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Any possibility your dog was not feeling well at the time of the bite incident? There are times, when I don't feel very well, and would like to bite anyone nearby. It could just be that simple!!!!
 

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Also hearing and vision. Your GF could have spooked your dog if hearing or vision are going. It's not always easy to realize it either. One of my dogs is going deaf and I'm much more careful waking him up because I don't want to startle him. His vision isn't great either. Though better now that he had a growth on his eyelid removed.
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I am hoping the vet can give me something on monday. Just had another emotional talk with the girlfriend. She doesnt really know how to feel, she thinks its her fault somehow. Ive had to keep the dog sectioned off on the other side of the house with toys/bed/crate. (Which I now feel I might have screwed up, but after the attack, I had to calm my girlfriend and my dog, the first thing I did was pick the dog up and put her in her crate, which she then turned around and snap/growled at me before shutting the door) I hope I didnt ruin her safe place in the same process..but I had to make my girlfriend calm down and stop bleeding..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ive since taken the dog outside via a leash to pee/poop and then back inside and would command her to go to her crate and then give her a treat when she entered and then left the crate. (This is something I also do when people come to my door because she is a jumper and gets very excited.) I have done this a few times today. After a few hours of letting her outside when I let her back in I sectioned off the area and gave her another treat and toys. I will take her for a walk here shortly and she how she is doing.. I think she knows something is up, as soon as the gf and I started to have our convo and cry, the dog went and hid behind the table as if she knew we were talking about her =\...
 

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I second the idea of a muzzle, at least until your girlfriend is comfortable and you address what may be causing the issue. I would especially ask the vet either to have you enter through a private entrance or to clear the waiting room for your dog to enter. The problem is that you still don't know what caused the dog to bite her and snap at you.

Dogs feel anxiety. Right now your GF is giving of vibes of fear and the dog knows. Your dog also may be sensing your fears and anxiety, too.

In the end, you have to decide what is right for your household. You need to check with your town laws and with your homeowner's or renter's insurance. And you need to do it NOW. A puncture wound goes on public record and you could be denied coverage retroactively if you keep a dog with a bite history. Read your policy carefully. My husband and I had to seek out a policy with no breed stipulations because my dog is part German Shepard.
 

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Jonathan,

I'm so sorry that this has happened. Your anguish comes through so clearly.

Unfortunately, one of the rules of this forum is that we can no longer give any training advice once a dog has bitten other than to recommend that you take your dog to a vet, which you're going to be doing, and to seek help from a certified behaviorist if possible. We can't surmise why your dog bit your gf or whether your dog might bite again. I will say that keeping your dog physically separated from your gf and anyone else is a wise idea and so is a muzzle.

If you have to euthanize your dog, I hope that you could be with her at your vet's office. I know that this is a decision that no dog owner ever wants to make, and I hope that your vet can give you some clarity as you make your decision.
 

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I agree you should check the dog's vision and hearing, especially if she's older. This sounds like out of character behavior so it's very possible something is wrong. And if you can't afford a trainer, I would suggest contacting a rescue and asking if they have contact with a trainer who will help pro-Bono. Some rescues and shelters also have 'pet retention' programs that can help with situations like this.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you all for the replies. You have helped more than I could ever thank you for. The vet says she has extreme anxiety and gave me a prescription of amitriptyline and to give it a few weeks and see how she responds. The vet says that a behaviorist might be a good idea, but until the high anxiety is helped it would be a much more difficult process.

We have started to make some changes around the house to the areas the dog will be allowed in as well having my girlfriends practice being more of an alpha female by having her alternate feedings with the dog and go on more walks with the gf at the leash instead of me. They took her blood and will let me know in the next few days what the panel says if anything.

The vet understands where I am coming from as well, she understands that I want to find answers but she said sometimes there are none dogs just slowly start to lose it and because of the size and breed of said dog, she can be a life threatening dog if she decides to snap mentally one day.. I was already being pretty emotional at this point and how upset I was getting and said to try the pills, see if any changes happen and go from there. She also recommended the muzzle which I have slowly started to try to integrate onto her today. (the dog does not like it let me tell ya..) but after letting her lick some peanut butter and treats with the muzzle on she laid on my lap and just licked some PB for a lil while while I pet her. I took the muzzle off after a little to play and will place it back on in a little to see if she is more receptive. I have already started her on the pill regiment and can only hope for the best and try my best..

I will keep you updated. Thank you so much everyone again from the bottom of my heart.

Jonathan
 

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I'm so glad you got some advice and medication. A thundershirt might help some anxiety as well. But I do have one thing to say about this...

We have started to make some changes around the house to the areas the dog will be allowed in as well having my girlfriends practice being more of an alpha female by having her alternate feedings with the dog and go on more walks with the gf at the leash instead of me. They took her blood and will let me know in the next few days what the panel says if anything.
The "alpha" theory has been disproven MANY times. Any trainer or behaviorist worth anything will tell you that the alpha thing and any "Dog Wihsperer" advice is not only bull, but can cause or create problems. However, I think the things you are having your girlfriend do with the dog sound good. When you say alternate feedings do you mean she's the one giving the dog food? If that's what you mean, that's great because the dog associates her with the best thing ever--dinner! If you mean she's taking food away from the dog while she's eating to demonstrate that "she's in charge", STOP immediately, as that will make your dog want to guard her food and well...bite. Your girlfriend also walking the dog, or even just with you is great too. Walking together is a very important bonding activity for dogs. It sounds like you're doing well, and just go slow with the muzzle and always make it a pleasant experience. It's a basket muzzle? They work best, and personally I like Baskerville.
 
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