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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cousin's dog can be a bit temperamental, and he bit my cousin. Blood was drawn. I haven't seen what it looks like, as said cousin was holding a tissue to his lip, but it doesn't seem that bad. His dad took him to the hospital anyway to get stitches. Second cousin doesn't think it's bad, and doesn't think first cousin needs stitches. In any case, this is apparently the second time the dog has bitten, the first time being my uncle, in which case stitches were necessary. Both times, the dog was being teased. Second cousin is (rightly) panicking, and we're trying to figure out if this means the dog has to be put down.

I don't THINK he will be (a behaviourist is DEFINITELY needed though as well as bite inhibition training, which was not done when he was a puppy). Emergency input?? Anyone been in a similar situation or have any idea if the dog is in danger?
 

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This is something you need to ask your local law enforcement or animal control office. Laws are different in different places and also may be different for different breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is something you need to ask your local law enforcement or animal control office. Laws are different in different places and also may be different for different breeds.
That's a very good point. The dog is a cockapoo, and we live in California. I keep dropping hints at a behaviourist (he growls threateningly and bares his teeth a lot but dogs are always a sensitive situation I guess) I've been researching the state bite law, but not getting very far since much of the law outlines extreme situations. I'll keep looking, and asking the authorities is a good idea
 

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You still need to consult actual people out there but... I have to tell you that if the dog is that small it's probably not going to be considered a danger to the public. I think the bigger problem is that this dog is being taunted and provoked. If that keeps going on something seriously needs to be done about the humans' behavior in that household, or he should be rehomed to someone who will treat him right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You still need to consult actual people out there but... I have to tell you that if the dog is that small it's probably not going to be considered a danger to the public. I think the bigger problem is that this dog is being taunted and provoked. If that keeps going on something seriously needs to be done about the humans' behavior in that household, or he should be rehomed to someone who will treat him right.
I'll be calling the local law enforcement in a moment. As I understand, the dog was sleeping and my cousin started messing with him, and Sox bit. The dog has very little training and discipline, and gets away with all sorts of stuff that my own dogs would never BEGIN to dream about doing, and I'm afraid the family lets it all happen and sees nothing wrong with it, and then something like this happens and they wonder where they go wrong. We'll be having a talk when everybody gets home.
 

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Honestly speaking, I wouldn't be on the phone with Animal Control right now. Once you do that, all decision-making is out of your hands.

First, I'd want to get professional advice from both a vet and an animal behaviorist. Then I'd have a conversation with the people in the household and come up with a plan of action. If you and the professionals agree that the dog poses a bite risk and if there are children involved, then take the dog to the vet yourselves for a humane euthanasia.

If you call Animal Control, then the dog will end up spending up to ten days in quarantine in a kennel and then will be put down. If being euthanized is going to be the dog's fate, then don't abandon him and make him suffer at a shelter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Honestly, I don't think this is going to be a problem. I called a different cousin who's a cop to ask about it. It doesn't seem to be as big a problem as anyone feared. I definitely will not be calling animal control, because I don't want this to be entirely blown out of proportion. I'm going to be pushing the behaviourist now more than ever. This was pure stupidity on my cousin's part (he's 18 and has been living with this dog for nine years, he should know better), as well as a complete and utter lack of training. The dog never comes into contact with kids, which is probably a good thing. It turns out my cousin needs two stitches, but right now the general feeling is because he's a small dog and this attack was provoked, and (importantly) because this was in the family and not a child, this isn't going to be a big deal.

One thing is for dang certain: they're going to HAVE to take this as a wakeup call and TRAIN the dog! Aggression and growling should not be acceptable! The dog should NOT be snapping when someone comes near his food bowl!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We just got a response from the doctor who put in the stitches. Nothing's going to happen to Sox. As assumed, the wound isn't bad, my cousin isn't a child, and it was provoked. Apparently the doctor's words were 'Don't be a ****.' This might be my aunt paraphrasing, but it's a huge sigh of relief all around!
 

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What was the cousin doing that provoked dog? I see you said something about being near his food bowl? Sounds like resource guarding.
I do hope they contact a behaviorist if possible, don't want this to happen again. Also Jean Donaldson's book "Mine" would be very helpful if the problem is resource guarding :)
 

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You can contact a behaviorist but it sounds like the offending humans are the ones who need training. They need to learn not to tease a dog, and don't mess with it when it's eating or sleeping.

If the dog is being teased and the humans ignore the growls, then of course it's going to bite. Same thing if it's sleeping and someone startles it awake. If it didn't growl beforehand then I'm going to guess it's happened a lot before and since the humans don't back off when it growls, it's not going to bother to growl anymore and will go straight to a bite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
CoyotePro Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. I only have the sister's side of the story. She said the dog was sleeping and her brother started messing with him, and Sox got startled and bit. He definitely has MAJOR MAJOR issues with resource guarding, but they refuse to acknowledge it and won't pay for a behaviourist, despite how much this dog (and family) desperately need one. If you're walking on egg shells around your dog and not doing anything about it, there's a problem there.

I'd be surprised if they ever put an hour's worth of training into this dog, let alone read a book about it and went through the motions of teaching him! I'm moving out soon, and they get insulted every time I vaguely touch on the subject of training. Their 'logic' is "He's just being a dog. All dogs are like that sometimes." NO.

'Mine' does sound like a great book though! I think I'll pick up a copy myself. I'm slowly running through my stash of dog books xD
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
kpatterson It's everybody's fault. The family and the the dog, but primarily the family, who have taught this dog zero bite inhibition. He's constantly growling, so they've learned to ignore it. "He's just grumpy," apparently. They don't know why he growls so much. That's just the way he is. AND YET I've been here for a month and he no longer growls when I pet him. Why? Because I stop petting him when he's rude. It's common sense that they can't seem to grasp! You don't HAVE to be scared of your dog! It' just unbelievable, the owners are unhappy, the dog is extremely stressed out (can't blame him), and they refuse to get professional help.
 

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I disagree there Smudge, it's not the dog's fault. Sounds like he's almost being trained to bite if he's being mistreated/teased to the point of having to make a point. People do this to dogs and then don't want to deal with the constant biting that results, and get rid of the dog. The dog is then a 'biter' that no one wants, and is put down.

They need to stop mistreating the dog, and learn now to respect it and train it properly.
 
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