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martySQ

I'm embarressed, but won't let it keep me from geting the advice I need...

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We went successfully for 3 weeks without an incident, then Wednesday night, I came home from work, tilly was in the house in the dining room, and We let Bess in to greet me... I kind of ignored her while I was walking around the more space cramped side of the table putting stuff down while Bess was doing her "I'm so happy to see you" wiggle and dance. This was an opportunity Tilly decided to take advantage of... Bess must be in a good mood...so I'll challenge her for rank and put my feet o her back...all hell broke loose. we hadn't put leashes on them yet, I wasn't paying close attention to their body languages, and it escalated way to fast to step into or between... I reached in to grab a collar and got bit by I don't know who. Hubby managed to wedge a chair somewhat between them and so I reached in with my other hand to grab a collar to pull them apart. We shoved them into crates, pulled them out one at a time to see if there was any damage... Bess had blood on an ear tip, Tilly was limping. It was past Vet hours (8:30 PM) so I had hubby take me to the emergency room to get stitched up. It wasn't that bad, only 5 stitches on my right pinky on the inside at the bottom between the ring finger and pinky. So in my county, they call the sheriff for a dog bite, and both dogs were impounded for 10 days for observation at my cost. I was dumb enough to tell the truth... I seem incapable of doing otherwise ... At any rate... they are both up on their shots, so it seems a waste, but is the county law.

Anyway, they get out of jail on Saturday morning, and I get off antibiotics! (yeah!) I was able to get them 'impounded' at my vets office rather than the county animal control place. So they could get treatment if needed and maybe, just maybe, it won't be so awful for them.

My question is ... now what... I know it was dumb user error, and not all the dogs fault...although it was somewhat...but they are dogs and I am supposed to be the smarter one..if not forgetful one...

I am pretty sure I am not going to get Tilly and Bess to get along without constant supervision...although they had a great walk together for about 2 miles, earlier that day before I went to work. So how can I do better until we can find Tilly a new home? She had been out to my daughter in laws parents farm, and was great with the outside animals. Her dad didn't want to put up with the inside cats being scared senseless because they had never seen a dog before... this batch was born after their last dogs death from old age. So he didn't want to keep Tilly for a year or so until my daughter in law graduates and can move to her own place.(My poor son lives in a house with his wife and 2 other girl housemates... no life for a newly wed!)

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Wow there is a lot I want to say. I will keep it to a minimum. (hopefully)

 

First the dogs, I would personally applied the alpha'tude. A paper bag or something in hand and my inner monster's voice, would have applied my rule! This sounds harsh but i had a rescue and my pet that were doing that same thing. Nothing worked until i got fed up and chased towards them with a Wal-mart bag in hand screaming profanities! The fighting never completely stopped but they were no longer out for blood. If i said "quit it" they would after that. (Some dogs just can't get along though and for that i would be at a loss also)

 

Second the pound, You need to go down there and demand your property back. Go as far as speaking with everybody in the chain. Be forceful in implying they seized your property without your consent. You are being scammed by the county, you should make a point of that to everyone. (They are profiting off of your misfortune) Your dog did not bite you, you got bit for placing your hands into a dog fight. We've all did it or something as ill thought out, no shame in that. You need to explain to all of them that, and you can "observe" your dogs at home. (they are current on shots)

 

I wish you good luck in finding a good home, until then I would just make sure they know fighting isn't acceptable behavior. Get down to the pound and stand up against them. They rely on the inaction of residents for easy money. Call them PIRATES and demand your property be returned with and apology. I cannot stress this enough, be a pain in their back side until you get your dogs back.

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Ugh! That's a bad situation - sorry for it!

 

I have no advice for you.

 

But... you and I will have matching pinky scars. Some loose pitty or boxer mix down the street got all up in Buddy's grill last May, and between Buddy's slipping his collar and my stupidly trying to settle things, I ended up with a nice tear in my hand. The stitches popped, so it healed kind of ragged. Makes me feel rugged, though. :rolleyes:

 

Mary

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Dear Doggers,

 

The one inviolable rule when you are keeping a pack (or packlet) of dogs is: DOGS FIRST!!!

 

If the guy from the lottery shows up waving a check with photographers in tow: DOGS FIRST!!!

When the twin appears, that brother you haven't seen in forty years: DOGS FIRST!!!

When you smell smoke: DOGS FIRST!!!!

When . . .well, you get it. Dogs, even the best trained dogs, get excited by sudden change or when you're excited or when something happens new and fast. When they're excited they take advantage: simmering rivalries will explode, a dog that affronts another will affront again, they'll race around pouring gasoline on their own excitement.

 

I know only one sure way - and its so radical I won't mention it where novices tread - to cure a dangerous status rivalry. I can however say how to keep them from bursting into flame. If the dogs are getting excited or a situation develops where they WILL get excited, crate them or otherwise physically control them; NOW.

 

Repeat after me: DOGS FIRST!!!

 

Donald McCaig

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I totally agree with Donald. We have a rivalry in our pack and no amount of human "alphatude" mattered when excitement loomed. With six dogs in the house, excitement isn't all that rare. So, we keep them strictly separated--when one is out, the other is crated. Always, no exceptions. We trade them out in roughly equal intervals when we're home.

 

I thought it would be awful, but it's been totally fine and both dogs are much less stressed than they were. It also has lowered the tension in the house with the other dogs more generally, so that all dogs, cats and people are happy.

 

We seriously considered placing one of them but in the end, we just didn't want to, so we worked out this solution and it's been pretty good for all involved.

 

There are others on the boards who have similar situations and also manage them well through separation. Once we started seeking advice, in fact, I was surprised by how much more common this situation is than I had realized.

 

Good luck with working things out.

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Ugh...I was in the same situation with the foster that we had back in December. Your best bet is to crate and rotate. Unfortunately in my situation I waited too long to make the decision to keep the dogs separate and it got to the point where they couldn't even stand to be in the same house. Even seeing each other from the crate would set them off.

 

I never really understood/believed people who said that a fight between two bitches was the worst kind, but now I believe it. We are one bitch household from now on!

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My rule is you don't have to like each other BUT you have to tolerate each other.

 

I once had 2 bitches that hated each other. We at one point even ended up with blood on the ceiling. That did it for me.

 

At the first sign of a snark I would place both of them next to each other in a down stay. If either one of them looked at the other I would say don't look and smack the ground between them with a riding crop. I mean I came at them like a wild woman.

 

I kept that little crop in my back pocket and anytime they so much as looked at each other, I came after both of them and made them get on the ground and stay..sometimes for 1/2 hour.

 

Let me tell you they not only learned to get along they eventually liked each other.

 

Reminder like was said before dogs first..if I could not give them my full attention they were seperated.

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Another vote for managing the dogs for the situation. We use crates and baby gates. Skittles is my dog with the shortest fuse (only with foster dogs, though, not with his own "pack"). Skittles goes behind the baby gate, if the excitement level gets too high. For example, if one of us comes home, it's natural for all the dogs to rush to the door, which results in a lot of dogs in a confined space. This is where there's a potential for Skittles to snap. So, when someone comes home, Skittles goes behind the baby gate until the person comes in and moves away from the door. Then, we'll usually move outside where there's plenty of room and let all the dogs, including Skittles out to say their "hellos." Works well for us.

 

If your two dogs are not getting along in other situations, other than just when the excitement level is high, then I'd be keeping them separate at all times. There have been a few foster dogs come through my house that Skittles absolutely couldn't stand. Usually, it was because the foster dog was an obnoxious, neurotic fool. In those cases, we would crate the foster dog whenever Skittles was out and then let the foster dog out whenever Skittles was behind the baby gate in a different part of the house. It can be a pain, but it works. And, if Tilly is only going to be with you until you can find her a new home, then I'd go with that approach.

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Shoshone has gone after Sam when there is a)little space and :rolleyes: lots of excitement. She went after the cats when there was a)food and b)she was between me and the cat.

 

It does happen very, very fast. I don't think most mere mortals are capable of reacting as quickly as a dog hell bent on destroying another dog, and I mean that seriously.

 

I trained all 3 dogs that they got to go out the door when I said they could, one at a time. Doorways are tight places, and I'd really keep your dogs away from that tight spot in your dining room. I also made sure every dog responded to my saying their name by looking at me, and whenever any dog moved a muscle, I paid attention to what they were doing.

 

As far as your dogs being impounded, I'd look at the law in your county, actually find the printed law regarding dog bites, and go from there.

 

I hope your finger heals well. Your dogs will probably be a bit on edge when they get home, from being away. Make your rules now about how they are to be managed, go over them with DH, get whatever gates/crates, etc you might need, and have all that in place before you bring them home.

 

FWIW, Shonie has never gone after Sam in a wide open area. They stick their noses right next to each other into a tuft of grass or a bush all the time. For Shonie, crowding of any kind contributed a lot to her nastiness.

 

Ruth

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I had two dogs that fought like that and I just kept them separated. I was not strong enough to get them apart by myself. And I was tired of being bitten. And one time I got my thumb caught in a collar and managed to tear the ligament. Was in a cast for 6 weeks. I know so many people who have been bitten trying to break up a dogfight.

 

They just had to take turns being out of their crates. And they did fine.

 

I'm not sure about Kansas City but I know that Parkville, Mo has a law that if a dog has bitten someone - no matter what the circumstances - they are picked up and impounded. I think that doctors must turn in the dog if a patient comes in to be treated for dogbite. And if the shelter determines that the animals are vicious they are destroyed. I think Kansas City may have the same law.

 

Seems excessive to me. If I got bitten by one of my dogs I wouldn't feel like I could go to the doctor for antibiotics even. And you really need to get antibiotics for dog bites.

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Seems excessive to me. If I got bitten by one of my dogs I wouldn't feel like I could go to the doctor for antibiotics even. And you really need to get antibiotics for dog bites.

 

You could just lie and tell them that it was some unknown dog that bit you. That's what I would do.

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Ruth - My situation is quite like yours. I have been having issues with Celt and Dan. It started out with Dan, as an adolescent, pushing the envelope with Celt. When Dan came back from being gone for most of a month, in a household of bitches that didn't take anything from him, he had matured a bit. When Celt would make grumbly sounds and faces, Dan would often turn his head just a bit. It was like he was saying, "I don't want a fight..." but at the same time, "...but I will give you one if you insist."

 

Outside, Celt can even drive Dan off - not in the house. Our issues are all in small spaces (Celt at my feet at the computer when Dan comes up - but only sometimes) and particularly with crates - it started with crating at mealtime and has escalated to any crate time (bed time, go to work time, nap time). And it starts with Celt, not Dan - but Dan picks up the challenge.

 

These are two dogs that can lick out of the same pan without an issue; take treats in the kitchen without an issue; be next to me outside easily. But when Celt thinks it's going to be time to crate up, he's off with a growl and we wind up with both in crates (separated by a barrier they can't see through or around) making noises and faces. And I'm just not seeming to have much effect - scolding, shaking, getting in their faces. Actually, Dan calms down way before Celt does.

 

I think the entire issue arises around Celt being used to being top of the dogs (Bute was a totally submissive dog to him) but being a very weak and insecure leader at the same time - and therefore being ready game for Dan to try and push it with his natural nature to want to be independent and top dog. The whole crate thing dates back to Celt and Bute - at meal times, Bute would come and grovel at Celt's feet, and Celt would grumble and hold his head high, a happy pack leader with his submissive follower. Little did I realize that allowing that behavior would segue into this issue with Celt and Dan.

 

Celt started the grumbling like he did with Bute, but Dan is definitely not Bute, not submissive and adverse to grovelling. Sometimes, I feel I am making progress and sometimes I feel that I am way in over my head and clueless. I should be able to be in charge and respected, and apparently, I am not.

 

So far, it's all posturing - growling, baring of teeth, and (when they do get into it) standing on legs and sparring - but it's just a small step away from getting seriously ugly. I've avoiding asking for help because it is an embarassment, and I've obviously not been doing the right thing to stop it before it gets hazardous.

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You could just lie and tell them that it was some unknown dog that bit you. That's what I would do.

 

I'm basically an honest person, but if I were pushed into a corner, I'd rather lie than let my dogs get impounded.

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I'm basically an honest person, but if I were pushed into a corner, I'd rather lie than let my dogs get impounded.

Me, too.

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Got seriously bitten by my cat, I was totally embarrassed about having to admit he was mine. Got a letter from the health department a couple weeks later stating I had to keep him contained for 10 days. I wouldn't admit it that it was my dog that bit me, I wouldn't want him to have a record, I don't even think they get 3 strikes.

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Seems excessive to me. If I got bitten by one of my dogs I wouldn't feel like I could go to the doctor for antibiotics even. And you really need to get antibiotics for dog bites.

 

I would go, but all I would tell them was that I knew the dog and that I knew the dog was up to date on vaccinations. Period. I would not admit to owning the dog.

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I'm basically an honest person, but if I were pushed into a corner, I'd rather lie than let my dogs get impounded.

 

Don't they make you get the shots for rabies if you are bitten by an unknown animal?

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Don't they make you get the shots for rabies if you are bitten by an unknown animal?

This is a hypothetical situation, as I have received scratches while separating dogs, but never anything serious enough to need stitches. I believe it is enough that you can say you verified that the dog was uptodate on its rabies shot (i.e. in our area has a current license tag).

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Don't they make you get the shots for rabies if you are bitten by an unknown animal?

 

I was speaking to the case where local regulations require the dog to be impounded for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status. I've been bitten before in the process of breaking up a dog fight and the only thing the doctor wanted to know was if the dog was up to date with rabies vaccination (he was). I refused to name the dog and I was never contacted by animal control about the bite. It was an accidental bite, not intended for me. If, however, I was in a situation where I was required to name the dog or impound one of my dogs, even though I could show proof of vaccination, I would lie and suffer whatever consequences came my way, including taking unnecessary shots for rabies.

 

In a situation like what Tommy Coyote describes where the dog is impounded regardless of vaccination status and the AC desides if the dog is vicious and should be destroyed, you'd better bet that I'd be willing to lie about it. A mandatory impoundment would be the death of Skittles. He would freak out about being impounded and being in a strange place with strange people and not seeing anything or anyone familiar for 10 days. He would likely come across as a vicious dog, though what he really would be is a scared as hell dog. My oldest dog, Milo, would just be annoyed with the situation. My border collie, Charlie, would hate it, but would be willing to be friends with the people. But, Skittles would be scared as hell and would likely be fear aggressive toward the strange people. So, yeah, I'd lie to protect him, even if it meant I had to take a rabies vaccine.

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That is exactly why I called the sherriff and he told me I could impound them at my vets office if they had the room... which I did and they did... so at least Bess knows people there... Tilly has seen one of the techs when I went in to see if they had a basket muzzle that might fit her... which it didn't. They gave me the county ordinace papers at the emergency room. I cannot lie... it is very hard for me to do that. I have a complicated conscience on top of that...

 

I felt a whole lot better putting them at my vets than allowing a man in a uniform come get them and cart them off to where many , many dogs are kept. for one thing, Tilly lived in a larger city, and her main entertainment was being sure to not be asleep when the mail carrier came by or the ups man was around so she could bark. (That and barking at the neighbor's cat...) whom she hads never met and was really confused when she came to our house and we had one of those things in our house that just laid there...and let her sniff him... they were becoming buddies...

At my place, there was none of that foolishness. The mail was delivered by a person in a regular vehicle at the end of a long drive. If they have opportunity to come to the door... Bess would greet them like any other long lost best friend!

 

This is all helpful information about how to handle things when they get out of jail. Tilly jumps baby gates on stairs... which is how fight #2 happened and we used a fire extinguisher to break that one up... 4 weeks ago...still hadn't got it recharged yet..so crateing and Dogs first...always looks like will be the MO.

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FWIW, I went to the ER after being bitten by my neighbor's Doberman (I was breaking up a fight). They asked me who the dog was and who owned her. I said I wasn't willing to tell them, but I knew the dog and knew she was up to date on her shots. They told me it was the law that I had to tell them, and that they wouldn't treat me if I didn't and it would become seriously infected (the bite was through my fingernail), and that they would have to call the police to come and question me. I still said no, and started for the door. Just as I was about to go out the door they caved, called me back and treated me. The next day someone identifying herself as a public health nurse telephoned me, and said I needed to keep that dog under observation for 10 days. I said fine, I would. And that was that.

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Wow, there's no way I'd let the town impound my dogs for 10 days, if they bit me.

 

Mick gave me a decent sized puncture in my hand about a month or so ago. It bled a decent amount, but it didn't require stitches, so I just bandaged it up (healed no problem). He didn't mean to bite me, we were playing a fairly rough game of tug and he chomped up too high on the toy. He obviously felt bad about biting me, because he immediately let go and hid for an hour or so. I wasn't mad or anything, it wasn't his fault. I couldn't imagine going to the hospital to get some stitches and being told he had to get quarantined.

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Dear Doggers,

 

Ms. njnovice wrote: "Wow, there's no way I'd let the town impound my dogs for 10 days, if they bit me."

 

Good to know. In my county one has the alternative of letting Animal Control kill the dog, extract its brain and send it to the state lab for testing.

 

Donald McCaig

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Got seriously bitten by my cat, I was totally embarrassed about having to admit he was mine. Got a letter from the health department a couple weeks later stating I had to keep him contained for 10 days. I wouldn't admit it that it was my dog that bit me, I wouldn't want him to have a record, I don't even think they get 3 strikes.

It makes a lot of sense to send you notice days after the 10-day quarantine should have ended!

 

I was recently bit (my fault) by one of my dogs and couldn't avoid going to the doctor for it. They told me that animal control would probably call, but that since it was my own dog and he was up-to-date on shots, they probably wouldn't do anything about it. I never heard from them. I guess that's one bonus to living in this part of NC!

 

As for whether or not to lie, if I thought my dog was going to be impounded, I'd probably lie too. As Donald notes, the alternative is testing, which means a dead dog, but like many laws, this one is really geared toward the folks who don't vaccinate (and in this state--in some counties at least--because they tie dog licenses to rabies vaccine records, I know there are people who are skipping rabies vaccines to avoid paying license fees--brilliant move, local governments!) and I honestly believe that if someone is bitten by their own dog and can produce proof that the dog is UTD on its rabies vaccine, then the owner ought to be allowed to impound the dog at home. It just makes sense. Most dog --> owner bites are due to management issues and NOT because the dog is rabid or has been exposed to rabies. ISTM that common sense should prevail in these situations so that owners shouldn't feel they would have to lie about the situation to protect the family pet(s). The key would be the owner having proof of a current rabies vaccine. If folks didn't have to fear their dogs being taken away unfairly (and being charged for their care during that time), then perhaps people wouldn't feel compelled to lie. Common sense!

 

J.

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Dear Doggers,

Rabies is common in my county. A couple years ago the kid who worked with me trapped a raccoon which promptly bit him. Racoon escaped, kid got a two or three week course of shots. Much longer ago, my very sick Pip bit Anne and because the Dog Warden knew me and Pip had his shots, Pip was quarantined at home. I didn't dare tell the Warden how sick Pip was. He died before the quarantine ended and I was glad the warden checked by phone because had he known he would have exhumed Pip and sent his brain for testing.

 

Rabied animals act weird and vulnerable and two years ago a neighbor's two dogs killed a suspicious possum. In a panic she called the vet who gave the dogs their belated shots but the Dog Warden killed them anyway and shipped their brains away.

 

Get the shots. Lie about the bite.

 

Donald McCaig

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