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Aggression: Adopted German Shorthaired Pointer stray seriously bit a jogger
An_249801 posted:
I am wondering if you could advise me on the probability of a GSP trained to hunt overcoming aggressive behavior. I picked up a lost stray (5-7yrs old) a few months ago, and nursed it back to health. It was a wonderful family dog, but it was not neutered, and exhibited lots of aggression towards other male dogs (it fought one, and was bitten) while walking on a leash. He was mild and gentle in the house, so I allowed our 8 year old son to take him for a walk in front of the house on a leash. While he was there, a jogger ran by (the dog was far from the house at the time) and he pulled my son half a block to lunge at the jogger. The man was angry at my son, and the dog bit him on the upper arm. The bite was deep and required 3 stitches. The dog gave no warning, just took off. He has lunged and growled at children riding scooters and bikes while he's being walked (probably frustrated for being leashed and not able to run after them), but I never imagined he would bite with such severity. He is now at Animal Control and we are wondering if we should bring him home (our house is full of kids running in and out) or if his previous hunting experience will make him a risk for the unpredictable bite. He did growl and nip at a five year old child inside the house when food was nearby, but he missed making contact. Otherwise, the dog is a model citizen - sweet and food motivated for training. He has two more days at the Animal Control and we are still unsure whether to bring him home or allow them to euthanize him. He cannot be adopted out because of the severity of the bite. I am comfortable with dogs, but my son, even though he loves the dog, is now afraid of him. I wanted a gentle dog to help him overcome his timidness around dogs, and this poor dog has only made it worse. Please advise us on whether we should try to bring this unneutered 5yr old GSP home, or if we should look for another puppy. We have limited funds, and after the $150 Animal Control fee, we face $400 for neutering, and unknown costs for behavioral training and installing a fence. Not to mention, most of the mothers of neighborhood children are now nervous to allow their kids to play at our house because of the dog bite. We also were told that our homeowners insurance might drop us if they find out we have a dog that has bitten someone. Any advice from someone who has gone through this is greatly appreciated.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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