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Old 05-14-2012, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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REALLY scary experience this week...

So about 3 months ago, I rescued a 6 year old Amstaff named bella. She warmed up to me VERY quickly, and is a pretty low energy, laid back girl. I take her to a local park 3 times per week that is loaded with kids and dogs, and besides some slight dog aggression towards unknown dogs, she's been PERFECT.
Little kids pet her, tell her to sit, lay down, etc., and she always listens. When she plays, she gets a little "nippy"... she doesnt bite, but will put her mouth around your hand when she plays and jumps around. I also want to add, Bella is not my first amstaff, and I've also owned a Cane Corso, so I'm pretty familiar with the more powerful breeds, reading body language, etc.

This is where it gets weird.. Yesterday, on our way to petsmart, bella was in the back of my car, and I stopped to get some gas. I was done filling up, and one of my friends pulled up next to me and started talking to me. He wanted to meet bella, and asked if she could come out of the car. I said yes, opened up the back door, and she jumped out and approached him with an obviously submissive stance (she was on a leash that I was holding) Next thing ya know, his 9 year old son jumped out of their car, yelled, "puppy" and ran up to pet her. Before I could stop him, bella jumped up onto him, and actually grabbed his shirt in her mouth and tore it off.. completely. I yanked her back, and threw her immediately back in the car. Luckily the kid was fine, but VERY traumatized. THere was no growling or outward signs of aggression (which she's shown in the past towards other dogs).

Here's what I think happened.. either A) she just got scared and went after the kid because she thought he was coming at me or B) she was being playful and just jumped onto him and the shirt ripped off when it went into her mouth and she just pulled thinking it was tug of war.

Needless to say, I'm scared. We walked later that day, passed about 8 kids, and she totally ignored them. I have not seen ANY human aggression with her in the last 3 months, and this is the first time she's done anything like this. What do you guys think? Thanks so much for any input. It's all greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Jcgul; 05-14-2012 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
 

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I'd also like to add that even with strangers in my house, she greets all of them with licking them and sitting to be pet. she has shown ZERO aggression towards humans of any age prior to the "shirt incident"
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmmm it's hard to really say since I was not there to see it, by my guess would be his incitement got her riled up and she was trying to play. Dosia has never grabbed clothes but he will pick up a bottle, toy, rock or pretty much anything on the ground close by, and run around like a moron when he's over excited. My best advice would be to have her evaluated and start obedience classes with her.



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Old 05-14-2012, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Just from you saying she approached in a submissive stance makes me think she was uncomfortable to begin with there and maybe on edge. I wasn't there to see it so im going off your words here but to me sounds more like she was unsure and with a child running towards you maybe was a protective instinct.

This is a big reason people need to teach there kids how and when to approach a dog, you don't just run up to them like that child did.

Glad the child wasn't hurt at all though. I would just watch her body language from now on , since it sounds like she was given signals off they were just going un answered on your part. If she doesn't show any other signs I wouldn't even call this aggressive I would put this more into a protective category { this is just me and what I would classify this as , or even a fear category. Im sure others will have opinions as well}.

If you are concerned you can always look into getting her temperment tested and see what a professional thinks. { or if she shows these signs again }
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would have to agree with KG, get your pup evaluated.

I would suggest a 1 foot long or so lead for traveling and hand walking. Its easier for my wife (who is hundred pounds lighter than me) to control my pup when he gets excited.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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Thanks for your input everyone... I gotta agree.. I usually dont stop at a gas station with her, and she was in a new place, with new people, and was clearly confused as to what was going on. I'd agree on the fact that she was probably scared and acting out of fear. I honestly didn't even know the kid was in the car (dark tints), and if I had, the interaction would have most likely been FAR different. Definately need to keep my wits about me more in public places. Thanks again everyone. Keep the opinions flowing!
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You for sure need someone to see her in person. It doesn't seem like a HA issue but without seeing the situation its impossible to say what happened. Get her looked at and then you will know for sure. Dogs can be very different over property ( such and a yard or vehicle) and while with kids usually they know she may have been surprised. Then again it could have been play but without seeing how she did it only assumptions can be made.
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