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My dog just bit another dog

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Jon – my dog just bit another dog. We were just walking along on our normal daily walk and he just...attacked this other dog. Normally he has the sweetest disposition. I am devastated. He has never done anything like this before. What can I do?

Janet S.


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Janet – I'm sorry to hear about your situation. You wrote that your dog attacked another dog unexpectedly. This is not uncommon. Most dogs are good. But in my experience, you can never 100% predict how a dog will react or behave. I've seen people, kids and other dogs get bit by dogs that would, according to their owners, "Never bite". They are still dogs and have instincts that are often beyond our understanding.

I'd recommend that you keep him on a leash and always have very careful and monitored exposure to other dogs. You could talk to a local trainer and determine if you should do some obedience training and socialization training.

Also, make sure your dog is updated on all vaccines including rabies. If the other dog was hurt, you could offer to pay for the veterinary care for the injured dog.

Articles that might be helpful to you are Aggression in Dogs and 12 General Rules for Training Dogs.


Best of luck!

Dr. Jon



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