Many variables and questions go into these cases, and the more specific details you can provide, the more precise our picture becomes. We do not judge you or your dog if a dog has bitten anyone, and we are happy to help you work through your case.
Most of the time, the first thing we will discuss is management. Management may need to happen until we can come out and do an assessment. If muzzling a dog is possible, we usually recommend a Baskerville Ultra muzzle and then starting muzzle acclimation training. You must protect yourself and other people to prevent bites from happening or put an initial stop to the bites. The more injuries the dog has recorded, the higher the liability, and the more likely the dog will be deemed dangerous and potentially euthanized. We will not report your dog to animal control or authorities unless we must abide by the law to do so. Our goal is to help you avoid future bites and then help you and the dog overcome the aggression or learn how to manage the dog to mitigate any risks to the public.
First and foremost, if you read nothing else – let’s talk about warning signals!
Growling is good! Now hear me out… we like warnings! Dogs that are using warning signals are giving you an option before they bite you, and we appreciate that! Now some feel caught, and you aren’t able to deescalate the situation fast enough before a bite happens, but in general, a dog that wants to warn us has a better prognosis than a dog that doesn’t alert!
DO NOT PUNISH THE GROWLING, LIP CURL, OR AIR SNAP!
I know how hard that is as a pet parent, you don’t want any of that behavior, and I don’t either. But I also don’t want a dog to think they can’t warn me when approaching their tipping point. It gives me a chance to reorient so the dog doesn’t go over their threshold, and I can safely do what I need to do with success. This process is not always easy, and I highly recommend a Certified Behavior Consultant or a super savvy Certified Professional Trainer coaching you through this. Management and learning body language is everything to learn how to avoid bites!