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Leerburg.com January 24, 2011
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Leerburg's New Seynaeve Bite Suits

This is the bite suit I bought for my son Jeff, who is featured in this short video. If there was a better suit anywhere I would have bought it for him.

I have been around body bite suits since 1985 and I have never seen a suit that comes close to the quality of these Seynaeve Bite Suits. There are cheaper suits on the market, but when you're faced with an 85 pound adult Malinois, that's a very serious dog, skimping on the protection offered in a suit is not where you want to save money. January 23, 2011 | 9 Minutes, 56 Seconds

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Prices valid until Sunday, January 30th, 2011 at 11:59 pm central time.

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Dog Bite

To view these dog bite photos, click here.
Warning: these photos are very graphic!

We are always looking for photos of people who have been bitten by their dogs while trying to break up a dog fight. If you send us photos and the story on how the accident happened we will put them on our website with the hope that your mistakes will help other people realize how dangerous it is to try and break up a dog fight the wrong way.

Dog Bite:

Hi Ed,
Like the site and information.
I have 5 children, 1 wife and 1 dog.
I am writing you to share this weekend's episode of dog bites kid, and to vent some of my frustration, with poor dog owners and they are usually in denial.

We went camping this extended weekend at a lake, (we have had other social interactions, several times with this family at their home), and they brought their dogs, everything seems normal, I ask about their 12 year old shepard's health in general, knowing that these animals have age issues with their backs and hips, I got a non-committal kind of reply, and I noticed that the dog seemed to have glaucomic eye distention, (Eyeball seems more rounder, protruding), and asked the owner if the dog seemed to have any difficulty seeing. again I got a non-committal response like, no, not yet.
(Back Ground: I had been a Navy Corpsmen since 1982, and the person I was speaking with was a Physicians Assistant).
Anyway, his wife took the animals to the water to play, and get wet, and they, the animals and kids had interacted before, and were playing in and by the water just fine, (How ever the wife stated that the dog seemed to be having difficulty with depth perception, miss stepping and "falling off" the submerged ledge, and getting a little panicky, so she guided the animal back to the beach, and to their tent site.
That evening, We came to their tent site to visit, my 5 y/o boy sat down behind the dog and went to give it a hug. The dog started like it was scared, and barked/bit my son twice in the face. We were fortunate that it was not a worse bite, as you can see in the pictures, it would have been the entire right side of his face.
I treated my boy with ice to keep the swelling down, and check up with the owners on the status of the rabies vaccination. All is okay there. I asked them if they would have their dog examined by a vet, I wanted them to, for safety of others, as they have a nice, timid 13 year old daughter. I hope they do, and that there is no other incidents.
My Boy is fine, tough nut that he is, even wanted to pet the dog that bit him afterwards.
I have always cautioned my kids about animals in general, but especially dogs and the do's and don't's with them.
We adopted a 4 year old Blue Heeler from the local shelter when my boy was about 18 months old, the first trial we did, was controlled and tethered socialization at the shelter for compatibility, the dog, Chickory, first went to a corner and relieved herself, then the next thing she did was to submit herself to the boy, on her back and whining at his feet.
She has been a protector for our kids every since, (we now also have twin 3.5 y/o's). Chickory is an Alpha female, spayed, and never allowed to be aggressive towards any children, (we have lot's of kids and friends over).
Hope you can use the pictures.

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This Week's Featured
Question & Answers

Question: My boyfriend poked and kicked my dog when he was drunk. Now my dog is afraid of him. Could this affect his behavior towards other people? What do you think?


Last year a family member rescued a mini-dachshund, the vet estimated him at 4-5 months old, from an abusive situation. The people in the house were being rough and generally neglecting him, allowing him to run loose and get into garbage, he was regularly "spanked" and smacked upside the head. In short, these people lacked all common sense.

When I got this pup he was obviously extremely submissive, submissively urinated at the drop of a hat and flopped on his back if a person even stood up near him. He was obviously hand shy.

I kept him in my bedroom, allowed him to sleep on the end of my bed and aside from matter of factly taking him outside(he would follow me with encouragement in just a day or two) and praising him just enough so he heard me but I didn't scare him (any direct attention was obviously overwhelming) and feeding him I ignored him. I wanted him to settle in. Then I introduced clicker training, which he got the idea of very quickly. Within 5 sessions or so he went from shy and giving "unsure" body language to giving me a more calm, confident dachshund attitude while we were working.

Using that training I introduced walks(he was horrible at first and still is unconfident at times, but we investigate what scares him at his pace, every time and he has made great progress overall), what I call Touch training where I taught him to associate my touching parts of his body while he held a stand/stay with reward, we worked at his pace and he progressed to where I could do the motions and body language of someone "hitting" at him and he doesn't flinch, it's a game now and his general reluctance to be handled is gone. I can do anything to him (brush teeth, clip nails, clean ears, etc.) and he calmly accepts it. So can other people, including the vet now!

In short, I did a lot more than I even care to write about and I worked very hard for months day in and day out to make this dog into a comfortable, safe, submissive, gentle pet in every situation for myself.

Except for my stupid boyfriend. I've had to have talks before to my boyfriend about what is, and what is not his place in relation to my dog while he's a guest in my house. I do not allow him to discipline this dog just whenever he wants or feels it's needed, because he is used to large dogs (shepherds, pit bulls) and he can be rough and he a lot of times does not understand what's inappropriate. Once the dachshund was just a pup and this was while he was being wormed in the first few weeks after I got him he woke up and started to throw up and my boyfriend poked him in the side hard grabbed him up shouted "NO!" and was shaking this puppy and was of course peed on and I entered the room just in time to see this) it's not all the BF's fault, he has OCD and Depression and doesn't always act right because he's not ok. He's a germaphobe so the throw up was a big deal to him.

Anyways, several weeks ago the boyfriend showed up at my house at 3 am very, very drunk, I let him in and got him some food, the dachshund woke up and came up to him to say hello and my boyfriend invited the dog up onto his lap, the dog sniffed *at* his food, so the guy pokes him hard in the ribs 5 times before I could stand up to get the dog off his lap. I absolutely wasn't expecting that and knocked the dog off his lap with the last poke and then kicked the dog hard, he was drunk so his aim was off it was only a glancing blow but it was hard enough to move the dog several feet and knock him off his feet and make him yip and run out of the room to hide.

I immediately kicked the BF out at some risk to my safety. Banned him from my house for a week, but didn't do anything to the dog even look at him till the next morning because I was upset and I didn't want to 'share' that state of mind with the dog. I was matter of fact business as usual the next morning with him.

The next time the boyfriend was in the house the dog wouldn't go near him, his hackles were up and his bark had a different tone (I allow him to bark 3-4 times from his rug as the door is opening, but it's always usually an excited noise and he's giving very submissive/placating body language). His behavior towards me hasn't changed, or to anyone else, just the boyfriend except that now as people enter I'm starting to see a little bit of hackle go up.

The guy is very, very sorry. Before that they had enjoyed a friendly relationship but now the dog won't come near him aside from sitting heel position next to me and he leans away if my boyfriend tries to touch him and growls hackles go up more and he starts barking and backing away, we tried it twice, both times he also peed a little during this. My boyfriend is now getting angry at ME and the dog, and I just don't know what to say anymore. I would have just preferred to leave the dog be and give him time to accept my BF while he's being calm and ignoring the dog while we're at my house but he insisted he wanted to 'make up'. He's banned from my house again, is it wise at any stage to try and make amends between my dog and my boyfriend?

I don't know what to do do you have any ideas? The dog will not touch toys my BF throws, will not come over to take food from him or eat at all when he's in my apartment and wants to leave the room whatever room the guy is in and seriously wanted to shut down/tried to lay down each time I tried to walk him into the room with the BF. The BF has a limited amount of patience and gets frustrated/upset easily.

Could this affect his attitude/behavior towards other people? How bad could this get? What do I need to be watching for? What do I need to do? Am I right in thinking this dog is possibly now on the road to fear aggression?

Thanks for your time this really sucks and I'd appreciate advice!



This is a people problem, more than a dog problem.

Dogs need to feel safe in the leadership of their humans and if you are allowing this guy to undermine the work you've done with the dog, you are letting the dog down.

I'd keep the dog away from the BF, and make it clear to the BF that he's to ignore the dog 100% of the time. If he can't do that, then I'd look for a new boyfriend or find the dog a new home. The dog needs to know he is safe and if you aren't protecting him by guarding his space until he feels more confident, then he has every reason to be nervous. (given his past experience w/your boyfriend) Some people never learn to behave appropriately around dogs, unfortunately.

Since the dog only has problems when the boyfriend is around, it appears that the problem is the human, not the dog.

Cindy Rhodes

**Cindy's note: I really had to bite my tongue while answering this one.

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Pack Structure.


Question: I'm interested in getting a new GSD pup in about a year. I'm worried that my current dog's skittishness, fear and dog aggression will rub off on the pup. Is this possible? How can I prevent it?

Dear Mr. Frawley,

I have combed through and searched information on my specific question over your website, and I have not found one that deals with this question, I even looked up some that may go over a similar scenario and answer this, but I haven't found it. I apologize if you have encountered this before.

I have a year old german shepherd that I purchased naively from a so-called "breeder." I was new to the GSD world, and it is as much my fault for not being more informed as her fault, she does the "American Showline" (gag) and mixes them with non-working East German lines. I know now that mixing german show lines and working lines, especially American show lines (which are not German Shepherds in my book) and working lines is an abomination! However, I have my dog where anything that could go wrong with a GSD has (except his hips, but he's young yet); however, he loves our family, he's loyal.  He is skittish (not to be confused with standoffish) around people, expecting me to protect him; and he's dog aggressive to most dogs, for whatever reason, there are a couple dogs he's encountered (neighbors') that he gets along with quite well. Once there was a staff terrier of some sort and my fiance had Sampson by the collar with his front feet off the ground and all you could hear was his teeth snapping together in effort to bite the dog; but as I said he's not like this to ALL dogs, but it matters not if the dog is friendly or aggressive. Now that you have the background on Sampson, in a year or so, I am expecting to get a real GSD, of working lines. I have done my research and found a good breeder, and there's approximatly a year wait.  I am wanting to try Schutzhund training (for the first time) with the puppy, at the very least, have a confident and non dog aggressive GSD. I am concerned that my current dog's skittishness, fear, and dog aggression will somehow rub off on the pup; even if they are properly introduced and get along well, through walks or observation, etc. How can I prevent this from happening? Is there anyway (after the dog is old enough to have a good recall) that they would be able to ever be out together? I must admit, my current dog has a horrible recall, mainly outside. If we're playing ball, he's going to run around (not off, he stays within range of me, he's not that brave, lol) and sniff the area, and ignore me when i call him, even when I use a more aggressive tone.

Thank you,

Cindy's Response:

I don’t let puppies socialize or interact with unstable adult dogs. Puppies mirror behavior and attitudes, I would not allow your puppy to be in contact or even in a situation to observe the older dog.  I sold a very nice puppy to a friend who had a very nervy GSD and cautioned her to keep them apart until the puppy was mature and had a good outlook on life.  She didn’t listen and she ended up with two nervy dogs. The new pup became over reactive to all the same things as the adult dog.  it may have been coincidence but I doubt it.

I only let my puppies and young dogs interact and run with adults that are obedient and stable. If I can’t get my adult dog to come to me when I call, how can I expect to control the adult dog and an untrained puppy?

I’d spend the next year training your adult dog, and then I would keep a new puppy separated from him unless you had direct supervision (and you have the obedience issues ironed out with the adult).

If you are interested in a working career for the new puppy, I’d direct you to our Michael Ellis series of DVDs.  We haven’t found a better system for training dogs from start to finish.

Please check out our streaming video section and go to the Michael Ellis lecture. It’s a free series of video clips that outlines Michael’s system and philosophy.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Working Puppies.


Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Search Engine. This search engine was written specifically for Leerburg by our in house IT manager. Our search engine is specific to Leerburg and only searches leerburg.com and the Leerburg web forum. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

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