Do I tell owners that their dog bit me? [closed]

asked 2016-07-23 09:14:11 -0500

I have an adult, INTACT male husky who is being boarded for 9 days. Aside from the fact that he pees everywhere, howls incessently throughout the night, cannot be left in the yard unsupervised or closed off in any part of the house without my direct presence, he also becomes very aggressive and throws a tantrum whenever he does not want to do something.

He does not like or want to be "locked up" or "restrained", and he completely freaks out if he feels that either is taking place. Closed doors and leashes included. When I go to put him in his crate, he growls, jumps on top of me, and snaps at my hand. He got me twice, and the last time drew blood. He also has growled at me with strong eye contact when I pushed in front of him to get to the back door while we were in the yard together. In short, he is unstable, dominant, and becomes human-aggressive at the drop of a hat. I have tried treats, letting him follow me over the house, lots of petting, and every trick in the book. I've never even been bitten by pets whose owners tell me will probably bite! This dog is a total nightmare. The owners consider him their "big baby", which is probably where his spoiled attitude comes from.

What do I do with this dog? Am I supposed to report the bite? Do I tell the owners that he has bitten several people while he was here? Do I tell them that I have to replace a $200 crate and two door knobs as the result of his stay? I'll never board this dog ever again, but do I tell them that NOW, or only if they ever call to reschedule?

He goes home tomorrow, thank God. For now, I'm keeping him confined in his crate and away from everybody just for safety's sake until he is picked up.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Jessica M.
close date 2016-08-06 11:12:46.077236


of course you should tell the owners (and Rover) about the bite! dog bites are scary because they can mean so many different things (playfulness, aggression, teething, who knows!) and the dog's motive can be really hard to determine. a playful bite, if under certain circumstances, could turn ugly.

Nina O.'s profile image Nina O.  ( 2016-07-28 14:45:06 -0500 ) edit

there's no guarantee that a dog who's never bitten anyone before won't bite in the future, so i think owners definitely need to know if / any time their dog bites. you'd actually be doing a courtesy to them by telling them, and could be saving them future legal issues if the dog bites again.

Nina O.'s profile image Nina O.  ( 2016-07-28 14:46:37 -0500 ) edit

3 Answers

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answered 2016-07-23 13:15:27 -0500

The answer to all your questions is yes. Yes, you should report the bite. Yes, you should notify Rover. Yes, you should tell the owner about the bites. Yes, you should tell the owner about the damage to your crate, although they are under no obligation to reimburse you for it. Property damage is a cost of doing business and you can deduct the cost of a new one on your taxes (i.e., a business expense).

As for the dog, you have no way of knowing how many others he has bitten and I'd bet this has happened before but no one has reported the dog. Biting is not acceptable behavior and needs to be not only addressed but looked into by the appropriate authorities. Then, perhaps, the owners won't respond so cavalierly to how their "big baby'" acts.

There is an excellent thread about this here:


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I feel like it might be silly to report it to the authorities, since any time you groom/train/board you are going to have problems with dogs. I'm taking property damage as a "casualty of war" as well. I hope I can find a way to casually mention it to them in a way that doesn't make ME look bad.

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2016-07-23 15:48:08 -0500 ) edit

Texas has the one-bite rule. Getting the the dog's history of biting on record is very important. IMO, it doesn't matter that you are in the pet care business. You need to error on the side of caution, discuss this with the owner and get the incident documented.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-07-23 16:41:37 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-07-25 16:10:23 -0500

Thats Waaaay too much aggression and the makings of a disaster. If allowed, he will hurt you or another sitter. I would let them know that he is unpredictable and not a good candidate for any sitter other than a professional with aggressive dog experience. Boarding is always somewhat stressful for a dog. But stress on an aggressive dog can escalate to attack. It is not wise for you to sit for the dog again.

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answered 2016-07-23 13:36:03 -0500

Keep in mind the pragmatics of being a new sitter (with one review). Reporting the snapping to authorities will likely lead to a negative review.

If it were me, I would report your experience to Rover and follow their guidance since they will presumably protect you from a bad review. They might find another sitter (who is also a trainer) right now, or require that kind of pairing next time (I actually like a problem dog). They might tell you to contact authorities (and protect you from a bad review?). I think at least following Rover's advice would be a defense (compared to doing what you think is right, even if it's the same thing Rover would tell you to do.).

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I do feel that any time you groom/train/board dogs, you are going to have some things that just go with the territory. "Accidents", getting things chewed up, and even bites are all things that I've braced for and addressed as they happen. This dog is special in that he is truly aggressive.

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2016-07-23 15:45:15 -0500 ) edit