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Sudden aggressive behaviour ?

asked 2018-07-06 23:50:53 -0500

I feed and pet a stray dog regularly . Just a few days back I went to feed him his favourite food ( chicken ) but it didn't show any interest in it and gradually walked towards me as I strived to pet him as I calmly retreated back but it bit me on my thighs ( slightly above the knees ) and as I tried to unlock his jaws he grabbed my right hand ( lower forearm ) and pushed me on the ground and vehemently continued to try to detach my arms from my body but somehow I managed to get a stone in my left hand off the ground and hit him with it , he ran but from a distance he looked back and began to come back but I threw the stone at him and he finally left me alone . Next day ,he was nowhere to be seen until the evening ,he followed me with a wagging tail ( as though nothing had happened and as he had been doing this for more than a year ) the moment I stepped out of my car but I shooed him away . I desperately want to get him back but a part of me still reminds me of the night and compels me to think what if there was a kid or an elderly and I badly regret my decision of hitting him and this is killing me on the inside that I hit him . So , should I get him back ? Was I right to hit him ? Why did he behave like that abruptly ( he is perfectly healthy )?

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you were not wrong for hitting him. at that moment you had to do what was best for you. why he did it will most likely remain a mystery. i would suggest not getting him back. only for your own safety. if it randomly happened one time it might happen again.

Jennifer M.'s profile image Jennifer M.  ( 2018-07-16 09:41:44 -0500 ) edit

No mystery. It's a stray dog. May be sick, in pain, scared, confused. Feeding and touching a stray/lost dog is NOT a good idea.

Lenka L.'s profile image Lenka L.  ( 2018-07-21 17:38:13 -0500 ) edit

First of all,I want to thank you for your concerns and help..,local animal control has taken care of the dog now and I went to the ER next morning.Though I wanted to adopt it but I didn't as I had kids living with me.

Aditya S.'s profile image Aditya S.  ( 2018-07-21 23:39:19 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2018-07-07 16:15:32 -0500

You should call animal control and have the dog captured, no dog should be living on the street.

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answered 2018-07-21 17:19:01 -0500

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hope you've been to the doctor to get your wounds treated because dog bites frequently get infected. In addition, unless you are somehow certain that the dog is up-to-date on his rabies shots, he should be checked for rabies to make sure you haven't contracted rabies.

As far as why he did this, it could be either a behavioral issue (sudden territorial behavior, guarding a resource you weren't away of like a carcass nearby, responding to a perceived threat) or a medical issue like Lyme disease or another disease that can cause sudden aggressive behavior.

You may not be aware, but some states consider you an "owner" of an animal if you regularly provide for it in some way, even if it does not live in your home or on your property. Regularly feeding this dog may make you liable for its behavior, so if it bites someone else and they find out you've been feeding it, you could be held legally responsible. Even if someone finds out you feed it and it's just roaming free (illegal in many states...most states I believe), you could get in trouble for not containing it.

As far as hitting it with a rock, you were absolutely 100% in the right. You defended yourself from certain death if you'd just lied there and done nothing or simply tried to push or kick him away. I understand feeling guilty because you care for the dog and never would have wanted it hurt, but there is nothing else you could have done except allow the dog to kill you.

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I am really thankful for your concerns.,and yes I went to the ER as soon as I could and I informed the local animal control ( though I was thinking of adopting him but after that incident I couldn't take him in as I already had two kids living in my house and I decided I didn't want any risk )

Aditya S.'s profile image Aditya S.  ( 2018-07-21 23:28:04 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-07-21 17:42:04 -0500

Out of curiosity, how do you know that a stray dog is perfectly healthy?? Feeding a stray is not a good idea. Touching a stray dog is not a good idea. I hope you went to ER immediately! A stray dog can be infected with diseases, viruses, infections and you better pray to God he was vaccinated against rabies.

If you find a stray dog, you call animal control so they can scan for a chip and return to the owner. If no chip, they will take it to the shelter where the dog will be checked out and vaccinated.

You can't blame a dog for his behavior though. It's an animal. Please to to ER and get your wounds cleaned out.

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I have informed the animal control.Besides,nearly three months back,I had taken him to vet and he was totally fine back then so I thought he must be healthy now . Thank you

Aditya S.'s profile image Aditya S.  ( 2018-07-21 23:42:23 -0500 ) edit

I am glad to hear you did inform them and you took him to see the vet. Not all diseases can be seen by just one visit, that's why I asked. See, like my own dog, all vets kept saying he's fine until I found a specialist and had a $400 test done + xrays.

Lenka L.'s profile image Lenka L.  ( 2018-07-21 23:56:11 -0500 ) edit

But if you took him to the vet, why didn't you keep him then? You put him back in the streets? No, I am not upset, I am just curious why you'd do that?

Lenka L.'s profile image Lenka L.  ( 2018-07-21 23:57:03 -0500 ) edit

I didn't take him initially because I already had a dog Jaime and a cat JoJo and have two kids and I have to handle them all ( alone ) and I began to feed him Because he was malnourished and unhealthy ( by the looks of it ) .

Aditya S.'s profile image Aditya S.  ( 2018-07-22 00:20:00 -0500 ) edit

One of the kids told me that the dog belonged to an elderly woman who was his owner just for the name sake., So after I would feed and pet him ,he would leave.But for last four or five months , he wouldn't go and live around my house but nobody came looking for him and thereafter I had few trips

Aditya S.'s profile image Aditya S.  ( 2018-07-22 00:56:41 -0500 ) edit

To the vet but didn't take him in because I thought his owner might show up and I didn't want to be involved in any nuisance.

Aditya S.'s profile image Aditya S.  ( 2018-07-22 00:58:47 -0500 ) edit

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