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Discussion Starter #1
i'm not an active member of the forum, but i do try to read many of the posts and learn from everyone.

i would like to ask some advice because tonight, max, my 4 y.o. lab jumped up and mouthed someone on the arm as we were entering our apt. rear lobby. a woman and her husband were just coming to the corner as we entered and came to the corner also. max was on my left next to the wall, and the woman and i almost bumped into each other. max jumped when she backed away from me. he's never done this before and it took me by surprise, and the woman as well. he immediately stopped on command and sat down. she said she was unhurt, but this is unacceptable behavior. i apologized over and over and asked if she was alright, and listened to her reprimand me and tell me max was a dangerous dog. i don't know what triggered it altho the doorman said the woman was fiddling with something red on her arm as she was walking, and before we went out, he had been playing with a new red toy. i exchanged apt. numbers with her husband, who happens to be a lawyer. aside from apologizing and making sure she was alright, what else can i do? right now i am very worried that this will turn into a bad situation. thank you for any comments/advice.
 

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I'm not a lawyer but I wouldn't have thought they could litigate if she was unhurt.

Max was probably taken by surprise as she rounded the corner, and he reacted defensively. It certainly sounds that way from your description, and from him immediately following your commands.
 

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Wow! I hope the lady is okay and nothing more happens with regard to this incident.

Legal: Sit down and write out everything that happened and was said as accurately as you possibly can. Excruciating detail. Did the doorman or anyone else see what happened? See if you can get them to write down what they saw, or if they agree with what you wrote, cosign it. Just have it, in case. Memory tends to change as time passes for all parties.

Did your dog attack or was it greeting her? If it was more attack like, I would consider some training on this type of situation and definitely avoid allowing the situation to recur. Not much help, but you need to protect yourself in case, and you certainly don't want the dog tagged as aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for your replies. i have written everything down as suggested by endofile. max did not bark, growl, lunge or bare teeth, etc. before or after jumping. he normally is not too interested in people unless they show an interest in him, so him suddenly doing that really surprised me. could it be he was reacting to my almost bumping into the woman and her backing away that he thought something was wrong? or did he think it was his red toy she had?

i am worried because i live in nyc, and it can become a bad situation depending on the people. altho my building is dog friendly, many many non-dog people live here. max is also a black lab.

i will call the trainer tomorrow and ask for help too. max has his yearly checkup next week too so i will have the vet check him thoroughly in case it's something else that is bothering him that i have missed.
 

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Its sounds to me the Lab was greeting the lady…weather it was unintentional or not. Maybe the red toy triggered a reflex in the lab where he was just playing with a red toy.

Keep the record you took by Endofiles advice. There are too many litigation Happy people out there these days especially if this guy is a lawyer.

I would if you can afford it immediately enroll in an obedience class, even if nothing comes out of the event you may learn a few things about controlling your lab and general training items it will be money well spent.

If something does come up in litigation. It will also show that you addressed the situation quite seriously BEFORE anything was filed.

Best of luck and keep reading things on this board. Money can not pay for the good advice found on this board.

good luck
 

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Perhaps too have a friendly short chat with the doorman that saw this for things like his full name and contact information (witness-just in case :scared: ) and if you contact a trainer/obedience class, keep all receipts, paper, notes of said trainer/class. (again, to be able to prove you have taken a proactive approach)

I sure hope nothing comes of this minor incident. Wishing you and Max the best.
 

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awwwww poor Max and poor you

it sounds to me like he just reacted to the woman being in his space ...perhaps even playfully but I think you are wise to sort it out

a 4 month old puppy is still a baby so it's important that you NOT worry too much - he'll make mistakes and if you get really anxious about it you can create a reactive dog without much work :(

hang in there and keep working on stranger greetings
 

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i have written everything down as suggested by endofile.
Please have the doorman and any other witnesses read and sign what you wrote. Do it now before their memories fade, as Ed suggested.
 

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I would also follow Endofile's advice, seeing as how the husband is a lawyer, if anything does come of it you will be prepared. As for a four month old puppy mouthing someone, some dogs are mouthy and some aren't. They just need to be taught that, that is not acceptable behavior. I know a GR and another lab that are 1 to 2 years old and both are very mouthy. The GR, as soon as I go up to give him lovins, he grabs my arm. I think he's reciprocating and that's just his way to show it. In no way is he aggressive. The other lab is the same way. Sort of like when they carry their favorite toy around with lots of tail wags and wiggle butts. I know these two dogs well and like I said it is not aggressive coming from them. I always correct them, sadly their owners don't. I think your dog was reacting from you two bumping together, maybe he thought it was play time!
 

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I read the post to say he was 4 years, not 4 months. Two completely different scenarios on training/retraining in my opinion.
 

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I'm sorry, I misunderstood. That does change things. In that case, I'm not sure why he would do that unless he felt threatened. Maybe he thought he had to defend you.
 

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Just based on what you say, it sound slike to me he was greeting the lady and probably associated playing with his red toy with the red on her arm. If he didn't lunge, growl, etc. I highly doubt he was being aggressive or trying to attack.

I think you are wise to follow the advice and mention it to your trainer and vet. I think the woman was off base too saying he is a dangerous dog. True not everyone likes having a large black dog greet them, but that doesn't make the dog dangerous!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thank you all for the advice. i will ask the doorman if he will sign the description i wrote of what happened. i spoke with a trainer today, and we are enrolling in a refresher obedience course that begins next week. i asked about a leash agression class they offer, but the trainer didn't think we needed that. max is a delta dog, so any additional training we get is always a plus. we just came from a walk by the river, and he was fine. however, i got tense when we reached the back door again.

dog people might be more understanding of what happened, but nevertheless, max should not jump and never use his mouth, even in play. the bldg. is more tolerant of the little dogs with poor manners, but the few big dogs have to be perfect. i just wonder why he did that and what sign i might have missed that it was going to happen. i'm still a nervous wreck though.

the members of the forum always offer good, sound advice when needed. thank you.
 
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Did he break the skin?

When Dale was a puppy he'd jump up and grab the arm of anyone who entered my home, and try and pull them around....it was in pure excitement but for a 6 or 7 month old male, he was brusing my mom and whoever else came in. We enrolled him in classes, and were instructed to substitute the arm with a toy. So now when people come in, he always grabs a toy and runs around making these excited noises.....he sounds like a seal, but he is mouthy when excited....you can see he chomps down on his toy as he runs in circles.

Im not sure if your describing the same thing because you used the word "mouthed' was the dog scared or happy? Depending on the answer, the trainer will handle it differently.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
justine,

no skin broken. i'm not even sure if max actually got her arm in his mouth, it was so fast, but he did jump. she was wearing a quilted/down type jacket last night as it was chilly in the city. there was no torn clothing. i don't think he was scared, but maybe surprised as we all arrived at the corner at the same time from opposite directions. she was doing something with her arm acc. to the guy at the security desk. there was no growling, barking, teeth, lunging, etc. before or after the jump, and he immediately sat down after my "no" and didn't move. he wears a gentle leader, and he is on a short lead coming and going in the bldg., so as soon as he jumped, i pulled down. but she and i were close enough that one more step would have caused us to bump into one another.

max does know to get a toy when people come to visit.
 
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