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Socialising Scared My Dog And He Cannot Be Shown Now


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We looked for 2 years to find the perfect Vizsla. He is a good looking pup from a line of Australian champions

. I was walking him while he was 16 weeks old near the athletic track at Sylvania Watwrs when a lady with a kelpie walked from the other side of the park asking if her dog could say hello. I was cautious and said he is only a pup and very gentle natured. She insisted her dog loved pups and was very friendly and it would be good for my pups socialisation. Big mistake. As she continue to approach while I held back my dog, her kelpie lunged at my dog, biting his neck and punctuating his ear. All about about 10 bites. She said sorry and walked off while my dog was bleeding. 2 weeks later the scar on his back is starting to heal, but the ear has 5 tooth marks and it seems the hair will not grow back. We were planning on showing him in March and later breeding him. I think he is now scared for life. We are all so upset and I feel guilt and stupid for letting someone bring their dog so close to mine.

The lesson for me; don't trust anyone and any dogs unless you know the owner and dog very well. Better to have a gentle, UN-social perfect dog than the vet trips and life long scars from being savaged by another dog. I wish I had been forceful and told her to take her kelpie back to the farm where it belongs ( I read later that kelpies are in the top 5 for dog bites and not recommended for suburban areas or families)

Edited by cyrus2015
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I honestly doubt one incident will scar your pup for life.

I'd be talking to a trainer.

Don't blame a breed for the actions of one dog. You'd be better off spending some time coming up with a strategy to help your pup to have some positive experiences with dogs.

The only thing stopping your dog from being shown is you.

Edited by Haredown Whippets
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So sorry that this happened to you. Was the kelpie on lead or did the owner simply not recognise the aggression signals? It is more likely the owner's fault than the dog and please don't blame the breed, there are more well-behaved kelpies than badly behaved ones overall.

For the benefit of anyone else hesitating to give permission for another dog to approach your dog - if they are both on firmly held short leads and stopped at least a metre apart while the owners observe their behavior before permitting introductory sniffs, then there is always time to avoid such a disaster.

I would be making every effort to expose this puppy to busy situations and well-socialised dogs - take him, unentered, to dogs shows and walk him about there for a short time, or join an obedience club. This setback still has the potential to be overcome.

Unless the skin on Visla ears is particularly fine, I think 2 weeks is not not enough for a complete hair regrowth, so do not lose hope just yet.

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I honestly doubt one incident will scar your pup for life.

I'd be talking to a trainer.

Don't blame a breed for the actions of one dog. You'd be better off spending some time coming up with a strategy to help your pup to have some positive experiences with dogs.

The only thing stopping your dog from being shown is you.

My dog has bad scars, spots and bite holes through his ear. The hair will not grow back so he will be marked for life

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I honestly doubt one incident will scar your pup for life.

I'd be talking to a trainer.

Don't blame a breed for the actions of one dog. You'd be better off spending some time coming up with a strategy to help your pup to have some positive experiences with dogs.

The only thing stopping your dog from being shown is you.

My dog has bad scars, spots and bite holes through his ear. The hair will not grow back so he will be marked for life

This will not prevent him from being shown. If this happened two weeks ago, I'd not be so sure you won't get regrowth either :)

Edited by Haredown Whippets
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So sorry that this happened to you. Was the kelpie on lead or did the owner simply not recognise the aggression signals? It is more likely the owner's fault than the dog and please don't blame the breed, there are more well-behaved kelpies than badly behaved ones overall.

For the benefit of anyone else hesitating to give permission for another dog to approach your dog - if they are both on firmly held short leads and stopped at least a metre apart while the owners observe their behavior before permitting introductory sniffs, then there is always time to avoid such a disaster.

I would be making every effort to expose this puppy to busy situations and well-socialised dogs - take him, unentered, to dogs shows and walk him about there for a short time, or join an obedience club. This setback still has the potential to be overcome.

Unless the skin on Visla ears is particularly fine, I think 2 weeks is not not enough for a complete hair regrowth, so do not lose hope just yet.

Thanks. Kelpie was on a long lead, mine a short one. The skin and hair is very fine. The bites went right through.. The vet said it is doubtful they will heal. I can trace him back 8 generations and either the male, bitch or both in every generation was an Aust Supreme Champion. Doubt I can every show him.

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Although upsetting to you , a dog with a few scars can certainly be shown, and successfully. If the dog is top shelf no judge worth anything would penalise a few small scars, especially if you very briefly mention that your dog was the victim of a dog attack. If you make a big deal of the scars and draw attention to them they will become a big deal. Just show the dog and let his real qualities shine above the scars.

As for the mental scars, again, me mindful of your dogs experience, but make every effort to move past it asap. You might serve your dog best by turning to a professional trainer for advice.

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Thanks. Kelpie was on a long lead, mine a short one. The skin and hair is very fine. The bites went right through.. The vet said it is doubtful they will heal. I can trace him back 8 generations and either the male, bitch or both in every generation was an Aust Supreme Champion. Doubt I can every show him.

You have said this several times. Why do you doubt it?

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You were hurt and upset about your pup getting badly bitten which is fine for a minute but you need to snap out of it. You are not helping the dog recover in a positive way.

Hunting dogs are often shown with scars. Have you asked your breeder their opinion on the pup's ear? I showed my greyhound bitch with 1/3 of her ear missing, result of a dog bite. I admit it was very skilfully repaired but if looked at properly was easy to see the missing tip.

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I know a bull terrier that was shown successfully - with a broken foot.

So long as the damage was not genetic you can still show - tho anything that looks like a cosmetic modification might take some explaining and a letter from the vet.

I don't let my dog greet any dog that is pulling on lead. Even if the dog is friendly - it's way too excited for a polite greeting and the owner is clueless. I don't let my dog greet other dogs if she is stiff on approach or starts pulling on lead.

With some dogs - we do a three (or less) second greeting - so they don't get overwhelmed with excitement which may lead to bad behaviour.

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We looked for 2 years to find the perfect Vizsla. He is a good looking pup from a line of Australian champions

. I was walking him while he was 16 weeks old near the athletic track at Sylvania Watwrs when a lady with a kelpie walked from the other side of the park asking if her dog could say hello. I was cautious and said he is only a pup and very gentle natured. She insisted her dog loved pups and was very friendly and it would be good for my pups socialisation. Big mistake. As she continue to approach while I held back my dog, her kelpie lunged at my dog, biting his neck and punctuating his ear. All about about 10 bites. She said sorry and walked off while my dog was bleeding. 2 weeks later the scar on his back is starting to heal, but the ear has 5 tooth marks and it seems the hair will not grow back. We were planning on showing him in March and later breeding him. I think he is now scared for life. We are all so upset and I feel guilt and stupid for letting someone bring their dog so close to mine.

The lesson for me; don't trust anyone and any dogs unless you know the owner and dog very well. Better to have a gentle, UN-social perfect dog than the vet trips and life long scars from being savaged by another dog. I wish I had been forceful and told her to take her kelpie back to the farm where it belongs ( I read later that kelpies are in the top 5 for dog bites and not recommended for suburban areas or families)

Oh Dear -

I can understand some of your frustration .. you had your hopes & dreams pinned on this pup's performance /looks ..and now they seem to have vanished .

Do you not love your pup for what he is ? Will you not love him and care for him regardless?

he may well have some hairless spots around tooth holes ...

As for the 'socialisation' My suggestion is to get in touch with the K9 Pro crew ! They are the experts . :)

oh .. and I know a lot of kelpies who thrive in suburbia ....

Edited by persephone
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FWIW I wouldn't label that socialising and I certainly wouldn't be cutting off all social opportunities because of it. Seek a really good trainer out and be ready to put the work in and you should be fine.

Also worth remembering that dogs will pick up on your emotions so be observant when out but not wary or alarmist as that will travel straight down the lead and compound the problem.

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A Siberian Husky won Best in show at Westminster in the US with half an ear (Ch Innisfree's Sierra Cinnar). There are others in Australia who have been record breaking winners with scars (from memory, one top winning Dalmatian for example). Many other dogs have competed with scars of some kind. Don't write you dog off for not being 'perfect' because it may have a scar. Give the judges some credit.

Edited by espinay2
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Friends of ours had a lovely ACD bitch, who lost half an ear in a fight. It was incredibly obvious. She easily obtained her Australian Championship, and that was long before extra points for BOB, as well. She obtained many classes in show. It never held her back. Most judges asked the exhibitor what happened, and many highly exaggerated stories were discussed between the exhibitor and judges !!!

I've seen many dogs with scars, shaved legs from Vet treatment, shaved areas on the body from Vet treatment, etc, all do well in the showring. They are dogs, they obtain injuries, and it would be a very silly judge to dump a good dog, just because the dog was carrying an injury or a scar...

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Thanks all for the encouragement. I love him regardless and will see how we heal.

Just blame myself for not seeing the signs and letting the Kelpie get near him while it is my job to protect him. It was a preventable attack.

Not sure if I will show him but he will be a lovely pet.

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Thanks all for the encouragement. I love him regardless and will see how we heal.

Just blame myself for not seeing the signs and letting the Kelpie get near him while it is my job to protect him. It was a preventable attack.

Not sure if I will show him but he will be a lovely pet.

Don't stick with the blame. You now know not to trust dogs or people that you haven't already vetted yourself. So you have learned something that will prevent this happening again.

The posters in the thread who say that judges won't pay it any mind are right - in any of the breeds who have jobs, including gundogs, scars are not a drama.

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Go ahead and show him cyrus2015. I'd be more worried about mental scars than physical, so hopefully it hasn't knocked his confidence too much. I showed my now 13.5 year old Vizsla at his very first show with a very obvious half healed bite from a bc on his nose and he won baby in show :) My current youngster also had a tooth mark in his head and a shaved leg from an anesthetic for his first shows (I sound like a terrible owner :o ) and he picked up a sweeps placing and baby in group. Both have gone on to title :) Gundogs get scrapes and scars, unless it affects the soundness of the dog or is terribly disfiguring, judges mostly overlook them.

Edited by FHRP
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cyrus2015

Even if you think he has no hope of winning with all the marks - show him anyway - think of it as good practice for when you get a dog that is unblemished (suspect no dog is perfect)... It also will take the pressure off as you won't have any expectations or hang ups about winning.

It's more important to get the feel of competition. And if you don't want to do conformation shows - there are also things called "gun dog shows"... and the gun dog clubs should be able to help with the training that goes with those.

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