My dog just bit someone!

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Mother Hen
11 Years
Nov 11, 2008
Trenton, FL
I am so upset I don't know what to do! He is a almost 2 yr old Golden Retriever in my fenced yard. He is my kids best friend. I have him, his "sister" who is a black lab mix and another much older dog. He is the only one I have had a problem. This is the 2nd person he has bit since December. The first was the neighbor across the street who reached in the fence and the 2nd was just now the mailman was putting a package in the box on the outside of the fence. Sonny jumped up and got him on the arm. He was also pepper sprayed by the meter reader who came in the yard at the beginning of the month. We have a 5 acre property, totally fenced, my dogs have NEVER been out of my yard except to go to the vet, and now one has bit 2 people! I don't get it. I do have 2 large Beware of Dogs signs on the fence. I feel terrible for the people that have been bit but what can I do? Both times my dogs were on my property. I already found out what day the meter reader is coming next month so I can make sure the dog is locked on the porch. The thing is, is that if I meet the person at the gate and they drive in and get out he is their best friend. It's only people standing at the gate that the dog is having a problem with.
Is there any way to correct this problem? Does he think he is just protecting his property/kids?
This is the same Mail person we have always had and he has always put the packages in the box for us. Now he says he won't because he technically isn't supposed to be getting out of his vehicle if there is a dog in sight. I don't blame him but I want to strangle this dog now! I don't know if I can break him of this or how I would even go about trying to break him.
Any help would be appreciated.

This is a picture of him......


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
It sounds like he missed the ever important socializing stage if he hasn't ever been out of the yard, except to visit the vets. Socializing from the very start of puppyhood is one of the most important things anyone can do for their dog to help prevent this sort of behavior.

At this age, it isn't very likely that you will be able to break him of the biting habit. I would recommend talking to a trainer of your vet about this issue, before someone really gets hurt and you end up on the liability end of things.

So sorry you are having to deal with this.


11 Years
Sep 3, 2008
I know this may sound harsh but if that was my dog, he wouldn't be walking this earth anymore. He is clearly aggressive and needs to be handled as such. If you don't wish to destroy him, you may try obedience classes, but at this age, he's not going to be the most willful student.

Having said that, I have 2 dogs and neither was ever allowed to so much as growl at any person. For the first 6 or so months with either of them they were handled in every conceivable way to ensure they know human outranks dog. Now, neither of them was bought with intention of a guard dog.

You are probably very right about the property guarding thing. If he's got a run of the place and doesn't go anywhere else, it's become his territory and he may feel threatened by strangers. Especially ones that are approaching the boundary.

My vote is for him to go to 'doggie' heaven. It's rough, but I don't believe a violent animal, or person, can be rehabilitated 100%.

Good luck,


English Chick

English Mum
11 Years
Jun 27, 2008
Cheshire UK
Sounds to me like he is doing what he is supposed to do and that is protect you all, you where not around for him to see, and someone entered the property......perhaps it might be a good idea to have a "wireless" bell at the gate, people ring the bell and you go to them rather then they come on the grounds.

he is beautiful dog, I would love to have him!


The Madd Hatcher
10 Years
Feb 26, 2009
Southern Pines, NC
Years ago I had a dog that had never had a problem with anyone, until he was pepper sprayed by the post man! I guess the mailman freaked out (big dog) and sprayed him, and from that day forward he tried to attack anyone that came to the door!!
I think you can retrain him, it will take alot of work and patience on your part! I"m sorry you are having this problem!


Runs with Deer
11 Years
Jul 14, 2008
Derby Kansas
They have that show is it on animal planet? called the "dog whisperer"? or there's also another one. I've seen them work miracles with dogs.


11 Years
May 8, 2008
My Border Collie was and still is well socialized and he is VERY protective of "his" people and property. He hasnt bitten anyone. But we make sure that he isnt put into a situation where he might get that chance.

It was soon after the birth of our daughter that he just went crazy when ever the PO delivery, UPS or anyone else he didnt know came up to the house. Our "original" mail man had mentioned to us that the guy covering for him had pepper sprayed several dogs. Since we found that out we have always wondered if our dog had been pepper sprayed as well.
He is perfectly fine with other dogs, cats, chickens and people. Just loose in the yard, or if he notices delivery people.. that is when he gets a bit nutty.
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Black Feather

12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
That's terrible that this is happening!

I think you may have to have to take a long hard look at the situation. Is your dog fix for starters? If not that would be my first suggestion. Next 'd get him to a reputable trainer asap and also have him checked by the vet. A shock collar would be something to invest in and correct him for acting aggressively when people come near the fence....under the supervision of an experienced trainer.

It sounds like you may be allowing him to have the run of the place, therefore he thinks he's the boss. He has to be re-trained to understand that 'you' are the leader and decide who comes and goes, not him. Do not allow him outside unless he is supervised and kennel him at other times or keep him in the house. Do not allow him to do things such as go ahead of you through doors, up stairs etc....that's what leaders do....they go first. He is not the leader, you are. This will probably take some major re-training, and time on your part. The question is, are you good for it, are you willing to put the effort in?

The problem is, will you ever be able to truely trust him? This is not a small matter or something to ignore, aggressive dogs are NOT something you want to be liable for. What if a child wanders into you yard or puts a hand through the fence?

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11 Years
Jul 31, 2008
thats always a tough situation...hopefully some retraining...i hope all his shots are up to date you may need them if the mail man reports this


Mother Hen
11 Years
Nov 11, 2008
Trenton, FL
Thanks for the reply. I don't know what other socialization he can have. He is around people always and is around horses, my chickens and ducks, he loves cats and even the next door neighbor's chihuahua comes over to play with him. The mail man is the same that he has always seen, the farrier comes every 6 weeks, the meter reader is here every month with never a problem until recently. Even the fence people that put in our new pasture fence in January came and went with no problems at all with him. My husband was wondering if someone pepper sprayed him at the gate and made him afraid of people at the gate which is why he is being aggressive towards them. I don't know, I am grasping at straws. I know he was sprayed a couple of weeks ago and then today by the mailman.
He isn't locked in a yard and forgotten about. He is leash trained, crate trained, and house broken. They all frequently come in the house for the afternoon and snooze. I will add to that all of my dogs are spayed/neutered. I'm just not getting this recent behaviour change. The next door kids also come and go with no problems either (although they come through the side gate at the horse pasture).
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