Veterinarian Not Giving Up On Puppy That Bit Owner

A young German Shepherd puppy was going to be put down after sending his owner to the hospital with several bite wounds, but then veterinarian Dr. Ryan Zimmerman gave the puppy a lifesaving second chance.

A young German Shepherd puppy was going to be put down after sending his owner to the hospital with several bite wounds, but then veterinarian Dr. Ryan Zimmerman gave the puppy a lifesaving second chance.

Barb and Phil Kerbel surrendered their German Shepherd puppy Kane after he bit Barb several times sending her to the hospital. Barb tried to put Kane outside when a cat ran through the kitchen triggering an attack which led to injuries on the woman’s hands, leg and wrist. “Our normal procedure in a situation like this is to euthanize the dog and send it to be tested for rabies,” said Sandusky County Dog Warden John Glass. Kane was spared when Dr. Zimmerman stepped in and said he wanted to try to work with the puppy.

Glass contacted the Kerbels who signed off on the request to not euthanize the puppy. Dr. Zimmerman has worked with lots of pets with behavioral issues and says sometimes a dog just needs socialization. Many trainers agree that especially early in a puppy’s life socialization is critical. The puppy’s attack on his previous owner is alarming. “For a 17-week-old puppy to do that much damage, it’s really concerning,” said John Brown, a behavior technician at the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office.

Zimmerman plans to work with the puppy to figure out if there are things that set him off. In the first 24 hours he spent with Zimmerman he has not reacted to a cat that walks around the clinic. “He shows normal curiosity toward the cat,” said Zimmerman. “He’ll sit for treats. “We’re not trying to push him; we want to ease into it. But so far, there’s not a lot of indications that this is a dog that’s dangerous from his behavior.” “We won’t adopt him out unless we are absolutely sure there’s no more risk with him,” said Dr. Zimmerman.

12 thoughts on “Veterinarian Not Giving Up On Puppy That Bit Owner

  1. I hate the fact that the automatic response is to take the dog’s life in these situations…. no animal, bites without cause.

  2. Thank You! He’s gonna be just fine with your help 🙂 Away from an ignorant owner! Again, thanks for reaching out to him!

    1. It sounds like they cared about the dog, but not everyone is prepared to deal with a strong-willed dog. They may not have the knowledge about dog training, they may not have the extra time this dog will take over the course of a lifetime. After having been bitten badly, the wife’s desire to have a dog AT ALL may have changed! Let’s not blame her for not wanting to live with a dog she’s afraid of or can’t trust. They may be wanting to have a child, and be worried that this dog cannot be trained to be safe around an infant.

  3. At 17-weeks old, he is barely old enough for puppy training. Awful that they wouldn’t have given him a chance. My puppy drew blood at that age; now he wouldn’t dream of biting me or anyone else!

    1. 17 weeks is nearly four months old, my pup started training when he was eight weeks old at the breeder’s. Basic manners.

  4. Once boarded a shepherd (when I was raising them) for a friends daughter whose husband was overseas-this dog bit both of them and other people as a puppy and I was told to just put him a pen and not go in with him. He became frightened in a storm and I took him in the house on a leash- never had any problems while I had him but he knew I would not put up with anything either. Later after she moved away he killed her cocker that he was raised with and severaly bit another person and she finally had him put down. When he was just an older pup she took him to a well known dog trainer who recommened having him put down and if she had she could have saved the life of anther dog at a shelter who was not dangerous but just put down for being alive. She would have been a great owner and not spend years suffering wondering what “Blackie” was going to do the next moment. There are people and animals out there that are just plain crazy and do not need to be unleashed on the public!

  5. We adopted a 7 week-old pitbull/pitbull mix and the first week with us he wasn´t very pleasant. Growling and biting, biting in stead of giving kisses which would be the normal. But the pup was probably most of all stressed. He was taken away from his mother 5 weeks old and got into a family with small kids and a mum who was afraid of dogs. We took over, and within a week we had the friendliest pup in the world. He, now 7 months old, still isn´t physically very affectionate, not the way pitbulls, including our female, usually are – and he will probably never be. He does “friendly” biting occasionally. We are doing the best to get him out of that habit – people who don´t know him get scared. But he is otherwise the friendliest dog, with kids, other dogs – everyone. Also cats.
    Do give especially pups a chance!!! The German Shephard pup was in a stressful and new situation. Socialize him and everything will probably be ok!

  6. “Friendly biting” from a 7 mth old dog???? ANY biting/nipping past a young puppy who is still learning (any breed) can show an aggressive/dominant tendacy and/or also lack of obedience. Your other comments about your dog raises red flags also. I hope you are working with a well educated trainer who understands and works with your breed.

  7. all dogs nip from getting there teeth throu its down to you as a responsible owner to start training your pup as soon as you get him her home most ppl go wrong pointing fingers at there dog when saying no I bread 2 litters of german shepards pups and started basic training as soon as they were on the move about 4 weeks old and very proud to say they have all turned out to be amazing pets only ever had a problem with 1 and it was down to her owner pointing at her when her was telling her no so she would bite his fingers as soon as I told him to stop sticking his finger in her face she realized he wasn’t playing and never did it again.

  8. If that dog was a pitbull, they would have immediately put him to sleep. I’m glad this GSD is getting a second chance. It’s still a puppy and can learn a lot.

  9. ALL puppies bite – its what they do! We don’t KILL them though – we teach them to behave properly but it takes time and patience.

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