or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › If your dog bit your child...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

If your dog bit your child...

post #1 of 120
Thread Starter 
If your family dog bit your child in the face, what would you do?
post #2 of 120
Rehome the dog to a home with no children, or have him put to sleep, depending on the aggressiveness of the act (was he just reacting to a strong tail pull or was the child minding his or her business).

DH would probably not even ask questions but take the dog out back himself. I don't agree with that personally, that's what his mother did when he was attacked by the family dog as a child, and he's said that's what he'd do too.
post #3 of 120
As much as we love our dog, we'd have him put down. He's got pretty strong allergies so he'd be hard to rehome and I couldn't take the chance that he'd bite some else's guest even if he went to a no child home.

My dad's dog frequently gives warning nips as he hates children. That's going to be hard to deal with when we visit but I know how horrible it could be if DS even touched that dog. He's given kids warning nips/growls for even walking near his edge of the couch while he was curled up there. There is absolutely no way that dog could ever live with us and I see the danger even though he lives in a no child household.
post #4 of 120
What was the situation leading to the bite? Yes it matters to me on making a decision.
Even the most tolerant/docile dog can be tormented to the extreme and have a breaking point...
post #5 of 120
It really depends on the dog, the child, and the circumstances.

In our case, our chihuahua nipped my son in the face when he was a year old. We opted to keep the dog (she is very small and we were relatively confident we could prevent further bites by keeping them separated). We've never had another problem, and he is 6 now.

Best of luck to you and your family - I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you!
post #6 of 120
I am sorry if this happened to you.

I would take the dog to the vet and see if it had anything wrong with it - pain can cause aggression.

I would also look at the circumstances around the bite - was it a nip? Was the child teasing the dog - or startled the dog from a deep sleep? etc

If the child was old enough to be trained to not do whatever it had done to cause the bite - i might work on that.

If I felt the dog was not solely at fault, but I could not trust the child to behave (perhaps due to the child being really young), I would rehome the dog.

After considerring all of the above, if I felt the dog was needlessly aggressive, I would have him put down. Truly aggressive dogs should not be rehomed.
post #7 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I am sorry if this happened to you.

I would take the dog to the vet and see if it had anything wrong with it - pain can cause aggression.

I would also look at the circumstances around the bite - was it a nip? Was the child teasing the dog - or startled the dog from a deep sleep? etc

If the child was old enough to be trained to not do whatever it had done to cause the bite - i might work on that.

If I felt the dog was not solely at fault, but I could not trust the child to behave (perhaps due to the child being really young), I would rehome the dog.

After considerring all of the above, if I felt the dog was needlessly aggressive, I would have him put down. Truly aggressive dogs should not be rehomed.
I did all of this and I did behavior training and had a behavior assessment by one of the best in the country, who happened to reside in my city.

Nothing was to be done. We had to put our dog down.

I would not recommend this until all of the above is done.
post #8 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
What was the situation leading to the bite? Yes it matters to me on making a decision.
Even the most tolerant/docile dog can be tormented to the extreme and have a breaking point...
I agree with the above. If for some reason I felt we couldn't keep our dog, I would re-home her to a child-free relative who I know really wants her and would take excellent care of her, but I'd really consider the circumstances before doing this.
post #9 of 120
Quote:
I am sorry if this happened to you.

I would take the dog to the vet and see if it had anything wrong with it - pain can cause aggression.

I would also look at the circumstances around the bite - was it a nip? Was the child teasing the dog - or startled the dog from a deep sleep? etc

If the child was old enough to be trained to not do whatever it had done to cause the bite - i might work on that.

If I felt the dog was not solely at fault, but I could not trust the child to behave (perhaps due to the child being really young), I would rehome the dog.

After considerring all of the above, if I felt the dog was needlessly aggressive, I would have him put down. Truly aggressive dogs should not be rehomed.
This is how I feel as well.

Also, if a young child was left unattended with the dog, and was roughly pulling its tail or ears or otherwise bothering/hurting it, and the dog retaliated, to ME this is clearly not the dog's fault. Even well-trained and docile animals will retaliate in some situations, and to ME this is clearly the parents' fault for not supervising better.

However, if the dog, largely unprovoked, attacked, it's a totally different story.

We have a golden retriever who is very gentle with the kids, yet I always feel that it is my responsibility to protect him from the kids and vice versa. I will leave the two older kids alone with him, because I know they won't provoke him, but I never left them alone with him when they were younger and wouldn't with the baby now. I feel that no matter how gentle and wonderful an animal is, you can never 100% trust a dog not to bite/attack.
post #10 of 120
We went through this last fall. I also highly suggest taking the dog to a behaviorist, we did, her suggestion was putting the dog down. We ended up finding a miracle of last minute home for him with no children, and years of experience working with aggressive dogs. Had that home not come though then I was prepared for the worst. It was the hardest decision of my life honestly, he was a member of our family, but my children's safety comes first.
post #11 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post
We went through this last fall. I also highly suggest taking the dog to a behaviorist, we did, her suggestion was putting the dog down. We ended up finding a miracle of last minute home for him with no children, and years of experience working with aggressive dogs. Had that home not come though then I was prepared for the worst. It was the hardest decision of my life honestly, he was a member of our family, but my children's safety comes first.
I still cry about it and it was over two years ago. Giz attacked my son twice and numerous attacks on my husband. Giz felt I was his property and no amount of training from us helped the situation. It was horribly depressing. I held him as the techs/vet administered the medicine. I;m crying right now thinking about it.

Seriously LAST resort.
post #12 of 120
This is not going to be a popular answer... but in my situation with our dog, I would have the dog put down. I absolutely would NOT risk the same thing happening twice. Also, our dog is a pit bull mix... and looks mostly like a pit. I think it would be near impossible to rehome a pit bull with a bite in her history. Plus, she has food allergies and requires expensive food... so I think putting her down would be the route we chose to take.
post #13 of 120
If I felt the bite was unprovoked, I'd probably put the dog down. If there was provocation, then I'd probably work with the dog and rehome him/her as soon as possible. That said, a lot of the times I've found the provocation is usually due to not so great supervision between dog and younger child.
post #14 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny View Post
This is how I feel as well.

Also, if a young child was left unattended with the dog, and was roughly pulling its tail or ears or otherwise bothering/hurting it, and the dog retaliated, to ME this is clearly not the dog's fault. Even well-trained and docile animals will retaliate in some situations, and to ME this is clearly the parents' fault for not supervising better.

However, if the dog, largely unprovoked, attacked, it's a totally different story.

We have a golden retriever who is very gentle with the kids, yet I always feel that it is my responsibility to protect him from the kids and vice versa. I will leave the two older kids alone with him, because I know they won't provoke him, but I never left them alone with him when they were younger and wouldn't with the baby now. I feel that no matter how gentle and wonderful an animal is, you can never 100% trust a dog not to bite/attack.
Great post. I've read quite a few stories online about people being torn regarding dog bites on their kids. Yet describing the situation, it seems totally preventable! In a few instances, sure, dogs just don't like children and may bite unprovoked. But you cannot leave a young child and a dog alone even for a second. Pet ownership is a responsibility that some do not take seriously enough.
post #15 of 120
I would definitely put the dog down- no doubt about it.
post #16 of 120
I would put it down, no question. Nothing that could be wrong with the dog would even make a difference to me. It happened to my dd, it was someone elses dog. It not only changed her appearance for life but also it changed her in every way.
post #17 of 120
This happened when we were kids. My parents bred springer spaniels, and one of the male breeders bit my hand. They placed an ad for him to be re-homed to a childfree owner. He was a fantastic hunting dog, and nearly double the size of most standard springers-he just didn't have any manners or lights on upstairs. The day the man came to get him, he bit my younger sister's face! The man took him anyway....I just hope he never allowed that dog around children.

My dad REALLY wanted to take him out back and shoot him, but because of Uno's hunting talent he stopped himself.
post #18 of 120
Thread Starter 
Our family dog bit our daughter last night. I didn't know my husband had just fed the dog and my one year old daughter crawled into the dining room where his bowl is located. She wasn't "near" him or pulling on him or harassing him in any form when he turned at bit her in the face... growls, snarls, and everything. I know my dog inside and out and his bite on her was very intentional and he meant to hurt her.

I've done extensive training with this dog already as he is very poorly bred and has a very poor temperament due to that poor breeding. Two seconds of unsupervised time with my daughter landed her in the ER having to have stitches on her nose and lip. Yes, it could have been worse. Yes, it happened because we (as parents) failed to protect our daughter and our dog from this situation.

But I've always felt in my heart that my dog is a ticking time bomb. Despite the years of training I've put into him he's still an incredibly unstable dog. I've done all the training tricks and what have you with the end results of knowing that my dog has severe limitations that can't be trained out and it's up to me to keep him from the situations that I know are dangerous. I've failed and my daughter paid the price.

I think I need to have the dog put down. My husband is having a hard time coming to terms with this. But he knows as well as I do that this dog is not rehomeable due to all his issues, even without his new bite history.
post #19 of 120
My first concern would obviously be my child-- plastic surgery, etc. Then I would put the dog down.
post #20 of 120
This actually happened in my family.

My brother was eating a hotdog (he was 2 I think...if that old) and one of our dachshunds jumped up and grabbed it from his mouth. My mother said, "Nope, we're done." The dogs (they were sisters and couldn't be separated) were gone within the week. She'd had those dogs longer than I'd been alive. She said it was probably an accident but she didn't want to take that chance.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › If your dog bit your child...