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If your dog bit your child... - Page 5

post #81 of 120
In the situation you described the dog would be gone immediately. You could try to "rehome" him, but if he is truly unstable how would you feel if you learned he had hurt another child? We used to have a dog who did not do well with children. At the time we didn't have any but he once chased a neighbor's grandchild outside! He didn't bite her so we didn't put him down, then. But after we had our first child we basically always kept them separated. After a year we had him put down (he was older and had health issues by then, but the child thing was also a big factor).

As far as your husband coming to grips with it, ask him this: What happens if next time the dog goes for your child's throat?

I am sorry your child was hurt and feel bad for the dog as well. But it sounds like tough decisions need to be made in this case.
post #82 of 120
We are going through a similar situation... not so severe though, which in some ways makes it even tougher (in your situation, I think I'd say put him down, though call around first, you never know)... Our dog has nipped at DS on more than one occassion, and always when we were literally right there (I hate to think what would've happened if we weren't in arm's reach!) but he's actually a really good dog, just seems to feel threatened by children & it's been causing lots of issues. We've been keeping DS & the dog apart (i.e. always separate rooms or one outside & one inside) but the dog is suffering from the lack of interaction & it's incredibly stressful to be on guard 24/7. We are planning to have more children so this will probably be an ongoing issue. We finally decided that rehoming him would be best for both our family & our dog... I just contacted a no-kill shelter & it looks like they are willing to take him, I know I am going to bawl my eyes out if this all goes through but I have no more alternatives at this point. I'm also going to give some money to the shelter to help with the expenses but... I feel like I'm shaking off my responsibility on someone else, and I really do love my dog, he was my first 'baby' & it's just heartbreaking.
post #83 of 120
I feel so bad for you OP, I've always had dogs around me and while we are fortunate that our current pup is extremely well behaved around the baby. She allows all of us to literally take food from her dish when she is eating, pull her poke etc. DD actually lays against her and snuggles up to her all the time. Despite how great she is I will never 100% trust her because sometimes things happen and what may look like a bite for no reason to a human has a very clear reason to a dog. I don't believe dog's just bite for "no reason" we as human's just don't get that reason, not that it makes it any better for us.

I am not an advocate of euthanasia except in extreme cases and from what you have described this is an extreme case. It sucks but he clearly cannot be anywhere near your child and unless you could find a situation where he could actually do something near what he was bred to do (i.e working with sheep, cattle whatever), I just don't see how it could work for another owner.

I will say that I am surprised at the number of people here who say they would immediately euthanize their dog for a bite. As another PP pointed out, a toddler's face is often at the exact level of a dog's muzzle, a very logical place a little kid would get bitten if a dog was going to bite. Dog's use their mouths like we use our hands and biting in it's many forms is natural for a dog. Not good for people but I could never ever put my dog down for doing what is in it's nature. Like I said it would have to be an extreme case of aggression and behavior issues that would make me consider it instead of rehoming.
post #84 of 120
I think the face thing is that dogs (from what I've heard) only go for the face if they mean business. If you think about it, another dog's face would be right at muzzle level too, and (from what I understand) dogs don't bite other dogs in the face unless they are actually atacking.

Also, and this may sound callous, there are a lot of dogs out there that get put to sleep every day. Stable dogs, that don't have a history of aggression or nervous biting. If an aggressive dog is rehomed, that displaces a nonagressive dog from finding a home. Either way (in my over-simplistic example) a dog gets put down. And with the unstable dog, there's a greater chance of another human being injured.
We don't want to put *our* dogs down, because we have an emotional connection to them. But in the end, it's not saving a dog from being euthanized.

Ftr, I'm not a "euthanasia as a last resort" type of person. I think their happiness while alive is top priority, and sometimes euthanasia is the best option to keep them from being miserable.
post #85 of 120
I guess I don't think a dog with aggression issues is less worthy of life than a perfectly behaved dog in my mind. Some dogs come with baggage some don't my own dog was sent back to the shelters 3 times before we adopted her and she is lucky to be alive. I totally get that either way a dog is getting euthanized but that isn't the point. The point I was making is that I am simply surprised that some people would euthanize their OWN dog for 1 bite provoked or unprovoked.

As far as face biting, the neck is a far more likely "kill" than the face and having had 2 female dogs that had to be separated all the time because of dominance issues it was always scary to see them go not for each other's faces but for each other's necks. Really scary.

On the other hand my brother as a little kid was bitten on the face by a jack russell that he was harassing and it was clearly just a reaction from the dog one bite and the dog retreated immediately...Then again anecdotal evidence is the worst so I should just stop myself.

I should correct myself I am a complete euthanasia as a last resort person, when it is an otherwise healthy dog that would be happy and fine were it not for the aggression issue or something like that. No animal should suffer unnecessarily. I think most people on here have probably had to put down a pet that was ill or old or both. I know I certainly have more than once.
post #86 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
And... I would not suggest you get another dog until and unless you do not have small children in your home. Any dog.
I respectfully disagree, I think this is a little alarmist. I know plenty of homes with small children and dogs.
post #87 of 120
I am pretty amazed by the amount of people who just flippantly say "I'd put him down" without any info.

After you gave the info, I think that it's *possible* that the best option is to put him down. But I also think I'd at least look at other options (though it seems as though you have).

I grew up in a house with a border collie who was not good around children. We just didn't let her around children. She bit my friend on the ankle while my friend was running around the pool. But, my friend knew perfectly well that our dog herded children around the pool and that she'd get her ankle nipped. I would hate to think of having put her down for that, she spent another 12 years as my dad's faithful companion. She bit him once because she was fast asleep and he went up and did a quick shaking rub, and didn't realize she was so asleep, and it scared her. Again, it would have been sad if we had put her down for that.

I'm not comparing this to the OP's situation, I think her situation is much much worse, and I don't blame her at all for what she may have to do.

But I wouldn't say, "oh the dog bit my kid, put her down." My dog IS my kid. She may be a secondary kid to my DD, and my DD may come first, but that doesn't mean I don't love my dog unconditionally. I'd always try to rehome first.

But maybe part of the issue is that I'm projecting this all onto my current dog. And I can't imagine having to do this because I can't imagine my dog biting. Seriously, I trust my dog 100 percent. The only way I can EVER imagine a child being bitten by her would be if the kid had food in his or her hand and my dog tried to get it from the child and got a hand with it. But even then her bite when taking food is gentle. My friend's son pulls on her ears, sits on her, pulls her tail, hits her, and she just walks away, gives it a minute, and comes back for more. She's deaf, and even if you scare her she just startles and then gets happy. She hates nail trims so much that she has expressed her anal glands, she SCREAMS through them, and I've never put a muzzle on her because she just does not bite.

Anyhow, this isn't about the OP's post, but rather about some of the other posts in this thread. I'm sad.
post #88 of 120
I would put the dog down.
post #89 of 120
I would put that dog down. I've had to do it and I know how hard it is. But I think rehoming a dog like that is irresponsible.
post #90 of 120
Have not read the replies- am just replying directly to the OP.

If I lived somewhere rural, I would put the dog down myself. Where I currently live, I would take it to the vet to be put down.
post #91 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
I am pretty amazed by the amount of people who just flippantly say "I'd put him down" without any info.
I was surprised, too, but it was posted in parenting rather than pets and animals, and I think the responses would be different. They *have* been different, because a while back there was a thread similar to this in pets and animals.

And when I said that I had to put down my dog and explained the extenuating circumstances, the violence towards my husband and son, the biting, the growing, the animal behaviorist, the training, the separation we tried to do, the calling aorund to call clinics and rescue groups and shelters we did, the test the Giz failed at the *only* shelter who would test him after hearing about his aggression... after all of that, they still really rode me pretty hard about how they would keep the dog in the garage for the rest of his life rather than put him down.

Which, IMHO, is much more cruel, but their rationale was life at ALL cost.
post #92 of 120
I had half my face ripped off by a dog. I needed major reconstructive surgery to the tune of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm sorry that you consider it 'flippant' that I would put an animal down no questions asked for biting a kid in the face but I really have trouble with the idea that someone might risk their kid going through what I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
I am pretty amazed by the amount of people who just flippantly say "I'd put him down" without any info.
post #93 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post
I was surprised, too, but it was posted in parenting rather than pets and animals, and I think the responses would be different. They *have* been different, because a while back there was a thread similar to this in pets and animals.

And when I said that I had to put down my dog and explained the extenuating circumstances, the violence towards my husband and son, the biting, the growing, the animal behaviorist, the training, the separation we tried to do, the calling aorund to call clinics and rescue groups and shelters we did, the test the Giz failed at the *only* shelter who would test him after hearing about his aggression... after all of that, they still really rode me pretty hard about how they would keep the dog in the garage for the rest of his life rather than put him down.

Which, IMHO, is much more cruel, but their rationale was life at ALL cost.
Yeah, I think your case is one of those where it's totally justified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
I had half my face ripped off by a dog. I needed major reconstructive surgery to the tune of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm sorry that you consider it 'flippant' that I would put an animal down no questions asked for biting a kid in the face but I really have trouble with the idea that someone might risk their kid going through what I did.
No... I wouldn't risk my kid going through that. But I was specifically commenting on the very quick replies with no info. What if the dog was provoked? Why couldn't that dog go to a house with no children? I just think the "I'd put it down" before there is any info is sad. It's the attitude that makes it seem like some people think dogs are disposable.

I think that in SOME cases putting the dog down is the right answer. But I don't think it's ALWAYS the case.
post #94 of 120
I would have the dog put down. Most dogs who bite even just once will bite again and it is almost impossible to get them to stop that habit. A doctor is required to report the dog and after a set number of bites, I think it may be 2 or 3 the state will require the dog to be put down.
post #95 of 120
OP I am sorry you have to go through this. When I was 5, I was bit on the face by a neighbor's dog. I don't remember what I was doing to the dog and no one witnessed the attack. I had stiches and plastic surgery and still have a scar on my lip. Consequently, I have a fear of dogs even almost 30 years later. Some dogs can sense my fear and respond to it, which is amazing but that's another thread.

My DD was bit by our dog and was bruised but no broken skin. The dog was resting and she climbed on her back before I could get to her. It was a defensive reaction and I don't blame her. I instructed my DD about the proper way to treat dogs and watched them much more closely after that. Even though I had been bit by a dog as a child and it is a serious issue with me, I do realize that the quick, pain nip was a reaction, not agression.

I have a hard time with the food issues. I do understand the pack mentality and the leader/dominance points that are made. But what about when I and my children visit other people? Their dogs may not have been instructed the same way. I would rather teach my daughters to never approach a strange dog, even in a friend's house, and to especially stay away from food, even with our own dog. I'm glad people are able to train their dogs to respect when you take their food away but I am afraid of this mind-set.

OP you will make the best decision for your family's situation and I think you have been given some good advice from people. I hope you can get through this ok.
post #96 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I would have the dog put down. Most dogs who bite even just once will bite again and it is almost impossible to get them to stop that habit. A doctor is required to report the dog and after a set number of bites, I think it may be 2 or 3 the state will require the dog to be put down.
thats just not true for a lot of dogs. Some yes but definitely not for others and it certainly is not fair to throw all dogs in together.

PP, I totally agree about teaching LOs to NEVER go up to a strange dog or go near it while it is feeding. I know my dog is incredibly good around all people but I still get very annoyed when a stranger actually lets or even encourages their kid to come pet my dog without permission. It is teaching their child an extremely bad and possibly dangerous habit. All it takes is one dog on a leash or not, that is not familiar with how kids pet or something and that kid is bitten, the parents freak out and then the dog is forced to be put down.

It's a lesson I wish every parent would teach their kid.
post #97 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post
I think most people on here have probably had to put down a pet that was ill or old or both. I know I certainly have more than once.
Us too It was really sad. Even though what I posted upthread was a little callous. That was me speaking from my logical side. The reality of putting a dog down is much different, for me. Our dog had cancer, and was given 2 months to live. She was getting incredibly bad- in pain, could barely walk. Logically, we totally made the right choice. But I *still* feel guilty for putting her down when we did- I keep wondering if she could have had just one more happy day.
post #98 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post
thats just not true for a lot of dogs. Some yes but definitely not for others and it certainly is not fair to throw all dogs in together.

PP, I totally agree about teaching LOs to NEVER go up to a strange dog or go near it while it is feeding. I know my dog is incredibly good around all people but I still get very annoyed when a stranger actually lets or even encourages their kid to come pet my dog without permission. It is teaching their child an extremely bad and possibly dangerous habit. All it takes is one dog on a leash or not, that is not familiar with how kids pet or something and that kid is bitten, the parents freak out and then the dog is forced to be put down.

It's a lesson I wish every parent would teach their kid.
It is what the humane society teaches. I haven't seen the research on it but I wouldn't risk it, especially since there are regulations regarding how many bites animals can have before being considered hopeless. In our state it isn't easy to get a regulation that infringes on people's rights (unless it is the rights between two consenting adults). I think it is there for a reason. We recently had two pitbulls who were badly handled go on a rampage and they killed one person and seriously injured another and we have had a couple other cases of pet dogs killing small children so that definitely does make me very against giving a biting dog the benefit of the doubt, especially since most people do not have the deep knowledge of dog handling that it takes to train an aggressive dog.
post #99 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I would have the dog put down. Most dogs who bite even just once will bite again and it is almost impossible to get them to stop that habit. A doctor is required to report the dog and after a set number of bites, I think it may be 2 or 3 the state will require the dog to be put down.
Where are you getting those stats from? "Most dogs who bite once will bite again?" There are so many variables with the above statement I don't know where to start! With young kids and ANY animals, there must be supervision. Why? because little kids like to pull, hit, play rough, etc. THAT can be a big reason why dogs bite.

Many, many years ago, my dad's dog bit a kid (not badly) who tried to take the dog's food away . He got nipped. That dog never bit a person, EVER again. He bit for a reason, his food was being threatened.

Ask a vet why they wear protective gloves or muzzle dogs during some procedures. becauise they don't want to get nipped by a dog that most likely has never bitten anyone. But stick a sweet dog in a vet's examining room and fear takes over.

I also am saddened by some of the responses in this thread. My child is my world and he is my first priority. I would die for him. But good grief, he certainly spent a bit of time pulling on my cats tails until my repetitive teaching showed him gentle hands. If he would have gotten a cat bite or scratch, I would have been very upset but doubtful would have killed my cat over it! Each situation is different. I would never, ever have an aggressive animal in my home with my DS. Not going to happen. I think that is the first line of defense in protecting our kids.
post #100 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
Where are you getting those stats from? "Most dogs who bite once will bite again?" There are so many variables with the above statement I don't know where to start! With young kids and ANY animals, there must be supervision. Why? because little kids like to pull, hit, play rough, etc. THAT can be a big reason why dogs bite.

Many, many years ago, my dad's dog bit a kid (not badly) who tried to take the dog's food away . He got nipped. That dog never bit a person, EVER again. He bit for a reason, his food was being threatened.

Ask a vet why they wear protective gloves or muzzle dogs during some procedures. becauise they don't want to get nipped by a dog that most likely has never bitten anyone. But stick a sweet dog in a vet's examining room and fear takes over.

I also am saddened by some of the responses in this thread. My child is my world and he is my first priority. I would die for him. But good grief, he certainly spent a bit of time pulling on my cats tails until my repetitive teaching showed him gentle hands. If he would have gotten a cat bite or scratch, I would have been very upset but doubtful would have killed my cat over it! Each situation is different. I would never, ever have an aggressive animal in my home with my DS. Not going to happen. I think that is the first line of defense in protecting our kids.
I posted where I got them in the post right above yours, The Humane Society. My mother volunteered there a lot there when I was a kid. Our vet also told us we needed to put our dog down after he bit my step dad once for this same reason. A cat is very unlikely to murder a child, dogs do. I have never had a dog who had to be muzzled at the vets (she does put a muzzle on some cats but my friend goes to a vet who is horrified by vets who are put muzzles on any animal). Our dogs have always loved going to the vets office. If your dogs are scared of your vet then I think you should find a new vet.
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