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My dog bit my 2yr old in the face - Page 3

post #41 of 102
we went through this... happened once (no punctures, scratch bites to the face- no stitches or anything necessary) and talked to a trainer; believed that it was a one time incident after describing what happened. Then it happened again. We also agree that you cannot ethically re-home a dog who has bitten, so it was either put down, or re-train. we chose re-train. took the time and spent the money on a trainer (super important to get a good, recommended experienced one). we learned new things that *everyone* should know if they own a dog, whether they have children or not, and our dog has *amazed* me. I never thought she would learn new things, but she has.

granted, we never, ever leave dd alone with the dog. our dog is separated from her most of the day (either outside or with dh in his office in the basement). all interactions are closely supervised. it's a lot of work, and we have another baby coming, so honestly, i am not sure what is going to happen when our attention is spread more thinly. But, i do understand what you are going through and it is a really hard thing. For some people it is a black and white situation- for others it's not. I don't think it says anything about you valueing (sp?) your child's safety any less because you aren't immediately giving your dog the boot- giving up an animal or putting one to death is a hard decision.

anyway- feel free to pm me. You can also search in my user profile for the thread i started when my dd was bit- all the details and everything are in there, as well as the outcome with the trainer. might be a good read for you.

good luck.
post #42 of 102
Yes, I would get rid of the dog as fast as humanly possible, perhaps through euthanasia so that the dog will not hurt another child. If you give the dog away, that will take time, and you can't take the risk that the dog will hurt your child again.

I know you are still in shock, but in a few weeks it will be very clear to you that you did the right thing.

BTW, we have four dogs -- I'm not anti dog.
post #43 of 102
Regarding Faith's post -- Faith, that's a great post. You raised some very interesting and profound points.
post #44 of 102
We had a dog who was progressively getting more aggressive: went from pushing the kids as he passed by, to a growl, to a warning nip, to a full-on-blood-shedding bite. He was re-homed with extensive warning to the new owner, who was a guy with older kids. Eventually the dog passed into the home of a vet and his wife, and they put the dog through extensive obedience training. She has four kids, including a little one. He hasn't bitten his new family (there for almost two years now), but has had aggression issues with a neighbour kid. His new owner says she doesn't trust him around kids still. Me, I wouldn't want to live with that stress of constantly looking out for a dog with a history of biting and aggression (he was a Standard Poodle even!).

I take my responsibility to animals under my care seriously, but my kids come absolutely first.
post #45 of 102
Your post didn't say much about what was happening when your DD was bit, which makes quite a bit of difference.

However, I think that having ANY dog around children, especially todders, is a bit like having a loaded gun laying around the house.

I say this sincerely as someone with two dogs and a 2 year old.

Having dogs and kids together is a TON of work and for most people, it requires constant vigilance and a TON of training (the dog, the parents, and the kid!).

The fact of the matter is that virtually no dogs are "safe". Most any dog could bite a child if provoked enough. Your dog happens to have been provoked enough in this situation.

If you're going to get rid of the dog, do yourself a favor and blow off the whole pet thing entirely until you no longer have any children under probably 10 around.

If you aren't able to control the situation to an extent where everyone (including your dog) feels safe and secure, then that's probably the best option. I think there are so many variables that determine that (your home, the dog, your child, all kinds of things) only you can determine that.
post #46 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMetz
Your post didn't say much about what was happening when your DD was bit, which makes quite a bit of difference.

.

EXACTLY, I've asked this question and so have others with no repsonse. So before people rush off to say death to the dog we need answers. There are some people who will always be quick to judge and expect dogs to handle everything they are given including being squeazed, poked, and possibly hurt with no reaction, that is unreasonable. Dogs and cats are just like children, they need supervision like children, they need rules like children and they will act like children. Children have been known to bite their siblings does that mean off with bitter, NO, you work it out. I do realize some cases can't be worked out.

I also find is so amazing how so many people on this board have had a pet they have given up, some before their child was even born. What I find even more suprising is that so many aggressive dogs could be on one message board particularly a family one, not even a rescue one. To me that says something else is going on and most of these dogs probably where not aggressive at all they just got labeld that by acting like a dog.

I'll leave you all with this, recently one of the rescues we donate to had a 15 week old puppy turned over because it was aggressive with the family's 3 and 5 year old. The family said the puppy would bite the kids and jump on them and chew their toys and they just could not put their children in that sort of danger, they wanted to know if the rescue planned on putting the dog down. I'm not kidding people there are folks out there that have no clue. Of course the rescue evaluated the puppy and found this, it was acting like a normal 15 week old puppy jumping playing and doing what puppies do best nipping everything in sight.
post #47 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by inezyv
perhaps through euthanasia so that the dog will not hurt another child.
I'm sorry, but I just don't agree with this....the dog does not deserve to be killed because he snapped at the child. He needs to be in a home with a family that can accomodate him. Somebody else mentioned they had their cat killed because it bit their child......that's just wrong. There are much more HUMANE ways to deal with these animals. My cat hated my son at first, and acted out......we made him an indoor/outdoor cat. He was MUCH happier having the outdoor freedom. Now that my son is 3, they are buddies, but my cat still scratches and has bit my son a couple of times. It's the only effective way the cat can communicate to my son that he doesn't want to be sat on, kissed in the face repeatedly and all those other things little kids do to animals. I had to learn the hard way as a child, and so does my son.
I would keep the dog outdoors, or away from the child while y'all find another home for him. There are dog rescues and animal foster homes all over the US. Get on the internet and start searching...but please, don't kill your dog over this.
post #48 of 102
We had a shelter dog we recently had to have put down. Not to disparage shelter dogs--we also have another who is just fine. This dog had shown signs of aggression, food possessiveness, snapping at strangers. She nipped my DH before I was even pregnant and so we had been working with her and she'd made lots of improvements. But then one day she bit a stranger on the street, out of the blue, no growling, no warning. So we had her put down. It was very hard because she was a sweethard 90% of the time.

It's sad because I do feel we failed her, or that the human race failed her in general. She wasn't born a biter, but somewhere along the way, prob before she wound up in a shelter, she learned to fear humans.

At any rate I would not keep your dog. Hopefully you can find a good home for her--though if she bites again be aware you could still be held liable even if you've given her away.
post #49 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by inezyv
Regarding Faith's post -- Faith, that's a great post. You raised some very interesting and profound points.
Thanks inezyv. I was hoping a few people might think about using the "well, he's family" defense when it comes to justifying harm done to children. It's just so common-- whether the offender is a pet or another child or an adult family member. Few people stop to think what's fair? How would things be handled if this wasn't a family memeber? (I especially think of this when there's a baby biter or hitter in the family. People excuse it in their own homes-- but would never excuse it from somebody else's child the same age. Meanwhile, a defensless baby is getting walloped! ) It's important to find solutions to family problems. But when the excuse begins with "well, so and so is family..." you can almost always bet that the offender will get a pass, and the child who is hurt will get the short end of the stick. And people do this without even thinking about it. Meanwhile, they are unwittingly sending the message to thier kids-- you are not more important to me than this other person or pet is. Some people even blame the victim. And I don't really know any parents who mean to send that message-- but that's what things boil down to if you don't stop and think about how you are going to solve family problems, and what the impact will be on the victim.

Keep the pet, pass the pet on, train the pet, whatever.....We need to find ways of dealing with family problems so that the victim will not be made to feel that she or he is less important than the offender.

Faith
post #50 of 102
Milky Way -- Thanks for saying so eloquently what I was too angry to say. I know that many responsible breeders and animal rescuers are reluctant to place a dog with a young childless person because so many people abandon their pets or have them killed once they have children. I used to think they were being paranoid but since I had DS and have read a number of threads about pets and kids, I think the concern is quite justified.

Faithnj -- As one of the posters who responded that my dog is family so I would never "get rid" of him, I have to say that I think you're missing my point. I'm not saying that because he is family I would do nothing. I'm simply saying that my reaction to a dog-child issue is the same as my reaction to a child-child issue -- I find a way for both of my loved ones to be safe and happy. If someone posted that a child was biting a sibling people would respond with ideas on how to protect and help both children. No one would suggest "getting rid of" or killing one of their children to protect another. When I say my dog is family I mean that I am no more likely to abandon or kill him than I am my human child. I should also add that I would not demand a death sentence for someone else's pet who harmed my child -- so there's no double standard here.
post #51 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by faithnj
Keep the pet, pass the pet on, train the pet, whatever.....We need to find ways of dealing with family problems so that the victim will not be made to feel that she or he is less important than the offender.

Faith
Faith, I think you may be misunderstanding the point of pp. The dog may not be the offender. The child might be the offender. The dog may very well be the victim; and then have to pay with his life.
post #52 of 102

All dogs bite.

If you weren't there to make an assessment of what happened and how to prevent it in the future, it's a bit extreme to say "kill the dog" (in my opinion). It is reasonable to at least consider the dog was provoked. You need to keep your dog (and his/her food) in a "safe room" where she/he won't feel threatened when she/he is eating (read: away from kids), and educate your child on animal behavior.

If I see another picture of a kid laying on top of a dog... or hugging a dog around the neck (either of which dogs HATE) you'll all be able to hear me scream. ALL dogs bite.... that's how they say "enough", protect themselves when they're threatened, etc. Children aren't alpha (ever); children are littermates.... and dogs aren't stuffed toys or lounge-arounds. (No matter how 'cute' it might look in a photo.)
post #53 of 102
One point...some dogs won't bite no matter what children do to them, the child can pull on the tail, get into the food, etc. and the dog won't bite. Therefore, if a dog does bite, regardless of the behavior of the child, the dog is "in the wrong"...and since he is a dog, not a human, and capable of inflicting extreme harm, and even death, he should be put down, regardless of how loved. Bottom line, people do come ahead of animals, I see a dog as part of the family, but in a peripheral way. When siblings fight, they usually do not inflict death or permanent damage, the possibilities with a canine vs human.
post #54 of 102
[QUOTE=SMUM]One point...some dogs won't bite no matter what children do to them, the child can pull on the tail, get into the food, etc. and the dog won't bite.

This dog hasn't bitten... yet. I'll be the mom that doesn't let her son pull the dogs tail.

Please consider taking an obedience course with your dog. A good program will include your children (and an education on how to co-habitate).
post #55 of 102
[quote=Bo'sMom]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMUM
I'll be the mom that doesn't let her son pull the dogs tail.


You and me both!
post #56 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMUM
One point...some dogs won't bite no matter what children do to them, the child can pull on the tail, get into the food, etc. and the dog won't bite. Therefore, if a dog does bite, regardless of the behavior of the child, the dog is "in the wrong"...
FYI - My bold

You know, dogs have personalities. Not all dogs are the same. Just like kids are all different. Some dogs are very tolerant and humble by nature. Some dogs like their space. Just because my dog likes to be the boss doesn't make her wrong. What we do in our house to make it okay is dominate her constantly so that she understands she can't be the boss. She happens to have a dominant personality.

I can't imagine believing that it is okay to allow a child to abuse a dog, then blame the dog for biting. You really think it's okay for a child (say a 10 year old) to kick a cornered dog and the dog not snap.
post #57 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo'sMom
Children aren't alpha (ever); children are littermates.... and dogs aren't stuffed toys or lounge-arounds. (No matter how 'cute' it might look in a photo.)
A well-trained dog will see all human family members as above him in the pack. This is the most important thing to teach your dog. My dog would walk away if my 17mo started taking her food. She sits when the toddler says 'sit'. The dog knows to walk away if the toddler is bugging her (she usually likes the attention though), and she knows it would never, ever be appropriate for her to show aggression towards the toddler.
post #58 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by gratefulmum
And what do I do with the dog? She is a part of our family and we love her, but she bit our baby. How can we be sure that it won't happen again.
Would you get rid of your family pet if this happened????
get rid of the dog. I'm sorry. but get rid of it.
post #59 of 102
I would have to say that I would probably rehome the dog. Depends on the whole situation on if I would have the dog put down or not. Yes, I took on the responsibility of ownership when I got my dog, but I took on the responsibility of parenthood when I had my children. My children have to come first, their safety comes above my responsibility to the dog.

My dog is a 5 year old pug and I adore her. She understands that the babies come above her, but she also knows that I will protect her from them if need be. All she has to do is let me know that she feels stressed or unhappy and I will change the situation for her. Only one time ever did she bite one of the kids. My daughter got down on the ground next to her while she was chewing on a greenie. It was so odd, suddenly we were pulling Chai off our daughter and trying to figure out what went wrong. We had to have some serious discussions about what our next step would be.... we loved our dog, but we love our daughter more. We decided that because it was sooooooooooo out of character for her that we would have her get a full physical first before any other action. I am glad we went that way, she had a horribly abcessed tooth. The tooth came out and she went back to being her normal, sweet, childloving self. So, if a dog does something REALLy out of character, I would say to get the dog checked out, try to figure out what is going on. If it was something I saw coming, I would rehome the dog (or put them down, depending on it all) to someone else who could maybe do the training and such with the dog. I just wouldn't want to chance having the dog still in my home while trying to sort it all out. I never want to have to explain to my child that they needed reconstructive surgery on their face because I knew the dog would bite them, but put the dog above them.
post #60 of 102
I personally am going to get flamed for what I am about to say but it is how I feel. My DC are waaay more important than a loved dog. If my dog bit either of our DC with NO provocation whatsoever. The dog would be gone. Plain and simple.
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