Our dog bit a friend's little boy yesterday - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-21-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We had some friends over yesterday and our 8 y/o dog nipped the 7 y/o boy.  My dh and I and the boy's mom were all standing right there.  There was no provocation, no warning ... the boy was just petting him and he bit him on the neck.  Thank the Gods that he wasn't seriously hurt; it barely broke the skin, but he'll have a bruise.  guilty.gif   I was horrified and honestly don't know what to do.  He's been a such a great dog, but in the last couple of years he's snapped at dd#2's face (she was about 2 y/o) and nipped my sil in the face.  Other than these 3 occurrences (and I'm not minimizing how bad those 3 things are ... I was ready to put him down when he snapped at our daughter and was shocked that my brother didn't demand it when the dog bit my sil), he's the most laid-back, easy-going dog.  My husband thinks he's getting old and senile.  I think dh is in denial and I'm terrified that the dog is going to seriously hurt someone.

 

Advice?  Please?  Is this something that training would help, even in an "old dog?"


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Old 03-21-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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Maybe the dog IS getting old and senile. But that doesn't make his behavior "ok" or make it any less of a risk to the people around him, especially children, but clearly adults as well. 

 

That would not be in any way acceptable to me. We put our dog down for 'less' than that.... She was beginning to act aggressively, and threatened to bite/nip a couple of times, but never actually did. That was too much of a risk, and the rescue we had gotten her from agreed, and they advised we put her to sleep. We did. It was hard, but she was dangerous, and given her background, training was not as likely to be successful, and she was not a good candidate to be re-homed. 

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Old 03-21-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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First get a full vet work up.  Pain, thyroid issues, and more can all exacerbate behavior issues.  

 

Second, training very well may help...get a qualified behaviorist involved asap for a consult.  They will help lead you in your decisions.


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Old 03-21-2011, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your kind response.  I'm so torn up about this ... about what could have happened to our friend's son, and we KNEW the potential was there.  I completely agree with you RE the "no excuse" thing, but I'm having a hard time getting my husband to understand the danger we're putting other people and our own kids in.  He LOVES this dog and just keeps excusing his behavior.  I think I'm going to have to put my foot down, as awful as it feels.  gloomy.gif


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Old 03-21-2011, 12:12 PM
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I guess I am left with 2 thoughts, the first being why would even allow your dog around other children when he has almost bit your own? That is a failing as an owner on your part to keep your dog out of a potential dangerous situation for another person. Second, the legal ramifications of another bite could be huge, as in lawsuit. I love dogs, but if someone's dog bit my kid hard enough to leave a bruise I don't think I would rule out asking them to put the dog down. I am surprised you still have the dog after it went at your kid. That is a ticking time bomb imo...Yes it could be related to age, old dogs get arthritis etc and are in pain a lot when we don't know it, but still....

 

I feel bad for you but I think you need to have a major major conversation with your DH and accept that maybe your dog is just too dangerous at this point. In the meantime keep the dog away from your kid(s) and any other people who come to the house. The next person to get bitten might not be so forgiving as your friends.

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Old 03-21-2011, 04:53 PM
 
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I always lock up my dogs when kids or guests are over. If the dog bites someone again you should have him euthanised. I wouldn't want to keep a dog that I was afraid of. If either of our dogs bit any of us(for no reason) they would be euthanised immediately.

 

Best wishes whatever you decide.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really pushed the issue with dh last night.  He's frustrating the MESS out of me.  Apparently, he "promised Bjorn (the dog) that he could die of old age" and doesn't want to break his promise.  Personally, I think he's lost his damn mind.  He did agree to take the dog in to the vet, to see if there's anything specifically wrong that could be causing the problem, but I don't trust the dog and don't want him around kids -- ours or anybody else's.


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Old 03-22-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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In order for Bjorn to be able to die of old age without putting the human members of the family at risk he's probably going to spend an awful lot of time alone. 

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathenmom View Post

I really pushed the issue with dh last night.  He's frustrating the MESS out of me.  Apparently, he "promised Bjorn (the dog) that he could die of old age" and doesn't want to break his promise.  Personally, I think he's lost his damn mind.  He did agree to take the dog in to the vet, to see if there's anything specifically wrong that could be causing the problem, but I don't trust the dog and don't want him around kids -- ours or anybody else's.



I am so sorry your DH is making this so hard. He sounds like he is in total denial...It actually sounds like my DH...The thought of death in a pet brings out a really weird side of him where reality doesn't mean a  thing... Your DH is probably fighting off the reality of the situation really really hard. If he accepts the reality that means his dog is most likely going to die.  Ask your DH to look at your kids and explain how it worth them possibly getting a bad bite and being traumatized (you can't watch the dog 24/7 unless it is locked away) is justifiable when you both know the risks and the likelihood of it happening...

 

Like the PP said, Bjorn is either going to spend the rest of his life alone and wondering why he is alone or he has to be put down. You can't rehome him, he is a known biter, that is a major safety issue for any person. If there is something seriously medically wrong with him and there is nothing that can remedy that problem your DH needs to accept the hard truth. It's time for him to step up and be an adult. Ask him which is more important, the dog living or his children's safety...Don't let him back out of it. He needs to be accountable for thinking everything is going to be fine.

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Old 03-22-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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I wouldn't put a dog to sleep for what you described, but I would put every effort into finding a good trainer and yes I do believe that nipping problems can be trained out even in an old dog. 

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Old 03-22-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post

I am so sorry your DH is making this so hard. He sounds like he is in total denial...It actually sounds like my DH...The thought of death in a pet brings out a really weird side of him where reality doesn't mean a  thing... Your DH is probably fighting off the reality of the situation really really hard. If he accepts the reality that means his dog is most likely going to die.  Ask your DH to look at your kids and explain how it worth them possibly getting a bad bite and being traumatized (you can't watch the dog 24/7 unless it is locked away) is justifiable when you both know the risks and the likelihood of it happening...

 

Like the PP said, Bjorn is either going to spend the rest of his life alone and wondering why he is alone or he has to be put down. You can't rehome him, he is a known biter, that is a major safety issue for any person. If there is something seriously medically wrong with him and there is nothing that can remedy that problem your DH needs to accept the hard truth. It's time for him to step up and be an adult. Ask him which is more important, the dog living or his children's safety...Don't let him back out of it. He needs to be accountable for thinking everything is going to be fine.


I did, last night.  He wasn't happy with me, but facts are facts. gloomy.gif


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Old 03-22-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post

First get a full vet work up.  Pain, thyroid issues, and more can all exacerbate behavior issues.  

 

Second, training very well may help...get a qualified behaviorist involved asap for a consult.  They will help lead you in your decisions.


YES THIS! 

 

You don't know if he's in pain. My mom's dog has been acting out lately, turns out he's back is injured and he was in constant pain! Poor guy! 

 

If it seems random I would assume pain is the issue not behavior. But for the time being I would keep him away from children as much as possible and let adults know his behavior. We have a dog that has bitten in the past, and for him it was a behavior thing. He lived in the kitchen away from kids and most adults for a long time, but with lots of training I now trust him with my 6mo old! I will NEVER leave my baby alone with a dog though... (just wanted to put that out there)!

 


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