Mac bit my son this morning ***UPDATED*** - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 48 Old 04-05-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by spring978 View Post
I think rehoming Mac would be a blessing for everyone he needs a nice elderly couple.

((hugs)) to you and your boy getting nipped is scary.

Normally I wouldn't suggesting rehoming unless it was a last resort but because of the short amount of time you have had him and the likelyhood he will just get grumpier I think rehoming is ideal
Just wanted to say ITA with this. I have rescue dogs (not kids), and know what it's like to have a child bitten (in our case, it was a doxie--bad idea with little kids and a dog of unknown/poor breeding). Very scary and your dog sounds like a setup for more biting.

If the elderly couple won't take him, contact a breed or other rescue to see if they can take him, to keep him out of a shelter.
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#32 of 48 Old 04-06-2008, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a very difficult decision.

I would personally say that for me the entire decision would hinge on the pain factor. Behavioral issues can be managed, avoided, trained, etc. And, let's face it, most of them are inconvenient for US, not so much for the dog. The dog is happy--a badass, but happy. Pain is something totally different. Pain immediately and constantly affects quality of life, and a dog in pain is a miserable dog.
Thank you so much for helping me think about this in a new way. I understand why the trainer I emailed mentioned euthanasia. At the same time, after really giving it some thought, I don't think I can do it for behavioral reasons (unless I had a truly vicious dog who was a danger to everyone.) But you're right. For him to have an enjoyable life, I have to get his pain managed. There are a few things we haven't tried-like pain medication injections and glucosamine/chondroitin injections. The vet said that's about all he's got left to try to get the back pain under control. Mac's back on steroids and he's still on tramadol and Promotion.

I had planned to get belly bands for him since I put him back on prednisone, but guess what! The PP who mentioned that her dog tested negative for a bladder infection and then tested positive later on called it right! A second urinalysis a month after the first showed an abnormal PH, white blood cells, and some crystals that may or may not mean a kidney stone is forming. That's actually good news because it not only explains the peeing in the house, but it also might explain why he's been crabbier than usual lately. Whoo! He's on an antibiotic for 2 weeks.

More great news! After discussing this situation with my mom to get her input on all the options, she offered to take Mac in June when she moves to a new place! She knows all of Mac's issues and is firmer and more consistent about discipline than I am. Although she likes little dogs and has said before, "If I had a place where I could have a dog, I'd take him," I didn't even think of her as an option because until a week ago she hadn't been planning on moving from her apartment where dogs aren't allowed. I'm so grateful!

::

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#33 of 48 Old 04-06-2008, 05:17 AM
 
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ReadingMama,
I am so glad for you and Mac!! (and your mother since she will hopefully enjoy Mac's company.)

I am not as knowledgeable as some of the pp's but have lived with this same issue. Prior to having my children I spoke with our behaviorist several times making sure I wasn't letting my love for Harry endanger our children. In Harry's case, she felt it was workable if I was diligent. She also said, however, she was only saying this because she knew me and my husband and in some other families would recommend putting him down and would not have recommended re-homing because of his issues. (We didn't have someone like your mother who knew us, Harry and the entire situation and where we could continue to be involved with his life.) It was hard setting limits and the behaviorist constantly reminded me “He does not think like a person” and I cannot simply ‘love’ his issues away.

Earlier, when you were asking about finding a behaviorist -ours is our vet. She is with our original vet group but we switched to her when we found Harry because she was the only vet in the group who was also a behaviorist. It is nice to have someone who understands the medical and mental sides of a dog. I’m mentioning this because some behaviorists do not advertise since, like ours, she is so busy with her vet clients. You may want to check with vets if your mother ever needs someone to work with Mac.
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#34 of 48 Old 04-06-2008, 05:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Behavioral issues can be managed, avoided, trained, etc. And, let's face it, most of them are inconvenient for US, not so much for the dog. The dog is happy--a badass, but happy.
This is so true and said perfectly!!
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#35 of 48 Old 04-07-2008, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I laughed when I read "badass" too! Thanks for all your help and support everyone. I'll keep you updated.

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#36 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mac bit ds again this morning. This time on the arm. It didn't break the skin, but it did cause a bruise. Once again Mac was on the couch. He was snuggled under throw pillows and ds forgot he was there and bumped a pillow. Mac just reacted. It's hard to keep Mac off the couch because he is so little and short that if you try to stop him mid-jump, he twists and falls off the couch (not good for a long backed dog with a bulging disc--of course, neither is jumping up on the furniture!)

Mac has tried to bite ds 4 times since we found him in October. He missed once and made contact the other three times. Only once did it break the skin. But I don't trust Mac and I feel bad for ds. My mom will still take Mac at the beginning of July, but because of the repeat biting, I'm thinking I should get a soft muzzle for Mac--the kind that lets the dog still drink with it on. I don't know if that would make Mac even more prone to try to bite (like maybe he'd feel more threatened because he couldn't defend himself.) Of course, I don't really care what Mac thinks about it. I just don't want to deal with any MORE Mac issues than we're already dealing with!

Mac doesn't pee in the house when he's on an antibiotic for the bladder infection (he's back on prednisone for arthritis), but he starts peeing inside again if he goes off the antibiotic (even after being on it for two weeks.) So he's on it for another two weeks.

Dh lost his job recently so we can't afford a behaviorist right now. We're just going to try to stick it out until July. I love Mac--I really do. He's just HIGH MAINTENANCE!

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#37 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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Terriers, imho, are just not child friendly and yes that's a biased opinion b/c my MIL has one and she is a horrible jrt (just a rotten terrier)

can't touch her while on her special couch, have to hold her mouth shut so the boys can kiss her (why force young kids to kiss a bratty little dog bawfled my mind)

She bares her teeth ALL the time and MILs excuse "oh that's how she plays" umm yeah I don't think so!


It sounds like Mac needs a new home. One w/o kids. good luck!
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#38 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 03:43 AM
 
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Ummm...I'm not sure how to put this without being seen as scandalous, but your son is eight, right? And these bites are scary but not actually dangerous, right? Then, in my house, Mac would win the argument, to put it baldly.

We've talked about keeping him off the couch if at all possible, and I think you know all those steps. You need to keep doing them, as consistently as possible. But when Mac does bite, there is some dominance there, but I think we all agree that most of this is a small dog in pain, reacting to a child he perceives as threatening. So at this point, if your son was my kid, he'd get "Yeah? And what were you doing wrong that you got bitten?"

My sister's poodle mix is very nervous about kids, and though he's much, much better now, in the past he's bitten all my kids. So at this point, since we know his triggers (basically, he panics and bites if he thinks a kid is going to fall on him or physically threaten him), if I see one of my kids being stupid near him I say "Look, that dog is going to bite you, and it's going to be your fault." And when they come to me crying that he bit them, they get blamed, because I know that he's biting out of fear and that they scared him.

I know I'm the mean mom, and I know that's going in the face of the sort of conventional wisdom about dogs these days (where a bite is the ultimate evil), but when you're talking about permanently muzzling him--well, your son needs to check the blankets before he sits down. And he needs to take responsibility for actions that make Mac bite. Eight IS old enough to remember to call you if Mac is on the couch, so you can shoo Mac off.

My advice would be TOTALLY different, please realize this, if Mac was doing this because he was being aggressive. But an old dog who is biting because he's been hurt is a whole different ball of wax.
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#39 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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Terriers, imho, are just not child friendly
Terriers actually make great family pets. Many hunters and bushmen use terriers specifically BECAUSE they're good family pets (as opposed to more primitive breeds). Unfortunately, the problems you are describing are a direct result of bad (or non existent!) training in a breed that THRIVES off assertive yet gentle leadership. The problems your mom is having are probably her fault, and not the fault of her dog. It's just that simple.

And as for holding the dog's mouth shut so the kids can kiss it.. I wouldn't recommend that. Not unless you want your kid's face to get mauled. The reason muzzles were invented was because it's DANGEROUS for humans to hold shut the mouth of a nasty dog. If that dog shows its teeth and growls, keep your kids face away from the dog.

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My advice would be TOTALLY different, please realize this, if Mac was doing this because he was being aggressive. But an old dog who is biting because he's been hurt is a whole different ball of wax.
:

Is there a room that you can give to Mac as his safe place, just until your mom can take him? Maybe a spare bedroom, or a gated kitchen? It sounds like he needs a quiet place where's not going to constantly get disturbed. My jacks like to burrow under the throw blankets too, and the simplest solution is to give them blankets to burrow in a room where my daughter isn't accidentally going to land on them (because it has happened). For that reason the living room is now dog free. They go to the blankets like a moth to a flame, and with a toddler running around I can't do "blanket checks" everytime she goes in there to get a toy. I just had to get diligent about that room being dog free. They have the foyer now with a big plush dog bed and a throw blanket, and it's out my daughters path of destruction, so she can't accidentally trip on them or anything. It has helped tremendously.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#40 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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I think you are awesome

You are doing an awesome job with this dog

Decluttering 500/2010
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#41 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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K, I'll ring in on the foster parenting bit then.

I live in Canada, so our rules might be different than yours. You're going to have to look into this so you'll find out regardless.

You cannot have a dog with a history of biting around foster children.

Just wanted to mention that when the case worker came to our house to work on some of the paperwork to begin the homestudy, the first thing my son told her is, "That dog bites!" I did tell her that Mac will be "retiring" to my mom's in July (before we take in any foster children.) She was okay with that.

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#42 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aww, thank you BunnySlippers! I try to live up to my commitment to Mac. He is just more challenging than any other dog I've had. I like the idea of restricting where Mac can be, Northof60. The only thing is, he is a nuisance barker. If he is outside longer than it takes him to pee, he will bark constantly--even for 30 minutes straight-until he is let in again. So if I use a baby gate to keep him in a bedroom, he will stand at the gate and bark constantly.

Joanna, I totally get where you're coming from and I don't fault you for feeling that way. Here is the situation: Ds is on the mild end of the autism spectrum and he has sensory integration issues. He "stims," and sometimes that involves impulsively grabbing a person or a dog and gritting his teeth in their face. It's annoying, but it's not something he can reliably control. I've bought him a Chewy Tube (recommended by his occupational therapist) and an exercise ball and a hoppity ball for alternatives for him to stim with, but he still grabs people and animals. For the most part, he leaves Mac alone. He doesn't grab Mac like he does our bigger, more tolerant dog Raven. But he still grits his teeth and gets in Mac's face sometimes, even though he's been bitten for doing it.

I've gotten excellent advice here and I'm very grateful for that. I just wanted to update everyone and raise the muzzle question because we need a safe environment to get through the next two months until Mac goes to live with my mom in a quieter, mostly kid-free environment. If the muzzling wouldn't be a good quality of life for Mac, I'll try the baby gate, but if he barks constantly that would be too much to handle. (Ds's sensory integration issues include a hypersensitivity to sound too.)

Thanks again for all the support everyone! It's helpful to have a bunch of dog lovers to bounce ideas off of. Most of the people I know IRL wouldn't put up with the stuff that rescuers/fosterers put up with. That's why I come here to talk about it.

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#43 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Terriers actually make great family pets. Many hunters and bushmen use terriers specifically BECAUSE they're good family pets (as opposed to more primitive breeds). Unfortunately, the problems you are describing are a direct result of bad (or non existent!) training in a breed that THRIVES off assertive yet gentle leadership. The problems your mom is having are probably her fault, and not the fault of her dog. It's just that simple.

And as for holding the dog's mouth shut so the kids can kiss it.. I wouldn't recommend that. Not unless you want your kid's face to get mauled. The reason muzzles were invented was because it's DANGEROUS for humans to hold shut the mouth of a nasty dog. If that dog shows its teeth and growls, keep your kids face away from the dog.

not my mom, my mother in law. My mom wouldn't be so stupid! and I agree 110% about the mouth holding thing and have come to the point where they don't go over there alone anymore I don't feel my children are safe there. DOn't worry I am not one to endanger my children

eta
my mother-in-laws excuse for the growling& bearing teeth.. ready for this... "it's how she plays, it's her personality" *insert eyeroll*
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#44 of 48 Old 04-29-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I like the idea of restricting where Mac can be, Northof60. The only thing is, he is a nuisance barker. If he is outside longer than it takes him to pee, he will bark constantly--even for 30 minutes straight-until he is let in again. So if I use a baby gate to keep him in a bedroom, he will stand at the gate and bark constantly.
I hear you on that, Rhino is the same way. But with the gate on the living room door to keep him out, and his blankets and pillows in the foyer, he basically lounges there on his own accord. I'd have the same problem if I was locking him IN a room.

Can you take the pillows and blankets out of the living room and put them in a place out of the way where he'll be compelled to use them without feeling like he's separate from the rest of the family?

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my mother-in-laws excuse for the growling& bearing teeth.. ready for this... "it's how she plays, it's her personality" *insert eyeroll*
Rhino growls when he plays. He's very vocal. I could give half a dozen examples of him growling in ways that are not at all aggressive. I also use to have a Rotty in daycare who growled when you toweled her off. It freaked us out the first few times, given that she was a solid 110 pounds. But after talking with her mom, she just growls out of contentment sometimes. It happens.

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#45 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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So at this point, if your son was my kid, he'd get "Yeah? And what were you doing wrong that you got bitten?"
I have to agree. I have the three hounds, and both kids have gotten growled at and/or nipped - for doing something stupid. Like plopping down practically on top of them when they're asleep. As I've said to the kids - "I'd snap at you, too, if you did that to me."

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Joanna, I totally get where you're coming from and I don't fault you for feeling that way. Here is the situation: Ds is on the mild end of the autism spectrum and he has sensory integration issues. He "stims," and sometimes that involves impulsively grabbing a person or a dog and gritting his teeth in their face. It's annoying, but it's not something he can reliably control. I've bought him a Chewy Tube (recommended by his occupational therapist) and an exercise ball and a hoppity ball for alternatives for him to stim with, but he still grabs people and animals. For the most part, he leaves Mac alone. He doesn't grab Mac like he does our bigger, more tolerant dog Raven. But he still grits his teeth and gets in Mac's face sometimes, even though he's been bitten for doing it.
Then he needs to be 100% supervised when there is any chance of contact between him and the dog. And actually - either dog. As tolerant as Raven may be now, s/he may reach a point when she no longer is.
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#46 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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As for the urinating in the house when not on antibiotics. I would ask the vet to take urine via a cysto (needle directly into the bladder) and to do a culture and sensitivity on it. It sounds to me like the antibiotics are not totally eliminating the problem and so it just keeps coming back once you stop. A C&S will tell you exactly which abx will work best - that way you can have clean floors again

For muzzles, many dogs get anxious in the cloth muzzles you've described, and actually feel more comfortable in a basket muzzle - even though to us humans they look atrocious! The basket muzzle isn't as confining, and if fitted properly is harder to get off than a cloth muzzle. I would take him to a pet store and have him fitted. Be sure to reward like crazy when he has it on (something really good that he only gets with his muzzle on) and gradually get him used to wearing it - or you'll have an already somewhat cantankerous old guy get really grumpy really fast!

Good luck and you really are doing such a great thing for this dog! (Good luck with the foster application too!!)
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#47 of 48 Old 04-30-2008, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear you on that, Rhino is the same way. But with the gate on the living room door to keep him out, and his blankets and pillows in the foyer, he basically lounges there on his own accord. I'd have the same problem if I was locking him IN a room.

Can you take the pillows and blankets out of the living room and put them in a place out of the way where he'll be compelled to use them without feeling like he's separate from the rest of the family?

Rhino growls when he plays. He's very vocal. I could give half a dozen examples of him growling in ways that are not at all aggressive. I also use to have a Rotty in daycare who growled when you toweled her off. It freaked us out the first few times, given that she was a solid 110 pounds. But after talking with her mom, she just growls out of contentment sometimes. It happens.
Yes, I could put the baby gate in the hallway that is off the living room and he could see us from there. I put a blanket on the floor for him last night and he snunggled under it and slept there last night.

My friends have a giant rottie who growls at kids all the time. All they have to do is walk by him and he growls. My friend calls it "grumping" and doesn't think it's a big deal. But because he's so big, it makes me nervous. (Of course, our little 12 pound dog has bitten multiple times....and he doesn't growl first!)

The vet did mention doing a urinalysis via needle before and he plans to do another urinalysis after this round of antibiotics. I'll ask him about it.

Thanks Dogmomfornow!

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#48 of 48 Old 05-02-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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If the barking is unmanageable I would recommend a Citronella spray bark collar. They are painless and work excellently on both my dogs (who are inveterate barkers). I keep the collars on them when I am out, otherwise the nonstop (loud: I have an 80 lb Shepherd mix) barking would drive my neighbors to tears..
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