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#31 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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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
I would have an incredibly hard time putting my dog down for any reason. My dog is my child, and I would tend to say "just make sure it doesn't happen again" type of thing.

BUT, since he bit in the face, and it broke the skin, AND you feel like he's unpredictable, I'd first call around and look into a better situation that your husband is comfortable with... then my next step would be to have him put down. It was break my heart, and I'd live with guilt forever for it... but, I would do it.

I have a dog who is very oversensitive, and has waaay too many feelings for a dog. If anything happened that would cause me to have to put her into some kind of kennel situation, (the pound) I would probably have to have her put down, because she would be so tormented in a kennel that it just wouldn't be worth it. Her quality of life is very important to me. But, some other dogs are perfectly happy in a kennel, and it would give them a good chance at a nice home without children.

You'd just need to find the right balance for your dog (and your husband).
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#32 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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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.
Given this update, I would put the dog down (and I don't say that lightly). How heartbreaking -- I'm so sorry.

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#33 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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That dog would be gone faster than lightning.

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#34 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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But I've always felt in my heart that my dog is a ticking time bomb.
Your answer is right there.

I'm so sorry for your daughter.

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#35 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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I know my dog inside and out and his bite on her was very intentional and he meant to hurt her. <snip>

Two seconds of unsupervised time with my daughter landed her in the ER having to have stitches on her nose and lip. <snip>

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 agree. It's a hard thing to do, but if he's unstable and unresponsive to training, he needs to go.

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#36 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I may have the most unpopular answer of all. Please read Cesar Millan's books (Cesar's Way and Be the Pack Leader). Often times dogs show aggressive behavior because we as humans have been babying them and treating them as dolls and not animals or not giving them the exercise and discipline they need. The domesticated dog (even a chihuahua, shih-tzu or poodle) is so closely related to wolves that the two can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. In our society we tend to humanize dogs and see them as "kids with fur". They have entirely different needs than a human. They are pack animals. When we baby a dog, we feed needy, insecure energy and the dog then feels needy and insecure and reacts aggressively. Dogs also become aggressive if they are cooped up all day and not allowed to walk and exercise. Wolves will migrate several miles a day. All dogs need at least a 1 hour walk a day. Most importantly, YOU MUST BE YOUR DOG'S PACK LEADER. Your dog wants to have a strong stable pack leader and if s/he feels s/he's not getting it, the dog will become insecure and aggressive If your dog is out of control and you can not discipline him/her, you may have to give it away to someone else. The child's safety comes first. You really should seek professional help. Most of the time dogs can be rehabilitated with the right help.

My husband was raised to baby animals. He had dogs growing up and they were cooed over and rarely disciplined. My mother-in-law still calls her cat and dog "angel" and tries to reason with her dog as if she were talking to a human child by saying things like "You know better than that!" The problem is that the dog doesn't know better than that. She doesn't understand human talk and the energy she gets from my MIL is "I'm weak and insecure and I need you to make me feel better." When my husband stopped being our dog's "mommy" and started being her pack leader we saw huge improvements.

We now have two dogs- an American Eskimo and American Eskimo-Pomeranian mix (breeds with reputations for being biters). We have had zero aggression problems with our dogs and baby. In fact, the eski-pom thinks she is our son's "nanny" (a role that single female wolves often take on in a wolf pack) and will cuddle up next to me when I am feeding him and follows me around when I have him. She tries to lick him when he's fussy (that's what dogs do with puppies) but we don't allow it. We never leave children and dogs unattended. We have had our dogs around several other children with no aggression problems. We have a lot to work on with being pack leaders, but our dogs understand that aggressive behavior with kids, especially our son is not tolerated.

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#37 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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A minor bite that didn't break skin, and wasn't on the face, I'd consider the circumstances (was she provoked, hurt, etc). I may decide to keep them separated, do training, whatever. I'd assume she was "disciplining" ds, and not being aggressive or fear biting.
But a bite that broke skin, or was in the face? Yeah, I'd put her to sleep. Not worth the chance to me.

I'm not entirely sure I'd keep a dog that growled at kids when they get close to her food. In that case, though, I'd be comfortable rehoming to a child free home.

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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 think you know what you need to do

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#38 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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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.
personally i would try to rehome first. i'd just be straight forward and honest with who would adopt and tell them the issues and insist on somebody with plenty of experience with dogs and no children. if this didn't work than you'd have no other choice but to put the dog down. my sister had a poodle that was friendly (had her since she was a puppy) but as the dog got older (age 5/6) it went psycho. went from just snapping at strangers to snapping at my sister and she put the dog to sleep. sad but was necessary. really only you and your dh can make this decision based on what you know about your dog.
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#39 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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We had a dog for 10 years that we loved. He was a rescue dog, a Shepherd/Rotweiller cross, who was fear-aggressive. We spent a lot of time working with him (including working with a trainer for over a year) and also keeping him apart from visiting children, and some visitors (he had been burned by cigarettes and some of our friends who smoked would trigger a response in him).

For us he was the most marvellous dog, when we didn't have kids. And under most circumstances he would obey our commands. However, there were some in which he would not. He also killed two raccoons, one without any warning whatsoever.

When I got pregnant with my daughter I cried because I knew he was not able to be trusted, and I didn't believe it was going to be possible for us to be vigilant every. single. minute. in our own home. We worked on rehoming him, but found out he had a bad heart condition and we finally decided to just put him down and be glad about the life we had given him.

It was horrible and I still feel bad about it (especially since my daughter died, so it seemed unnecessary) but I would decide the same again in the same situation. Sometimes your life situation just doesn't make for success with a dog, and if you've been working with a troubled dog for a long time, you just know when you're over your head.

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#40 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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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.
Is there any kind of rescue organization that would take him, and perhaps find him a child-free family?

I totally feel for you--pretty much ONLY in your situation would I recommend putting him to sleep. We too, had a ticking time bomb dog. It's very difficult to live like that, especially as your child gets more mobile. We really loved our bad dog very much, and he ended being "ok" with our daughter, but I kept them very separate 95% of the time and she was too little to seek him out. He ended up dying of cancer when she was 3. It was sad, but a relief in many ways.

Now we have a lab who has the temperament of SAINT. She is the sweetest, most patient, happy dog...

I am really, really sorry you are going through this. I can hear you blaming yourself but you cannot be everywhere at once and if you feel in your gut that the dog is not helpable, I actually do think it's more humane to put the dog down.
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#41 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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Oh, how heartbreaking! Big hugs to you on this difficult decision. I'm afraid, given the information you added, I'd probably put the dog down. I'm so sorry!
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#42 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I may have the most unpopular answer of all. Please read Cesar Millan's books (Cesar's Way and Be the Pack Leader). Often times dogs show aggressive behavior because we as humans have been babying them and treating them as dolls and not animals or not giving them the exercise and discipline they need. The domesticated dog (even a chihuahua, shih-tzu or poodle) is so closely related to wolves that the two can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. In our society we tend to humanize dogs and see them as "kids with fur". They have entirely different needs than a human. They are pack animals. When we baby a dog, we feed needy, insecure energy and the dog then feels needy and insecure and reacts aggressively. Dogs also become aggressive if they are cooped up all day and not allowed to walk and exercise. Wolves will migrate several miles a day. All dogs need at least a 1 hour walk a day. Most importantly, YOU MUST BE YOUR DOG'S PACK LEADER. Your dog wants to have a strong stable pack leader and if s/he feels s/he's not getting it, the dog will become insecure and aggressive If your dog is out of control and you can not discipline him/her, you may have to give it away to someone else. The child's safety comes first. You really should seek professional help. Most of the time dogs can be rehabilitated with the right help.

My husband was raised to baby animals. He had dogs growing up and they were cooed over and rarely disciplined. My mother-in-law still calls her cat and dog "angel" and tries to reason with her dog as if she were talking to a human child by saying things like "You know better than that!" The problem is that the dog doesn't know better than that. She doesn't understand human talk and the energy she gets from my MIL is "I'm weak and insecure and I need you to make me feel better." When my husband stopped being our dog's "mommy" and started being her pack leader we saw huge improvements.

We now have two dogs- an American Eskimo and American Eskimo-Pomeranian mix (breeds with reputations for being biters). We have had zero aggression problems with our dogs and baby. In fact, the eski-pom thinks she is our son's "nanny" (a role that single female wolves often take on in a wolf pack) and will cuddle up next to me when I am feeding him and follows me around when I have him. She tries to lick him when he's fussy (that's what dogs do with puppies) but we don't allow it. We never leave children and dogs unattended. We have had our dogs around several other children with no aggression problems. We have a lot to work on with being pack leaders, but our dogs understand that aggressive behavior with kids, especially our son is not tolerated.

This is what I would say BEFORE a bite. My Dogs have an established pack order. Myself being the top top, My Child and Dh also being above them. If I had any inclination they would be challenging the order (because once they have once they will again) Then I would consider re homing them. I have never seen any aggression in my dogs and if a bite was to occur it may be accidental, but if EVER there was an intentional bite, for ANY reason, even taunting they would be out the door so FAST.

If my dogs are being taunted, or bothered (which Dh and I have done since day 1 to insure safety of children) They have been trained not to aggress, but walk away. They can retreat to place DS can't get, like over gates. Or alert the pack leader (me) there is an issue. (not that I let them get over bothered all the time)

In your case I would rehome your dog to a family that believes they can handle dominance issues. I am so sorry you in this situation.

Oh and I have standard poodles, also chosen because the breed is known for being good with children, and ours are well bred to avoid issues there too.

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#43 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Even the most tolerant/docile dog can be tormented to the extreme and have a breaking point...
I agree with this 100% and is the reason my moms usually completely docile black lab bit my cousin... his mother was not watching him while he pulled the dogs ears and poked his eyes, chasing after the dog every time he ran away...

However, with the added info to the OPs case, I would get rid of the dog immediately. Whether putting him down or re-homing him somewhere where they understand the dog has issues and is not to be around kids.

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#44 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I'd put the dog down.

I was attacked as a 2 year old and almost lost my eye, luckily I was small enough that you cannot tell there was any serious damage done to me, but the Dr told my mom that if it had been a millimeter or so more I would have lost my eye. This was a neighbors dog, it knocked me over while I was playing in my yard, I did nothing to the dog, and it attacked me. My parents were in the yard and saw the dog with my face in it's mouth.

The dog had already bitten another kid. I don't take 2nd chances, not after that.

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#45 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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A minor bite that didn't break skin, and wasn't on the face, I'd consider the circumstances (was she provoked, hurt, etc). I may decide to keep them separated, do training, whatever. I'd assume she was "disciplining" ds, and not being aggressive or fear biting.
But a bite that broke skin, or was in the face? Yeah, I'd put her to sleep. Not worth the chance to me.

I'm not entirely sure I'd keep a dog that growled at kids when they get close to her food.
I agree with all of this.

We grew up with dogs. We currently have my MIL's dog as it got kicked out of her assisted living for attacking other dogs (almost killed a Jack Russell). And I was bit as a child by a friendly dog that my mother always told me I'd been gentle with (it was put down as I was the third person it bit - oddly my dad was the first many years before).

I think that in order to have a dog in a family with kids, the dog must be able to put up with kids around and underfoot, hugging the dog, near the dog in a wide variety of situations. If the dog is hurt/scared/surprised in a family with children, it must get out of the situation or bark as a warning. A dog who bites in any normal situation that occurs in a house with kids cannot be kept as a family pet.

I trust my MIL's dog with my kids (who are all very gentle and understand how to treat animals) 100%. I don't trust her with my cat at all - so they are never in the same place. She would kill my cat in a heartbeat and I know this. But I have seen her with my kids for over a decade. She is good with adults and kids; she is terrible with small animals.

I think you have to know the dog. It sounds like the OP knows her dog. She has done everything possible. In the situation she describes in her second post, I would have the dog put down. Very sad but I don't see another choice.
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#46 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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It sounds like you know what needs to be done. I'm so sorry.
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#47 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Is there any kind of rescue organization that would take him, and perhaps find him a child-free family?

I totally feel for you--pretty much ONLY in your situation would I recommend putting him to sleep. We too, had a ticking time bomb dog. It's very difficult to live like that, especially as your child gets more mobile. We really loved our bad dog very much, and he ended being "ok" with our daughter, but I kept them very separate 95% of the time and she was too little to seek him out. He ended up dying of cancer when she was 3. It was sad, but a relief in many ways.

Now we have a lab who has the temperament of SAINT. She is the sweetest, most patient, happy dog...

I am really, really sorry you are going through this. I can hear you blaming yourself but you cannot be everywhere at once and if you feel in your gut that the dog is not helpable, I actually do think it's more humane to put the dog down.


There are very few shelters which would consider taking a dog with this history. I should know, as I called all the numbers I could find in kansas city area and they all said they were full and wouldn't take my guy anyways because of his history of aggression and biting. I did get one to at least give him a test, but Giz failed and they said no way. So I had him put down there for a small fee.

I do recommend trying this option though. Just don't get your hopes up, and be honest about his history. You never know, someone might want to take him on.

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#48 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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A rescue org is a little different than a shelter, too. Usually they are breed specific, and they are more used dealing with dogs who need rehabbing or to be rehomed to childless or catless homes.

I didn't see in the post if the dog is a mix or purebred--but I think you did say he was poorly bred. Breeders usually feel a certain amount of responsibility to help.
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#49 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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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.
Based on this update, the dog would be gone. I'm sorry this happened, but I'm so glad it wasn't worse.

I know alot of people are recommending looking for another home, or a rescue organization, but if after one phone call to the vet to find out about possibilities, and a few other phone calls to see if the dog qualified for a rescue organization, I would have him put down. I wouldn't trust him to be in my home with my child any longer than absolutely necessary. I hope you are keeping the 2 completely separated for the time being.
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#50 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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if it happened in our house, the dog would be gone that day. depending on the circumstance would make the decision of rehoming or putting the dog down, but i would not trust the dog around the kids ever again and they, not the dog, are my top priority.
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#51 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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Ugh. I'm so sorry you are going through this. For me, if a dog attacked for no reason.. I would have to put them down. Now, if the dog was provoked with a child hurting it.. in it's face.. then I'd rehome the dog. Dogs and children MUST be supervised. Even the sweetest dog can bite if they are being threatened. It's their instinct. That doesn't make them bad. I watch my children around my animals and keep them out of their face,etc. You just can't leave small children and dogs unattended.
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#52 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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OP, in your situation, I would have the dog put down.

And actually in most situations, I would probably look at putting the dog down, but it honestly would depend on the situation.

I have never been bitten by a dog, but I have been bitten by a cat. And we did end up keeping the cat, because of the situation.
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#53 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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As a last ditch resort could you maybe call an Animal Rescue organization and see if there's any chance he could be rehomed to a family with no kids?

I was bit in the face by a friends dog when I was about 10. And they gave the dog away right after that. I was devastated and still feel bad about that. It was unprovoked and totally out of character for the dog but they felt they couldn't trust him after that.

Our previous dog bit my son in the face. He was trying to "hug" her at the time. I called in a trainer and worked extensively with her as well as my DS. And we NEVER had any signs of aggression or any other issues after that.

I'm sorry. I know how tough this is.
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#54 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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I don't want to steal the thread but we are looking at a simialar (though much less extreme case). about 3 months ago we rescued a 7 year old dog from animal control. The dog was fear aggressive but with training, turned into a differant dog. He bit my son on the hand about 2 weeks ago. The skin didn't break but there were teeth marks. I was standing about 2 feet away and my son was near the dog but not touching or interacting with him. A few days ago the dog bit me too. He has also started raising his lip and growling. He's had full vetting, so no issues. I feel like we took responsibility for this dog and placed him in a bad situation. I hate this! He has growled at hubby too. The humane society is full and the rescues won't take him due to age or being full. Ideas?
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#55 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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The dog was fear aggressive but with training, turned into a differant dog. He bit my son on the hand about 2 weeks ago. The skin didn't break but there were teeth marks. I was standing about 2 feet away and my son was near the dog but not touching or interacting with him. A few days ago the dog bit me too. He has also started raising his lip and growling. He's had full vetting, so no issues. I feel like we took responsibility for this dog and placed him in a bad situation. I hate this! He has growled at hubby too. The humane society is full and the rescues won't take him due to age or being full. Ideas?
To me, these are clear signs that the dog isn't safe to have in your home. I would get it out of your home as soon as possible, even if it means putting him down.

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#56 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nicky85 View Post
I may have the most unpopular answer of all. Please read Cesar Millan's books (Cesar's Way and Be the Pack Leader). Often times dogs show aggressive behavior because we as humans have been babying them and treating them as dolls and not animals or not giving them the exercise and discipline they need. The domesticated dog (even a chihuahua, shih-tzu or poodle) is so closely related to wolves that the two can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. In our society we tend to humanize dogs and see them as "kids with fur". They have entirely different needs than a human. They are pack animals. When we baby a dog, we feed needy, insecure energy and the dog then feels needy and insecure and reacts aggressively. Dogs also become aggressive if they are cooped up all day and not allowed to walk and exercise. Wolves will migrate several miles a day. All dogs need at least a 1 hour walk a day. Most importantly, YOU MUST BE YOUR DOG'S PACK LEADER. Your dog wants to have a strong stable pack leader and if s/he feels s/he's not getting it, the dog will become insecure and aggressive If your dog is out of control and you can not discipline him/her, you may have to give it away to someone else. The child's safety comes first. You really should seek professional help. Most of the time dogs can be rehabilitated with the right help.

My husband was raised to baby animals. He had dogs growing up and they were cooed over and rarely disciplined. My mother-in-law still calls her cat and dog "angel" and tries to reason with her dog as if she were talking to a human child by saying things like "You know better than that!" The problem is that the dog doesn't know better than that. She doesn't understand human talk and the energy she gets from my MIL is "I'm weak and insecure and I need you to make me feel better." When my husband stopped being our dog's "mommy" and started being her pack leader we saw huge improvements.

We now have two dogs- an American Eskimo and American Eskimo-Pomeranian mix (breeds with reputations for being biters). We have had zero aggression problems with our dogs and baby. In fact, the eski-pom thinks she is our son's "nanny" (a role that single female wolves often take on in a wolf pack) and will cuddle up next to me when I am feeding him and follows me around when I have him. She tries to lick him when he's fussy (that's what dogs do with puppies) but we don't allow it. We never leave children and dogs unattended. We have had our dogs around several other children with no aggression problems. We have a lot to work on with being pack leaders, but our dogs understand that aggressive behavior with kids, especially our son is not tolerated.
Trust me when I say this, my dogs aren't babied. I am a correctional dog trainer at heart, meaning I train with corrections and verbal praise over cookies and clickers. My model trainer is Koehler. This dog requires a high amount of continual training to be a nice canine citizen. He requires near micro management in all scenarios. When I was childless, I had that time and structure to dedicate to him. And despite all that, I still had severe limitations of what I could do with him and what would lead to disaster. He's a highly reactive dog. Highly intelligent (border collie), very high drive and very needy.

He's not a dog that would ever be safe around small children, even at his best training moments. He's not good with strangers in any shape or form, ever. Desensitization with him regarding strangers works on an individual level. I have desensitize him with one stranger and be completely back at square one with the next 100 strangers. There is no generalization with him.

I'm heart broken over this as I've failed to protect my dog from this very scenario that knew would/could happen. I failed to protect my child from harm. My husband thinks it's entirely his fault as DD was being watched by him at that particular moment (I was in the other room, he was in the kitchen next to the dining room) and he was the one who fed the dog. I feel at fault because this never would have happened had I personally fed that dog. He doesn't step a toe out of line with me... ever. But my husband is a different matter.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#57 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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OP- you didn't MAKE this happen. You take care of your baby. What happened is horrible and it's going to be hard for awhile, but the what if's are over and you can make decisions for everyone's safety now.
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#58 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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The problem is that you shouldn't have to keep your eyes on your child 24/7. You should be able to look up, go pee, fold some laundry...without the fear of your child being bitten.

A dog is a dog. Your child is your child. The dog would be gone that day. And not to another home where he has the potential to bite someone else.

wife - mother - midwife

CIRCUMCISION

The more you know, the worse it gets.

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#59 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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I'm so very sorry for the awful situation you are in. Although you did so many of the right things, it sounds like euthanasia is the appropriate option for this dog. When I was in vet school, one of the clinical behaviorists told me in passing that a bite to the face was, in her opinion, an instant decision to euth. As she explained, the fact that the dog is willing to escalate violence to the level of a face bite meant that she would never feel confident that training and conditioning would leave a child safe. It only takes a few seconds for a dog to maim a child, and you cannot be expected to stand sentry 24/7.

If it holds any comfort at all, over the years it has become clear to me that just like some humans are born with mental illness that manifest themselves in violence, some dogs are born that way too. We try to medicate and condition them, but some are beyond our help, and the most kind thing we can do is provide a safe and loving end to their lives.

Wishing you the best.
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#60 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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I think it's hard sometimes with working dogs too - he is supposed to be herding sheep, and I think sometimes if they don't have a job to do, they get a little stir-crazy. Ultimately though, it's not reasonable to have a member of the family that you have to monitor 24/7 to ensure the safety of another member. You cannot be there all the time, and if you have a dog and a small child, the dog has know that it is #4 in the pecking order, below you AND your DH AND the baby. And he has to be trustworthy for the 30 sec. that you are out of the room or the one time the kid opens the screen door and goes out to the back yard with a biscuit to give to the dog as a treat.

My dog is a 13 1/2 year old pit mix who is a bodhisattva of compassion. If DS is bugging him (which we try to put the kibbosh on, but sometimes gentle petting devolves into bear hugging), he gets up and moves or goes to the door to be let out. The dog HAS to be that way. Even when we are with them, DS can move faster than I can on occasion, and I could not have my dog if I didn't feel he was trustworthy 110%. I am so sorry - it sounds like you put in a ton of work and training hours with this dog, and it's heartbreaking to have to make such a decision.

From what you've said though, he wouldn't be a very good working dog or agility prospect or have a easy time adjusting in another home. The new owners would have to be just as vigilant as you are, and it sounds like he's a bite risk for adults as well as kids.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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