If your dog bit your child... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Highly intelligent (border collie), very high drive and very needy.

.
I mentioned earlier in this thread that my dog has too many feelings for a dog. She's a border collie/blue heeler mix. She's ALWAYS on hyper-alert. We can be hiking one mountain, and she's concerned about animals she hears or sees on the next mountain. She never relaxes because she's always looking or listening for something out of the ordinary.

I think these dogs are just too oversensitive for their own good. I bet you can find a great home for your dog. Perhaps he just needs one of those jobs performing, or being in an agility class. Can you call around and see if anybody would love to have him?
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#62 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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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.

He doesn't step a toe out of line with me... ever. But my husband is a different matter.
I think you say it well here. This is not something you could have changed. Certain breeds and certain dogs can't live in a pack with young. Border Collies, although smart are also known for becoming neurotic when instinct needs aren't always met and have a HIGH herding instinct. It is not something you can train out of an animal. Some within a breed are just more manageable than others. Cesar Has dogs at his home that cannot be placed back in home situations, even with his amazing ability.

If your Dh isn't good with the dominance part then if and when you get another dog I would be careful to pick a submissive personality. My Dh isn't great with this either, but both my dogs are submissive naturally and when he steps up they back down...Except in 'play' situations like seeing birds. They would never do this with me.

Perhaps because he is a purebred you can get in touch with the rescue in your area. That would have a much higher chance of appropriate placement. But I will say, I don't think you should put the animal down. There may very well be a better place for him/her to live more animalistic.

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#63 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We (the dog and I) used to do agility before the baby. Of course, we had the time and money to do so. I'm a stay at home mom now with my husband traveling M-F for work. Funds for more agility training is just not possible right now. He totally thrives off the work though. It was great mental and physical stimulation for him. But like I said earlier, even at his best, I could never trust him.

And because of that... I can't see him successfully rehomed. I can't see how that would be fair to him. He would need the perfect home that completely understands his problems and that would be highly unlikely to find.

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#64 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 05:32 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.
In your shoes, I'd put him down too. I'm very sorry. Looks like you've done and tried everything for him, that is a lot more than what most people would do.

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#65 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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What I would do in this situation is:
Call every rescue in the area and explain the situation. If no other options present themselves very soon, i would put the dog down.

You never know, though. A rescue may know of the perfect child-free environment for the dog, such as a working ranch.

So sorry this happened to you and your dd.
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#66 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 08:58 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?


These are the first signs my dog showed (but only ever to my son and my husband) the next step was him full on attacking and lunging after my husband. Outlook is honestly not good. I did everything humanly possible to prevent putting him down, but in the end, that was the most humane thing to do.

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#67 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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if shelters and rescues won't take him I would havce him put down. I cannot imagine living with an agressive dog. If my dog so much as growled aggressively at my children for ANYTHING we would be rehoming. I just do not have the time or energy for monitoring that. And I know I got really really lucky with my dog in that she is not at all aggressive. She plays rough but it was years befor she would do that with the kids and still won't with my youngest. We have had a few injuries from hitting her teeth (she is a German Shepherd mix and is all mouth) but she has never ever bitten or shown any sort of real aggression. not even concerning food. she is completely submissive around other dogs as well. (poor dear would not last long in the wild.) This is the only way I would keep a dog around children. If she had shown any aggression towards the kids or me she would have been packed right back up and sent back where she came from.

If it were just the bite I would think yiour dog would have a good chance of being rehomed (I really do not consider one bite out of the blue that big of a deal) but since he has been a aggressive dog since day one and you have tried and tried to rehabilitate him I would start with a shelter and if that did not work (we have a no refusal shelter but honestly, aggressive dogs are put down right away) or have him put down.

I am so sorry

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#68 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I'd put the dog to sleep immediately.
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#69 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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I'm not going to give any advice since we are new puppy owners, but I love this site http://leerburg.com/ there is sooooo much information here. I know you have experience in training but I thought it couldn't hurt to give you the link.

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#70 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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In general, it depends. My dog bit me once, didn't break skin though. I was lying on the couch, she was lying on the floor asleep. I stood up. On her. She weighs 20lbs, I weigh a bit more. I'd have bitten too in that situation. She didn't mean to hurt, she was really sorry. And no issues since.

But in your case, I would put the dog down.
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#71 of 120 Old 07-19-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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Personally? I would rehome the dog, ASAP.

If the child was bitten in the face by the dog simply turning from a food bowl? The child WAS "near" the dog. TOO near.

And y'all weren't supervising appropriately, especially knowing that the dog had food/other aggression issues.

And... I would not suggest you get another dog until and unless you do not have small children in your home. Any dog. Sorry. Even the best dog needs to be supervised with a crawling child.
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#72 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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In general, it depends. My dog bit me once, didn't break skin though. I was lying on the couch, she was lying on the floor asleep. I stood up. On her. She weighs 20lbs, I weigh a bit more. I'd have bitten too in that situation. She didn't mean to hurt, she was really sorry. And no issues since.

But in your case, I would put the dog down.
EXACTLY! ! ANY DOG can bite! ANY DOG! My mother raises and travels around the country showing her dogs. She also worked for a vet for many years, so dogs and safety have always been a top priority for me growing up. If a child ACCIDENTLY HURT an animal there is a chance the dog WILL bite. It doesn't mean it's an aggressive dog, but dogs bite when they are hurting. It's their instinct, and one that needs to be respected with caution. It scares me when people say their dogs "would never bite", and they "wouldn't have a dog that they need to monitor". Many of the dog bites reported are from "trusted" pets. We all have to remember that dogs are ANIMALS. I love my dogs, and think they are the sweetest dogs in the world, but I sure as heck wouldn't leave my toddlers in a room with them for long periods of time. My husband works at a hospital in town , and there have been infant/toddler deaths attributed to dog attacks. The dogs were usually pets and lived with the family.
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#73 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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OP We were in a very similar situation with our chocolate lab a few years ago when one of my daughters was 1 also. She crawled over by the food dish, he wasn't even near it or eating, and he charged her, stood between her and the dish, snarled and lunged, baring his teeth. He was a loyal, sweet, playful dog that we adored but he had EVERY intention of hurting her. That was it. He was gone.

I'm so sorry that happened, it's ok to feel cruddy, but definitely the dog would be gone. ASAP.

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#74 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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I'm afraid you know the answer to the question. But I realize you needed others to confirm that you're probably taking the right steps.

Honestly, around here, if a dog bite winds up in the hospital, it's an automatic quarantine on the dog, and if it's the 2nd offense (I believe it's 2nd), the dog is put down. When I was bitten, it was not the first time that dog had bitten, but it was the first bite that needed stitches (over 30 to the face - and I was an adult). The owner (a good friend) had the dog put down the next day. She received a notice from the city a few days later about the dog and quarantine.

Ultimately, you know the dog is unpredictable, and you know he's a time-bomb. It's just a matter of time until he does it again, and how much worse are you going to feel the next time? Even if it's not your baby he does it to.

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#75 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 04:19 AM
 
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I'm very sorry to hear that your DD was injured, & that you're being faced with this decision about your dog. Yes, if he's not real stable, & requires constant upkeep, I'd put him down. It's extra hard since he's been your working companion, but there are stable dogs out there, & you've done a lot with him, but he can't be trusted around the human "puppy" (I had a dog who wasn't good around pups (& developed jealousy issues around other family members regarding his possessiveness of me), & he ended up neutered despite a Ch., great OFAs, CGC, & TT - fortunately, by the time my DDs came along, he was hitting old age, & he died when my 1st daughter had just started walking). Until recently, we also had a 15 1/2 year old Staffy Bullx, & while we kept an eye on the girls that they didn't pester him, he was fool proof, had no food issues whatsoever, & was the perfect family dog.

This isn't just a glitch in an otherwise stable dog - this is the last straw, & you don't want to pass a problem dog off on someone else. I love my remaining dog dearly, but if he wasn't entirely amiable around my children, he'd be re-homed, pronto.

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#76 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 07:19 AM
 
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If the kid provoked it maybe try to rehome the dog. If the dog just *did it* I would euthanise it.
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#77 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 08:02 AM
 
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I don't have pets for this reason. I don't trust animals enough around young kids, and vice-versa. Even the best dogs can turn in a moment and nobody knows why. It would break my heart.

Needless to say I would try to find another home where there were no children, ideally a farm or something (like they don't have enough dogs, I know!). I would then seek out a shelter and if they thought they could not give the dog away, I would consider euthanizing it.

Read the other responses and I see this is common. to all those who have had this experience. I can't imagine.

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#78 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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OP, I know this is a really hard situation. And I know you feel terrible about what happened. I'm really glad that your DD is okay. And I just want to give you a pat on the back because honestly, I think you've been the best owner this particular dog could have ever had. It sounds like you have really worked hard to provide this dog what he needed to have the best life he could have. I know that you're kicking yourself for what happened and for not being more aware, but I honestly think you deserve more recognition for the years of hard work you've given your dog rather than guilt for the few moments of miscommunication that led up to the bite. I know you feel awful about what happened, but I also think you should feel good about the life you were able to provide for your pet. It sounds like you really worked hard and gave him a better chance than most people would have.

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#79 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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I think you owe it to the dog to at least try to find a new home. It sounds like this dog was the center of attention and getting all it's needs met for a long time and then it all just stopped. I totally understand why but the dog doesn't.

I also want to say something about all the emphasis on face biting. She's crawling towards him on the floor .. and she's a tiny one year old. What part of her is closest to the dog in that situation? It's really not the same situation as a dog attacking an adult, throwing them down and then going for the face .. ykwim?

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#80 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 09:17 AM
 
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OP, I know this is a really hard situation. And I know you feel terrible about what happened. I'm really glad that your DD is okay. And I just want to give you a pat on the back because honestly, I think you've been the best owner this particular dog could have ever had. It sounds like you have really worked hard to provide this dog what he needed to have the best life he could have. I know that you're kicking yourself for what happened and for not being more aware, but I honestly think you deserve more recognition for the years of hard work you've given your dog rather than guilt for the few moments of miscommunication that led up to the bite. I know you feel awful about what happened, but I also think you should feel good about the life you were able to provide for your pet. It sounds like you really worked hard and gave him a better chance than most people would have.
Very well said. OP, have you made a decision? (((hugs)))


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EXACTLY! ! ANY DOG can bite! ANY DOG! My mother raises and travels around the country showing her dogs. She also worked for a vet for many years, so dogs and safety have always been a top priority for me growing up. If a child ACCIDENTLY HURT an animal there is a chance the dog WILL bite. It doesn't mean it's an aggressive dog, but dogs bite when they are hurting. It's their instinct, and one that needs to be respected with caution. It scares me when people say their dogs "would never bite", and they "wouldn't have a dog that they need to monitor". Many of the dog bites reported are from "trusted" pets. We all have to remember that dogs are ANIMALS. I love my dogs, and think they are the sweetest dogs in the world, but I sure as heck wouldn't leave my toddlers in a room with them for long periods of time. My husband works at a hospital in town , and there have been infant/toddler deaths attributed to dog attacks. The dogs were usually pets and lived with the family.
This is a very good message.

I trust my dog about 99.9% - he has no food issues, DS can feed him, any of us can take food away from him, he's just laid back and doesn't much care. I think it is more laziness than good behavior. BUT he's still a dog. With teeth. Stuff can happen so there's no unsupervised time.

He accidentally nipped DS once - DS had a snack and was waving it, ended up swinging it towards Sam, Sam thought DS was giving it to him and went to take it just as DS moved his hand and Sam ended up getting a finger. Didn't even leave a mark (he released immediately when he didn't touch food) but now we have a "no snacks except at the table" if Sam is out and about.

I still put him away in a room if we have kids over who are not used to dogs. You can't be too careful.
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#81 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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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.
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#82 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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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.

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#83 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 01:28 PM
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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.
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#84 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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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.

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#85 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 03:15 PM
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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.
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#86 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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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.
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#87 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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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.

Hippie sympathizer and mom to L, 4.8.10.
Pet-mom to Squirt with FLUTD & Maya the deaf wonder dog .
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#88 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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I would put the dog down.

goorganic.jpgwife to footinmouth.gif, currently WOH and geek.gif on my doctorate. (I'm dissertating!) We: novaxnocirc.giftoddler.gifgd.giffamilybed1.gif  with DS (4/09)!
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#89 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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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.
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#90 of 120 Old 07-20-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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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.

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

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