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Old 11-22-2009, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 2 year old cocker spaniel and an 8 month old Peanut. My dog is an absolute sweetheart to me and my husband, but doesn't like strangers and doesn't like Peanut. Peanut is crawling really fast now-a-days and it's difficult to keep her away from the dog. Any suggestions or helpful experiences? We really don't want to get rid of our dog and honestly I don't think anyone would take her because of the hating strangers thing. I'm looking into hiring a one-on-one (we've done classes with her to no avail) trainer on Monday.

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Old 11-22-2009, 05:57 AM
 
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this is not what you want to hear, but this is a complaint I have heard of Cocker Spaniels before. I love dogs and when I have a pet they are really like members of the family, but I wouldn't have a dog that I would be suspicious of biting my baby.
Otherwise, invest in lots of baby gates and keep dog and baby seperated.

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Old 11-22-2009, 06:05 AM
 
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Sorry to say this, but you have to get rid of the dog or someone to foster until Peanut is older. Our DD was 13 months old and was bit on the face by our small dog and it happened so fast and out of the blue AND It was not around food!!! It happened right next to me when I turned my head for a split second. I trusted our dog 200% and he LOVES kids and EVERYONE. She loves him still and he loves her, but he is living with some in-laws about 1000 miles away.

DDog was in our family for 6 years and had Canine Good Citizen Cert. I talked to breeders and trainers as this was a full bred dog. They said that the worst time can be when kids are toddlers. They don't act predictably and the dogs don't "recognize" them as human. This can happen with highly trained dogs.

DD had an inhibited bite...they decided to not put stitches in but she is left with 2 scars on her face almost a year later to the date. He almost got her eye. It was one of the most awful days of my life. Sitting in the ER with everyone looking at her face and having to say that it was not some strange viscous dog, but our own beloved family pet.

If your dog is already showing aggressive signs with strangers and her, then it probably is not going to get better. This is maybe my one opportunity to have some good come from our horrible experience and that is to save another family from repeating our experience.

DH was adamant after the bite that DDog was staying and we gave it 2.5 months and it was such a relief the day he left even though I miss him every day and just emailed 2 days ago to see how DDog was doing. Anyway, we had baby gates, to keep them separate but both the dog and child can move quickly. I was so stressed & fearful that it might happen again and I found myself wanting to yell at both the dog and DD. About 2month after the bite DD was toddling and fell close to where DDog was laying by DH and bared his teeth. That was it. He couldn't stay away from her and couldn't be near her during this developmental stage. We may get him back, but if the foster parents insist on keeping him then we will have to accept that.

Finally, I will reiterate. Keeping the dog is NOT worth the agony and guilt and horror of the experience. I feel that we were lucky he did not get her eye. It happened once and that was unfortunate, but I know I could not live with myself if it were to happen again. However, you have a lot signs that this is not a good combo and all the training in the world will not give you the peace of mind that the dog's absence will.

Sorry, that that may not be the answer you were hoping for, but hope that it is helpful nonetheless.

BTDT and have long wished I could rewind the hands of time.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:22 AM
 
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Is your cocker actually biting? moving away from peanut? growling? You didn't really specify what's going on.

While I agree with the PP that in many situations it is not worth keeping the dog when you're worried about biting, I do think it's only fair to try a GOOD behaviorist before making a decision.

Sometimes things are a lot less dire than they look, and no one on the internet can tell you what is going on. If you really want to keep the dog, if you can, get some good help as quick as you can.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:21 AM
 
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If it's any comfort...

My parents had a Scottish Terrier when I was born. Those of you who know dogs know these have major territorial issues and bite.

Everyone said when my mom was pregnant that she'd have to get rid of Heather. When they brought her home, she sort of adopted me. She would sleep under my crib. When I learned to walk, I leaned on her, sometimes pulling her fur. She would whimper but not snap at me. Mother was super-paranoid but she never had any reason to doubt Heather.

The problem is that this is a small dog and people would come up to her. I was constantly pulling her away from them and lecturing children on how they shouldn't approach dogs they don't know. She was also hell in the gas station before the days of self-service. She had quite a reputation.

We also never had food issues but we were taught not to go near her dish. Apparently, that's a real red flag. Toddlers, someone explained to me, are at dog-height and look them in the eye, which dogs misinterpret. That's why they tend to get attacked, even by dogs who were good with them as babies.

Babeck's story scares the crap out of me! What a horrible experience, especially involving two things you love.

I wish there were a way your dog could bond with your baby the way Heather sort of adopted me. Is he jealous? Is this a territorial issue? A trait in this breed? I would not want something that could potentially harm my child around but maybe there's some way to avoid having to get rid of the dog.

Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:41 AM
 
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I'm sorry. There was a thread similar to this in the Pets forum not too long ago. You might try looking over there for more information. Personally, I would not keep a dog that showed any aggression towards my child unless I could really keep them separated (like an outside dog).
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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We just went through this in our house as well. What you really need a dog behaviorist, you can call your vet and they should be able to refer you to someone. Our dog has many other problems that made rehoming impossible, or so I thought. He is now in a wonderful home without children and doing well. Our dog attacked our 3 year, bit her in the face several times, this was after a "warning bite" on her hand a couple months ago. After the first incident I took precautions, never left them alone, etc... this second attack occurred when I was less then 2 feet away, DD2 was just standing there, she had done nothing to the dog.


Children have quick, sudden movements, they can be very unsettling for a dog. Some dogs, especially those that tend to be nippy dogs to begin with, do not tolerate children well. I would urge you to keep the baby away from the dog, while the baby is crawling around, put the dog in another room. If even you are right there, it only takes a second as I found out.

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Old 11-23-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Sorry to say this, but you have to get rid of the dog or someone to foster until Peanut is older. Our DD was 13 months old and was bit on the face by our small dog and it happened so fast and out of the blue AND It was not around food!!! It happened right next to me when I turned my head for a split second. I trusted our dog 200% and he LOVES kids and EVERYONE. She loves him still and he loves her, but he is living with some in-laws about 1000 miles away.

DDog was in our family for 6 years and had Canine Good Citizen Cert. I talked to breeders and trainers as this was a full bred dog. They said that the worst time can be when kids are toddlers. They don't act predictably and the dogs don't "recognize" them as human. This can happen with highly trained dogs.

DD had an inhibited bite...they decided to not put stitches in but she is left with 2 scars on her face almost a year later to the date. He almost got her eye. It was one of the most awful days of my life. Sitting in the ER with everyone looking at her face and having to say that it was not some strange viscous dog, but our own beloved family pet.

If your dog is already showing aggressive signs with strangers and her, then it probably is not going to get better. This is maybe my one opportunity to have some good come from our horrible experience and that is to save another family from repeating our experience.

DH was adamant after the bite that DDog was staying and we gave it 2.5 months and it was such a relief the day he left even though I miss him every day and just emailed 2 days ago to see how DDog was doing. Anyway, we had baby gates, to keep them separate but both the dog and child can move quickly. I was so stressed & fearful that it might happen again and I found myself wanting to yell at both the dog and DD. About 2month after the bite DD was toddling and fell close to where DDog was laying by DH and bared his teeth. That was it. He couldn't stay away from her and couldn't be near her during this developmental stage. We may get him back, but if the foster parents insist on keeping him then we will have to accept that.

Finally, I will reiterate. Keeping the dog is NOT worth the agony and guilt and horror of the experience. I feel that we were lucky he did not get her eye. It happened once and that was unfortunate, but I know I could not live with myself if it were to happen again. However, you have a lot signs that this is not a good combo and all the training in the world will not give you the peace of mind that the dog's absence will.

Sorry, that that may not be the answer you were hoping for, but hope that it is helpful nonetheless.

BTDT and have long wished I could rewind the hands of time.

Wow, this is pretty much what happened to my son with my nanns dog while I was staying with her for the holidays last year. I lived with her before I got my own place and I raised a kitten with the dog that bit my son on the face. Me and DP were not even 3 feet away when it happened. I would be very careful and keep them in separate areas at all times, no matter what.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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Sounds like what happened with my IL's dog when my DH was learning how to walk. DH got bit in the face on two separate occasions, and after the second time, the pediatrician told FIL that he'd have to call CPS if they kept the dog.

DH still has the scars, one on an eyelid even.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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this is so sad, i dont have any advice but hope you can find peace in whatever situation will work best for your family. i know first hand how much of a family member pets can become and it can be so heartbreaking to make a decision like this.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:18 AM
 
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I am sorry to hear. Unfortunately though...in 13y of working as a vet tech....Cockers are one of the only breeds I am likely not to trust at the get go.
Dogs are pack creatures...you and your DH are alpha...and your dog is trying to assert dominance over your little one. This cannot happen. You must keep them separated!
My friend (a vet) had to go through this with her own dog (a duck toller)....unfortunately all the behavioural training (with a specialist) in the world would not work for her. She had no choice but to put her down...she would snap at strangers too

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Old 11-24-2009, 05:44 AM
 
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I forgot to tell you the other part of the story. The hospital reports this to animal control and they come out and put your dog under quarantine. Then we had to go through a lot of other paperwork to get this lifted by proving he had his vaccinations, etc. otherwise they would then take the dog or something like that...blah, blah, blah. BUT, we ALSO HAD TO POST A NOTICE ON OUR DOOR that we had a quarantined dog. Talk about a Scarlet A!!! It was just a horrible experience all around.

At the hospital, they were convinced it was a large dog, but I had to show them how he essentially dragged his teeth across her face (upper and lower jaws) and pinched her cheek really hard. I can still remember it vividly and probably won't ever forget it.

All of the stories from PP saying that it was in the face is what I was told to and that this is not uncommon, which is very scary. We were told that as awful as this bit was, that it was inhibited and it was a quick bite, not an attack. However, I would have hated to see anything more than that.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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this is not what you want to hear, but this is a complaint I have heard of Cocker Spaniels before. I love dogs and when I have a pet they are really like members of the family, but I wouldn't have a dog that I would be suspicious of biting my baby.
Otherwise, invest in lots of baby gates and keep dog and baby seperated.

There's also a good book I've heard of, Childproofing Your Dog, that maybe you can look into.
This has got to be a rough situation

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Old 11-28-2009, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your advice. I would really like to avoid getting rid of my dog if at all possible. I'm having a one-on-one trainer come to my house.

I don't think she's jealous, though she might be territorial. She never snaps at people outside of our house. Mostly when Peanut goes near her, she just walks away. Peanut likes to follow her though. Sometimes she growls and we correct her. The times that she has snapped at her have been once when Peanut cornered her, once when they were both on the bed and Peanut got too close to her (she was awake, just for some reason she didn't go away that time), and once when my husband had food he was giving to Peanut and the dog thought she should have it (she didn't actually get her that time). The times that she has bitten her, she hasn't actually broken skin. Though she has recently bitten me and broken my skin (I was trying to take off her sweater).

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:42 AM
 
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i really hope the trainer can help, sounds like a dominant thing, which as far as i know is correctable and will most likely also be grown out of as baby gets older and isnt on her level anymore.
please update us with how it goes, i really hope you guys can work it out.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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There is no way I would trust a biting dog around my child even if the dog were to go through training. I just wouldn't be able to trust that the dog, if provoked, wouldn't bite again. If it were me, the dog would have to go.

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Old 11-28-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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The times that she has snapped at her have been once when Peanut cornered her, once when they were both on the bed and Peanut got too close to her (she was awake, just for some reason she didn't go away that time), and once when my husband had food he was giving to Peanut and the dog thought she should have it (she didn't actually get her that time). The times that she has bitten her, she hasn't actually broken skin. Though she has recently bitten me and broken my skin (I was trying to take off her sweater).
re:bolded
I didn't realize the dog had already bitten the baby. no way no how would i keep an animal that has already bit my baby. sorry op. can you find a new place for the dog- maybe someone who would let you have the dog back when baby is older?

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Old 11-28-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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Im with the others the dog NEEDS to go. You will never be able to truely trust the dog. We love our chinese crested but if he ever opened his mouth to my 13 month old ( or 6yr , 15 yr or 18yr) he would be gone. Its not fair a child should suffer because of a pet. They should be safe in their own home with out fear of harm from a dog ( or cat ) bite.

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Old 11-29-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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Thank you all for your advice. I would really like to avoid getting rid of my dog if at all possible. I'm having a one-on-one trainer come to my house.

I don't think she's jealous, though she might be territorial. She never snaps at people outside of our house. Mostly when Peanut goes near her, she just walks away. Peanut likes to follow her though. Sometimes she growls and we correct her. The times that she has snapped at her have been once when Peanut cornered her, once when they were both on the bed and Peanut got too close to her (she was awake, just for some reason she didn't go away that time), and once when my husband had food he was giving to Peanut and the dog thought she should have it (she didn't actually get her that time). The times that she has bitten her, she hasn't actually broken skin. Though she has recently bitten me and broken my skin (I was trying to take off her sweater).
There is NO WAY I would keep a dog who was actually biting me or my child. There is nothing on this earth that would make me do that.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:25 AM
 
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Im with the others the dog NEEDS to go. You will never be able to truely trust the dog. We love our chinese crested but if he ever opened his mouth to my 13 month old ( or 6yr , 15 yr or 18yr) he would be gone. Its not fair a child should suffer because of a pet. They should be safe in their own home with out fear of harm from a dog ( or cat ) bite.
Yes. In all honesty, I have seen what a dog can do to a child. A dog that there is *any* question about needs to go. It is not worht the pain and disfigurement for your little one, who cannot speak for him/herself.

Babies and children deserve a safe home. I am sorry for your heartache, but do it now before your baby is injured. Please.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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Thank you all for your advice. I would really like to avoid getting rid of my dog if at all possible. I'm having a one-on-one trainer come to my house.

I don't think she's jealous, though she might be territorial. She never snaps at people outside of our house. Mostly when Peanut goes near her, she just walks away. Peanut likes to follow her though. Sometimes she growls and we correct her. The times that she has snapped at her have been once when Peanut cornered her, once when they were both on the bed and Peanut got too close to her (she was awake, just for some reason she didn't go away that time), and once when my husband had food he was giving to Peanut and the dog thought she should have it (she didn't actually get her that time). The times that she has bitten her, she hasn't actually broken skin. Though she has recently bitten me and broken my skin (I was trying to take off her sweater).
Just saw this.

Ho-LEE crap. Red flag, huge big waving in your face. Doggy needs to go. TBH, one snap or growl here and the dog would have been PTS that day.

Mama, I say this all out of genuine concern. Why are you waiting until your baby is hurt? When will it be bad enough that you will step in an accept this is not okay?

This dog has issues. They may be correctable, but this is not something you have the luxury of working with. You have a child now. You dog is threatening to do real harm to your child. Respond accordingly.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:50 AM
 
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I am ITA with Mom2Jesse. You must protect your child. A dog is just a dog, and, well, can be replaced later. your child cannot be replaced and you MUST protect her and keep her from being maimed or worse. Why is there even a question??
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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Another vote for get rid of the dog. I hope that doesn't sound flip lacking compassion, but the dog can no longer be considered safe in your home.

Find the dog a new home WITHOUT children, or have her put to sleep. I know that's a hard pill to swallow, but it's the only way you can keep your daughter safe, and that of course is where your priorities lie.

Hugs for you mama. It really stinks to be in such a situation, and I know first-hand the agony of having to make a decision like this. I can guarantee that this dog will bite your baby again, training or not. Please don't let that happen.

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:44 AM
 
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I am ITA with Mom2Jesse. You must protect your child. A dog is just a dog, and, well, can be replaced later. your child cannot be replaced and you MUST protect her and keep her from being maimed or worse. Why is there even a question??
in my experience it's attitudes like the bolded that lead to large amounts of animals showing up at the animal shelter and being killed. a dog can NOT be _replaced_ any more than your child can and i feel really sad that there are people out there that think that individual creatures are interchangeable.

to the OP, i am really glad that you are seeing a trainer but i really don't think that keeping your dog will be an option. do you have any family or friends without children that would be willing to adopt her so that you could still keep in contact? what about the breeder? most breeders have a 100% return policy if anything happens in your life and you must get rid of the dog. when we were breeding we re-homed two of our puppies (out of a total of 14) due to conflicts, one of those was at six years old.

i'm so sorry you are in this situation, it really is very hard.

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:17 AM
 
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Perhaps you're not thinking clearly because you are emotionally attached to the dog, but you have to find a new home for him. This dog has bit your BABY multiple times. I'm only guessing here, but I think CPS would consider removing your child if they knew that the baby was repeatedly bit and you did not remove the dog from the home. Dogs have seriously injured and even killed children. Its just not worth the risk.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:54 AM
 
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The dog has bitten your baby MULTIPLE TIMES. Whether or not the baby bled doesn't change the fact. IMO you have two options - the dog becomes a strictly outside dog or you find it another home. I can appreciate that it is a hard decision to rehome a beloved pet, but your baby's safety is more important.

Really, what it boils down to for me is do you want to rehome the dog before your child is seriously injured or after?
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:25 AM
 
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I have never begged anything, but I am going to right now. Please remove the dog. I had no idea that she had already snapped at Peanut. Paying a ton of money will not make this dog bite-proof. Think about your Peanut losing an eye or part of a lip. Is it worth it? I know that it is hard. On the way to the emergency room I said that the dog has to go. DH argued to keep the dog. OUR dog had NEVER EVER BIT ANYONE.

Please don't think that it won't happen to you. I could never ever have dreamed in a million years that it would happen to us. I just don't want it be a real bite that makes you reconsider.

Here is some more info:
Getting bitten by a dog is the fifth most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms caused by activities common among children. (See Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments, JAMA 1998;279:53; also see US Consumer Product Safety Commission


If you still have some questions in your mind... enter in children and dog bites into a Goolge image search. It is not pretty. I know that you would not want to see any of that happening to Peanut.


Hope that you can either keep them apart or re-home the dog for awhile (maybe Peanut's grandparents will help you out with that). I KNOW how hard that is as I had a LOT of personal time investing with training our dog in addition to being our family who flew on airplanes and went EVERYWHERE with us. He even rode in a backpack on my back while I rode the bike. It was a hard decision in some ways, but ultimately once DH finally put DD safety and my sanity as priority #1, it was much easier. I seriously do miss the dog, but I do NOT miss the anxiety.

I commend you for getting a trainer, but it may not be enough. I hope that you have a good one who has extensive experience and who will be honest with you about your dog's capacities.

Best wishes.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand you all think that I'm a horrible parent, but enough with the begging me to get rid of my dog. My dog is a part of my family. No, she is not more important than my daughter. No, she is not less important then a couch.

That said, I am trying to remedy the problem. I am having a one-on-one trainer come and help us with her. I realize that getting rid of her is an option that I have to consider, but I'm not so willing to just give up on someone I love. But if the training doesn't work, I will look into that option.

Also, I'm not trying to justify her biting but I need you all to realize that I am talking about a 20 pound dog. I know that small dogs can still do damage, but I'm thinking it's highly unlikely that my daughter is going to get seriously injured. I know that any risk is an unreasonable risk, but the situation would be different if my dog was larger.

So please stop trying to make me feel guilty. It's so easy to look at this from an outside perspective and say that I should just get rid of my dog and I'm a horrible parent if I don't (btw, how dare you threaten me with my daughter being taken away from me indie), but you can only see this objectively when this is so clearly a subjective matter.

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Old 11-29-2009, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
The dog has bitten your baby MULTIPLE TIMES. Whether or not the baby bled doesn't change the fact. IMO you have two options - the dog becomes a strictly outside dog or you find it another home. I can appreciate that it is a hard decision to rehome a beloved pet, but your baby's safety is more important.

Really, what it boils down to for me is do you want to rehome the dog before your child is seriously injured or after?
This, absolutely this!

20lb dogs can and do seriously injure small children, btw.

You don't seem to want this input, but I think the dog should go, like most PPs. I lived in terror around kindergarten age b/c of a cocker spaniel my father loved and didn't think would really hurt me that nipped me, chased me and finally bit my leg deeply. I still remember it vividly!

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

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Old 11-29-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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The size of the dog is actually not a factor. Small dogs can do a lot of damage and also, they're quick and right at the same level. Big dogs are often mellower and less often threatened by babies but that's OT.

Sorry you are faced with this dilemma. You can't have them together. This is too much of a risk.

Do you have a garage where you can keep the dog?
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