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My dog bit my 2yr old in the face

4828 Views 101 Replies 69 Participants Last post by  serenetabbie
It happened while I was at work this evening. I came home immediately. Meredith is "fine" with a deep gash underneath one eye. We decided not to go to the hospital tonight, as it could be fixed up just as well in the morning.
I guess I'm feeling like an unfit mother, since there have been indications that she (the dog) might lash out. She is territorial about her food and bit my mother's dog twice at mealtime when we were living with her. I thought is was circumstantial and didn't want to blame our dog. Now I have a sweet baby sleeping in the other room with an open wound, and I may sound like I'm overreacting, but it's scary.
And what do I do with the dog? She is a part of our family and we love her, but she bit our baby. How can we be sure that it won't happen again.
Would you get rid of your family pet if this happened????
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We had a dog that bit my dd in the face twice. Luckily, the dog had no front bottom teeth so little damage was done. Part of the blame was on dd because she continually harassed the dog, but I could not watch her every second to prevent that completely. The second time she was bit, I was in the shower! So, we were able to send the dog to live with my Mom...although she now resides with my Aunt (my Aunt had to have her...loved her so much). I know that you love the dog, but your first priority has to be dd's safety. Is there a relative the dog can go live with...maybe for just a couple of years until dd is older?
Good luck Mama!
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Maybe talk to a professional trainer before you send the dog away? They might have suggestions. If that doesn't work, I agree with the pp you need to look after dd 1st.
My kids come first. Any dog that bites once might do it again. If I were you the dog would go. (We have a dog ourselves so I know how hard that will be if you do it.) *hugs* to you and your baby.
My cat bit dd a couple of years ago. She was an aggressive cat with a few behavioural problems. I had her put down. It may sound harsh to some people, I know, but my dd is my first priority and that's that. We still have our other cat who is awesome with dd. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this time wasn't too bad. What if the next time, your dog does some serious damage? Would you forgive yourself?
I would give the dog to a loving home witout young children.
My biggest concern is that the dog would do it again, or tha tmy child would start a lifelong fear of dogs, which is very hard to get over sometimes!
Maybe you can find a family to give the dog to where you could visit?
I know it's hard to even think about giving it away, but I worry that the dog would do it again. I know a child who was bit twice by their family dog, it was really sad!
HOpe your little one heals quickly!!
i hate to say this, but once an animal bites a babe, that animal can no longer be trusted. its different if there is an accidental scratch, etc. but a bite?
my ds2 got bitten by a pet German Shepard we had once (in the BUTT if you can believe that). but thats just my opinion.

Originally Posted by aisraeltax
i hate to say this, but once an animal bites a babe, that animal can no longer be trusted.
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I'm sorry mama!
My friends just went through a similar thing....It's AWFUL

Their DD is 18 months, she was playing in the living room and the dog came out of another room and went over to DD and Attacked her...It was so bad, the dog had to be kicked/pulled off her...It gives me the chills as I write this..They had to rush DD to the ER, she ended up w/15 Stitches to her face & head...That done, they had no choice but put the dog down.....They were very sad that this happened they had the dog for 10 years, but the baby is 1st priority....Hope it all works out for you...But if it were me, I'd have to let the dog go.....
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First of all let me say, I'm sorry to hear that!!! Poor dc!

I agree w/ all the pp's about getting rid of the dog. DC definitely come first. If my dog bit my dd, no matter how little the bite may be, I would have to get rid of her because you never know when it may happen again..and next time could be even worse. My dh's lil sister (she is only 10) was bit in the face by her dog that her family had since it was a pup and the dog was like 10 yrs old. They had to put her down. It was a tough decision, one nobody wanted to make but they couldn't trust the dog anymore. Having grandchildren in the house and stuff, they just couldn't take the chance. It was sad but it was in the best interest for everyone.

I would seriously consider calling an animal shelter and talking to a counseler there or something. You (and I'm just speaking in general) can't even adopt an animal that is food obsessive because of that reason. A DC walking over to it while eating and the dog lashing out. In most cases where a dog has those kinds of issues they (h.s) usually have to humanely ethunaize the animal because they can't take those kinds of chances.
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Sorry this happened to you and dd. I agree with the pp.

Just an aside, did you go to the ER yet? If your dd does need stitches it gets harder to do as time passes and the scar might be worse, because it becomes harder to approximate the two sides.
Oh hugs!
My dd had a similar incident when she was 2yo with my aunt's cocker spaniel but because of all the immediate swelling we thought the dog got her eye. Arnica really helped with the swelling and once we got to the ER we realized she was fine, just scared. The scar didn't last long thankfully. I hope your dd is okay!

We adopted a dog last fall that started showing aggression and she went back to the humane society (they didn't inform me until after the adoption that she'd been growling at employees and such
). We gave it seven weeks but she got worse instead of better and once she jumped onto ds growling that was it for me. I think she just need more therapy and love to get past her abuse and neglect than we could give her. It broke my heart to do it and it will be a long time before we another dog.

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Personally I wouldn't "get rid" of my dog for a bite. I know that's not a popular opinion, but my dog really is a member of my family and there's nothing he could do that would change that.

I'm sorry your baby got hurt.
Thanks for all the advice mammas. I do think that it would be in the best interest to find our dog a new home, without other babies or other dogs. She has shown aggression to my nephew, my mothers dogs, and now this with the baby. She really is a sweet girl, she's just "special needs." We have been her only home but she really acts like an animal in recovery from abuse. She's wary of all men but dp and puts her hair up at them, along with everything else that I mentioned.

So this morning I did get dd stitched up with steri-strips, and I got her a round of penicillin. She is a no vax babe, and the doctor was asking about maybe just a tetnus shot??? I'll post over in the Vax forum about that.

Thanks again.
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It would have to be tetanus immunoglobulin. The shot (vaccine) would be unlikely to offer any protection in someone never immunized.
I am so sorry that happened!!
I would get rid of the dog. do you have friends or relatives who could take her so you could still see her?
don't chance it. my friend from elementary school was bit by her family dog when she was an infant and he took a huge chunk off her face(not completely, it dangled) and had to have surgery and has a huge scar to show for it.

sorry to be graphic and I don't mean to scare you but they are animals afterall...the dog has forewarned you...
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first of all, i should say that i'm not an animal expert nor do i play one on TV...

but i do think there is a big difference between an animal attack and a warning snap... and it sounds like your dd was given the second. if dd was bothering the dog, or messing with the dog's food, then i would try to make sure the dog had a safe place to eat and to escape from dd if needed.

we have an 8yo aussie/husky mix (he looks like a wolf) who has so far been very good with our 19mo ds. my next youngest kid was 3 when we got him, and it was pretty easy to teach the kids to give him his space at that age. but i know this next year is going to be hard on our poor mutt, with this toddler who loves to lay his head on Wiley's soft fur, and deliberately try to step on his tail... we are being vigilant. our dog snapped once at a toddler about 4 years ago, who had twisted her hands into his fur and really yanked. the mom, who was a dog owner herself, was much less upset than i was. she explained that this was how dogs dealt with each other: giving a warning snap, but not trying to cause serious damage. our dog was treating her toddler as if she was part of the pack, not something to be injured or killed but rather to be taught.

so... we expect there will be a snap in the future. we are gambling, by having a dog in the family at the same time as a toddler, that it won't be serious. but i recognize that i could very well be in the same boat as you are right now (hugs, mama!), and i'm making the choice to keep the dog for now.

i don't know... once the snap happens, i might feel differently. sometimes i wonder how crazy we are, having these animals so close to our babies, but honestly i think Wiley is very protective of the baby... he "herds" him, and growls at other dogs that come too close, and so far is really tolerant of the noise and sudden jolts that a toddler makes. i don't know if you get that same feeling from your dog... but i will say, trust your instincts. you know your baby and your dog better than anyone else. if there's a warning bell in your head, listen to it.

good luck, mama!

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I am sorry that your dd got bit. I know that a dog that is food aggressive is very hard to deal with most can not be retrained but a few can. If u can afford to get a trainer and try to fix the problem then I would do that first before getting rid of a member of the family (that is how I see my pets) yes your dd comes first but when u get a pet that is a commitment just like having a baby IMO.

My cat has always had a bad attitude and has bitten both my dd and my ds but only because they were bugging her and it was my fault because I should have been watching more closely. My dd is old enough to know to leave her alone now and ds has learned not to touch the cat because she may bite.

Giving my cat away would not have been possible because of not only her attitude but because she has horrific litter box issues. Having her put down is also out of the question. When I got her almost 12yrs ago now I made a comitment to care for her for the rest of her life. If she was attacking the kids for no reason I would prolly keep her in a room seperate unless i could be there to give constant supervision.

I dont fault anyone for doing what they thought was right at the time for them. But for me having her put to sleep for bad behaviour or giving her away would be like doing that to a family member. It is just not something I could ever do.
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I know you must be feeling pretty awful right now...

I think you will make the best choice as only you know your dog and know the situation and know your child.

Having said that -- I think that in general animals have the right to defend themselves and babies/ toddlers need to learn to respect animals.

My dog has never bitten DS, but he has snapped at him several times. Like the time DS stuck a green crayon up the dog's nose while the dog was asleep. Or when DS pulls the dogs hair very hard, etc.
The dog was warning DS, he has the right to say, that hurt me, don't do that kid. And DS has learned. We also spent MANY MANY MANY hours with very supervised and controlled interaction down on the floor with the two of them to establish a decorum early on.
Dogs are pack animals and they naturally estblish roles of dominance and interact via a pecking order. We worked very hard to teach our dog that there was a new pecking order when DS arrived and that he was below DS in the pack just like he always was with us.

Follow you heart and best to you!
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