Our 8 year old dog bit our 2 year old daughter... - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 30th, 2014, 09:07 PM
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Unhappy Our 8 year old dog bit our 2 year old daughter...

Our dog lately seems to be having a harder and harder time transitioning into not being the center of attention anymore. Having had another baby 2 weeks ago, our 2 year old has gotten a bit... crazy. She wasn't in her day care for a few weeks so I think she has excess energy which isn't helping. Long story short she's been chasing the dog around a lot which is usually fine, until it isn't. The dog has done a few warning hums (I wouldn't even call it a growl, I've heard her growl in other situations) then usually escapes to another room. This time I was in the kitchen and our daughter got snapped at on the arm when she was trying to chase the dog on the couch. It didn't break skin, but it could have and could have been her face, etc.

A little background. The dog doesn't feel well today, she threw up earlier so she was clearly already stressed. But this increasingly less friendly behavior is definitely going in a direction that I'm not a fan of. Its a combination of getting my 2 year old to stop chasing her and the dog actually moving off the couch when she comes running. The fact is I can't have this behavior by either of them, starting with the dog.

I'm looking for some advice here, she's an 8 year old Cairn terrier who has ALWAYS been friendly to kids, adults, etc but not really other (larger) dogs. This has never really been a problem as we just avoid them. Now it seems like she's getting older and more cranky. She shows no aggression to myself or my wife and 95% of the time is fine with our 2 year old. Its just when she wants to be left alone she wants to be left alone...

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old June 30th, 2014, 09:11 PM
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You may get info in the "how crazy is your dog" thread too. Sorry to hear about that, it's a hard issue to face.
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  #3  
Old June 30th, 2014, 09:12 PM
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It is totally unacceptable for the dog to put teeth o n a human. Especially a baby. Sorry, but you need to get rid of the dog.
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  #4  
Old June 30th, 2014, 09:16 PM
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If I were a dog I would bite the average two year old. I personally want to bite the average two year old (or duct tape it to a chair), but I am not a kid person. I would just keep the kid away from the dog. When I was a young one I knew to be nice to the dog and not bother it and it was fine even though the dog was not a fan of kids.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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If you want to keep the dog you need to establish that you are the alpha of the "pack" and your 2 year old is higher on the pecking order than your dog.

Continually force the dog into submissive positions (sitting or laying down) when the kiddo is around. Try to reinforce and reward nice behavior towards the dog whenever possible.

Cheers,
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  #6  
Old June 30th, 2014, 09:24 PM
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Get professional advice not from a bunch of people who struggle to fix their own land rovers ...
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  #7  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Get professional advice not from a bunch of people who struggle to fix their own land rovers ...
Good advice.

Educating the 2 year old that the dog has limits is something to consider.
Not and easy thing to accomplish within such a busy household and hard for a 2 year old to understand at first, but possible to accomplish over time.
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  #8  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:04 PM
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Can anybody recommend a dog behavior professional in the Philly area?
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  #9  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Priorities. This is a no brainer: if you have ANY concern for your child's safety, get rid of your dog.

It sucks. However, having your child end up in the hospital or worse due to your otherwise friendly dog biting him will suck more ... Emotionally, financially and potentially legally. Assume no risk - you are entirely responsible for the well being of your child and your conscience/the law will remind you of that for the rest of your life if you do not appropriately assess and respond to the situation.

All the heavy shot aside, one day you'll laugh about it if you make the right call. My parents still laugh about the dog that had that decided he liked to knaw on my head. Allegedly, this dog could (gently/playfully) put the majority of my skull in his mouth. Typically this happened right after a playful nudge/tackle. They got rid of him.
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  #10  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:14 PM
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I agree, this is a no brainer. A heartbreaking no brainer.
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  #11  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:14 PM
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I get that, I really do. But I have to factor in that the dog has been really sick for 2 days and just wants to sleep. The toddler is having a hard time realizing that not everyone likes to play rough if they're awake. I'm not blaming her but I think the first step is keep them separated and push the agenda that the dog wants to be left alone... I'm taking this seriously and definitely calling somebody this week.
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  #12  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:21 PM
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Had a similar issue. Chow/shepard mix named Rosco.

He was very protective of me. He always seemed to side with me versus the wife. He was 8 years old, first child came along...and I could immediately see he was not impressed with the baby. Started to snarl and nip a little.

He ended up tearing his ACL. Decided to have surgery. 3 months later the other ACL went. Decided that his quality of life was not the same and that his attitude had change, plus the potential of another surgery, we decided to put him down. Very sad but it was the right thing to do.

Just looked up what a Cairn terrier looks like....very small dog. If the dog was larger I would move the dog on. I would watch very closely and never leave your child alone.
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  #13  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:23 PM
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I feel your pain. My Wife's dog did the same thing to my 10 month old son's face and barely left a scratch. He is very territorial over my wife and when she is rubbing him or she is eating , nothing comes in between them except for me.

It took everything I had not to get rid of him by any means necessary that day. I have another two weeks in our 1 bedroom apartment, then moving into a new home. I still don't know if my wife understands that the dog is staying outside or leaving but I'll be damned if the dog is going to put my kid at risk again.

If you decide to relocate the dog is the Wife on board or is she like mine and thinks that he won't do it again?
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  #14  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:29 PM
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Even a golden can have its moments. When ours gets really tired late in the day she can growl if surprised and lift a lip. I can recognize the signs, and tell my teenagers to back off.
Are you walking your dog? Are you feeding it once or twice a day. Twice a day is far better for them.
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  #15  
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:33 PM
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I'd relocate her before I ever put her down. If anything she's protective of the 2 year old. They sleep on the couch together, they are usually inseparable, they play outside, the 2 year old sneaks her food, the 2 of them cram onto this tiny toddler lounge chair we have. This is the behavior except for when she's extremely tired or not feeling well. She's been having stomach issues on and off the last few weeks, had the baby 2 weeks ago so the timing isn't great.

------ Follow up post added June 30th, 2014 10:37 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Even a golden can have its moments. When ours gets really tired late in the day she can growl if surprised and lift a lip. I can recognize the signs, and tell my teenagers to back off.
Are you walking your dog? Are you feeding it once or twice a day. Twice a day is far better for them.
Yes she gets walks but less so in the last few weeks which definitely isn't helping. Wifey is just about able to walk again and We're ramping that back up. Regarding feeding she's always been a grazer. She eats when she wants to. Not really a problem with what, but she'll have a few bites in the morning the a few more in the middle of the day, maybe some before bed. We replace the food daily and ditch what she didn't finish.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 10:52 PM
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I've had to deal with this twice in the past on separate occasions. Both times the end result was to put the dog down, from a big picture perspective it seem the lesser of all evils. It's a very difficult thing. Good Luck.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:17 PM
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Don't let everyone here blow things out of proportion. You know the dog, you know what happened. It seems to me you know why it happened. It wasn't the dogs fault or the kids. The kid needs limits and supervision around any dog. All kids do. Two year olds are pretty poor listeners so it's not going to be easy.

I have a Cairn Myself. So like me, you know this breed is protective but also fierce and a bit sensitive to rough play. Mine nips at me all the time if I surprise it and try to pick her up when she is lying on her bed etc. But she doesn't bite. And it sounds like yours didn't bite either.
I have been bitten by a dog and it's purposeful and it breaks the skin. Dogs can't talk so a little nip is their way of saying hands off, leave me alone. And it's fair for them to be able to do that.

I'd say keep you child away from the dogs food and don't bother it when it's sleeping or lying on the couch. And chasing any animal is never a good idea.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:19 PM
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Nipping is also unacceptable.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:19 PM
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]Don't let everyone here blow things out of proportion. You know the dog, you know what happened. It seems to me you know why it happened. It wasn't the dogs fault or the kids. The kid needs limits and supervision around any dog. All kids do. Two year olds are pretty poor listeners so it's not going to be easy.

I have a Cairn Myself. So like me, you know this breed is protective but also fierce and a bit sensitive to rough play. Mine nips at me all the time if I surprise it and try to pick her up when she is lying on her bed etc. But she doesn't bite. And it sounds like yours didn't bite either.
I have been bitten by a dog and it's purposeful and it breaks the skin. Dogs can't talk so a little nip is their way of saying hands off, leave me alone. And it's fair for them to be able to do that.

I'd say keep you child away from the dogs food and don't bother it when it's sleeping or lying on the couch. And chasing any animal is never a good idea.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:20 PM
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I'm going to suggest you take the leash and go out walking with her. Use the food as a source of control. Sounds like you go with wet. Dry works just fine. Just put it out in the morning then take it away.
Your family's routine has changed and you need to help her adapt.
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