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Dog bite

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by JBish, Jun 24, 2019.


  1. JBish

    JBish PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, I am in a bit of a dilemma. Our 2 year old beagle / spaniel bit our 3 year old daughter yesterday. The hospital said it was only a ‘warning’ bite and was superficial, but it was on her face… and drew blood. He has never done anything like this before. He is a little boisterous but generally a really good, placid, and docile family dog.

    It is rare that he is left alone with our children, but on this occasion she wandered into the living room where he was asleep on the sofa, so we don’t know exactly what happened. She told us that she climbed upon him when he was asleep and bounced on him, which caused him to bite her. Again she hasn’t done anything like this before, so we didn’t need to educate her not to do this before it happened.

    The thing is now, I don’t know what to do with him. I am fairly sure that as long as she doesn’t bounce on him again, it won’t happen (and she will respond well to being told not to bounce on him, so again it is unlikely to happen). She was crying this morning asking us not to get rid of him, as he was her ‘best friend’, and seems to understand she did something wrong. If the family didn’t love him so much it would be a no-brainer to try and rehome him, but we really don’t want to cause the upset for any of us.

    I just don’t want to regret keeping him for him to bite again. Does anybody have any advice? Do groups exist that could advise me?

    Thank you in advance, John
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    It's a decision only you can make but taking a normal approach to risk assessment, the fact she not only woke him from a sleep but also bounced on him is clearly a unique set of circumstances which could, with management and education, be easily prevented from recurring.
     
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  3. JBish

    JBish PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you joanneF, your advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    As has been said, no one can really advise you as when it comes down to it, it is your decision. All dogs have the potential to use their teeth but this sounds more like a startle response than anything else.

    Personally I would look to manage the situation until your daughter is a little older and maybe install a baby gate that your daughter can not get through without an adult so that when your dog wants some peace or a nap or if you are not able to supervise your daughter (which no one can 24/7) you can pop your Beagle somewhere safe (for both child and dog).

    This kind of management for me is normal as I own 6 dogs - some of them young and some of them big - so gates and separation happens without thinking if I think someone may be vulnerable.

    In time your daughter will understand that we shouldn't approach a sleeping dog and I would also look at explaining to her about 'hugging' dogs etc which again is not something young children understand.

    If you are worried about any other behaviours then maybe get a behaviourist in who may be able to advise you further but if it was a one off then - well, tis up to you and the family.

    J
     
  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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  6. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I hope your daughter is ok. I agree with everyone else all dogs have the capacity to bite he was startled and possibly hurt. If it hasn't happened before I would just manage the situation with stair gates it sounds like she understands what went wrong.

    I had the opposite last week in the middle of the night my 8 month old boxer pup ran in my room and jumped on me for kisses. I didn't bite him but it did scare me and made me scream.

    If your worried maybe ask a behaviourist to observe him and maybe a vet check in case he has pain.
     
  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I can only echo what others have said, seems to be a startled response.

    It's very much training children a lot when you have dogs and children together. Dogs pick up things often far quicker than children. As a parent you have moments when you think that you are talking to the wall, rather than your child. It's normal it's how they learn, and adapt to boundaries around them. It's ever evolving.

    Simple management techniques as mentioned as well as lots of reminders about leaving the dog to sleep, to eat, even play alone if they are content doing so.

    Dogs and children are a great combination, and it's really lovely to see. Children do need a lot of guidance at times though.
     
  8. JBish

    JBish PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, everybody, for all the advice. We have a hard decision to make as a family but, deep down, I feel it was a one off incident that won't be much of a problem to manage (my girls are pretty well behaved and will do what they are told... mostly!). He has listened to every command since doing this yesterday afternoon so I get the picture he knows he has done something he shouldn't do. Thank you again all
     
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  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    He was scared, frightened and he didn't mean to cause harm, but he doesn't know he has done something he shouldn't. He might be showing you appeasement behaviours because of how people are behaving towards to him, but if he's backed in to a corner, climbed on top of when he's asleep again it doesn't mean it wouldn't happen again. As most have said it's a reaction common to being startled. If you use management, and talk to your child how to behave around your dog you shouldn't have a problem.
     
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  10. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

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    100% what lullabydream has said. He has not actually done anything wrong, what he has done is reacted to something done to him, please keep that in mind. Think how you would have reacted if woken from sleep being jumped upon - I did that to my OH a while ago (not actually jumped on him) and got whacked in the shoulder, which hurt! Just his reflex reaction to what I had done to him.
    As already said at 3 you can tell your girl all you like but its really up to you to remember she is just 3 you are the adult and able to put a baby gate up for the time being for both child and dog protection.
    Hope she is ok and it will not put her off dogs in the future.
     
  11. JBish

    JBish PetForums Newbie

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    A baby gate would not be any good; we have several, and the only one he doesn't / can't jump is at the top of the stairs (which adds an extra 10 inches). Moving a standard baby gate up enough only allows him to get underneath! I will have to build a half door for him in the kitchen maybe, where his bed is, to keep him in and the girls away from one another when he needs some peace and quiet.

    I understand that this was a reaction rather than a malicious, predetermined action; I just meant the fact that he is showing signs of 'appeasement behaviour' is encouraging for us in making a decision. This is our first dog, and it would obviously not be as easy to decide if he continued to show aggression afterwards, is what I was (indirectly) saying. I am in no way saying this was his fault (I could have chosen better words).

    Thank you again for all the advice.
     
  12. niamh123

    niamh123 PetForums VIP

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    You can buy dog gates which are higher than baby gates:)
     
  13. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    You must have a stronger constitution than me...think I’d have died of shock!
    I did visualise it tho and sorry but I laughed. Loki probably won’t do it again, I bet he was more frightened than you were??
     
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  14. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I laughed too at Loki giving kisses in the middle of the night...bless him!
     
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  15. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Administrator
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  16. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Nope didn't scare him at all just carried on kissing. Since it has got warmer the boys are sleeping downstairs as it's cooler. I think maybe he missed me in the night :D
     
  17. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    I have dogs who could step over our gates ...but they don't ...so I would work on a little training in that regard. Or invest in something a little larger/taller. If not, building a stable door would be a good idea.

    In fact, baring in mind he is your first dog it may be worth having some top up training - whether by going to a class or working with a trainer one-to-one - just to ensure everything is moving in the right direction and he understands what is expected of him.

    J
     
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  18. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    If it's any consolation...Eevee if she's taken short in the night gives kisses and paws me. However am used to it by now!

    Can always judge weather depending where dogs sleep in my opinion, very close to you...it's freezing not near then it's hot! Well that's how it works in my house anyway!
     
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  19. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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  20. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Same here if it is cold I get a bed full of boxers. In the summer the living room is much cooler. I just have to accept Loki visits at 4am.
     
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