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our dog accused of biting child

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by emmy_lou73, Jun 28, 2009.


  1. emmy_lou73

    emmy_lou73 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi - wonder if anyone can give a bit of advice. We have a old english, 15 months. He has been through a lot health wise - and recently had a hip replacement that has left him somewhat lame on one side. He is a laid back chap and this am we tok him for a slow walk down the seafront. Lots of people like to to touchhim andkids always want to cuddle him. On our return, outside our house, my partner got him out of the back seat. She closed the door and the next minute i heard him bark. I looked out the window and saw a chap racing round the corner shouting at my partner. I jumped out the car and saw a young lad around 10ish on the floor by the car with his scooter on top of him. According to my partner, this little boy came hurtling round the corner and came right up close to our dog, who was on a short loop lead (the one where it goes round his mouth), our dog jumped up and pushed the kid of his scooter. We are not sure if the boy ran into his leg or just got very close. Obviously the parents were very angry and shouted being aggressive. We put the dog in the house and i tried to explain what had happened. The boy was up on his feet crying and showing what looked like claw marks on his belly - our dog does weigh over 6 stone. The father then starts shouting our dog had bitten his son and we had a dangerous dog we couldnt control. I really cant see how our dog could bite with the control around his mouth but it all happended so quickly i could not swear honestly that he didnt. He said that he wanted our name and number and was going to contact the police and his solicitor to get our dog put down. We are absolutely distraught with worry and dont know what to do next. After the incident we called the police ourselves and all they said was it was up to the family to decide what to do next. So now we are sat here like lemons - dreading a knock at the door.
    Any words of wisdom would be greatly received.
     
  2. ~Tete

    ~Tete PetForums Member

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    If the child does not have definite tooth marks and cuts from the bite then they cannot legaly put him down, they can however claim compensation, I hope you have pet insurance!
     
    #2 ~Tete, Jun 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  3. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    I would imagine if a dog his size had biten a person then it would have left a definate wound, surely there would have to be proof and claw marks are very different to bite marks. I hope it all works out but I imagine once the father calms down he will see that no real damage has been done, also if your dog is insured do they have a legal advice line that you can call for advice.
     
  4. archielee

    archielee PetForums VIP

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    has the child got a bit mark on him
    try not to worry your dog will not be bot down
     
  5. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    The scooter will have scared him maybe and he has jumped up at the child, it will be claw marks you can see, you really need to get a picture of the claw marks, think that will be a bit difficult though if the family upset a solicitor would be able to tell if they are teeth marks, it will also be taken into account that your dog is still very young and if a small young dog had done it maybe the child wouldnt have even been knocked over its just as your breed are so big, you must be very upset, try not to be when the dust settles ime sure the family will come round, if you know where they live it could be worth going round to see how the child is and try to explain the situation.

    Do people around you know your dog because if they do take it far enough references will be a good thing from those people.
     
  6. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    If he does contact the police they will come and see you.. if your dog has bitten the childs stomach with enough forse to leave marks, then surely there would be two sets of marks- top and bottom teeth.
    Claw marks are completely different and if th police were to follow it up they would match the marks against your dogs teeth and claws.

    Were they on your property or just on the street? If you explain again that the boy came up fast near your dog, again, no one saw it so how do they know the boy didn't crash into the dog and the dog scratched him trying to get away?

    Your dog will not be put down if he is, as you say laid back and friendly with all other people.

    x
     
  7. r_neupert

    r_neupert PetForums Senior

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    We're a country who've adopted the claims culture and ran with it unfortunately. You may well have a law suit for damages if they find themselves a lawyer as they said.

    Logic will take over i'm certain in this incident - especially if the police are involved. As mentioned previously they will no doubt want evidence of a bite, and if the family are looking to pursue this, they will no doubt take photos. If the only evidence they can provide is a scratch mark... well speaks for itself. You are equally entitled to provide evidence, as are they, so if you can provide proof of your dogs nature, what you perceived to happen etc, you will be taken just as seriously as they will.

    Anyone got CCTV on your street?!
     
  8. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    I think we have to be extremely careful what we predict as posters on here, if they do call the police, they will visit.

    A lot depends on whatever injuries the child has and the police officers in question, lots can be nice and others not so nice.

    If it was me and was just a scratch I would not deem that worthy enough of reporting to the police, I am a mother and a dog lover and understand accidents happen.

    But you do get over zelous parents who are not dog owners or dog lovers (I know a few of these types) you can't reason with these type of people unfortunately.
     
  9. Roo

    Roo PetForums Member

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    They must produce photographic evidence to prove their case. If not, & I am sure that if a dog that size bit a child then there would be very clear evidence of a bite, then it is simply your word against theirs. You really need to be very factual now, make a note of absolutely everything that happened immediately before, during & after the event. Draw a sketch of the car, position of dog , angle of approach of bike ( was the kid on his bike on the pavement or highway? This is also important. Do NOT take their hysterical claims as gospel!!! They should be minding their child. If there are no bite marks then you are ok.
    I am sick to death of mamby pamby parents and their horrid little 'angels' thinking that they can do no bl**dy wrong. You never hear of kids being put down for hitting or kicking dogs!!!!!!!
     
  10. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Yes you need to take the nessesary precautions just in case, but i think they have looked at the scene child crying marks on him and over reacted, i think once they have looked at the marks and calmed down, everything will be ok.
     
  11. rona

    rona Guest

  12. Pampered pets

    Pampered pets PetForums Senior

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    Oh no, what a horribe situation for you, please dont worry your dog wont be put down.

    One question, where were the parents of this small child while he was racing up to a strange dog on a scooter???? not every dog is friendly, i have two problem dogs and i do my best with them, they do need to go out they cant be kept at home all the time i do my damndest to take precautions, its amazing how many people either approach or let their dogs approach a barking dog with a muzzle on!!!!!

    To many are quick to condemn the dog but they fail to see they are in some way responsible, the child must have been close to your dog for your dog to have jumped up so therfore the child approached the dog not the other way round.

    Maybe they will see sense, but as someone else said we are now living in a claims ere. can you get a solicitor? many do the first half hour free so you would at least know where you stand, or at least visit the citizens advice they maybe able to tell you your rights.

    Definatley start collecting as many references on your dogs charachter as you can, especially vet reporst on your dogs legs, the child could have caught him.

    Best of luck, im sure it will all work out.
     
  13. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    To be honest, if your dog did bite, it sounds like it would have been very minor, and he was startled and therefore provoked I suppose in that respect. He is a young doggy still, and its not like he has done any damage.

    From what I have heard/gathered, dogs who are put down for this kind of thing cause serious damage, and this is an unfortunate circumstance that came about, but at the end of the day you had your dog on a leash, this boy came whizzing round the corner and startled your dog, its not like your dog lunged for him and did any damage. I would argue that the boy or his parents should have been more careful, I mean you don't pull straight out of a junction without looking do you?! That is common sense to me. Then with the fact it sounds like your dog has had lots of stress and hasn't been well, its easy to understand that he was startled.

    My golden retriever has bitten me before by accident instead of his squeaky chicken (he got rather excited when younger and wasn't particularly careful!) on the arm, and he was about 7 months old, I had marks on my arm for a good few hours, I am pretty sure a bite would be noticable, if startled/frightened a dog wont bite overly gently.

    Don't worry, I am sure it will be fine, but this is why I have insurance as there are some bad people near me!
     
    #13 GoldenShadow, Jun 29, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  14. cassie01

    cassie01 PetForums VIP

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    im guessing it would just be a scratch. if your dog really bit it would be very obvious. personally i dont think anyone in their right mind would put i pup down over that. even if he did bite you had a lead on, therefore he was under control (the child however clearly wasnt). he was also provoked, if anthing did happen, which i doubt as i believe the parents over reacted and will think about it logically once they calm down, the worst you would get is having to keep your dog on a muzzle when out. not very nice or fair but i doubt anyone in their right mind would order him to be pts.

    i shouldnt worry if i were you as its unlikey the parents will do anything, its a natural reaction (so im told) when your kids are hurt to go OTT.
     
  15. r_neupert

    r_neupert PetForums Senior

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    Heard a story at the docs today whilst i was being treated for my dog lead wound...

    The story goes that a chap was out innocently walking, a long leash from another dogs owner wrapped around is chest and back and gave him real serious burns.... the owner unravelled the dog and did a runner... how awful is that...

    I'm guessing the owner made a break for it to avoid legal issues and a situation like this. I can kind of empathise in a strange way, but in no way would i ever do that.... that's a good reason for insurance to say the least...
     
  16. tiddlypup

    tiddlypup PetForums VIP

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    be prepared,a dog doesnt have to bite nowadays under the DDA,it only has to cause distress.fear etc
    go see them now things have cooled down,ask how the kid is,it was an accident,i had it with a neo years ago,he bit a kids face when he was 9mths old(dog),i was devastated,told the kids parents the ball was in their court,they were fantastic,didnt want the dog put down,brought the boy to see me,very much appreciated,lovely lad
    i never ever in the 8 yrs i had him let him near a kid again,wouldnt even let them pet him
     
  17. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    I would definetly go and see them, its the right thing to do to be honest wont be nice if they are still cross but at least they cant say you have ignored what has happened. It could just tip a decision into your favour.
     
  18. emmy_lou73

    emmy_lou73 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all

    Just a quick update. We had a call from the police who said the father was insisting its taken further. They were due to come round tom - we obviously sought solicitor advice through our 3rd party cover at r insurance broker. They said that basically if the kid had been properly looked after and not gone into our dog then the incident would not have occured. They went onto say the most we would get is a warning from police. They also advised we did not get in contact direct with the family as it could look like harrassment! Then in a strange twist, the police officer, who i must say was soo lovely and seemed very peed off at having to investigate it, called back. He said he had the mother on the phone who called to say it wont be taken any further and was very sorry for the incident! She said to ignore the father and she would deal with him! He states that it was reported as a bite but on looking it was clear it was either the handle bars or claw marks. The officer is coming to see us sometime this week to just cross the ts and dot the is.
    I think from this incident i have learnt how easy it is for your dog to be accused of something. Fortunately we had done all the right things - short control lead with a loop round his mouth - however, even this was not enough to stop the accusations.
    Thank you all for the words of wisdom - just knowing there are genuine people out there who sees a dog as part of the family really helped.
     
  19. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    That's great news, I'm really pleased its turned out OK!
     
  20. Pampered pets

    Pampered pets PetForums Senior

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    Thats fantastic news but as the owner of two dangerous dogs im now at my witts end about taking them out any more :(

    its a sad state of affairs when people are frightened to walk their dogs.


    My two are muzzled but they still only have to frighten someone to be classed as dangerous :(
     
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