My dog has bitten my toddler - new home needed urgently or PTS within 2 weeks

(269 Posts)
lil88 Tue 05-Jun-12 22:23:20

P is a former rescue lurcher dog is 7 years old and has been with us for over 3 years and been in and out of foster homes before we had her. It was not until we had her for a few months that we found out one of the reasons she was given up for fostering was because she has bitten a toddler climbing into her bed. She also has nervous aggression with other dogs which was only apparent after a few months with us and still suffers from separation anxiety. To cut a long story short, My husband and I were fortunate to have a baby nearly 18 months after we had homed P. With a young baby to cope with we knew it would be difficult to give P the attention she needed and also we had some concerns about the risk of P biting the baby at some stage and therefore had her up for rehoming at EXXX where she came from. However we have not had any one interested and despite our attempts to enquire with other rehoming centres, we have drawn a blank as they have either told us, to return her to EXXX, she was a difficult dog to rehome, or they had a long waiting list. Further EXXX has not come up with an appropriate foster home for her nor will take P back. Our baby is now a 23 months old strong minded child and she and P always compete for our attention. Indeed our LO can be rough with P who has generally responded with baring her teeth at our LO or run away from her. We have tried to tell our LO to be gentle with P otherwise she would be bitten but she does not listen. Things came to a head on Sunday, when my LO was bitten on the wrist by P after when our LO had patted her quite strongly and lost her balance and fell on P. This took place at the doorway of my kitchen. This incident has not fazed our LO and I only fear that matters will escalate. I am afraid that our LO's safety is our priorty and although P is not to blame for the incident due to the nature of our LO, we can not risk any future incidents which could end up with a worse result for my LO. We have decided that if P can not be taken in by one of the dog charities, we will arrange for her to be put to sleep in 2 weeks time. So can anyone provide a kennel or foster home or home P. We are based in Worcestershire.
This has also been posted in Lurcherlink appeals for help

BetterChoicesChair Tue 05-Jun-12 22:55:41

You need to supervise your toddler and dog when they are together. Even the most even-tempered dog would struggle with a toddler "falling" on them or climbing into their bed. Nervous aggression and separation anxiety can be overcome with hard work and training.

saintmerryweather Tue 05-Jun-12 23:27:13

wow....just wow....there are lots of rescue places you could contact for help but the tone of your op suggests you dont really care either way if the dog is pts

musicposy Tue 05-Jun-12 23:35:13

Poor dog sad
Our sheltie would definitely bite if you patted him strongly and then fell on him. A friend's toddler once pulled a load of his fur out and he nipped then. I was furious with the parents as I had already said to stop him harassing the dog.
You need to be much firmer with your toddler. What if she does this to a dog out of the house? With a different dog it could be much worse.
Please keep trying to get a place for this dog. It would be so sad to have it PTS for doing something most dogs would do in these circumstances.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 05-Jun-12 23:39:34

What does your behaviourist say about it? I assume you have one, having had problems for so long.

My dog bit my toddler once, when she fell on him. That was 2 years ago and he's not done it since. Although I play bloody murder if my kids over step the mark with my dogs so hard patting is a big no no here. I'd sodding well kill 'em and well they know it.

MamaMaiasaura Tue 05-Jun-12 23:45:12

Child comes first. OP sounds like you e thought long and hard. Hope you manage to rehome, although from your OP it says it's not the first time the dog has bitten a toddler.

Dog is bottom of the pack IMO and child always comes first. Dog bites child. Dog must go.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Jun-12 23:46:35

i dont really understand why you rehomed a rescue dog OP, given that almost as soon as you rehomed it you wanted to rehome it again with someone else?

With a little effort i am pretty sure you could find a home for it - have you enquired at your vets?

what is strongly patting - is that another word for hitting? not all dogs will tolerate that.

i would put a little more effort into finding a new rescue, the one your dog came from sounds unscrupulous. ask around and ask at your vets. most vets do not like putting healthy dogs to sleep.

Toughasoldboots Tue 05-Jun-12 23:49:26

Your toddler shouldn't be left with the dog to 'pat it strongly', the poor dog, sounds as if you just want rid of it.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 05-Jun-12 23:50:00

Of course the child comes first but Op has had 23 months to contact a behaviourist and train the dog and to teach the child respect for animals, which needs to be taught anyway, regardless of whether you have pets in the home.

As a previous poster pointed out if this behaviour is not nipped in the bud and is shown towards a strange dog, the child might well end up with more than a nasty nip.

Try rescues further afield. Greyhounds Galore has child free foster homes and might be able to help, although last time I checked they were full to busting, like most rescues around the country.

havingabath Wed 06-Jun-12 00:04:38

You can find a rescue, it may take a little longer than two weeks. Surely having got this far you can get a little further?

It isn't difficult to keep child and dog separate.

Am sure others who know rescues will suggest names, have you actually called all local , non kill, rescues including smaller independent ones?

Your dog may not be the easiest rehome but isn't actually unusual. Two of my three rescues have fear aggression, one has bit when the child did something stupid... If you let children be unpredictable around nervous dogs nips are the usual result. Experienced adult owner homes are often preferred.

Get on the phone, local then national.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 06-Jun-12 00:07:26

I'm not a dog lover by any stretch but reading your post (which would benefit from some paragraphs BTW)
You've known P is nervous a few months after you got her and their was a child related biting .
LO and p compete for attention- understandable. And 100% that your child comes first.
LO can be rough with p - why do you let her?
she does not listen- she's a toddler. They don't listen. You have to make sure she's safe.
patted her quite strongley- hit?

P responds by baring her teeth or running away- you have a very tolerant dog all things considered.

Dog rescues are full. They are not falling over themselves to take a "nervous aggression with dogs" dog who has a biting history.

You took the dog on knowing she had been in and out of foster homes?

Surely you can keep them seperate? A child gate?

Children of any age should know to treat animals nicely, not to go to their beds (I know this wasn't your child) to leave them when they eat and when they want peace.
The fact your dog bares her teeth or runs away- well she's a Saint.

You can do it if you want to. If not- your dogs future doesn't look rosy.
As I say, I'm not a dog lover.I am a mum. But I feel very sad for your little dog.

mumblecrumble Wed 06-Jun-12 00:12:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

tigerbear Wed 06-Jun-12 00:18:22

Erm, am I reading a different OP from most of you?
I don't think the OP seems uncaring about the dog at all, as some of you have suggested. Just seems like time is of the essence to get this situation sorted as she's clearly scared about her LO first and foremost (quite rightly IMO) and is running out of options. What has she done that's so bad? I don't get it...

As for it being easy to keep a toddler and dog separate at all times havingabath - I would think that to be VERY HARD. A wilful toddler and an active dog, both wanting to run around? Easier said than done.

JarethTheGoblinKing Wed 06-Jun-12 00:23:00

Ridiculous OP - you let your possibly dangerous dog near your toddler without a muzzle? Are you fucking mad? hmm

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 06-Jun-12 00:25:38

They don't have to be kept seperate at all times tiger, they just need to be supervised at all times, something dog owners up and down the country manage well quite well, daily, myself included. You train the dog to follow you if you leave the room. It really is that simple.

The dog should also have an escape ( a crate or safe corner) that the child knows she is not to go near at anytime and no child should ever be allowed to 'pat hard' any animal. Ever. They should not be given the chance to do it once, let alone several times. I'd bite if someone patted me hard repeatedly and no one stopped it.

There is one being responsible for what happened here and it aint the dog. Or the child.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 06-Jun-12 00:30:37

But is she a possibly dangerous dog though?

If a dog bares it's teeth, it's saying "naff off". No mention of growling.
The dog runs away?
She has bitten when a toddler climbed into her bed
When she was patted quite strongly and fallen on.

LO is quite rough with the dog.

Dog aggression due to nerves was there before the child.

A muzzle would be a good idea -provided the dog wasn't put in a disadvantaged postion with the toddler thinking she was fair game

Alameda Wed 06-Jun-12 00:31:19

angry poor dog, poor child

this is why there are dog crates and stair gates, don't think you can trust ANY dog with a child inadequately supervised, or expect it to tolerate rough treatment

tigerbear Wed 06-Jun-12 00:43:26

I realise that for some people, full dog training may be 'simple' D0oinmecleanin however perhaps the OP has her hands full with her toddler as she's suggested -her DD being 'strong minded' ie a bit of a handful = no time to take care, deal with and train an anxious and needy dog too.
I have a one year old DD and know I'd never have the time or patience needed to train a dog, look after an active DD and hold down a job too...

Toughasoldboots Wed 06-Jun-12 00:46:14

Exactly, a baby comes along and the dog has to go. It happens all the time, these dogs get shunted around.

I managed with a toddler and two other children only slightly older but then I wanted it to work.
I am surprised that a vet is willing to put the dog to sleep.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 06-Jun-12 00:52:30

Poor dog sadsadsad

tigerbear Wed 06-Jun-12 00:55:16

But why should the OP have to struggle on and keep the dog if she KNOWS it's not the right thing for her family to do? She's being really honest and brave IMO, saying we can't cope with this- can anyone help us out? I notice none of you berating the OP are offering to take the dog on. If it's so easy to deal with dog like this one, why not?

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 06-Jun-12 00:58:18

I would in a flash if I didn't have one already in addition to working full time and being in rocky financial straits.

ohbugrit Wed 06-Jun-12 00:58:57

Put up a stairgate. Buy a crate. Supervise more. In a year or two your child will no longer be unpredictable and frightening to the dog (because you'll have taught her to respect it, and because she'll be developmentally ready to grasp the reason for this being so important).

I've brought up two children with a nervous dog in the home. He's now got a close bond with my eldest (nearly 5yo) and chooses to be with him. My children also have a clear understanding that dogs can be anxious and dangerous and must all be treated with respect. It is difficult. It isn't impossible.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 06-Jun-12 01:00:38

It's just that it should not be an option to give up a dog. Is the OP sure she has tried gates and explaining to the toddler (adequately) and enough supervision? It's not an ex fighting dog.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 06-Jun-12 01:08:33

X posted with you bugrit. Could not agree more.

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