Puppy bit toddler...

(39 Posts)
MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:02:47

Advice please wise doghousers!

My 12 week old puppy bit my two year old yesterday. I gave the DC a treat each to feed the puppy. He did snatch the treats (with me he waits for it) but I put that down to the fact that they are much shorter than me so he had a better chance of stealing it.

He had finished his treats, then DC2 (2yo) put her hand down to stroke him and he growled, jumped up and bit her hand.

There were no marks on her and she just cried out in surprise. I said "no" and put him outside if the kitchen where we were (there's a baby gate on the kitchen door so he could still see us).

He's getting a bit growly at the moment.

He's starting with a trainer next week and we are working hard to socialise him and take him wherever we go. The DC are told to be careful and gentle and only use their hands to stroke him and not kiss etc. he has a crate which the DC aren't allowed to touch but he rarely chooses to go in it.

I'm pretty scared that he might hate the DC and hurt them as he gets bigger. They are supervised and as above we have rules about not picking him up, how to touch him and we've discussed growling and leaving him alone etc.

We are working on reducing his bite strength which seems to be working and I'm wondering if that why there were no marks on DC2.

It wasn't playful and there was no warning. She out her hand down and he snarled, jumped up and bit her hand all in the space of a second.

Help please.

It is so rare for a 12 week old photo show real aggression

They do do a lot of nipping and mouthing though
What type of dog is it and have you had him from when he left mum ? How old was he when he left mum and rest of litter ?

Basically lots of training, treat based and clicker, remove from any situation where bad behaviour is shown, and be consistent

MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:14:07


He's a cocker spaniel and I got him at 8 weeks. Since the first day we've taken him everywhere. DH is wondering if he's testing out his boundaries with the DC as he sleeps on our bed and is very big for his boots. I don't really go in for the whole dominance and submission thinking but maybe he has a point.

He is mostly a wonderful dog, he little sticky-up tail is wagging all the time but he is very stubborn. We are clicker training him at the moment and my goodness he has a will of steel!

I love him to bits and want him to be happy here with us and most importantly I want the DC to be safe and happy.

DeepRedBetty Wed 01-May-13 09:19:35

Why on earth are you letting him sleep on your bed? I don't do Dominance/Submission either but there are limits!

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 01-May-13 09:25:19

I didn't think they docked tails anymore!

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 01-May-13 09:25:45

Having a dog sleep on your bed is lovely. The rescue home we got ours from advises it. Dogs are pack animals and like sleeping in a pile.

MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:26:22

All put dogs have always slept on our bed.

I don't think it's that unusual confused

Our dogs have been older rescues though rather than puppies if that makes a difference?

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 09:26:32

Cockers can be a bit snappy. I know it's hard, but try not to tell him off for growling, it's his way of warning that he isn't happy. Lots of environmental management, never leave the children in supervised with him. The kids need to be taught not to hand feed him at the moment, but to chuck them in his general direction and absolutely leave him alone when he has picked them up. I two year old human is soo confusing to a dog. They move funny and they sound funny.

I have a great link for kids and dogs living together peacefully. Give me two secs and I'll find it.

MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:26:45

*put = our. Tsk!

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 01-May-13 09:26:46

For the grammar police:

I was unaware that the docking of tails is still in existence grin

MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:28:02

He doesn't have a docked tail. That's why I said he has a waggy sticky up one.

It's always wagging. Very cute!

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 01-May-13 09:28:40

they move funny and sound funny

Ha ha ha!!

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 09:29:03

Here you go:


The rest of the blog is worth looking at too smile

MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:30:13

Thank you! smile

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 01-May-13 09:30:38

Oh right! Though someone has pointed out to me that it's still done if the dog is working. The education of mumsnet!

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 09:30:53

Actually Kitten dogs are not pack animals, there is an article on that subject in the link I posted.

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 09:36:00

Dogs tails gan still be docked if they are going to be working and only by a vet.

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 01-May-13 09:44:21

Not in Scotland, they can't be docked, not by anybody, even if working. Given that more tail injuries occur in the home than when working, the get out clause for working dogs is insane. Off the point though...

I'm afraid I agree re getting him off the beds. Its more about him knowing his place in the pack, and that he is not your equal, rather than dominance.

I would also not be allowing the kids to give treats until you have begun professional training with him. Even though you say the treats were finished, it sounds as if this was a food/possession issue. And therefore one that you can avoid for the moment.

My puppy drew blood on a few occaisions at that age and went through on awful snarly stage at about 10 weeks. He is nine months now and it is all a dim and distant memory now. It was over ages ago. I honestly think it is a stage they go through and mine is the most super chilled easy going (for a terrier disclaimer grin) little guy. He never bites now even playing rough.

Hang in there.

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 09:47:06

Dogs aren't pack animals smile

MrsWolowitz Wed 01-May-13 09:49:55

I think you're right about the bed thing.

So next question! How do I go about it?

I know if I put a basket/his crate next to our bed he will squeal and jump around for ages (he's is stubborn with a capital S)! I just have to ride it out don't I and hope for the best and that he doesn't wake the DC up!

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 09:56:33

If you introduce a crate make it a happy place, feed him his meals in there, put lovely stuffed kongs and chews in, leave the door open at first, then closed for two min, and as long as he, isn't making a fuss, gradually increase the time.

Honestly, I think the bed thing is a complete distraction. As you've said, lots of dogs sleep on beds and they don't turn into Bond villains.

Keep going with the positive training, classes and careful management of DC. If you want him to sleep in a crate, that's fine, but I honestly can't see how it will make any difference.

Lilcamper Wed 01-May-13 10:41:37

I agree Scuttle. Just because he enjoys the warmth and comfort of sleeping with his humans does not mean he is plotting to overthrow the government grin

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 01-May-13 11:59:18

Actually the 'pack' thing is a contested point. Call it 'social' if you like.
Having had the opportunity to observe dogs that have never been domesticated I can tell you that they will form close companionships and will join together in a larger group for specific goals, hunting and protection.

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