Would you rehome a dog snapping at your toddler?(not a knee jerk reaction to events in media...trying to resolve this for months)

(83 Posts)
Louisiasb Sat 09-Nov-13 23:16:33

Hi, I have 7 year old cockatoo and 18 month old dd. dog growls at dd if she walks past crate or sleeping. I have taught dd that she is not allowed to approach dogs when sleeping or in crate.however she has ignored this when I am busy and dog has snapped at her 3 times.

Dog is only allowed to sleep in crate and I know warning signs.however I am nervous that I can't trust dog as dd was very traumatised after incidents. Growling has also progressed to snapping.

I am not sure what to do. House is too small to keep separate unless dog crated all day. Dd very boisterous and don't trust her to leave alone. Have spoken to behaviourists but as house is too small there isn't much i can do.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:40:04

ah, i see that you already have breed rescue set up - so good to go, its sad for your DH but help him see its best for the dog x

Geneticsbunny Sun 10-Nov-13 10:44:40

I would definitely re home the dog. Dogs and small children are a really difficult combination. Maybe have another one when DD is older? If you got the dog from a breeder they might take the dog back or suggest someone else who would like it?

It is a really hard decision to make though especially when you have had your dog a long time.

mrslaughan Sun 10-Nov-13 14:47:16

Iridog - did you not read the last line of her post?

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 15:08:48

LEM am I supposed to feel guilty for putting my dog down? Sorry I don't.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 15:44:57

MrsLaughan last line of her post - give me a clue?

If you mean the comment re the behaviourist by the OP. Then I am very surprised that she needs to ask on here. As mentioned already a qualified behaviourist would have seen the situation given her a treatment plan and fully assessed the situation in RL. The OP would have no need to ask a bunch of strangers who can not see the situation and have no training in dog behaviour.

If that did not happen then she did not speak to a qualified professional hence my question to see what professional advice she had been given. If she just spoke to a person who trains dogs it is like asking a first aider to treat your terminal illness.

Ecuador Sun 10-Nov-13 15:55:14

Trouble is all the training in the world isn't going to help if you have an 18 month old toddler in the mix. The dog may well get it but a small child just won't and unreasonable to expect them to.

I would say sadly you will need to re-home for your piece of mind, as for your DH mmm.... that is harder. Have you had a proper sit down discussion with him about it?

hettienne Sun 10-Nov-13 15:59:54

If it is not possible to separate/supervise the toddler and dog at all times then I think your options are limited. Both of them sound stressed by the situation.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 16:54:57

Ecuador do you have dog psychology and training experience?

Counter conditioning and stimulus control can in most cases sort out dog anxiety in specific situations - it does require work from the owner though

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 17:15:00

That says quite alot about you then. I Worked as a vet nurse for ten years and had to assist with many pts. The owners were heart broken and often so were we. Yes. You absolutely should feel bad unless there are factors you haven't included you dound heartless. Sadly its not unusual, for some people animals are dispensable.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 17:34:01

The dog adored my DH it was a gun dog and well trained it did anything he said. BUT as soon as my DH went to work the dog would make our life a misery it would lie on the stairs and go for us if we walked past him he would growl and snap at my 3 kids he just didn't want us there.

Ecuador Sun 10-Nov-13 17:40:14

iridog, no but I have a dog and children. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that you can't 'train' an 18 month old toddler no matter what headway you may make with the dog.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 17:44:44

So the dog was a working dog that was loyal to its master and then expected to fit in with family life. What a way to repay him . sad

PoshPenny Sun 10-Nov-13 17:55:48

I think the answer would be to re home the dog in a family with older or no children, heartbreaking as I am sure that will be for you. We had a tricky dog years ago and I did everything I could to resolve things, but I failed and there was unprovoked attack on my then 3 year old, he got her on her upper lip and we had to have maxillofacial guys stitch her up. Just not worth the risk or the distress and guilt we felt for letting our little girl be hurt like that, before then it had just been hands he had bitten. In our case there was a problem with the dog, he would fly without any warning. we were absolutely honest about what he did to give him the best chance in a new home, but he bit someone badly there without warning, and we all agreed the best thing for Chas (the dog) was one final trip to the vet.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 18:58:54

Oh LEM I can just imagine what you are like. Perhaps we should have moved into the shed and left em to it.

Lilcamper Sun 10-Nov-13 19:10:03

Will just reiterate what Idirdog said, this can be fairly easily overcome with environmental management and an APBC qualified behaviourist. Vet referrals to a behaviourist are often covered by pet insurance.

Frankly disgusted at a working gun dog being rewarded for his work by being euthanised. Says it all really when the poster refers to the dog as an 'it' instead of he or she.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:26:53

Can you? do you think im over sentimental then? well, i'm not but you can think what you like. We used to get folk come into the vets all the time who used animals rather than loving them (despite their claims) , had to put down many a healthy dog sad but we maintained our professionality and were polite and friendly - didn't stop us from calling those people cunts when they left though.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 19:33:19

Sshh you are being a silly girl now no dog that bites a child unprovoked deserves to live and if you think that then I'm not the cunt.

mrslaughan Sun 10-Nov-13 19:33:30

Yes Iridog - I did mean that she had consulted Behaviourists and none had a plan that was workable in her space. I am not going to judge whether the behaviourists know what they are doing, whether the OP could follow it if she tried harder...she is saying she can't......with that said, personally I think she would be better to re-home, before the dogs ends up with the same fate as one of the other posters.....

The dog is stressed by the child, I am guessing it is not an option for the OP to rehome her child.......though no-one has asked that question?

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:37:07

And no, don't be so fucking ridiculous, you shouldn't have moved to the shed, you should have moved the dog to the shed actually, it was a working dog and obviously not able for family life. I have quite a lot of experience of working dogs and some of them will not do well as part of the family, but thats why you shouldn't be over sentimental and keep them as part of the family home and then kill them when it goes wrong.

lilcamper sadly this happens alot, we used to have people with working dogs who treated dogs as that really, workers (although to be fair, most of the people who had gundogs treasured their dogs and would have not pts they would have made the effort to find the dog a suitable home) and worst of all was the greyhound owners - many a time we had to euth beautiful dogs that were no longer "any use" to their owners cunts. It was part of the job I hated, yes you have to be quite objective as a vet nurse or you couldn't do your job properly but it didn't stop me forming an opinion.

Anyway - this is digressing from the OP - I absolutely think you are doing the right thing by rehoming the dog, I can understand why your DH feels as he does, this is your dog and she is part of your family but she is not happy with your child around, not your fault, it happens and the key thing is that actually rehoming is by far the best thing for your dog, even if she never actually bites your child, its stressful for her. She will find the transition hard but she will find a loving and happy home (she is a very desirable breed and you already have foster home in place) and sorry but she will forget you and be happy (not that you haven't made her happy). I found myself in a very similar situation, took on a rescue dog, with issues, huge dog and then out of the blue i had a baby, it becamse apparent quite early on that i wasn't going to be able to keep the dog so i set about trying to find him a home, sadly fate took over and he passed away, but had he not i would have had the heartbreaking decision you face, but you have to put your child's safety first. As others have said, don't let this put you off having another dog when your DD is a bit older.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:40:27

I'd rather be then cunt then....... it was your fault your dog ended up like it did and you should be ashamed of yourself.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 19:42:43

Well I'm not.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:43:31

idirdog, i usually agree with you on these sort of threads, however as far as I can see the OP has got something in place for the dog (she is actually very lucky!) and i thnk its the right decision for the dog to go to a family without children. Its not the dogs fault, i don't think its the OPs fault either. Sometimes rehoming is the best choice and i would recommend it everytime if the situation was different to the reality (that suitable homes are so difficult to find).

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:44:11

No, i wouldn't think for one minute that you are

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:48:24

Rehoming isn't a bad thing, it is sometimes not achievable and dogs end up long term kennel inmates (that makes me sad and angry) but when it is achieved, if its the forever home then its fine - after all, my little brown rescue dog is sat on my lap while i type this and he has a pretty good life, i don't know his history actually as i think him and his brother were abandoned as strays, the same as my old dog that was a rescue - we didn't have him many years as illness took him from us, but he had a good life with us and would have had a good life with whoever took him on from us (becaue i would have bloodywell made sure of it).

Lilcamper Sun 10-Nov-13 20:00:42

LEM wear your cunt label with pride, OP hasn't said what type of behaviourist she has had in, there are some dodgy ones out there, anyone can hang a shingle out an call themselves one.

Lots of dogs find little humans scary, lots of families work through it.

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