Golden retriever has snapped at DS

(8 Posts)
Beatles19 Mon 06-Jun-16 21:39:13

We have a 2 yo golden retriever who is generally quite calm and well behaved.
This evening DS sat in front of him and was quite close to his face. He was stroking his ears and the dog snapped at his face, fortunately not breaking the skin but he moved so quickly and it has shaken me up.

This is our first dog, and all new to me.
Any one any words of wisdom, was my son wrong to be so close to him
Thank you

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 06-Jun-16 21:44:43

Sorry to hear that OP. Upsetting for you.

A snap is a warning, so your DS needs to heed it. I'm very careful about not getting in my dogs faces, although they've never reacted negatively, it just doesn't seem the right thing to do!

I'd keep a close eye, and tell your DS to give him a bit of space while youre monitoring the situation.

lougle Mon 06-Jun-16 22:05:18

It sounds like he may have been giving him direct eye contact? Many dogs don't find direct eye contact comfortable, and if he was very close, too, your dog may have felt quite threatened.

Did your DS go to your dog, or did he call the dog to him? It's good to train young children not to approach a dog who is resting. It's best that if they would like to give the dog attention, they call the dog to them. That way, the dog is exercising some choice in going to them and being petted.

gooddays Mon 06-Jun-16 22:18:00

Would agree the dogs giving you a warning may feel threaten or harassed, possible might be in some pain with their ears? It's their way of telling you they want to be left alone or in pain.
Hopefully with mutual respect you don't get anymore moments

Bakesale Tue 07-Jun-16 05:30:07

Having grown up with Goldens and now owning two myself, I've been snapped at before. It's not nice especially for a child and you must be worried. Normally it's the dog warning, often there has been other warning signals (lip quiver, avoiding eye contact, trying to move away) that we miss so snapping appears to come out of nowhere. My own current Goldie has health issues that mean he can be grumpy - if he's lying down or in his bed we leave him alone, and only fuss him if he comes to us. Maybe implementing something like that for your family might help you? Also maybe get the dog checked by a vet as he may be in pain - sore ear, or tooth etc - and at least you can then eliminate medical issues.
But please don't panic - chances are it will be a one off.

Devilishpyjamas Tue 07-Jun-16 05:59:36

My golden snapped at a (random) child aged 2. I think he had a sore ear, he does get ear problems and the child was quite full on with him.

After that I was very strict about children giving him space and not getting in his face. I also read about dogs getting anxious around the age of 2 (no idea how true that is, but dogs do calm right down at 3 ime).

He's a lovely, good natured friendly dog (now 6) & no more incidents. I don't allow random children to stroke him though. I just explain that he feels a bit nervous when on his lead (which he does). I had to work quite hard with my youngest son to teach him what was acceptable & to recognise signs of doggy stress (licking lips etc).

Hoppinggreen Tue 07-Jun-16 10:30:00

We have a 7 month old Goldie and I have had 3 before.
Getting in a dogs face like that is quite threatening for them, it's better to sit to the side. The dog may have been showing signs of stress but they can be hard to notice if you don't know what to look for.
I tell my dc to let the dog come to them if he wants attention and not bother him otherwise.
Check for ear or tooth pain as well

Beatles19 Tue 07-Jun-16 10:49:49

Such helpful advice, thank you for taking the time to explain this.

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