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I've been bitten by my parents dog twice

(143 Posts)
Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:04:59

I know the title sounds straightforward, but it's not.

They have two dogs; one an aged spaniel and one 18 month old retriever. I also have my own dogs.

Back in the summer I was staying and both my parents' dogs started scrapping under the table. I raised my legs so I didn't get in the way and unfortunately my movement coincided with the younger dog savagely trying to bite the other dog. In no way did he mean to strike me, but he bit hard, straight down to the muscle and the pain was immense; I was debilitated for days (literally hobbling) and I have a scar. Anyway, it wasn't his fault and I didn't think any more of it.

Until yesterday when I stood up in the kitchen and he thought I was the other dog and bit me AGAIN. It's not as bad but again, I'm in a lot of pain and though it was a quick snap he obviously did it violently because the bruising is bad.

I'm used to dogs, I own two and I grew up with them and I have never been bitten before. I am not one to overreact but I have two children and I am petrified that he will do this again to one of them. He does not mean to bite one of us, that is certain, but on neither occasion did I do anything that remotely antagonised him. It was literally wrong place, wrong time. The dog in question thought he was snapping at another dog.

I feel uncomfortable but am I BU??? Do tell!

Bailey101 Wed 24-Dec-14 00:08:51

I think the fact that he tried to bite anyone that hard is concerning - the other dog is part of his pack and he shouldn't be attacking with that much force.

I would be very concerned for my children if I were you, and I wouldn't want then around a dog that behaves like that!

kwerty Wed 24-Dec-14 00:10:16

YANBU My sister's dog nipped me on the ankle twice; I was wearing boots so no damage, but I felt his teeth. She played it down and said I had gone too near his basket. Shortly afterwards the dog bit a friend, who often looked after him. She had to have the wound stitched. My sister had the dog put down that day.

KnackeredMerrily Wed 24-Dec-14 00:10:26

What Bailey said

caroldecker Wed 24-Dec-14 00:11:29

I have separated fighting dogs by hand and, whilst having been bitten, no dog has ever penetrated the skin or done anything other than minor bruising.
IMO, they need to be PTS.

Clobbered Wed 24-Dec-14 00:11:44

How have your parents reacted to what's happened?

I don't think you are being unreasonable - this wasn't just a one-off, and there is a real risk it could happen again, with serious consequences. I think you need to have a conversation with your parents, and perhaps agree some rules for future visits e.g. they keep the younger dog elsewhere in the house. I certainly wouldn't take my kids anywhere near him!

Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:19:06

My parents were shocked, but I did reassure them that he hadn't meant to. They then downplayed the whole thing and again this time, making jokey comments like "Oh, Sapphie, stop putting your legs in my dogs mouth."

There's no way that they will agree with separating him or anything connected. I'll be blamed for upsetting the balance (not obviously of course) but I would be ridiculed and punished if I actually made a stand.

FWIW my younger daughter is already scared of him because she's seen what he's done to me.

Arghhh. So hard. I literally have no perspective on this.

Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:22:07

PS. We are staying for Christmas so the problem is immediate (he bit me yesterday for the second time). I can't help thinking that if it were my dog I would be apologising massively and keeping a VERY close eye/putting him somewhere else.

The dog in question also growls continually. Either at his foodbowl, after his dinner while he's guarding his bowl, if either of my dogs walk around, he growls all the time. I'm only saying that to give context. WWYD?

Jodie1982 Wed 24-Dec-14 00:26:53

Why go there and risk your child getting hurt? I'd stay away if they can't put the dog elsewhere for a bit! And ur child is scared of the dog!

peggyundercrackers Wed 24-Dec-14 00:29:47

Why do you keep saying it's not the dogs fault? If it isn't his fault who's fault is it... Imo the dog needs PTS, he sounds aggressive and unfriendly and I certainly wouldn't have my kids around him.

TheNoodlesIncident Wed 24-Dec-14 00:31:54

I would tell them he needs to be retrained and they should seek the advice of a dog behaviourist and I wouldn't have my dc stay in the same house. End of. A dangerous dog is a dangerous dog.

Those sound like serious bites, not little nips. I was bitten by a dog while out and the two bruises from the canine teeth were visible for seven months.

Don't downplay the seriousness of the bites, or your parents will think it was merely an accident. Until the elderly dog gets a bite it might not recover from, since the newer dog seems to want to attack it. I would take the growling extremely seriously. I bet it's entire too.

TheWitTank Wed 24-Dec-14 00:35:35

Don't go for Christmas with a child. Please. At the very least if you do go the dog must be separated completely. This is not acceptable or normal behaviour at all. My two dogs have never ever fought like this, nor have any of the dogs we have had previously (and we have has lots). The dog is not safe. At all.

Allalonenow Wed 24-Dec-14 00:35:52

I think I'd be taking my children home tomorrow, even if it meant beans on toast for Christmas dinner.

Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:35:57

No, he's not entire, neutered early on. They are serious bites, yes. As I said, I'm scarred from months ago and have a whole new set of painful bruises. FFS, I'm scared of him now!!

Thank you Noodles

Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:37:56

We're already here. We don't really have anywhere else to go. Home is miles away and I have no car. I'm a bit stuck. Or a lot stuck, really.

Thank you for the replies, I genuinely value each and every one.

Allalonenow Wed 24-Dec-14 00:39:32

Also I'm worried for you OP that you say you would be punished for making a stand, it doesn't sound a very happy situation for you at all.

SunshineAndShadows Wed 24-Dec-14 00:39:34

As an experienced dog owner and professional in this field I would be concerned. A dog scrapping with another family-member-dog should be exercising bite-inhibition. For example my two dogs will sometimes squabble over treats - lots of noise. Some snapping and mouthing. Never ever a penetrating injury or break to the skin - it's just not necessary for normal dog-squabbling. It would worry me that your parents have a dog that isn't displaying inhibition or bite restraint to the other dog, and if you've accidentally managed to get netween then twice and be bitten, that sane risk is present for other family members including your DC and I would suggest that it is essential for your parents to recognise that risk. No one is saying the dog would maliciously bite your DC, but a dog biting without restraint is still a big risk

Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:42:26

Thank you Sunshine.

The first time it happened it was with the other dog. The second time it was because he thought he was going for MY dog (new inthe house within the last week though she has been here before). So it wasn't a dog that lives here all the time.

ProcrastinaRemNunc Wed 24-Dec-14 00:52:41

Sapph1e, this dog sounds highly reactive/ neurotic/ imbalanced! I would not have my children in the same house as him.

It doesn't matter whether he thought it was you, another dog or a giraffe, quite honestly. Bite first, look after is a dangerous level of reactivity. Plus a lot of growling at a lot of things?

Your parents are being irresponsible in refusing to acknowledge a serious issue, which could leave someone seriously harmed.

We have four dogs and have always had rescues, fosters and all manner of behavioural quirks but what you describe, is a dog I would not take into my home to socialise or retrain.

ProcrastinaRemNunc Wed 24-Dec-14 00:52:56

Sapph1e, this dog sounds highly reactive/ neurotic/ imbalanced! I would not have my children in the same house as him.

It doesn't matter whether he thought it was you, another dog or a giraffe, quite honestly. Bite first, look after is a dangerous level of reactivity. Plus a lot of growling at a lot of things?

Your parents are being irresponsible in refusing to acknowledge a serious issue, which could leave someone seriously harmed.

We have four dogs and have always had rescues, fosters and all manner of behavioural quirks but what you describe, is a dog I would not take into my home to socialise or retrain.

ProcrastinaRemNunc Wed 24-Dec-14 00:52:56

Sapph1e, this dog sounds highly reactive/ neurotic/ imbalanced! I would not have my children in the same house as him.

It doesn't matter whether he thought it was you, another dog or a giraffe, quite honestly. Bite first, look after is a dangerous level of reactivity. Plus a lot of growling at a lot of things?

Your parents are being irresponsible in refusing to acknowledge a serious issue, which could leave someone seriously harmed.

We have four dogs and have always had rescues, fosters and all manner of behavioural quirks but what you describe, is a dog I would not take into my home to socialise or retrain.

futureponyclubmum Wed 24-Dec-14 00:54:08

Dog is defending his territory and position dominance in the pack. Your dogs arrival won't have helped in the slightest. At 18 months he's coming into his prime (especially if unneutered??) and unless your parents have firmly got him bottom of the pecking order and he's used to socialising with other dogs (which doesn't sound like it) he thinks he's top dog and using aggression to assert himself. This does not make his behaviour acceptable and your parents really need to take this seriously.
Personally I don't think I could stay in the house and take the risk that the next one to be bitten could be your daughter. Would your parents find that funny too?? Will they pay the vets bill if one of your dogs gets attacked??
Short term if you do stay, try and separate the dogs as much as possible especially when they have food, but be prepared the longer your dogs are there the more stressed and unpredictable he is likely to be.....

TheNoodlesIncident Wed 24-Dec-14 00:54:11

Sounds like anybody could get bitten and it hasn't any restraint, so wholly dangerous and should be kept apart. Sorry you feel you have no alternative but to stay though. Personally, given that you believe your parents wouldn't take any measures to prevent any bites (such as segregation) and that they would castigate you, I would be leaving early and taking my dc with me. You and your children (and your dogs) are far too valuable to be put at risk.

Would either of your parents drive you home?

Sapph1e Wed 24-Dec-14 00:58:50

It's really not as simple as just going home.

I suppose my real questions are:

- how serious is this?
- what would other dog owners do in this circumstance?

All I'll get is "Well, he's never bitten anyone else."

GretnaGreen Wed 24-Dec-14 01:00:03

I absolutely love dogs. My mother had a beautiful dog who I absolutely adored, but i once heard her growl at a friend's two year old and after that if children came to the house the dog was shut in another room. I honestly don't think she would have done more than growl but I wasn't prepared to take the risk.

It's not just about safeguarding the children, it's about protecting your dog from a situation that could result in them being put to sleep.

It's a no brainer whether you like dogs or not.

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