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AIBU to worry about biting dog, should we say something?

(35 Posts)
Sara107 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:26:11

Just wondering really, what would other people do: we met some lovely people, their DC is same age as ours and they play nicely together. We went to their house for the first time. DH and DC went in first when the door was opened, I was bringing up the rear. Family dog, a large, strong breed, rushed at them barking. It was called back and we were assured he was gentle etc. And it was very well behaved while we were there, and I was happy for DC to stroke it etc. However, when we got home, DH rolled up his sleeve, and there was a livid bruise on the inside of his forearm about the size of a 2 p coin with two puncture wounds in it. Dog had bitten him, and drawn blood through a raincoat and heavy cotton sweatshirt thing. My immediate thought was thank God it wasn't dD's face, which was about the same height as her dad's arm! We are in a bit of a dilemma as to whether we should tell the owners the bite happened ( and risk upsetting them, I am sure they trust it and obviously really dote on it). Or should we say nothing, and hope it was dog's first and only bite? I would worry about any dog that bites, particularly when it's around children. Will it offend them if we say something?

TheseLittleEarthquakes Sun 12-Jun-16 23:27:43

Of course you need to tell them! He also needs medical attention, my friend was bitten a month ago by a dog and ended up with sepsis.

WorraLiberty Sun 12-Jun-16 23:29:42

What the actual fuck?

Your DH didn't tell the friends their dog bit him, just in case they're offended?


Of course they need to know, particularly with kids in the house!

Pigeonpost Sun 12-Jun-16 23:30:14

Yes, if that was my dog I would definitely want to know. How come your DH didn't say anything at the time though?!!

Allbymyselfagain Sun 12-Jun-16 23:39:55

Sorry so your DH got bitten by a large dog and didn't react in anyway at the time of biting. The dog drew blood and your DH didn't say a thing or make any noise in pain or try to pull his arm away or anything? He just walked in the house and sat in the same room as dog that had just bitten him? Then he sat whilst you allowed your children to pet the dog, no warning to you or the owner?

Then the second thing bothering me about this is the large strong breed of dog left a 2p sized bite with two puncture wounds? That a tiny jaw for such a big dog. My tiny dog leaves a bite mark larger than that through strong garden gloves.

Stratter5 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:41:40


Stratter5 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:42:34

I have a chihuahua cross, if he bit me he would leave a bite mark larger than a 2p, and he is tiny.

Finola1step Sun 12-Jun-16 23:45:09


A dog bites and you wonder if you should say something? Very odd thinking there OP

LyndaNotLinda Sun 12-Jun-16 23:46:10

I've just shoved a 2p coin between my dog's incisors. It fit really easily Actually, there's space for a 5p coin in too. He's a small/medium dog so this dog must have had really weirdly close together teeth hmm

What breed was it?

Onenerfwarfrombreakdown Sun 12-Jun-16 23:47:53

A bite the size of a 2p coin? Are you sure it wasn't the family hamster that got him? biscuit

strongswans Sun 12-Jun-16 23:48:08

confusedvery odd. My puppy would make a mark bigger than that. Why didn't DH say something at the time? I would of and made sure dc were out of the way. Of course you tell them

FuckingMother Sun 12-Jun-16 23:52:17

Please tell them. I had a dog as a teenager, it was a rescue. It was a long time ago and we didn't have proper advice but she had obviously been badly abused. If she was scared or threatened or her food was touched when she ate it she would usually growl a warning but may suddenly lunge to bite. We coped with her until she passed away12 years later but she was kept away from young children and supervised closely. She was lovely and adored us and I adored her but she was very damaged and challenging. If there had been young children around no way could we have kept her.

WiddlinDiddlin Sun 12-Jun-16 23:58:48

Do you have a photo of the bite wound? (Bite levels are fresh in my mind having just come back from a doggy conference).

IF their dog did indeed bite him yes I would let them know but I am in some doubt as to whether the dog did actually bite, as the injury you are describing seems.. odd... particularly if the child made no sound and did not comment on it at the time.

I would expect a bite that left a bruise on the inside of the forearm to have a corresponding mark on the outside of the forearm, where the other jaw would have closed around his arm.

Whilst it is possible for a dogs teeth to connect with and bruise human skin without the jaw even being opened that much, you'd see such injuries typically on the outside of forearms, on knuckles/backs of hands etc, not the inside.

I think we really need more information (and a picture would tell me a LOT really and you'd then have much more information to give the dogs owners).

MintyChops Mon 13-Jun-16 00:00:49

Yeah, right.

WiddlinDiddlin Mon 13-Jun-16 00:04:42

Sorry misread the OP (I am knackered) - so the dog bit your husband, and he is definitely not mistaken..

Photos of the bite would still help, I would assume this was a nip from front teeth, as the dog has caught a bit of skin between them.

That can happen in play (but through clothing? hmm) or as a warning nip - what was happening at the time of the bite - what concerns me most is that this has happened without the owners noticing, which suggests if the bite was a warning bite, it happened without any OTHER signs of warning.

Dogs have a LOT of warning signs before they bite - freezing, staring, lipcurling, growling, snarling, air snapping, muzzle punching... and then on through the bite scale right up to killing someone.

However dogs who have been punished for showing the earlier signs on that 'ladder of aggression' will leap to the next in line - if a polite lip curl or growl is ignored and associated with punishment, then the dog has no choice but to use 'nip' or 'bite' (and not all dogs will naturally perform all the behaviours on the scale).

budgiegirl Mon 13-Jun-16 00:47:48

It's certainly possible for a large dog to cause a small bruise with two puncture wounds close together - it sounds like a nip from a top and bottom tooth, rather then two teeth from one jaw, IYSWIM.

OP, I think you should tell your friend, I have a dog and I'd want to know. And yiur DH should get medical attention if a dogs tooth has broken the skin.

Tartsamazeballs Mon 13-Jun-16 07:45:09

My old dog did this to my now husband about 12 years ago- it wasn't a bite as much as it was a misaimed bark. Caught a bit of his arse between two incisors and left two small bruises in a pinch mark. Is that what happened, OP?

RoseDog Mon 13-Jun-16 07:55:19

Are you sure it wasn't the dogs claws that caught your dhs arm? I'm always covered in bruises and puncture wounds from my dog jumping up on me, she is a big strong breed, if her mouth/teeth came in contact with an arm there would be more than puncture wounds 2p size apart!

Silvercatowner Mon 13-Jun-16 08:00:21

I was bitten through clothes - it bruised and was very painful. Surely if the skin was broken the clothes would be shredded?

Sara107 Mon 13-Jun-16 09:20:32

Thanks for responses! As Budgiegirl says, I reckon it was a top and bottom tooth that sunk in and did the piercing, rather than the whole jaw - hence the 2 p sized bruise. It is a dalmation - so a large dog. He had put up his arm when the dog shot at him, hence the inside of his forearm. We didn't have time to see any warning signs from the dog Widdin, we walked in the front door, dog zoomed at us. What I think was happening was the dog had been given a snack which it was eating when we arrived. It dropped the snack on the living room floor, ran out to bite, then popped back to finish the snack. I don't think DHs clothes were shredded, but there was a slobber + snack mark on the sleeve of his jacket, so defintely teeth not claws. Tarts, I don't know, maybe it was a misaimed bark, but to go through two layers of clothes strongly enough to break the skin I think has a bit more intention than woof behind it really. I suppose DH didn't say anything at the time because he wasn't sure what to say - it was our first time in their house and he didn't want to be rude and make a fuss the second we walked in the door. Also, some people do get quite defensive and offended by anything they perceive as criticism of their pet's behaviour. And often people don't realise that their dog is actually upsetting anyone - how often do you get leaped all over by some great brute of a thing while the owner smiles indulgently and says, oh he's very friendly. But maybe in hindsight it would have been less awkward to have mentioned it in the heat of the moment rather than having to bring it up at a later date......

StarryIllusion Mon 13-Jun-16 09:45:33

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

PotOfYoghurt Mon 13-Jun-16 10:22:36

If this played out as you say it has, then your DH is a fucking idiot.

Despite the fact that he can apparently be bitten by a dog and not make any noise or reaction at all and therefore must be superhuman, he let his children sit and stroke a dog which had just bitten him.

What the fuck was he thinking?

Sara107 Mon 13-Jun-16 17:06:01

Well, he's not superhuman but not everyone gets loudly hysterical when feeling pain. He's also not a fucking idiot, just a decent person trying not to be rude to his hosts and not quite sure what to do / say. And as I said, there was absolutely nothing in that dogs behaviour for the rest of the evening that would make you think that he was in any way flaky. Quiet, well behaved, waggy tail etc. And to be fair, I do not think DH realised how bitey the bite was until he looked later (thinking more along the lines of a bark that got too close rather than a bite with intent).
Anyway, today he phoned the dog owner, so we are no longer in a dilemma..

WiddlinDiddlin Mon 13-Jun-16 17:09:04

Speak to the owners - it sounds to me like frustrated/excited/out of control greeting behaviour - jumping barking nipping and the easy solution for that is simply NOT to let the dog meet visitors to the house until they are indoors, seated and the dog can meet them calmly.

It COULD be something else but if it were for example, resource guarding over food or toys or high value treats, I would not expect the dog to calm down and play nicely but to go back to the item he is guarding and make it quite clear he is guarding it, keep away.

The owners do need to know this or it will happen again and even if the behaviour is based in excitement and a lack of self control, could end VERY badly for them and the dog.

I would strongly recommend that they get a behaviourist in to assess the dog and put together a management plan and a behaviour modification plan to address the behaviour and keep their dog safe.

SolomanDaisy Mon 13-Jun-16 17:12:38

Obvious you have to tell them, but they're going to think your DH is bloody weird for saying nothing, not even ow, at the time.

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