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To think the dog isn’t vicious?

(34 Posts)
LellowYedbetter Tue 05-Mar-19 14:09:31

Last night the dog went to bite DHs face.

The dog was laying across DH and was falling asleep. Room very calm, TV on low, me playing on the iPad. All of a sudden DH shouted randomly that he’d had two poo’s earlier. This being after complaining of an uncomfortable stomach ache. The dog jumped awake and instinctively went to grab his face (as he’d just randomly shouted!).

DH then starts going on about how dog is quite unpredictable and it would never be accepted if he was a big breed. I argued that if you randomly shout near any dogs face whilst it’s dozing off they would probably react the same!! AIBU to think this?

pippistrelle Tue 05-Mar-19 14:15:25

instinctively went to grab his face

In any circumstance, that's an instinct that would worry me. Especially if I had children.

Hoppinggreen Tue 05-Mar-19 14:18:43

No idea if the dog is vicious or not and one incident isn’t enough to tell BUT if you makes our dog jump he doesn’t “instinctively “ go for anyone’s face

LellowYedbetter Tue 05-Mar-19 14:19:49

He wasn’t growling or anything, just shocked. He’s a “mouthy” dog, only time he’s shown real aggression is when cutting his nails (both with us and the vet) and when he’s had a bone and you go near it he growls. I don’t believe this was aggressive though, just instinct in shock

Karigan195 Tue 05-Mar-19 14:21:27

Er my dog would never do that. Im sorry but I agree that’s pretty unpredictable. What if a toddler or baby did a squeal near it....

InDubiousBattle Tue 05-Mar-19 14:21:40

I'm sure it would feel pretty vicious having a dog go to bite your face, yes.

RiverTam Tue 05-Mar-19 14:23:21

oh god, it's you and your DH again.

Can't you sort anything out between you without recourse to MN?

Stayawayfromitsmouth Tue 05-Mar-19 14:23:41


Nesssie Tue 05-Mar-19 14:24:54

All of a sudden DH shouted randomly that he’d had two poo’s earlier - Can't get past this tbh

LellowYedbetter Tue 05-Mar-19 14:25:39

River - just looking for opinions as I don’t have many real life friends to ask.

We don’t have children (all grown up) and to be fair probably wouldn’t have him near a toddler

MissionItsPossible Tue 05-Mar-19 14:26:30

Well if a dog goes for someone’s Face I would think it vicious

Confusedbeetle Tue 05-Mar-19 14:26:47

How much training has this dog had? I only ask because small dogs often don't get much which can lead to problems. With children, not only must the children learn how to behave around dogs, but the dog must knpw its place in the pack and who is the leader. Otherwise, he might think he is kingpin. A startled dog should not bite a humans face. Have a word with a dog behaviourist to make sure this doesn't happen again

RiverTam Tue 05-Mar-19 14:28:07

why do you need anyone else's opinion? Your and your DH just seem to endlessly argue about one thing or another.

IncrediblySadToo Tue 05-Mar-19 14:29:51

If you shout in a dogs face don’t be surprised if it opens it’s mouth. It didn’t bite. So what’s the actual issue? Other than your DH being a twat, but that’s not exactly new news is it?!

Seren85 Tue 05-Mar-19 14:30:05

Over the years we've had three family dogs and I can safely say that none of them, even if startled or on hearing someone shout in their vicinity whilst they were sleeping, would "instinctively" go for someone's face so yes, your dog sounds vicious.

LellowYedbetter Tue 05-Mar-19 14:30:41

He’s had basic training but it’s proved difficult with him. We’ve had dog trainers and get short term success but he tends to go backwards despite consistency. If you push him he goes mad and starts flinging himself around the room. Never quite had a dog like it to be honest but I love him to bits

SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc Tue 05-Mar-19 14:31:13

Have u got a Chihuhua? Mine is jumpy too but has never done that

burritofan Tue 05-Mar-19 14:32:13

The real question is, did the dog damage DH's glasses?

GreatDuckCookery6211 Tue 05-Mar-19 14:32:32

oh god, it's you and your DH again


OP you both need to be a more thoughtful where your dog is concerned, it was only the other week you stood on your dog with shoes on.

LellowYedbetter Tue 05-Mar-19 14:32:59

RiverTam, because I don’t always trust my own opinion due to aspergers. I don’t always see other people point of view but to be fair, why does anyone ever need other people’s opinions? Isn’t that what forums like this are for? If you don’t want to read or reply, why have you?

WiddlinDiddlin Tue 05-Mar-19 14:37:03

Dogs don't 'nearly' bite people.

Seriously, dogs reactions are far far faster than our own, a dog that didn't land a bite, never intended to land that bite.

There are also a range of bites, and whilst 'teeth on skin' may constitute a bite in law, behaviourally that is not the whole picture.

There is the 'mouthing' very little pressure, but teeth on skin.

Muzzle punch - dogs mouth is closed or only partially open, lunges at you and hits with the front teeth.

Nip - front teeth only, varying levels of pressure possible

Bite and release - single bite, varying levels of pressure possible, then release

Multiple bites - dog repeatedly bites/releases/bites/releases - varying levels of pressure possible

Bite and hold - as it says.

Bite and rag - dog bites, holds and shakes his head

As far as pressure goes, theres the Dunbar Bite Scale which is the industry standard for determining the severity of a bite:

Level 1- Dog growls, lunges, snarls-no teeth touch skin. Mostly intimidation behaviour.

Level 2- Teeth touch skin but no puncture. May have red mark/minor bruise from dog’s head or snout, may have minor scratches from paws/nails. Minor surface abrasions acceptable.

Level 3- Punctures ½ the length of a canine tooth, one to four holes, single bite. No tearing or slashes. Victim not shaken side to side. Bruising.

Level 4- One to four holes from a single bite, one hole deeper than ½ the length of a canine tooth, typically contact/punctures from more than canines only. Black bruising, tears and/or slashing wounds. Dog clamped down and shook or slashed victim.

Level 5- Multiple bites at Level 4 or above. A concerted, repeated attack.

Level 6- Any bite resulting in death of a human

So im with the OP here, as a professional, this is not a vicious dog, this is a dog startled out of sleep by a silly human. I wouldn't allow this dog to sleep on a child or be where a child may startle them, I would expect an adult to remember not to be an idiot.

HomeTheatreSystem Tue 05-Mar-19 14:38:04

No, I completely agree with you OP.

pigsDOfly Tue 05-Mar-19 14:39:02

My dog wouldn't 'instinctively' go to bite someone's face if she was woken suddenly. If you stroke her while she asleep she just stretches herself in response. But then she's a very unmouthy, calm dog and I've never suddenly shouted near her when she's been asleep.

It's possibly his face was the nearest thing and many dog's being woken suddenly and loudly, I suspect, would react in an unpredictable way, which is one of the reason that toddlers and children should never be left alone with a dog.

I imagine the dog was a bit shocked and just reacted, unfortunately your DH's face happened to be the nearest thing. I doubt it means the dog is turning into some vicious aggressive monster.

Whenever a dog attacks a child there always seems to be someone reported as saying that the dog has never done anything like it before. Probably not but something set the dog off.

Dog's are animals, they can, and do, react suddenly, unpredictably and instinctively in certain situations, especially if suddenly shocked or frightened.

Remember, the shouting would sound very loud and sudden to a dog's sensitive hearing, so it might be a good idea for your DH not to sudden shout right by the dog's head.

There's a very good reason why there's the old saying 'let sleeping dogs lie'.

recrudescence Tue 05-Mar-19 15:09:40

I think the dog should sleep in his bed from now on. If he falls asleep while you are petting him, place him in his bed. Don’t pet him at all when he is in his bed.

Greyhound22 Tue 05-Mar-19 15:15:03

Dogs can have sleep aggression- you shouldn't piss them off whilst they are sleeping.

Also he 'nearly' bit - do you mean he snapped? If he wanted to bite him he would have done - snaps and growls are warnings and giving you a second chance.

I'm as soft as butter with dogs but I would have him in his own bed on the floor if he's going to get startled.

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