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Advice please, Dog biting

(44 Posts)
Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 21:49:20

Jack Russell x Border Collie. Have had her since she was 3mths old, took her on temporary for a friend and ended up keeping her.
Brought up with my DD & DS (aged 2 & 3yo) and been fine with them, up until 2wks ago.

2wks ago, she bit DS just under his eye, breaking the skin and it bled, not loads but enough to make me panic. He wasn't doing anything to her, just sat by her (she was sat by the front door, and DS next to her) and she snapped and bit him.

This morning, she bit DD (3.7yo). DD was cuddling the dog, she does this all the time and the dog has never reacted like this (well until this morning) dog snapped and bit DD on the cheek, not breaking the skin but leaving a nasty red mark/teeth line - I'd say that mark will be there a few days/week.

What the hell do I do? Why is the dog doing this all of a sudden? Does she need 'knocking down' in the pecking order or something (no idea how to do this if so)?

She is trained and generally well behaved, but she has bitten twice now and I'm worried.

When I tell her off she snarls at me, and snaps at me, I don't know why she's doing this but when she done it this morning I shouted "NO" at her and put her in the garden. This is what I did when she bit before.

What would you do?

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 21:50:00

Sorry, forgot to say she is 14mths old now.

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 21:55:33

Call a decent behaviourist pronto. Messing around with this could make things much worse - pecking order stuff is controversial and someone who does not relly understand it all can easily do more harm than good. (seriously no offence meant, it is just clear you are not an expert on this stuff).

If your pet is insured than your policy may cover it, get your vet to refer you - bear in mind that any third party insurance you have will not be valid if you do not get proffesional help with this one!

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 21:59:29

Thanks, will call the vet in the morning.

Bigboots Tue 06-Oct-09 22:00:10

Take her to the vets tomorrow for a thorough check up in case an underlying problem - but you have to face up to the fact that you may have to put her down. sad In the mean time, don't leave her with your DCs even for a minute. My sister had to have her 15 month old dog put down for similar reasons...sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear.

ilovesprouts Tue 06-Oct-09 22:01:12

sorry if it was mine i would got rid ,ive a dog too ,not once but twice you say its bitten,i would not risk a 3rd time at all you an never be too carefull we dogs and kids !!

PlonkerCandleInAPumpkin Tue 06-Oct-09 22:05:53

I'm probably going to flamed for saying this, but in your shoes, I would have to find a new home for her sad

I'm sure you love her dearly and I know how much a dog is part of the family, but I really don't think, given what you've said, that I could risk her hurting the children again.

Probably not a popular viewpoint, sorry sad

PlonkerCandleInAPumpkin Tue 06-Oct-09 22:06:38

God I'm a slow typer!! blush

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 22:12:05

Oh god, I'm prepared to rehome. I hate her at the moment for the fact she has bitten both of my children.

She seems in good health, eats/drinks/wees/poos/runs like a whippet, so fast. But I will take her to the vet tomorrow and see what she says.

There are 3 stairgates up in the house, always has been and the kids/dogs go whereever really, so she's not stuck in one room with the kids harassing her or anything, it just seems she wants to be 'higher' than the kids and be boss of them or something.

I'm not too sure, but will take her to the vets, the kids let her out of the utility room (big room where she sleeps at night) this morning, otherwise she'd have been there till I got up and let her out (I got up same time as the kids but kids went down before me and let her out, cuddled her and she bit).

Bigboots Tue 06-Oct-09 22:23:15

I jut would not trust her - I don't think I ever would again. Problem is she may not be suitable for rehoming either. Imagine if she bit a child whilst out for a walk with her new owners....doesn't bear thinking about.

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 22:26:36

See your 2 and 3 yo let her out and cuddled her with no parental supervision, you really have no idea what happened to her - it is possible one of them poked her in the eye, pulled her ear or something else that was just a bit too much for her. I think jumping straight to rehoming is a bit of an over-reaction... assuming you want to sort it out - no judgement here at all but if you are just not happy then there is no point going further really as it will not help her, better to send her somewhere where she can get whatever it is she needs than struggle on half heartedly (I really mean NO judgement, only you can make this decision and it is a totally understandable one).

First up though - your children can never spend even a second alone with her and should not ever be allowed to hug her (tbh that should be the rule with any dog, toddlers hugging dogs is a recipie for disaster really)

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 22:31:12

DMNC, The kids let her out, she came upstairs and I was in my room sorting washing, that I was meant to have done the night before, Dd was on the floor with the dog cuddling her and I saw it all.

I would like to 'fix' her and not have a biting dog around my two young children, I'd rather do this than rehome her but I am also willing to rehome her if she will not stop this.

She won't be left alone with the kids again, and I'll stop the dog hugging.

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 22:39:39

I cannot stress enough that I am not trying to sound at all judgy, if anything comes across that way please let me know and I will try to explain myself better!

Something like this is terribly hard as only you really know what happened and how you feel about it, your gut instinct counts for a huge amount here, not just in interpreting the incident itself but also in any future moves. If you are not 100% behind any work done with her then there is little chance that it will work simply because dogs are so intuitive.

I am strongly anti dog-hugging/cuddling/crawling and so on, simply becasue a dog can and will attack if provoked enough, even the most placid creature will turn eventually and a child who thinks it is ok to hug one dog may decide to hug another one day and the consequences could be awful! However do nto take this as a judgement on you, I am simply saying if you do proceed it is even more important that your dc have the rules reinforced - no hugging, if dog is in a room they stay out until you are they, leave dogs bed/toys alone and so on.

Someone who decides to rehome in these situations is someone who should be understood too, it is a lot to take on to retrain a dog who has snapped and bitten a child - even a (compartively) minor incident like this!

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 22:44:02

Thankyou DMNC, you don't sound judgy at all to me, you sound as though you know what you're talking about - unlike myself. blush

I'm not sure what to do tbh, I like the dog, she's part of the family, but I'm not sure if she will pick up that I am angry with her for biting through behaviour training? I don't know what's best to do, my instincts are saying i should try to rehome her with someone with no children, or at least older children, and yet I feel awful for thinking how much the kids and I will miss her.

I don't know what to do, but in the meantime I will definitely NOT allow hugging or any sort and will put the dog in the garden/another room and close the door when I'm not there so the kids can't get to her/her to them.

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 22:53:32

Start out by getting in to the vet, if I were you I would tell them you need to chat about behaviour problems when you ring up so they know you need a bit of time with them. Talk it through with them and take things from there - you may find that your true feelings become more clear when you have to explain it to someone else!

As you say keep the situation under close control and try not to feel angry with the dog - think if her as a toddler, she does not recal what she did yesterday any more than your two year old so being angry will just upset her and confuse her further. Just adjust your behaviour to match the new circumstances and see how you get on with the vets advice.

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 22:58:55

Thankyou DMNC. Great advice

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 23:07:29

BTW, did you ever get on top of the chewing problem you had with her?

She has certainly put you through the full range of puppy/adolescent problems grin

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 23:11:41

Yes she stopped that, I took her to puppy training classes for a few months and she got much much better, behaviour and chewing wise

Yes she has given me a hard time!

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 23:20:46

Fab, well at least one of her obsticals has been dealt with! How much excercise is she getting at the moment? I am just wondering if the change of weather has led to her being on short rations? (and so on a shorter fuse than she should be IYSWIM?)

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 23:22:42

Yeah! 1 down, 1 to go!
She's out for an hour or so a day, up the fields running about. She was getting more with the better weather but not much more.

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 23:29:41

Ok, sounds like that can be counted out then... sorry I am just trying to rule out some obvious stuff really! Has she been neutred? Is there any chance she could be feeling a bit hormonal?

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 23:31:59

She's not been neutered, just finished her second season, was a little snappy throughout it, planning on getting her neutered soon, does hormones affect animals the same way then? <dumb emotion needed>

DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 23:42:12

Yes they can do, some bitches get quite nasty at certain times of their cycles so that could be doing her no favours at all, maybe mention that to your vet too? TBH if you are not goign to breed her (an I assume you are not) then I would get her sorted asap regardless of anything else.

Claire2009 Tue 06-Oct-09 23:43:06

Not going to breed her, no way, will speak to vet tomorrow about getting her neutered.


DailyMailNameChanger Tue 06-Oct-09 23:44:35

No prob, good luck smile

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