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Please fellow dog people, can I have your advice

(13 Posts)
Saltire Mon 24-Sep-12 17:05:52

Our Border Collie stay in the garage during the time 7.45 am till 8.30 am and 3.15pm till 5pm. he has a bed in there, and the lightis on etc. It is NOT all day.

Now I do this because I am a childminder and have a child with mild SN who loves animals to the point of endangering himself or animal.

So today after mindees had gone I let the dog into the kitchen, which has a stairgate on it. A friend poppped round, dog was at stairgate, paws up on it loving the attention. I was standing back a bit but watching friends child, as he was patting the dog, as I watched the dog suddenly went as if to bite the childs arm, but I shouted out an the dog stopped, - it wasn't a full bite but jaws were open as if he was going to, but he didn't make contact.. The child did nothing at all to anger the dog, as I was watching the whole time, he was just standing there..at the point the dog tried to bite he ahd stopped patting him and was really just standing there

it has shocked me to the core as he has never done this before (to ym knowledge, certainly my own DCs haven't ever said that he has).I am really upset by the whole thing

Would putting a muzzle on him help, I am terrified that he might bite someone when I am not there to see and keep him in check.

Is muzzling th right thing to do? He has never shown any signs of aggression before ever, and in fact is a very sociable dog who loves people and playing and being made a fuss of

rubyrubyruby Mon 24-Sep-12 17:10:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Saltire Mon 24-Sep-12 17:13:21

This probably sound stupid but I've never actually seen a dog bite or try to bite, so I am not sure if it was ana ttention thing or not.

rubyrubyruby Mon 24-Sep-12 17:25:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LtEveDallas Mon 24-Sep-12 17:28:09

MuttDog will put DDs arm in her mouth if DD stops fussing her - could it have been that?

She also dogs it to DH if he is drinking beer and she wants some blush

InvisibleHotPinkWeasel Mon 24-Sep-12 19:59:55

My pup does this as a means to get more fuss.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 24-Sep-12 20:07:22

I think sometimes dogs will use their mouth simply because they haven't got hands.

Unfortunately, though it doesn't sound like the dog had any ill-intentions, dogs' mouths are full of big teeth and they can accidentally injure if allowed to 'mouth'. Muzzling might upset your dog and cause more of a problem. I think you just have to be vigilant and not let children pet your dog unless you're right there and can be sure of making your dog sit or lie at the first hint of such behaviour.

tazzle22 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:20:53

It might be a play thing or as said above a means to continue the fuss ....and no aggression meant....or could the child have accidentally tugged hair or anything ?

border collies can also nip as part of the herding behaviours too. Some see little children ( and some adults) as things to be herded as well as other animals.... they dont have to be outside to want to round people up !

My collies have been wonderful and patientwith children but I have known quite a few where a combinataion of several issues meant it was unsafe for them to continue to live in a family home. They can be very high maintainance dogs from the point of view of exercise and needing mental stimulation .... not saying this is the case here just mentioning it as you say you are working but not how much dog time he has you for.

..... from your dogs point of view just getting out from almost 2 hours alone in the garage is a very exciting time and if he was being made a fuss of he would want it to continue yet this for most of us is a busy time. ? I would guess DC are also home from school and everyone is kinda occupied.

imo muzzling is not the answer ...... looking at his behaviour / attitude at the time and his lifestyle certainly is if you think this was a potentially a frustration (almost) nip involving a child.

Saltire Tue 25-Sep-12 10:52:26

tazzle22 - he has my company most of the day, I CM from 7.45-9.00am and from 3.30-5.00pm. All toehr time she's with me/us. he gets 2/3 sometimes 4 good long walks a day <scowls at rain> every day.

I was just very shocked, especially since there was now warning growl or anything

sunflowerseeds Tue 25-Sep-12 18:14:58

Dogs usually give a warning (ears back, growling, showing teeth) before biting. Some breeds have a reputation for striking without warning and border collies are one of these.
What you describe doesn't sound like aggression but you will have to keep her apart from children until you are sure.

poobum5 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:48:39

I would agree this doesn't sound like aggression I think you would have seen something else like a growl, a snarl or heard a bark with the bite tbh, and it doesn't really sound like a snap - more sort of a putting teeth onto arm that makes it sound more like an attention thing IMO. Difficult to say though without being there.
I would agree about being vigilant, but don't think it calls for a muzzle. Also (and I know this is the hard bit!) try not to stress over it too much so that you don't end up being anxious/tense whenever the dog is around children as the dog will sense it then may get fearful and be more likely to snap!
Good luck.

It doesn't sound aggressive to me. My pup will try and grab onto someone's sleeve if they stop playing with him.
My big dog was a rescue, he does a bit of grabbing, not very often but when we first got him, he bit me. Which was my own fault because he growled and showed his teeth, so gave me a warning.

You can usually tell if it is aggressive.

Ephiny Wed 26-Sep-12 13:22:00

IME dogs don't usually 'try to bite' - if they intend to bite, they just do it, fast.

I agree it sounds more like mouthing/grabbing than aggressive biting. Obviously still not a good habit, especially around small children, but I wouldn't muzzle a dog for this.

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