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Would you rehome a dog snapping at your toddler?(not a knee jerk reaction to events in media...trying to resolve this for months)

(83 Posts)
Louisiasb Sat 09-Nov-13 23:16:33

Hi, I have 7 year old cockatoo and 18 month old dd. dog growls at dd if she walks past crate or sleeping. I have taught dd that she is not allowed to approach dogs when sleeping or in crate.however she has ignored this when I am busy and dog has snapped at her 3 times.

Dog is only allowed to sleep in crate and I know warning signs.however I am nervous that I can't trust dog as dd was very traumatised after incidents. Growling has also progressed to snapping.

I am not sure what to do. House is too small to keep separate unless dog crated all day. Dd very boisterous and don't trust her to leave alone. Have spoken to behaviourists but as house is too small there isn't much i can do.

Louisiasb Sat 09-Nov-13 23:17:29

Obviously meant cockapoo! Autocorrect!!

mrslaughan Sun 10-Nov-13 08:15:11

I would, it is very hard to "teach" an 18 month old, and if your house does not allow you to keep them both safe, I am sad to say, yes I would.

saintmerryweather Sun 10-Nov-13 08:16:32

yes i would for the dogs sake. cant be easy for her living in a constant state of anxiety

Methe Sun 10-Nov-13 08:19:55

In a heartbeat.

TodgerDodger Sun 10-Nov-13 08:22:25


Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:23:14

Thanks.i agree that better for dog as in state of anxiety all time.its just dh is so anti It that I am scared it will ruin relationship.i have to put child first but he doesn't think it's an issue! I love the dog but think he will be happier with retired couple in peace.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 08:24:17

My spaniel snapped at my DS he went to the vets and didn't come back. Could you look at a scar on your child and know it was your fault.

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:26:52

No i feel worried about what could happen and know the dog is stressed. It's just hard with no support and older ds to consider who loves and is fine with dog.

Howstricks Sun 10-Nov-13 08:27:26

Are there any other relatives/friends you can get onside to help persuade dh? I definately think rehoming would be incredibly sensible.

McMardyBum Sun 10-Nov-13 08:28:09

speak to the cockapoo club gb , they have people who can help find a home with people wanting a cockapoo who is a little older and may be able to foster first. they will find a suitable home but you must be honest with the level of behaviour the dog has shown so that they can deal with it fully. hope you get sorted

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 08:44:23

Or you could get some professional advice from a qualified behaviourist who can see the situation in real life.


rather than rely on opinions from people on a forum who have not seen the situtation and have no behavioural qualifications hmm

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:44:34

I have a 'poo' rescue who put into foster care until rehoming sorted so know he would be well looked after.i just keep worrying as dh so unsupportive that I worry I am over reacting.deep down I know I'm not.

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:45:37

I have taken professional advice from 4 people.just looking for other opinions now..not as you suggested.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 09:01:10

The stick with professional advice (as long as they were qualified) they are the only ones with knowledge to assess the situation.

The professionals will tell you if you are over reacting how on earth can we reassure you?

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 09:36:58

I am not asking you to reassure me.i am asking opinions.helpful to think through own thoughts.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 09:55:47

Well generally a snapping growling dog is an easy one to sort out which is what you would have been told by the professionals. The dogs will be giving a clear message and indication about what is worrying them.

A qualified behaviourist will have given you a behavioural programme to follow. With counter conditioning this can generally be sorted out.

It will take consistent training. However I don't feel that is what you want to here.

SleepyFish Sun 10-Nov-13 10:09:10

No, not knee jerk. It's snapping at your toddler, why does your dh not see this as a problem? Aside from the obvious risks the dog is not happy. The main problem you'll have is the effect on your older child, he may end up resenting the toddler if you get rid, you'd need to discuss this sensitively with him.
It's all very well people recommending behaviourists and training but that can take a long time. What happens in the meantime? Unless you have eyes on the back of your head or keep the dog crated your child will still be at risk.

Mignonette Sun 10-Nov-13 10:17:00

I think you have to put this very plainly to your partner. Who does he have higher regard for? The children or the dog?

Maybe he would prefer you to rehome the younger child? (I'm not getting at you OP as i really feel for you and think you want to find some hope that will let you appease everybody.)

Ultimately your partner could find himself having to explain a much more unpleasant outcome than that of rehoming the dog.

I wish you well but yes, you do need to find a new home for the dog where it will be happier and you can have some peace.

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 10-Nov-13 10:28:26

Is the dog getting enough exercise & attention? If your DH wants to keep the dog he has to do more to help, & take responsibility for the safety of his own child.

Personally I'd rehome, both dog & daughter deserve better. Not worth the risk.

EasyToEatTiger Sun 10-Nov-13 10:33:07

Do you have room for a baby cage? They are fantastic things and useful until the baby is big enough to climb out. I think it is perfectly normal for dogs to dislike small people. Your dog lives in fear and is protecting himself. You probably already know that. What a difficult situation. Poor you and poor dog.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:36:09

"My spaniel snapped at my DS he went to the vets and didn't come back. Could you look at a scar on your child and know it was your fault." Wow - just wow angry How can you look at yourself in the mirror??

OP - sadly, i do think you need to rehome your dog, she sounds very stressed around your DS and that will be difficult to change as the association is always going to be there, despite the fact that as he grows he will be able to understand more about respecting the dogs space etc.

Does this always happen in the crate? I often wonder about these - they clearly work for lots of people but having seen many perfectly lovely dogs kennel guard like some sort of demon animal, i can't help but wonder if you are creating an area that belongs to the dog and the dog will then display gaurding behaviour of? I have had lots of dogs and they have never had their own bed - but they are allowed on sofas and bed, which doesn't suit everyone, that way no-where belong to them and needs guarding. General rule - let sleeping dogs lie, so if i a dog is asleep leave him be, wait til dog comes to you rather than approach it etc. I expect most people will disagree with me on this one but that has been my experience.

I think there is alot of guilt surrounding rehoming, but it is often the only fair option for the animal - the problem is that there are more dogs needing homes than suitable homes. I would approach breed rescues that have foster homes as your first port of call, also your local vets as they often know of people who are looking for a rescue dog and will know that they are genuine.

Really sad for you OP

ender Sun 10-Nov-13 10:36:18

Playpen for your dd for when you can't closely supervise her, won't take up much space. Then you can follow training program for dog that behaviourist(s) must have given you.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:37:51

Baby cage grin or play pen could be a good idea though.

deepfriedsage Sun 10-Nov-13 10:38:13

A child comes before an animal in my humble opinion, what is your dp on?

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