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My dog just attacked me and DH

(121 Posts)
inlectorecumbit Tue 03-May-16 21:17:25

We have a 4 1/2 year old cocker spaniel. Tonight he grabbed a balloon and started guarding it. DH took it off him and he attacked him and has severely bruised his arm and leg. This was after he drew blood from my hand.
This is so unlike him he wasn't threatened and we didn't take it off him- he did snarl at me last week when he had finished his dental stick as l walked past
I have a 3 year old grandchild and l am scared. I think he has to go.
Any advice l need handholding

minesapintofwine Tue 03-May-16 21:19:03

I would definitely have him checked by a vet. Especially as its out of character. He could have pain that is not obvious

Crumblevision Tue 03-May-16 21:19:48

I'd be inclined to get him checked at the vet first

AtSea1979 Tue 03-May-16 21:21:33

Your post is unclear. Did you take the balloon off him or not?
Why do you automatically think he has to go? He needs help. You can keep him in a different room when grandchild visits while you sort out the problem.

Floggingmolly Tue 03-May-16 21:23:39

You did take it off him?

averylongtimeago Tue 03-May-16 21:24:06

Take him to the vets, he could be poorly. Also check your tetanus jabs are up to date if he drew blood, dog bites can be nasty.
I would be very wary of having a toddler near him until he was checked out.
So sorry, it sounds horrid.

Openmindedmonkey Tue 03-May-16 21:26:06

Vet & then some serious behaviour training. He thinks he's the alpha dog & he clearly needs to be put significantly further down the pecking (woofing?) order.
Other thoughts - does he get enough exercise? Is he bored?
(We experienced similar, though thankfully less serious, with our dog & tackling all the above issues has resolved the problem. Except when DH treads on him, DDog isn't too fond of that!)

Don't give up yet!!

TobleroneBoo Tue 03-May-16 21:26:21

Yes you said DH took it off him but you didn't take it off him?

minesapintofwine Tue 03-May-16 21:27:14

Although your post is unclear, wether you did or didn't take it off him I think is not really relevant as a dog should not react so aggressively.

Try not to panic. Keep him separate from your grandchild. Get him checked by vet. If no illness or pain there is lots of training you could do if he has developed guarding issues.


minesapintofwine Tue 03-May-16 21:30:02

Lol at woofing order. Ill remember that phrase. Although Alpha dog theory has been discredited now. I still don't allow any 'top dog' behaviour though, just in case grin plus I'm bossy

Whisky2014 Tue 03-May-16 21:30:28

Our cocker "changed" too. Is it a golden cocker by any chance? I think they have a traight of "switching"

Veterinari Tue 03-May-16 21:39:23

I suspect that there is a history here of your dog losing access to resources (toys/attention) and he's become more insecure and realised that to hold on to what is important to him he needs to protect it. Do you often take prized items from him for no reason? Or do the children take things away from him? This will trigger insecurity and guarding behaviour. You need to understand his anxiety and reassure him. Reward the release of toys with a treat so that he doesn't lose out and good behaviour is reinforced. Do NOT allow the children to harass him or occupy his bed/space/take his toys. Make sure he gets plenty of attention
These links might help:

Veterinari Tue 03-May-16 21:41:18

This link has some great advice

KoalaDownUnder Tue 03-May-16 21:42:10

Definitely get him to a vet - he sounds either in pain or anxious.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 21:43:37

I would get rid of him too.
Guarding behaviour is dangerous and although it is fixable (with a lot of dedicated, hard work) I would never trust a guarding dog that is prepared to bite around children.
Not a chance. Not ever and I don't care how heartless or selfish that might sound.
Kids are unpredictable and with the best will in the world they can and do manage to misbehave in the blink of an eye and that is all the time a dog so inclined needs to do some damage...

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 21:46:00

I also don't think it's very fair to keep the dog separate from the grandchild, he is likely to be stressed and unhappy about being shut away for significant proportions of time.

Veterinari Tue 03-May-16 21:49:17

And this explains the issue clearly - your dog id responding to choices you are making - you need to change your behaviour smile

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 03-May-16 21:49:30

Getting rid of him is too drastic. Vet first to rule out pain or illness then train and definitely shut him away from grandchild. Also train grandchild not to mess with dog.

Our hound has a crate that is his bedroom. Children all told to leave him alone when he puts himself in there.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 22:06:28

But guarding a balloon and snarling over a dentastick screams resource guarding.
Resource guarding is not caused by pain or illness.
I agree with veterinari, in that this dog has probably exhibited low level guarding behaviour for a long time!

My mil frequently has her grandchildren for nearly whole days at a time, is it really fair to shut away a social animal for vast proportions of the day?

As for training the child, you have to weigh up the risks.
You have a dog that is actually prepared to bite and attack.
That is not a safe dog to have in a house with children.
It's all well and good to teach children certain ways of behaviour but you can't deny that children, particularly young children, can misbehave in seconds.
And that is all it takes.
just a few days ago I was drinking a cup of tea on the sofa while my 2 year old DD was sat on the floor near the dog, just a few seconds later and she was sat on top of my dog saying horsey horsey...

inlectorecumbit Tue 03-May-16 22:10:19

He has not long finished a course of behaviour training - he is very anxious and barks at other dogs....
I will try and explain a bit more sorry l am still in shock and DH is in a terrible state. DGD birthday tomorrow we live 3 hours away so have to stay overnight when we visit them and them us-- we look after DGD every 2nd week while DD works so leaving dog behind alone-isn't an option.
So we has a bag of balloons dog grabbed on and ran into another room- l was worried he would choke tried to approach him and he started growling when l approached. I got him a treat and called him out the room he came out got the treat but when l went to go back to pick up balloon he lunged at my hand and bit me drawing blood. My tetanus is up to date.
DH was in another room blowing balloons and dog got another one ( this happened immediately after my bite) DH took balloon from dog and he bit him on the leg and 4/5 times on the arm.
I am heartbroken but scared now that DGD has such a lot of contact with him something similar may happen
What do l do

WellErrr Tue 03-May-16 22:15:18


I'd have it put to sleep.

You can't have a dog like that in a house where there are children, and you can't rehome a dangerous dog.

Sorry flowers

And do get your bite checked out, infection is a big risk with dog bites.

WellErrr Tue 03-May-16 22:17:23

Ps - IME, a dog with no bite inhibition cannot be made safe.

It's sad but your DGC's safety (and yours!) is the most important thing.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 22:17:42

Only you can make the decision.

For the reasons outlined above, I would probably put it down.
Yes other posters will probably recoil in horror but I wouldn't feel comfortable keeping it (I have 2 young dc) nor would I feel comfortable rehoming when thousands of dogs are pts in the Uk every year - many of which have never showed aggression.

Bit his arm 4/5 times?!

Fuck that. It's not even as if it's one quick bite and release.

But it's something you'll have to consider for yourself, read all the comments, weigh up pros and cons, maybe consult a vet or behaviourist.

wiltingfast Tue 03-May-16 22:25:11

god woman, get off the net, go to your vet and get professional advice.

personally i would feel he needed to go. if he is attacking you, his owners, AFTER training, where do you go from there?

But I am not a dog person at all and maybe there is more you can do. But that is v shocking and personally for me, i myself would feel unsafe around the dog and what is the point of an animal like that in the house?

M y dad had dogs all his life and they have never ever misbehaved like that. Cocker spaniels too.

So sorry for you, you must be so shocked. If you are really unsure what to do, it's really important then to get advice from someone who can see and examine the dog. You can't really tell properly if you can't actually see how the dog is iyswim.

You certainly cannot have the dog around your grandchild. Or anyone really. What if he attacked someone else?

Wyldfyre Tue 03-May-16 22:27:08

Let's put out children to sleep when the bite at nursery! Does that sound absurd? Of course it it. It's also unsure to kill a dog without investigating the cause - dogs rarely bite "for no reason".
As suggested it could be illness or injury - which can be dealt with. It could be resolve guarding - which can be dealt with. The dog could even be rehomed - there are people who specialise in rehabilitating dogs which have bitten.
Jumping straight to "put it down" is a knee jerk reaction - usually from old school dog owners who never try to understand "why" when it comes to canine psychology

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