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Dominance in dog towards ds

(19 Posts)
MissStein Tue 17-Jan-17 19:23:28

Some help/advice sought. We got a dog about 6 months ago. He was about 7 months when we got him. I didnt particularly want another dog (we already have a 7 year old dog) but imo it was being neglected (stuck in cage all the time, owner hadnt house trained it/given how it used to react to quick movements when he first came I suspect it was smacked/beaten) I took it in out of sympathy. Has been a struggle but have house trained him. However in the last 3 weeks he has being snapping at ds (6). Ds said it was for nothing but first two times i didnt witness so assumed ds had maybe stepped on him by accident or scared him. However, dd just snapped at ds in front of me and i can say it was for no other reason than ds came to sit beside me. Ddog has left red marks on ds face. Would it be totally bad to consider rehoming ddog to somewhere without children? Id feel really guilty but not sure how else to ensure ds safety. Thought about stair gates to keep dog in separate room, but then ddog would be confined to one room with no contact until ds went to bed which doesnt seem like much of a life. Ds is also ASD which also complicates matters and i couldnt ensure that ds wouldnt open gate to either get in room or let ddog out. Feeling rather torn and guilty at the moment.

ReggaeShark Tue 17-Jan-17 19:33:20

I'd get rid but I wouldnt have taken in a traumatised dog with a 6 year old in the first place.

sodabreadjam Tue 17-Jan-17 19:39:11

Try to have the dog rehomed somewhere without children and make sure the new owners have full knowledge of his temperament.

If the dog can't be rehomed it should be put to sleep.

I wouldn't delay on this in case something worse happens.

Couldn't imagine living with dog and child in separate rooms - that would be so stressful and difficult to maintain.

MissStein Tue 17-Jan-17 19:42:29

we didnt realise how traumatised it was until we'd had it a few days. Every time dp or i raised our hands to do anything ddog would cower. It was more that it had no life being confined to one room/cage (from what i could gleam) and I felt heart sorry for it. Its a beautiful cute small breed dog, so i think it would be rehomed fairly successfully to a family with teenagers or an older person with no kids. I just feel guilty as he will think he has been abandoned again. We didnt go looking for it btw, the previous owner asked us if we could take him on as she wasnt coping doing a shit job.

sodabreadjam Tue 17-Jan-17 19:50:37

The fact that your son has ASD may be an extra complication. He may not be able to make allowances for the dog's needs and vice versa.

The dog is not a good match for your child - or any young child to be honest.

MissStein Tue 17-Jan-17 19:57:09

Ds having ASD is the second main reason for rehoming. Ds doesnt fully understand giving dog extra allowances (to be fair ds doesnt really have anything to do with dog,, he just isnt interested in them). But he doesnt understand for example not to suddenly run up to me if dog is nearby. And i cant expect him to neither. Im just feeling guilty that ddog is gonna have abandonment issues, or maybe that i havent tried hard enough. And i cant help worrying about what will happen to ddog after i have given him to local pet rescue centre. I will still feel responsible for him. Just say the next owners dont cope with him. Id hate to think of him getting passed post to post. Im very much of a pet is for life, so rehoming flies in the face of what I think, even if it is the right/responsible thing to do for ds sake.

sodabreadjam Tue 17-Jan-17 20:02:55

I can understand your feelings of guilt but most of the damage has been done by the original owner.

You haven't been unkind to the dog - you just didn't understand what you were taking on and it hasn't worked out.

The only thing I would say is to be more careful in future with what you take on.

You have a kind heart and don't want to see an animal suffering but you already have a lot on your plate.

TrionicLettuce Tue 17-Jan-17 20:06:14

Firstly, as this seems to be a sudden change in behaviour I'd get him to the vet to rule out any physical issues which may be causing him to be short tempered. Snappiness is a very common first indicator that a dog is in pain.

If you want to rehome then I would urge you to do it through a reputable rescue. They will be better placed to vet potential homes and will be able to offer support and back up to his new owners. They may also know a behaviourist who would be able to work with you and the dog in the interim whilst a home or kennel/foster space is found.

MissStein Tue 17-Jan-17 20:06:38

Thanks. I wont be taking on another dog. I wasnt looking for another dog when I was emotionally blackmailed into taking this one. I just feel crushed with guilt for dog as its such a lovely wee thing (obviously bars his flaws which like you say, are the fault of the previous owner). In fact that makes me feel worse! Poor dog is just a product of his shit start in life.

MissStein Tue 17-Jan-17 20:09:05

I wouldnt rehome privately. I'll contact rescue centres tomorrow.

LeopardPrintSocks1 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:16:57

Get rid asap

EasyToEatTiger Wed 18-Jan-17 10:15:55

It's really difficult to know what to do. I think your dog is probably reacting to your son out of fear. I have dogs who do not like children, and I work very hard to keep everyone safe. It can be an uphill (and expensive) struggle. Before you re-home, it would be really worth involving a behaviourist to establish what is going on so that when you/should you approach a re-homing charity you have a better handle on what your dog is afraid of. Please don't try to re-home privately. It makes it too easy for a vulnerable animal to end up in the wrong hands and living a wretched life or becoming a danger.

Usermuser Wed 18-Jan-17 13:06:46

You could get a dog behaviourist in, but the problem is that even if she/he determines what you need to do to stop this behaviour, your son would probably have to be on board too so that the dog gets consistent treatment.
We had a dog with aggression problems and got someone in. Didn't cure him completely but it became manageable and we learnt to figure out what his triggers were, which we hadn't been able to identify before.

MissStein Wed 18-Jan-17 14:02:33

Thanks for the further replies. I think it is a dominance thing as dog is around other children from age 5 and over as well as small toddlers (lots of nephews and nieces) and he is fine with these children as they are more active/interested and tell him what to do/play with him. But ds is very passive/submissive when it comes to ddog. He doesnt play with him or feed him or anything which could exert authority. And i think dog has picked up on this. Unfortunately i cant change ds behaviour. But it doesnt make me feel any less guilty.

LilCamper Wed 18-Jan-17 14:38:28

Dogs don't dominate humans.Wht Won't Dominance Die It may just be that with your DS's ASD the dog is wary of him.

EasyToEatTiger Wed 18-Jan-17 14:56:05

Please, MissStein, be very very careful about thinking of Dominance. We have a dog who doesn't like dd. My dd, like your ds, doesn't tend to play with the dog, and doesn't do anything to assert herself around him. He is not a dominant dog. Most dogs do not want to dominate. They want to know where they stand. Not knowing where they stand instills fear. Look at the signals, the body language. I understand that you cannot change your son. I cannot change my daughter. You really must get some professional advice to assess you and your family's relationship with this dog. And please remember that most dogs are not dominant. There are certainly some you need to keep closer tabs on than others, but so-called dominance is mostly a human problem to focus the issue back to the dog. Please look into how dogs respond to fear. You may find this interesting.

TimidLividyetagain Wed 18-Jan-17 14:56:09

It sounds like your dog doesn't like your son going near you like it is jealous , not sure how u could solve it.

tinymeteor Thu 19-Jan-17 16:05:43

Snapping at your son's face is a serious warning sign. I'm afraid it's the wrong dog for you, and you're the wrong family for the dog, who will need careful handling and a peaceful environment if it's to overcome its bad start in life.

Your son shouldn't have to worry about whether the coast is clear to approach his mum. Teaching children to be considerate of animals' personal space is one thing, but teaching them to second-guess a fearful dog isn't realistic (with or without ASD) and it's not fair. Rehoming is 100% the right choice this time.

spiderlight Thu 19-Jan-17 18:24:52

To give him the best chance, speak to a good, reputable rescue that will thoroughly homecheck any potential homes for him and offer continuing behaviourist support for his new owners. don't feel guiulty - your son's safety has to come first and it sounds as if the dog is stressed and worried about him and would be happier in a child-free quiet home.

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