Our dog just attacked our son.

(65 Posts)
mrsbounceisflat Tue 21-Aug-18 12:58:50

We have had our rescue dog for 3 months, he has nipped a couple of times but this has been when he has been scared and in the very early days.
My 15 year old son just came to hug me and the dog just went for him, just missing his lip, this was totally out of the blue, he really went for him this was not a nip or a warning. My husbands on the phone to the rspca now where we got him from, my son is upstairs in tears. My son has mental health problems and the dog has helped him in so many ways. I just needed to get this out.

OP’s posts: |
PoshPenny Tue 21-Aug-18 13:07:44

Sadly many dogs are in rescue for a reason, I've been there myself. Please don't beat yourself up over this. It sounds like the dog could have been protecting you. Obviously I wasn't there to witness this, but is there any chance you could overcome this - with help from a trainer/behaviourist if needed, or was it bad enough you don't want to try and persevere? We had one who would attack randomly without any prior warning and we did try but in the end he attacked my 3 year old and got her on the lip which put her in hospital overnight, he went back to rescue with full honest disclosure from me. Bit one of his foster carers and that sadly was the end for him. He was a 3 year old shih tzu not a "scary" breed at all. Good luck whatever you decide. thanks

JeanieLouToo Tue 21-Aug-18 13:08:15

Oh I am sorry, that sounds like an awful situation to be in. I can't imagine how upset you must be.

Hideandgo Tue 21-Aug-18 13:10:15

Sorry but no, I wouldn’t have a dog like that in our house or be responsible for it. Ticking time bomb.

MellowMelly Tue 21-Aug-18 13:13:07

I am thinking along the lines of what PoshPenny said in regards to seeking professional help first.

Did the RSPCA give you any idea what sort of environment this dog was in before you rehomed it?

AimlesslyPurposeful Tue 21-Aug-18 13:14:06

Oh goodness. So sorry to read this. What a terrible shock for you all. Heartbreaking too.

No advice but as your dog came from the RSPCA you’re doing the sensible thing in getting in touch with them.

Pumpkintopf Tue 21-Aug-18 13:14:50

Sorry to hear this op. Was the dog near you / on your lap when your son came to hug you? Could he have been sleeping/startled?


mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 21-Aug-18 13:19:05

Oh dear, how very upsetting for you all and the dog. He must have thought your son was attacking you (I think) and totally misread the situation. My rescue dog thinks most children want to attack her (and me) so I have to be very careful with her. She has settled down a lot - I've had her about 18 months - and now we can safely walk within a few feet of children (if we absolutely can't avoid it) - she is on the lead with me reassuring her, and she will stay calm and be safe. Things can get better as the dog learns to trust you all and nothing alarming happens if he does so. It does take quite a bit of time. Even now, my dog will shrink back on the odd occasion if I raise my arm unexpectedly for some reason or other - I have never and would never hit her but she still subconsciously associates bad things with certain physical movements. I am not implying your dog thinks your son is a child but something has jogged his memory into thinking this situation was something in which he needed to protect you. You never know what has happened in their past but sometimes you get an inkling. I do hope you might think you can work through this with the dog, especially as he and your son have got on well before this incident.

mrsbounceisflat Tue 21-Aug-18 13:23:42

He lived in a very busy household before with lots of children, we know he gets jealous when we hug and always comes ans sticks his nose in, obviously this is very different. We knew it wouldn't be plain sailing getting a recuse dog and he has had his chances with the nipping, my husbands still trying to get through to the RSPCA, I just don't know if I can trust a dog who is capable of what he did.
Thankyou for all the replies.

OP’s posts: |
LovingLola Tue 21-Aug-18 13:25:01

I just don't know if I can trust a dog who is capable of what he did.

No dog is 100% trustworthy 100% of the time.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 21-Aug-18 13:26:16

Maybe he needs a home with just one person, home all day.

Optimusprimesmother Tue 21-Aug-18 13:29:33

He would have to go. What if you had a small child visit and he went for him? What if he had bit your sons lip off?

mrsbounceisflat Tue 21-Aug-18 13:32:55

I'm home all day as is my son, so he gets plenty of attention. I also know no dog is a %100 trustworthy, but I really thought we were getting somewhere, we have not long since had a weeks holiday with him and his behaviour was amazing.
This is the hardest decision my son is absolutely my priority, nut with his state of mind the thing that gets him up in the morning is the dog, it's his reason not to give up on life.

OP’s posts: |
Bananarama12 Tue 21-Aug-18 13:36:39

Maybe in this situation a puppy would be better?

missbattenburg Tue 21-Aug-18 13:40:48

OP, that sounds like a really heartbreaking and stressful situation for all involved.

fwiw it sounds to me like you are doing exactly the right thing by contacting the RSPCA and getting expert advice before proceeding or making any decisions.

Supporting you and the dog through this, including taking him back again if you decide you cannot keep him, is the role of a responsible rehoming centre. Best of luck xx

mrsbounceisflat Tue 21-Aug-18 13:42:04

I don't know whether I could go through it again. My husband and son both love him to bits, I take a bit longer but am still very attached to him. I know what we have to do really, it was more good luck than judgement that I'm not sat at the hospital with my son.

OP’s posts: |
NadiaLeon Tue 21-Aug-18 13:42:59

Will they put the dog down?

mrsbounceisflat Tue 21-Aug-18 13:43:47

I don't think so.

OP’s posts: |
meadowmeow Tue 21-Aug-18 13:46:10

he has nipped a couple of times but this has been when he has been scared and in the very early days

My 15 year old son just came to hug me and the dog just went for him, just missing his lip, this was totally out of the blue,

This was NOT totally out of the blue. You had the warnings.

disclosingshite Tue 21-Aug-18 13:47:07

All right, don’t give her a hard time.

I reckon the dog should be humanely PTS myself.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 21-Aug-18 13:47:18

Yes, I wasn't suggesting you weren't home all day but was thinking that if you do ultimately decide to give him back to the RSPCA, he might be better with just a single person household so he doesn't get confused about his family interacting together and make another big error. I hope, however, that you can come to the decision that is best for all of you, whatever that is and I, too, wish you all the best.

mrsbounceisflat Tue 21-Aug-18 13:48:43

Thankyou for all the support, he may be better in a one adult household.

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Tue 21-Aug-18 13:50:50

I really feel for you. Unfortunately nipping is biting. So this dog has been biting, and now biting more seriously. It's not a different thing. And isn't confident enough, or mentally healthy enough, or easy enough to read, to telegraph his intention to bite.
I wish your son had attached himself to a nice reliable animal. sad

MrsRubyMonday Tue 21-Aug-18 14:09:46

We had a similar thing happen. Rescue dog, fairly big but not a guard breed. Settled in well, no sign of problems, met the family, everything fine. One day a family member let themselves in to the house, which happened all the time, made some noise so everyone knew she was there, greeted the dog on the way past, walked into the room we were in, the dog came behind her and bit her leg. No warning, dog wasn't surprised or cornered and had met her several times before. We had too many children in and out playing to risk it happening again. RSPCA took the dog back, we saw her a few years later at an open day, she had been homed with a single lady with another similar dog and had no further problems. We got a puppy a few months later when we were ready, so that we could socialise it from the beginning. I think this can be more common than rescues let on, their dogs are often from troubled backgrounds and have issues that may not initially be apparent. I will adopt again, but not with children in the house.

Aw12345 Tue 21-Aug-18 14:12:42

So sorry to hear about your situation flowers sounds like you're right and he'll be better in a one adult household 🐾

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