Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
My cocker just snapped at my 4yr old.(51 Posts)
My daughter was in the lounge and my cocker was in lounge just as I was sorting the bath out (lounge and bathroom on same floor) and I heard him snap. She started crying and I ran in and she cried. She has 2 little bruises on her arm and said it was his foot that did it. She then said she touched his back and that’s when he did it. I don’t really know what to do?
What do you do?
You never, ever leave them alone together again, that's what.
Cockers are possessive and needy. I have one. Don’t leave any dog and child unsupervised (even your own). If you follow this rule there shouldn’t be any further issue. Both dogs and children are unpredictable.
Thanks, is it that simple? Poor dog is always around us but never gets the attention he craves. Now I am wondering if he is better off with someone else
If a dog wants to bite, unless it is very elderly, it won’t miss. Your dog told your 4 year old to back off and she did. Personally I don’t get the angst on here about dogs snapping and barking at kids, it’s just how they set boundaries and you should reinforce them too. If I was ever nipped by the dog as a child I was told very firmly that it was my fault, and it was.
Remember dogs and kids have been living together successfully for many tens of thousands of years. Don’t overthink it, tell 4 y o not to touch the dog unless you are there and don’t leave them alone.
“If I was ever nipped by the dog as a child I was told very firmly that it was my fault, and it was.”
I agree with ideasofmarch about not leaving them alone together but it's important to remember that a dog would not snap without reason. Perhaps the child put weight on the dogs back and hurt her, or startled her while she was sleeping. If she's four she's old enough to start to understand to leave the dog alone. We do expect them to out up with a huge amount.
As others had said OP. We had a very gentle dog, but I never, ever left him alone with my children. Not worth the risk.
Never leave your child alone with your dog. Ever. I thought every responsible dog owner knew that.
4 yr old children should never be left alone with dogs. Regardless of the dog. Regardless of the child.
If the dog is not getting adequate attention, exercise, stimulation that also needs correcting asap. It will do more than just entertain him. It will raise his ability to cope with minor stresses in life.
She then said she touched his back and that’s when he did it.
I'd also have the vet check for medical problems/pain.
Yes I will be more mindful.
I reckon she did put weight on him yes but I have checked him over and can’t see anything untoward.
I also agree he was telling her ‘hey watch out you hurt me’
My nephew was 'nipped' by a dog (as you call it) when he was a child. He has the tip of his finger missing to prove it. And no, they couldn't have sewn it back on because the dog swallowed it. But that's all right though because it was my nephew's fault, right?
My life has changed and I’m a single parent and feel bad for him that I can’t always walk him everyday.
Message sent - the growl.
Message received - dc moved.
Message understood - never left alone. together.
I don't know of any family with a dog that takes the dog room to room with them to avoid the kids and the dog being alone. That's simply not practical and it being trotted on Mumsnet is ridiculous. A 4 year old and family dog should be fine in the same room. It sounds like she leaned on the dog and the dog told her not to. I'd review how we treat the dog with the 4 year old.
I have two working cockers and three little children 4 and under. They all get on great, but the dogs get fed up with the noise and by 5pm they have had enough. They need space and a safe child free area and not to be left alone. It is not fair to child or dog. You say he never gets the attention he craves, why? It isn't easy I know but you can do things with him.
So don’t leave them alone, teach the children how to treat the dog properly, walk him properly - or rehome to someone who will treat him properly
Why was the dog left alone with a toddler?
Also, you don't really know what happened - toddlers lie. I would imagine she did something to hurt the dog and the dog snapped to say "stop that, I don't like it". If he'd wanted to properly hurt her, he would have done.
Please don't leave them unattended again
I don't know of any family with a dog that takes the dog room to room with them to avoid the kids and the dog being alone.
Really? I know plenty. My dog follows me everywhere anyway so it's hard to make sure it happens. You either leave the dog alone, or, if old enough, leave the child alone. Small children shouldn't be left alone around dogs - they're unpredictable and often do silly things.
I wondered how long it would be before the "It's not the precious doggy-woggy's fault, you need to train your child" brigade would turn up.
Humans (especially children) come before animals. End of.
Dogs and kids must be actively supervised
Dogs don’t bite out of nowhere - there will have been gaze aversion, lip licking yawning etc
@AlwaysSunshine81 if your circumstances have changed I can't imagine it is easy with child and a dog, so apologies if I came over a little patronising. Can you get a dog walker or is that too expensive? Any games you can play in the park or garden. One of mine is a bit of a sniffer dog so I often hide a sock with biscuits in the house or garden, gives him some tlc for ten minutes. Frozen Kong's are good, if time and energy for him are a struggle some days. Might help stress levels. If you do feel rehoming is a possibility there are some great spaniel charities that are great in these situations.
I'd keep a very close eye and I'd have the dog checked for pain first of all and maintain boundaries so the dog knows its place, eg , no getting on the sofa, not going first through door ways, getting its food after the humans. I would also firmly reiterate to your child how to play safely with the dog and respect it. I have three dogs and I love them but I do think certain dogs can get ideas above themselves these things can make a positive difference
eg , no getting on the sofa, not going first through door ways, getting its food after the humans
You may as well burn sage on a full moon while you are at it. Your dog really doesn't care who goes through a door first.
Dog /dc is a 2 way relationship. Unfortunately you ddog can only communicate with a growl if he ain't happy.
Hardly his fault is it?
Hardly dc's if they accidentally squash a paw either!
Lots of communication between parents +dc about ddog happiness and respect is necessary ime.
Ds 4 chats daily about his ddoggy friends and how he is around them, how his behaviour needs to be to be safe and for ddogs to be happy and love him! He is told doing xy or z may result in being bitten which isn't nice!! It's an ongoing process as they understand more about ddogs.