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Puppy broke daughter’s skin(18 Posts)
My lovely pup is coming up 6 months and has settled in brilliantly. She is fab with my children and we all love her.
However my daughter (4yo) has just been tickling her tummy (dog was laid on back, looked relaxed, I was sat on the sofa watching) and she nipped my daughter on the lip, and has drawn blood. My daughter cried and it obviously shocked her. It didn’t appear as though she was being aggressive, it was like she went to mouth her but it looked like a snap. It all happened very quickly. She didn’t growl or anything beforehand and her body language looked relaxed.
I’m just looking for reassurance I guess. I know it wasn’t aggressive but it has shocked me, especially as it happened right in front of me.
Just to add- I gave her a firm NO! and gave her a time out straight away.
I'm probably going against the grain here, but bringing puppies into family life will mean there are a few cuts and nips.
Obviously better to stop the behaviour before that happens and not have to do the time out with the puppy, but I'm afraid it's all a learning experience.
Many will have different views on here however my dog has never mouthed or snapped at my DC faces ever. When a pup he would run and try and grab there ankles and chew there toys and would try and mouth there hands. We had to work hard through that phase. My dog gives a slow growl when he doesn’t like something. So gives a warning. A snap to the face causing bleeding is highly unusual especially with no warning and appear that your DD wasn’t doing anything he wasn’t used to. You need to be be very careful now with your DC and observe closely there interaction. She may have been hurting him when stroking and he has gone to mouth and caught her face. However no warning is the worry for me.....your pup is entering a more challenging phase and if not neutered can be worse. So make sure your all consistent in your approach and watch how he interacts with your youngest as they may need help too
Lips bleed very easily. If the dog had just nipped her on the arm or something, it would have been a non-event. Just a wee warning from the puppy. But he caught her lip, and the skin is thinner there and bleeds easily.
I wouldn't be getting into a state about it. But you do need to see it as the warning it was intended as. Make sure you're getting puppy classes and training and make sure your daughter understands boundaries.
I think at six months, mouthing is still within the realm of normal behaviour - that doesn't make it any less upsetting or painful though!
What was the dogs body language like leading up to the bite? My dog isn't a big fan of having his belly rubbed for long even though he will lie with his stomach out - it's like a trap!
She looked really relaxed, however sometimes when we stroke her she will mouth as it makes her excited, I think that’s what happened here but she caught my daughter’s face - what shocked me was the little snapping sound.
Could your daughter have accidentally hurt or frightened the puppy in some way?
I think the pup was playing with her like she would another puppy and probably caught her with its teeth, if it hadn’t caught her lip it probably wouldn’t have bled.
Keep a close eye on them playing together, I don’t subscribe to pack theory at all but our dog was certainly more bolshy and pushed boundaries more with DS ( smallest human in the house) than with the rest of us. We spent time getting DS to feed him and train him until he now shows DS more respect
Adaline do you mean at the time it happened?
Thanks hopping, I do think she was being playful but she caught her (that’s what I’m hoping, you just feel awful when your kid is crying as a result of the dog)
Yeah - I mean, could your daughter have scratched her with a fingernail or caught a bit of skin or something and caught the pup by surprise?
Hmm I dont think so, it all looked very calm, she does get over excited when we stroke or tickle her sometimes though x
my puppy now coming up to 8 months sometimes tries to launch himself at my face when he is overexcited and is sitting next to me on the sofa, it is very disconcerting and I am trying hard to try and stop the antecedent (puppy getting too hyped up/overtired) AND to make it a complete no no.
It has made me really think twice about expecting a dog of that age to behave around small children. (luckily I don't have any of that age, youngest is 17) 4 is really young, and she (your dd) might accidentally do something to set dog off, however much you train her. I wouldn't be encouraging her to use her hands on him so much when she is at eye level, from what I gather puppies/young dogs, find hands very arousing and lose all control, they just think it is a dangling object, and it all becomes far too exciting for them to judge which body part is which, hence the snapping. In puppy training class we were given a demonstration of how it feels to have fingers on your head/ears when you aren't expecting it, and I would suspect a stomach comes into that category.
So in short I wouldn't be letting anyone vulnerable be stroking a dog's stomach unless it was established that the dog coped well with it
mine is a terrier cross, and a toy breed. I think it is easy to assume they love cuddles all the time when in fact they get overhandled and need a lot of space around them, either crate or just downtime in a quiet room.
I wouldn’t give this a second thought it sounds like a complete accident however I would be reminding your daughter on a regular basis not to have her face too close to the dogs head as it must have been pretty close to have caught her lip .
Make sure you know your puppy is happy to have her tummy stroked, showing their belly can actually be a back off and leave me alone sign.
Not saying it wasn’t just a bit of mouthing in an unfortunate place.... but just that it’s well worth making sure you’re confident about reading dog stress signals as IME ones that are easy to misinterpret like rolling over or fairly subtle like lip licking tend to be the ones people aren’t good at spotting.
Hard to say when reading online but I would say I have to be careful sometimes tickling my dogs tummy as she sometimes gets excited and tries to play 'bitey face' with hands or faces if they are too close.
It's definitely all play, relaxed body language, she'll try and grab your hand to put back if you stop but it's pretty scary!
She has never drawn blood but she has nipped my chin before.