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Dog has just bitten me and I'm devastated(81 Posts)
He was just lying half under the sofa with his head out which is where he chills out in the evening, he was awake and I went to stroke him and he bit my hand. Not really hard, he didn't draw blood. But he didn't even growl as a warning. His behaviour has been getting worse and worse since I had a baby, he's snapped at me twice in the last week before actually biting me today. Had him since a puppy and he's always resource guarded but recently he's tried to nip me when putting his lead on etc.
I always despised people who got rid of their dogs after having a baby and now I feel like that's going to be me. I'm so upset. I know there's behaviourists and training etc and I'm going to take him to the vets so make sure it's nothing physical but I feel like I can't trust him to ever be in the same room with the baby even when I'm there. Baby is crawling and cruising and moves fast and loves the dog- wants to cuddle him- but have to keep them both separate always. Obviously I'd never leave them alone together but I feel like even supervised it's not ok. He loves attention and wants to be with me all day so I hate the idea of shutting him out of rooms. I always thought he was good with kids but I feel like he's so unhappy now we have one.
Your dog is reacting to a massive change. He's gone from being your baby to being replaced, add in the incredible heat like today and he's been taken by surprise when you went to stroke him.
Take them for a check at the vets firstly, and rule out anything physically wrong.
Honestly, I would immediately contact the breeder of your dog and ask for their assistance, either to rehome the dog, or with behaviour. Hopefully your dog is from a reputable breeder, as they will ensure a good home is found which will not make your dog so stressed. It is completely irresponsible to keep a snappy dog in a House with small children and you should not feel guilty whatsoever about finding an appropriate home for your dog. It is the right thing for your dog and your child.
I'm not minimising the bite but as he didn't draw blood you could take it as a warning bite.
It's upsetting but this doesnt mean you need to get rid of him. Yes to the vets, yes to more training and more attention and yes to increased supervision but don't go straight to worse case scenerio.
How old is he? If he’s long past being a puppy there is no point contacting the breeder you can’t exactly rock up with a 7 year old dog to the original breeders house demanding help!
Take him to the vets
Find a highly recommended behaviourist and get them round to help asap
I’m with @Allmyfavouritepeople
He's a spaniel, he's 4 1/2. He's a very nervy dog in general and I feel like he's now in a household that's totally wrong for him. I do think it would be ok if carefully managed but I'm worried he'll hate it- he's such a loving dog who wants to be cuddled all day every day usually.
He's going for a little holiday to my parents house for a few days to give me some headspace, he's off to the vets too then we'll call the behaviourist (have seen one before) and see what they think. I think I'm just in shock tbh and it's made me realise how bad/difficult things have got.
Definitely get him vet checked and contact a behaviourist who is experienced in helping you understand the dog's body language. A growl is usually a last resort and the are other subtle signals you can be aware of before it gets to that stage which will help you understand he's uncomfortable / stressed by a situation. Also explain to the behaviourist about the resource guarding. It may be worth in the meantime putting up a stair gate barrier to a room where he can be away from the baby when you're unable to supervise. Make it nice for him in that room though, not a punishment. A Kong, snuffle mat or lots of hidden kibble in the room will keep a spaniel busy. It will at least give you peace of mind until you get some advice and help
Personally I don’t think an established resource guarding dog is a good mix with young children, especially a new child.
We had a spaniel he adored my DH was a fabulous gundog but as soon as he left the house he terrorised us you only had to walk past him and he'd go for you. You didn't even have to make any eye contact. He had to go
A growl is usually a last resort
No it’s not
Maybe he has an eye sight problem - we didn’t know iurvsoanuek did until she was quite old and it explained a lot of her behaviour (mainly her intense hatred of being left in a room by herself ) but he might not have seen you approaching him and he might have been startled.
I wouldn’t call that a bite- is call it a warning
If he’s intended to bite he’d have drawn blood
I personally wouldn't have a dog that resource guarded with children around and I wouldn't keep any dog that had bitten.
Personally, if it was guarding but not biting I would rehome it, but if the dog was biting, as you say yours is, I would not rehome the dog because I feel it would be irresponsible to knowingly pass on a dog that has shown it is willing to harm people.
If it was mine, I would have it PTS and I know most mumsnetters would be horrified but I don't personally feel a dog that bites is safe as a pet and I don't think it is acceptable to rehome and pass the problem on, especially considering the thousands of friendly, problem free dogs that are PTS for lack of homes every year.
He’s probably unsettled by the change. It’s not fair on dogs when a new baby comes along.
Is he getting enough exercise and stimulation?
Are you ever shouty or smack him?
If he was under the sofa he would have felt trapped and lashed out.
First thing to do is get a vet check done, he may be in pain.
Firstly, yes you cannot trust him in the same room as the baby even if supervised, given that the baby is cruising. He needs to be kept in a crate or in another room with a baby gate, as long as you are certain that the baby won't put his fingers through the crate/baby gate. Otherwise the dog needs to be in a completely separate room.
Secondly, you say the baby is cruising so presumably the dog has had a bit of time to get used to the new baby and hasn't. This suggests you need more help managing the dog's behaviour.
Thirdly, take the dog to the vet asap. Dogs that are in pain, react in atypical ways, but if you can treat for the pain they can return to normal.
Once the dog has the all clear from the vet, get a qualified behaviourist in. She will, amongst other things, be able to assess the level of the threat and whether the dog can be safely managed in a household with a baby. Take it from there.
Hope you have a baby gate between him and the baby - your ddog isn't happy. Listen to him.
Unless your dc is over 3/4 they shouldn't be touching the ddog without you right there supervising imo...
If he is nervy, try a thunder vest. They are fabulous for calming a dog down. It isn’t just for loud noises.
I couldn't keep a dog like that and I totally understand that rehoming to somewhere more suited to his needs is probably necessary.
I, like you, would be forever worrying about juggling the baby and dog.
I feel he would probably be happier in an older, quieter household now. More suited to his personality.
Don't be hard on yourself if this is the only option.
Thank you for the suggestions. He has a crate that is upstairs well away from the baby that he can go into at any time. We also have baby gates. They are never near each other unless I have one hand on both of them. The baby is not allowed to grab at him or touch him. We've never done cutesie 'look at the baby sleeping next to the dog pictures' or any of that nonsense, it's not fair on the dog to have a baby in his space so we've never allowed it.
However if he chooses to come up to us and sit with us that does include being near the baby and it doesn't feel at all safe at the moment. Maybe we can't ever all be in the room at the same time, which seems very sad. He'll be at the vets first thing when it opens on Tuesday and I've already emailed the behaviourist.
IMO with a crawling baby it is not worth the risk of the dog biting, and I think you need to rehome dog.
My friend had to sadly rehome a spaniel, he could not cope with babies, they tried everything because they adored him. They contacted a spaniel rescue who rehomed him just a few miles away. They have the contact number and can phone to check up on him which they have done twice. He did need a behaviourist to help him move forward.