What do we do re dog and child? So shocked and upset

(92 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Mojitomogul Tue 18-Feb-20 18:41:51

We (well my mum) rehomed a collie cross lab 6 weeks ago- from my friend who has had him since a puppy, he's four now. He is perfect in terms of recall, calm nature, gentle play, good with other dogs. We thought we had landed such a lovely dog- and with adults he is. But two weeks in, my two year old nephew- whom the dog had met on walks and been stroked by etc, and was very gentle with him- dog was sitting next to me at mums house and I was stroking him, and nephew came up slowly among side and reached out slowly and gently to stroke dog. Dog then suddenly turned round, growled and grabbed nephews arm(thank god did not draw any blood or even leave a mark, we think it was a warning bite). I was so shocked and since then we have not left any of the nephews alone with dog. But tonight dog has met nieces who are 4 and 6, and 6 year old was sitting on the arm of the sofa, I was next to dog on the sofa. Niece was stroking dog gently on the head and then suddenly dog did exactly the same as he had done with nephew. Thank god I was right next to them and managed to grab dogs head before he even got to nieces arm. So she was unharmed but just upset by the growl. But we are at a loss and so upset. He has such a good life with us, hes not bored or frustrated, loads of toys and 3 hour walks daily. We feel so upset as it just comes out of nowhere. He must be scared of the children as he has never been around them before us rehoming him. What the hell do we do? Can this be trained out of a dog? Is it inbuilt? Shall we rehome him to adults only home? My nephews and nieces are only round every 2 weeks or so but we want them to be safe. Hes absolutely fine with them out in the walks -this has happened only at home. So upset.

OP’s posts: |
Mojitomogul Tue 18-Feb-20 18:43:07

Sorry did not realise this was in aibu-can I ask for it to be moved to doghouse?

OP’s posts: |
Raver84 Tue 18-Feb-20 18:44:33

Re home him with somone who dosnt have kids around. He is scared or nervous around kids it's not fair on the dog or kids.

Bigpaintinglittlepainting Tue 18-Feb-20 18:44:36

If the children are there for visits why not separate them, dog in one room children in another?

Or use the cage ? Just keep them apart

Tableclothing Tue 18-Feb-20 18:44:46

If your DNs visit for a few hours every fortnight can't you just crate him?

june2007 Tue 18-Feb-20 18:45:46

So you don,t have children yoursaelf? If this is the case I would keep the dog but not left children stroke the dog,

june2007 Tue 18-Feb-20 18:46:17

Perhaps look at trainging the dog.


DICarter1 Tue 18-Feb-20 18:46:27

What’s the backstory around why the original owners rehomed? Has the dog ever been around children before. I’d probably seek out the advice of a decent and respected behaviourist to look at why this behaviour is happening. Are you normally an adult only house?

ilovedjerrymore Tue 18-Feb-20 18:46:40

I’m sorry but that dog would be out like a shot it’s just not worth the risk! You could be out on a walk and the dog goes for a child. You are constantly going to be on edge with the dog just because it’s only going for kids what’s to say that won’t change to adults. It’s a ticking time bomb.

Curious as to why the dog was given up by your friend? Did she actually tell you the truth about it’s temperament?!

I am a dog owner myself and love my girl to pieces but if she even showed one bit of this behaviour she would be out! Too risky especially with children around.

Lllot5 Tue 18-Feb-20 18:47:46

Absolutely regime the dog. You’ve had two warnings now don’t wait for it to be worse the next time.

SirVixofVixHall Tue 18-Feb-20 18:47:50

Yes ask for it to be moved to doghouse, you will get better advice there.
It sounds as though he wanted to be left alone, maybe he thinks of the sofa as his space ?
Friend’s mum has a dog who snaps when on the sofa, he is kept apart from visiting children.

Lllot5 Tue 18-Feb-20 18:48:17


katewhinesalot Tue 18-Feb-20 18:48:26

You have no choice but to put the kids first. They cannot ever be around him - even on walks. How do you know he won't ever display the same behaviour when walking at some point or other?

harriethoyle Tue 18-Feb-20 18:48:28

If you have resident children, rehome the dog to an adult only home. If not, crate the dog when children visit. I'd also find a local dog behaviourist to do some work with pup to try and resolve this if possible.

RattyTerror Tue 18-Feb-20 18:48:34

If the children are just visiting I’d just shut him away whilst they’re around. My aunt rescued a troubled dog when I was a little girl and I was always told never to approach him, ignore him and he’ll come to me if/when he is ready. Obviously that’s difficult to explain to a 2 year old! I would only rehome if you lived with children full time.

Amatteroftime Tue 18-Feb-20 18:49:10

Would get this moved to doghouse OP as you will get better responses there.
Get a behaviourist in who uses positive methods. They will be able to discuss your dog's body language, management around children, and a plan. They will also be able to pick up on any resource guarding issues that could possibly be present (you've said you were next to the dog each time so this could be an element of this), or identify if it is anxiety related to children.

If you're happy to share your location I might be able to help you find a good one.

The first bite was inhibited due to lack of injury so I expect this stems from fear, not true aggression.

Don't let him near kids until you get professional help in.

Also start muzzle training him (I think all dogs shoukd have to be muzzle trained anyway in case they should ever wear one).

marashino Tue 18-Feb-20 18:49:32

It's unfair on the dog to let him be anywhere near children, he's obviously scared of them for whatever reason and next time it might not be a warning bite.

If you don't have children then keep the dog but have a cage for him to go in when they come over - make it cosy with nice soft blankets, toys and so on so it's a safe place for him to go, give him free access to it the rest of time so he is used to it and so it doesn't become a punishment. For his wellbeing, don't let the children do in the room where he is because it'll scare him.

If you have children then rehome him to a place without children.

BareGrylls Tue 18-Feb-20 18:51:45

I'm afraid if I was the parent of those children I wouldn't bring them to the house again while the dog was there.

Eckhart Tue 18-Feb-20 18:52:31

Sounds like the dog is jealous. This would be impossible to manage if the children lived with you, but maybe you can just keep dog and children apart?

Justkeeprollingalong Tue 18-Feb-20 18:53:03

I've reported your post for you and asked for it to be moved.

LilyMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Feb-20 18:53:18

We're moving this over to the dog house now. flowers

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 18-Feb-20 18:54:50

Before anything else , get him checked y a Vet .
The fact he went for a child from his side suggests to me he is partially sighted on that area.
It would help his re homing immensely if you could find the reason. A dog who has a 'blind side' is acting through fear or aggression because he cannot see what is approaching, rather than a bitey one who will just launch himself.

It might be that an adult home is he best solution?

weaselwords Tue 18-Feb-20 18:56:01

If he’s anything like my friend’s lab x collie, he’s a big athletic dog. He could do a lot of harm to a small child. Don’t put any child at risk from him and either rehome or have an absolutely watertight and foolproof way of separating the dog from the children which will be difficult and stressful. Good luck.

Prisonbreak Tue 18-Feb-20 18:56:30

Take the dog to the vet. It’s possible he is in pain or discomfort that can result in reactive behaviour

MrMeSeeks Tue 18-Feb-20 18:57:34

Take to vet straight away, this could be health related

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