Originally Posted by A1Malinois
Sorry, but I would not think its fair to sit there and make/expect a dog to take any form of abuse from a child. They are dogs, all dogs can bite and its a risk we take when we accept this domesticated animal into our house. The dog was startled, growled at and bit right away there was no time for the dog to make the choice to nip rather then bite. If you woke up from a dead sleep with a burglar holding a gun to your face would you gently push the gun away? No you would punch him in the face....automatic reaction
If this were an adult everyone would be saying "Well I guess you shouldnt of woke your dog up like that and growl in his face" and would be reeming them had they of discussed euthanizing the dog for their stupidity. But suddenly when its a child everyone wants to murder the dog for doing what comes naturally
I would never expect or make a dog tolerate "abuse" from a child, as you put it, but I would not expect the dog to react in aggression any time a child annoyed or bothered him.
Arguing on what is and is not appropriate dog behavior is beside the point. You have an extremely heart broken and troubled mother who's sweet baby has been badly hurt by a dog that has been around before her children. There is a very strong bond to both sides of the conflict for her. Its a terrible situation. Shoulda, coulda, wouldas won't help. They are dealing with what is.
I think if the woman and her family are up to it, the dog will probably be fine continuing to be a family member. Discretion in the children/dog interaction of course and perhaps a behaviorist could keep another dog from being euthanized. Instead of euthanasia perhaps rehoming him with an adult only, no dog household that is willing to accept his past.