Friend's dog bit her child...badly. What to do now? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Friend's dog bit her child...badly. What to do now?

Hey all,

I'm asking this question for a friend. She has two dogs, one is 8 or 9 and the other is 5 or 6. She's had both dogs for their entire lives since they were puppies. My friend has a toddler and a baby now and up til this point, the dogs were absolutely fine with the children. I think the oldest is around 3 or 4.

I just got a text from my friend saying her oldest dog bit her oldest child. A bad bite. Got him in the face and the poor child had to go in for surgery. He was released from the hospital 4 days later and will definitely have a scar (or scars).

This dog is dog-aggressive and has been since he'd been attacked as a pup. He HATES Ranger. I brought Ranger over once to play with the other dog and the first dog was going ballistic in the house the entire time. Barking, growling, attacking the windows. But he's also been a great dog when ranger is NOT around and up to this point, has never shown any aggression to people.

Needless to say, my friend is incredibly shaken up. She loves her dog - obviously - but is thinking the only recourse is to have him put down. She doesn't trust him with the children anymore and because of his aggression issues AND bite history, he'd be impossible to adopt out.

Both dogs are at her mother's house until my friend and her husband decide what to do. My friend asked about muzzles and if it's possible for a dog to wear one most of the day. I had no answer. I gave her the number of a dog behaviourist who specializes in aggressive dogs but beyond that...I don't know what my friend can do.

Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:36 PM
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What was the situation surrounding the bite?

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:36 PM
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Horrible thing....was there any reason for the bite, that you know? Did the child scare the dog, tease it, fall on it...? Or did the bite come out of the blue?
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:37 PM
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Sadly, and I know some won`t agree with me, but this dog should be put down, like you said, with a bite history now, and dog aggression it`s not a candidate for adoption. Most importantly your friend will NEVER be able to trust that dog again, even muzzled they can still do damage to a child. When I was a kid any dog that bit a person or child was put down without question.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:37 PM
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Firstly, they need to figure out the reason behind the bite. Dogs bite for a reason. Could the dog be in pain from something with age? Could he have a bad hip? Tumour inside somewhere? Low thyroid? I would have this dog given a thorough work up at the vet.

Secondly, if thats not the reason did this child provoke the bite somehow? If the child provoked the dog then its really not the dog to blame IMO
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:44 PM
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The attending Dr. has to report the bite.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen & Brew View Post
Sadly, and I know some won`t agree with me, but this dog should be put down, like you said, with a bite history now, and dog aggression it`s not a candidate for adoption. Most importantly your friend will NEVER be able to trust that dog again, even muzzled they can still do damage to a child. When I was a kid any dog that bit a person or child was put down without question.
I think the "Put your dog down for biting regardless of the reason behind it" falls under the silly reasonings to get rid of a pet such as "Im pregnant and I just cant take care of a dog anymore"," Were moving and cant take him" and "I thought my allergies werent this bad I need to get rid of him" to the "We just dont have time anymore"

If you put a dog down that bit in defense of itself because the child was pestering it (pulling ears, pulling paws, hitting, tail pulling, kicking etc) is just plain irresponsible. You do not euth a dog without question without first looking into WHY the dog bit. It could of been a simple as "Mom turned her head for one second, child pulled and squeezed dogs tail...dog bit" and in a case like that....as much as it sounds horrible...its the childs fault. Dogs can only defend themselves with teeth.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by A1Malinois View Post
I think the "Put your dog down for biting regardless of the reason behind it" falls under the silly reasonings to get rid of a pet such as "Im pregnant and I just cant take care of a dog anymore"," Were moving and cant take him" and "I thought my allergies werent this bad I need to get rid of him" to the "We just dont have time anymore"

If you put a dog down that bit in defense of itself because the child was pestering it (pulling ears, pulling paws, hitting, tail pulling, kicking etc) is just plain irresponsible. You do not euth a dog without question without first looking into WHY the dog bit. It could of been a simple as "Mom turned her head for one second, child pulled and squeezed dogs tail...dog bit" and in a case like that....as much as it sounds horrible...its the childs fault. Dogs can only defend themselves with teeth.
That's just plain garbage.
How is the kid going to be in the house with this dog? An operation plus 4 days in the hospital is serious stuff. Kid will not only have a physical scar but an emotional one as well.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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I tentatively asked friend about events leading up to the bite because I was of the same mind that possibly the child did something to the dog. Even something as simple/minor as the child stepped on a sore spot, like an arthritic hip or something. The child is a typical, boisterous, roughhouse sort of child so it's possible he accidentally hurt the dog. I know when my friend brought her child over when he was younger, he picked up a small stick and was hitting ranger with it...now, the child was nowhere NEAR strong enough to hurt ranger and the stick was just a tiny branch...but the intent of it bothered me. Ranger picked up on the child's intent as well, and went to a spot of the yard where the child couldn't get to him. And ranger ADORES children.

Anyway, I haven't heard back from my friend about the events leading up to the bite. I'm not sure if I will. Its just such a crappy situation. And if the child was being antagonistic, then who's to say it won't happen to the other dog at some point? There was a dog bite case around here that got a lot of attention because it was a bully breed that tore the face off a child. Later it came out that the child was trying to cut off the dog's ear with a pair of scissors!

Obviously I don't think that's the case here but I'm hoping there's a different solution than my friend having to put down the dog she'd had for 9 years.

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
That's just plain garbage.
How is the kid going to be in the house with this dog? An operation plus 4 days in the hospital is serious stuff. Kid will not only have a physical scar but an emotional one as well.
This is what I'm thinking, as well...but not just the dog that bit him. Even if that dog is put down, there's still another dog in the house. What's going to happen to that one if child is now terrified of dogs? I'm thinking this might lead to both dogs being gone...though the second one is adoptable.

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