Does it mean my dog have a bite history now? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Does it mean my dog have a bite history now?

My puppy she is 5 months old and she treats my daughter sweetly. However, she sees my 8 years old daughter as litter mate. My daughter get along with the puppy very well and she is very protective of the dog, but a lot of time she treats her rough, I don't mean she hits the dog or beats her, she just... you know... doing kid things, she plays rough.

Today, my dog had a piece of napkin in her mouth and my daughter rushed to her trying to take the napkin out of her mouth and she bit her. It punchered her skin and you can see some blood but it's a very mild injury....

Does it mean my dog has a bite history, and it's aggressive now?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:09 PM
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Was it an accidental bite or was your pup being possessive of the napkin?
It's not a good idea for a child to put their hands in a dog's mouth. A bite can happen even when not intentional. I hope your daughter's hand feels OK.

If the pup was being possessive of the napkin, then you might want to talk with your Vet about it and possibly contact a pet behaviorist.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:13 PM
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Also, pups go through stages where they test boundaries. Six months of age is one of them. Calming the rough housing between your pup and your daughter might be a good thing to do at this age, just to be safe.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by paula bedard View Post
Was it an accidental bite or was your pup being possessive of the napkin?
It's not a good idea for a child to put their hands in a dog's mouth. A bite can happen even when not intentional. I hope your daughter's hand feels OK.

If the pup was being possessive of the napkin, then you might want to talk with your Vet about it and possibly contact a pet behaviorist.
I was not there at the time it happened, even if I did I am not sure if I can tell the difference between accidental bite or possessive. The dog looked so sorry after it happened and she even tried to lick her after the bite.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:29 PM
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I bet it was an accident. Just recently there was a thread about 'bites' and how often they are accidental from a hand getting near a dog's mouth and catching a tooth.

A possessive bite would probably be preceded by a growl or aggressive stance. Have you ever noticed her exhibit either of these before?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:42 PM
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I was not there at the time it happened, even if I did I am not sure if I can tell the difference between accidental bite or possessive. The dog looked so sorry after it happened and she even tried to lick her after the bite.
Licking and showing remorse are signs that it was accidental. An aggressive dog wouldn't do this. Accidental bites happen alot, especially with puppies.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:45 PM
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Was there another adult monitoring their play? Without an adult to see what happened it is all guessing.
The pup could have thought your daughter was playing when grabbing the napkin and they both grabbed at the same time and she got your daughter along with the napkin. Or the dog could have been attempting to keep the napkin in a resource guarding situation.
I really wouldn't let them play rough anymore. Whether it was an accidental bite or an out right bite your daughter could have been hurt even worse.
Children and dogs must be supervised at all times. To protect them both.

At this point I don't think you should let your daughter take anything away from the dog.
For now I would practice (train) your dog to trade, drop, leave it and give. At this point only with adults.

Did you seek medical treatment for the bite? If you did what are the laws where you live? If professional medical treatment wasn't needed then the only bite history, is with you. And again since you don't know exactly what happened I would be especially careful to supervise all interactions for now.

A bite does not always mean the dog is aggressive.

How is your daughter doing?



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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by solinvictus View Post
Was there another adult monitoring their play? Without an adult to see what happened it is all guessing.
The pup could have thought your daughter was playing when grabbing the napkin and they both grabbed at the same time and she got your daughter along with the napkin. Or the dog could have been attempting to keep the napkin in a resource guarding situation.
I really wouldn't let them play rough anymore. Whether it was an accidental bite or an out right bite your daughter could have been hurt even worse.
Children and dogs must be supervised at all times. To protect them both.

At this point I don't think you should let your daughter take anything away from the dog.
For now I would practice (train) your dog to trade, drop, leave it and give. At this point only with adults.

Did you seek medical treatment for the bite? If you did what are the laws where you live? If professional medical treatment wasn't needed then the only bite history, is with you. And again since you don't know exactly what happened I would be especially careful to supervise all interactions for now.

A bite does not always mean the dog is aggressive.

How is your daughter doing?
Thanks for asking, she is fine and the bite was very very mild. A bandage with Nimo's picture on it made her smile right away.

What would it mean if it was a resource guarding situation?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 06:14 PM
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From what you're describing, it sounds like a purposeful bite - the dog wanted to keep the napkin and used the amount of force necessary to make your daughter back off.

Kids (under at least 10), IMO, should not be unsupervised around dogs. It's too easy for something like this to happen. It's also worrisome that you say your daughter plays rough with her. If she's doing things the dog doesn't like - even if they aren't abusive - it's potentially damaging the relationship between daughter/dog and teaching the dog some bad habits. Both kids and dogs need to be taught how to coexist and treat each other with respect. Playing "rough" is not that respectful, IMO.

Many dogs have issue with stolen objects being taken from them. (Do a search...) I'd suggest a new house rule -- if puppy gets something she's not supposed to have, the kids must COME GET YOU and you use it as a training exercise to practice happily relinquishing prized objects on request. Better yet - she won't have to come get you b/c there would be little to no unsupervised time between them. By keeping them supervised, you can not only prevent unwanted behavior on both their parts, but can also reward the dog for being tolerant of low-level kid-induced annoyances and/or making the right decision to get up and leave when feeling uncomfortable by a child's handling, etc. BTW - "rushing" a dog is often seen as a sign of conflict and can put many dogs on the defensive.

Your situation reminds me of cases where ... after a bite ... it comes out that the kid in question was doing stuff to totally annoy the dog while unsupervised. Not abusive in the least, but if the dog doesn't like it, he doesn't like it... and will only put up with so much before using his resources (growling ... hard stare ... lip curl, etc. ... then the bite) Kids are going to totally miss the warning signs, so you end up with a bite.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by uat1 View Post
Thanks for asking, she is fine and the bite was very very mild. A bandage with Nimo's picture on it made her smile right away.

What would it mean if it was a resource guarding situation?
Resource guarding means the dog is willing to use threats and/or acts of aggression to keep what he has ... like the napkin.

As I mentioned, lots of dogs will resource guard stolen objects - especially when they live in a household where people are constantly rushing over and trying to pry objects out of their mouth (vs. teaching a peaceful relinquishment of the item -- combined with management to lessen the number of times the dog manages to get a hold of stuff).

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