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View Full Version : When farm dogs and toddlers don't mix - a novel, vent, and seeking advice



AlteredMommy
Jan. 24, 2009, 10:46 PM
Yes, this is an alter. I don't really want to air my day under my real username.

I was upstairs working on something when I hear my husband downstairs with our baby (almost a year) telling her "you need to leave the dog alone." Seconds later I hear a snarl and baby crying. I fly down the stairs and my husband hands me a bleeding baby.

GREAT. Just effing great. Take baby upstairs and flush out the cut above her upper lip. I notice she's got a puffy spot under her right eye too. Might be a shiner in a few days. Hard to tell.

We took the baby to the ER at the Children's hospital and she was given antibiotics just in case. They cleaned the already closed "superficial dog bite" with betadine. I was also informed the Department of Health will be notified about the dog bite. They are required to report all dog bites and I understand that.

My dilemma is that it was an accident, but a preventable one. We have 3 dogs, but it is the corgi girl who is the boss. She's not liking the fact that the baby is able to follow her around now and bother her. Baby also doesn't listen when dog says to back off. I have been very closely watching them when baby is on floor and dog isn't crated. When dog's patience wears thin she gets crated for a break or I baby gate her in a seperate room.

I do 99% of the baby watching and almost everything with the animals. It's probably just as much my fault for thinking I could go upstairs and work on something for 40 minutes or so. The bite happened when my husband turned his back to do something. He didn't see what happened. When he turned around he said the baby and dog were about 5 feet apart on the floor.

I'm really aggrivated and annoyed that I have some very grown up decisions to make. My husband (who was in denial about the incident trying to tell himself the corgi just poked the baby in the face) was telling everybody who would listen that there would be "total seperation" from now on. Not very realistic for our house. We have 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon bucket. There's not a lot of extra rooms for keeping dog and baby seperated. It can be done, but it'll be a real PITA.

I really DO NOT want to rehome my corgi since I've had her since she was 8 weeks old. She was very protective of the baby before she was mobile. It's just now that baby is acting more like a toddler that we're having issues; snarling, posturing, and now the bite. I KNOW this a people issue more than the dog's issue. I'm just not sure how long this phase will take to pass, but I cannot risk another bite again. I am confident that I can keep dog and baby safe, but less sure that my husband can do the same. I am the animal person in the family and I also take care of the baby 99% of the time. It was stupid to think I could take a short break today and let dad watch baby.

It was an acccident, but I'm still pissed I now have to make some decisions. I'm not sure what the Dept. of Health will say or do, but one thing is for sure is that if it happens again there will be hell to pay.

I don't really want to pick up the phone and bounce ideas off of baby's grandma, but I need some objective input here. Baby is priority 1, but I just hate the idea of rehoming my corgi girl.

SkipHiLad4me
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:01 PM
No need to rehome the dog. This isn't her fault. Just crate her if you don't plan to be right there watching the dog and child together in the same room, regardless of who is supposed to be watching the child. It's the easiest way to keep her safe from any unncessary harrassment and it keeps your child safe too. You can't expect the child to understand doggy body language.

AKB
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:11 PM
Animal control's primary issue will probably be that the dog has a rabies vaccine certificate and a dog license. Dig those out before they come around, or get them a dog license if yours is expired. Where we are, animal control quarantines your dog in your own house for 10 days, as long as you can find the rabies certificate.

Some dogs can tolerate a toddler, others cannot. Find some Corgi people who can tell you the usual limits of Corgi tolerance. Toddlers are rough on dogs. We have always had Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. They will go after any strange adults, but are extremely tolerant of abuse by their human children. You may need to keep the baby and the Corgi apart when you cannot watch them carefully. Being a parent is never easy.

SLW
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:17 PM
I'm sorry this happened.

This is a no brainer for me, find the Corgi a fabulous home free of toddlers. This is all about what is best for your child.

mommy peanut
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:19 PM
First let me say I'm sorry for your child & you are very lucky! It could have been alot worse! Second I'm going on what you wrote & maybe reading between the lines a little. It's hard to judge without seeing the interaction first hand.
I think you need to change your(the people) additudes towards this. The dog obviously believes she is in charge & you have let her take that role. When you say she was very protective of the baby before, your wrong. That wasn't the dog being overprotective. That was a dog dominating the baby. By not reading things correctly & getting control of the situation is what led to the posturing, snarling, & now biting.
You need to change your whole household dianamics & teach the dog that you(all people) ar in charge/the boss, not her, NO MATTER WHAT! I'd start by doing NILIF all the time, everytime. Do some OB training to reinforce the good behavoir & correct the unwanted. At first I would correct every small, tiny behaviour that is not appropriate or a wanted action.
You'll have to stress to your DH that he NEEDS to be on the ball & follow whatever plan you choose to take. It will do no good if he doesn't. Also baby is never too young to learn "no" & some boundries.
If you don't have any experience dealing with these types of situations, contact a local "respectable" trainer for help and/or ideas. Good luck

pony89
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:28 PM
I agree with some of the other suggestions. Crate the dog when you can't directly supervise. Work with the baby to teach her to leave the dog alone (even fairly young kids can learn what not to touch, even though you still need to supervise 100%, especially for now. )

I would try to teach the dog to take herself to her crate if she is being harrassed, and try to teach the baby that the crate is totally off limits.

The phase will probably last at least until you can teach the baby not to bother the dog. Dogs can't be expected to tolerate endless abuse, but at the same time, if she cannot tolerate normal kid activity, it obviously won't work. It does sound like the dog was being bothered long enough for your husband to issue a warning, and that the dog had a long enough fuse that she didn't snarl until after that, so maybe there is a chance that some training on both sides will fix this. It's too bad you didn't see exactly what happened. My BIL just had to rehome one of his dogs after she bit our niece in the face for fairly minor pestering, and our niece is almost 4 :( You might want to have him actually remove her from bothering the dog immediately, while giving her the warning, so that the dog is not put in the position of defending herself.

If you can't commit to 100% monitoring and seperation, I would go ahead and rehome the dog. You've gotten a warning, and you don't want to risk a serious bite, nor putting your dog in a position where she is quicker to be snarling because she knows she is going to be mobbed.

ETA - I also agree with the PP. NILIF is a wonderful thing, very good for dog's attitudes, and this will help you a lot. On the other hand, I don't know if you are ever going to change a dog's innate tolerance for being mauled, you will get farther by modifying your child's behaviour and access to the dog. The dog has a set level of tolerance and self preservation, and your ultimate decision is going to be whether you can create an environment that does not exceed that.

AlteredMommy
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:41 PM
Thanks for the input. I have made plenty of errors. I need to make time for doggy and I to have alone time. She also needs to be more tired at the end of the day. She was doing well crating herself when she wanted to be left alone.

This morning they were getting along well. Corgi girl was tolerating being petted on the head by baby (with supervision.) I talked to a trusted friend who knows my dog and baby. She can't believe the dog bit the baby. She is convinced dog must have been provoked.

We can crate or seperate with baby gates. Baby will be 1 year this week so she is starting to get the concept of no. Problem is that she has to try 3 times before she accepts the "no."

I will also have a renewed excuse for finding an agility class for corgi girl and I. She loves agility and would do well with the attention and outlet. She has been allowed to let her manners slip and has gotten too big for her britches. Time to reestablish my position and then teach my husband how to establish his position as well.

I hope I'll feel better about all of this in the morning. It was just a long day and if push came to shove I know what I would have to do. I just don't want to give up on my corgi girl without trying to make it work. I cannot put baby at risk while doing that though. I will crate and baby gate for now and look in to making more time for corgi girl and myself to do something constructive together.

AlteredMommy
Jan. 24, 2009, 11:44 PM
Forgot to add that corgi girl is on Predisone for a skin outbreak. I'm sure to some degree that is affecting her tolerance for being mauled. I will work harder to make a baby free zone for her until baby is better at "no" and dog is feeling better.

mommy peanut
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:19 AM
Sound like you have a good plan in place. I wish you the best :)

vacation1
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:53 AM
I hate to be negative, but I don't think it's going to work out keeping the dog in the situation. Small house, very young child, intolerant dog - this is all a bad setup but the biggest problem I see is that the husband doesn't really grasp that the dog will bite the child deliberately, and that keeping everyone safe means constant vigilance on the part of the adult humans of the family. One thing that I'd keep in mind is the future - when not just my child but her friends will be around, and AC will have that bite report on file if there's any other problem. I do wish the OP luck; it is a tough situation.

foggybok
Jan. 25, 2009, 01:20 AM
This may be unpopular, but I would suggest rehoming the dog. The dog will now have one strike, another one could mean euthanisia in some areas, not sure about your local laws. In any case the dog is now officially "dangerous". The child will only grow more mobile and there is no way you can control every move a toodler makes. The dog does not like being harrased by the toddler. Unless you want to spend every minute of every day keeping them apart, it's probably best to find a new home with no children for the dog.

bit-o-honey
Jan. 25, 2009, 01:22 AM
Doggie muzzle for times when everyone is together? I have seen some people use them when walking their dogs around other dogs.

AlteredMommy
Jan. 25, 2009, 07:38 AM
I'm not ruling rehoming the dog out. It's just my next to least favorite option. My least favorite is having baby get bit again.

Foggybok, I think you hit the nail on the head about why I'm so mad too. My dog now has a strike against her. I'm in NY and didn't have much luck finding information on the health department and dog bites aside from all the horror stories. I'm not sure what policies are in this state.

Last night dog had kitchen to herself until baby went to bed. That worked ok. We will take it a day at a time, but I haven't ruled out any options, including rehoming.

Thanks for the suggestions and support. I sort of feel like I'm on my own here since I don't think DH understands all the ramifications. He isn't the animal person and doesn't see the big picture here on what may have to happen. He had himself convinced dog only forcefully poked baby with her nose when he turned his back. *sigh*

Off to do more research on NY policies and find the contact for our closest corgi rescue.... just in case.

gloriginger
Jan. 25, 2009, 09:04 AM
here is the law for ny http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/New%20York.html

I think you might be okay because it sounds like this bite was provoked.

I second the suggestion for the muzzle when around your toddler. I also think the agility is a great idea- herding dogs need to have excercise for the mind and body.

Tough situation, good luck!

WaningMoon
Jan. 25, 2009, 09:04 AM
I raised four little girls in the midst of at least three Dobes and at times more. All those yrs and not one bite. I have found Dobes to be very tolerant of children. I also from the moment the kids could move about on their own taught them respect for the dogs. There are going to be times even if you do youir best to keep youir child and dog separated that they will end up together and it only takes a second to get bit.

When ppl with children come to visit now I try to explain to them that when the dog approaches the child and shows affection that that is on the dogs terms, he is making the approach. It is a completely different thing when the dog is laying somewhere nad the child makes the approach. Dogs see that as the child invading HIS space. Dogs in general do not like their feet, tails, ears screwed with and feet are usually the first thing a crawling baby comes upon.

Some ppl say to make sure yoiur kids leave the dog alone while he is eating. I have never done thta. Everytime my dogs were eating I made sure to involve the kids. I used to sit there on the floor with them while the dog was eating. The dog needs to be used to that. IT is another one of those situations that are hard to avoid if you are going to raise kids and dogs together.

I have two rescues, have had for three yrs, they've never bitten anyone but I did not raise them and now have a baby grandaughter who comes often. When those two are in the room I either hover over baby while she toddles around or ask the boys to go upstairs and take a nap on my bed. They are happy to comply as I am asking them to leave but also giving them something they like to do to replace it. I am not taking away something do to the baby and not giving something in return. That in my opinion would create a feeling of the baby taking away from them and make for resentment.

Now that the dog has already bit your child once I feel it is much more likely to happen again. I would have started out with letting the baby get close to the dog with me right there. If the dog so much as curled a lip he would have been corrected right then and there. And you work on from there. Praising when he tolerates and correcting when he doesn't. And I wouldd never leave them alone again. Never.

IN my state a dog gets one bite, after that they can be taken and destroyed. I would rather find the dog a childless home.

All can get along well together but I would have started working on this before now. Your husband needs to get a grip on the situation before something worse happens. The dog has now warned you, listen before its too late.

As an example of dogs totally accepting a child I always offer this example although some will find it gross. My second born was 7 months old and nursing. I also ahd a litter of pups who were four weeks old. I came into the living room to find my daughter nestled between the pups also latched on and nursing. I was just in disbelief. My sweet Dobe looked up at me as if to say look mom, I can take care of her for you, I can babysit. I told her what a good girl she was, picked up my baby, and told her not to expect the same out of me, that I had all I could do to nurse mine, I was not going to nurse hers.

minnie
Jan. 25, 2009, 09:11 AM
I would rehome the dog now. You just can't give a second chance to a dog that's bitten a child. It's just not worth the risk. The next time could mean permanent scar, puncture an eye and what if the dog really goes off and doesn't stop with just one bite. The dog would already be out of my house.

Nezzy
Jan. 25, 2009, 09:56 AM
i think you are doing the right thing by trying to keep the dog. Dogs can only handle so much grabbing. Once the baby is older you won't have any more problems. YOU know your dog better than anyone. I hate that so many people are willing to GIVE up a pet instead of doing the work and fixing the problem. Dogs are not disposable. They are part of the family and they have feelings, too. There are trainers out there who would be willing to come to your home, and help you.

WaningMoon
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:12 AM
i think you are doing the right thing by trying to keep the dog. Dogs can only handle so much grabbing. Once the baby is older you won't have any more problems. YOU know your dog better than anyone. I hate that so many people are willing to GIVE up a pet instead of doing the work and fixing the problem. Dogs are not disposable. They are part of the family and they have feelings, too. There are trainers out there who would be willing to come to your home, and help you.

Not so sure this is that kind of situation though. Getting a trainer in is not so likely when the husband isn't even getting that there is an issue. Also the limited area they are living in doesn't help matters either. Hard to separate when there is no room to begin with. And trainers cost lots of money too. Husband isn't likely to dish out money for an issue he don't believe exists. I would agree if they were just now noticing that the dog and child were an issue but now that the dog has already bitten the child that is going to be the way the dog handles the situation again. I would rather rehome my dog than have the authorities take it away for my mistakes. I could not live with that. It would not have got to this point if my dog, but it has and the next time there might not be another chance. When you are going to keep kids and dogs that should be something worked upon from the birth of the child on. IT sounds to me like they felt all would just be hunky dorry and now finding otherwise. AS I said above this can be done, all can get along fine, but at this point not so sure, child MUST come first, before there isn't a child to worry about.

Nezzy
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:16 AM
i still think they should be able to TRY to fix the problem before just giving up.

mayhew
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:16 AM
What is NILIF?

Hilary
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:17 AM
Funny, I was just talking with my mom about this subject. She had a dog when she had me. Dog was a lovely guy, but didn't care for children. I asked if he'd ever bitten me and she said yes, once when I was a toddler. I had been told repeatedly to NOT BOTHER HECTOR. One day I couldn't help myself, bothered him and he snapped at me, and got me on the nose. Apparently, that was all it took - I learned my lesson. We got along just fine by ignoring one another after that. I may have been older enough than your daughter to understand what had happened, but mom said "you both got short shrift" after the incident.

But that was back in the day when we didn't wear helmets for any activity, smoking & drinking were permissible while pregnant and kids walked an entire mile to school in the winter.

I really hope you can figure out how to keep your dog and keep your child safe.

In the Air
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:22 AM
I have an Aussie that everyone who knows her would tell you that she is the best behaved dog in the world. When my DD was a baby the dog was just over one year old. Things were perfect as long as the baby was not mobil. When DD started moving about and especially when we had playdates with other little kids over I noticed a definate uncomfortable look in my dogs eyes. She even went so far as to snap at a child once. From that day on whenever we had other kids over she went behind a closed door. As DD and her friends got bigger I didn't have to worry as much but I never hesitated to put the dog away in the other room if I couldn't watch them closely. In my home I am the clear alpha, that will help. Don't be afraid to make that VERY clear to your corgi. They, like aussies can be a bit hard headed.

The dog and my daughter are best buds now and I am glad I didn't rehome my dog. Actually the thought never crossed my mind. If you love your cogi, you can make it work. One nip does not a child eater make.

Good Luck

Bayou Roux
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:30 AM
Any chance that the toddler is going to have learned from this experience and just not want to be anywhere near the Corgi? Or that a quick reprimand to the toddler will remind her of the consequences of not backing off when Corgi says back off?

I'm not suggesting that they be put in a UFC ring together to test it out, but, maybe baby learned something and judicious separation will get the family through until baby isn't a baby anymore...

Lilykoi
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:41 AM
I don't have kids but can't they be taught? Just like not touching the stove or playing in the street? I have a little dog and kids seem to love to come up to her and maul her. She's not crazy about it and I try to always rescue her. Not sure what she'd do when
completely cornered and abused by a relentless toddler. We were all raised with dogs. My mom always sided with the dogs. We were not allowed to tease or abuse them in any way. There were five of us and no one ever was bit, dog or child. Everyone has to learn boundaries. Good time for your daughter to learn. Meanwhile, protect the dog and crate or lock her away from the baby till she learns to leave the dog alone.

county
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:47 AM
Be an easy choice for me the dog goes kids over animals every time.

LaurieB
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:59 AM
I was in your same situation when my son was a toddler. He cornered one of the dogs and was bitten on the side of the face, necessitating an emergency trip to the doctor. We did not get rid of the dog--frankly it wasn't her fault, it was mine, for allowing the situation to happen in the first place.

What we did was make copious use of baby gates throughout the house. In a small house, with several doorways blocked, it wasn't that hard to ensure that dog and baby were never on the same side of a gate unsupervised. Two years later, by the time my son was three, he was able to understand that that particular dog was not one to play with (in all likelihood she would have been fine with him, but I wasn't taking any chances) and the gates came down. No big deal.

In my experience smaller dogs tend to be much more defensive about their space than big dogs are. I don't think your corgi was exerting dominance, I think she probably felt threatened and reacted accordingly. By the way, although a number of my friends strongly urged me to get rid of my dog and told me I was a bad mother when I didn't do so, my son was never bitten again and grew up to love dogs like I do.

kookicat
Jan. 25, 2009, 11:11 AM
Buy a baby gate. Keep baby on one side, dog on the other.

JanM
Jan. 25, 2009, 11:11 AM
I hate to be the bad guy here but---

Years ago a friend had a male chow that didn't like kids, and the baby was totally drawn to him (he really looked like a stuffed cute dog to me too) and he nailed her when she fell on him-the result was hospital time for the baby and a bite report for the dog (the bite was to the head). Fast forward about 3 or 4 months and it happens again-same exact thing (apparently the kid thought it was acceptable to throw yourself on stuffed and real dogs) happens with hospital time again and a second bite report (the second was a head biteetoo-the second barely missed her eye and eyelid). I told my friend the awful truth, since they had a dog with two bites if he did it again to the baby CFS would show up with the dog catcher, and if anyone else was bitten they would sue them into poverty. They put the dog down (in that case both incidents happened with daddy 'supervising') because no one wanted a dog with his record. I hope this case doesn't come to this but maybe rehoming to a childless home would be a good thing before things escalate-all you need is one more incident and the dog will be unadoptable and you can't take the chance of something horrible happening to the baby. Also you need to talk to your insurance agent (or even better the 800 number people anonymously-call from a pay phone or a prepaid cell-caller id is very good sometimes) about the liability (my insurance is a one bite policy-the second bite and they cancel you) of a repeated bite, especially if it happens to be a visitor or service person.

To make this succeed you will both have to be 100% vigilant with the baby gates and separation-and that includes you and your husband. You might want to get the baby gates that can be permanently hung and are easy open to make it easier for everyone involved, and when the kid is older you can take the gates down. I still use a portable gate (actually a metal 4 sided exercise pen in a zig-zag pattern works) to put my dog in the bedroom when there are workmen around or when the number of people in the house are overwhelming for my dog (he's older and getting fragile) so he can still see out, and I don't have to worry about someone letting him escape or bothering him.

Kafue
Jan. 25, 2009, 11:22 AM
Re-home the dog or the baby. The baby has a few years of being very annoying to a dog already not happy about being bothered and there is no way that you are going to be able to keep them apart permanently. The dog has already signalled that it feels threatened by the child and is willing to use its teeth to protect itself. There is a really good probability the next time the child will be permanently disfigured and you may find yourself justifying the fact that you kept the dog to child services. This is not the dog's fault .......it is just being a dog but as a responsbile parent and dog owner you need to make some decisions.

Just My Style
Jan. 25, 2009, 11:29 AM
As the mother of a 1 year old, we had to also make a decision. We had a 12 year old JRT that had some failing health issues (MMM). He was also on pred. I don't know if that attributed to his mood swings or it it was the discomfort of the disease. Anyway, he made us increasingly uncomfortable with his behavior- not as adults, but for the kids. He was lovely for many, many years, but had gotten much more difficult over the last year.

My 8 year old knew to leave him alone and my LO basically didn't give him the time of day. However, there is always that one time. And it only takes one time. A phone rings. Someone is at the door. You look out the window to check the horses. That is all it takes. In our case, the JRT snapped (luckily) at my husband. We had him euthanized the next day.

We had discussed it with my vet prior to that, so I don't want anyone to think it was a knee jerk reaction. He knew that we loved our dog. We had him since 8 weeks. But, we also knew where we were going with his behavior change. We told the vet that we would give the dog the benefit of the doubt and try to keep him comfortable, but at our first sign that we were on a downward spiral, we would bring him in. And we did. And it was the best decision for all of us- including the dog. Re-homing a terminally ill, senior dog was not an option for us.

In the end, I would never compromise my kid's safety.

FlashGordon
Jan. 25, 2009, 11:49 AM
Did you say baby was 1ish? Unfortunately, things may get better before they get worse! My daughter was at the top of her game in the dog mauling department when she was about 18 months old. Luckily our golden, who was a puppy when baby came home, is exceptionally tolerant. But I even watch her like a hawk.

We are between a rock and a hard place because we are at my mom's temporarily, and her dogs are old with a shorter fuse. Now at 2.5, my daughter does have a better sense of when to leave the dogs alone, and how to approach them. But, she still wants to "play" with them at times and doesn't always understand that sometimes doggies just don't want to be bothered.

It seems once a dog gets annoyed with baby, it becomes a cycle.... dog never really gets over it!

We have taught Little FG that when the doggies go to "their" corner, where their beds are, she is not to follow and not to bother them. If at any point I see the dogs getting annoyed, I just send them to the corner and they are happy to oblige. Baby gates are a good thing too, you can separate dogs and baby. Or, toss the dogs outside, which I know is harder in this weather.

Truthfully, I probably wouldn't keep a dog that has bit anyone in the household. We brought a dog home once from the SPCA when we were first married, within 3 weeks it bit my husband on the hand and went right to the bone. Dogs can do too much damage, too quickly, and babies are so vulnerable.... might be kinder to all involved to re-home the Corgi, as hard as it may be.

Good luck, not an easy spot to be in.

AlteredMommy
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:08 PM
NILIF = Nothing in life is free

Thank you for the input. I am reading it. Just to clarify we have been working with the dog since before baby came home. Problem is human in that things were going well and I let my guard down thinking hubby could watch dog and kid at same time. In retrospect I should have taken the dog upstairs with me. She would have been happy to hang out with me and it would be one less thing for hubby to worry about with kiddo downstairs.

I appreciate all the input. Talking to my husband today he now realizes it was his mistake not to recognize the dog had enough and to invite her to use her crate about 10 minutes before the incident. He also revealed that the dog was cornered. Well, that would certainly explain why the dog felt threatened. Again, not an excuse, but at least a reason for the out of character behaviour.

I will also look for an agility class for dog and I to go to. She has done some agility in the past and really enjoyed it. It will engage her mind and her body. I also mentioned to DH that perhaps he and corgi girl would do well to take some dog training classes together. He is open to the idea so I will approach our neighbor first who trains field retrievers for a living to see if he could provide some private sessions with DH and corgi girl at his kennel or in our home.

Things have gone well in the past 24 hours. Dog is liking having her own side of the baby gate in the kitchen and the baby didn't need to be in the kitchen playing in the water bowl anyway. I think we'll invest in a few of the swinging gates and life should function fairly normally.

Corgi girl has been exposed to lots and lots of kids in the past and has always been very good with kids, including preschoolers. We will take it one day at a time and go from there. At the slightest sign of aggression she will be packing her bags.

DH has had time to go over what happened, where he made a mistake, and what he could have done to prevent the issue. We will be diligent to keep these two seperated until baby can understand not to chase dogs in to corners.

I so appreciate all of you taking time to comment and provide suggestions even if they were hard to hear.

EqTrainer
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:20 PM
OP said:

This morning they were getting along well. Corgi girl was tolerating being petted on the head by baby (with supervision.) I talked to a trusted friend who knows my dog and baby. She can't believe the dog bit the baby. She is convinced dog must have been provoked.
--

You know.. it doesn't really matter WHY it happened. Or if the dog was provoked. Or not. Your first responsibility is to your CHILD, who is a year old and cannot possibly be expected to understand squat about dogs.

Rehome your dog. Or your kid, you pick.

minnie
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:28 PM
And what if the first sign of aggression is a chomp to the face? Is it really worth the risk? All it takes is ONE MOMENT. You can't take that moment back. Sorry, but I've seen it happen one to many times. There are NO second chances for dogs that bite babies. Not fair to the dog, not fair to the kid. Find the dog a good home and get another one when child is older.

SuperSTB
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:34 PM
I would get rid of the dog.

Some dogs just don't click with kids. And the toddler years just don't end at 18mos, 2rs, 3 yrs... that's a long time for a dog to be in a 'stress' situation.

gabz
Jan. 25, 2009, 12:48 PM
Having watched the dog whisperer - Cesar whatever - What he teaches makes tons of sense. and it applies to horse herds too...

Determine who the alpha is. The alpha must be Adult, Adult, Child, child, child, dog. Because you've had the Corgi longer than the child, it thinks it's above the child. So the dog has to be taught and must learn, that the child is as alpha as the adults.

I couldn't begin to tell you how to train the dog for this... but it's what has to be done. Until that happens, keep them separated. I would be ever fearful of the child crawling towards the dog's food and being attacked. I never like to hear that dogs go for the face. going for a hand, or arm ... totally different motive behind the dog's actions.

As the child grows and learns more and more, things will get better as well.

With older children, what helps is to have the children feed the animal and take away the food. Just like with horses. Whoever controls the food, controls the pack or the herd.

Very best wishes for a good outcome.

Nezzy
Jan. 25, 2009, 02:24 PM
NILIF = Nothing in life is free

Thank you for the input. I am reading it. Just to clarify we have been working with the dog since before baby came home. Problem is human in that things were going well and I let my guard down thinking hubby could watch dog and kid at same time. In retrospect I should have taken the dog upstairs with me. She would have been happy to hang out with me and it would be one less thing for hubby to worry about with kiddo downstairs.

I appreciate all the input. Talking to my husband today he now realizes it was his mistake not to recognize the dog had enough and to invite her to use her crate about 10 minutes before the incident. He also revealed that the dog was cornered. Well, that would certainly explain why the dog felt threatened. Again, not an excuse, but at least a reason for the out of character behaviour.

I will also look for an agility class for dog and I to go to. She has done some agility in the past and really enjoyed it. It will engage her mind and her body. I also mentioned to DH that perhaps he and corgi girl would do well to take some dog training classes together. He is open to the idea so I will approach our neighbor first who trains field retrievers for a living to see if he could provide some private sessions with DH and corgi girl at his kennel or in our home.

Things have gone well in the past 24 hours. Dog is liking having her own side of the baby gate in the kitchen and the baby didn't need to be in the kitchen playing in the water bowl anyway. I think we'll invest in a few of the swinging gates and life should function fairly normally.

Corgi girl has been exposed to lots and lots of kids in the past and has always been very good with kids, including preschoolers. We will take it one day at a time and go from there. At the slightest sign of aggression she will be packing her bags.

DH has had time to go over what happened, where he made a mistake, and what he could have done to prevent the issue. We will be diligent to keep these two seperated until baby can understand not to chase dogs in to corners.

I so appreciate all of you taking time to comment and provide suggestions even if they were hard to hear.

I support your decision. You will know if things get too stressed and won't work out. Good Luck to you.

RainyDayRide
Jan. 25, 2009, 02:42 PM
I'd just like to add to the above comments that I hope at some point you have a serious, sit-down discussion with your husband that during those brief periods he is watching the baby that THAT is what he is doing, not reading behind a newspaper, turning his back to do a task, etc. If you can't trust him enough to watch over kidlet, both of them will miss out on the great opportunity to get to know each other.

(Yes, I realized that moms can and do multi-task - that's hard to do for someone who is rarely charged with that responsibility.)

BelladonnaLily
Jan. 25, 2009, 02:51 PM
I was upstairs working on something when I hear my husband downstairs with our baby (almost a year) telling her "you need to leave the dog alone." Seconds later I hear a snarl and baby crying. I fly down the stairs and my husband hands me a bleeding baby.



Please tell me your husband was saying "you need to leave the dog alone" as in talking to himself, NOT expecting a less than one year baby to understand this? Please?

Dog bites baby in the face, however, superficial would mean dog would be gone. I, too, have had dog issues (none involve biting a human, though) and understand how hard this is. But biting a baby it really really really bad.

And letting baby crawl around on the floor with a biting dog is really really really bad too. Total separation IS the only solution, IMHO. If you can't part with the dog, it is your responsibility to make sure dog does not come into contact with the child. Ever. This is not an older child that can understand and make decisions...this is a baby for pete's sake. Next time the dog could do worse. I know someone that basically had their child's face reattached due to the family dog attacking him.

gloriginger
Jan. 25, 2009, 03:57 PM
I have to say thatit makes me really sad to read all of these posts stating that the OP should rehome her dog. Not that I don't love children - but it seems pretty clear from what was written by OP (no offense OP) that the dog was set up to fail. I really hate seeing ads to the effect of - "had child have to rehome dog."

The dog was cornered- she felt threatened. Yes the child doesn't know any better- but doesn't it really boil down to dad not paying attention to the situation? Sory I guess I just have a problem with this throw away metality. If the dog bite was unprovoked that's a whole different story.

OP - for agility classes check out cleanrun.com - they have a clubs section and it will list training places in you area.

Casey09
Jan. 25, 2009, 03:58 PM
Wow. I don't envy this decision.
One thing that I think people kind of skip over is that . . . you would re-home the dog where? How would you do that?
I think this sounds like a provoked bite by a dog that may be impatient with kiddos, not a vicious dog. However, the fact is that this dog would now be euthanized at a shelter. Have you ever "re-homed" an adult dog? It's hard. Probably most dogs that we live with could, in the right situation, bite a child. Once it happens, though, it is very very hard to re-home the dog. Very hard.
I think that, in a perfect, ideal world, maybe you could give the dog to an older relative or close friend who could crate the dog when kids are visiting. Is that an option?

enjoytheride
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:10 PM
It doesn't matter if the child poked a stick right in the dog's mouth. A good children's dog would never have even thought of biting. It's like if you flip someone off that cuts you off on the interstate and they follow you and shoot you. Yes, you shouldn't have flipped them off, but that didn't mean you deserved to die because you provoked them.

To the poster about teaching children, I'm going to go with no they can't be taught! At least at that young age. They don't associate poking the dog with getting bitten and it's a child's nature to poke, grab, prod, and move anything they can get their hands on.

dalpal
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:15 PM
I have to say thatit makes me really sad to read all of these posts stating that the OP should rehome her dog. Not that I don't love children - but it seems pretty clear from what was written by OP (no offense OP) that the dog was set up to fail. I really hate seeing ads to the effect of - "had child have to rehome dog."

The dog was cornered- she felt threatened. Yes the child doesn't know any better- but doesn't it really boil down to dad not paying attention to the situation? Sory I guess I just have a problem with this throw away metality. If the dog bite was unprovoked that's a whole different story.

OP - for agility classes check out cleanrun.com - they have a clubs section and it will list training places in you area.

I totally agree!!!! Sounds like the OP has a plan in place and I support you. :yes: No one here knows the situation, as no one saw it. For all any of you know, the child could have bit the dog's ear...and the dog is supposed to just grin and bear it????? The dog didn't go looking for a fight, merely defending itself.

OP..this is not directed at you, just a general statement. I commend you for trying to find a solution so your dog gets to remain with her family.

This is EXACTLY why so many dogs end up dying in shelters....yanked out of their homes because of poor family management. Babies/toddlers should not be allowed to terrorize family pets. Nor should anyone expect any dog/cat/etc to take being yanked, bitten, etc.

Reminds me of a story a good friend of mine told me once. Her lab had been given a rawhide, when her toddler son decided he wanted it. Dog snapped at child......friend repremanded BOTH/got her point across.....never had that situation again.

Casey09
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:16 PM
enjoytheride,
I think that there are dogs that are more tolerant than others (obviously), but I'm a big believer in never saying that ANY dog "doesn't bite." We as humans have a strong survival instinct, and dogs do as well. While they might not be in danger from a 1 yr old child, they may think they are and they will bite. I was taught as a child that if it has teeth, it bites (and I still believe that today).
I don't think that any dog should be left unsupervised with a child, ever. When I was a kid my pediatrician was a big believer in that because he saw many bites from people with dogs they thought were the perfect dog for kids. It happens. They bite. Supervise, supervise, supervise to prevent it.

vacation1
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:32 PM
I have to say thatit makes me really sad to read all of these posts stating that the OP should rehome her dog. Not that I don't love children - but it seems pretty clear from what was written by OP (no offense OP) that the dog was set up to fail. I really hate seeing ads to the effect of - "had child have to rehome dog." The dog was cornered- she felt threatened. Yes the child doesn't know any better- but doesn't it really boil down to dad not paying attention to the situation? Sory I guess I just have a problem with this throw away metality. If the dog bite was unprovoked that's a whole different story.

I think that you're stretching the idea of 'throwaway society' a bit here. Rehoming - or euthanizing - a dog who bites is a painful and responsible thing to do in response to a serious act of aggression. It's not like dumping a dog because he doesn't match the new drapes. And most dog bites are 'provoked' unless the cause is organic. There's a big gulf between what dog registering something as a provocation, and dog asserting its will through a bite to get rid of that provocation. Most dogs don't bite; most dogs managed as carefully as the OP's corgi has been 99% of the time will not bite the first time they're away from their thoughtful handler. The corgi just has a temperament that isn't suited for a baby - the pred and just the timing could play into it, but the decision to take matters into her own paws and bite the baby to get her to go away is a temperament issue. The dog could have gotten away from the baby - a 1-year-old can't outrun a mature dog. It is possible for an owner to manage a dog who bites, but it is not easy or simple, and sometimes it is not practical. I made my earlier, negative comment largely because I feel like the situation as described is setting the dog up to bite again in the future. Given that dogs learn from each aggressive act, the second bite is likely to be more serious.

Mozart
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:49 PM
Another vote for rehome the dog. Honestly, it is not going to be worth the anxiety this is going to cause you trying to keep them separated. Yes, children are capable of learning but they will make mistakes on their path of learning. In this case the consequence is injury or disfigurement. You need to have dogs that are going to be tolerant, not just with your child but with any child.

I am not one of those people who thinks that dogs must put up with mauling from kids. My child learned very quickly what is an acceptable way to touch an animal and what is not and that when dogs went into their crates they were untouchable.

But truly, the reality of having them separated at all times is going to make you crazy. Do you plan to have more children? What happens when you have a toddler or a pre-schooler and a baby and dogs to supervise at all times? You need to know that the dog will cut your kids a bit of slack so you can at least go to the bathroom for a minute and not worry.

I almost had to face this decision when my son was born...our old vizla was by then a bit cranky and she would snap is you startled her or woke her up. All was fine while son was a newborn but I agonized about what to do as he started to crawl. The dog did me the biggest favour in the world (although it did not seem so at the time) by developing a pancreatic tumour and dying a natural death. I had another dog, the two had been together for years...could I give up just one (my mother was prepared to take her) or would that be cruel? How could I give up both of my dogs? Her death turned out to be a blessing.

When I got sort of talked into taking another dog, a kind but brainless Golden with a reputation as a runaway....he was on trial. My son was in his exer-saucer and the dog walked up to him. My son grabbed him by the lip and squeezed. I leapt up to intervene but the dog just closed his eyes and wagged his tail. Right then and there I told the dog "Okay, you can stay forever".

THAT is the kind of dog you need when you have young children.

jeano
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:55 PM
Many of the herding breeds are not reccomended for homes with tiny children because of the problem of nipping. This in fact sounds like an inhibited bite or nip to me--but that doesnt mean it isnt serious. I've been in an analogous situation, dog knocked child down, child sustained wound on face, and I had my dog euthanized. Dog was of a breed and dispostion such to make rehoming an unlikely option, and the dog had bitten before. Dog was four, so was child (this was my stepdaughter, I had the dog long before I ever met and married her daddy.)

I made many mistakes with that dog but I loved her. I would not risk my stepchild's safety, and I loved her more. Just saying all this to let you know I know just how much this kind of situation hurts. I have never felt like I made the wrong decision, but, yes, it was perhaps the hardest thing I ever did.

I would recommend rehoming your dog via corgi rescue or something similar or find a friend or relation willing to take the animal such that you can maintain some contact if this is your "heart dog". I agree with other posters who point out that only a moment's inattention over the course of YEARS could result in a repeated bite. I myself would not consider border collies, corgi's aussies, cattle dogs etc as good dogs with toddlers or very active or inattentive kids--its the child's nature to poke, provoke, and run, and the dog's nature to grapple, chase, subdue and nip in an effort to control.

I am so sorry you are going through this.

Seal Harbor
Jan. 25, 2009, 05:09 PM
A child should never be with a dog without supervision, not tiny children. It is not fair to either the dog or the child. I love how people expect the dog to be more responsible than the adult human being that was in the room not paying attention, not removing the child from the vicinity of the dog or giving the dog an opportunity to escape.

The dog is a dog, they all have teeth, they all can and will bite if pushed to their breaking point.

I would roll up a newspaper and beat the husband over the head with it, while saying "Bad Dad!!"

springer
Jan. 25, 2009, 05:12 PM
i think you are doing the right thing by trying to keep the dog. Dogs can only handle so much grabbing. Once the baby is older you won't have any more problems. YOU know your dog better than anyone. I hate that so many people are willing to GIVE up a pet instead of doing the work and fixing the problem. Dogs are not disposable. They are part of the family and they have feelings, too. There are trainers out there who would be willing to come to your home, and help you.

I agree with Nezzy. However, I have always said that dogs and small kids don't mix. I can't even count the number of instances I've heard where people have kids and then end up having to "dispose" of the dog, one way or another, for one reason or another. Kids can be VERY hard on dogs- pulling their tails, harrassing them, even hurting them, and they are expected to be saints about it. I wouldn't blame the dogs AT ALL for being intolerant, but they are always the ones that end up suffering for it anyway.

merrygoround
Jan. 25, 2009, 05:29 PM
I suspect "mommypeanut" has the accurate take on things. sometimes second chances aren't worth giving. Decide on your prioriities.

gloriginger
Jan. 25, 2009, 06:02 PM
I think that you're stretching the idea of 'throwaway society' a bit here. Rehoming - or euthanizing - a dog who bites is a painful and responsible thing to do in response to a serious act of aggression. It's not like dumping a dog because he doesn't match the new drapes. And most dog bites are 'provoked' unless the cause is organic. There's a big gulf between what dog registering something as a provocation, and dog asserting its will through a bite to get rid of that provocation. Most dogs don't bite; most dogs managed as carefully as the OP's corgi has been 99% of the time will not bite the first time they're away from their thoughtful handler. The corgi just has a temperament that isn't suited for a baby - the pred and just the timing could play into it, but the decision to take matters into her own paws and bite the baby to get her to go away is a temperament issue. The dog could have gotten away from the baby - a 1-year-old can't outrun a mature dog. It is possible for an owner to manage a dog who bites, but it is not easy or simple, and sometimes it is not practical. I made my earlier, negative comment largely because I feel like the situation as described is setting the dog up to bite again in the future. Given that dogs learn from each aggressive act, the second bite is likely to be more serious.


See that is just the thing though- people are making these judgements simply on what the OP explains--they weren't there they didn't see what happened, yet they are quick to say "get rid of the dog." I don't see how that is stretching the truth.

Sorry, but when you get an animal you make a commitment to that animal- for it's life. You choose to then have a child, then you need to figure out a way to be successful. As a parent it is your job to protect your child. As a dog owner it is your job to protect them and set them up for success. It seems like there was a lack of both in this situation. So the solution is get rid of the dog- or worse- kill the dog? Sorry- seems pretty throw away to me...

And yes, a dog might be able to outrun a child- but the OP said the dog was cornered. I also disagree that most dogs won't bite-most dogs will bite- first they give warnings- ears back, a low growl, an air snap- and then a bite. From what the OP said- these signs/warnings were there- but the father did not pay attention to them and the dog was set up to fail.

I like dogs, and I believe their nature to be pure and in the moment. I think from what you have written it is obvious we see dogs in very different lights.

Weighaton
Jan. 25, 2009, 06:07 PM
We have the exact same problem with one of the farm dogs. If the kids are around he has to be in his pen NO EXCEPTIONS. I can promise you that no matter what you do that dog is going to bite your child again. Next time it probably won't be a nip. Rehome him or agree that 100% of the time the corgi is up when the baby is out.

dalpal
Jan. 25, 2009, 06:19 PM
See that is just the thing though- people are making these judgements simply on what the OP explains--they weren't there they didn't see what happened, yet they are quick to say "get rid of the dog." I don't see how that is stretching the truth.

Sorry, but when you get an animal you make a commitment to that animal- for it's life. You choose to then have a child, then you need to figure out a way to be successful. As a parent it is your job to protect your child. As a dog owner it is your job to protect them and set them up for success. It seems like there was a lack of both in this situation. So the solution is get rid of the dog- or worse- kill the dog? Sorry- seems pretty throw away to me...

And yes, a dog might be able to outrun a child- but the OP said the dog was cornered. I also disagree that most dogs won't bite-most dogs will bite- first they give warnings- ears back, a low growl, an air snap- and then a bite. From what the OP said- these signs/warnings were there- but the father did not pay attention to them and the dog was set up to fail.

I like dogs, and I believe their nature to be pure and in the moment. I think from what you have written it is obvious we see dogs in very different lights.


I agree with you....there's alot of ASSUMING on this thread.....dog set up to fail and yet, it is the one who loses. :(

Sounds to me like the OP is trying to work it out/wants to work it out.....where there is a will, there is a way. Not everyone is quick to toss in the towel and take the dog off to the pound or to the vet. Rehoming adult dogs isn't as easy as some think.

I'm just tired of living in a disposable country......hey, not working out, time to toss it. :( I would bet money, there is a trainer or two out there who can help you out, give you ideas.

Mozart
Jan. 25, 2009, 06:25 PM
As a dog owner it is your job to protect them and set them up for success.

I completely agree. And sometimes that means finding them a home that is more suitable for them; where they won't have to kept away from everyone when the the toddler is around (which is almost all the time) and where they can be left alone from the misguided affection of very small children.

It is not about "disposing" the dog, it is about finding a solution that keeps everyone safe, including the dog.

mkevent
Jan. 25, 2009, 06:32 PM
FWIW I'll through my 2 cents in. We had a border collie before we had our daughters. A young child cornered my border collie and frightened her-she was nervous around children ever since. When we had our children, it was always a real possibility that she might bite them or any small children in our house. I always crated her when I couldn't monitor the situation like a hawk. I taught my daughters to be careful around her, to back off when she gave the signs,etc. My children learned to respect the animals and not expect them to take abuse-maybe it is a good lesson in how to read body language, how to respect space,etc. If you always monitor the situation and crate the corgi if that's not possible, I think there is a workable solution. Did I worry I'd be sued if something happened? Yes! I did everything in my power to be sure it didn't. That border collie lived to be 16 and we still miss her-my daughters even say what a great dog she was. In the interest of full discosure, I'll admit I now have 3 corgis, so perhaps I'm biased. One of them is a rescue-we've actually rescued 2 adult corgis, so if that ends up being the direction that has to be taken, there are loving homes out there for rescue dogs, also. I hope this helps and it works out the best for all of you-2 and 4 legged creatures alike!

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 25, 2009, 06:46 PM
I think you have a good plan in place, and congratulations for not freaking out and doing something drastic with the poor dog.:)

Accidents happen. If every one of us who were nipped as children disappeared off the face of the planet, it'd be a lonely old world.

My brother, with questionable judgment, got a standard poodle puppy when his son was about a year old. doG knows what the breeder was thinking - this is a nice dog from a good breeder. Anyway. Poodlie wound up nipping number one son twice in the face and number two daughter once.

Why? Not because my brother and his wife aren't vigilant. They never leave dog and small children unsupervised. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of their nanny, who thought crating was cruel. *sigh* I'll admit, by the third nip - which was scarily close to my niece's eye - I was prepared to see how my border collies would feel about a poodle housemate. But brother and SIL got wiser, fired the nanny, and of course the kids got older. Now there's just one who's a toddler and can't be told. He's a pretty tough kid, being the youngest of three, and of course the poodle's all grown up and pretty well bomb-proofed to children by now.

Just sayin'. This too shall pass. Agility's a fine idea, if you have time, but if not? It'll be ok.:yes:

ETA: mkevent - my BC, Violet, is unfortunately not child-friendly. Not out of malice, just bc-squirrellyness.:lol: The other two BC aren't so hair-trigger, but Violet, aka She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, will have no motion going on which she cannot control.:winkgrin: I guess that's why she was abandoned, which is how I got her - my policeman friend found her roaming Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, and despite one hell of a search, we never found her owners.

EqTrainer
Jan. 25, 2009, 07:04 PM
I should be clear - I think the dog should be rehomed, not just for the childs sake, but the dogs sake.

Some dogs don't want to be family dogs. I would not want to have a dog who had to be crated during all our family activities. Poor dog. Retraining.. well, the consequences of that not being 100% successful are too high. And most retraining attempts, with dogs and horses, backslide at least a little bit at times.

I have a dog who is waiting to be rehomed because he has nipped my daughter more than once. We have retrained him. It appears to be successful.. but I don't think he really wants to be around children in general. I have two.. they aren't leaving. So he's going to go live w/a friend whose kids are grown and gone. Just waiting on a perimeter fence.

Just My Style
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:01 PM
"See that is just the thing though- people are making these judgements simply on what the OP explains--they weren't there they didn't see what happened, yet they are quick to say "get rid of the dog."

Yes, because getting rid of the child is not usually an option. If two creatures can not co-exist, then they need to be in separate homes... and that means the dog.

And we were concerned about our (neutered male) Great Dane when we brought our baby home. He was raised with our older son, who was 2 years old when we got the puppy. The GD is great with kids, but the infant scared the daylights out of him. I called his breeder and asked for some tips to help him adjust. She was wonderful. And the last thing out of her mouth was that she would help us out in any way that we needed. If that meant that we felt that our Dane could not/ would not adjust to the baby then she would take him back. And she said we had nothing to worry about because she would not re-home him. She would keep him as her own. So we did the things she told us and had the peace of mind that he was going to be ok either in our home or hers. And it all worked out. Had it not worked out- he would have been leaving. My kids are just too valuable.

mickeydoodle
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:40 PM
I do not like children, until they are about 21 and have some sense- and then I only like the ones with sense, and I love dogs. However, it is ABSOLUTELY INEXCUSABLE for the dog to bite your child. Provocation does not matter one bit. Good grief, the dog BIT YOUR CHILD IN THE FACE!!!!!!!! It is extremely lucky that the child did not loose an eye, a portion of their lip, etc. Stop making excuses, this dog is too alpha and needs to be beta immediately. Time alone with the dog is not the answer, this would reinforce the dog feeling that it is superior to the child. The dog needs serious re-training. Not just to avoid the child, but to be submissive, to be subordinate to the child- I know this is not the "touchy feely the dog will do it because it loves me" school of training, but firm boundaries are the only thing a dog, or wolf in a pack, really understand. This Corgi needs to be the lowest pack member, NOW.

EqTrainer
Jan. 25, 2009, 11:40 PM
"Time alone with the dog is not the answer, this would reinforce the dog feeling that it is superior to the child"
--

I really have to agree w/this. Doing this was part of the issue w/my dog who has nipped my daughter.

gully's pilot
Jan. 26, 2009, 09:04 AM
You ought to look into liability issues, too, just so you know where you stand. In our state, after one recorded bite the dog is "dangerous", and if it bites someone again the owner is on the hook for liability and can get sued until tomorrow--or, if it bites the owner's child, owner can be in trouble with child protective services. Big trouble--kids-in-foster-care trouble.

My neighbors euthanized their German sheperd after hit bit their ten-year-old. He'd never bitten before, and they don't know why he did, the child had grown up with the dog and never provoked him--but they couldn't risk it.

For all of you who say "of course a dog will bite if provoked"---when my sister was about 9 months old, my mom and I were bringing groceries in and had put her down on the floor. A few minutes later we heard a frantic sort of whine--ran into the living room. Lauren had crawled up to our Shiz Tsu, grabbed the long hair around the dog's muzzle, and was pulling on it, laughing. The dog was making noise without opening her mouth, so we'd come resuce her but the baby wouldn't be hurt. My sister was a bonus baby--my brother and I were in our teens--and my mom, never a dog person, had threatened to rehome the dog the moment it did anything aggressive toward the baby. Mom scooped up Lauren and said to the dog, "Okay. You can stay."

fordtraktor
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:38 AM
I should be clear - I think the dog should be rehomed, not just for the childs sake, but the dogs sake.

Some dogs don't want to be family dogs. I would not want to have a dog who had to be crated during all our family activities. Poor dog. Retraining.. well, the consequences of that not being 100% successful are too high. And most retraining attempts, with dogs and horses, backslide at least a little bit at times.

I have a dog who is waiting to be rehomed because he has nipped my daughter more than once. We have retrained him. It appears to be successful.. but I don't think he really wants to be around children in general. I have two.. they aren't leaving. So he's going to go live w/a friend whose kids are grown and gone. Just waiting on a perimeter fence.

EqT, bravo for doing what is right for your dog and your daughter.

"Rehoming" does not mean "send to the pound." The best way to set a dog that doesn't tolerate children up for success is to find it a loving, child-free home. And of course, to keep them separated until you do. OP, you already know your dog has not been happy any more since baby has ursurped her place in the household. Maybe a home where she could be the "star" would be best for the dog -- and that is just not possible with a baby around.

springer
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:41 AM
You ought to look into liability issues, too, just so you know where you stand. In our state, after one recorded bite the dog is "dangerous", and if it bites someone again the owner is on the hook for liability and can get sued until tomorrow--or, if it bites the owner's child, owner can be in trouble with child protective services. Big trouble--kids-in-foster-care trouble.

My neighbors euthanized their German sheperd after hit bit their ten-year-old. He'd never bitten before, and they don't know why he did, the child had grown up with the dog and never provoked him--but they couldn't risk it.

For all of you who say "of course a dog will bite if provoked"---when my sister was about 9 months old, my mom and I were bringing groceries in and had put her down on the floor. A few minutes later we heard a frantic sort of whine--ran into the living room. Lauren had crawled up to our Shiz Tsu, grabbed the long hair around the dog's muzzle, and was pulling on it, laughing. The dog was making noise without opening her mouth, so we'd come resuce her but the baby wouldn't be hurt. My sister was a bonus baby--my brother and I were in our teens--and my mom, never a dog person, had threatened to rehome the dog the moment it did anything aggressive toward the baby. Mom scooped up Lauren and said to the dog, "Okay. You can stay."

Sorry to point this out, but that's animal abuse. People that expect a dog to put up with abuse should NOT HAVE KIDS. Or they shouldn't have animals in the first place with an attitude like that. I feel very sorry for pets who have to coexist with obnoxious kids.

Silence
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:45 AM
One more reason to add to my list of reason to never have kids.

spurgirl
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:46 AM
I raised my two kids, now teenagers, with a shepard mix (a 2 YO stray with no previous known history), and a little later, 2 Rottweilers-one of which was a known grouch. Never a growl or bite from any...so my advice is retrain the Corgi now, or rehome. She has been pushed to her limit-you mentioned previous warnings, so she's now at the biting point, and will probably stay there. Husband needs a swift kick and retraining as well, it seems obvious dog was sending out warnings WHICH HE SAW, but yet he did nothing but a mild reprimand (to a baby, no less). He needs to be a little more involved with safe parenting techniques. As for the baby, she's a baby...playpen, anyone? If you insist on keeping the dog, retrain, utilize baby gates, the crate, AND a playpen when you need a few minutes alone-which it sounds like you desperately need here and there. That way baby, dog, and husband can be in the same room, and no one feels "imprisoned" for too long. Best of luck to you!!

Bogie
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:58 AM
Here's my two cents. I only read the first page, so forgive me if this is redundant.

I have a Westie that we adopted when he was a year old. He had been raised with kids.

My daughter was 2 when we got him and would follow him around and pull at him. He snapped at her but didn't actually bite. My immediate response was to rehome him, but first I called in a dog trainer. The trainer explained to me that the dog needed to understand that he was not in charge of the child; the child was higher on the food chain. He also said the dog needed a safe place to go where the child couldn't follow him. It sounds like you've addressed that with the self crating.

Trainer had me do obedience training with the dog so that he was really listening. Nothing extraordinary -- heeling, sitting, staying, etc. My daughter was too young to participate but I did have the dog sit, stay, down when she was with us. I noticed an immediate and positive change in the dog once he understood the food chain in our house. He was at the bottom but would not be abused by the child.

The dog never snapped at a child again. In fact, one time I had him at a school picnic (leashed) and a small child came over, grabbed the hair between his ears and tried to lift him off the ground. The dog looked at me and yelped but didn't even snap. I disengaged the child from the dog and gave the dog a lot of praise. This dog understands that he should always look to me for instructions.

We've now had the dog 9 years. He has never, ever snapped or growled at a child again. He just needed to understand his place and he needed to know that we would also keep him safe.

Corgis are smart, independent dogs (somewhat like Westies). I think your dog needs some additional training and it needs to be consistent (hubby needs to participate too). Some dogs have a hard time accepting that as a child grows from a baby it becomes their boss. Dogs often feel protective of children but also try to dominate them. Give her a chance but also keep your child safe. Hopefully they can co-exist fine.

I agree with the statement below: In this situation, you need to teach the dog. The child is too young. Some dogs are naturally tolerant, others must be taught. BTW, I had a standard poodle when I was growing up. My younger brother learned to stand by grabbing hold of the dog's coat and pulling himself upright. That dog never moved -- he just stood there and waited.


It doesn't matter if the child poked a stick right in the dog's mouth. A good children's dog would never have even thought of biting. It's like if you flip someone off that cuts you off on the interstate and they follow you and shoot you. Yes, you shouldn't have flipped them off, but that didn't mean you deserved to die because you provoked them.

To the poster about teaching children, I'm going to go with no they can't be taught! At least at that young age. They don't associate poking the dog with getting bitten and it's a child's nature to poke, grab, prod, and move anything they can get their hands on.


Good luck!

lcw579
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:00 AM
IMy brother, with questionable judgment, got a standard poodle puppy when his son was about a year old. doG knows what the breeder was thinking - this is a nice dog from a good breeder. Anyway. Poodlie wound up nipping number one son twice in the face and number two daughter once.
.

This was actually the most shocking post to me. My family has had Standard's for over 30 years, from different breeders, and not once has one of our dogs ever even looked cross eyed at a child. I got my present girl when my oldest daughter was 3 and middle daughter was 1. Daughter #3 arrived the next summer. Even as a puppy she was exceptionally tolerant. Although, I did always make it clear that there was to me no mauling of the dog under any circumstances. (Sorry just had to defend the breed - thinking this must have been an overbred puppymill dog?)

I agree with the poster below that children should be taught (and even at 1 can be taught) respect for animals. I did it with mine, you can do it with yours. My children also were with dogs at Granny's house and Aunt's and Uncle's houses and respect for any strange animals was one of the first and most valuable lessons they learned.



I don't have kids but can't they be taught? Just like not touching the stove or playing in the street? I have a little dog and kids seem to love to come up to her and maul her. She's not crazy about it and I try to always rescue her. Not sure what she'd do when
completely cornered and abused by a relentless toddler. We were all raised with dogs. My mom always sided with the dogs. We were not allowed to tease or abuse them in any way. There were five of us and no one ever was bit, dog or child. Everyone has to learn boundaries. Good time for your daughter to learn. Meanwhile, protect the dog and crate or lock her away from the baby till she learns to leave the dog alone.

Only you know both your dog and your child. If you think you can come up with a workable plan to train both the dog and the child than go for it. Who are we to judge? We can offer advice as to what worked for us, but ultimately the decision is yours. Good luck.

GreyHunterHorse
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:05 AM
As someone who just shelled out a few hundred dollars to treat one of my fur-children, I can NOT IMAGINE dumping them -- EVER. You make a commitment to an animal just like you do your child -- do people put their kids up for adoption if they act out, do drugs, punch another kid? I mean, I'm just asking, since the amount of suggestions for getting rid of the dog on this thread completely amaze me. I guess I can see why there are so many rescues/shelters/crazy ads on craigslist for these poor animals.

OP -- I hope you find a solution. I am sure it is not an easy situation to deal with. I just hope it works out for the best for ALL involved. :cry:

gully's pilot
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:11 AM
I totally agree that what my baby sister did was abusive toward our dog--BUT, she was nine months old! She was not being abusive--she was far too young to know any better. She was well supervised and taught as soon as possible how to act properly around pets. My point is, things happen, and dogs have to not bite babies. Period.

For all the people who say their dogs are like children--honestly, you can only say that because you don't have children. I've never met a single parent who would not put their child's welfare over that of any dog, no matter how well loved.

And, as many people have pointed out, rehoming the OP's dog might be better for the dog than making it lead a very restrained life. It might not--but it might. It's not bad for the OP to find the dog a better situation.

springer
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:25 AM
As someone who just shelled out a few hundred dollars to treat one of my fur-children, I can NOT IMAGINE dumping them -- EVER. You make a commitment to an animal just like you do your child -- do people put their kids up for adoption if they act out, do drugs, punch another kid? I mean, I'm just asking, since the amount of suggestions for getting rid of the dog on this thread completely amaze me. I guess I can see why there are so many rescues/shelters/crazy ads on craigslist for these poor animals.

OP -- I hope you find a solution. I am sure it is not an easy situation to deal with. I just hope it works out for the best for ALL involved. :cry:

WELL SAID Grey Hunter Horse! I completely agree. It's AMAZING how many "get rid of the dog" posts there are here. People need to train their KIDS respect and love for household pets. It's an attitude these kids should be brought up with right from the start. It freaks me out to read these dog abuse stories and the fact that people find that acceptable. Don't have animals, people! They are a commitment, just like your kids!

gully's pilot
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:45 AM
You can't fully train a child to respect an animal until he or she is about four years old. You can work on it starting at about 12 months old, but not before that, and in most cases the child will not be reliable until age four. This is not because children are abusive, but because they don't understand how to modulate their interactions.

Most dogs accept this. Many dogs--my old Labs come to mind--love being around children, no matter how small or untrained.

When the dog bites the child, that's child abuse--and a dog bite has much more serious ramifications than a child pulling hair or ears, or patting too hard. My husband is an eye surgeon; he's had to sew up some serious wounds and has seen children lose sight in an eye due to dog bites.

Also, remember what I said about my sister being a bonus baby? sometimes life doesn't work like you planned.

Bogie
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:52 AM
You can't fully train a child to respect an animal until he or she is about four years old. You can work on it starting at about 12 months old, but not before that, and in most cases the child will not be reliable until age four. This is not because children are abusive, but because they don't understand how to modulate their interactions.

Most dogs accept this. Many dogs--my old Labs come to mind--love being around children, no matter how small or untrained.

When the dog bites the child, that's child abuse--and a dog bite has much more serious ramifications than a child pulling hair or ears, or patting too hard. My husband is an eye surgeon; he's had to sew up some serious wounds and has seen children lose sight in an eye due to dog bites.

Also, remember what I said about my sister being a bonus baby? sometimes life doesn't work like you planned.

Exactly! Years ago I had a sitter that wanted to bring a dog with her. We tried it once and the dog growled and snapped at my then 3 year old son.

Her response: your child needs to learn how to behave around my dog.

My response: your dog needs to learn how to behave around children. Really, am I supposed to take my child the the ER and tell the doctor that I knew the dog was not child friendly but I let it stay in my house until it finally bit my son? I think not. Dog spent the rest of the day in the basement and it posed a huge question about her judgment.

Really folks, dogs are not children. They don't have the same rights as children and generally, they are happier when they are treated as dogs, not kids. That's not to say you should abuse dogs; rather, dogs understand being part of a pack and you need make sure they don't think they're in charge.

JanM
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:58 AM
Remember that dogs sometimes bite from pain-hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other chronic conditions can make them unsuitable to live with little, fast moving kids that may not mean to hurt the dog but can. The OP and the husband will have to be 100% perfect with the gates-and if you aren't both willing to do that for several years then you will have to make other choices for the dog and the baby's sake.

jeano
Jan. 26, 2009, 12:01 PM
-- do people put their kids up for adoption if they act out, do drugs, punch another kid? I mean, I'm just asking, since the amount of suggestions for getting rid of the dog on this thread completely amaze me. I guess I can see why there are so many rescues/shelters/crazy ads on craigslist for these poor animals.

Sadly, the answer is, yes, they do. Or voluntarily sign them into foster care when they are so bad they are completely un-adoptable.

LisaB
Jan. 26, 2009, 12:04 PM
I wasn't going to reply just because most of you are right. Either try to train the dog (dog isn't trained from the get-go in order for this occurrence to happen) or the dog just isn't a family dog. It happens.
But for those of you who have the audacity to choose a PET over your CHILD are completely insane. You would rather have the child go to the hospital, have a horrific experience and possibly die because you think you can change a dog's personality and demeanor? Come on!

trubandloki
Jan. 26, 2009, 12:43 PM
Honestly if you are going to re-home something for messing up it sounds like the hubby person should be the one to go, not the dog or the kid.

It sounds to me like the OP has a good plan and should give it a chance prior to writing off a dog that has been good and was forced into this issue.


I totally agree that no dog, even one 'known' to be child friendly should be left alone with a small child, ever.

elctrnc
Jan. 26, 2009, 12:45 PM
I didn't notice that anyone else addressed the Prednisone. Prednisone can alter behavior (and cause aggression is rare cases), and it's possible that the Prednisone had an effect on this situation. Personally, I would keep everyone separated until the dog is off the prednisone and then reassess. If you didn't see any signs of this before the medication (most animals give warning signs before they bite), it's possible that they will be fine.

2DogsFarm
Jan. 26, 2009, 01:22 PM
I am not a dog person (despite my username) and I expect that will disqualify me for the dog expets on here.

BUT: I would not want the baby and this dog in the same house.
You were lucky this bite did not do more damage, it easily could have.
Please consider rehoming this dog to a childless home.
The bottom line here is your child's safety, not your wish to keep the dog.

I had a labmix that was fine with kids until he got older - into his teens.
When I caught him cornering the 2yo granddaughter he got confined to a bedroom whenever kids were at the house.
He was too old to rehome at that time.

Griffyn
Jan. 26, 2009, 01:34 PM
well Ok. I agree with the dog is yours, you could retrain, some simple obedience might help, etc etc. But this lady is at the breaking point. She cant trust her HUSBAND with the child for an hour, much less manage toddler-dog, horse- dog, human and all of the above interactions. Just get the dog out of the house before it all goes haywire. Other people may have great interventions in mind, but I dont see the OP having the ability to execute a consistent plan. IMO the real problem is no playpen and a husband whose less than enthusiastic, but I dont live there. The only way to ensure the child is safe is to rehome the dog, in THIS situation.

LisaB
Jan. 26, 2009, 01:38 PM
Good call, Griffyn!
Who does all the farm chores? Is that just you as well?

BuddyRoo
Jan. 26, 2009, 02:09 PM
I read all....

Good to see OP has a plan. Many good points brought up.

I will say that during my time working at a clinic, there were more times than I can count that a husband or wife brought in the dog they'd had before kids to be euth'd because dog "attacked" child.

Maybe there were some cases where the dog really did "attack"...but frankly, IMHO, it was a PEOPLE problem, not a dog problem.

Some of the families agreed to let us help them with some training and options--many of which have been answered here. Because in most cases, the folks who a dog before kids treated the dog AS a kid and dog really didn't have the best understanding of who was in charge.

Further, they had unrealistic expectations of their kids! I mean come on...."Don't touch the dog" to a 1 YO? ????? Grossly overestimating the ability of a child that age.

Anyway. Water under the bridge at this point...the dog has bitten someone.

At this point, I think based on the frustration coming through in your OP, hubby needs to step up to the plate here. He's not a child. He needs to clue in on how things should be handled...not only with the dog, but with the child, and with the rest of the household responsibilities. I see you said that you talked to him. That's good.

Next, dog needs some additional training and boundaries. When not crated or separated from child, dog should be on a long leash so that you can preempt any dangerous situation. You can read the dog. You can interact with dog and child. You can preempt child from annoying the dog. But someone has to be RIGHT THERE. Period.

Someone else mentioned overall temperment....also mentioned labs. I happen to have one of the types who thinks that little kids of any size are just the most fabulous things he's ever encountered. He will let them crawl all over him as wee ones, then dress him up in beads and hats when they get older. He will let them curl up on his dog bed, share his dog food (much to mom's chagrin!) etc. He's great.

But he's still a dog, and I wouldn't leave him "alone" with any one.

Ensign
Jan. 26, 2009, 02:45 PM
This was actually the most shocking post to me. My family has had Standard's for over 30 years, from different breeders, and not once has one of our dogs ever even looked cross eyed at a child. I got my present girl when my oldest daughter was 3 and middle daughter was 1. Daughter #3 arrived the next summer. Even as a puppy she was exceptionally tolerant. Although, I did always make it clear that there was to me no mauling of the dog under any circumstances. (Sorry just had to defend the breed - thinking this must have been an overbred puppymill dog?)

Just to add to this.....I grew up with a standard poodle and have a permanent scar on my hand from being bitten by her when I was a child.

Dog came 1st as a pup, I came shortly after. I've seen pictures of her laying in bed with my mother and I as a baby. From what I know I was toddler aged at the time of the bite, but no idea what prompted it. I've been raised around animals since infancy so grew up with respect for them.

My parents didn't rehome the dog, and she never bit anyone in my family ever again (but god help the mailman if he ever broke in! LOL).

I like dogs, but I'm not a dog lover per say. I'd probably still be inclined to do some serious training with said Corgi, and keep her and the child seperate as well. Our poodle lived with us until she was humanley put down at about age 13 with failing bladder and kidneys.

As an aside, when I was a teenager we got a purebred Australian Sheppard pup from a fellow ApHC member. Beautiful dog, white (I know..I know....) with small bits of blue merle on his head and bum. I did basic obedience with him from a few months old up. Sit, stay, down, walk properly on leash, etc. He was taken to horse shows, socialized with other dogs. Before he was a year old he developed into a Jekyl and Hyde character. Fine one moment, snarling the next for simply looking at him. This dog had love, training, and all the stimulation an Aussie could ask for with two pet goats, five horses and 5+ acres to run and herd on all day. He made several snaps at family members for walking by him when he was eating, and finally grabbed my foot one day. There was no question in his case....there was no re-homing for him. He took up residence in the pet cemetary under the lilac tree. This was many, many years ago, but in hindsight, crating would have been a good option for this dog for other reasons. He was also a potent destroyer of things....shoes, the new linoleum kitchen floor, a FLAT, STRAIGHT wall in the bathroom, every rung of the kitchen chairs, you name it. And this wasn't a dog left inside and unstimulated all day.....sheesh. NEVER AGAIN on the Aussies!!

A one time nip, I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt (with increased supervision). Repeated issues get far less sympathy.

Nicker
Jan. 26, 2009, 03:26 PM
I agree with EqTrainer.

What type of life is this dog destined to live? Spending most of her time locked in a room or crate could likely make her even more frustrated. Agility class once or twice a week is not adequate excercise.

I can understand you wanting to make this work, I know I would feel the same. But your child is only one, you've got another 4 years of toddler stages. My youngest is 6 and still occasionally trips over the dog or bumps her in some way.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 26, 2009, 03:51 PM
My family has had Standard's for over 30 years, from different breeders, and not once has one of our dogs ever even looked cross eyed at a child. <snip> Although, I did always make it clear that there was to me no mauling of the dog under any circumstances. (Sorry just had to defend the breed - thinking this must have been an overbred puppymill dog?)

Certainly not!:eek: I'd never speak to my brother again if he patronized a puppy mill. His Standard is a well-bred dog from a breeder/exhibitor on the AKC circuit. I know because I helped him find the breeder.

But the nipping incidents weren't the dog's fault. The nanny refused to keep the dog crated, but she'd zone out on her soaps and not supervise the kids with the dog. The last nip happened because my niece fell on the dog's rib cage while he was sound asleep. Unsurprisingly, he jerked awake with his mouth open and unfortunately ran into her face with his teeth. He didn't bite down, but it broke the baby's skin all the same.

I certainly didn't mean to cast aspersions on Standard Poodles. I think they're great dogs. But I also think getting your first puppy when you have a toddler and an infant is kind of asking for trouble. That's what I meant about "questionable judgment."

mickeydoodle
Jan. 26, 2009, 04:03 PM
this is a note about bites from a professional dog trainer's web site:


"Maybe you can give us your point of view. We have had Snowball for 4 ½ years. I took him to obedience training when he was one year old just to make sure we were keeping him in check to be a house dog living with my husband and our two children 2 and 4 years old. The first sign of aggression came when he bit me in the face when he was about 4 mos. old for just picking him up to take him in from outside. Then he bit our two year old son on the hand for messing with his food when eating, which we thought we corrected by feeding him alone away from everyone. The vet said that this would probably correct the situation.
When he turned 4 years old we noticed that he become more aggressive now towards our 2 year old daughter. It was like he was two different dogs. Playing with her a lot then growling when she would approach him. Night and day. He acted like he loved her but would growl if she got close to his face. He also bit my husband during Thanksgiving when he pulled him by the collar away from the table after he growled at our daughter.
The bottom line is he eventually bit her in the face when she hugged him and she had to undergo facial surgery. I feel like I have failed my daughter and Snowball for we tried to put him in an Animal Rescue which refused him and the vet said it was time for Euthanasia. I am a non-working parent and always have had close supervision with him and the kids. I was less than a foot away when the bite occurred. Bad breeding? We tried to keep the upper hand not let him rule the household? But I think that since he bit more than one of us he was aggressive?

ANSWER on DOG BITES Children:
As hard as I try I cannot stop from getting mad when I read this email. In fact I read it several hours ago and walked away before answering.


Emails like this make me think that people should have to pass a test before they are allowed to own a dog. Hell, people have to take classes to hunt and there are a lot more dog bites than there are people getting accidentally shot.


This dog gave you so many heads-up signals that it was dominant. But you either missed them and/or ignored them and/or took inappropriate actions to correct the problem. The fact is this incident was 100% an owner problem.


Any time a dog growls at a child that dog should NEVER be allowed around a child again. Every time a dog growls at a child it needs to have EXTREME corrections within 2 seconds of growling. These corrections need to be so severe that the dog NEVER FORGETS them.


It is truly beyond me how you could allow your child near this "dog after it had done the things it did.

AlteredMommy
Jan. 26, 2009, 04:30 PM
Just a quick update. I'm still here and still reading, though we have had many family discussions and have our plan in place.

Followed up with our regular doctor today who thought "bite" looked like a glorified scratch. Probably more a result of a headbutt with the tooth scratching its way down than a true bite (with puncture.) I also followed up with everyone from the Health Department, including a home visit. Corgi girl had her picture taken and is to stay at home for 10 days, but that was it.

I understand when posting under an alter there is a lot of filling in the blanks, but wanted to responds to a few points. Yes, I have done most of the childcare to date. It's just worked out that way as I was nursing and then taking baby with me a few days a week for work. Is part of that my fault for not demanding dad be more involved? Probably. I view it as a side effect of being a very independent woman. I don't always ask for help when I should. Baby is also getting to the age where she is choosing to go to daddy more and more so that is helping their relationship develop and giving him opportunities to watch her while I go do something else.

DH does need to take a more active role in the dogs lives other than filling food bowls and handing out treats. He has agreed to do some obedience training with our neighbor who is a professional dog trainer. That will help his confidence and help the dogs see him as an authority figure as well.

Regarding the prednisone the baby's doctor said "Oh yeah. MAJOR mood swings from pred. That could explain a lot." Corgi girl has another week of steroids for a skin allergy. We will keep them apart until the steroids work out of her system. After that we will work on chain of command in the house and making sure corgi gets that she is below baby.

I also have to say that corgi girl LOVES agility so I'm not going to not spend that time with her because she might see it as a reinforcement of being away from the baby. She will come home tired and happy and be more willing to toe the line to keep going to agility classes. It will also sharpen her obedience and will allow us to direct her movements easier with just our voice. (Sending her away to her crate on command.)

After all the denial had passed my husband recognizes where he made a mistake with the two of them in the room together. We will create situations for success from now on. Excessive seperation also shouldn't be an issue because dog and corgi girl only share a few hours a day in the house. (Baby goes to daycare, to bed, or to work with me. Weekends are when they share the house for 48 hours.)

I still appreciate all the input. Baby is number 1 in my life, but I'm not ready to toss the dog out just yet.

pony89
Jan. 26, 2009, 04:31 PM
The thing is, this dog apparently was allowed to be harrassed for 10 minutes before finally being cornered and defending herself. It does not appear that the dog has an unreasonably short fuse. I don't get the impression that a toddler bumping into or messing with the dog briefly before being corrected would have made this dog snap. They really can't be allowed to be mauled endlessly and expected to never ever react. I would expect a kid safe dog to allow several minutes of mauling, and to do their best to get away from the kid, but if this went on for 10 minutes while I was in the same room watching, I would consider the bite to be my fault. If it happened while I was not supervising, it would still be my fault, because you just can't expect a baby that age to be kind to a dog, and you can't expect any dog to be completely, endlessly tolerant.

Think of what you would expect out of a school horse. It should tolerate having it's mouth yanked on, being kicked or bounced on, etc., without reacting, but it is the responsibility of the instructer to make sure that the beginner is not put in a situation where they will be tormenting the horse. Even the kindest horse may eventually react if the rider is incessently yanking on it. You would not leave a beginner alone on even the most trustworthy horse until they had demonstrated the ability to independently control the horse and deal with a little bit of the unexpected.

It really is the same thing with a dog. You just cannot leave a young child unsupervised with a dog, any more than you would plop a 6 year old on ol'Dobbin and send them off on a trail ride unsupervised. It is a kindness to the dog to allow them some down time in another room or a crate when the baby cannot be directly supervised. Fortunately, it sounds like OP and her husband have acknowledged the gravity of the situation. She sounds sensible enough to evaluate the situation from here, and willing to keep the baby and the dog's welfare in mind and rehome the dog if it does not seem like it is going to work out. The dog apparently has been successful with kids in the past, and I think it is reasonable to think that this was just a case of the dog being put in a totally unfair situation.



I agree with EqTrainer.

What type of life is this dog destined to live? Spending most of her time locked in a room or crate could likely make her even more frustrated. Agility class once or twice a week is not adequate excercise.

I can understand you wanting to make this work, I know I would feel the same. But your child is only one, you've got another 4 years of toddler stages. My youngest is 6 and still occasionally trips over the dog or bumps her in some way.

poltroon
Jan. 26, 2009, 04:33 PM
You know, the prednisone is a really good excuse. Whenever someone in my family has to take it, they turn into a raging asshole - and are on a hair trigger. Anyone who prescribes or dispenses it should go out of their way to tell the family that - it saves a lot of hurt feelings.

Prednisone makes even humans want to bite and to be very reactive.

The drug saves lives, but it's not any fun.

pony89
Jan. 26, 2009, 04:45 PM
Followed up with our regular doctor today who thought "bite" looked like a glorified scratch. Probably more a result of a headbutt with the tooth scratching its way down than a true bite (with puncture.) I also followed up with everyone from the Health Department, including a home visit. Corgi girl had her picture taken and is to stay at home for 10 days, but that was it.

I'm glad to hear it - this is what it sounded like to me, more of a warning headbutt that unfortunately happened to include the edge of a tooth.

Your dog seems like she has had an excellent temperment up to this point. Especially once she is off her meds, I think you have a more than decent chance that this will work out just fine. You seem to have an excellent plan mapped out.

(All the same, when baby starts getting older and you start having play dates at your house, I would let your dog chill out in your room or in her crate. Fortunately, you have received a pretty harmless warning that she doesn't necessarily enjoy a whole ton of toddler interaction, and you can keep everyone safe and happy in the future and avoid a second strike on her record.)

She is obviously a little young, but whenever we have kids over to visit, we have them put the dog through his obedience paces. I think it helps kids not to be afraid if they can "control" the dog, and hopefully it indicates to the dog that even this little visitor gets to tell him what to do, and I will back them up, too.

mickeydoodle
Jan. 26, 2009, 05:56 PM
Yes, this is an alter. I don't really want to air my day under my real username.

I was upstairs working on something when I hear my husband downstairs with our baby (almost a year) telling her "you need to leave the dog alone." Seconds later I hear a snarl and baby crying. I fly down the stairs and my husband hands me a bleeding baby.

GREAT. Just effing great. Take baby upstairs and flush out the cut above her upper lip. I notice she's got a puffy spot under her right eye too. Might be a shiner in a few days. Hard to tell.

We took the baby to the ER at the Children's hospital and she was given antibiotics just in case. They cleaned the already closed "superficial dog bite" with betadine. I was also informed the Department of Health will be notified about the dog bite. They are required to report all dog bites and I understand that.

My dilemma is that it was an accident, but a preventable one. We have 3 dogs, but it is the corgi girl who is the boss. She's not liking the fact that the baby is able to follow her around now and bother her. Baby also doesn't listen when dog says to back off. I have been very closely watching them when baby is on floor and dog isn't crated. When dog's patience wears thin she gets crated for a break or I baby gate her in a seperate room.

I do 99% of the baby watching and almost everything with the animals. It's probably just as much my fault for thinking I could go upstairs and work on something for 40 minutes or so. The bite happened when my husband turned his back to do something. He didn't see what happened. When he turned around he said the baby and dog were about 5 feet apart on the floor.

I'm really aggrivated and annoyed that I have some very grown up decisions to make. My husband (who was in denial about the incident trying to tell himself the corgi just poked the baby in the face) was telling everybody who would listen that there would be "total seperation" from now on. Not very realistic for our house. We have 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon bucket. There's not a lot of extra rooms for keeping dog and baby seperated. It can be done, but it'll be a real PITA.

I really DO NOT want to rehome my corgi since I've had her since she was 8 weeks old. She was very protective of the baby before she was mobile. It's just now that baby is acting more like a toddler that we're having issues; snarling, posturing, and now the bite. I KNOW this a people issue more than the dog's issue. I'm just not sure how long this phase will take to pass, but I cannot risk another bite again. I am confident that I can keep dog and baby safe, but less sure that my husband can do the same. I am the animal person in the family and I also take care of the baby 99% of the time. It was stupid to think I could take a short break today and let dad watch baby.

It was an acccident, but I'm still pissed I now have to make some decisions. I'm not sure what the Dept. of Health will say or do, but one thing is for sure is that if it happens again there will be hell to pay.

I don't really want to pick up the phone and bounce ideas off of baby's grandma, but I need some objective input here. Baby is priority 1, but I just hate the idea of rehoming my corgi girl.



Look at your post again- you indicate the the dog is the alpha dog in your three dog pack, and that now that the baby is more mobile the dog is "posturing and snarling" This is a warning!!!!!!! the baby is not "abusing the dog" the dog is TRYING TO ESTABLISH ITS ALPHA PACK ROLE. The dog must learn in no uncertain terms that it is submissive, subordinant to all humans, baby included.

smilton
Jan. 26, 2009, 06:09 PM
When I was 2.5yr old I had half my face taken off by the family dog. 6 plastic surgeries later its still noticable but doesn't bother me like it did when I was younger. Mine was a 13yr old 3 legged blue tick hound my parents got from the pound 5 years earlier. He was very tolerant of me but I think I fell on him and he snapped at me. He came with in 1/2 inch of both eyes. Parents euthanized the dog.
I have 6 dogs now but no kids. 4 are 60+lbs and 2 are less than 15. I don't think I will have an indoor dog around my small children (if i have them) after what I went through. My parents were watching me but it can happen really quickly.

fordtraktor
Jan. 26, 2009, 06:16 PM
Regarding the prednisone the baby's doctor said "Oh yeah. MAJOR mood swings from pred. That could explain a lot." Corgi girl has another week of steroids for a skin allergy. We will keep them apart until the steroids work out of her system. After that we will work on chain of command in the house and making sure corgi gets that she is below baby.



I just have to say that this does not strike me as a good idea. If dog has a history of posturing and snarling (sounds like before the prednisone) the biting risk is not going to go away once she is off it. I would keep them completely separate until the baby is old enough to learn to leave the dog alone. I would guess this will be at least 5.

Baby is a baby, and will continue to act like a baby and do things that annoy this dog.

I also have to wonder that you think your husband needs to build confidence around your dog. This leads me to think that the dog is generally pushy and aggressive, not just with babies? Another red flag.

Finally, you need to hand a substantial portion of the baby care to husband. You fault him for not reading the signs, but how could he? Husband is apparently not familiar with babies or dogs. It will be a relief to you when you aren't shouldering all the burden of raising a family.

Monarch
Jan. 26, 2009, 06:38 PM
I haven't read all the replies. But some that I have read have good advise. I have to say I am of the thought of finding the dog a new home but since you want to keep the dog could one possibility be that the dog lives outside?
M

kansasgal
Jan. 26, 2009, 07:00 PM
Hi!
Sorry to read your story.

I just went through the process of adopting a dog that is completelely submissive. She is such a sweetheart, the ultimate passivist.

Which is the only type of animal I feel comfortable having in the house with with 4 young children.

In doing research, one of the main reasons that dogs get turned in to shelters, is because "Something happened" when a young child and a dog were left alone, unsupervised. Of course the general advise for that is, NEVER leave a young child alone with a dog. Yes, easier said than done. And I'm sure that's been made clear to you by now.

I love dogs, but my kids must be priority......

I also found out in my research, that you can take almost any breed, and find a group that specializes in finding great homes for unwanted animals of that specific breed. I looked over quite a few! Most of them are just as picky about prospective adoptive homes as human adoptions, and some even offer a trial to make sure it is a good match. And if in the future, if the adoptive home needs to rehome that dog, most groups require that you bring the dog back to them. I noticed more than a few Corgi rescues on Petfinders.com......

Good luck and best wishes from Kansas.

Casey09
Jan. 26, 2009, 08:04 PM
kansasgal wrote:I also found out in my research, that you can take almost any breed, and find a group that specializes in finding great homes for unwanted animals of that specific breed. I looked over quite a few! Most of them are just as picky about prospective adoptive homes as human adoptions, and some even offer a trial to make sure it is a good match. And if in the future, if the adoptive home needs to rehome that dog, most groups require that you bring the dog back to them. I noticed more than a few Corgi rescues on Petfinders.com......"

Not to be a jerk but: Have you ever tried to find a rescue that will take a dog that has a bite history? Many cannot because of insurance. I have also found that it can take months and months and months to get a dog into a rescue. It is HARD, HARD, HARD to find a home for a dog who has nipped someone. It just is.
Frankly, as an idealist and a dog lover, I think it would probably be better if people would just wait until their kids are 6 or 7 before getting a dog. Mixing dogs and babies is tough because of the supervision requirement. There are many reasons why dogs can be aggressive with kids - one can be that they don't accept the child as the boss, but there are many types of aggression. I think that the OP really needs to get an excellent dog trainer (or behaviorist) to evaluate the dog in this case. It does sound like the dog gave warning before biting (which is important, because the last thing you would want would be a dog that bit first). I think that a lot of the stories people are telling are because they intervened. If a child continues to torment (unintentionally, of course) a dog, and the dog is giving "back-off" signals that the baby doesn't recognize and a well-meaning adult ignores, the dog is probably going to bite because it has tried other things. This dog may have too indeed have too quick of a trigger to co-exist with kids - I am not qualified to make that determination. However, I would hope parents wouldn't fool themselves into thinking that a good dog would be perfectly safe and never bite no matter what, etc., etc. That can, quite honestly, result in tragedy and is irresponsible parenting (as well as a fairy tale we tell ourselves).

SLW
Jan. 26, 2009, 08:07 PM
As someone who just shelled out a few hundred dollars to treat one of my fur-children, I can NOT IMAGINE dumping them -- EVER. You make a commitment to an animal just like you do your child -- do people put their kids up for adoption if they act out, do drugs, punch another kid? I mean, I'm just asking, since the amount of suggestions for getting rid of the dog on this thread completely amaze me. I guess I can see why there are so many rescues/shelters/crazy ads on craigslist for these poor animals.

OP -- I hope you find a solution. I am sure it is not an easy situation to deal with. I just hope it works out for the best for ALL involved. :cry:

With the possible exception of bigots, druggies and morons, human life supercedes animal life every time. Most of us have said rehome the dog, not dump it in a shelter and there is a world of difference between the two outcomes.

Denial is the ONE emotion humans have that animals do not have and that gets us humans in a world of trouble. The OP's post proves it- dog felt cornered and bit, it was what it was. The OP hasn't exactly denied the seriousness of the situation but partial denial is allowing to consider keeping the dog. If the same dog bites the same child again one or two things will happen, the law will take the dog or child.

Nezzy
Jan. 26, 2009, 08:16 PM
Good Luck to the OP and i think you are doing what is right for you. If things change, you can always move on from there.

gloriginger
Jan. 26, 2009, 08:32 PM
With the possible exception of bigots, druggies and morons, human life supercedes animal life every time.

Wow.

vacation1
Jan. 26, 2009, 08:38 PM
To OP - I'm glad to hear you have a plan, and I wish you the best with it.


I like dogs, and I believe their nature to be pure and in the moment. I think from what you have written it is obvious we see dogs in very different lights.

Probably. I don't really embrace the idea of all dogs being by their very nature pure and in the moment. I think they're animals, just like humans, and some of them are patient, some are irritable, some are saints and some are assholes. I like my dog, and with strange dogs, I instinctively want to like them, but have learned to reserve judgment until I see who they are as well as what they are.


For all of you who say "of course a dog will bite if provoked"---when my sister was about 9 months old, my mom and I were bringing groceries in and had put her down on the floor. A few minutes later we heard a frantic sort of whine--ran into the living room. Lauren had crawled up to our Shiz Tsu, grabbed the long hair around the dog's muzzle, and was pulling on it, laughing. The dog was making noise without opening her mouth, so we'd come resuce her but the baby wouldn't be hurt. My sister was a bonus baby--my brother and I were in our teens--and my mom, never a dog person, had threatened to rehome the dog the moment it did anything aggressive toward the baby. Mom scooped up Lauren and said to the dog, "Okay. You can stay."

Goooood dog! I love that. This hideous cant that 'all dogs bite' and 'you can never leave a child alone with a dog' is driving me crazy. It's just not true. All it is is a power play to protect the people whose dogs have bite or aggression in their past, and letting them off the hook for past and future bite incidents.


As someone who just shelled out a few hundred dollars to treat one of my fur-children, I can NOT IMAGINE dumping them -- EVER. You make a commitment to an animal just like you do your child -- do people put their kids up for adoption if they act out, do drugs, punch another kid? I mean, I'm just asking, since the amount of suggestions for getting rid of the dog on this thread completely amaze me. I guess I can see why there are so many rescues/shelters/crazy ads on craigslist for these poor animals.

I can't imagine losing my girl either - she is under strict orders to live forever. Parents do put their kids into foster care, into residential treatment centers, into psychiatric units, etc. And sometimes it's the same ugly scenario as with a dog who doesn't match the drapes anymore - an asshole with no heart making room by abandoning a responsibility. But sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's the only thing the person hasn't done, and they're desperate to find a solution to a horrible situation.

SLW
Jan. 26, 2009, 08:43 PM
Wow.

An attempt for humor. Of course we have to keep all people......

danceronice
Jan. 26, 2009, 09:01 PM
I've been on both sides here. When I was a very young toddler, my parents had their GSD destroyed because he was starting to snap at me. However, he was starting to snap at me mostly because he had severe heart defects, had already had one surgery, and was in a lot of pain. I got snapped in the face by my neighbor's Weimeraner when I was more like six (more like he barked and I was *that* close), got spanked and taken for a tetanus shot and my parents apologized to the dog's owners. At that point, I was old enough to hear that if I got in a dog's face I deserved what I got.

Again--biased, I was taught as a youngish kid that if I provoked a dog I deserved what I got, plus I would rather get rid of a baby than a dog, but I understand if it's your baby and you went to all that trouble of having it you probably would rather keep the baby. I suppose it would depend here for me on how containable the dog is and how trainable the baby is, if they're old enough to learn cause and effect, that if they harass a dog they're asking to get mauled.

ETA: The times I've been on high doses of prednisone I've had what border on psychotic episodes. It does foul things to temperament. I'd bet that had a LOT to do with it, too.

fordtraktor
Jan. 26, 2009, 09:10 PM
Sorry, danceronice, but an almost-1 yr. baby cannot be relied on to comprehend "don't play with the dog" and understand danger. You obviously weren't that mature at 6, since you got snapped in the face at that age -- I'm sure after being told not to get close.

danceronice
Jan. 26, 2009, 09:14 PM
I don't mean verbal training, I mean learning to associate "harrass dog" with "pain". Babies are like some types of animals, they don't do verbal commands but they do learn conditioning. The difference is they do eventually develop to a point where they can take "don't do it or you're going to get it" while animals can't understand conditional statements.

In either case, the point is, it's the kid's fault, deal with them. (I also profoundly dislike most children, if you can't tell, unless they're exceptionally well-trained.)

Equino
Jan. 26, 2009, 09:29 PM
Goooood dog! I love that. This hideous cant that 'all dogs bite' and 'you can never leave a child alone with a dog' is driving me crazy. It's just not true. All it is is a power play to protect the people whose dogs have bite or aggression in their past, and letting them off the hook for past and future bite incidents.

It's so true. My parents had a Collie puppy when I was born. He was VERY protective and tolerant of me. There are pics of me laying on him as a pillow munching away on PB sandwiches, or napping. He never moved, or I would fall. There are stories of "strangers" (family members) walking in the house and going to scoop me out of a playpen, and the dog would jump into playpen between me and the person. He even pinned a neighbors dog down who growled at me-a Collie showing aggression to a Rottie cross!

My parents had 3 kids, and over the years 12 dogs-Collie, Boxers and Shelties. Noone ever got bit. But we all learned how to live together.

The difference was my parents are dog trainers. The dogs in our house have always learned the people are alphas and we were always taught from the get go how to behave around the dogs. Yes, dogs have to be submissive, but kids shouldn't be allowed to pull on their ears etc just because they are babies. Parents HAVE to be aware and ready to step in.

i could never re-home my dog or kick him outside. But I also know my dog respects his boundaries, and if I ever have kids, they will learn to respect the dog's space as early as possible, and not be allowed unattended until they are old enough to understand.

To O/P, I really hope it works out for you. I know two families with toddlers and dogs that are learning to live together-one has a Boxer mix who LOVES the baby and no issues there, but baby loves to pull on his tail, nothing has ever happened, but parents use the word "Dangerous!" to teach her when any behavior could be troubling and that includes bothering the dog. I've seen them in action, and she does get it, stops, looks at parent with big eyes and then leaves dog alone. The other has a Ridgeback who is older and cranky. My friend was adamant before baby was born that she had to be on top of it from the get go, she figured he would be cranky, and it's worked. For the dog-she set limits to his freedom, while he's always been well-mannered, he had complete freedom of the house. Now he's not allowed on furniture. He eats in his crate and baby is not allowed to play with his crate or toys. The worse he has done is run away from baby. Baby quickly figured out to leave him alone and instead plays with the Corgie they have. She's just a year old this month so I don't think one year old is too young to learn "No." she has it figured out.

Since you are talking about taking agility classes, I would also ask the teacher about a Dog Behaviorist, they may have one on staff. It's always helpful to see how professionals/an objective person, would deal with your situation. Lots of luck!

threedogpack
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:30 PM
wow. This is a long and heated thread.

I am a dog trainer. I own 6 Pems and one ACD (cattle dog).

I am both disappointed and amazed at the references to dominance, heirarchy, rank and "alpha" in the pack order. This view of dominance and pack order is way outdated by todays behaviorists. Look up Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Karen Overall, Karen Pryor for other, more up to date references on this subject.

I agree that management until the pred clears her system is essential. Pred is a necessary evil for some medical treatments, but the side effects can be horrendous. After that, why not take the dog with YOU if hubby is with the baby? That would solve the problem if there is a lack of understanding on his part and would also relieve him of trying to watch the baby and the dog. I do not believe for even one nano second that the dog will become "alpha" or see itself higher in the "pack order" for doing this. Will it make the dog bond to you? Maybe and maybe not. Is it a bad thing for the dog to bond to you? I don't think so.

In addition to that, training is always a good idea. Teach the dog that if she doesn't want to be with the baby, to ask the nearest human for help. When I have fosters who aren't comfortable around people, I teach them to get behind me. Put me in between them and the other people. Then it becomes MY responsibility to protect my dog. Teach her to signal your husband that she needs time away. Teach her a signal he won't be able to ignore that means "the baby is bugging me" and then he can put the dog away.

Another idea is to have a baby gate up sectioning off a room. Put the baby gate up off the floor enough that the dog can get under it and the baby can't.

I also have 3 kids, older now, but will at some point have g'kids too. I do not intend to put my g'kids in harms way and I will almost certainly have a few dogs. Dogs being what they are will all be taught where their safe place is and all g'kids will be taught that the dog is not to be bothered while s/he is there. I have thought long and hard about this, my kids and their kids are deeply important to me, but I also love my dogs and will find a way to make this work.

Some good reference places for training info:

www.dragonflyllama.com this site belongs to Sue Ailsby who is one of the only trainers I would let take any of my dogs. Her (free) training levels is a comprehensive training program you can do at home, at your own pace that will give you a very well trained dog if you make it through level 4 or so.

www.shirleychong.com check out the keeper pages. Look for the aggression posts. Shirley is a very very skilled dog trainer in her own right.

Good luck with this and don't give up hope yet. I think you can make this work with a little thought.



I really really don't think that by taking the dog to agility you are teaching her anything but to have a good time away from home. I love my dogs and I think my dogs are really smart, but I'm nearly certain they don't make these kind of leaps in associations.

EqTrainer
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:42 PM
I think it is interesting/amusing/sad that there seems to be an assumption here that dogs don't bite children unless they are provoked.

My dog, who has snapped at my daugher more than once, and has now been retrained but will be rehomed - came at her all three times when she was outside playing. He ran across the farm to do it. He was not provoked.

Yes, the OP's dog was provoked. But it's not always about that. My children have NEVER been allowed to mishandle our animals. NEVER.

Just My Style
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:48 PM
I appreciate all the posts about the prednisone. My JRT, that had severe aggression issues and was finally euthanized late last year, was on pred off and on for several years. He was in the later stages of MMM. It seemed to be the only thing that made him more comfortable, but we did notice that he was not really the same dog that we had all those years before. It totally sheds some light on my situation. I am really surprised that my vet never mentioned that side effect.

FlashGordon
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:56 PM
I appreciate all the posts about the prednisone. My JRT, that had severe aggression issues and was finally euthanized late last year, was on pred off and on for several years. He was in the later stages of MMM. It seemed to be the only thing that made him more comfortable, but we did notice that he was not really the same dog that we had all those years before. It totally sheds some light on my situation. I am really surprised that my vet never mentioned that side effect.

Having been on and off pred many times, I can attest to the fact that yes it will alter your mood. Coming off it can be hell if your doc does not wean you properly.

Most vets will wean animals off it as well as opposed to stopping it abruptly. How it effects canine temperament, I'm not sure, though it is possible it has similar effects on dogs as it does on humans.

Pony Fixer
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:11 PM
I have a zero tolerance policy for dogs that have bitten kids. Zero.

This opinion has formulated over years of seeing lots of dogs in lots of situations. I totally agree with several posters (I have not read all of them) who have trained or worked with trainers and have had success. Serious training can work for many situations, including "aggression" in pets (most veterinary behaviorist feel all aggression is fear motivated). However, I have seen very few people have success with retraining because it requires SERIOUS dedication. Dedication and discipline I didn't have when my child was a 1 year old and I also had work responsibilities, household stuff, etc. Dogs that are separated from the family begin to resent the reason they are separated, but that is the only way to keep your child safe until something else can be done.

And yes, I have put several dogs down for biting kids. Most were repeat offenders, but a few were first time offenders. Remember that it is a liability to re-home a dog that has bitten someone. If it bites again, you can still be held responsible in some states.

You have to do what is right for you and your family. But if you keep this pet, you MUST deal with a behaviorist and put 100% into the rehabbing.

MistyBlue
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:44 PM
Pony Fixer has probably the most important point: training and retraining is 100% dependent on being 100% consistent. And the biggest snag probably 90% of the people hit with this type of issue is that not everyone in the household stays 100% consistent and on the same page all the time.
I have the same issue to an extent in my household...I am the one who has to ride my husband and kids to not allow the pets to get away with things they shouldn't. Even if it seems completely unnecesssary to them, when they allow or even encourage certain behaviors they undermine what's been taught and alter the "herd/pack" positions in the animals and family. I have to be 100% consistent with the animals and my family...tonight stopping both hubby and daughter from handfeeding the dog pieces of their snacks tonight while watching TV. Dog doesn't get rewarded for begging...period. Yeah, I'm the "mean" one but I'm also the one that has to hear it when they both start complaining the dog is getting grabby or is begging all the time now and they find it annoying. Sure he's adorable when he sits there and politely tilts his head to "ask" for some of those potato chips. Doesn't mean you give in.
Even the smallest things not done by rote can screw up the dogs' (or horses) behaviors. When it comes to aggression issues then there isn't even the tiniest opening for a slip...everyone has to be on the same page all the time. I've had issue dogs for the longest time (am now enjoying my first non-issue/non-aggressive dog in decades) and it's a disaster in the making when the entire household isn't consistent in the dog's training.

Now with cats....hell if I know what to do with them. :lol: Mine has me trained I think. :winkgrin:

kansasgal
Jan. 26, 2009, 11:56 PM
kansasgal wrote:I also found out in my research, that you can take almost any breed, and find a group that specializes in finding great homes for unwanted animals of that specific breed. I looked over quite a few! Most of them are just as picky about prospective adoptive homes as human adoptions, and some even offer a trial to make sure it is a good match. And if in the future, if the adoptive home needs to rehome that dog, most groups require that you bring the dog back to them. I noticed more than a few Corgi rescues on Petfinders.com......"

Not to be a jerk but: Have you ever tried to find a rescue that will take a dog that has a bite history? Many cannot because of insurance. I have also found that it can take months and months and months to get a dog into a rescue. It is HARD, HARD, HARD to find a home for a dog who has nipped someone. It just is.
Frankly, as an idealist and a dog lover, I think it would probably be better if people would just wait until their kids are 6 or 7 before getting a dog. Mixing dogs and babies is tough because of the supervision requirement. There are many reasons why dogs can be aggressive with kids - one can be that they don't accept the child as the boss, but there are many types of aggression. I think that the OP really needs to get an excellent dog trainer (or behaviorist) to evaluate the dog in this case. It does sound like the dog gave warning before biting (which is important, because the last thing you would want would be a dog that bit first). I think that a lot of the stories people are telling are because they intervened. If a child continues to torment (unintentionally, of course) a dog, and the dog is giving "back-off" signals that the baby doesn't recognize and a well-meaning adult ignores, the dog is probably going to bite because it has tried other things. This dog may have too indeed have too quick of a trigger to co-exist with kids - I am not qualified to make that determination. However, I would hope parents wouldn't fool themselves into thinking that a good dog would be perfectly safe and never bite no matter what, etc., etc. That can, quite honestly, result in tragedy and is irresponsible parenting (as well as a fairy tale we tell ourselves).

Yes, I totally agree with you. My oldest child is 10, and the youngest is 3. I am very lucky to have found Eva ( our dog) as she was in a foster home for 3 weeks, with a rowdy 3 year old boy, who once even accidentally fell right on top of her. Her reaction was pop up, wag her tail and move. His parents were stunned. I still won't allow any of my kids to be
around Eva unless I'm right there, though. You just never know. My 10 year old is the only one who gets to walk her. And then only around our yard, or maybe to the end of our short street, if I'm there watching. Yes, I agree that it's better to wait till the kids are older to bring a dog into the family. Of course. But it was on TOP of my long list of criteria in looking for a dog that would fit into our family RIGHT NOW be submissive to the extreme.

Sorry to hear about the rules for rescue groups and dogs that bite. I DID notice MANY adoption ads for dogs on Petfinders.com that had the "NO Small children" icon.....

I was surprised at how many foster homes/ fostering groups there are within just a 50 mile radius of where I live. But maybe this area is unique?

Casey09
Jan. 27, 2009, 12:04 AM
kansasgal,
I think area is important because some places definitely have more rescue animals than others. I think it kind of depends on the part of the country. But I'd definitely agree with you . . . you're right to look for a dog suitable to YOUR family.
I think some rescues will take a dog who has nipped a young child and look for a "no-kids" home, but once a dog has bitten it has a bite history. For that reason, I see all of the "oh just find the dog another wonderful home with no kids," and I get riled up because a lot of times, you can't. Sometimes people do, I'm not saying never, but I think "best case scenario" would be if someone's parents or something like that were able to take the dog, because most people looking for a dog aren't looking for one with a bite history. A dog "not recommended for kids" may be nervous around kids, but that is different from biting kids. That is why, to me, it is so, so important to think about the future. In other words, if I'm getting a dog today, will I have kids in 10 yrs? Will this dog be suitable? Not just, "Oh, I can always find him a wonderful home after he bites." Maybe, maybe not.
It sounds like you've got a great rescue, and like you are a very responsible person, though!

Equino
Jan. 27, 2009, 01:33 AM
I really really don't think that by taking the dog to agility you are teaching her anything but to have a good time away from home. I love my dogs and I think my dogs are really smart, but I'm nearly certain they don't make these kind of leaps in associations.

I agree that the dog won't make the connection going to Agility is a reward for good home behavior, but I believe any kind of training is better than none. I've taken classes under two different agility trainers-the 1st was basically supervised playground time and the current is real agility training. Yes, my dog has a good time, but we work a lot on contacts and breaking down the course so the dogs have to focus on their handler. It's not about running from obstacle to obstacle, going through the course as fast and clean as possible. I find we do things that to help in every area of my dog training. I've competed in Rally (Excellent) and Obedience (starting to compete in Open, training in Utility). We're just about ready to start Novice Agility.

Either way, I do think getting with a trainer who specializes in aggression and/or other behavioral problems would be wise, especially one who would visit their home and work with both parents and dog individually.

threedogpack
Jan. 27, 2009, 02:09 AM
"but I believe any kind of training is better than none. "

absolutely. Working with a dog to learn *anything* is going to transfer at least a little.

as one very experienced trainer said over and over, "management alone will always fail sooner or later, but training holds". Doors get left open, phones ring, other kids demand something...stuff happens and that is when your training picks up. That was why I suggested the Training Levels and looking at the Keeper Pages of Shirleys site. The self control a dog learns in agility will transfer to self control at home, eventually.

I also agree that getting a POSITIVE trainer or behavorist would be a huge benefit to this family.

bludejavu
Jan. 27, 2009, 02:55 AM
I'm very late coming into this thread but wanted to tell about my experience as a child and how it has affected me my entire life concerning dogs. My grandfather's hunting dogs were kept on our farm. They were a mix of Springer Spaniels and general hunting dogs with varied personalities. I was five years old and was very strong willed (stubborn then, stubborn now). I was told to stay away from the dogs but I was determined to give one a hug. I went up to the Springer Spaniel, proceeded to hug and was immediately mauled. There was no forewarning, no growl, just flat out immediate attack. The dog had never made a threating move at me before then. I ended up with a gaping wound on my forehead from a bite, a neck wound and smaller bites all over my arms by the time the dog was drug away from me. I needed 57 stitches in all and my Dad needed 10 on his arm where the dog bit him as he was being drug off of me. To this day I have to part my hair carefully, keep bangs permanently, all to hide the scar on my forehead that 2 plastic surgeries did not completely do away with. I am also very uncomfortable around all dogs that are loose unless they are my own dogs. I'm not a dog lover although I do have a little house dog who is like a child to me.

The moral of my story is that my story didn't have to happen. My grandfather cautioned my parents not to let me around the dogs and they didn't heed his warning. It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I also know that there isn't a parent alive who would forgive themselves if something serious happened. My Mother still blames herself. Don't put your baby in an unsure situation with a dog. To the OP - love your dog and your child enough to do the right thing. Never think diligent supervision will keep your baby from being mauled - my own parents were right there in the yard when it happened. Love your dog enough to put him in a situation he is comfortable in - whether that means rehoming or total separation is a decision you have to make but put safety first.

threedogpack
Jan. 27, 2009, 03:06 AM
I am sorry for those who have been hurt by dogs.

However, warning parents to keep their children away from dogs is management. As I stated above, management alone will always fail sooner or later (as it did in your case). Had management been combined with good training the dog most likely would have at the very least modified the bite and probably would not have bitten at all. Sue Ailsby raised, trained, competed with Giant Schnauzers for many many years, during which she also had children. Her dogs were always throughly trained and handled. One day her son fell down on top of one of her sleeping bitches. The bitch jumped up, roared, the kid screamed and by the time Sue got to them there was blood. The blood was from the dog where the metal Tonka truck hit the dog then the kid landed on top of the truck. Not a mark on the child. Bite inhibition training held. Daily handling with purpose held. Management failed. I've had similar scenerios happen with me. Asleep in bed, middle of the night. Corgi on one side, GSD on the other. Foster cat jumped off a window sill directly onto the GSD who also woke up with a roar. Scared the sh*t out of me, I nearly fell out of bed, but that was all it was...noise...the cat was fine, the dogs were fine and it was just an unexpected cardiac stress test for me.

Mangement alone will always fail sooner or later....training holds.

However, the training needs to be put into place, good dogs don't happen, they are made.

Cielo Azure
Jan. 27, 2009, 06:08 AM
One thing that you are going to have to really fight and work around is the Corgi personality. I have owned Corgis and as much as I love them, I will never, ever own a Pembroke again.

They can be...peevish and hyper dominant to other pets, as well as children and they do have a tendency to snap, snarl, etc when they don't like something (including other dogs). Having spent years on Corgi boards, don't let anyone fool you, they are not always the perfect little dogs that they look like.

For instance: I can remember a Corgi board I was on having at least a 20 page running thread on how to clip Corgi's toe nails without being bitten or snarled or snapped at. Not just one person but many, many people getting bitten by their dog while trimming nails and putting up with it. Again and again, people not being about to get near their feet. People writing about how fearful they are about it, how agressive, etc. The consensus? Get a muzzle and they stop the behavior right away, as soon as the muzzle is put on. In fact, alot of people muzzle once and then just have to pull the muzzle out when the dogs growls when feet are about to be trimmed.

And yes, there were many, many stories of people re-homing corgis for snapping at children. Usually, they were provoked but the provocation was extremely light. Ergo, the child may have done "something" but that "something" was usually a thing that most dogs would blow off. But I think because of the combination of their personalities and their being dwarfs, they feel a need to be hyper-reactive to what they consider "slights."

So, while I never had a problem with our corgis and our boys (who were much older than a baby), I have read about corgis snapping at children again and again. The good news is that their bite in such circumstances is usually a snap, not a grip. The bad news is that you are not going to be able to completely train this away. In my opinion, if you decide to keep her, you will never be able to trust her again. She has also shown that she will go for the face. That is much worse than the fingers.

As an aside, I also owned a Cardigan. Completely different personality. I really love those little guys and would own one again, if it wasn't for the back issues.

I know the corgi lovers on this board are going to flame this post but there it is. I know the Pembroke personality pretty well and I have read and read those corgi boards...they are very often a snappy and reactive dog. Training sometimes only goes so far when a dog has a certain personality and you are dealing with kids.

You can't put yourself inbetween the dog and the toddler 24/7 -they will eventually intersect. So, you are taking a risk. It is a risk that only you can decide is worth taking...or not.

Also, getting her spayed (if she is not already) may help. And clearly, getting her off the meds.

tikidoc
Jan. 27, 2009, 07:12 AM
Again--biased, I was taught as a youngish kid that if I provoked a dog I deserved what I got, plus I would rather get rid of a baby than a dog, but I understand if it's your baby and you went to all that trouble of having it you probably would rather keep the baby.

Seriously, what is the point of this kind of statement? It is not in the least bit helpful to the OP, and it is just going to inflame those of us with kids. You don't like kids, I get that. Don't have any. PLEASE. But to come to a thread that is about managing a problem with dogs and kids (in this case, at less than a year of age, not even officially old enough to be a toddler), something which you obviously know nothing about if you seriously think you can reliably teach a less than one year old child to stay away from a dog, and make comments like this is nothing but troll-like behavior meant to piss off and inflame, not to help. As a parent, I found this downright offensive. And completely pointless, given the topic of this thread.

To the OP, unless you are willing to become 100% vigilant when there is any potential interaction with the dog and the child (you may have already mentioned this, I have not waded through all 6 pages) and have your husband 100% on board with you, I would attempt to rehome the dog. As a parent, your responsibility, first and foremost, is the safety of your child, especially when the child is of an age where they are completely unable to watch out for their own safety.

Trakehner
Jan. 27, 2009, 08:21 AM
Rehome the dog. Your child is worth more than any dog. A little higher a bite, no eye...your child is at dog face height.

As much as I love dogs (and not too wild about most kids), and Corgi's are horrible nippers/biters, she needs a new happy home without kids.

EqTrainer
Jan. 27, 2009, 09:20 AM
I do agree that management will always fail and that is why I recommend the OP rehome her dog.

But also.. the idea that all dogs will bite if provoked.. and defining provocation.. well, I don't agree with this. I have had a lot of dogs. I routinely take puppies from the kill shelter, get them cleaned up/neutered/spayed/house trained and rehome them. I can tell, for the most part, which dogs are going to be good with kids right away. And that has nothing to do w/their interaction w/my kids.

The Doggie of my Heart, Bisous, was 100% trustworthy with any child. It did not matter what they did, it never occured to him to *bite* one. And I am a bit sorry to say, he was not submissive to them, he wouldn't even come when they called (and his recall was always there for me but not even for my husband). But biting? No. He ignored them or walked away.

I think submissive/dominant is not as completely important as *confident*. He was very confident. The dog who nipped my daughter is not confident. He is a lot of other good things but not confident. My second dog here is a bit feral but submissive, good natured and confident. My third dog - the Ginormous Spotty Dog - is all those things PLUS he really LIKES the kids. He is a dog who can meet a pack of new dogs and instantly knows how to fit in.. born with social skills, not made. Bisous was like that, too. His social skills were innate.

My point is, I am not sure you can feel secure about training those skills into a dog who does not already have them (where you are reinforcing them daily instead). I would not have dogs that I had to separate from my children. Like someone said - managment WILL fail. I do know that I have my take on things because I spend a lot of time w/my dogs - I am outside a lot, when I am inside they come in w/me, separate and together, and I am doing stuff w/them all the time - and like I said, my children have simply never been allowed to mishandle an animal. No "baby squeezes dog like he is a stuffed animal" going on here :lol: but nor do I keep them from my kids at ages 5/9. The one who nipped my daughter is retrained and I don't think he will do it again - but I also don't think he is happiest being in a pack and being one dog of many animals in a busy household. I think he will thrive as an only dog and so that is what is going to happen. It's hard to say goodbye to your dog/friend but you have to be honest about what is best for THEM no matter how much it may hurt you.

trubandloki
Jan. 27, 2009, 10:35 AM
I'm very late coming into this thread but wanted to tell about my experience as a child and how it has affected me my entire life concerning dogs. My grandfather's hunting dogs were kept on our farm. They were a mix of Springer Spaniels and general hunting dogs with varied personalities. I was five years old and was very strong willed (stubborn then, stubborn now). I was told to stay away from the dogs but I was determined to give one a hug. I went up to the Springer Spaniel, proceeded to hug and was immediately mauled. There was no forewarning, no growl, just flat out immediate attack. The dog had never made a threating move at me before then. I ended up with a gaping wound on my forehead from a bite, a neck wound and smaller bites all over my arms by the time the dog was drug away from me. I needed 57 stitches in all and my Dad needed 10 on his arm where the dog bit him as he was being drug off of me. To this day I have to part my hair carefully, keep bangs permanently, all to hide the scar on my forehead that 2 plastic surgeries did not completely do away with. I am also very uncomfortable around all dogs that are loose unless they are my own dogs. I'm not a dog lover although I do have a little house dog who is like a child to me.

The moral of my story is that my story didn't have to happen. My grandfather cautioned my parents not to let me around the dogs and they didn't heed his warning. It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I also know that there isn't a parent alive who would forgive themselves if something serious happened. My Mother still blames herself. Don't put your baby in an unsure situation with a dog. To the OP - love your dog and your child enough to do the right thing. Never think diligent supervision will keep your baby from being mauled - my own parents were right there in the yard when it happened. Love your dog enough to put him in a situation he is comfortable in - whether that means rehoming or total separation is a decision you have to make but put safety first.

I am sorry you had a bad dog experience but....

You were five, you have no idea what the dogs body language was or if it growled.

And you say supervision fails. Your parents were obviously not supervising if they had been told to not let you near the dogs and you walked over and actually managed to try to hug one.

This was your mother's fault. Sad but true.

Just like in the OPs situation the incident is the fault of the father. Not the dog, not the kid, the father.

fordtraktor
Jan. 27, 2009, 10:48 AM
Sometimes parents have to do things like answer the telephone, pick up a toy, or --God forbid-- look at another child. You cannot stare at your kid every second of every day and make sure no harm comes to them. As a result, the wisest course of action is to put them in a living situation where they will be generally safe when you aren't staring at them full-time.

Accidents are still going to happen. That's life. The key as a parent is to do what you can to manage risk at an acceptable level. For me, a dog that bites is an unacceptable risk.

tazz001
Jan. 27, 2009, 11:18 AM
Quick comment to the OP

How are you going to feel if all your hard work and training (of both child and dog) fail. What happens when/if the dog bites your baby again. How are you going to feel if you child needs multiple surgeries to cover from a dog bite.

think long and hard...which is more important...the dog or your child

Are you really willing to take the chance??

bludejavu
Jan. 27, 2009, 12:18 PM
I am sorry you had a bad dog experience but....

You were five, you have no idea what the dogs body language was or if it growled.

And you say supervision fails. Your parents were obviously not supervising if they had been told to not let you near the dogs and you walked over and actually managed to try to hug one.

This was your mother's fault. Sad but true.

Just like in the OPs situation the incident is the fault of the father. Not the dog, not the kid, the father.

Yes, I was a small child but I had hugged that particular spaniel several times before then and there was never a growl, never an aggressive move, and that is most likely why I went back to him instead of trying to hug any of the others. No, it was not just my Mother's fault - it was both of my parents' fault - they were both there, but I have no idea where their eyes were directed when I approached the spaniel. They might have been looking directly at me, might have been looking elsewhere. My point to my story is that being in the same vicinity/room as a child around a dog is not always going to control the situation. Just like others have stated, a parent's eyes/attention is not always centered directly on a child and distractions happen. My parents made the mistake of thinking that if they were there with me, nothing would happen to me and that proved to be a bad line of thought.

vacation1
Jan. 27, 2009, 01:05 PM
I kinda understand the 'not the dog's fault' line because of the dogs I've owned, only one was the sort was 110% safe (barring obvious things like someone trying to kidnap her child, or someone hitting her with a lead pipe), and it would have been my fault as the owner if the other two ever did bite someone. But - I suspect that 99% of the time, a dog who bites hard enough to draw blood is a dog with a temperament problem. Not a perfectly nice dog who was seriously provoked. The minute you hear people start to talk about 'management' you know you've got a temperament issue. Normal dogs don't need to be managed. They need to be trained and supervised, and sometimes they have weaknesses that need to be understood (keep the snappy toy away from kids, keep the dominant Chow away from the dominant grandfather) but overall, you're not living in fear of someone opening the front door unexpectedly, or knocking over the baby gate. I know a dog whose owner has to manage him, and it's hard. I dogsit for him when the owner's out of town, and it's like handling a wild animal. You never know what's going to set him off, and you never let your guard down. If he nails someone, it's the fault of his handler, sure, for letting him get away. But it's also his fault for being an evil little dog. Maybe he was a puppy mill product, maybe he was abused, who knows? Ultimately, though, he's not owed this life - sad as that may sound to some people, he really has forfeited all rights to life as a pet by his behavior, and he's just lucky that his owner adores him. She's unlucky, because he's her first dog and she has no idea what a joy it can be to own a normal dog.

SilverMoonFarm
Jan. 27, 2009, 03:24 PM
Prednisone can make your dog very aggressive - it did with our normally very tolerant female bulldog. Ask your vet if there is something else you can give her for her skin condition.

Stacie
Jan. 27, 2009, 10:00 PM
She's not liking the fact that the baby is able to follow her around now and bother her. Baby also doesn't listen when dog says to back off.

The dog was not provoked. The dog is in charge and is making that very clear.

How much stress and worry are you willing to put up with in order to *protect* your daughter from this dog?

You do understand that this is the crux of the situation? The dog is going to hurt your daughter unless you are constantly vigilant. The dog is not on your side. The dog is dangerous. DANGEROUS. The dog has proven it is willing to harm and bite children.

So now, *you* have to stress out and worry worry worry to protect your child. AND your child's future friends. And any toddler who happens to come with a visiting Mom.

Sweety, do yourself a favor and rehome the dog or PTS. It's not worth the stress. It's ...just... not.

Touchstone Farm
Jan. 27, 2009, 11:02 PM
i can't even read the rest of these answers. I love all animals, have a dog, but if it EVER bit a child...The end. Time to find a new home. My baby (or another baby) would be worth so much more than a dog. No question. No hesitation. Dog is gone. I can't even believe people are hesitating to find the dog a new home. What would it take? Face ripped off? Eye punctured? Come on, we all love our animals almost like our children, but to risk a child? There is NO way a mom or dad can keep their eyes on a child 100 percent of the time. It will happen again. And crating an animal because you don't trust it with your child? Better to find a home where it can live comfortably. Sorry for the rant...but honestly? Really -- some of you would keep a dog that would do that and risk a baby?!

And Stacie makes a good point -- what about visiting children? Even if you crate him when you have company, what's to say the kids wouldn't let him out? Remember your childhood? Didn't you sneak out or do things your parents forbid? My friends and I were laughing over dinner last night about the things we did and survived. But...in this case...do you want the responsibility (or the lawsuit) when a child visits?

BelladonnaLily
Jan. 28, 2009, 09:12 AM
When this thread started, I really thought this was an open and shut case. No mother in their right mind would put a baby at risk like this, right?

I am just a little floored at the mother's expectations of a not quite 1 year BABY. Baby won't listen to warnings to back off, baby keeps following dog around, baby provoked dog...blah blah blah. And still that the father told the baby to "leave the dog alone", instead of immediately removing the child from the dog's reach. :no: Poor baby...

I have an acquaintance, who is NO LONGER babysitting thank God, that was complaining that the 13mo baby she was keeping kept dropping food on the floor from his highchair. She was absolutely "hysterical" (her own mother's words) that the baby wouldn't stop, no matter how many times she told him no. She kept him a grand total of 1 month before baby's mother got smart and pulled him.

A 1 yr old child has NO concept of any of these verbal directions. Yes, they can learn...but this takes alot of time. You do not place children in dangerous situations to "learn." Telling the child that age not to touch an inaminate object and removing child is teaching (and may have to be done 1,000 times, patiently). Same with throwing food on the floor. Giving a dog a second chance to tear off the kid's face is child abuse, in the hope that they "learned the first time the dog bit them.

And really, would you let the baby crawl out in traffic with the idea that "Well, if he gets hit by a car, that'll teach him! He'll never do that again!". Geez...

AppJumpr08
Jan. 28, 2009, 09:29 AM
I just wouldn't want to let my beloved dog live in a situation where she was crated/in another room most of the time... she deserves better too.

Not only would I be constantly worried about my child, but I would feel awful that my pooch wasn't living her ideal life either :no:

EquusMagnificus
Jan. 28, 2009, 10:37 AM
Even if not a crate, perhaps a baby gate to keep the dog in a separate room from the baby?

I am expecting our first one in June and I am quite nervous about our dogs' reactions. One will still be a puppy so he should be good to get used to the baby, the other one is over 4 years old but she's scared of her own shadow so I guess she'd take off rather then bite... But oh boy, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes!

Thank goodness baby is fine!

dps
Jan. 29, 2009, 01:37 PM
I have a 23 month old son and a 5 month old daughter and I can't watch everything little thing that they do. They explore, they are curious and they hound my cats, dogs and horses all the time and god forbid any of my animals EVER hurt or attempt to hurt my children they are GONE! I have taught my animals from day one that the kids can do and go where ever they want and the animals have to respect that, and they do and they love my kids.
I was attacked by a german shepard (neighbors dog) when I was 12 yrs old. The dog lived on a leash and would break free and teriorize the neighborhood. This was not the dogs fault but the dogs owner would brush each bite under the carpet (there were several) until he finally got ahold of me and 20 stiches in the head, sew eye lid back on and repaired my nose the owners said they put the dog down only to find out a few weeks later that the dog was given to a friend. WTH are these people thinking??? Well my dad tracked the dog down and shot him.
I guess what I'm getting at is any animal in my house, or anyone elses house hurts my children they are done no if ands or buts my children come first!
sorry that is just how I feel
That bite was NOT an accident, you need to realize that. Did your dog say oh I'm sorry I did not mean to bite your baby. No, he said get away from me or I will really hurt you the next time.

Cloud Walk
Jan. 29, 2009, 01:56 PM
A few years ago, my neighbors had some visitors with small children playing with their kids. They had a few dogs and while the kids were playfully running back and forth in the back yard, their Old English Sheepdog totally unproved scalped one of the children. Seriously, ripped scalp and part of an ear off within seconds. Freak accident/incident but I will never forget it.

I now have a young daughter who I watched like a hawk when she was around the dogs as a toddler. She would grab their fur (and my hair) and I would pry her fingers loose. She didn't know any better as she was a baby. She now knows to be gentle. It is a tough call, but if your gut maternal instinct is telling you it may happen again, rehome the dog. You can not watch your child 100 per cent of the time.

JustJump
Jan. 29, 2009, 02:03 PM
I can't imagine keeping a dog in a household with a small toddler if it wan't confirmed as "child safe."

Reading between the lines, it doesn't seem as though you have fully accepted the extent to which having a child can affect other areas of your life--this particular instance happened on your husband's watch, as you pointed out. In doing so, have you exposed a weakness in your relationship that will be further tested by refusing to consider whether your dog or your child should come first?

Re-home the dog till the child is old enough to be out of danger. Doing otherwise is setting yourself up for a very stressful way of life.

Nikki^
Jan. 29, 2009, 02:17 PM
i think you are doing the right thing by trying to keep the dog. Dogs can only handle so much grabbing. Once the baby is older you won't have any more problems. YOU know your dog better than anyone. I hate that so many people are willing to GIVE up a pet instead of doing the work and fixing the problem. Dogs are not disposable. They are part of the family and they have feelings, too. There are trainers out there who would be willing to come to your home, and help you.

I have to agree 100%. I work in the Rabies Lab and I cannot tell you how many dogs/cats come here for rabies testing just because they bit someone. The owners don't want to pay to put the dog or cat in quarantine and have it killed (I say murdered) for rabies testing.

I'm talking Labs, Shepherds, Rotties, Mixed breeds, Jack Russels, you name it. They send in puppies and kittens too. :cry::( If a mother is protecting her litter and scratches/bites someone, they send them all in. Infant kittens/puppies and mother.:cry:

They sent in a WHOLE litter is 8 week old puppies just because one nipped a child while playing with it. A WHOLE LITTER OF 6! Animal Shelters will send in cats/dogs too just because the employee isn't trained to handle the animals and they get bit/scratched!

NOW vicious attacks I can understand. A dangerous dog that mauls a person needs to be put own and the rabies testing assures that the animal wasn't infected with rabies. Sometimes dogs and cats get into fights with raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats (they play with the bats ) and can get infected with rabies because some owners don't vaccinate IF the wild animal is infected. But I can tell you 99.9% of the domestic animals that come here test negative.


True Story:

A woman asked her friend to watch her dog (she loved this dog) while she was on a two week business trip. The friend got sick of watching the dog and called animal control to tell them that a stray had bit her.:eek: Animal Control put the dog down and sent it to us for testing.

The owner came back and found out what happened. She sued the friend.

shea'smom
Jan. 29, 2009, 02:28 PM
Nikki, that is the worst thing I have heard in a long time. Makes me afraid to leave the house.

RegentLion
Jan. 29, 2009, 08:18 PM
I understand that there are these fantastic stories out there about dogs that let kids pull, drag, lay on them, etc with the dog "not caring" or "not moving" or "only whining."

GREAT. You're lucky.

I feel that it only takes ONCE to do damage--great or small, physical or mental. It takes SECONDS. And as another poster pointed out, a dog doesn't always just bite and release. It can ATTACK.

Young children don't always understand enough to listen to what the parents say, or realize how their actions can affect outcomes.

I feel that as a parent, it is your JOB to protect your child. Things can happen even while you are watching, even without warning.

Situations such as this require an evaluation of risks. How risky is it?
They also require an evaluation of outcomes. How will I feel/handle it if the worst does happen?

I do not have children, but when I do, I will always watch my children while they are around my dogs. I will do what I can to train both the dogs and the child and make everyone comfortable and happy. BUT PEOPLE COME FIRST.

Anthropomorphizing is dangerous to both dogs and kids.

My husband and I have two ACDs. We've had them since they were born (we had the mother). They're great girls. I've had them both around the horses but one day they were TOGETHER and I was longing a horse and they got really worked up by the longe line. They ended up dragging me to the ground chewing on my legs, nipping (not hard, mostly) but they were really really terrifingly bad. Part of it was their breeding. Part of it was because how my husband used to "play" with them with a stick (which mimiced the longe whip). Part of it was me not realizing that they'd see the longe whip as a thing to "get" and then translate to me.

My husband considered putting down the ACDs. We decided not to because I felt like it would be easy to manage the situation (don't longe with the dogs around), AND BECAUSE I AM AN ADULT. I made MY decision and I can live with it.

Your year old kid can't say "Uh, I dont' have a good feeling about this dog." or "Yeah, lets keep her, I'll be OK with my decision even if she bites me again."

Now, if we have kids, we're going to have to do a VERY CAREFUL evaluation of if we can have a pair of very very intense herding dogs in the house with the baby. I like to be all sunshine and butterflies and think they'll be great.... BUT I have to be realistic too.

So OP I suggest you decide how comfortable you'll be if this dog nips her again.

Marengo
Jan. 30, 2009, 12:02 AM
As the previous poster mentioned you as the parent have to access the risk. All dogs can cause accidents, I wanted to add that its not just the ones that nip. When my brother was 10 he knocked on a neighbours door because they had a child his age. Their overly excited yellow lab jumped on him when the door opened and its nails caused a large tear on his cheek. He had to get it stitched up and luckily it healed well. This dog had no aggresive intentions and my brother grew up with our dog, it was just an accident. Even if your Corgi loved the baby she could still do damage so I don't know if you can ever completely trust any dog with a child. I'm not saying people with kids shouldn't have dogs, far from it. Just acknowledge that there is always a risk and if your dog is acting aggressively that risk is significantly increased. If you think that this incident was totally an accident, I would consider keeping your Corgi but if she has been giving you warning signs I'd be looking for a new home for her.

dalpal
Jan. 30, 2009, 07:41 AM
WOW, by the time this thread ends, the kid will have a college diploma. :lol:

Kate66
Jan. 30, 2009, 09:44 AM
Sorry, but if Baby is #1, then the dog needs to go. Unfortunately I am sort of amazed that it is even a question. For those people that are bleeding hearts for the dog, you either have never had a kid that has been hurt in anyway or you are projecting your human emotions onto the dog.

I have a 2 yo and 2 dogs and my experience shows that the kid is going to get way worse before she gets better. As some of the other posters have said, it only takes a second. It would literally take 2 seconds for your dog to destroy your kid's face for life. Could you live with that? ....or worse. I know I couldn't. However much you love your dog, if you love your kid more, the dog needs to go. I don't know if you have other children but it is absolutely impossible to watch a toddler 100% of the time. You leave the room for just a second, to answer the door, answer the phone, switch off the kettle. Dog/child interaction can change so quickly. The dog doesn't understand being put in time out in a crate. They don't logic things out.

Also, what happens with play dates as your child grows. What happens if your dog is OK with your kid, but some other kid comes along and gets bitten and then the parents find out this is not a 1st bite.

As they say "99% of dog bites are from dogs that have never bitten before".

Sorry, but I really do hope that you make the right decision and your child doesn't have to live with a bad decision for the rest of her/his life.

LisaB
Jan. 30, 2009, 11:08 AM
Hmmm, Kate is making me think :eek:
You are already rationalizing the dog. So, I think you might be in the pool of people where the dog has to attack again, with a lovely hospital visit before you get a clue.
I dunno, mom gene is kicking in and I wouldn't even hesitate getting the dog another home. One that makes the dog happy and you less nervous. Or maybe you like that kind of home. I know people who love drama and chaos. Not me. I'm lazy, I want everything as easy and calm as can be.

gloriginger
Jan. 30, 2009, 12:07 PM
WOW, by the time this thread ends, the kid will have a college diploma. :lol:

No kidding...die thread die....

equusvilla
Jan. 30, 2009, 12:10 PM
I raised my children with Corgi's and found it to be a wonderful mix. Once I found my then toddler daughter sitting atop of my male stud dog, he was rolled over on his back and she was putting chapstick on his lips. He just laid there and wagged his little tail. This was a younger Corgi though.

Long story short - This December, my toddler Grandaughter was absolutely abusive to our 12 year old Corgi girl - kicking her in the stomach and hitting her in the face...I put a stop to it causing a huge rift between my daughter and I. My Corgi was so fed up with this child that she would bare her teeth when they were in the same room with each other. My solution was to lock our Corgi in our bedroom...but they were only here for a 2 week visit.

I don't think you mentioned how old your Corgi is - or maybe I missed it. I find that most dogs are not as patient as they age - especially over the age of 10. They are not as fast - to get away and they don't have as much energy as they used to. If you cannot give your dog her own space - you do need to rehome it. It is not fair to the dog.

NRB
Jan. 30, 2009, 12:56 PM
This is a topic close to my heart. My daughter is almost 2, and obsessed with dogs. Our 2 dogs passed away of old age before my daughter was adopted. We've been without a dog in our house for almost a year now, and it kills me. I want a dog sooo bad, but will have to wait until DD is older and more trustworthy around dogs. i guess that might be a long wile.

FWIW before my daughter arrived, some 8 years ago, I adopted an adult dog that was being re-homed because she had bitten 2 people. The dog was easy to rehabilitate and she never bit anyone ever again. She lived to be 14 yo, and was much loved. So there are loving homes out there for your corgi dog if you have to go that route.

Good luck

asb2517
Jan. 30, 2009, 02:08 PM
Long story short - This December, my toddler Grandaughter was absolutely abusive to our 12 year old Corgi girl - kicking her in the stomach and hitting her in the face...I put a stop to it causing a huge rift between my daughter and I.

Off topic...but WTF??? How old was that kid? You say toddler...but geez c'mon...how could the mom be mad you stopped the kid? If that was my grandaughter she'd have had a very warm behind!! :mad:

Nezzy
Jan. 30, 2009, 03:46 PM
No kidding...die thread die....

Honestly. The OP made her decision already. Get over it. It does not make you a better person to make a different decision. Stop the preaching.

dalpal
Jan. 30, 2009, 05:05 PM
No kidding...die thread die....

ROFL..well, hell....I thougth college diploma, now I'm thinking she'll be signing up for her retirement pension. :lol:


Good grief people, let it go. We get it, we really do....baby first. ;)

Just My Style
Jan. 30, 2009, 06:23 PM
Then why are you all still posting and bumping it to the top again? :lol:

dalpal
Jan. 30, 2009, 06:25 PM
Then why are you all still posting and bumping it to the top again? :lol:

Sorry, youre right.....I'm just tired of reading some of these finger pointing, judgemental, bad mommy posts. I'll shut up now. :lol:

RedMare01
Jan. 30, 2009, 07:43 PM
Well, not to upset some people and keep the thread going, but my friend is going through a similar situation now.

Her husband had a Dachshund before they were married; now they have two kids, a 2 1/2 year old daughter and a 2 month old little boy. The dog is now 15, and he had never been great with the little girl by herself (he growled a lot, and snapped once or twice, not making contact). Since the new baby has been born, he has gotten worse. Two days ago he bit the little girl in the face (this was not provoked, she leaned down and he bit her). So, now my friend absolutely insists that the dog goes. The problem is that no rescue will take him (they are like a lot of the posters here and tell her to train him and keep them separated). Her husband will absolutely not euthanize (which I think is the best option given his age)...so they are still working on a solution.

Personal opinion, but I would never keep a dog that I wasn't completely comfortable about my children being around (and I don't even have kids :lol:). There are dogs that are completely safe around kids...the second dog we had when I was growing up was the bestest Black Lab ever...you could do anything to that dog and he would just wag his tail. When my cousins were very little, they walked up to him and took a dog bone right out of his mouth. He just looked at them and waited for them to give it back.

I have also been bitten by a dog. The first dog we had was a Cocker Spaniel...we had him from a puppy, and he was raised perfectly. He was just completely untrustworthy. My brother and I were not really young...I was 10 and he was 7. The dog would snap whenever he was in the "mood"...one day, he was laying down on the floor and I reached down to pick up a clothes hanger that was a few feet away from him. He jumped up and bit down on my hand. When I got my hand away from him and turned to run away, he bit the back of my calf. Looking back, my parents should have euthanized, but instead they gave him away with full disclosure of what he'd done.

I hope all works out for you.

Caitlin

Nezzy
Jan. 31, 2009, 10:16 AM
Well, not to upset some people and keep the thread going, but my friend is going through a similar situation now.

Her husband had a Dachshund before they were married; now they have two kids, a 2 1/2 year old daughter and a 2 month old little boy. The dog is now 15, and he had never been great with the little girl by herself (he growled a lot, and snapped once or twice, not making contact). Since the new baby has been born, he has gotten worse. Two days ago he bit the little girl in the face (this was not provoked, she leaned down and he bit her). So, now my friend absolutely insists that the dog goes. The problem is that no rescue will take him (they are like a lot of the posters here and tell her to train him and keep them separated). Her husband will absolutely not euthanize (which I think is the best option given his age)...so they are still working on a solution.

Personal opinion, but I would never keep a dog that I wasn't completely comfortable about my children being around (and I don't even have kids :lol:). There are dogs that are completely safe around kids...the second dog we had when I was growing up was the bestest Black Lab ever...you could do anything to that dog and he would just wag his tail. When my cousins were very little, they walked up to him and took a dog bone right out of his mouth. He just looked at them and waited for them to give it back.

I have also been bitten by a dog. The first dog we had was a Cocker Spaniel...we had him from a puppy, and he was raised perfectly. He was just completely untrustworthy. My brother and I were not really young...I was 10 and he was 7. The dog would snap whenever he was in the "mood"...one day, he was laying down on the floor and I reached down to pick up a clothes hanger that was a few feet away from him. He jumped up and bit down on my hand. When I got my hand away from him and turned to run away, he bit the back of my calf. Looking back, my parents should have euthanized, but instead they gave him away with full disclosure of what he'd done.

I hope all works out for you.

Caitlin

Leaning down into a dog's face IS provokation. people need to stop letting the kids torment the animals.

PonyPile
Jan. 31, 2009, 11:40 AM
I'm sorry this happened.

This is a no brainer for me, find the Corgi a fabulous home free of toddlers. This is all about what is best for your child.

same here, I think. Hard to say when it comes down to actually being in the situation. I might consider rehoming the husband too for turning his back on a toddler bugging a dog that you guys knew cannot be trusted.

PonyPile
Jan. 31, 2009, 11:41 AM
Honestly. The OP made her decision already. Get over it. It does not make you a better person to make a different decision. Stop the preaching.

uh, I think what happens is people read the firt post or two, then respond. Thats what I did. I guess Ill go through the rest of it to see what the OP decided :cool:

and having read the rest...
The dog being on mood altering drugs changes my opinion. Id keep them seperate until the dog is no longer on the drugs. If the dog is the same, then I would probably rehome or euth.

For the people that think the dog is JUSTIFIED in biting, psh..you make me shake my head. A dog is a dog. They are at the BOTTOM of the pecking order. They do not get to bite, EVER.
I have an alpha personality collie mutt. High energy, was aggressively out of control when I got her.

But anyway..my point is. I dont care what the kids are doing, the dog does not get a say. Shes a dog, she gets harrased plenty. Lots of loving little kid hugs, her tongue pulled, she gets sat on, dragged around, mauled all over. She has to put up with it, because I say so. Im the leader of this pack and what I say goes.

vacation1
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:11 PM
Leaning down into a dog's face IS provokation. people need to stop letting the kids torment the animals.

My first response to this is "You've got to be kidding." I admit, thought, there's a grain of truth there. Dogs do read different things as provocation - a kid looming overhead, a kid staring directly at the dog, etc. The trick is to get a dog who tolerates all this because it just adores children. They're out there, just like dogs who tolerate cold and discomfort because they adore retrieving or herding or whatever. I never understand why the term 'working dogs' doesn't apply to pet dogs. Being a good family dog is at least as difficult as being a good police dog or hunting dog - probably harder, since the other working situations entail a degree of 'off' time for the dog, which family pets don't get.

RedMare01
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:16 PM
Leaning down into a dog's face IS provokation. people need to stop letting the kids torment the animals.

I'm sorry, but that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. A 2 1/2 year old leaning down over the dog is provocation and torment? She wasn't messing with him at all (not even touching him), and he was not backed into a corner. How on earth do you pet your dog if you don't ever get near him for fear of him being provoked? Good lord.

Caitlin

Nezzy
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:24 PM
My first response to this is "You've got to be kidding." I admit, thought, there's a grain of truth there. Dogs do read different things as provocation - a kid looming overhead, a kid staring directly at the dog, etc. The trick is to get a dog who tolerates all this because it just adores children. They're out there, just like dogs who tolerate cold and discomfort because they adore retrieving or herding or whatever. I never understand why the term 'working dogs' doesn't apply to pet dogs. Being a good family dog is at least as difficult as being a good police dog or hunting dog - probably harder, since the other working situations entail a degree of 'off' time for the dog, which family pets don't get.

the trick is to train yourself as a dog owner not to allow your child to mess with a dog. learn about pack behavior and mentality before bringing a baby into your life.

RedMare01
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:27 PM
YES it is. the dog only wanted to be left alone and the parent lets the child go over and annoy the dog. Leaning into the dog's personal space ( territory) is not acceptable. People need to learn about Pack behavior before having kids and bringing them into a home that already has a dog.

Where did you get that they "let the child go over and annoy the dog?" The child was in the kitchen playing and the dog was standing behind her. She turned around, leaned over him, and he jumped up and bit her in the face. Her mom was about 10 feet away in the living room and saw the whole thing. If you call that provocation, I don't know what to tell you.

Caitlin

Aven
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:29 PM
Its not what we think.. its what the dog thinks.. Yes staring is a threat. It doesn't matter the childs age. Now does that mean a dog should react.. no. But that still doesn't make the dog NOT wired to see staring as a threat.

All dogs can bite. I don't buy into the whole pack theory crap (as dog's are not pack animals anyway...) BUT I can tell the foster dogs have learnt to protect themselves in ways other than using their teeth. They can get up and leave for example.

IMO a dog should not have to take being abused by children. I don't let anyone abuse my horses either. If a child went into a ponies stall and kept poking him with a dressage whip and the kid got kicked how will it matter if the 'pony shouldn't have as I am the herd leader' or not? Animals are animals. Why put an animal in a position where it feels the need to defend itself? Why not teach the animal how to avoid and deal? And then do your best to make sure no children or adults abuse them.

bludejavu
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:48 PM
Aven - I agree with your post for the most part, but dogs that normally lead a suburban life can become pack dogs very quickly. I've seen people's pets escape to our farm, meet up with other dogs and instantly start running the horses. Apparently there are some inborn natural instincts that certain conditions can and do bring out. There's nothing I hate more than seeing a neighbor's dog in with other dogs out in our pastures. Fortunately, it hasn't happened in a long time, but the times that it did happen taught me a lesson about doggy instincts. It leads me to believe that those same instincts still may come into play at home for them. I'm not a true dog lover at all as stated in a previous post of mine, but I've been around them a bunch and have owned quite a few dogs, all while living on a farm most of the time - I've been shocked at how quickly they become different dogs when running with other dogs.

Nezzy
Jan. 31, 2009, 02:44 PM
Its not what we think.. its what the dog thinks.. Yes staring is a threat. It doesn't matter the childs age. Now does that mean a dog should react.. no. But that still doesn't make the dog NOT wired to see staring as a threat.

All dogs can bite. I don't buy into the whole pack theory crap (as dog's are not pack animals anyway...) BUT I can tell the foster dogs have learnt to protect themselves in ways other than using their teeth. They can get up and leave for example.

IMO a dog should not have to take being abused by children. I don't let anyone abuse my horses either. If a child went into a ponies stall and kept poking him with a dressage whip and the kid got kicked how will it matter if the 'pony shouldn't have as I am the herd leader' or not? Animals are animals. Why put an animal in a position where it feels the need to defend itself? Why not teach the animal how to avoid and deal? And then do your best to make sure no children or adults abuse them.


Since When Are dogs NOT pack animals? i think you need to do some reading. just like Horses are herd animals, dogs are pack animals. Social by nature and behavior. When you bring a dog into your home, you become his pack, and those LOWER in rank need to keep to their place.

Domestic dogs inherited a complex social hierarchy and behaviors from their ancestor, the wolf[9]. Dogs are pack animals with a complex set of behaviors related to determining the dogs position in the social hierarchy. Dogs exhibit various postures and other means of nonverbal communication that reveal their states of mind[9]. These sophisticated forms of social cognition and communication may account for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations[citation needed]. These attributes have earned dogs a unique relationship with humans despite being potentially dangerous Apex predators. Dogs and humans at times co-operate in some of the most effective hunting in the animal world. The loyalty and devotion that dogs demonstrate as part of their natural instincts as pack animals closely mimics the human idea of love and friendship, leading many dog owners to view their pets as full-fledged family members. Conversely, dogs seem to view their human companions as members of their pack, and make few, if any, distinctions between their owners and fellow dogs. Dogs fill a variety of roles in human society and are often trained as working dogs. For dogs that do not have traditional jobs, a wide range of dog sports provide the opportunity to exhibit their natural skills.
Dogs have lived and worked with humans in so many roles that they have earned the unique sobriquet "man's best friend",[73] a term which is used in other languages as well as in Icelandic (“besti vinur mannsins”).

vacation1
Jan. 31, 2009, 04:19 PM
the trick is to train yourself as a dog owner not to allow your child to mess with a dog. learn about pack behavior and mentality before bringing a baby into your life.

Oh, please. That's like saying the trick to being married is to learn about the link between testosterone and aggression, and then making sure never to piss off your husband. It is not somehow abusive or unreasonable to expect thinking beings to tolerate each other's annoying behaviors - women not beating the kids for tracking mud into the house, man not beating wife for burning the carrots, dog not biting anyone for looking at him cross-eyed. You seem to think that a dog has roughly the same potential for companionship as a hamster. I think that's aiming a little low.

dalpal
Jan. 31, 2009, 08:57 PM
I'm sorry, but that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. A 2 1/2 year old leaning down over the dog is provocation and torment? She wasn't messing with him at all (not even touching him), and he was not backed into a corner. How on earth do you pet your dog if you don't ever get near him for fear of him being provoked? Good lord.

Caitlin

Okay, I was going to shut up, but I have to address this post.

It is NOT the most ridiculos thing....it is very true. If you have EVER dealt with a fear aggressive dog, you do not stick your nose in their face. I have three dogs here...2, sure...you could hug, squeeze....but my boy...no, you do not get down in his face. I think see so many people doing the dumbest things with dogs...sticking their head and fingers in someone's vehicle to pet their dog, running up on strange dogs, getting in dogs faces.



I get near him all the time, I love on him, I pet him.....but he trusts me and I understand that he is claustropobic and doesn't want you in his face. I can pet my dog without sticking my nose in his face.

Some of you guys really need to read up on dog behavior before you assume that everyone here is full of BS because you have never heard of such a thing. ;)

dalpal
Jan. 31, 2009, 09:02 PM
Its not what we think.. its what the dog thinks.. Yes staring is a threat. It doesn't matter the childs age. Now does that mean a dog should react.. no. But that still doesn't make the dog NOT wired to see staring as a threat. EXACTLY!!!!


All dogs can bite. I don't buy into the whole pack theory crap (as dog's are not pack animals anyway...) BUT I can tell the foster dogs have learnt to protect themselves in ways other than using their teeth. They can get up and leave for example. I personally do believe dogs are pack members...BUT, I agree with you on the rest of this paragraph.

IMO a dog should not have to take being abused by children. I don't let anyone abuse my horses either. If a child went into a ponies stall and kept poking him with a dressage whip and the kid got kicked how will it matter if the 'pony shouldn't have as I am the herd leader' or not? Animals are animals. Why put an animal in a position where it feels the need to defend itself? Why not teach the animal how to avoid and deal? And then do your best to make sure no children or adults abuse them.
Once again I agree with you...and no, I do not have any children. If adults would use common sense and stop "just expecting" the dog to roll over and let the baby crawl, pinch, pull and not react...things might work out better.

Nezzy
Jan. 31, 2009, 09:39 PM
Oh, please. That's like saying the trick to being married is to learn about the link between testosterone and aggression, and then making sure never to piss off your husband. It is not somehow abusive or unreasonable to expect thinking beings to tolerate each other's annoying behaviors - women not beating the kids for tracking mud into the house, man not beating wife for burning the carrots, dog not biting anyone for looking at him cross-eyed. You seem to think that a dog has roughly the same potential for companionship as a hamster. I think that's aiming a little low.

???

RedMare01
Jan. 31, 2009, 09:41 PM
Okay, I was going to shut up, but I have to address this post.

It is NOT the most ridiculos thing....it is very true. If you have EVER dealt with a fear aggressive dog, you do not stick your nose in their face. I have three dogs here...2, sure...you could hug, squeeze....but my boy...no, you do not get down in his face. I think see so many people doing the dumbest things with dogs...sticking their head and fingers in someone's vehicle to pet their dog, running up on strange dogs, getting in dogs faces.



I get near him all the time, I love on him, I pet him.....but he trusts me and I understand that he is claustropobic and doesn't want you in his face. I can pet my dog without sticking my nose in his face.

Some of you guys really need to read up on dog behavior before you assume that everyone here is full of BS because you have never heard of such a thing. ;)

Well, apparently we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. And I have dealt with a fear aggressive dog; the Cocker Spaniel that bit me that I referenced in my first post was a fear biter (and there was no reason for it; we raised him from a puppy and he was never mistreated).

I think adults can have whatever dog they like as long as they're willing to live with it; the problem is that we're talking about children in this post. I'm sure that it can work to keep the dog and the child separated for years, but to me that would be completely exhausting and defeat the point of having a dog. A dog is supposed to be for companionship, and for me, when I have kids, I have to be able to trust the dog around them. I don't want to have to worry that I will turn my back or be 10 feet away (like my friend) from them and the dog will attack the child. You seem to think that all parents with kids and problem dogs are letting the kids terrorize the dogs and I don't think that is the case at all. There are simply some dogs (like people) that don't like kids, and that is fine. And it isn't always clear what the dog will be like with kids until the kids are born and underfoot. You just can't expect the parents to keep the dog and put the child in danger just for the sake of keeping the dog.

I agree that dogs are pack animals and can interpret signals in different ways. It is completely possible that the Dachshund took the little girl bending down over him (although she was not in his face, she was a least a foot from him) as a sign of aggression. But, now that he has bitten, do you think it's in any of their best interests to keep the dog?

Caitlin

Touchstone Farm
Jan. 31, 2009, 10:25 PM
I think adults can have whatever dog they like as long as they're willing to live with it; the problem is that we're talking about children in this post.

Caitlin, that's it exactly. As an adult, feel free to put yourself in as risky situations as you want. You know the risk, you accept, you deal with the consequences. But children need the protection of their parents. Their parents need to make decisions to keep them safe until they can make decisions on their own as adults, as to risk.

When I was growing up, our terrier bit a neighbor girl in the face because she thought our rough-housing with each other was real and she should protect us. My dad told us he gave the dog away to a farmer so she could run free in the country because he couldn't trust a dog who bit a child. We accepted that. (We found out later he actually put the dog down.) I understand why my dad did that. I first would have tried to find a new home for the dog, but if I couldn't, I would do what my dad did because children come first.

YankeeLawyer
Feb. 1, 2009, 09:42 AM
I have to say thatit makes me really sad to read all of these posts stating that the OP should rehome her dog. Not that I don't love children - but it seems pretty clear from what was written by OP (no offense OP) that the dog was set up to fail. .

The dog was "set up to fail"? Are you kidding me? I am really astonished by all these posts focused on whether it was the dog's *fault." This isn't about fault. What if the dog mauls the child -- would people then say the kid deserved it for pulling the dog's tail or something?

One of my childhood friends was bitten in the face by a dog when we were in second grade and she was permanently disfigured (the dog bit her her nose off as well as part of her cheek, and no amount of plastic surgery could correct the damage 100%). My friend probably was teasing the dog -- so???

This dog clearly cannot be trusted with the baby. Either separate them completely or rehome the dog.

gloriginger
Feb. 1, 2009, 10:24 AM
The dog was "set up to fail"? Are you kidding me? I am really astonished by all these posts focused on whether it was the dog's *fault." This isn't about fault. What if the dog mauls the child -- would people then say the kid deserved it for pulling the dog's tail or something?

One of my childhood friends was bitten in the face by a dog when we were in second grade and she was permanently disfigured (the dog bit her her nose off as well as part of her cheek, and no amount of plastic surgery could correct the damage 100%). My friend probably was teasing the dog -- so???

This dog clearly cannot be trusted with the baby. Either separate them completely or rehome the dog.

{stops banging head against wall to respond}

No I'm not kidding you! For the record, I was bit by a german shepherd when I was 5. We were walking into a store, I went over to the dog to pet it and it bit me in the stomach- still have a scar today. That experience taught me that you don't go up to random dogs - you ask if its okay to to pet the dog- you ask the owner if the dog is friendly. You also wait for dogs to approach you. Not all dogs are friendly.

However, neither of these examples are the same as what happened with the OPs situation. The dog gave warnings, the father did not listen to the warnings, the toddler cornered the dog - and we don't know what transpired from there, then the dog nipped (which the child's DR. said was nothing more than a glorified scratch). Yes, from what was explained about the situation, I think the dog was set up to fail. The adult should have recognized the dog's warning signs, put the dog in the crate, or brought the child to another room.

I'm sorry your friend was disfigured- that must have been a horrible experience- but it seems you are projecting your own experience on to every situation where a dog nips. I really don't see how your friends experience and the OPs are the same.

There are certainly situations where the right choice is to euthanize a dog versus keep it in the family. My brother adopted a lab from rescue. The dog began to show signs of aggression toward men. He growled a few times when a new man came over. Then my sister-in-laws brother was visiting, he was playing with my niece and the dog ran over and bit him in the leg. Broke the skin - very big bruise. The dog was quarentined for ten days, and with the advice of trainers and the vet they decided to euthanize the dog. Sometimes this is the best choice for the safety of the humans and for the dog -this dog was not a happy dog. Sometimes there are other options.

In the OPs situation, I think that the humans could do things to make the situation work- and a few pages back to OP also decided this.

I really wish the moderators would end this thread.

{helmet on}

Triplicate
Feb. 1, 2009, 10:44 AM
What are you waiting for ?
Find a nice home for the dog - I am sure the dog would be happier without the crate. With Grandmother ?
Child will be happier without what could be a terrible, scarred face or body, or worse.
This doesn't even warrant consideration.

ThirdCharm
Feb. 1, 2009, 10:54 AM
One of my childhood friends was bitten in the face by a dog when we were in second grade and she was permanently disfigured (the dog bit her her nose off as well as part of her cheek, and no amount of plastic surgery could correct the damage 100%). My friend probably was teasing the dog -- so???


So.... what? The dog can't be 'trusted' and should be put down for defending itself? Where do you draw the line? It can't defend itself if it's being poked or threatened.... how about if a kid ties a firecracker to its tail? Can it react then?

I personally don't blame the dog at all, I would if it bit for no reason but that is not the case (and rarely is!!!). Let's pretend this was a horse. We all know horses should not kick, right? Well, how about if some jerky kid from down the road corners your horse in its stall and starts whacking it with a stick or throwing things at it? Are you going to blame it if it kicks then?

It is not the dog's "job" to put up with being tormented--if you have a dog that will, great, but don't count on it! If you're going to have dogs, and kids, then you have to be responsible enough to keep them separated until such a time as you are capable of teaching your kid to follow instructions immediately (like NO! STOP! etc) and rules when you're not around. Fortunately most kids are capable of following simple instructions at a surprisingly young age, and rules by the time they are school aged and their parents can't be with them 24/7; unfortunately, not all parents are capable of teaching them to do so....

Jennifer

YankeeLawyer
Feb. 1, 2009, 11:31 AM
So.... what? The dog can't be 'trusted' and should be put down for defending itself? Where do you draw the line? It can't defend itself if it's being poked or threatened.... how about if a kid ties a firecracker to its tail? Can it react then?

I personally don't blame the dog at all, I would if it bit for no reason but that is not the case (and rarely is!!!). Let's pretend this was a horse. We all know horses should not kick, right? Well, how about if some jerky kid from down the road corners your horse in its stall and starts whacking it with a stick or throwing things at it? Are you going to blame it if it kicks then?

It is not the dog's "job" to put up with being tormented--if you have a dog that will, great, but don't count on it! If you're going to have dogs, and kids, then you have to be responsible enough to keep them separated until such a time as you are capable of teaching your kid to follow instructions immediately (like NO! STOP! etc) and rules when you're not around. Fortunately most kids are capable of following simple instructions at a surprisingly young age, and rules by the time they are school aged and their parents can't be with them 24/7; unfortunately, not all parents are capable of teaching them to do so....

Jennifer

Um,...re read my post. I said to keep dog and baby separated or rehome the dog. I never said to euthanize the dog.

RedMare01
Feb. 1, 2009, 02:04 PM
I think there are two different opinions on this thread, those that think it is okay for a dog to react like an animal (to everyday situations) and those that don't. For me, a dog showing aggression to anyone, child or not, is a dog I would not have. I am not talking about abusing the dog, I am talking about normal daily interaction with it (which may ***gasp*** include making eye contact with the dog, bending down over it, getting in "it's space", petting it, and possibly having kids around it). If I had to worry about someone coming over to pet the dog and it biting them, that is not acceptable. I can't believe how many here are arguing that it is. Don't you worry about liability? What if you get sued? Do you never take your dog out in public?

There is a difference between abuse and normal interaction. I have no problem with a dog defending itself if something (or someone) is physically hurting it. But we are not really talking about abuse, we are talking about normal daily life. No one that's posted here about being bitten was abusing a dog in any way.

Caitlin

YankeeLawyer
Feb. 1, 2009, 02:22 PM
I think there are two different opinions on this thread, those that think it is okay for a dog to react like an animal (to everyday situations) and those that don't. For me, a dog showing aggression to anyone, child or not, is a dog I would not have. I am not talking about abusing the dog, I am talking about normal daily interaction with it (which may ***gasp*** include making eye contact with the dog, bending down over it, getting in "it's space", petting it, and possibly having kids around it). If I had to worry about someone coming over to pet the dog and it biting them, that is not acceptable. I can't believe how many here are arguing that it is. Don't you worry about liability? What if you get sued? Do you never take your dog out in public?

There is a difference between abuse and normal interaction. I have no problem with a dog defending itself if something (or someone) is physically hurting it. But we are not really talking about abuse, we are talking about normal daily life. No one that's posted here about being bitten was abusing a dog in any way.

Caitlin

I agree. And to the people defending the dog -- can't you see that perhaps the dog is really unhappy in this environment and does not want to be pestered by a child? Either separate them until the child is old enough to learn to leave the dog alone or rehome the dog.

certifiedgirl
Feb. 2, 2009, 01:00 AM
Wow, I can't believe this thread has gotten to nine pages!! I started reading it the other night and here it is again.
I'm so relieved to have a wonderful 18mo. old puppy instead of a human baby- I can actually train mine to leave things alone when told to. Whew.

elctrnc
Feb. 2, 2009, 08:23 AM
I think there are two different opinions on this thread, those that think it is okay for a dog to react like an animal (to everyday situations) and those that don't.

No, there is also a third: That it was the prednisone.

OP, hoping that you can sort this out after your dog is off the prednisone.

mickeydoodle
Feb. 2, 2009, 04:42 PM
I looked at the original post again. OP say's baby is "almost a year old" anyone who has had kids, or worked around them knows that at 10-12MONTHS the baby IS NOT A REASONING, RESPONSIVE INDIVIDUAL. Sure, you can be firm and say no, but to say "you better leave the dog alone" to a kid this old probably sounds like "lkkdjfiroe9urijlj dog kldjfoieruo" This is what the OP says the husband said. A baby this age can understand the concept of "NO" but not a sentence like above. Hell, they are just begining to jabber "da da" "ma ma" "choo choo" "bloggie" (doggie) and lots of jibberish. They eat with their fingers, smear it all over their face and the furniture, drink from a bottle (generally too young for sippy cup) wear diapers and are just begining to walk. The concept of an infant this age "cornering" the dog is nuts- the kid probably weighs about 10-15 pounds and is very unsteady on their feet, likely mostly crawling. Easily avoided by even a Chihouaha (spell?) if the dog wants to get away. This is not a 4 year old who got the dog in a corner.

This is another bite waiting to happen- a peevish, dominant Corgi, and a baby (not child, but INFANT). If they are not completely seperated, this will happen. Whatever people argue on this board, the bite will happen.

fordtraktor
Feb. 2, 2009, 04:50 PM
Exactly, mickeydoodle.

For those of you who want the thread to die, the reason why that hasn't happened is that people are concerned about the baby's safety. OP's last response was "I'll keep them apart until I stop the meds" which to some of us does not sound safe.

I think many of us believe the OP expects too much reasoning capacity from an infant and expects to have more control over the situation than she will. We are worried that something bad will happen. I would rather repeat the risks ad nauseum than to hear some day that something bad did happen -- too late to do anything about it.

Trevelyan96
Feb. 2, 2009, 04:52 PM
If it were me, dog would be rehomed. Baby is too precious to risk another, more serious bite, and accidents like this are prone to happen around toddlers. Next time it could be worse, and then how would you feel?

It's painful, but in the end, its a dog, and right now the environment is not the right one for either your dog or your toddler.

FWIW, I had to put down my 2 year old Akita because of an agression problem. It was a very painful decision, but when dealing with a dog that size, I just felt it would be irresponsible to rehome him.

Whatever your decision, good luck.

Cielo Azure
Feb. 2, 2009, 05:41 PM
I think this thread has gone on and on because it is not really about the OP, her baby and her dog (well, it is and it isn't).

What we are all really debating is what is acceptable risk. Kids raised with horses, cows, sheep, dogs on a whole bunch of land. Kids allowed to run free, climb trees, fall down holes, drive tractors and ATVs at an early age, kids made to do chores, even somewhat dangerous chores (bring animals in from the pasture, feeding animals using machines, etc...they turn out different than kids stuck in urban environments. Kids who watch more TV, hang out with friends indoors and do computer games all day and night.

But with a childhood of living the outdoor life, is a childhhood that comes comes with a lot risk. I really think it is that risk we are staring at and asking the hard questions about.

So, you put down the dog for snapping at your kid but you allow same kid to run around and climb into the hay loft at age six (or not). The same kid, does he or she get to drive the 500cc ATV to feed the horses when he/she is twelve (or do you do it twice a day)? Do they get to climb trees, explore the wonders of a hay escalator, swim in a pond, etc, etc.? I "NEED" my sons to haul hay, work the tractor, use the escalator, move bales in the hay loft, climb those rickety ladders. Where do we draw the line? And then there are the animal issues?

I can remember my seven or eight year lasooing a 200 pound sheep and being dragged accross the pasture because he refused to let go. I laughed my ass off. Was it sheep abuse? Child abuse? Who knows? But it is one of his favorite memories and taught him that he is not one to give up. Yes, risk. But isn't that what this is about.

Now: a one year old. That is pretty young to be dealing with this but this is the age it starts, for those of us living on a farm or even those of us just trying to raise healthy kids who aren't totally tied to the TV and an indoor exsistence, and ergo: we expose our children to risks everyday. But what is acceptable risk?

How do we protect our kids from the farm life while living the farm life?

Just My Style
Feb. 2, 2009, 06:02 PM
Well, I am a big fan of the quote "Stupid hurts." Ask my 8 year old. He will tell you. Bad decisions yield bad results. I grew up on a farm and did lots of dumb things and luckily lived to tell the tale. It happens.

And that is really a different issue because the child in question can not, under any circumstances, make any kind of decision on anything. I also have a just turned one year old. Let me tell you, his biggest decision today was whether or not to put the pop bead in his mouth or the little person fireman in his mouth. That's it. No reasoning skills whatsoever. And because of that, parents are responsible for looking out for them and keeping them from reasonable harm.

Prednisone or not, I would be very cautious of this child dog relationship in the future. When my Great Dane does not feel like being around the kids, he leaves. He never growls, snaps, turns confrontational- nothing. He simply goes where the kids are not.

PonyPile
Feb. 2, 2009, 06:02 PM
Cielo Azure...Huh :confused:
I think it really is a thread about dogs biting kids:winkgrin:

MistyBlue
Feb. 2, 2009, 06:36 PM
Agree with Cielo on not over-protecting children.
But...:winkgrin:...even growing up on a farm if the farm dog snaps at a year old baby and catches it in the face...the farmer gives the dog to someone without children or puts it down. It's no longer a possible risk...it's a fact. Dog bites children.
I personally wouldn't put the dog down...I'm lucky enough that I come from an enormous family who all love animals. I also have quite a few local friends who have farms or their own homes and would probably be happy to take a dog. I have a pretty decent sized pool of potential new homes to choose from...many without small kids.
If I didn't have the size family I have...I'd talk to my vet about the issue of having a dog that's not happy around small children and has bitten my toddler already. I don't want to euth the dog if at all possible but I won't keep my child in a risky situation or force my dog into a life of living in crates or tucked away in rooms that the humans aren't in, can they help me find a new home for it? The vets can usually ask their techs or other clients if they're willing to take a new dog in.
I'd exhaust all options before euthanizing the dog, but I wouldn't keep the dog in the same house as my toddler. Too risky looking out for the next bite...and not fair to the dog to keep it separated from family life either.

Cielo Azure
Feb. 2, 2009, 06:40 PM
Cielo Azure...Huh :confused:
I think it really is a thread about dogs biting kids:winkgrin:


Then why the OPs title "FARM dog?"

Why not "spoiled household corgi dog"

Page after page of people writing about acceptable risk or not. I think the issue is deeper than that, but clearly you think I am off the wall in my comments. Hey, I am ok with that.

I probably am ;)

Cielo Azure
Feb. 2, 2009, 06:42 PM
Agree with Cielo on not over-protecting children.
But...:winkgrin:...even growing up on a farm if the farm dog snaps at a year old baby and catches it in the face...the farmer gives the dog to someone without children or puts it down. It's no longer a possible risk...it's a fact. Dog bites children.
I personally wouldn't put the dog down...I'm lucky enough that I come from an enormous family who all love animals. I also have quite a few local friends who have farms or their own homes and would probably be happy to take a dog. I have a pretty decent sized pool of potential new homes to choose from...many without small kids.
If I didn't have the size family I have...I'd talk to my vet about the issue of having a dog that's not happy around small children and has bitten my toddler already. I don't want to euth the dog if at all possible but I won't keep my child in a risky situation or force my dog into a life of living in crates or tucked away in rooms that the humans aren't in, can they help me find a new home for it? The vets can usually ask their techs or other clients if they're willing to take a new dog in.
I'd exhaust all options before euthanizing the dog, but I wouldn't keep the dog in the same house as my toddler. Too risky looking out for the next bite...and not fair to the dog to keep it separated from family life either.

I agree. Time to guilt trip a great aunt or childless sibling into a "new" dog! That would be a win-win.

mickeydoodle
Feb. 2, 2009, 10:13 PM
the infant is NOT 12 MONTHS OLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!younger than 1 year- I think that is why the thread has persisted. It raises my blood pressure every time I read a post about the "dog being cornered, provoked, etc." As for accepting risks for farm children- THIS IS NOT A "CHILD" THIS IS AN INFANT, NOT ABLE TO REASON, NO SELF CONTROL, NO ABILITY TO PROTECT ITSELF. TALK ABOUT THE DOG PROTECTING ITSELF???? THIS IS A COMPLETELY HELPLESS HUMAN!!!!!!!


I am a surgeon, I have treated lots of dog bites. About a year ago I had a patient who died after his son's house dog got him on the floor, and chewed his arm off (it was hanging by a few threads of muscle around the bone). We had to amputate the arm, and he eventually died of organ failure and sepsis. The dog was one he knew for many years, and had "dog sat" multiple times.

As an adult I might accept a dog bite for myself, if I thought I had contributed to the incident, or the dog had problems, but I WOULD NEVER ACCEPT IT FOR AN INFANT. Frankly, if it happens again, and I bet it will, I would not be shocked if the parents are reported to social services for child neglect, as well as the dog being reported to animal control.

Aussie_Dog
Feb. 3, 2009, 05:42 AM
One of the most important rules of having dogs and children is NEVER leave the two unattended with each other. The toddler will be fascinated with the doggy, but dogs have their own comfort zones as well, and dogs ALWAYS go by the pack rules. A baby is automatically lower than him on the totem pole (due to the baby's size and it's tendency to squeal), and it's your job to teach him that the baby is, in fact, above him, and must always be treated with respect. It makes the difference between the dog reprimanding the baby for doing something wrong (and he's always giving signals beforehand, such as growling, ears back, tail down, yawning, mouth closed tight, etc.), or the dog putting up with it because that's just the way it is. He wouldn't reprimand the pack leader, and he wouldn't reprimand the lowest dog who's only one point above him in rank. BUT, that doesn't mean it's fair to have to "put up with it." It's the parent's job to be watching the interactions between the dog and baby, and if the dog is getting stressed out or nervous, remove the baby or the dog from the situation. Even though the baby is too young, get started in teaching him or her the rules of dog ownership ("No hitting, don't stick your face at his mouth, don't hover over him, etc.")

I had to deal with your situation when my niece was born. My dog has never really been a people person, much less a baby person (okay, I know he's not a person but you get what I mean), and there were some trying times in the beginning. Essentially, if Jake wasn't comfortable with her around him, he'd remove himself from the situation, go lay under the table or go downstairs to his crate. If he got cornered, like say my niece walked up to him when he couldn't wander away without turning and going past her, or someone was holding onto him and trying to "teach" him that baby pats were pleasant, then he'd get stressed. When Jake gets pressured by this here baby, he panicks, and even though he's giving out signals (not growling, but lots of yawning, ears back, tail down, general stiffness of the body), he'll reach the end of his rope and he'll desperately try to get the baby away from him by snapping at the air near her. Not connecting with the skin, but snapping at the air and having his teeth make that clacking sound. Scary sound to the parents hovering around him. Jake would get reprimanded by daddy, and granny would banish him downstairs. He's basically being punished for something that he tried to avoid, and that can make matters worse.

He still hasn't made skin contact, 3 years later, but we're still working on keeping our eyes peeled when the two are together. If Jake's unhappy (and being his buddy for 10 years, I can read him like a book), I tell Ameleah to move away from him. Sadly, she does understand that Jake can get scary (got a heaping dose of it that one time he snapped at her face and slobbered her dress, sending her racing behind a chair to whimper and cry to herself), and she listens. She no longer slaps him or throws things at him (thank God), and is now understanding that animals are precious creatures that need to be treated with respect. Since Jake has put up with a lot of crud in his 10 years of life, we treat him with respect and afford him with fairness and the right to make mistakes.

Personally, I don't believe that if a dog strikes at a child, that he's guaranteed to do it again. He'll only do it again if the parent isn't treating him properly, as in watching him with the child (being his owner, she MUST be able to read his body language, and be able to tell when he's starting to get stressed). One of the biggest rules of dog ownership, maybe THE biggest rule of dog ownership, is to never set the dog up for failure. You're not going to be able to properly train him that way. Don't give him the chance to get stressed and reach the point of desperation. Step in and rescue him, and try to teach child what she was doing wrong (even if it's just "he just wants to be alone right now, we better leave him alone.") No child can tell if a dog who's been alive longer than her is getting nervous. All she sees is a hairy face and hairy body and a hairy tail, and she's petting him, and all of a sudden all she sees is shiny teeth. Which brings up the point that she could suffer mental damage of dogs, be afraid of them in the future, and nobody wants that, especially a farm family who needs their farm dogs. Teach both of them the proper way to behave, and they could very easily bond into buddies.

Everybody has the right to their own ideas of how to handle a dog biting a child, but I'm of the belief that every dog deserves the chance to make the right choices too. There are soooooo many circumstances that lead to a dog snapping at a child, and they don't all qualify for putting the dog down. Chances are quite good that the parent was the problem and should have prevented it. Dogs have the mentality of a 2 year old, they can't reason and work out the answer to a problem. You have to do it for them, same as with a child.

LisaB
Feb. 3, 2009, 04:23 PM
Absolutely right on Aussie dog ... if the kid is a visitor.
If the kid is a permanent resident and the dog is not a people person and not tolerant, then either dog or kid gotta go. It's going to be an inevitable brawl and kid is going to lose. Families with babies have to have a saint of a dog because kid is just a kid and they don't take a year to fully grow, they take 15 years! In that time, the kid is not going to know right from wrong, good vs bad and is going to get in the dog's way/face.

Aussie_Dog
Feb. 4, 2009, 03:25 AM
I don't know, it's actually possible to have a young child understand the proper way to treat a dog. I see it in every single animal rescuer's family. If the child and dog clash and the child was at fault, you bet that mom or dad gives the child a scolding. That's just the way it is in the animal rescue world. However, I have learned that it's not until the kid reaches about 3 years of age that they can start behaving properly around animals. They just don't understand WHY they shouldn't hit or throw things.

If the child and dog aren't getting along and the kid is actually 15 years old, then there's something wrong there, and it's not the dog.

Cielo Azure
Feb. 4, 2009, 10:21 AM
I don't know, it's actually possible to have a young child understand the proper way to treat a dog. I see it in every single animal rescuer's family. If the child and dog clash and the child was at fault, you bet that mom or dad gives the child a scolding. That's just the way it is in the animal rescue world. However, I have learned that it's not until the kid reaches about 3 years of age that they can start behaving properly around animals. They just don't understand WHY they shouldn't hit or throw things.

If the child and dog aren't getting along and the kid is actually 15 years old, then there's something wrong there, and it's not the dog.

I agree. I have five dogs, two kids and although the mix of dogs has changed, as my kids have gotten older (16 and 22 years old now), we never, ever have had issues. Yes, toddlers must be watched and trained but by three (really by one and a half years old), my kids never, EVER harrassed the animals. Heck, I can remember my oldest chewing out other kids for chasing seagulls at the beach when he was about four.

I taught my kids empathy for animals (and people) EARLY and they understand that animals have feelings and think. It is all of our jobs to keep our animals (and kids) safe, secure and happy. This teaching starts about from six months old. Yes, it does take a year or two but you protect your animals, your kids, stay on top of things and it works. The idea that young kids can't get it upsets me. But then some parents let kids chase seagulls on the beach and pull doggies tails. Then they think young kids can't get it...

But I wouldn't own certain breeds and have kids (bully dogs mainly) and snappy dogs (terriors, etc). But many people make that work too. Snappy dogs are much, much safer than dogs that grip and don't let go, if one had to make that choice from hell.

BUT If I had a snappy dog and a baby, I would re-home. Some dogs just don't have the temperament for kids. I got lucky with all my dogs.

Now, my dogs don't have any exposure to babies/toddlers and that worries me sometimes with people visit. I have to be careful because I can't train my dogs on someone else's kids, so I lock those ones up who haven't been around little, tiny ones rather than take a chance on them jumping on toddlers or trying to herd them. Any one want to let me borrow their toddlers for the afternoon for doggy training (just kidding)?

Mav226
Feb. 5, 2009, 07:53 PM
What a heartbreaking situation.

It sounds like you're blaming Dad a little bit. Try to ease off of him, he probably feels bad enough. Accidents happen.

Is it possible to let the dog on your bed? Ours go there when they need a time out. It is much too high for the baby to reach and they enjoy some quiet time.

NoDQhere
Feb. 8, 2009, 01:20 PM
I've not read this whole thread. I only have one child so can only share what we did. When my kid was just getting good at walking he was fascinated with the dog. This was a little mutt dog. A Golden/Corgi cross?? :eek:. The dog would just avoid him. One day, my child walked up to the dog and kicked him as hard as he could. I happened to be right there and immediately paddled the kids behind and told him in no uncertain terms that it is NEVER OK to kick or hit an animal! I scared the dickens out of him and he cried for a bit.

From that day on, this kid could hold a tiny kitten, rabbit, bird, whatever and you never had to worry about him squeezing or dropping a critter. To this day, this kid, now a college freshman on the Dean's list, is the kindest most gentle person with all animals.

Kids, even pretty young ones need to learn to respect animals. I wouldn't euthanize a dog for snapping at a kid, but if the dog bit to cause harm, I would either find the dog a new home or keep them separated until the kid knows the "rules".

vacation1
Feb. 8, 2009, 03:44 PM
Now: a one year old. That is pretty young to be dealing with this but this is the age it starts, for those of us living on a farm or even those of us just trying to raise healthy kids who aren't totally tied to the TV and an indoor exsistence, and ergo: we expose our children to risks everyday. But what is acceptable risk? How do we protect our kids from the farm life while living the farm life?

I see your point, but there's a difference between inevitable risks and unnecessary risks.

Owning a dog
Owning a dog who clearly doesn't like children
Owning a dog who clearly doesn't like children and has shown clear aggression
Owning a dog who clearly doesn't like children and has shown clear aggression and has proven he/she is willing to bite

At this point, there is no practical way to safely allow dog and child to interact. It's not a matter of risk anymore, but opportunity. A bite will happen; the dog has told you, as clearly as she can, that she will do this if she wants to.

lauriep
Feb. 8, 2009, 09:37 PM
What a heartbreaking situation.

It sounds like you're blaming Dad a little bit. Try to ease off of him, he probably feels bad enough. Accidents happen.

Is it possible to let the dog on your bed? Ours go there when they need a time out. It is much too high for the baby to reach and they enjoy some quiet time.


That is the last thing you want to do with a dog that may be showing dominance. That is giving him more authority by putting him in your place/equal with you. For balanced dogs, it is fine, but not for one who may be questioning the who's who in the household.

And I'd be ALL about blaming Dad. He clearly WAS aware that SOMETHING was going on, and should have acted instead of telling a baby to get away from the dog. Sheesh...