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Dog bit my son, what should I do?

This is a discussion on Dog bit my son, what should I do? within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; I haven't read all the replies but just wanted to share my own experiences with dog and small children. When our kids were born we ...

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Old 02-22-2014, 12:49 AM
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I haven't read all the replies but just wanted to share my own experiences with dog and small children. When our kids were born we already had 2 dogs for years. Giving the dogs up had never been an option for us. They weren't dangerous or vicious in anyway. But they were still dogs. As our daughters grew older and able to walk and grab, 2 incidents happened. Once with each of the girls. Our one dog, Bullet, altho he usually kept to himself, he did not like certain things so it was almost expected that one day our daughter would do something wrong and that he would snap. He snapped, not bite. Both times at their face and dangerously close to the eye, causing puncture wound in one case. But I saw it happen and it was not a bite, it was open mouth and lunge forward. At any rate, my daughters got hurt, were rattled, and they cried. I calmed them down each time and asked them what they did to cause Bullet to do what he did. The answers were something along the lines of "I was just pulling his ear", and "I was trying to scare him". (Young kids can be really honest sometimes).

We were lucky that Bullet was not a vicious dog wanting to bite, but rather he wanted them to respect his space. And, we used those incidents as teaching opportunities for the kids. They learned real quick that they needed to respect the dogs and I'm happy to say that in 6 years there has never been another incident like that with the kids.

Some dogs are just not meant to coexist with small kids, but NO dog will sit by and do nothing when it feels threatened. They will run and hide and become traumatized, or lash back. You have to be protective of your kids as a mom, but you also have to be protective of your dog.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:57 AM
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Thank you

Thank you everyone. There is a lot of great advice and information here. We are going to hire the behaviorist. You know, one of the most embarrassing things about this, is that I graduated with a General Behavioral Science degree (-with people focus, but with a high GPA!). And, I trained rats in school, and I obedience trained my dogs as puppies... but I guess I really haven't learned about/and haven't been paying enough attention to dog body language/behavior. I've probably been too wrapped up in my own dealings... makes me sad for him.

My husband is his very favorite human. He rolls around on the floor with him. So, to add to the instability, my husband has been out of town for a week with work... just more confusing change for him.

For exercise, we usually play fetch, frisby or chase giant ball sheep in the back yard... but, not enough of it. We haven't been going for walks/jogs since we sold our old house and started moving around. This neighborhood has busy cars and no sidewalks, less suburban than we are used to.
We did take him to the park and trail hiking just before my husband went out of town.. but, it is a challenge because he is so pretty everyone (especially kids) and the occasional loose dog wants to run up to him, so we are constantly putting our hand up saying, "please don't pet him!" And it's so awkward for us and for them and I think all of the tension adds to my dog's anxiety. I love the orange vest idea, thank you.

Truly, thank you everyone. I feel much more confident that he is a good dog and can be a great family pet with a little more work.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:38 AM
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Do you have something hubby-specific that smells like him? Maybe put it in your dog's den area? That way when he retreats to his kennel to feel secure it's an extra boost? I know my dogs will not leave my bed for anything when I'm out of the house too long.

And yeah your BC is going to need more brain stimulation (not necessarily empty exercise if you're uncomfortable walking your neighborhood streets) because they are a working breed. They're a little like spring loaded guns. The longer they go without a good work out of the brain, the more tightly wound they are, the more annoying they become. Remember that when herding animals there's always unexpected nuances. A sheep can change its mind and direction in a half a second, which makes the job/game that much more interesting. It really puts their brain to the test.

Think back to playing tag with your classmates and you being "it." Most likely the more challenging/difficult people to chase were the ones that were most entertaining and made you WANT to get them that much more. (Anyone else like hiding behind big obstacles and playing that "you go one way, I'll go opposite." game?) This is the kind of stimulation that a BC would normally get while herding.

For him you might try what I call "Go Find It." Take some low-cal goodies, like raw hot dog, and hide them around a room. At first put it in obvious places, then get gradually sneakier, with him in the room and watching. Eventually he'll get the game and you can have him be out of the room while you hide the goodies in really good places. Let him in and let him rip. This puts his mind to focus on the objective of finding the treats and will let him uncoil. Could also work with his favorite toys.


Keep us posted!
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:08 PM
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Another really good bonding exercise that this breed in particular might take to is 'Hide and Seek'. It's a great family game, and it will familiarize the dog with everybody's name.

To start, have one person at a time hide somewhere with treats. The 'gamemaster' can be in the family room with the dog and when everyone is in position issue the command 'Find [Name]'. At first they might need a lot of help from everyone but eventually you can work your way up to multiple hide-ees that are only treating the dog when they find who they were asked to.

It's a great game and 10 years after we stopped really playing it with our dog, we tell him to find people all the time. Especially when he wants to play with someone who is otherwise occupied!
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