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Major dilema

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:( Not sure why I'm posting this but my dog has just snapped at a friends toddler, not bitten him, but left a red mark on his cheek :cry:


I always told the children if that happened then the dog would have to be re-homed or worse.


I have always tried to keep them appart or under close supervision, as his mum is encouraging him to like dogs, as she doesn't :? and Alfie has always been fantastic, but today my son was holding him so the little one could stroke him and didn't notice him put his ears back as a sign of not being happy, and then it happened :(


I have never trusted any dog with small children, and always asked her to make sure he doesn't pull at Alfie, but the response has usually been "He's fine"


Whay do these things happen when OH is away cycling coast to coast, and I'm in the middle of painting the kitchen :(


Now I'm embarrased and shocked it happened my son feels guilty as he was holding him and I could just sit and cry :(


karen x

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Karen I suppose the question is why did it happen. If your dog isn't generally nasty then it could have felt threatened or upset in some way. Being held, hot just not in the mood. I think we need to sometimes to see things from a dogs point of view. Not of course risking lives or injury.


I wouldn't leave young children with dogs either but perhaps weigh it up and see if this was just an off day. If you know more then sorry if this hasn't helped.





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Yeah sometimes animals have bad days and they can't tell you when they've had enough - our old cat once bit a baby because it was screaming so i it's not just dogs that lash out sometimes. Having said that the cat was very protective of me when i was little and knew i was one of the family.

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:shock::? Hard one Karen. The dog probably felt trapped, and as he was being held to be touched, rather than being free, he snapped. My Collie springer cross will pull away if I am holding her to be stroked - so I don't do it anymore, she is timid at times, so I always let her decide when and who can touch her. She is great with people she knows, just not new situations, and is not viscious in anyway. BUT - she likes to call the shots and not have touching forced on her - which my have been the way your dog perceived it :? .


Take care xox

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Dogs don't always like small children. When i was younger my grandparents collie used to herd me into the bathroom and not let me out until someone came to help! :lol: But now i'm older she comes over to me for a scratch and obeys me. The dog probably felt trapped, as any animal trapped will lash out.

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its hard, if the dog is usually all right it might be a one off but you do have to watch them. the dog was probably scared and felt fear from the other child, he probably didnt know what was going on and snapped in fear.

you sound like you know your dog well and a responsible owner. it is a shock if the dog acts in a way you dont expect, just keep an eye on him.


having said that, i was very badly bitten at 16 years old by my step-mums golden retrever, who had never shown any agression before, i was sitting on the floor with all the dogs(as we had quite afew) and he just came up a grabbed my arm shaking it violently (like you see police dogs do) i had loads of stitches and the rip went down to the bone, i still have scars on my arm and a partially severed nerve.

i dont trust any dog with children even though i am a huge dog lover and have had loads of dogs in the past. i would have one now but hubbie is not keen. i would never trust one alone with my toddlers. my MIL has taken on a problem dog and she hasnt got a clue about dog training and i am always scared when hubbie takes my children around there without me as to be honest she is a bit of a drip and wouldnt keep and eye out or act quickly if anything happened.

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Oh dear Karen - what an awful thing to happen, for all of you.


Don't be too hard on yourself, if the dog has never shown signs of irritability before, then you have every reason to trust it. I think if the dog meant business he would have shown it in a far more severe way, something worse than a nip.


If I was being restrained and had a toddler patting me on the head (and generally being heavy handed as toddlers are) I'd get pretty irritable too.


Now you know it can happen, just don't put him in the situation and risk it happening again. If the dog isn't used to having toddlers around 24/7 then I wouldn't be inclined to 'present' him to one.


Our cat took a bit of getting used to Stefan, and he's had the claw treatment off her a few times. They live together, so know each others limits now. Molly tolerates Stefan to a certain degree, and Stefan knows not to push his luck!


I do hope you aren't pacing about in despair.

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yes i think popcorn is right, if there was something worse in him he would have gone further than a near miss nip, he was probably just scared. dont worry to much...i know i would be tearing my hair out trying to decide what to do. if he was being held and couldnt get away it might have been his only was to express himself.

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This is a difficult one.


The animal love in em says, he was having an off day , feeling annoyed and not wanting to be petted etc


But the Mommy in me says: Id be worried to EVER trust him around my or anyones children even if im with them all.


I would just be on your witts! Just remember what happened.


I think some people have given you some FAB advice, especially Buffie, animals cant tell us when there annoyed.


Take Care!!!!


Thing like this always happen when OH's are away! Look at the thread i wrote on the Stolen Beauty when ross was at V2007!!!


Love to you!


Love Lauraxxx

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Karen, you poor thing I do feel for you. What does your friend say about it, is she understanding? I hope so and I think you should give your dog another chance. You now know his limitations and would just have to be really vigilant when he's around children. I've said the same as you about our puppy, if she ever hurts one of our children on anyone elses, that's it. But knowing children, who mean well but don't always realise when they're annoying the dog, or recognise when the dog isn't playing any more but has really had enough, they were probably being a bit heavy handed or making the dog feel trapped. Have you got a crate for him? We've got one for our pup so she's got somewhere safe to get away from the kids and I can put her there if there's ever a situation I want to keep her safe from. Don't beat yourself up - it wasn't your fault.



Mrs B

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I agree, dont beat yourself up. It was an out of the blue thing. You are sensible enough not to trust any dog with a child, this was an accident.


Poor Alfie must have been frightened to do it, it was "one off" and now you'll be doubley on your guard if you are put in the situation of dogs/little ones again.


My dog bracken isnt good with children, and we know that - we dont put her in any situation where she will feel threatened or is of any risk to any child,....I dont think she would bite - but she HATES :evil: children/toddlers staring at her. and no matter how much we tell the kids not to stare at her - they do !!!


Chin up Karen, thank goodness the child is ok and there's no harm done.

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I think I've stopped shaking now :oops: Thank you all for your comments.


I have thought this through long and hard, and have decided that Alfie did feel threatened, he snapped but didn't bite, if that makes sense :? and this was because he was being held so that he couldn't get away :(


Both dogs have an area by the utility with a stable door between them and the kitchen, so if any other children visit, that is where he will stay.


I went round and spoke to my friend, told her what I had been thinking and she was apologetic for not keeping a close eye on her little one :)


Thanks again,

Karen x

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