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New dog bites son

mom of rotties
August 4th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Hello all.... Today our newly adopted dog(Titan) we have had about 2 weeks has biten our 6 year old son. Heres what happened. My son was sitting on the couch and out of the blue Titian just walked by and bit him on the leg. Yes he broke the skin. I was sitting not two feet away when all this happened. I thought he was moving positions to get comfy. Now the dog is literally in the dog house and my son is now afraid of both dogs. Titan has never showed any aggression towards any family member and our son is never alone with the dogs for any amount of time. I have repremaned the dog and patched up my son but this behaviour is so strange. How can I handle the fear of dogs and make sure he doesnt bite again. I have never had any dog act this way.I am at my witts end. Does anyone have any sugestions as to what I can do for both the dog and my son.

August 4th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Did you actually see it happen?

mom of rotties
August 4th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Yes I saw it happen. It happened so fast I had no time to get in the middle. Our son is never alone with the dogs.

August 4th, 2005, 04:31 PM
Really just outta the blue like that?

Was the boy eating / or was the dog eating or on the way to food or anything?

August 4th, 2005, 04:37 PM
Is the dog allowed on the sofa? I ask because maybe the sofa is his territory for some reason, if not, maybe your son was in a dominant position to the dog.

August 4th, 2005, 05:30 PM
I have read that bites, seemingly out of the blue, that are not serious bites, can be dominance. This is just something Ive read and ofcourse I cant remember were, but it stuck with me. It definately stressed that these "bites" are very superficial, but that they are an effort to establish dominance. Do you thiink tis is possible?

mom of rotties
August 4th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Neither was eating. Titan is not allowed on the couch. He likes to be on the floor. I dont think my son was in a position of dominance. The dog is always so happy go lucky.Could it be that the dog is testing us to see what he can get away with. Now I second guess myself with all his training, he is currently in doggy school.My son is so scared, will not touch either dog.

August 4th, 2005, 05:40 PM
How did you react to the situation and how did the dog react afterwards?

August 4th, 2005, 07:02 PM
hey there mom, I am so very sorry to hear about what happend. to me it sounds as if the dog was startled. Is it possible your son made a quick movement as the dog was walking by. It does not by all means justify what happened. But it is a possibility. How old is the rottie. Only being in your home for 2 weeks, he is probably starting to test his grounds... Is he neutered. Contact the rescue where you got him from, see what more of a history you can get. Males, especially a dominant breed like the rottie will always test to see what they can get away with. I hope he did some OB drills for him to remember who is boss.
I own a rottie pup, too, he is at the age now that he is TRYING to test the water. (not succeeding) but trying

Dag Sabot
August 5th, 2005, 11:32 AM
Sorry to hear about your experience. When i was a child i was bitten by a dog out of the blue, and while it was very upsetting, it was not traumatic enough to curb my love for dogs. I just simply accepted that dogs bite in ceratin situations. The troubling thing here is that it was an unprovoked attack. It may be a bit glib to say this but: "Some dogs are just not good with kids" for whatever reason, thay havent socialized properly with kids, and will nip and bite. Is your adopted dog a pup? If not he probably hasnt been socialized to an acceptable level with children. Some dogs (including mine) are visibly uncomfortable around kids. I had to do alot of soul searching,before deciding to keep him.
You should be with your son more often (especially on the couch where the dog isnt allowed) so the dog will see that your son is of a higher rank in your pack than your adopted dog, and has privelages that the dog hasnt.
Either way, supervise the pair. I hope your son's ok. Good luck.

mom of rotties
August 5th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Thank you all for your insight and opinions it means alot. I was on the couch(its a sectional)the other end.He is 10 months old and was rescued from a farm where he had no training at all. So far with everything else he knows who the boss is.He just seems a little dense at times. He is in school everyday as I will take no chance with him being dominant. We also have a 4 year old rotti and she is just a dream.Our son is never alone with the dogs, I couldnt live with myself if something happened to him. My son is coming around but still a little apprehensive about the pup. He is a handful but I will continue with doggy school Again thank you again for all your input.until he responds. He has had a crappy life so far but with love and attention I hope he comes around.Again thank you for all your input.Some days I feel like giving up but I love my babies too much to just quit.

August 5th, 2005, 01:10 PM
He could have heard something from the outside and was startled by it. My pup Diego often barks all of a sudden for no apparent reason, I'd always just assume that he has heard something that's not within human's frequency.

I say Titan probably needs more active training. It's so sweet of you to take in a poor suffering animal, and thanks for not quitting on hi. :angel:

mom of rotties
August 5th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Well I am hoping this is a one time thing, that he understands. He is very cautious around my son which leads to believe he knows he did wrong. I would never give up on him, it's not his fault he had bad owners.I don't understand how people can get pets and just leave them to learn on their own.

Lucky Rescue
August 5th, 2005, 04:29 PM
I"m so sorry this happened to your son.:(

This bite - was it accompanied with growling.....?

You might want to get a behaviorist to come to your home, for an evaluation.

It does sound like it could be typical behavior of an adolescent male Rottie trying to push it to the limit in the "I'm in charge" department.

If that's the case, Alpha Boot Camp ( would probably be a good idea!

August 5th, 2005, 04:34 PM
I agree with everyone else but I just wanted to add that if you notice any other unusual behaviors, anything at all, you might want to consider going to the vet. Sometimes things like thyroid problems and cause unusual aggression in dogs.

I hope everything works out and your son conquers his fear of dogs. I know when I was young I was bit by a GSD and was scared for a little while but got over with time, your son probably just needs time.

mom of rotties
August 5th, 2005, 04:46 PM
Thank you Lucky I read the article and plan to put it to use immedaitely.No more nice Mom until he gets its. Thank you to all who have shared your insight it all helps.

August 5th, 2005, 07:00 PM
Just an idea here, but I remember reading some years ago that dogs tend to bite what they were reprimanded with. For example, if a puppy were to have an accident and wet on the floor,and he/she was reprimanded by being hit with the hand ,he/she would see hands as the threat and would tend to bite at hands after that. So if, you puppy bit your son on the leg I would ask, has your son even kicked at this puppy( with or without your knowlege)?If you say, no, your son has not hit or kicked or thrown anything at this puppy then what was the history of this puppy before you got him? He's how old? And if you've only had him for two weeks then he's been two weeks less the age he is now, living somewhere else. Did they have kids who may have kicked this puppy? How did they housebreak him(if they did) and what was their method of repirmanding him?

August 5th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Sorry to hear that and hope your son is getting better. I think your dog is trying to establish who's the boss since your son was sitting on the floor with him. I agree with the sitting with your son on the sofa and letting the dog knows who has more previlage.

I don't understand how people can get pets and just leave them to learn on their own.

Totally agree with this. I adopted my 3 cats from SPCA and some of the reasons the previous owners gave were so stupid. Sometimes I just wanna wrap my hand around their necks and yell at them!!! I see my cats as my babies. My mom's even jealous of them...hehe :p