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Dog bites baby

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 11:58 AM
If a dog bites a baby's face and draws blood, what measures should be taken?

Opinions requested.

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2005, 12:09 PM
Can you tell us exactly what the situation and circumstances were? How bad was the bite? Did it require stitches?

I"m sorry the baby was hurt.:(

Luba
August 12th, 2005, 12:14 PM
Yes more details should be known

Is it your dog/ a friends dog/ a strange dog?

Has the baby seen a doctor?

Luba
August 12th, 2005, 12:16 PM
Found this on another thread that you posted on :D

Everyone posting here seems to think that a muzzle isn't really a valueable preventative measure. My infant was just bitten by a dog on her face. I am asking the owner to put a muzzle on the dog to help prevent future bites. I would like to know if you think this will help or if there is anything else we can do that doesn't involve never allowing the dog and child in the same area. This pet is a member of the family and if we can't have them around then we will have to stop seeing that part of the family. I don't like the idea of asking the dog to be euthanized either.

If a muzzle is useless as so many of you have claimed above, then what can we do if a dog has already bitten?

Truly looking for humane options,
Yoho


How was the baby permitted alone or unsupervised to begin with?
Was the dog visiting YOU or were you visiting THEM?
Was the dog eating? What was the baby doing? Where were you?

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Regardless of the circumstances of the bite, what are the basic measures that need to be taken?

For example, taking the child to a doctor.

What needs to be done with the dog to let it know that biting is inappropriate and in order to prevent recurrence?

heeler's rock!
August 12th, 2005, 12:23 PM
The only way to prevent another bite is to never allow the dog and baby alone together, EVER. That should never be done in the first place. None of us know if that's what happened in the first place as you aren't providing much info. A muzzle shouldn't be used, because it shouldn't be neccessary. If the dog and baby are never alone in the same room together, this won't happen. Adult supervision is required with any child I'd say under the age of 12 and a dog of any size or breed.

The dog may have bitten for reasons unseen if no one was in the room at the time. Dogs almost always give warning before a bite takes place. Babies can't understand this, and that's why there really is nothing else you can do besides supervising all baby and dog time together.

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2005, 12:25 PM
The circumstances of the bite are VITAL in determing what action to take.

For example, if the dog walked up to the baby and just bit it, or lunged at it for no reason, that is one circumstance.

If the baby was allowed to pull the dog's ears, climb on it, poke it's eyes, or crawl up and stick it's face in the dog's food bowl, that's quite a different story.

In order to prevent this from happening again you need to look at why it happened.

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 12:27 PM
Found this on another thread that you posted on :D




How was the baby permitted alone or unsupervised to begin with?
Was the dog visiting YOU or were you visiting THEM?
Was the dog eating? What was the baby doing? Where were you?

The baby was not permitted alone or unsupervised. I find it slightly offensive that you make that assumption in the first place. There were several people in the room all sitting and talking in a calm environment.
The dog and the baby were both at someone else's home.
The dog was sitting with it's owner, not eating. I was not in the room at the time so I'm not sure what the baby did. The other parent was watching the baby.

I am trying to get a good idea of what is fair to the dog regardless of any stupidity in the actions of the people who were watching the event. What is a "normal" reaction to such an incident?

StaceyB
August 12th, 2005, 12:29 PM
I am awfully sorry your baby was bit but in order to react to the bite you need to know why it happened in order to prevent a repeat. For example if the dog was in pain they may react with a bite. As I mentioned before, no aggression is acceptable but in order to deal with it appropriately it helps to know the circumstances of why it happened in the first place. Seeing as you were not in the room I would try to find out from those who were. Look for details, not opinions.

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 12:30 PM
The circumstances of the bite are VITAL in determing what action to take.

For example, if the dog walked up to the baby and just bit it, or lunged at it for no reason, that is one circumstance.


If the baby was allowed to pull the dog's ears, climb on it, poke it's eyes, or crawl up and stick it's face in the dog's food bowl, that's quite a different story.

In order to prevent this from happening again you need to look at why it happened.

Please explain how you would handle each different circumstance and why.

heeler's rock!
August 12th, 2005, 12:34 PM
IMO, there is no "normal" reaction to a dog biting your child. Being upset is normal, and being afraid to leave the baby in the same house with the dog is normal. A muzzle on the dog when the baby's around may just make it more resentful to the baby. The dog's interaction with the baby must be closely watched and at the first sign of any possible harm by either the baby to the dog, or the dog to the baby, (eg. growling, teeth bearing, snarling, etc.) it must be corrected. The baby must learn not to bother the dog or try and get it's toys, food, etc. The dog must realize that the baby is not a threat, and that he/she/ needs to respect the baby. This can be done by saying the dogs name firmly, and following with a firm no. If it happens again, remove the dog from the situation and correct with either a time out for the dog, or keep the dog on leash around the waist. I have found these methods effective when it comes to dettering my dogs from other unwanted behaviours. Being 8 months pregnant myself, I can only hope these methods continue to work for stopping my dogs from bothering, or even potentially hurting my baby.

ETA: Also, don't ignore the dog when the baby's around. Make sure the dog is still getting enough attention and love so they will associate the baby with positive feelings, not negative feelings. you don't want the dog thinking, "Oh, when the baby's here I'm not important enough to pet or give a treat to."

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Okay, I am looking for some guidance. I did not grow up with dogs and find them scary. I don't want my children to learn to fear dogs. Judging from responses and the tone here I get the following idea. Please tell me if this seems right.

A small child should be in a parent's arms if a dog is present. A larger child up to the age of 12 should be holding hands with the parent if a dog is present. When children are old enough to understand, they should be taught proper behaviour with dogs.

Would this be enough to prevent a bite?

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Please explain how you would handle each different circumstance and why

In the first situation - biting with no provocation - that is offensive aggression towards children and is dangerous and unacceptable. This dog would need to kept away from children totally.

In the second situation, a dog may react reflexively with a snap to the sudden pain of having an ear pulled hard, or a finger poked in it's eye. It may not have meant to bite at all. We too might strike out if someone came up behind us and yanked our hair.

Since you don't know what happened, except that baby and dog were in the same room, it's not possible to answer your question. What to do about it hinges TOTALLY on why and how it happened.

Here's a very good site about dogs and kids.
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/kids.htm

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 12:48 PM
In the first situation - biting with no provocation - that is offensive aggression towards children and is dangerous and unacceptable. This dog would need to kept away from children totally.

In the second situation, a dog may react reflexively with a snap to the sudden pain of having an ear pulled hard, or a finger poked in it's eye. It may not have meant to bite at all. We too might strike out if someone came up behind us and yanked our hair.

Since you don't know what happened, except that baby and dog were in the same room, it's not possible to answer your question. What to do about it hinges TOTALLY on why and how it happened.

Here's a very good site about dogs and kids.
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/kids.htm

Thank you for the info, I'll look at that site. You didn't say what you would do if the dog had bitten if provoked for example by being poked in the eye. Can you please elaborate?

kandy
August 12th, 2005, 12:51 PM
I can say from experience that one of my mom's dogs tried to bite my son when he was a newborn. I say tried because he didn't get the job done. My son was in my arms, the dog sniffed his back and then tried to nibble with his front teeth. The dog actually nibbled the back of my hand and not my child. If I had left my child laying on the floor or on a couch, he would've gotten bit. I don't know if the dog was jealous or if he just liked the material of my son's sleeper (the dog liked to rub his teeth on terry cloth). Regardless, the dog was told no in a firm voice. When my son was older, he constantly harrassed this dog - even though he was repeatedly told to leave the dog alone. He got nipped many times - the dog got scolded, and so did the boy. Did I ever demand that my mom put the dog down because he couldn't be trusted with a child - no - the bites were the result of a child purposefully causing the dog pain. You have to look at the circumstances surrounding the bite. You can't expect a dog not to react if a child is hurting it and you can't expect a child to not hurt a dog if they haven't been taught that or are too young to understand it - hence the supervision. I'm sorry that your child was bitten and I hope that the baby is ok.

Writing4Fun
August 12th, 2005, 12:56 PM
I'm really sorry your baby was bitten. :( The first thing to do, and I think you already know this, would be to get the baby to a doctor. I know of one child who wasn't bitten, but merely scratched by the dog's tooth when it gave a "warning snap" (the child was doing something the dog didn't like, and the dog was letting him know). The scratch quickly became infected. On its own, the scratch would not have required much care. But with the infection, they had to open it up to clean it, requiring stiches afterwards to help it heal. Now this child has a permanent scar on his face, where it could have been avoided if the wound had been tended to properly in the first place.

As for what to do about the dog, I'll leave that up to the experts who've replied so far. ;) I do want to commend you, though, for taking time to assess the situation calmly instead of reacting out of emotion (a difficult task for a mom with a wounded child, I know!), and for not wanting to pass along your fear of dogs to your children. This, alone, will probably prevent all sorts of future bites for your children. :thumbs up

kandy
August 12th, 2005, 01:21 PM
I can't imagine growing up without dogs. I commend you for trying to work through your fears. It must be very hard.

Even small children can understand "be nice to the doggy" and show them how to pet nicely with an open hand. If your child pulls a dogs ear, tail, pokes eyes, etc., tell the child no - just as you would if your child was reaching for a hot stove - you would stop them before they get hurt. Training the dog depends on the dog itself. The methods would be different for an older dog vs a puppy. If the dog is old, and is aggressive towards kids, it would be better to keep small children away. If the dog was never socialized properly or has never been around kids, they may be afraid of the child and react from fear.

I wouldn't say that a child needs to be in an adults arms or even holding hands. Dogs will give that warning - someone in the room should've been paying attention to how the dog was reacting to the child and what interaction was going on there. My newfs love, love, love little kids, babies, toddlers, whatever. I know that they won't bite but still they are not ever unsupervised with a child. My worst fear is that they will smother the poor kid with kisses! And by supervision I mean actually watching the dog - not just being in the same room.

The biggest thing I see with parents who are afraid of dogs is that they expect all dogs to attack them and/or their kids and they transmit that fear to their kids. Our newfs go to work with my hubby everyday - in a retail business. Most people love them and want to pet them. Sometimes people come in and totally freak out upon seeing the dogs (they are fairly large :p ). Of course, when they start screaming - the dogs want to know what is wrong and will try to get closer to the person screaming, which makes the person scream even louder, which makes the dogs nervous......If you stay calm and don't act like there is anything to fear from a dog - your child will stay calm as well. :angel:

Luba
August 12th, 2005, 01:22 PM
I'm not trying to offend you I was trying to get more information about how the bite occurred.

Some bites are like knee jerk reactions.

Say someone came up behind you and grabbed you by the throat, your initial reaction is to protect yourself and you may just elbow them or kick or something in defense.

There is nothing different then that with a dog. I'll give you an example, a dog I had who since has passed away bit my father terribly on the leg one day, big bite mark and drew blood, big puncture.

Sounds awful doesn't it!

But what I didn't say is.... my dog was seated underneath the patio table sleeping, my dad walked over not knowing the dog was under there and being 250 lbs stepped on the dogs leg. He awoke and reacted!

You have provided 'some' information about the situation but more is really needed for us to offer additional advise.

Is this dog old/sick/on medication? What happened just before the bite? Was the dog sleeping/startled? Things like that?

You say for example being poked in the eye is this what happened?

heeler's rock!
August 12th, 2005, 01:33 PM
A small child should be in a parent's arms if a dog is present. A larger child up to the age of 12 should be holding hands with the parent if a dog is present. When children are old enough to understand, they should be taught proper behaviour with dogs.

Basically, yes. A small child or baby shouldn't be left alone on the floor with a dog around, unless carefully supervised and the dog and child have a history. Another option is a playpen. As the child gets older, teaching them about dogs and respecting the dog is imperitive. Others may offer different takes on this, but I think the bottome line is that no child under the age of 12 should be left unsupervised, ever, with a dog. You just never know what could happen! You may not have to hold their hand, but be sure to supervise all play time with the dog.

I also agree that the situation needs to be assesed on an individual basis. Not all dog bites happen the same way, so it is important to understand the circumstances surrounding it.

I'd also like to commend you on not wanting your children to grow up afraid of dogs. That's a really great thing for you to do for your kids, regardless of your personal feelings towards dogs! :)

coppperbelle
August 12th, 2005, 02:15 PM
I will probably hear about this but here it goes:
First you should take your child to the doctor to make sure there is no infection. Depending on where you live the bite will probably be reported to the local health department. Proof of rabies vaccination will be required. Without proof the child may have to undergo rabies shots.

Since this dog is not in your home it is not an immediate threat. I would however avoid bringing your baby into the same room as this dog and don't allow the relatives to bring the dog to your house. Your baby must be your first concern. Children move quickly, make lots of noise and no matter how many times you tell them something they do forget. Personally if this were my dog I would not allow it to be around the baby. It would be put in a room while the baby visited because it could not be trusted. I love my dogs but would not take a chance of a future bite.

You say you don't want your children to be afraid of dogs. This is not the dog to teach your children with. He obviously has a problem with children and is uncomfortable with them. Find someone who has a dog that loves kids and teach your children with this dog.

Luba
August 12th, 2005, 02:16 PM
good post copperbelle

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 02:21 PM
I'm not trying to offend you I was trying to get more information about how the bite occurred.

Some bites are like knee jerk reactions.

Say someone came up behind you and grabbed you by the throat, your initial reaction is to protect yourself and you may just elbow them or kick or something in defense.

There is nothing different then that with a dog. I'll give you an example, a dog I had who since has passed away bit my father terribly on the leg one day, big bite mark and drew blood, big puncture.

Sounds awful doesn't it!

But what I didn't say is.... my dog was seated underneath the patio table sleeping, my dad walked over not knowing the dog was under there and being 250 lbs stepped on the dogs leg. He awoke and reacted!

You have provided 'some' information about the situation but more is really needed for us to offer additional advise.

Is this dog old/sick/on medication? What happened just before the bite? Was the dog sleeping/startled? Things like that?

You say for example being poked in the eye is this what happened?

I still don't see anyone saying what you do if a dog bites when it's provoked. Is discipline warranted, and if so, what kind? If you do nothing, does the dog then get the idea that attacking is acceptable?

In this case, the dog is about 6 years old, has some dietary illness but is fairly healthy. The dog was not sleeping but just sitting (as far as I know). I was told by the people present that the dog was aware of the baby and the baby reached out and poked it's eye but I'm not sure how accurate that is since the baby is a very gentle "poker" but loves to pull hair hard. I don't know any more details. I don't even know if there was a warning growl. The owner had warned before to be careful with the kids around the dog. I am not trying to lay blame on the dog, the owner, or the parent. I am trying to figure out what is a reasonable expectation for me to have in terms of how to treat the dog and how to avoid recurrence. Some parents would be asking the dog to be put down. I don't want that. I want to find an alternative that will really work and be fair to everybody including the dog.

I appreciate all the responses I've had so far.

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 02:27 PM
I will probably hear about this but here it goes:
First you should take your child to the doctor to make sure there is no infection. Depending on where you live the bite will probably be reported to the local health department. Proof of rabies vaccination will be required. Without proof the child may have to undergo rabies shots.

Since this dog is not in your home it is not an immediate threat. I would however avoid bringing your baby into the same room as this dog and don't allow the relatives to bring the dog to your house. Your baby must be your first concern. Children move quickly, make lots of noise and no matter how many times you tell them something they do forget. Personally if this were my dog I would not allow it to be around the baby. It would be put in a room while the baby visited because it could not be trusted. I love my dogs but would not take a chance of a future bite.

You say you don't want your children to be afraid of dogs. This is not the dog to teach your children with. He obviously has a problem with children and is uncomfortable with them. Find someone who has a dog that loves kids and teach your children with this dog.

Thanks a lot for this clear description of how to proceed. Fortunately, the dog has been vaccinated. Unfortunately, the wound is infected and the child is on antibiotics (note that the doctor said ALL bites from dogs, cats, and humans require antibiotics).

You say I should keep the baby and the dog apart all the time. What about my 4 year old? Should I also keep them separated?

Luba
August 12th, 2005, 02:44 PM
Again not trying to frustrate you but every type of provocation is different. See the child provoking the dog vs how my dad provoked the dog.

Someone should have stopped the baby before the opportunity came to poke the dog in the eye PERIOD.

Having said that, some dogs are more apt to turn and run and hide. Other dogs may have a history of little hands abusing them or abuse by others. Some breeds are prone to be a little more bitey that way then others.

My little terrier for example that bit my dad quite gentle and harmless dog except this just caused him to react. His personality with kids, if they bothered him he tried to get away from them and I always directly supervise.

I have a collie now and she is very gentle, if anyone hit her poked her she'd just look stunned and not know what happened LOL

I think since this dog has some issues around being around children it's probably because it can't figure out the kids intentions...children are unpredictable and thus the dog figured right and got a poke in the eye.

The dogs owners and childs parents are to blame for not supervising this situation closer.

I would say don't let the children approach the dog period. If the dog wants to go to them, it will on it's own terms. My thoughts are the dog probably doesn't want anything to do with the kids?

If this is the case then separate them. Where did they get the dog from have they had it since a puppy or did they adopt it from a rescue/shelter?

How did the owners react towards the dog when this happened?

On a secondary note did the doctor fill out the required information and inform public health?

BMDLuver
August 12th, 2005, 02:49 PM
Keep any and all children away from this dog. It obviously does not have a high tolerance for children so why tempt the issue. I have two toddlers and this dog would not be allowed near either one of them. If you visit, ask them to put the dog in another room. If they won't do that, then don't visit. Sounds harsh but your baby could have been seriously scarred for life or required plastic surgery. Dog bites are nothing to mess around with.

I don't blame the dog for this but rather the lack of adults knowledge about toddlers and dogs. You can't punish a dog for what it took as an attack, no matter how light the poke. I'm sure the dog would be much happier in a quiet room when there's a gang of people over.

toby's tracy
August 12th, 2005, 02:54 PM
You say I should keep the baby and the dog apart all the time. What about my 4 year old? Should I also keep them separated?

If it were my 4 year old, I would keep them apart. If I knew that a dog had bitten another child recently, even if it was out of fear or pain, I would definitely lean towards caution. 4 year olds can make some pretty spontaneous moves that might startle the dog.

I would not want to put the child or the dog in jeopardy!

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2005, 03:03 PM
The dog was not sleeping but just sitting (as far as I know). I was told by the people present that the dog was aware of the baby and the baby reached out and poked it's eye but I'm not sure how accurate that is since the baby is a very gentle "poker" but loves to pull hair hard. I don't know any more details.

To me this is provocation. Not deliberate on the part of the child of course, but the dog can't know that.

This was an unfortunate incident, and neither dog nor child is to blame.

Some dogs are uneasy around little kids, who scream, grab, poke and act erratically, and they may become defensive.

I would just keep the child away from the dog, for the safety of both. No dog should be expected to tolerate abuse, no matter how innocently the abuse is done.

Beaglemom
August 12th, 2005, 03:25 PM
I think it is extremely unfair to blame the dog in this situation. I don't think you should blame the child either. This child is too young to understand that poking and grabbing are a no-no. I believe that the adults, who knew the dog was uncomfortable, are to blame. Dog bites should be prevented.

Please keep your child away from this dog. I think it is great that you want your children to grow up without fearing dogs, but a more trustworthy dog should be used. The children should also learn how to behave around dogs so as to not get bitten.

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 03:34 PM
If it were my 4 year old, I would keep them apart. If I knew that a dog had bitten another child recently, even if it was out of fear or pain, I would definitely lean towards caution. 4 year olds can make some pretty spontaneous moves that might startle the dog.

I would not want to put the child or the dog in jeopardy!

I feel this way and it is good to hear that a "dog person" agrees. What about other (unknown) children?

Do you think it is reasonable to expect the owner to keep the dog away from them too or warn the children's parents as the need arises? If a muzzle is not warranted in public (as I have gathered from various responses), should the leash be of a specific type? This dog is used to a leash that is variable length and controlled by a pressure button. Is that sufficient for a dog that has bitten? I'm thinking of how to treat the dog when it is out for a walk where strange children might be loose.

BMDLuver
August 12th, 2005, 03:39 PM
This dog has bitten provoked, so if it's out walking on a leash, if a child approaches, the owner should just say "please don't touch the dog, he really isn't friendly" and leave it at that. Obviously the dog should not be put in situations where a bunch of kids are running around half hazard. It's not fair to the dog. People need to control their children as well.

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2005, 03:41 PM
I'm thinking of how to treat the dog when it is out for a walk where strange children might be loose

If this dog has never bitten before, then unless toddlers or babies are going to be sticking their fingers in the dog's eye, or pulling his ears while on walks, I wouldn't worry about it.

I had a dog who was not good with kids either. He wouldn't bite, but he would growl and snap (making sure not to make contact)

While on walks, if kids wanted to pet him, I would sometimes allow it but supervised very carefully, and when I saw he had enough, would take him away.

In my home,when small children were present, I kept him separated from them since I couldn't stand over him every minute.

He was a very good dog, but not used to little kids and they made him nervous.

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 03:42 PM
I think it is extremely unfair to blame the dog in this situation. I don't think you should blame the child either. This child is too young to understand that poking and grabbing are a no-no. I believe that the adults, who knew the dog was uncomfortable, are to blame. Dog bites should be prevented.


I want to make it very clear that I am not blaming the dog or the child. I don't even want to blame the adults. I think that what happened was truly unexpected and very unfortunate. My major concern is not with laying blame at all. I agree that dog bites should be prevented. I am concerned with how to respond in a fair and decent manner now that the precautions have been shown to fail.

I wonder if there is a course in dog safety that I could take. I'll have to look into that.

Thanks again for everybody's input. You are all helping me become better equipped to handle this unusual and difficult situation.

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 03:44 PM
If this dog has never bitten before, then unless toddlers or babies are going to be sticking their fingers in the dog's eye, or pulling his ears while on walks, I wouldn't worry about it.

I had a dog who was not good with kids either. He wouldn't bite, but he would growl and snap (making sure not to make contact)

While on walks, if kids wanted to pet him, I would sometimes allow it but supervised very carefully, and when I saw he had enough, would take him away.

In my home,when small children were present, I kept him separated from them since I couldn't stand over him every minute.

He was a very good dog, but not used to little kids and they made him nervous.

You've described how you treat a dog that has never bitten. This one has. How would you treat a dog that has bitten?

Yoho
August 12th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Again not trying to frustrate you but every type of provocation is different. See the child provoking the dog vs how my dad provoked the dog.

Someone should have stopped the baby before the opportunity came to poke the dog in the eye PERIOD.

Having said that, some dogs are more apt to turn and run and hide. Other dogs may have a history of little hands abusing them or abuse by others. Some breeds are prone to be a little more bitey that way then others.

My little terrier for example that bit my dad quite gentle and harmless dog except this just caused him to react. His personality with kids, if they bothered him he tried to get away from them and I always directly supervise.

I have a collie now and she is very gentle, if anyone hit her poked her she'd just look stunned and not know what happened LOL

I think since this dog has some issues around being around children it's probably because it can't figure out the kids intentions...children are unpredictable and thus the dog figured right and got a poke in the eye.

The dogs owners and childs parents are to blame for not supervising this situation closer.

I would say don't let the children approach the dog period. If the dog wants to go to them, it will on it's own terms. My thoughts are the dog probably doesn't want anything to do with the kids?

If this is the case then separate them. Where did they get the dog from have they had it since a puppy or did they adopt it from a rescue/shelter?

How did the owners react towards the dog when this happened?

On a secondary note did the doctor fill out the required information and inform public health?


To answer your questions:
They did get the dog from a shelter and it had been abused as a puppy. The owners did not punish the dog at all. I think they did no more than hold her. The doctor did not fill out any information that I am aware of and did not ask who the dog's owner was so I don't think there was any report made. The doctor simply asked how the bite happened and if I knew the status of its immunizations. Do you think a report needs to be filed? If so, how is that done? I don't want to file a report if it will cause additional problems for the owners. I would want to file if it's the law or if it will be important for some other reason.

Beaglemom
August 12th, 2005, 03:53 PM
I personally believe that the owner has a responsibility to prevent his/her dog from being in a situation where the dog feels like it must protect his/herself. But, I also believe that every parent has the responsibility to teach their child how to act around dogs. Including asking the owner of a dog before approaching it and petting it. We get approached by children all the time wanting to pet our dog. Many times they don't ask and go straight to petting her. Luckily she is good with children, but if she wasn't than a bite could happen if I were not careful.
How would you treat a dog that has bitten?
Depends on the circumstances. If it was an unprovoked attack/bite, then you would never trust the dog around children of any age or experience. This type of biter should always be watched carefully as it could bite again. I would remove this type of dog from a situation that could cause it to bite again.

Luba
August 12th, 2005, 03:54 PM
I would consult with your doctor about the report to public health or you could call your local public health department and get direction from them.

Many humane societies/spca/city run shelters have flyers on dog safety.

Roxy's_MA
August 12th, 2005, 04:01 PM
You've described how you treat a dog that has never bitten. This one has. How would you treat a dog that has bitten?

I think LR was describing how to handle a dog that has never bitten unless provoked.

Beaglemom
August 12th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I want to make it very clear that I am not blaming the dog or the child. I don't even want to blame the adults. I think that what happened was truly unexpected and very unfortunate. My major concern is not with laying blame at all. I agree that dog bites should be prevented. I am concerned with how to respond in a fair and decent manner now that the precautions have been shown to fail.

I wonder if there is a course in dog safety that I could take. I'll have to look into that.

Thanks again for everybody's input. You are all helping me become better equipped to handle this unusual and difficult situation.
Depending on where you are located, there are courses that you can take on dog safety. Here is a link to one. http://www.doggonesafe.com/
They offer different types of courses to teach parents and children how to be safe around dogs.

BMDLuver
August 12th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Do you think a report needs to be filed? If so, how is that done? I don't want to file a report if it will cause additional problems for the owners. I would want to file if it's the law or if it will be important for some other reason.
A report would have been filed if you did not know the status of the dogs' vaccines. If the dog was lax in it's vaccinations then a 10 day quarantine would have been imposed. If a dog is brought in for euthanasia for biting, then the vet or facility is required to fill out a Federal Form and the dogs' remains are handed over to a Federal facility to rule out health reasons.

Prin
August 12th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Do you feel that the dog owners are responsible people? I mean, do you feel like if their dog has bitten before, and has bitten again, that they will do anything and everything in their power to prevent it from happening again? If they were to promise to see trainers to help with the problem, or to keep the dog permanently away from children, then I would feel like the situation will be well handled, and I would just monitor the progress.

If the dog has bitten solely out of provocation, I would look to the owners to begin work on desensitization, again, with a trainer's help. You never know when you might encounter children, and it's best to know at the very least how your dog will react, if you cannot ensure that the dog will react positively.

Honestly, if the owners are not reacting, not changing habits, not getting help, not keeping the dog away from children, then I might consider legal action.

Accidents do happen. They just shouldn't have to happen over and over for someone to learn something.

As for teaching children how to approach (or how not to approach) dogs, you might want to consult a trainer. They usually have fully trained dogs they use to "demo" techniques and behaviors on, so they can teach you how to approach it, what the difference between a dominant versus submissive approach to a dog, and the different body language signals that the dog gives you.

A good book about dogs that would be good for you to read is "How to Speak Dog" by Stanley Coren. There are illustrations of different ear positions, tail positions and body positions, that would be a good start into understanding dogs' body language.

Schwinn
August 12th, 2005, 05:13 PM
We had an issue with Daisy snapping at my neice. I'm going to be honest, the first time it happened, I freaked. I yelled, I grabbed Daisy by the neck and held her down. Basically, I lost my temper. I later felt guilty, because it was much later someone told me that they think the baby stepped on her and poked her in the face. I'm a little hyper about Daisy with what is going on around the breed, and I over-reacted. That being said, now if she does snap (I've since learned that it is a warning, which I did not know when it first happened), I do correct her. I understand why she does it, and I don't want her to be punished, but I do want her to understand that aggression of any kind is not acceptable. I think we've done something right, because now my niece is older, and they play with each other. Also, Daisy has been around other babies before and since, and no issues. As a matter of fact, she goes up to Gracie to check on her and give her a lick on the head.

Personally, I think if a dog bites, provoked or not (and by provoked, I mean untintentionally, not by someone hitting her with a stick, for example), I do think you need to correct the dog. I say correct, because I don't think you should punish her for being a dog, but I also think you need to let her know that you do not want her showing any aggression towards a child. With Daisy, I usually give a "Daisy! No!", or something that says she isn't in trouble, but I don't like what she's doing. I know this might not make sense to some, but I think if you also say, "Hey, she's just being a dog", you do run the risk of the dog think it is acceptable to show aggression.

I also think that you need to try to teach the child how to behave with animals. This isn't a lack of parenting or anything, this goes for everyone. Every new child that meets Daisy for the first time, we watch them interact very closely, and depending on the age, we sit between them and Daisy to make sure everyone understands each other's "boundaries".

I'm glad you're being very level-headed about the whole thing. It'd be very easy for a non-dog person to use this as an example of why dogs are bad. Myself, if the dog was provoked, I think that there isn't a need to be alarmed, but I do think that this dog needs to be watched VERY carefully around any children. And if you're uncomfortable with your kids around the dog, it's a moot point. I wouldn't let my kids in any uncomfortable situation.

One last thing, if it makes you feel better. I still have the puncture wound on my hand where "my" dog Fang bit me when I was about 5 or 6. We remained best friends for the next six years.

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2005, 06:12 PM
You've described how you treat a dog that has never bitten. This one has. How would you treat a dog that has bitten?

My dog very well might have bitten. I don't know, cause I was very careful not to let kids do anything to provoke him.

In your case, from what you've described, I think the dog was just reacting to pain and defending himself and I think that's perfectly normal.

There really isn't anything to do about it, except to make sure it doesn't happen again, i.e. don't let the baby have contact with him.

That's all.

Wudjah
August 12th, 2005, 06:32 PM
I know I may get jumped on for this, but I have a 10 year old APBT that is not particularily fond of children. That said, I have two children, age 5 years and 10 months. The key to keeping everyone safe is that we supervise every interaction between then. Knowing our dog, she would never think to act aggressively towards them infront of us - however we have caught her out of the corners of our eyes lifting her lips at our oldest daughter (who has NEVER abused her in anyway). We have always known there was a jealousy issue with our dog - she loves the kids when they have food, but could care less about them otherwise. Luckily we have a 4 level sidesplit house so keeping them apart is very simple and we've never had to resort to muzzling. Again, they can be together when we are there but we know that Jasmine feels she is above the kids so we never allow unsupervised interaction. Some dogs just don't like kids, it's that simple.

StaceyB
August 12th, 2005, 06:34 PM
If you were looking for some type of correction to apply for this particular incident, there isn't anything you should do because even right after it happened the dog would not know what he did wrong. How many children usually are around this dog? Does he normally get along with them or has he had other incidents? If he hasn't had any previous issues with kids and seeing as this dog probably responded to pain at this time I would make sure that children that are most likely to tug, pull, and poke should be kept away. The dogs pain tolerance is quite low so I just wouldn't take the chance of it happening again. At the same time you don't want the dog to resent children. If he gets put away any time children come into the home he will see them as the source of him being punished.
If you can trust that these people are responsible I would allow them to deal with their dog on their own. As long as you ensure that your children are kept safe and unable to physically touch this dog it should be enough to protect both dog and child from a repeat incident.

Wudjah
August 12th, 2005, 06:35 PM
OH, I meant to say as well that she is great with other people's kids - I have plenty of pictures of her sleeping with our friend's daughter and playing with my nephews. She's acts differently towards my own daughter (the 5 year old) and I know that it's because she's part of "her" pack and that Jasmine feels she is the more dominant member.

doggy lover
August 12th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Yoho, I personaly won't let young children near my dog, Iwould never take him to someones home when I know that young children will be there. My dog has never bitten or snaped at a child but he is also not use to them, I have teenagers. Children run an scream and my dog is a hearder so his instinct is to chase and even nip, so to keep everyone safe, like I said I keep him away.
My last dog who grew up with children would let any child climb all over him and never bother with them. He would try to protect children, I could never spank my kids with him, it was not allowed he would grip my hand with his teeth so I could not touch them. One time I had him at a play ground and a mother picked up her child to take it home and the child screamed as it didn't want to go, my dog got very upset and kind of scared the woman. I just told her that he thought that she was hurting the child, she put the child down it came over and played with Travis and no problems, he kept his eye on the mum though.
I would personally ask that person with the dog that if you are going to the same home that they please do not bring the dog. Who know why it went after your child, but I think once it has shown this kind of tendencies that they don't have the right to be around kids. A responsible owner would understand and I would hope be smart enough to keep the dog away from children, leaving the dog at home. I don't take my dog everywhere I go, and I sure most people here don't either. It doesn't make us love our dogs any less, I would never want my dog to bite someone, the guilt would be awful.

Freyja
August 12th, 2005, 11:29 PM
You can't punish the dog for something he has already done, you have to stop him before he does it. IE I can rant and rave if my dog has peed on the carpet, if she is now sitting quietly she has no clue what I am on about. But if I catch her just before she does it or in the act, then I can correct her. Prevention is the answer.

My daughter was about 9 mos old when she was bitten on the face by a friends dog. This dog had no history of aggression what so ever. DD was "petting" (again, she was 9mos old, petting, patting, pulling hair?)the dog and he snapped. The dog had been on a very long hike that day and was a bit arthritic. My daughter may have pulled the dogs hair, or the dog may have just been fed up. Lesson learned, watch babies with dogs.