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Could this possibly be true?

defender
August 12th, 2009, 02:07 PM
I've been reading this thread on another, not really pet-related forum, about a woman who's dog snapped at a toddler. A lot of the responses are saying she should euthanize the dog. :( But one thing they're saying is if she rehomes the dog (she's got small children and isn't feeling safe) she can be held responsible for any further biting this dog does. I feel like they're just trying t scare her into killing this dog, but several people have agreed about it in the thread. I would love to be able to post that it's wrong. It seems to me that even if there was some grain of truth there, it would be a state law issue and I have no idea where she's from.

kandy
August 12th, 2009, 02:14 PM
And I suppose no mention of what preceeding the snap?? So sad that there is no mention of trying to correct the behavior, just that the dog goes away - one way or another. It seems like for some people, they think that their toddlers should be able to torture a dog without them batting an eye, and if the dog reacts, it's history. As far as legal responsibility, I'm no expert, but I think she if she surrenders the dog to a shelter and gives honest details about it's behaviors, she won't be liable for anything the dog does in the shelter or in a new home. Now if she rehomes the dog herself, I would advise her to put the dog's history in writing - have both parties sign it and each keep a copy. That should absolve her from any future legal responsibility.

defender
August 12th, 2009, 02:32 PM
There was a little back story. The dog has been in pain since they got her 3 yrs ago and two vets have told her the only painkiller she can have is baby asprin. I don't think the toddler was really going after her but they were under a table and I wonder if the dog was feeling cornered. But the dog hasbeen growling at the family's children and even at the dad a couple of times. There is a lot of talk about better pain management, but quite a few people have said that she needs to kill the dog -- always in an annoyingly authoritative tone.

I feel terrible for the original poster bc I thinkshe feels like she has no support for doing right by the dog. It sounds like her husband just wants to git rid of her and doesn't care how as long as it's not too difficult.

And there was one post that I found particularly upsetting by a woman who said it's our responsibility to put down biting dogs and she has done it. Her family dog bit twice, ten years apart, and the second time she had it killed. :confused: I have a dog who started biting (not quite biting, but it was escalating and her "nips" were not pleasant for those who received them) 3 mos after we got her ten years ago and we have gone to great lengths to give her the best fullest life possible w/o giving her access to anyone she can bite. So I am just astounded at this woman who was so proud of herself for killing her dog. :frustrated:

Bailey_
August 12th, 2009, 07:00 PM
Yikes. Not really sure what to say about this situation.

I'm a firm believer in trying to get to the root of a dogs behavior, and I recently had to assess an american bulldog male that bit a visiting child and has previous history with dominant behavior towards the family. I don't believe in snap-decision euthanizations, nor do I think it is neccessary.

In SOME cases however, it is the sad reality. Many people also don't think that a dog who bites a person (especially a child) should be allowed to live, and because a lot of people don't fully understand dog behavior, they see it as simply aggressive and don't realize there's usually a root cause which can in many cases be changed or at least monitored.

I personally think it would be in that womans best interest to rehome her dog. It's clear from what you've posted that this animal is in pain and that is a dangerous situation when you add a curious, playful toddler to the mix who will inevitably come face to face with that dog eventually. Generally I don't reccomend a dog being removed from a home, but in this instance, I'd encourage a new placement.
I have a 14 month old daughter myself, and I can say from experience that this woman would have a LOT on her hands if she wanted to attempt to work with her dog and get it the help it requires so that it can live comfortably and peacefully in her house. I'm not surprised she's considering euthanization, but someone needs to educate her further on her options.

kandy
August 13th, 2009, 02:30 PM
3 years of being in pain would make anyone irritable IMO. There are all sorts of painkillers out there for dogs, surely the dog's vet can find one that will work. Or is the dog's overall health the reason that it cannot be given any pain meds? If the dog is in serious pain that cannot be relieved, then perhaps the dogs quality of life needs to be taken into account and perhaps euthanasia is the most humane choice.

At the very least, this dog should never be that close to kids. I'm sure the dog is worried that the child will cause him even more pain. Normally a dog that feels threatened has 2 choices, fight or flight. If the dog felt like he was trapped under the table with the toddler, then in his mind the only choice was fight. The dog should never be put in that kind of situation or he'll likely feel the need to defend himself again.

BenMax
August 13th, 2009, 02:32 PM
3 years of being in pain would make anyone irritable IMO. There are all sorts of painkillers out there for dogs, surely the dog's vet can find one that will work. Or is the dog's overall health the reason that it cannot be given any pain meds? If the dog is in serious pain that cannot be relieved, then perhaps the dogs quality of life needs to be taken into account and perhaps euthanasia is the most humane choice.

At the very least, this dog should never be that close to kids. I'm sure the dog is worried that the child will cause him even more pain. Normally a dog that feels threatened has 2 choices, fight or flight. If the dog felt like he was trapped under the table with the toddler, then in his mind the only choice was fight. The dog should never be put in that kind of situation or he'll likely feel the need to defend himself again.

I like what Kandy says. Well written and explained.:thumbs up

defender
August 13th, 2009, 04:06 PM
At the very least, this dog should never be that close to kids. I'm sure the dog is worried that the child will cause him even more pain. Normally a dog that feels threatened has 2 choices, fight or flight. If the dog felt like he was trapped under the table with the toddler, then in his mind the only choice was fight. The dog should never be put in that kind of situation or he'll likely feel the need to defend himself again.

ITA. I think the dog actually showed amazing restraint given that she didn't break skin. I think she felt trapped and was giving the LO a warning. I sure wish an adult would have realized what was going on before the dog snapped. :(

I must confess that in my previous life (before having children) I was a death penalty defense attny and I can't help but to think of it in those terms. Like if this dog was my client I would have some great arguments in her defense, not the least of which is she didn't even break the skin! There has been no harm done! I do agree though that dog needs to be rehomed where there are no little ones.