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Thread: My Lab/ chow mix bit a child!!

  1. #1

    Question My Lab/ chow mix bit a child!!

    I have a question, I've had my male lab/chow mix since he was born ( i took his mother in as a stray) any ways he is two years old and i've never had a problem with him as far as aggreseve behavior. I have three children ages 10,3 & 17 months old and he loves kids!! My childrens friends play with my dog and never had any problems. Well yesterday my friend came to visit and brought her children and they were playing with the dog for about an hour and the dog was tired and layed under the kitchen table and my friends 3 year old daughter crawled under the table an on top the dog and he snapped really quickly in doing so he must have bit her or scrapped his teeth off her head. which required 13 staples. I would have never thought this would happen. although i feel that she may have hurt him in some way by crawling on him. i'm still a little scared for my children should i be?? I also heard some wise tale that if a dog gets a taste of blood that will turn him mean. Is there any truth to that?? I could really use some advice I'm pretty freaked out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Ohio, USA


    I'm sorry to hear about the child first off, and secondly I'm no expert but it sounds to me as if the dog was tired and wanted to be left alone.
    This wasn't the dogs fault, it is after all...a dog.

    Huney, Bon & Simba-missed so very much
    Remembering all the Rainbow Bridge Pets

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    It sounds like she just was aggravating him when he just wanted to be left alone.

    And no, if a dog gets a taste of blood it does not mean he'll go back for more, that's ridiculous. With proper training and discipline, no dog will act that way.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    That "once a dog gets a taste of blood" thing is a complete myth. The dog was just tired and probably a little overstimulated. I hope the child and family will both be okay, and that the child doesn;t develop any fear of dogs from it. Be sure to have them over again soon, have the poor dog safely on a leash and let the child approach doggie and "pet nice" so they can remain "friends."

    I have a scar on my face that is noticeable if I twist my mouth a certain way. It is from being bitten on the lip by a neighbor's dog, Reggie, when I was 4 year old. Reggie was a terrier mix, and ALWAYS confined to his yard and kept away from us kids, but this one time he escaped, and came to my yard, where we kids were playing. I, being the person I am and always have been, promptly went over and hugged him. He, of course, thinking he was being squeezed to death, nailed me right on the lip. I was stunned, but I let go - his mission accomplished. Somebody, likely an older sibling, got me into the house (I was bleeding impressively, as a facial cut will), and as Ma cleaned me off and applied a bandaid, she carefully explained that "not all dogs are hugging dogs, Karen, and Reggie is not a hugging dog" and that was it. I never developed any phobia of dogs, someone had gotten Reggie by the collar and brought him home, and all was well again.

  5. #5
    The little girl is doing okay and according to mom she doesn't have a fear of dogs (they have two of their own) accually one of which came from the same litter as mine but not quite as big. Im glad to hear that is just a myth about the blood. We love our dog and I wouldv'e never thought in a million years that he would bite anyone especially a child he is soo good with kids. Im just beside myself. thank you for feedback

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Upstate NY
    I agree with the others. I'm glad to hear everyone is doing fine considering the circumstance.

    I also agree with Karen, invite them over have them meet each other again so they can remain friends. Also go over some care rules with them, like playing nicely with the dogs, leave them alone when they want to be left alone, etc...

    It would probably be safer & less stress for the children & the dog too for the dog to have his own space for when he wants to be left alone. Like a crate or put him in a bedroom.
    Soar high & free my sweet fur angels. I love you Nanook & Raustyk... forever & ever.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Hello. I know this situation probably was a scary one and yes, everyone who has given advice is incredibly correct. - I am an obedience instructor and behavior modifier. Anyhow, the little girl was probably aggravating him and startled him. Dogs obviously can't tell someone to back off, so this is the best way to get the point across. Now, behind the myth of "once a dog tastes blood" ... it has some truth to it but NOT how it is perceived. In some cases, dogs who have bitten someone (regardless of blood draw or not), they are more apt to bite again. They have less of an inhibition to do it. That is the "real deal." I would not be worried, just make sure your dog has a safe place to go and get away if tired again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Casey has not bit but has snarled at a small child in just the same situation, I am now really careful when any young children come over I usually put casey in my room.
    don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die....

    I have been frosted!

    Thanks Kfamr for the signature!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Any dog needs time out. And it sounds like a lot going on at your house. Although your dog loves kids - too much can be too much.

    In the future you may want to let the kids say hello, then put the dog in another room so he's not in the middle. Kids can hurt an animal without meaning to - and the dog needs to be protected from a situation like this in the future.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    I am very sorry about the child

    The dog was just probubly tired, and didn't want to be bothered at all
    Deiz, 3 years, Boxer, Fawn
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Belgium, near Ghent

    Thumbs up

    I agree with the others! I hope that the scar will heal well, and covered by her hair

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    East coast of Canada
    I, too, am happy that the little girl is okay. In many states dog bites are reported by hospital staff for purposes of statistics, and animal control might receive a report. I'm curious--did animal control give you a warning? I am not trying to start anyhting here--I'm just curious as to wheter the bite resulted in any action.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    When my daughter (who posts here as Christiansmommy) was about 3 or 4 years old she was riding her big wheel down the sidewalk. The neighbor's dog ran down the driveway and bit her on the leg. I mean that when she tried to get off the bike the dog was still hanging on. Of course the neighbors were mortified and apologetic, etc. I just asked them to provide me with proof of rabies vaccination and we let it go at that. We were not very close with these people, either before or after the fact, and I noticed that after a while I never saw the dog around. By the way, my daughter to this day is still the biggest animal lover around (next to me )

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Central NY
    It sounds to me your dog wanted to be left alone and got angry. Just watch him more carefully next time. And tell your daughter not to go near him when he is relaxing or tired. Tell all your kids so it doesnt happen agian and watch the dog around other kids. Also, chows are known to be aggresive so mabye thats why.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Northern California
    I definitely think that all time with children from now on should be strictly supervised. Make sure that every encounter your dog has with kids is a POSITIVE one, meaning NO kids crawling on him, pulling on him, or being rough. The kids should be taught only to gently pet the dog and offer him treats. If the kids start chasing or hounding him, the playing ends quickly! It does not take much for a dog's teeth to scrape a baby's head, but that does show a lack of bite inhibition. On your part, you should start teaching him to have a gentle mouth by holding treats between your fingers and only allowing him to take the treats if he licks, NOT bites or nibbles it. You should also play tug with his toys and occasionally slide your hand down near his mouth. Even if he accidentally nips you, cry out like you're in pain and end the game to show him that nipping is not tolerated.

    You should provide a safe place for your dog, not under the table. Get him a nice, secure plastic crate or a wire crate with a cover and place it in the area of your house where he is most often. Leave the crate door open, so if the dog is stressed, he will instinctively go to his crate for safety. All kids that come to your house need to learn that the crate is a NO-kids zone! If kids go near the crate to harass the dog, they get to leave, or go on a time-out A good behaviorist is also HIGHLY recommended! Even if you think this was an isolated incident, this is serious for you and your dog, if he bites again he is at risk of being euthanized.

    Maltese_Love, thats a pretty rude, generalized statement about Chow-Chows. Well-bred Chow's are bred for a steady, calm temperament. Yes, they are a bit more reserved breed, but they are not supposed to be "aggressive". I grew up playing with my friend's 2 very well-bred, beautiful Chows who had totally great temperaments, they would allow us to dress them up and put bows all over them

    <3 Erica, Fozz n' Gonz

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