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Thread: 4month Old English Mastiff Bites My 3yr Old Son, Seemed for No Reason

  1. #41
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    To answer your question, I have never had a dog that is afraid of children. Or should I say, I never would have a dog in my home that was afraid of children.

    Sure, a child can kill a dog. Mind you, they'd have to be one seriously mentally disturbed child to do so, and I guess it would also depend on the breed of the dog as to whether a child could kill it.

    But a dog can kill a child in a split second. I understand your reason for muzzling Doug. Unfortunately, it's a catch-22 situation, because muzzling him only making it worse for Doug IMHO.

    So your little baby is not having this problem with Doug? It's just the other son? Has Doug seen any other children since coming to your home, other than your own?

    I am so glad to see how seriously you are treating this dilemma.

  2. #42
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    Ive been the sad owner of a very aggressive dog. I DIDNT return him to the breeder, because i was so in love with him. I wanted to 'train it out of him' and to some extent, we did.
    What i ended up with, after 3 1/2 yrs of hard training. Was a dog that was great with every family member. He'd ignore guests. He's be fantastically obedient.
    UNTIL....
    When another dog on a lead, tried to attack him. Unable to fight the dog,
    he went for me, got my face. Rebound frustration. And PTS. The loss of my best friend was devastating. My animal behaviourist who was assessing him, found he had appalling vision. He was missing most body language cues from other dogs, as he couldnt see them. And so would not be reassured by submissive gestures from other dogs quite so easily. She was amazed at how 'far' he'd been successfully trained. Commended me on patience and perseverance.
    But in the end, it all came to a bad end. As people predicted it would.
    I walked him, when no other person would be around.
    I had to avoid triggers, like screaming kids.
    Any child crying, triggered his aggression, i guess he heard animal in distress = easy prey.
    We built a dog pen. To place him in when children visited.
    We trained every member of our extended family, to knock and wait, not just walk in.
    We stopped taking him bush walking.
    We stopped going camping with him.

    In essence, we changed out entire lives, to suit an aggressive dog.

    NB: I dissaggree that a dog can be taught that a 4 yr old child is a higher ranking pack member. A child is viewed as a pup by a dog.

    The dog bite. Well, you state you've only had him 4 days when this occurred. 4 days, and he's had 3 interstate journeys. To 3 different dwellings. Its a lot to ask of a pup surely?

    My trainer said to me: If you can do this, with a problem dog, imagine how you could work on a well rounded dog? You should go out, get a working dog, and see some rewards for your excellent training methods. I did.
    Bernie is my next dog. Not an aggressive bone in his body, eager to please, will offer me various 'tricks' to get me to play with him. Im training him in drive, having read K9's Triangle of Temptation article, Its on this site, and even if you dont keep him, read it and practice this training method with your next pup, its fantastic, and really does take 2 days to train!
    im hooked with the amazing results from this style of training. Makes me feel clever to have my dog pay 'me' that much attention lol.

    another point the behaviourist made: why do you want a dog? what role is it to fullfill? what do you want to do with it? For you presumably, this is to have a family pet, some dog your son can go sulk in the garden with. Take on holiday, have visitors over etc. Normal family dog stuff. Is this the type of behaviour that fits with that image? Nope. Not to my hard/sadly earned experience.

    Yes you can train your dog, for most situations. But you never know, one day...especially with fear biters, dominant dogs, high fight drive etc.
    Get rid now, then you can have some good memories, wait, and you might find yourself remembering the dog tearing your son apart. Suffer PTSD, have a kid that is scared of dogs etc. etc.

    I wish you all the best. And the dog.

    4 months old, and sold. Way too late for socialising opportunities. wonder if he's done this elsewhere, with previous owner? Not that they'd be likely to admit that.

  3. #43
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    Young children can to some dogs seem unstable and unreliable. They make lots of noise are unsteady in their actions etc, some dogs do not see them as extensions of adults (I hope that makes sense).

    Children also have a habit of cornering dogs and not reading the early warning signs that dogs give saying "back off".

    If Doug has "issues" then these will be acerbated by a toddler.

    In your instance I would not be buying a dog interstate as I would be taking the child with you to see the dogs reaction to being in the company of children. I realise that doesn't help your current situation but just in case Doug doesn't stay with you that's my advice for the future.

    All the Mastiffs I've seen have been wonderful with kids regardless of having been raised around them or not.

    Also if Doug has issues remember that he has gone from house to house a few times. Breeders house, flight?? your house and now staying at someone elses. This may have also brought out the worse in him.

    I am not making excuses for Doug's behaviour rather trying to figure out why he is the way he is.

  4. #44
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    Bernie, you beat me to it. A very good post.

  5. #45
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    I would also like to say not so much of Doug's situation but buying older puppies.

    I re-home lots of older puppies and I've had repeat business for older puppies. Older puppies are particularly popular with families with small children because a lot of the training has already been started. For one the dogs bladder is that much bigger so toilet training is easier.

    Socialisation starts from 3 weeks of age. I currently have 7 nearly 5wk old puppies in my lounge room. It's not an easy thing to do, especially if you don't like your house to smell like dog which I don't.

    Some young dogs cross over into new homes with out missing a beat, others do not.

    But in all instances where young children are involved it is best for the family to visit the dog before any decision is made.

  6. #46

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    I would agre. Older puppies are not always bad. But meet and greet is vital with kids. One of mine was 16 weeks when we got her, and although it's always been obvious that we missed her early bonding period she is completely safe and trustworthy with the kids.

    reana I'm really sorry about your troubles, and kudos to you for trying to sort it out. But consider your kids safety first (as I'm sure you are!).

    I'm wondering if this pup has already been homed and returned at this age... Do you know much of his background?

  7. #47
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    i wonder what the outcome was?

  8. #48
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    hmmm me too bernie

  9. #49
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    Feb 2010
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    Whyalla, South Aus
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    I thought i would let you all know how Dug has gotten along.
    Dug has settled in really well and has not bitten nash again, his become one of the family and is a good dog with the kids.
    We found out that dug was trying to get Nash's snacks off him, and snatched at him. Tea time is not an issue as Nash feeds dug, with our supervison of course, but he makes dug sit and wait until he tells him its his, and he listens. its just when he gets too excited he fogets his manners. so when the kids have food we keep them apart.
    but other than that his been excellent.

    With Having that happen to us, it has made me very aware of other dogs and what they could do, i'm always a little bit more careful with the kids around other Dog's and that now but its a good thing.

    Thank you to every one who gave me advice.!!
    cheers

  10. #50
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    that is a great update, im glad things are going better

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