bit my 9 month old son - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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bit my 9 month old son

Hi there! My husband and I have Vizslas, 1 female thats 7 years old and a male that is 2.5 years old.
9 months ago our son was born and both our dogs have not had a problem with him. They lick his face, lay next to him and hover near his high chair when he eats waiting for him to hand them bits of his snacks.
THE PROBLEM: Early last week our male growled at my son when he crawled near him, my son crawling over to him is not anything out of the ordinary, but this time he growled at him. I ran over grabbed my son and told my male no we don't growl at the baby.
Well, yesterday he was sleeping in the sun by the back door and my son was looking out the window and pulled him self up, lost his balance a fell back on my male vizsla and this time he bit my son without any warning leaving a large gash above my sons left eye. We rushed him to urgent care and lucky my son didn't need stitches.
Ever since our male bit our son we have been on edge. I refuse to put me son on the floor to play and I myself am scared to be near him.
Any advice on how to handle the situation and make sure it doesn't happen again is very much appreciated!
We would hate to give up our male, but if we can't find a way to make sure it doesn't happen again we will have no choice!
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 03:19 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

First I'm very sorry this happened to your baby.
Next is you need to make sure your young son is protected. Anytime I put the baby down to crawl, I would crate the dog first in a separate room, so he couldn't crawl up to the crate.
Has your dog been around a lot of young kids, or is this new to him?

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

Thank you!
our dog has been around a number of young children and babies since we got him. Before our son was born we crated him until he was fully house trained. Do you think it would be smart to bring back the crate as learning/teaching tool for our young Dog? We have also tossed around the idea of bringing in a obedience trainer.
Has your dog ever suggested aggression of any kind toward your child?
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 05:32 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

Your sons safety has to be your first priority.
So the question you need to been asking yourself "Can I keep my son safe, while still providing a good home for this dog? "
The crate would not be a learning/teaching tool, it would be used so your son could safely play on the floor. But you don't want the majority of your dogs life to be spent in the crate. So you would need to be able to balance your time with your son, and the dog also getting attention separately.
While its always good for a dog to learn obedience, your issue is more complicated.

Quote:
Has your dog ever suggested aggression of any kind toward your child?
While one of my dogs can be aggressive, he has never been given the opportunity to be loose with a baby.

Not all those who wander are lost.

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Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 05:40 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

Likely your dog was startled since it was sleeping. The previous incident I can't really explain. I would do a quick vet check to make sure that your V doesn't have any illness you aren't aware of. He could be hurting and be on edge.

Other than that, all of what TexasRed mentioned was spot on.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 06:14 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

I agree you have a good percentage of dogs that will not bite while awake, can bite when startled while sleeping.
The growl was to let the baby know to back off. The dog has no way of knowing that a baby cannot read the body language, and vocal (growl) noise he is saying. Its hard for us grownups to sometimes read a dogs body language before a growl/bite, a child doesn't stand a chance reading it. Its up to the adults in the household to keep all dog and kid interactions safe. If we fail, kids get bitten, and dogs get put down. Your dog may, or may not be okay with your son as he gets older. There is just no way to see into the future.
You either work out a plan where both can live happy, and safely, or talk to one of your local vizsla rescues.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 06:44 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

We live with our granddaughters in our house. The dogs live downstairs behind two child gates and only get to interact with the girls when we are right there supervising.
Bailey growled at our 2 year old when she crawled into his crate.
I just never trust my dogs with young children even though I think I know them well, an animal is still that.

Keep them separated as much as possible at this age is my only real suggestion.

You'll all live through this and one day your son will be able to be a dog trainer because you started him out very young understanding dogs.

Safety first, last and always. Good luck.
Rod
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 09:07 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

oh my, this is just terrible! Yes, V'sare very sensitive and don't like surprises, but this one is a bit out there. If it were me and I saw this, I would have given a correction that would leave a very lasting impression.

You need to keep your human baby safe, of course, but you also need to reintroduce them to each other in a far more successful way, supervising both. The sooner you can do that, the sooner both babies (and you!) will feel more confident in their overall ability to coexist. Just remember to supervise and make sure the outcome is positive, and if there's even a hint of anxiety or aggression from V, to offer either support or correction, respectively. But, the longer you wait, the longer you reinforce the least interaction for both of them.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 12:19 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingerling
If it were me and I saw this, I would have given a correction that would leave a very lasting impression.
As difficult as it is, and primal instinct is to severely correct the dog, the outcome of a severe correction in this instance is highly likely to be inverse to what is desired. i.e. an escalation of aggressive/defensive behavior.

When a dog is in a defensive or aggressive mode (and the two are very similar in potential bite response) escalating with more aggression generally results in a higher anxiety, higher response in a future event. It is most important to understand the dog needs his space, just as the child needs a safe place to play. I understand the desire to have the dog and child be buddies, but not all dogs like small children, and as a living, thinking being they have that right. I cringe when I see Facebook pictures of tiny babies on top of the dog, while others Ooh and aww isn't that cute... I see a potential train wreck. It only takes an instant and ANY dog can bite under the right circumstances. This is not the dog's fault.

If you are afraid of your dog, the best thing is to find him a new home. Your understandable anxiety will only exacerbate the issue. That anxiety is picked up by the dog, which makes him more on edge and unsure. That combination can not lead to a better behavioral outcome. The sooner the better, for you, the baby and the dog.

Good luck,
Ken

PS - If this post links to sales outlets it will be removed by author.

Knowledge and tools all help in training your dog, but have no worth whatsoever if one does not get up and actually go train.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 02:27 PM
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Re: bit my 9 month old son

Very well said, Ken.

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can make him wag his tail." -- Kinky Friedman
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