Join Date: Jul 2010
Re: Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids
At the end of the day... realize this... it is JUST a dog. I am a dog lover, and I have had several dogs growing up. But at the end of the day, it is a dog.. a pet.
Your CHILD is something you can never replace. Dog bites are serious, and dog aggression should be taken seriously. You should never fear for your child's safety with a pet that you own. Ever. If the dog does not respect children, it will get worse. There will be a time when no adult is around, and the dog will feel it has the authority to do whatever it wants.
Dogs think in 'packs'. Who is the leader of the pack? Usually the two adults of the family. Then it analyzes everyone else. If your dog feels that MIL, old neighborhood, and all of your children are on the lower end of the pole, and that Tess has the next rank, it's just a problem waiting to happen. Sometimes you are able to curb this behavior by having your children show dominance towards the dog (holding the dogs food, making them sit and wait, giving treats, walking them, etc.). But this isin't always the case.
We had to make a tough decision like this before, and each day.. I was a WRECK. What is the dog doing now? Where is my son? Did I just hear a growl? Is that him crying? Was it from the dog? I hope he's not in the dog food.. etc. I was on pins and needles, fearful for my children, but had a love for the dog.
Easy solution. Take the dog back. Tell them that the dog is dangerous around young children. ANY professional would be able to figure out what kind of training the dog needs before it is adopted again. Do not take up this cross, and bear the burden of training this dog. Professionals do not use infants for training, they start with adults, and then slowly introduce the dog to children. And since they are professionals, they are able to notice signals the dog lets off when things are going bad.
The average dog owner does not notice raised hair on the back of the neck, a tense jaw, intense eyes, a stand-off look, a tense stance, etc. You are not a professional, and this dog needs training. Your children should not be the test subjects for this dog. If anything was to happen, it would be horrible. Even a little bite can scare a child into their adulthood.
Dogs are nice. Great dogs are better. Professionals know how to handle most situations. Too many families with children try to 'work with' aggressive dogs and it's just not worth the risk. Your children's safety comes first. I can tell you first hand, when the dog is gone, a weight will be lifted from you. You should never fear that your child might be hurt from a pet.
Not all dogs are like this, that is something to realize. When my son was 6 months old, our aggressive dog would growl as he crawled by (feet away). My son could never get near him. Our loving family dog would let him pull his hair, pull his ears, poke his teeth, and jab his tongue.. and the dog would just lick my son's arm and snuggle with him. Family pets are out there. Don't get stuck with one that isin't trust worthy and 100% loving. Especially when you have little ones!
Happy Wife to Handsome, Hard Working DH.
Mom to Buddy (8), Booga (5),
The Twin Beans (3) and Baby (18 Mos)