I’m really needing some advice about a situation we have going on. Our large dog reared back and almost bit my four-year-old son today. My son was just petting him, Not too close, not aggressively, as my son is just now warming up to them and keeps his distance, so there’s no history of my son climbing on or mistreating the dogs in any way. This is not the first time this has happened, but the last time was about three years ago. I’m very torn on what to do as our dog is a St. Bernard mix and could seriously injure my kids (or worse) if the aggression continues. He’s also eight years old, which qualifies him as a senior dog due to his size, and so I don’t know that rehoming him would do any good, and it would break my heart. I’m just not sure where to go from here.
You really need to find a different place for your dog
Where was he petting the dog ? The ears ? Could have a ear infection…the back or hips ? Could have arthritis. I’d take him to the vet for a check up
First, I would take him to the vet to rule out any issues of pain or neurological issues. If there are none, I would get with a trainer that specializes specifically in behaviors. I am a CPDT. The kennel I use to work for is amazing and the owner has a degree is behavior.
ThunderHawk Canine LLC they offer online services if you’re interested
Saints have bad issues with arthritis, he may be hurting and just a cranky old man.
I would suggest a few things. Muzzle training, behavioral training and a vet visit to rule out medical issues as a cause. I would keep the dog and child separate until a solution is found. If interested, muzzle up pup is a good group to join, as well as aggressive and reactive dog
I would do a vet check… he could be hurting somewhere… if not, I would look into rehoming to a family with older or no kids. Always a hard decision but bette than a major injury to your son and euthanasia for your pup.
I agree that it may be a health issue that you don’t see on the outside, if he’s in pain he’ll react. A vet appt. Is in order. If they don’t find any issues I would say research a trainer in your area. If thats not an option I would rehome the dog to home without children. You’ll be heart broken to get rid of the dog but if he injured or killed your kid you’d be devastated. Keep the priorities in order here and work with your vet and other animal professionals to find a solution.
I had a large dog that in her old age would grumble and sort of bite the air around my kid to warn him my dog never bit him but my kid got the picture to be easy with her i had a spray bottle that i would get her with if she got to loud it would shock her enough she would back up
Was the dog eating when he was petting him? I have had St. Bernard’s in my past. My female was aggressive if you got near her while she was eating.
We’ve been having problems like this this our black lab and our son…I knew it was out of norm and not like her so I took her to the vet and had blood work done and her adrenal glands we out of whack causing the random out burst of aggression take your pup in and have a full work up done could just be an issue thats not their fault and can be managed
Muzzle could be good for safety for now so you don’t have to worry about bites. Make sure it’s bite proof.
My old man has arthritis in his hips and even snaps at our other dogs for getting too close sometimes. He is probably just in pain and grumpy
We give our dog his own space. A bed in the corner of the room. Our daughter knows she can not go near it and the dog knows if he doesn’t want to be bothered to go there. Boundaries for sure. But I’d check with the vet. Could not be feeling well or have a sensitive spot
If he’s older he may have something wrong with him health wise dogs don’t just turn aggressive for no reason either so if it’s not health related there’s a reason but some older dogs can’t handle kids either and some dogs just don’t get along with children either
I would have the dog checked for injury or brain tumor if this is something out of the ordinary. If nothing found I would say probably find a more sutible home. I have also had to make this decision but found a brain tumor in my dog.
Sorry but the dog has to go. The sooner the better.
I am sure he will continue to get more aggressive… have a little experience with that but I’m sure youd chose your kids safety over your dog.
The dog may have health issues, my mum had a St. Bernard years ago and she only lived to eight years old so please think of your dog as being a senior these dogs don’t have very long lives
Is he hurting any. ? Or does he get enough excersize? Some dogs and I’ve heard about this breed being on the list are more tense than others. Find a rescue in your area, a shelter will most likely put down. If he’s not a bad dog he can find a home with no kids. I work with a rescue . Please give this baby a chance.
Vet visit first. Before you go you pet in different spots and watch if he moves away or anything, something could be bothering him. If that all checks out ask about behavior training. If you can’t keep them separated, look into a muzzle while you try to figure things out
I would take him to the vet first. Rule out any medical issues. Seizures can cause a sudden change in behavior. Pain. Not to make it excusable, the child’s safety needs to be priority. But it can help give you an answer. Whatever the answer may be, due to the breed/age/circumstances, it may be time to euthanize. I would certainly consult with a veterinarian first. Give your fur baby understanding. Medical issue or not, no sense in rehoming a dog that may attack again.
Needs to be seen by vet. Hips are probably very sore and needs to be on an anti inflammatory
There are a lot of excuses for this loved animal. My question would be who do you care about the most? A grumpy old dog or an injured , maybe permanently, loved child? For me, the answer would be easy. A dog can be replaced , a child, never.
Sorry your babies have to come 1st! You’ll regret it forever if your dog seriously hurts someone, anyone.
It seems like you love this dog and would like to get things worked out all around. I definitely think a vet check is a good start! Just like many others have said, there could be health issues! Hope you find the best solution.
Jesus . Save y’alls souls . It’s fine "this "time or it only happened “once” … that "once " or “occasionally” could literally be y’alls child life it only takes a ONCE and that was the last . . For fucks sake. What’s more important? YOUR CHILD or a unpredictable animal .? Y’all whine about kids in foster care so on and so on. But are quick to jump on a "rescue “animal” want a dog? Get a puppy grows with a family …learns right from wrong early age .sometimes they just aint even teachable … or get a 9 year old shit zue that would tear your ass up quicker than a big dog ever would. Yalls choice but in reality that sometimes or once IS A LAST. sometimes forever is a minute.
Take him to the vet and get him checked but also remember not every dog wants to be touched by everyone just the same as we as people don’t want other certain ppl hugging us. Just keep them apart the most you can. Remember the dog has been part of your family longer than your son it’s all the dog knows I think rehoming him now would be heart breaking.
If your child is 4 and just now warming up to the dogs, that is why. Not that its bad, but I am pointing out that they need some adjustment time. If the baby started out with the dogs as an infant, they would act a little different now, 4 years later when the child is more active and mobile. Am I condemning the dog getting upset? No, but it all comes in time. If you have dogs and then have a baby, they need to be introduced right away, gradually of course, but that way, the dogs build up a protective stance on the child and will protect, vs, attack or get angry. Just speaking from what we have done since I was born in 87 to now, and I have 4 kids from 2007,2010,2014,2019. It has worked with a pit/lab mix and 2 German shepherds!
We got a 6 week old beagle/Weiner dog puppy just 2 months before our first daughter was born. Shes been such an amazing dog this entire time, but since my newest daughter has been born and is crawling around now, even if the baby isn’t anywhere near her but starts to go in her general direction, she starts growling (kinda like a warning growl, not super loud or aggressive). When she starts doing that I put her in her own area to have a break from the chaos of just being around a 3 year old and 8 month old. A lot of dogs just get anxious or overwhelmed after a long period. I’d just try giving him his own space away from everyone
Definitely take him to your vet first and foremost. Unfortunately, one common cause of this is a brain tumor.
St Benard mixed with what. Most True St Benard are good dogs.
I would definitely recommend him before I would do anything else with him,there are sanctuaries for senior dogs…he can probably sense the child is nervous of him and plus he’s old
Check could it b leg or hip issues if this is new there is definitely a issue
It’s just a dog, your child should always come first!
This is loaded article and usually happens when a dog is confused. We have a very large Guardian dog that actually bit me so he put them into training. Oh my God we got back the most amazing member in our family. We have to keep his training up but he’s so much more relaxed now that he knows exactly what is expected of him in every situation. There are very very few bad dogs, there’s just owners over their head that don’t know how to communicate with other dogs. There was as much training for us as there was for him our puppy, yes he is still a puppy at 107.8 lbs and karacachans get to about 180 lb.
Best to find a rescue group, and get that dog away from that child !
You should rule out medical issues first, but definitely keep them separated. Thyroid issues can cause cause aggressive behaviors in animals. If medical issues are ruled out, rehoming isn’t a smart idea because what if he hurts the next person. Medications won’t “fix” an aggression issue but will simply mask it. Aggression towards kids is serious. I’ve been in VetMed for over 15 years… and I had to have my dog put down when she started biting my then 4 year old. And that was after many conversations with a doctor I work with who I trust.
It’s a crap decision but your child’s safety has to come first.
like many are suggesting it could be a medical issue or maybe he was not feeling good that day… but if your son is 4yrs old, just warming up to him that could be the problem… also, at 4 he’s the right height to be at the dogs shoulders and for dogs it’s a dominance issue for another dog or human to hover over it too close to his shoulder and back of the neck area… your dog may have thought that the little guy is getting bigger therefore may be related to the dog not wanting to risk being dominated by him.
Take him to the vet, get vet suggestions. If they don’t work, consider rehoming the dog to a family that doesn’t have kids. A child should always come before any animal.
This happened between my dog and my nephew, but it always happened when noone was around but we believe my less than year old nephew was climbing on him. I bought a muzzle, and had it on him 1 time for less than 30 minutes and he’s never done it again to anyone. Might be worth the lesson for the dog. I thought it was going to be something we kept on him all the time, because he could eat and drink through it, but we didn’t. He really got the hint that snapping at the kids wasn’t cool. hope your experience Is the same!
Vet! Check for any unknown health issues.
Rehome maybe to a close childless friend, if you have to ?
Kids always come before the dog. I’d ask family members or a friend if they may want him. But I wouldn’t risk him hurting your child.
I had an Akita that was just super nervous around kids. I never let my kids pet her honestly until they were older, like 8-9. She just didn’t really like young kids. They never did anything too her. I think they were just little and moved to fast. My dog finally became more at ease and she lived to be 13.
I cant believe you trusted the animal around your kid IF THE DOG HAD DONE IT BEFORE
If you plan to keep the dog, I’d keep the kid and dog permanently separate.
Your child doesnt have to be mean or anything for a dog to snap. Dogs tend to think like toddlers themselves. So it could be jealousy, could be simply being in the dogs space and children make the dog nervous, could have taken the child as a threat especially if the child was staring the dog in the eyes.
It could be so many things and keep in mind, its not the dogs fault ya kid got bit; its YOURS. You as a parent should know if a dog has any bite history, DONT LET YOUR KID AROUND THAT DOG
gah people like you are the ones who’s kid will get mauled by the family pitbull and blame the dog ‘wElL tHey dID BiT3 sOmeOne bEfOr3’ but surprised about the animal mauling your child. Or attempt uneducated and unprofessional protection training not even realizing all you’ve done is make them more likely to bite and not listen since the training isnt finished or correct.
Idiots: giving good dog breeds a bad rep since forever.
Also the dog is 8. It could be arthritis and the anxiety from being pet and it hurting inadvertently can cause a dog to lash out. Amazes me
You can get your dog checked and have it separated from your kid all you want. But the fact remains that they will both still be under the same roof. Decide whats important or take your chances
The sentence ‘this isnt the first time this has happened’ WHAT?!? just why was this animal in the same room as the kid in the first place? Idk my brain goes to 'not first bite, has no bite warning, prolly gonna put them down. Now you know the dog has no bite warning, no growling or clean body language that it is going to bite orbbecome aggressive. That’s even scarier to realize. Aka this dog can bite put of no where, zero warning.
Idk I had a pitbull who i trained well. She had a wonderful disposition and didnt have a single mean bone in her body.
BUT if she had even snapped at my son, either she would have been rehomed or euthanized in a heart beat no matter how much I loved her or made excuses for her.
Maybe get checked by a vet in case he is maybe having some kind of arthritis and is hurting and the kid petting him even gently may have hurt. If that’s not it then seek a dog trainer. If those options don’t work for you then you need to rehome him to someone that doesn’t have kids and will never have kids around before he actually does hurt your kid. This is something that should have been dealt with years ago the first time it happened.
Maybe your dog doesn’t feel well and/or is in pain. Maybe you should take him to the vet.
I dont see what the choice is dog or kid:woman_shrugging:
St bernards are unfortunately known for getting temperamental and slightly aggressive as they get older if you want to keep the dog, you may have to teach the child to ignore it
I hate to see so many people who would give up on a pet with the mindset of them being a bad parent for not sending there senior dog to a shelter or it’s just a pet like animals are worthless. I agree getting a vets opinion is best to see if it’s something medically that can be fixed or behavioral wise cause dogs can be trained at any age if the owner truly wants but to many people give up on older dogs and mark them untrainable I hope everything works out and if not the dog can go to a good place to live and not just be given up on I understand pets are just as much family and sad to think not everyone thinks that way about them
This should not be a decision if he is aggressive toward a 4 year old rehome lady do you really need us to tell you that if so maybe you don’t need the 4 year old either
Keep them apart and maybe when your son is a little older, the dog will warm up to him. He’s an older dog and probably has less tolerance even if the child isn’t really overwhelming. But if it continues— do what you gotta do. Kids are first no matter what.
Don’t chance it. My dog was a great dog we had him for 14 years…he Never bit anyone. I eventually had kids. He didn’t like it. He warned my daughter a couple times like you’re describing, I brushed it off. I kept them separated with a baby gate just Incase then one day I wasnt paying close enough attention and she reached over and he got her real good. We ended up having to make the choice to put him down.
St. Bernard’s have a history of sudden aggression with family kids. Something in their brain. Go to the vet.
Do away with the dog
Hello get rid of the dog no questions should be asked?
We have a senior dog, he’s a lab pit mix. The SWEETEST boy ever. Sweet enough my 4 year old daughter could walk him in a crowded park and no incidents. But the other day my 9 year old was petting him and he nipped her finger and I was mortified! I took him to the vet the very next morning and turns out he was bit by a spider and we’re assuming she touched it and it hurt him. If you love your dog and want to keep him exhaust all of your options, vet visits, behavioral training all of it first. If this is out of your dogs character then that was probably his way saying he’s possibly in pain. Good luck, our fur babies are important too!
If my dog even so much as growled at my child for zero reason at all it’d be out of the house. All you people making excuses for this animal is the reason dogs get a bad rep because they get left in homes that they shouldn’t be in and then they bite people. Rehome the damn dog otherwise your kid might not be so lucky next time.
Muzzle train, also separate during certain periods of the day. Lack of exercise can also cause aggression. I got tired of my dog nipping at me, I paid to take him to two separate dog trainers and it didn’t work. Wanna know what worked? A 2 dollar spray bottle. He hates being sprayed with it. Most time I just make him see it and it deters him from it and he’ll go lay down lol. (I have cats that I don’t declaw so they claw my stuff. I spray them with the water bottle and they bolt.)
Your kids should always come before any animal. This wouldn’t be a second thought for me. Just think if your child’s face got scarred up or even killed, think of the guilt you would live with. Don’t take the risk.
lord this needs to be addressed by a good veterinarian
Have him checked for lyme disease, and arthritis, sometimes that can cause a dog to become snappy from being in pain, think of it like fibromyalgia, it can be treated. Give the dog a safe space away from the child. You don’t have to re-home him just change the situation.
Your child should come first if this is happening
The dog must go . As much as I know you love him , your child must come first . I would bet an older couple or a couple with no kids would love to have him !
Give the dog a new home that’s less heartbreaking them having the dog attacking ur son in the long run …
Don’t give him away take him to the vet. . she what wrong dog are funny when they siek not feeling well they. Do that. .make him bed away from the kids … take the time walk the dog give him lot of love. To . .they also like children … so treat him like a kids . Me dog did the something. I. Did all of this and it works … Take for. Behaviour training to . .
Take your dog to the vet. It’s probably an underlying issue like pain or sickness that can easily be cured.
If you have the money, you can always find a trainer , do not get rid of the dog, like you said he is old, it could be jealousy but this can be fixed , a trainer will help you and your 4 year old with exercises, so they can start bonding.
First, have him checked by a vet to rule out any health issues causing the behavior. If none found, please find a certified trainer in your area for an evaluation. They can usually give you more options and a better understanding.
Ver, could use a trainer if have the money, crate when child Is around, use a baby gate up so he has his own room. Could be jealous issue or could just wanna be left alone.
Get rid of the dog…NOW!! myself and my partner where looking after one of his mum’s dogs last year and he attacked my son. 30 stitches to the face and be is now scarred for life. I would not want any parent to have to go through pulling a dog of their child and having blood everywhere, I mean everywhere. I was covered, bed was covered, floor covered, up the walls, everything. And he was a smaller dog, I’d hate to think what a large dog could do. Jealousy from a dog is not a good thing. That same day of the attack the dog was put to sleep.
Keep them separate with a baby gate. Different rooms at all times
There is so many reasons something like that could be happening. Sometimes it’s reaction to fear from the child. Sometimes they are hurt somewhere and nobody knows it. What are the dogs every day behaviors with your child or any other children? I mean there is alot to know about the dog before jumping to getting rid of the dog like this lady says!! ^^^^
I would start with the vet. We had a dog suddenly get aggressive and he had brain tumors that caused him to snap and kill my 17 year old dog. It was heart breaking. He didn’t show signs of aggression prior and we had to put him down.
If there is nothing physically causing the aggression, then I think he’s just getting overwhelmed and needs his own space. When he gets overwhelmed take him to his own personal space and let him relax where the kids can’t bug him and he can have some quiet.
Get referrals for a very good trainer. You can’t afford for this to ever happen again. I love my dogs as part of the family but a small child could get seriously hurt by a dog of this size. (We raised our kids with mastiffs so I’m well aware). We had the same thing but the trainer was amazing and nothing ever happened again. If the dog showed any indication of aggression again after training, the dog would be rehomed.
Get rid of him immediately. Take him to the humane society please before your little one gets malled. I appreciate all the advice to keep your dog but it only takes an instant for him to severely hurt your baby.
I’d definitely think long and hard about really trying to rehome him, try Facebook as you’ll be amazed at how many kind honest people can help you rehome him! Try dog charities put ads up just make sure you check the new owners out and make sure you state no children I think you have a really good chance of finding him a new home to live out his last years x
Please give him to a rescue so he can at least be cared for properly. He’ll just become more aggressive in the shelter and end up getting put down. I couldnt imagine having a dog 8 years (56 years his time) and coming to Facebook on getting rid of him or what you should do. If he was ‘aggressive’ 3 years ago, something must have changed where he wasn’t aggressive for 3 years right? Take him to the vet and get better advice than from an FB page. Ridiculous. Would hate for him to adapt to a whole new place/situation when it could easily be an underlying health issue or something that can be corrected especially if he hasn’t acted on the aggression. You’d just be killing him sooner changing his entire life. At least a rescue can meet his demands and he may pass as a foster without a forever home but at least he’d go more peacefully.
Sounds like the dog could be in pain? Don’t just get rid of the dog ffs everyone saying that ought to be ashamed! Keep a close eye on the dog near your kid and book a vet appt something could be wrong!
I would seek a vet. The dog could be suffering an illness, and has no way to tell you, and lashed out. Much like children would. An 8 year old, large breed dog, is sadly, facing the end soon, and much like humans, as age sets in, so can illness.
Take the dog to the vet to check for any illness etc - dogs can turn nasty when they have undiagnosed illnesses
If there is nothing wrong with it you have two options
Rehome to a child free home Or put it to sleep
Can have vicious dogs around children
Get rid of him. He could do a lot of damage for your son. Not worth the risk.
He may have an ear infection or tooth ache. We sometimes over look our dogs may be in pain and we don’t see it.
Speak to a behaviouralist and your vet if that doesn’t work it would be your choice but you shouldn’t have a dangerous dog around your child either rehome or pts
He’s getting older which means his body’s changing. Maybe the dogs going through something making him feel uncomfortable. Get his checked out.
Please listen to the ones that say get rid of him. As much as you love him an animal attack can happen so quickly wirh dire consequences. Let’s remember that how loving this dog is it means nothing eith animal instinct takes over. A trip to the get…yea sure but please don’t take the risk .
Check under his fur if he has warts or swollen glands they can be quite painful for them
Maybe he’d be better in a home without children, but definitely get a vet check to make sure he’s ok. You wouldn’t want to risk having your child injured over indecisiveness, so act quickly… good luck
Vet, training something to see whats going on. My dog has other dog aggression I take him to training we are slowly getting there. I know its not that same thats your baby by all means protect your child.
I would be contacting your vet. A dog of that size along with being a senior, may be lashing out over pain. He may just do it with your son because he is scared that he may hurt him unintentionally. If everything comes back normal, they can give you some insight as well on what could be going on. Dog trainers can also help if it is a behavioral issue. Prayers that everything can work out
I had a boxer mix who had never shown any type of aggression to my kids my son could grab his tail and pull him around and he wouldn’t do anything my (at the time) 1 year old walked by him and he bit her she had to have stitches in her forehead so if be cautious and get him checked and if it is just aggression I’d rehome him good luck momma
Rehoming him may seem harsh but how would you feel if something happened to your children? That’s what’s truly important.
Take him to a vet first, he’s an old man! There may be health issues. Our dog was great,. Until he got older, he had started to lose his sight and hearing, also arthritis. He didn’t feel well. He got meds and lived a couple years longer. The kids were told to leave him alone but they were older. Good luck!
Start by taking him to the vet. He could be in pain somewhere or have an underlining issue.
Then go to training, make your son do the training with him. He has the potential to be your sons best friend. And LISTEN & WATCH the warning signs!!! If the dog growls, remove the child! If the dogs hackles are raised, remove the child! Do not punish the dog for growling, that is his only way he knows to warn him to back off.
Most of the time if the dog hasn’t been aggressive before, there’s something causing pain and doesn’t want to be bothered. Get your pet to the vet so they can check
Take him to the vet and see what they say. He is aging and probably is feeling it now. Or he could not be feeling well, unfortunately they can’t tell you.
After that not much advice except to keep them apart as much as you can to prevent the situation. It may be a good idea to look around for a new home, preferably a child free home with someone who can take care of him the way he needs. It’s a sad situation, I hope the best for yall.
I would def check with your vet first and foremost. I myself was attacked as a child and ended up with 100 stitches in my face and 2 surgeries following. The dog that attacked me was one I grew up with and never gave any warning before he just snapped and attacked. I would invest in a muzzle for time being while you figure out what is best and keep them separate. Lots of things can cause a dog to flip so just take precautions.