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rex, my 3 yr old male bit my 2 year old niece in the face requiring stitches. even though i was only a few feet away, i didn/t witness it. he also bit a 9 year old but not as severely. again i did not witness it. i have 3 children of my own and he has never snapped at them. he is normally a very docile dog. we are now afraid for him to be around small children. we do not want to have to put him down, what are our options?

should he be on a working farm, even though he has never been trained as a worker. this is turning into a nightmare for us. he is truly a sweet dog. i spend alot of time with him daily, thowing him a frisbee. any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Okay, this is a veeeerrrry serious problem you have on your hands here. I'm not quite sure how to handle it, not knowing the details of everything, but it doesn't sound like u know too many yourself not having witnessed it. What were you doing with your dog and neice when this occured? And the time before what were u doing? I'm not sure what was happening but since you weren't watching was the dog provoked in any way? How did you handle it after both times, I know this time you were probably most worried about your neice. Is she okay? frown.gif Try and add a little more detail in on this, what was the dogs reaction after this happened. I know with my B/C there were a few of these occurences. I was sitting at my computer with one of my other teenage friends and my dog put her front paws up on our laps and we were petting her and all of a sudden she raised her scruff growled and bit my friend right in the face. Thank god she wasn't hurt but I know what I did was I immediately grabbed my dog by the scruff, shook her and was growling at her and very firmly saying, "Bad dog, No! That was BAD!" Then my dog was put out into our yard by herself and let to simmer down for a good 45 minutes. Afterwards she was looked at with shame from the pack, (aka. Me, my friends and my mother and father)She walked around with her head down the whole night. The only other time she's every snapped after that was while lying on my bed I gave her a pat and she went to bite my face, I repeated the same thing and kicked her out of my room. After that on another occasion on my bed she went to do this, but after the growling she double thought and just slid off my bed and left by herself.

Sorry about my babbling on and on and on but biting is a very serious manner and shoud not be takin lightly especially after such a malace bite to need stitches.

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I'm sorry but I can't even attempt to answer this one because it is so serious. However what I would like to say while you are waiting for advice to come in to help you make a decision is this. I am in no way excusing what your dog did, but children seem to have this fascination for staring into a dog's eyes. I had two kids making a fuss of Isa recently and I noticed one of them staring directly into her eyes and pulling silly faces. I asked him to stop and explained that dogs don't like being stared at. I turned my back, looked round and the little devil was still doing it. Right in front of his mother I told him off. Thankfully, she backed me up.


I do hope you can get help for Rex.

Regard, Val and the girls

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My oldest dog who is now 16 hates kids period !! Reason being as a puppy my little brothers would torment him when we where not looking. I was slow to this and would then scold the dog when he would growl. So to make a long story short one day he bit them both back to back and I punished both my brothers and the dog. So this is what I did seems almost to easy I never leave any child alone with my dogs!! My puppies are great my old man is great but kids are nosey and often sneaky and that is ok too because they are kids. So when I leave the room and we have company the dogs come too. If I suspect that one of them is not in the mood to deal with other people he stays in the kennel or in my room and amazingly enough sometimes they go on their own just to get a break. Since then I have not had any bitting problems.

Good Luck!!

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In the wild, dog society is fluid in that dogs challenge each other to achieve higher status in the pack. While you and your family may have established yourselves above your dog in his eyes and he does not feel he can get away with challenging you, that does not automatically apply to other children. The dog views these as newcomers to the 'pack' and since their place isn't as solidified as yours in his mind he felt he might get away with a challenge which could have been over something as trivial as a toy or just looking at them funny. I don't know the reaction he got the first time he snapped at a child but it seems he felt he could get away with it again and pushed his boundary to see if he could improve his status in the 'pack' by overpowering what he felt was a weaker member of the pack.


Dogs have to be sternly corrected for any challenging of a human. Even the tiniest growl (play growls don't count of course) at a person or child that is your guest must receive an instant and harsh correction to let the dog know that behavior like that is not tolerated at all.


If your dog knows a few obedience commands you could try having children that come over give the dog a treat but only after he does a few sits or downs correctly for the child. This helps to reinforce the heirarchy in the dogs mind that ALL humans are above the dogs. You'll have to watch your dog closely though because it sounds like he's gotten away with it (either he wasn't punished or not punished enough to overcome the reward he got by feeling a rung higher on the ladder than the child) a few times and it's now an established behavior. So, at the first sign of him trying to assert dominance over a child you've got to come down on him harshly.


Dogs continually test us. Even the best of dogs can develop bad behavior if we're not careful (and even the best people aren't always).



Sabre and BC Gus

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You said that Rex has never bitten one of your own children or you so the only reason I can think of him doing this is to protect his family. He may have bitten those other kids because he saw them as a threat to you or your children. Now the only way I know that you can handle this is to invite close friends and family members over to your house often for a while so that Rex gets used to them and so he knows he does not need to protect you from these people. When they come over have Rex sit by one person at a time and you sit next to Rex and have the person just pet him so that he knows that that person does not intend to cause any harm. This is what we did with my BC and now he will let the people he knows pet him and the ones he doesn't know he barks at.


It might also help to take him to public places so he can get used to being around strange people from time to time. Exercise may also be the problem so make sure he has plenty of it!


I hope all this info helps and I also hope you'll update us on Rex!



Best of luck





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I have 2 small children who my BC loves. But she is very protective when others come around. I would never trust my dog alone with other children. When new children want to pet my dog, I put her in a sit/stay position. The dog must learn that no matter what - biting is not allowed. And smaller kids must never be alone with ANY BC. Kids will pull tails, tease, etc. It's up to the adult to take charge.

The dog must know his place. If he's allowed to be above the children in your pack - you have a serious problem. My BC knows that she comes last. And that includes guests. BC's are not guard dogs & although they can be very protective - they must know their limits.

Here's what I'd do.

First - NEVER allow your dog to be around other children without a leash. I'd use a prong collar (what my trainers used).

If your dog has had obedience training - you already know the proper commands. Otherwise, choose one. "OFF" means no touching with mouth or body. "NO" means just that.

Introduce kids to him & watch very closely. If he even growls - a hard jerk on the collar & the words "NO" & "OFF" come in very handy. You - the alpha - must make him understand his place.

Keep the collar on all the time, with a short rope tied to it. Your dog must never be able to get away with anything. If you don't give a correction every time he does something unacceptible - he'll never learn.

If the doorbell rings & he growls - give a correction.

You must be consistent & since you already have a serious problem - I'd give more than a quick jerk (depending on how thick his fur is). You want him to feel the collar. Don't choke him out - just a quick, hard jerk with the verbal commands.

You're going to have to show him all over agin who the "top dog" is.

Feed him last but make him watch you eat first. Don't let him in your bed. You may want to get a book on training. A good book on obedience will explain how to make your dog a good citizen again.

FYI - I actually had a personal trainer for my BC who spent 1.5 months training because I knew that BC's could be a problem with children before I got her. Know your dog & others won't get hurt.


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I know - already long winded on the last mssg. But just wanted to say, you may want to start obedience all over. I hope you can help him - I hate to see dogs get destroyed because of problems like this. It's something that can be handled, but you must be willing to do it.

Next time it may not be a family member, and unfortunately, the dog pays with his life. And it's really not his fault. He's allowed to have this behavior. You are the only one - Rex's pack leader - who can make him understand. I'm glad you're seeking solutions & hope it works out.

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Absolutely - if you've never had experience with a prong or choke collar - consult a trainer who has. It can be a useful tool for very stubborn dogs, but it's not intended to hurt the dog. You need to be shown how to give a correction that does not harm your dog - only show him that what he is doing is wrong.

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