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  1. #31
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    My experience is (and I was bit in the face by our family Great Dane when I was 9) is that dogs give many warning signs before they snap or bite. We actually think our Great Dane snapped at me rather than bit me but obviously because of his size and because I was being VERY annoying and right in his face, his snap caused damage. I truly believe/know it was my fault (and those responsible for me that day) that I got bit. He had been growling at me for ages and giving me many physical signs that I was p*ssing him off, but I just kept persisting, determined to get him to do something. My dad wanted to put him to sleep immediately but I cried and begged for him not to, I loved that dog so much and knew I should have listened to his growling. He didn't get put to sleep and was a fab dog.

    My point is is that dogs usually let you know that they are getting to their wits end, it's our job as owners and parents to not let them get to that point. I know your toddler is probably too young to learn the signs but I would persist in being very firm with him about leaving the dog alone, probably to the point of teaching him to not touch the dog at all. I've taught toddlers that I care for to not chase after strange dogs, to stick their hand out to let a dog sniff it before petting, to not chase a pet cat/leave it alone, so I am sure you could get your toddler to that point of knowing that the dog is off limits.

    Like I said above, I would probably put a baby-gate up some place where the dog is still comfortable and feels part of the family (I assume he's indoors) but where your toddler can't access him and visa versa where the dog can't access where you toddler predominately plays and hangs out during the day.

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    Purple Lily  (28-03-2013)

  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tildy View Post
    Wow, that is a really hard decision. Is there any way you can keep them separate on a permenant basis? At least until your child is old enough to understand that he needs to be left alone. Can you fence off a section of your yard or something for the dog? I would try anything and everything first in your particular situation but something's got to give. Obviously the dog cant be allowed to hurt your toddler but its such a touch choice.
    Sorry I should have mentioned (to address safety concerns) that the dog is now always separated and lives outside. We only let him inside when DS is asleep. Dog has had too many chances to be trusted now in my mind. He wasn't ever a permanently inside dog so this hasn't upset him too much. We have never let him in the bedrooms or on the lounge so he's not top dog. Also, hes a little dog (most ppls cats would weigh more).

    I'm just conflicted cause DS is growing up thinking dogs are dangerous and not to touch. When I was a kid we always had dogs and I was never snapped at or bitten. I loved playing with the dog and my parents never had to stress about it. They were like part of the family.

  4. #33
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    I wouldn't worry too much about your child being permanently scared of dogs. Your dog is old and your child is young and there are plenty more years to get another family dog in the future that becomes best friends with your child. Many of the kids I care for are frightened of dogs as toddlers, whether they have a family dog or not and it rarely lasts into their childhood.

    I know what you mean though, there have only been a couple years in my whole life that I haven't had a pet and I loved having them growing up. They help instill such compassion in a child I believe.

    If you've got the situation under control don't stress too much, like I said, you're dog is old and your child young and there's many more dog-loving years your child has to live!

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    Candiceo  (28-03-2013)


 

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