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Categories: Dog Bites , Kids and Dog Aggression

Q. My 7 year old dog has never shown aggression to anyone before and up until now has been great with my 16 month old son. Yesterday he approached her while she was eating and she bit him in the face. I feel I can’t trust her anymore and should find her a new home. Am I overreacting?
I've had my 7 year old pitt mix since she was 4 weeks old. I took her through obedience classes and she follows commands nicely unless she is excited about visitors.

She's never been aggressive towards anyone. The only aggression I've seen is towards other dogs who approach us while walking and towards a friends toy poodle who constantly harassed her.

Up until now she's been great with my son who is 16 months. He loves petting and hugging her and I truly thought she liked it as she's always craved any attention.

Yesterday my son approached her while she was eating (my fault- I was 2 feet away). She's never been food aggressive at all but bit my son in the face. We were very lucky that it wasn't more serious. I feel deep down that I need to find her a new home. I feel guilty crating her all day but I don't trust her anymore. I'm scared that since she's done it once now she will think she can bite him again.

Do you think I'm overreacting?

A. I'd watch the video on this page, Pack Structure for the Family Pet. Your dog may like your son, but she sees herself above him in the social hierarchy. She looks at him like someone she is dominant over and when he approached her while she was eating, she corrected him like she would another dog.

While I don’t advocate any dog biting any child, it's not surprising in this scenario. Here is a section on preventing dog bites in kids.

I think you need to take what happened seriously and if you keep the dog, directly supervise ALL contact between the dog and child.

Cindy Rhodes
Recommended Products
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

Dominant Dog Collar
Dominant Dog Collar
This collar is not intended to give a painful correction. It is intended to take the air away from a dominant aggressive dog. More dogs are put to sleep everyday for aggression problems than they are properly trained. Killing a dog must ALWAYS be the last resort. Learning how to use a dominant dog collar can and will often make the difference between having a dog put down or ending up as a pack leader and a dog the you can live with. Some dogs will often get over-stimulated by a prong collar resulting in a more hectic and aggressive dog. The Dominant Dog Collar is designed to be used on handler aggressive or dog aggressive dogs. Using a Dominant Dog collar correctly on the takes the drive and fight out of the dog. Leerburg's Dominant Dog Collars If you have a problem with dog aggression or a dominant dogs, we recommend that you get the Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs DVD. We also have an extensive collection of articles pertaining to dominant and aggressive dogs We recommend you read the article on Dealing with the Dominant Dog written by Ed Frawley. Individuals who use this collar for handler aggression should have their dog undergo through a solid pack structure program. For adult dogs, we recommend the Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet DVD. For puppies, we recommend the Living with Your Puppy - Establishing Pack Structure DVD. Due to government restrictions, countries such as Australia and a few in Europe do not allow the use of remote or electric collars. These dominant dog collars are a viable alternative.

Option 1:
Option 2:
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.


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