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Categories: Dog Bites

Q. Our dog bit a 3 year old child.
We currently own a 120 lb 9 month old Boerboel we got in South Africa. Over the last month he has been showing signs of aggression towards children (growling). We just had him neutered this past week to hopefully help eliminate the aggression. We also were looking into obedience training. However, while we were out at the park this weekend our dog bit a 3 year old boy. The attack was completely unprovoked and happened very quickly. Luckily the boy is fine and while the dog did break skin I don?t think he required any stitches. I am very concerned about the dog now and I am extremely nervous of the dog around our 2 children (2 year and 6 year old). Since the dog is so young I would imagine through proper training we could probably eliminate the aggression. However I still have a hard time trusting the dog around my children.

We have 3 options for the dog:

We could put the dog through ongoing professional training
We could look for a good home for the dog preferable with someone that is familiar with the breed.
I don?t want to have to put the dog to sleep, but it is an option.

I take 100% accountability for the dogs actions. We have been wrapped up in too many other things to focus on getting the dog and us properly trained. We did a lot of research on this breed and picked this breed because it is known to be very good with children. My gut tells me to get rid of the dog. However, I would be willing to take the appropriate actions to get the dog trained. Do you feel that this could be a potential option and if so do you recommend a trainer in the DC area? My fear is that until the dog is trained I am putting my children at unnecessary risk.

Regards,
Brian

A. Brian,

You have not listed the most important option. Which is you need to establish pack structure with this dog. Once that's done YOU need to train him – not someone else. Read the eBook I wrote titled MY PHILOSOPHY ON DOG TRAINING.

This dog bite happened because of the way you chose to live with this dog and what you have allowed the dog to get by with.

Obedience training is not going to solve this problem. It a normal thing for people to think that it will but your problem requires a lot more than this. You need to run the dog through a pack structure program. By that I mean a strict pack structure program – not something where you just make the dog sit before you let him eat or where you go through the door first. Those are very very small parts of a program this dog needs.

When a dog bites a child his life (as he knows it) is over. The owner needs to micro-manage every minute of the dogs life. The owner needs to micro-manage every single environment this dog is allowed to be in ( allowing a dog like this in a park is insane) When the dog is out in public it should wear a muzzle. With that said – there is no reason to take the dog out in public until you have 150% control over the dog and it respect your pack leader rules. Right now the dog doesn’t respect your rules.

Part of the pack structure program is in an ebook on my web site. The detailed portion is in the DVD I did on this: Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog.

You also need Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs.

I have also written an article (and eBook) titled HOW TO PREVENT DOG BITES IN CHILDREN – you will see some of your mistakes in this article.

The obedience is covered in Basic Dog Obedience but this work needs to be finished with a remote collar - Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner.

So the bottom line is you can fix this problem if you’re willing to educate yourself and make the effort to do the training yourself. There are a lot of so called professional dog trainers out there that will have opinions on how to solve this problem. They will be more than willing to take your money. The vast majority f them lack experience on how to deal with a seriously dominant dog. I’ll tell you one thing. If you don’t deal with this, the next time it could be much much worse.

Look at the photos on this web page on dog bites.

Regards,
Ed Frawley
  
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Option 1:
Option 2:
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