Dog Bit Child

Posted by tiffany-krueger
Mar 6th
Hello, I am looking for some guidance. I rescued a 2 year old Collie/Shar Pei (we think) from the shelter 2 months ago. We do not know her history, a police officer found her on the street. She weighs 45 pounds and has been the most friendly dog we have ever owned. She has been sweet around my 1 year old tolerating her ways (which I always correct) and loves playing fetch with my 6 year old son. She does have heart worms which we are treating the slow kill way (including prednisone). She has been my companion when I work at night while everyone else sleeps.
My son had a friend over and they were playing. I noticed my dog, Shelly, was getting hyper so I took her outside and played fetch with her to run off some of her energy. When we came back in I gave her a bone to chew on thinking it would keep her out of the boys way. Shelly was on the floor by her bone and I was walking past and stopped when my son friend walked out. He was facing me with his hands to his chest (a nervous geture while we talked) and with no prompting, out of nowhere Shelly attacks (the best word for it) him. Bites him on the hand, shaking his arm and growling. The poor child needed 8 stitches and is not allowed to use his hand for 2 weeks. Luckily no tendons were affected but I could see them, it was that deep. she has not made any aggression of any kind towards my children and we have had company over before and she always played nice. She is currently at the animal shelter for her 10 day confinement. I am traumatised and insisted we should not bring her home, we can't have a dog who will bite around small children. After several arguments my husband convinced me to bring her home. We have a week until she returns. We will NOT allow her out of her kennel whenever we have company over (it's not that often) and she will be supervised around the children (however I was right there when she bit the child). I will be reading the material here but any advice wouldbe greatly appreciated. I love this dog but I love my children more.
Posted by Preethi KOP
Mar 8th
Hi Tiffany,

That sounds very traumatic, really sorry to hear what you have been through.

While dogs are great to have around when kids are growing up - safety always first! The bones may have definitely been a trigger and the child's nervousness may have contributed to her attack - but, there is no way of being certain! Given that we don't know her past I recommend treading forward with extreme caution. She should always be supervised when around your children and keep away all of her toys, food etc. when this occurs. Please make sure she is fed behind locked doors and that her food bowl is put away when she is let out. Like you said - the kid got attacked with you there so there is no way of being certain you can prevent it.

Sounds like she is otherwise a lovely dog - let's hope it was just the bone!

Wishing you all the best and hoping for a happy outcome.

Kind regards,
Preethi