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522359 tn?1213970091

my dog attacked the new puppy again

I don't know what to do. It happened again last night. The puppy was just walking behind our older dog jeter, and he turned around and bit the puppy in the head. At didn't know what had happened blood just came pouring from the puppy and my husband wisked him away to the emergancy vet.

The puppy is okay, a little stitch. Jeter hit a blood vessel and that is why it was such a mess. But the puppy wasn't doing anything. I can't help to wonder what would have happened if my 11 month old was crawling right by the puppy.

I don't think there is any chance worth taking when it comes to my children.  I hate choosing the new puppy over the older one b/c it's like...Oh new puppy is here lets get rid of the one we have. But the new puppy plays with the other dog beautifully, he plays with the children and my other dog is so tempermental there is no telling what he will do. He is a Lab and I don't know where he gets it from. He is loved so much.

I am so upset. I begged my husband not to get the new puppy and now we are all torn.

My mother in law wants our older dog and I am tempted to give him to her. He just seems to me to be a one person dog, not a family dog.

any advice please.
13 Responses
222011 tn?1265475648
Hi, think your older dog might be happier living with your Mother In Law. Sounds like  he's not enjoying sharing his home with a newcomer. Puppy's do tend to get over excited and maybe the old chap wasn't in the mood for him. Lab's are normally very docile dogs but saying that I wouldn't leave a baby unattended with ANY dog.
It sounds like you're really upset and I can understand how you're feeling. Your husband was a bit thoughtless but we can all be a bit headstrong & rash at times. Sit down and calmly decide what the best plan of action is.Good luck and hope it turns out well.
222011 tn?1265475648
Ooops my finger slipped. Sorry for misspelling your name.
172023 tn?1334675884
How long have you had the puppy?  Days, or weeks?  It took 3 weeks for our household to settle in after introducing a puppy.  

And even then, it was an uneasy truce.  Our great Dane attacked the puppy and lacerated his eyelid after the puppy had been in the house almost 2 months, b/c the puppy was nipping and barking at him.

I had no choice but to rehome the puppy.  My first commitment is to the dogs we already have, and have loved, for many years.  My husband was also not bonding (to put it gently) with the puppy.  

So it was best for our puppy to find a forever home, since he was so young.  I could not ever rehome our older dogs.

Thats how we handled it, for what its worth.  Our approach may not be the best for you. I'm just putting it out there.
Avatar universal
Dogs are pack animals and need to establish the "chain of command" in the house on there own. That being said you have to be the responsible owner and keep fights to a minimum. Make sure each dog has his or her own "safe" place whether it be a crate, bed, etc. Also be sure each gets exercise time alone and together. Most important you need to establish that YOU are the "top dog" and the baby is second in command. NEVER trust a dog alone with a baby.  When I had 2 dogs and my son came in (now 1 year) things were very hard. My old dog who had major behavioral issues was actually fine with the baby and would sniff but then go off into his "place" and hide a lot. All the while I made sure he got his time too with a walk with me or time playing in the yard. The other dog who is my big mushy love started to get overprotective of the baby. Would lunge and snap at the older dog if he tried to come over to the baby. We worked very hard to teach her that my older dog was allowed to come over and that it wasn't her call. My older one has since passed but she still trys to mother my son. When he started to walk and climb she freaked would bark at him etc. We use a basket muzzle when my son is walking around in the same room with her. They are very humane because they can drink water with one and we introduced the muzzle with plenty of treats so she LOVES it now. This allows her to interact safely with my son and teaches her control too. It also allows her to "screw up" with out him getting hurt and that's the best because correcting the behavior "in the exact moment" is key to long term correction. 2 dogs can be tough and like I said they need to work out who's boss but until that happens I'd keep the baby and dogs seperate with gates etc. so your baby doesn't wind up in the middle of a dog fight. Also don't ever try to break up a dog fight by pulling. They won't know it's you pulling and will snap thinking it's the other dog. Use a spray water bottle or just throw a cup of water on them or try hitting pots and pans together. Anything to distract the fight idea. If after a few weeks things aren't better then mom should take him and at least he's still with the family. good luck!
522359 tn?1213970091
we have tried so hard.
We have been back and forth with the decision.
Yesterday Jeter growled at my 11 month old. Then this morning he growled at me. With him attacking other animals as he has done the last two months, I fear it's only a matter of time he attacks my child.
I think we have decided to move him to my mother in laws and try it for two weeks or so and see how he likes it.
If we get rid of the puppy and the situation doesn't change, the puppy is gone and we can't get him back.
This way we can see if Jeter becomes happier in his new setting. If not we take him back and get rid of the puppy and call in a behavior specialist, which is a bit costly, but we will have to make due. Any other solution for our Jeter is not an option at this point.
165308 tn?1323190145
It sounds that Jeter may be a dog that likes a quiet docile home...Not what you get with an 11 month old!!  (Believe me, I know!)  I think maybe having Jeter with your mother-in-law is a perfect plan.  This way you know he is cared for and you can see him often.  You are very lucky to have a MIL who would be so kind to take him in.  I think that would be the best plan of action so both dogs are "in the family" and you don't have to make a difficult decision.  Remember, little children do have habits of grabbing at dogs and you do not want your child in harms way.  Best to you.
212161 tn?1537898045
I say the same let mother in law have him, if it dont work out than you need to decide where to put him, i think the child should come first.always hard when you love your pet to give it up but sometimes you have no choice, do you have a fence back yard , can it stay in the backyard. do you have a basement. or a room you can put up a baby gate to keep the puppy and child and it sounds like you to since he growled at you safe. hope the mother inlaw works out for everyone.
528396 tn?1217529613
I have a South African Boreboel which is an African Mastiff...she is extremely large.  I got a Boston Terrier puppy and she did the same thing.  The Boston Terrier actually wasn't doing anything, he was sitting about 3 feet from her and he turned his head and looked at her, she immediately pounced and attacked.  She was establishing her dominance in the  pack and letting him know that he is at the very bottom.  Your dog is doing the same thing.  He is letting the puppy know that he is BOSS.  There is no need to fear for your children or the puppy.  Your lab is not going to kill the puppy, he is just teaching who is boss.  Now that my Boston Terrier is older, he is still at the bottom of the "pecking order" but he knows his boundries.  He knows when to submit and how far he can go with her.  I wouldn't get rid of  your other dog just yet unless you just believe that your mother in law would give him a better home.  You have to remember, you are his pack and within that pack he knows what number in line he is, he is NOT going to let a newcomer come in and take his place.  The puppy will learn to submit and all will be well.  
172023 tn?1334675884
Melissa, I disagree to a point.  Puppies can be killed in the course of dominance establishment.  Or badly injured.  

Our puppy's eyelid was torn.  His eye could have easily been punctured, it was just a stroke of great luck that it wasn't.  He was just nipping and play barking at the Dane, who didn't like it and "established dominance" in the blink of an eye.

528396 tn?1217529613
yes they CAN be killed but are normally not.  Once they submit its done, there is not fight between the older dog and the puppy.  The older dog bites to make a point, it  makes the point and lets go.  Normally it is not fatal but with a large dog like a Dane or Mastiff, their bite is the same size as their bark therefore a small puppy can get injured as in this case and yours as well.  
A Mastiff's mouth can cover the whole head of a Boston Terrier.  I was lucky that my puppy didn't get injured.  
My point is the larger dog will normally bite and let go, there is no shaking of the puppy, they are not trying to kill the puppy, they are making a statement.  I am big, you are little, I was here first and this is MY spot and you are not taking it.  
Avatar universal
We have just bought a new puppy home he is a cattle cross and our 2 year old kelpie cross has attacked him twice in three days.  In the attack today we thought we would have to get the little puppy put to sleep he was so banged up but he will be ok, but we now hold the same concern.  We have three young children who were right beside the dogs when it happened, and when our 7 yr old tried to pull the puppy away the kelpie snatched him back.  The vet has said it is not safe for the puppy to come back here, but now we hold concern, are our kids safe?? once a dog bites a child it is too late to say oh i should have .... the kelpie has never hurt our kids and will play with them sometimes but is also wary of them and will hop away if they try and sit with him, and sometimes growls. He was 5 months old when we got him and already had bad behaviour which we have struggled to change.
1916673 tn?1420236870
This is always a difficult call, because whenever a dog is in a household, there are instinctive pack issues and some will take time to remedy. The first and most important thing here is safety ... making things safe for you and more importantly safe for your children. Learning how to behave like domiannt alphas is a lesson some humans find great difficulty with, but this is almost always the key to a happy and controlled canine pack. When there are two or more dogs thrown together, a sub-leader will emerge amongst the pack and try to assert his or her dominance over the others - this is natural and while injuries can occur, they are usually only slight ones. The lower order pack members, such as your puppy, will quickly learn where his or her place is in the ranks.

Very occasionally, older dogs can be more difficult, as they have become sued to a certain way of behaving - and quite often, they can become extremely jealous and also fearful when other newcomers enter a long established social mix. Your young baby was the older dog's first upset to his world, then on top of that there's now the puppy - all resulting in a stressful time for your older dog.

I think if mother in law is happy about taking him off your hands, it is probably a wise thing to consider. He's 11 years old and is reaching the end of his life, so it would be good if someone you know and trust can give him a peaceful and enjoyable last few years.

Best wishes, Tony
Avatar universal
I've got the same problem. My dog is 2 and was attacked and growled alot whilst living with my father in law by his spaniel of the same age. We moved in when he was 9 months. I have another dog who is 13 and so thought we would get another puppy to introduce as we wasn't sure how he would take one if my eldest was to go firsr.  But he's attacked her 3 times in 36 hours. She's not doing anything most the time, the thing that is confusing me is that he'll play with her 1 minute and it's so out the blue there's nothing that links the attacks. He also growled at me when I told him no to getting his teeth out too yesterday and it's not the first time. I love my dogs they are my babies but I can't go around on eggshells when he'll growl or attack next
Just seen how long ago this post was. What did you end up doing? X
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