What to do about a pet who turns on a family member?
I am so torn. I know I should not be. There should be only one answer. Please help. My 14 years old daughter's dog turned on and bit two people. The dog is now impounded. What do I do to help my daughter through this? I am at a loss..the whole family is but the attack was viscious and the dog cannot be returned home. Her heart is broken. Please help me to help her. Thank you.
I certainly feel for your daughter. I don't think this is too different from a family pet passing away. If the family is up for it a new pet is always a great solution. If you are fearful of dogs because of the event, perhaps a cat or other animal might work. If dogs are still on the list (and I hope they are), there is nothing like the flappy paws of a new puppy to bring a smile to a 14 year old's face.<br />
This sounds like a heartbreaking scenario. While I don't know the details of this situation, often dogs that bite the first time are given a second chance at life. Humane Societies, if they feel it's appropriate, can place a dog in another home or facility that is more suitable to the dogs needs and where the likelihood of another bite is minimal. (ie. a home without children, a farm with lots of wide open space, etc...) If your local Humane Society or Animal Control Officer is willing to take this action, it could make the separation easier for your daughter. Knowing that the dog is in a better place rather than euthanized could make all the difference for her.<br />
Our resident child psychologist recently answered a question from one of our readers who asked how to help her daughter handle losing a pet (you're not alone.) Though this situation is different, your daughter is still experiencing the loss of the pet and some of these tips may prove helpful. The story can be found at: http://www.education.com/magazine/column/entry/9617/<br />
PS. Keep you eyes peeled for a story coming up on Education.com November 2nd all about keeping your children safe from dog bites. This is a scary issue and these tips might help you in the future.<br />
Best of luck. Johanna<br />
Hi Carol,<br />
I'm not sure if you found the article that went up or not, but in case you didn't, here is the link. You can copy and paste the rule into your browser and you will go straight there. It's about Preventing Dog Bites.<br />
Community Team<br />
I know how she feels.
My Familyl has a dog we cannot keep her. We are trying to find a home for her. All of the family is heart broken. She is a St.Bernard mix.
Does she want a nother dog?? Maybe if you got her a nother one she would feel a little better.
It sounds like the situation has probably resolved itself to some extent at this point (your original post was more than 60 days ago) but I would also urge you to work closely with some sort of animal rescue or care facility to ensure that your daughter does not develop a fear of dogs based on her experiences. There are wonderful therapy programs available in virtually every community that would welcome a volunteer dog walker to exercise one of their dogs. Let her experience the joy of working with a dog as a partner to build something important. I wish you all a successful recovery from this incident. The right canine companion is out there and waiting for you...
I'm sorry to hear about your dog. Dogs can really turn at any time. However, there are many breeds that tend to do it more regularly than others. A pit bull or bulldog is one of the worse. If you own another dog in the near future, a schnauzer or west highland terrier are very people/kid friendly dogs that have minimal turn rates. In the meantime, I know you are probably suffering. Dogs become part of the family and when this happens, it is like losing a family member. Education is the key to success with animals. Try to not use chemicals on the dog in anyway as they may be the cause of many problems. Be consistent with your pet at all times. Have his/her own schedule. Praise him when he does good. Also, some kids may taunt and tease a pet. Make sure this does not happen as it may fuel the dog into a frenzy one day and have everyone baffled. Good Luck :)
I'm sorry to hear about your loss and the trauma which comes with such an incident. I don't believe replacing the dog right away is healthy or effective. Give some time for your child to feel the loss, without replacing the dog. Animals can be replaced if and only if your child understands this will be another dog, not to replace the original fido. The first step is helping your child cope with the loss. This maybe your child's first incident with a loss. Handing the loss carefully will help your child be better adjusted in the future. The following is a reference article about loss of a pet. http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_When_Pet_Dies/
And although your pet has not died, the physical loss is the same to your child.
I know this is an older post. However, perhaps my answer will be of some worth to you or others in similar situations.
I agree with the mention of "grieving" by several of the fellow commentators. Kids need to grieve over the loss of valued relationships, whether people, animals or situations (such as changing a school when moving). Children, teen and adults all grieve differently and that is because it is based on maturity and life experience. Allow your daughter and family to grieve at their own pace.
Also, there is a forum for animal owners on the website that I have listed below.