i have 2 dogs in teh family and 1 is nice out going won't hurt any thing (except for maybe a cat) and id a great people dog
the other one is older and does not know its strength... and has a bad back leg (she got hit by a car and when she had knee surgry it did not heal up right) and she also has some Bad arthritss
the older one has bitten my young nice dog 2 times, once she bot off a 1 in long 1/4 of an inch thick of his ear and more resintly a good chunk of his leg.... But she has NOT a Clue why He does not want to play any more ( BTW we all ready took him in to the vet and got it fixed)
and there have been times where she would have bitten my dad or my self - the rest of the family does not spend AS much time with them as we do - but either A - something was in the way like a little fence Or B- we jusmped awa y fast enough and yelled really loud which kinda startled her.
How old is the older dog? Dogs can't communicate, and sometimes when a dog is in pain, it will react by biting, because they don't know what else to do. How old is the younger dog? If the younger dog tried to play wtih the older and inadvertantly hurt it, the older dog may have reacted by biting.
SOmetimes medical conditions can also affect a dog's temperament, especially things like thyroid disease. Thyroid testing, a CBC blood test and chem panel done by yoru veterinarian will show if there's an underlying health issue that may be causing the trouble.
Euthanizing the dog should be a last resort.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 12/20/2006 1:32:22 PM*** Reason: add
This sounds like an older dog that is protecting toys and resourses, which is all normal canine behaviors. When It comes to the older dogs pain and such, these a Veterinarian can help you manage the pain with meds, which may ease the reactions the older dog is haveing to the younger one. Really its up to you to recognise the pecking order of the two dogs and treat them accordingly, meaning the older dog is probly a little higher, and maybe its confidence is lacking in himself. So you need to treat the older dog to toys and bones first if he is truely the more leader of the two. A place to escape the younger dog should also be available to him, so he can relax and not be continually harrassed by the younger dog. Any conflict should be avoided between the two or you will escalate the problems.