Hi, I really need advise. My husband and I got a Cocker Spaniel when he was only 8 weeks old from a breeder. He will be 9 in September. My daughter is 5 1/2.
When I was in the hospital, I wrapped my daughter in a blanket and gave it to my husband to let the dog smell, and put it is the crib before we got home.
My husband says he let the dog smell it, but didn't seem to care too much. When we brought the baby home, the dog wouldn't even come near her to initially smell her, he wanted nothing to do with her. As she grew up, he tolerated her. Didn't really want her near him, but he would just up and leave. Sometimes he would growl, and we taught my daughter from the beginning to not go near him if he growled and for the most part she listens. She is very gentle with him, moreso than I have even seen a child with a dog.
A few years ago, when feeling cornered, he bit a little girl about the age of 7. It did not break skin and nothing came of it.
If we go on a walk, I always tell the children we see not to pet him because he doesn't like to be pet by children. He seems to be afraid of children.
Well, yesterday, I heard by dog growl and daughter cry and the same time, no warning. He bit the back of her hand. She said that she just wanted the dog to lick her (which he seldom does, even though he does all the time to my husband and me). Like I said, she is always gentle with him, but he still seems afraid of her.
The dog has lived with this child for 5 1/2 years. Why now??? Should I get rid of him? It would break my husband heart to get rid of him, but I fear for my daughter.
Hello there, I know how upsetting that kind of situation can be. You may want to talk to your vet and have the dog checked out out, I know dogs can become aggressive if they are sick. If the dogs checks out ok, you may want to talk to a dog trainer, they may be able to suggest some excercises and games for your daughter to play with him, so he begins to associate your daughter with treats and good things. In the meantime I would keep them seperate unless supervised. Good Luck!