Post # 1
I posted earlier about the pug we adopted, Gizmo. After last night, we cannot keep him. He bit Darling Husband on the mouth this evening. It was a pretty bad bite – we had to go to the emergency room and get it stitched up, and it may require a little plastic surgery in the end, depending on how it heals. We are not sure what caused Gizmo to bite. We were all sitting on the couch. I was eating popcorn, and Gizmo was sitting on DH’s lap, and Darling Husband was petting him. Gizmo was watching me eating the popcorn, and I looked over at him and I noticed he was doing something a little weird with his face. I can only describe it as his cheeks kind of puffed up a little…I don’t know, I just knew it didn’t look right. Thinking about it now, I guess it was the start of a snarl, but with him having a puggy face, it did not look like a full-on snarl like you’d normally see when a dog is about to attack. He wasn’t growling or doing anything else to indicate he was about to attack. I was about to ask Darling Husband to take a look at what Gizmo was doing when Gizmo jumped up and bit Darling Husband on the mouth. Darling Husband immediately pulled Gizmo off of his face and tossed him down to the floor. After seeing how bad the bite was, we rushed out to go to the emergency room, and I called my mother to come look after Gizmo. She said he was calm when she arrived and was sitting by his crate. She took him out to potty, and he was still calm. She placed him in his crate, and that’s where we have him now.
I don’t know if Gizmo has bitten any other people before we got him; I do know that his foster mom said she had trouble between him and her other dogs. She told me that one day, she came home and one of her male pugs had him pinned down and had torn a gash in Gizmo’s neck. She seemed to think that it was just an issue with that one dog, so she began crating that dog when she was not home. Then, she said trouble started between Gizmo and one of her female pugs. We figured this was just an issue of Gizmo needing to be an only dog, but now I’m guessing he has some bigger aggression issues. We’ve noticed that he will growl a LOT if you touch him at all when he’s playing with his duckie toy or when he’s chewing on a rawhide. We had thought that was something that we could work on when we started obedience classes next month and was only related to when he was chewing on something.
I am horrified and heartbroken over this. I know we’ve only had him for a couple of weeks, but we love this dog. He’s been such a sweet, sweet dog otherwise. But we just can’t keep him now. We don’t know what caused him to bite, and we don’t know if/when he’ll do it again. I wish this night had never happened.
Post # 3
Oh no, that’s so sad!! I hope that your Darling Husband is going to be ok, glad you went to the ER, because animal bites can get infected easily.
I wonder what this means for Gizmo? I know that the hospital will have to report it
Post # 4
@Bubu82: How terrible. I’m so sorry this happened. It’s such a shame it did because who knows what could happen to Gizmo after you give him back/take him elsewhere. I feel equally terrible for all parties involved. The aggression may have come from the other dogs from the foster home. How old is Gizmo?
I wish your Darling Husband a quick and speedy recovery.
Post # 5
i am so sorry this happened. i also wish your husband a quick recovery.
but do not give Gizmo back, he will only be put down. He could benefit from training or seeing a dog behaviourist. this ONE incident is based on what sounds like another dog’s aggression and behaviour towards him. if your Darling Husband had a rough childhood, would you send him back? i doubt it. please do not kill Gizmo (that is what you’re doing essentially, giving him back knowing full well what will happen when you do)
sorry, just so sick of all this uproar over dog’s attacking humans, when a dog does that they get put down. but when humans treat animals horribly, starve them to death, beat them, etc they get a fine, and maybe a couple of years of jail at MOST.
Please keep Gizmo, but he definitely needs training
Post # 6
@Rouquine: Gizmo is 6. Except for the bite and the growling when you touch him when he’s chewing on his toys, he’s been a completely sweet dog.
I feel so terrible about giving him back, because I think you’re right – I don’t think anyone will adopt him now. I know if I had heard that he’d done something like this prior to coming to us, we never would have brought him into our home. I think about the people we’ve had him around – my neice and nephew, our friends and their kids, my mom and grandma – and I feel sick to my stomach at the thought of any of them being bitten. Poor Darling Husband is bad enough, but can you imagine if it had been my 80-year-old Grandma, who was over at our house earlier that evening for dinner?
There’s no way we can keep him now. I keep running over options in my head, wildly thinking, “well, maybe if we do this, we can keep him.” But even though I still love the little guy, now I’m afraid of him. My husband is not conflicted on this at all – for him, this is a completely different dog now. He can’t see beyond the bite, which I completely understand. I just feel horrible about this whole situation, and I miss him already. I don’t dare even take him out of his crate right now, other than to take him out to potty.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Im fairly certain you’re seeing what’s called “resource guarding” and it happens a lot, especially if dogs have lived in situations where food is in short supply or the dog has to compete for it.
If it’s your first dog, I could see giving him to a rescue. If you are an experienced dog owner, you can work with him (and a trainer, if necessary). It sounds like you’re new to this and are too scared to handle him? 🙁
Post # 8
That really sucks – I hope your Darling Husband heals quickly.
I’m sure a lot of people will think that it’s your responsibility to pay for expensive behavioural therapy for the dog and to “save it”, and maybe it is. As a non-“dog person”, I have a hard time offering advice. The choice is entirely up to you and your Darling Husband if you want to put the work in.
Either way, this sucks and I’m sorry you’re going through it.
Post # 9
ok, i guess i see dogs as like children = part of the FAMILY, i understand why you want to give him away, but to me it would be like giving away a child = unacceptable. hopefully the next dog you won’t give away at the first sign of aggression
Post # 10
First off the dog probably shouldn’t have been elevated onto someones lap especially while eating. Who is the leader–the dog or you guys? In a wolf pack you would never be hanging out even remotley in the area where the alpha eats. Dogs use there nose, so he has repedetly watched you guys hand to mouth food. He most likely wanted some himself! Also perhaps the dog saw your teeth ..
Your other stories of his “agression” are really just being possesive and most likely dominant/insecure. He has been figuring out his place in yoru house, if he is left to do as he pleases with no discipline, he will take charge ( which he most likely is) and he will hate it because he has no idea what hes doing. Dogs are followers and want leadership and boundaries! They want you to tell them what to do, most need a job and a purpose!
You guys need education and training. This can happen with every next dog you get! Dogs don’t rationanlize , they REACT. So they only have 4 things – fight, flight, avoidance and submisison. Its very predicatble.
I’m so sorry this has happened and you are shook up!! I can’t make you keep him but I do heope you consider these thigns if you choose to get another dog.
Post # 11
have you seen Lilo and Stitch? the big sister wanted to give Stitch away because of his behaviour but didn’t. why? because of this: “Ohana means family. And family means no one gets left behind… or forgotten.”
So I have one word to say to you: Ohana
Post # 12
@Jacqui90: I don’t think that is really a fair statement. Dogs are not people, but if you really want to play that card – if this were a husband who bit his wife’s face so badly that she might need to have plastice surgery we would tell her to leave him.
Sometimes dogs just aren’t the right fit for certain people. If your husband isn’t commited to rehabing Gizmo and going throught the proper training and working through what seems to be aggression and dominance issues then Gizmo will not ever gets what he needs.
ETA: I actually have had a dog for 3 years that did have a lot of behavioral issues that we spent a lot of time re-training, and he is an amazing dog now. So I don’t think you necesarily have to get rid of him, but you both need to be commited to helping him.
Post # 13
I agree with others, it’s resource gaurding. Remember that when you adopt a dog from a shelter, chances are it hasn’t had an easy life and may have picked up some bad habits. This is NOT “aggression”.
I wouldn’t give this dog up yet. He was probably starved and/or on the streets at some point, imagine how you’d feel around food if you came from that background.
- Hire a trainer.
- Practice “Nothing in life is free” – http://www.greyhoundlist.org/nothing_is_free.htm
- Don’t be fearful of the dog, the dog can tell when you are scared of it and will react accordingly. You need to be calm, confident, and in control.
- Hire a trainer! (Yes, I purposely listed this twice.)
The dog didn’t bite out of nowhere, you said you noticed the snarl (even if it was in hindsight). The dog gave a warning sign. It’s MUCH easier to work with a dog that gives warning signs that one who doesn’t.
I know you and your husband are shaked up right now, but this is a common issue that is fixable.
Post # 14
@ieatunicorns: i just know that they would put him down, which is horrible to think about. whereas if a guy bit his wife’s face so badly that she might need plastic surgery would he be ‘put down’? no. so i guess you’re right, it is unfair to compare them, the dog gets the short end of the stick. i guess i am just more of a dog person than the OP
Post # 15
@mink: Resource guarding was my first thought, too. If the bite was reported (it should have been by the hospital), chances are that Gizmo will have to be quarantined (either at your house or a shelter/rescue) for 10 days or so if his shots are up to date, longer if they’re not. You’ll probably also have the choice to surrender the dog to animal control. If you surrender him to a shelter, he will likely be put down if the behaviorists can’t break him of the resource guarding. Still, your safety is a priority.
Post # 16
@jacqui90 I am also an extreme dog lover- I would die without my stinky rescue boy. That said you are being way judgmental (and snarky) here. This wasn’t a ‘sign of aggression’ it was real, actual aggression that caused facial injury. If my dog bit me bad enough to require stitches a few weeks after I got him, he probably wouldn’t be living here. Like OP said, what if it was Grammy or anyone else. Simply not ok. Especially if they want to have kids.
Biting is a serious offense and it is probably best to rehome this dog now. I would contact the foster woman who had him & see if she can take him. Don’t let this sour you on rescues! There are SO MANY great dogs out there!