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Oscar bit my son - Please help

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by Oscars Dad, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Oscars Dad

    Oscars Dad Novitiate

    Today is a worrying day for us, we are new owners of 14 week old Oscar and he has been a brilliant puppy so far. But today my youngest son (7 years) had Oscar sleeping on his lap while watching TV, when suddenly without warning Oscar lunged up from sleep and bit my son on his face, (he didn't draw blood, but his cheek has raised welts) my son pushed him away and he immediately rolled onto his back and submitted. I could tell Oscar knew what he did was wrong.

    I saw this happen and it was a clear fear reaction, possibly due to a dog barking on the film we were all watching on TV.

    After speaking to my son he told me the same thing happened a few days ago, but the bite didn't connect that time.

    As you can imagine as new owner with children this has worried us no end.
    We are experienced dog owners having owned Boxers before, be we are unsure how to deal with this "reflex" behaviour.

    My wife has said that if this happens again Oscar will have to leave us, as once his a bigger dog this could be very dangerous to us and obviously our children come first.

    So as you can imagine today is a sad day with all of us having a cry at the prospect of Oscar having to potentially go as we all love him so much already.

    I would really appreciate some suggestions from the experienced people on this forum what to do next?
  2. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    First, I would eliminate Oscar from sleeping on the couch, bed, chairs or your son’s lap.

    Put Oscar in a crate for nap time. It isn’t Oscars fault and it may be he was dreaming when he was awoken causing such a reaction. Eliminate those opportunities where this could happen. Start basic training with him and teach Oscar and your son that new rules are; no dogs on furniture or wrestling on floor, rough housing of any kind is not allowed.
    Until Oscar matures a little and understands his place in the home he should not be on furniture and should be in his crate. It’s overwhelming for a puppy hearing different noises and especially if they are sleeping.

    I would not rehome Oscar, I would begin some much needed training and direction. A tired puppy resting in a crate is a good puppy.

    I would also have the vet check Oscar out to see if he has any issues like pain causing him to wake abruptly and nip.
    • Agree Agree x 12
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  3. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    I agree with this also.
    14 weeks is way to young for the dog to understand what is going on. Crate training is a must for down time, nap time and bed time. I also crate for 30-60 minutes after eating to lesson the chance of bloat. Obedience training is also a fun way to teach and interact with your puppy, all family members should be involved in this.
    • Like Like x 3
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  4. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Don’t mean to sound harsh here and I hope you don’t take what I say the wrong way.

    But that’s not Oscar’s fault. He is a 14week old Doberman, not a fluffy Yorkie. Depending on his hereditary lines and so forth, Oscar is a raw force of animal waiting to be trained- a dull blade that needs to be cleaned and sharpened and even then supervised and monitored. You establish your rules and guidelines through love, training, consistency and perseverance.

    That pup needs guidance, direction and obedience. He needs to have eyes on him 24/7 and if not, needs to be in crate.

    I know for the first 6-8months it was a given rule with my family- not to allow your face next to Ragnar’s face. We did not allow him the opportunity even if he wasn’t looking for it. He just had that look, you really can’t seem to judge his intentions. And with him being a Doberman, we were very cautious with him until he learned and WE learned..... maybe we were over cautious and were tarnished with the rumors of how Dobermans can turn on their owners- hell, I don’t know. Ragnar is our first Doberman and to be honest, I did not know quite what to expect. But I did know, he wasn’t Fido the fluffy face licker.

    At 2yrs, we feel comfortable allowing Ragnar to sleep on top of us on the couch or to give kisses on our cheeks but I’ll tell you that he gets that look sometimes and I hear somebody say, “oh boy Dad, Ragnar has that crazy side eye look”

    I forgot to mention that Oscar prob does not have the perception of what the house heirarchy is either. All of that is established through daily training and obedience. Somehow or another he had to understand where he stands in the house and at 14weeks, he has yet to learn this.

    Ragnar is my first Doberman and that’s how I understand it. Lots more other owners on this site that have more knowledge than me though.

    Good Luck and please keep us updated.
    • Agree Agree x 4
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  5. Logan 45

    Logan 45 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    In my opinion getting rid of the dog isn’t the resolution at all. I have a 11 week old puppy right now myself and she thinks it’s ok to bite my other dogs neck, and that the cat is a rechargeable remote control toy that she can chase and try and pin down.

    My point here is if I wanted to see these things as minor issues blooming into huge issues I could convince myself that she might be a cat killer, or hurt my other dog. I don’t see it that way she is a puppy and right now she is clay and it’s my job to mold that clay into what I want her to be. Just my thoughts.
    • Like Like x 4
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  6. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    So sorry this has happened but this is not Oscars fault. It's likening a baby to pulling someones hair; the baby doesn't know better because it's... a baby.

    We have a very quiet, very stable household with no children, my Dobe is 3.5 and has never, ever done anything remotely aggressive toward me and I STILL will not wake her from a dead sleep with my face anywhere near hers. Imagine how you feel being woken from a dead sleep; your fight or flight response would be super charged!

    Are you planning on doing some sort of training with your dog? I'll reiterate the sentiments above; it's a must. Get your kids involved so that Oscar knows everyone is in charge of him and that he can trust them. I agree with the no rough housing until he learns his place.

    When we started training agility two years ago, there was a mother, her 9 year old son, and their mixed breed dog. I learned that her son and the dog did NOT like each other when they first got her. She was a jumpy, annoying puppy and he didn't care for her. So... the mom made them to basic obedience training, CGC training and test, and agility classes. Those two are inseparable now with such a strong mutual respect, it's envious.
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Oscars Dad

    Oscars Dad Novitiate

    Thank you all for your sensible replies, getting your perspective on this has certainly calmed our fears, and in hindsight its clear that we have overreacted.

    We will continue to take Oscars training seriously and also train the kids to follow the suggestions you have provided.

    Thank you all, we will keep you all updated on Oscars progress
    • Like Like x 4
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 2
  8. NamVetJoe

    NamVetJoe Notable member

    "I know for the first 6-8months it was a given rule with my family- not to allow your face next to Ragnar’s face." This is a rule we learned the hard way. Our 4 month Lab rescue was having some playtime with our 11 year old son. Our son went nose to nose with him and the lab still had his baby teeth. He put one canine right through my sons' upper lip. Needless to say, lesson learned no face to face in close proximity
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Dogs bite for many reasons. Here are just a few...

    They are protecting themselves of their property.
    They may be in pain.
    They may feel trapped.
    They may have been surprised by your actions.
    They may be very excited.

    You MUST set rules, it’s so important when you have young children. Some of the things that a child might want to do with their dog may be seen as a threat even if the child is trying to be friendly.
    So please, establish house rules. The aim of these rules is to keep children safe. It is important that all members of the household and all visitors stick to these rules and that children need to be supervised when they are around the dog.
    You must NEVER bother a dog when they are sleeping and eating. Dogs in these situations are more likely to respond aggressively, even with a person who is familiar to them.

    I’m so sorry that this happened to your son but I’ve got to say....it could of been totally avoided.

    Prevention! Prevention! Prevention!
    • Like Like x 2
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  10. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Good on you for taking the advice! It’s true that as a first time Doberman owner it can be easy to over react to anything that looks like aggression. I remember hearing my first play growl and thinking my boy was becoming a monster, but it was just typical Doberman playing sounds! Their sounds become more ‘interesting’ as adults ;)

    We did consistent NILIF training pretty much until the dog was 2 and only then let some of the rules relax. We still don’t let him up on the furniture and he is 3. We are overly cautious because we want to set him and US up for success.
    • Like Like x 2
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  11. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    @Oscars Dad Wow. Let me tell you, we have some wonderful members on this board! :thumbsup: Lots of experience here! Everyone's answers are spot on! I'm so glad that you have an open mind and want to learn. My first thought when I read your post was that this is a 14 week old baby. At this age they really are just reacting with no Direction. Just like a human baby.
    Perfect example.

    I'm glad to hear that you I'm not giving up on him! I can't wait to follow your progress!
    • Like Like x 4
  12. Chaosmom

    Chaosmom New Member

    Children & Dogs
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Chaosmom

    Chaosmom New Member

    Please read.
    Children & Dogs
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  14. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Any update?
    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 1

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