Username (email) Password
vetask vetask
topleft | home | about vetask | your pet healthcare questions answered | register | topleft
Species: dog | Category: behaviour | Submitted: 31-Oct-07 12:54PM | viewed 34794 times
Q Debby asks about max (dog - staffordshire bull terrier, M) (age 0 years, 6 months):
Hi Max is very lively of course but he seems to get very excited and bites the children, not hard or breaking the skin but nevertheless painful. He has all his adult teeth I think but still chews everything. He has his own toys /chews etc but he's worse now than ever. Any suggestions?
Q Samantha says: This may be a play activity but it does need to be addressed. You may be able to tell if this is definitely a play activity by looking out for the "play-bow" which dogs will often make to signal non-aggression. They tend to bow their front end leaving their bottom in the air and tail often wagging.

The biting (in play or not), does need to stop. Try to think of situations which invoke the biting and then avoid them completely (make sure everyone in the household does this). Then start to teach Max basic obedience commands such as "sit" and "down". Start to teach him when he is very calm, but as he learns you can ask him to perform these tasks in more exciting situations until you are sure you have complete control over him in all situations. He should be taught to respond to obedience commands from all members of the family. In this way he should eventually be asked to "sit" or go "down" before play becomes too rough.

Staffies can grow to be very strong dogs with incredibly powerful jaws. There is always a chance that things can unexpectedly get out of hand with dogs and children with tragic consequences. I would recommend that dogs are NEVER left alone at all with young children- who may not be able to recognise the signs of a problem developing/ warning signals given by the dog etc. They are also not strong enough to fight off any attack.

With older children it is still very necessary to exercise caution, especially with stronger breeds of dog.

Dogs do make great pets and with time hopefully Max will grow into a lovely family pet, but we must also remember that dogs are natural predators with an inbuilt desire to hunt, stalk, chase, kill and eat. Each of these behaviours brings a reward of its own so dogs can enjoy the "chase" without necessarily wishing to "kill" or "eat" but unfortunately things can get out of hand when the thrill of the activity is high. That is why dogs can be a problem when children are around since they are around the size of a dogs natural prey, they run and scream or make high pitched noises as would prey species and once caught or bitten they continue to do all these things which excite a dog and arouse it further. For example it is very difficult to teach a child to stay still rather than run when threatened by a dog and in this way the child will almost certainly get chased.

I definitely do not want to sound alarmist but the primary concern must be the safety of your children. It is probably a minor play problem at the moment due to Max's young age. To prevent anything further developing supervise the dog and children carefully and perhaps involve an animal behaviourist in your area who can help much more than I can over the internet.

Your Questions Answered

Injured Wild Owl 30-Nov-07

Kelly asks: I found an owl this morning, very small but adult. It flew into a power line. It's still alive. ... view

swollen hind leg 20-Nov-07

Zshai asks: I have a 6-day-old bunny who has a swollen hind leg. I saw her mama step on her but ... view

Sick syrian hamster 08-Nov-07

Sara asks: Hi. My syrian hamster is 2 and half yrs. old. The last 24 hrs I have noticed a big ... view

lack of sleep 07-Nov-07

Bill asks: We have a 14 month old Yorkshire terrier, which goes to bed at around 6.30pm, because I have MS ... view

wet tail 06-Nov-07

Evelyn asks: Can a young hamster be successfully treated for wet tail and what would it roughly cost? ... view

Alfie 06-Nov-07

Elaine asks: Hi Sam Thank you. Alfie has no feeding time he just has food in his bowl when he wants it ... view

Guarding problem 05-Nov-07

Elaine asks: Alfie is a terrible guarder and will take your hand off if you try and retrieve an object he ... view

White Gums and Dark Stool 02-Nov-07

Leslie asks: My 8 week old American Bulldog has really white gums, around the eyes is also white. She has dark ... view

Dog's Health 01-Nov-07

William asks: My dog is around 11 years old, possibly older (we received her as she was taken from a bad ... view

behaviour 31-Oct-07

Debby asks: Hi Max is very lively of course but he seems to get very excited and bites the children, not ... view

Blood in dog's stools 31-Oct-07

Lee asks: Hi. We recently got a 3 year old Labrador from a friend. From what we can see she has ... view

upset stomach 30-Oct-07

kat asks: About three days ago my dog started acting like she was sick; diarrhoea and vomiting along with excessive sneezing ... view

Blood in Poo 28-Oct-07

Mandy asks: Treacle is now 9 wks old and had her first vaccination two days ago. I have noticed that at ... view

neutering 27-Oct-07

ashen1956 asks: 3 days ago Molly-Mae gave birth to 5 kittens. How long should I wait before having her neutered and ... view

Ordering Insulin Online 26-Oct-07

Purdie asks: Purdie is diabetic and I'm keen to find a way of reducing the cost of the treatment. Currently ... view

Fleas and skin problem 26-Oct-07

Joanne asks: I have two cats, a neutered tom and his sister. They are 6 and a half yrs. old. They ... view

My cat has a hole in its stomach! 23-Oct-07

Sarah asks: My cat has a hole the size of a dime in its stomach. He doesn't seem to be ... view

labrador vomiting bile and nearly passing out 22-Oct-07

Paul asks: Hi there - our five year old male labrador is generally in very good health - excellent appetite, plenty ... view

Guinea pig fits 22-Oct-07

Renate asks: My guinea pig is acting strange. I've only had him around a week and he's running as if spooked ... view

feeding 22-Oct-07

Terry asks: Is it safe to feed my GSD raw chicken wings, he is 16 months old and is 37 kg? ... view

broken tooth on dog 21-Oct-07

Shannon asks: My almost 5 month old rottie x bullmastiff broke a tooth behind his canine, but in front of his ... view

chronic kidney failure 19-Oct-07

Marquessa asks: Please can you tell me if it's okay for me to give my cat Dioralyte, the lost water and ... view

cat pees on the floor but only sometimes 18-Oct-07

Amy asks: I bought my mom a cat, he is about 2 months old; he pees in the litter box but ... view

wees when excited 17-Oct-07

Sheila asks: Lulu is only 6-months old and wees quite a lot when she's excited, which being a happy puppy means ... view

My westie 17-Oct-07

Josephine asks: Please can you help me? My two year old westie is eating her own poo, also she has got ... view

My female dog has droplets of blood in her urine 17-Oct-07

Casondrea asks: My 4 yr. old unspayed female has been having droplets of blood in her urine. (Sometimes she passes clear ... view

Cat not eating 09-Oct-07

Donna asks: My cat Rasha just gave birth four days ago. However, she has not been eating, and does not even ... view

Urinating everywhere 08-Oct-07

Cheryl asks: I have a kitten that is 7 weeks old. He was part of my adult cat's litter of 8. ... view

flea control 03-Oct-07

Evelyn asks: Sellers on Ebay are offering to sell Frontline Plus for large dogs along with instructions for dividing the dosage ... view

broken paw 03-Oct-07

Rachel asks: Spike jumped off the bed and when he landed his paw went under him. He started howling, we were ... view

© Springing Dragon Limited 2009 | Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy | All Rights Reserved | All Trademarks observed | No responsibility taken for links to external sites or any content beyond our control | Views expressed by contributors or forum users not endorsed by Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of the authors and contributors, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s). The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information and you are encouraged to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.