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What could cause this??

I have a four year old mutt. He was thrown out of a car in the wal-mart parking lot and I picked him up. At any rate, he is a great dog and has never had any issues, but we are now facing a HUGE one. He has started to growl at the kids if they pet him or put their head on him. I have had to start keeping the kids near me when he is in the house. He has NEVER done this before. This past week he snapped at (not on but near) my 3 year old, and my mastiff about ripped him to pieces. I don't know what is going on with him and plan on taking him to the vet. But what in the world could be causing this kind of behavior?


Asked by Petie at 9:39 PM on Jul. 14, 2009 in Pets

Level 7 (170 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • as a former trainer i would say he is still feeling the neglect from his previous owners and is still traumatized, precaution with kids and him i would recommend considering training class's

    Answer by Mommy2Be1212009 at 5:46 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • How long have you had him???? May be that kids in his prior life were mean to him. I would not take any chances. I love dogs too, but I love my kids more...

    Answer by Necie11 at 9:41 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Is he neutered? I know that sometimes when they aren't they can become agressive. I have heard of it completely reserving once the dog is fixed... I would try that before giving him up but if he already is and/or getting him fixed doesn't work and the vet doesn't know of anything then I would have to agree with necie11... your children are much more important that any animal and I wuoldn't risk my child being injured. Dogs can do some serious harm when they want to. Sorry about your situation though =/

    Answer by mrsbvader at 9:53 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Reversing*

    Answer by mrsbvader at 9:54 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Taking him to the vet is a good idea. If he's never done this before and now all of sudden it's happening, it's possible he is in pain, but hides it from the family and other dogs because he doesn't want to show a weakness. Your kids might be a little more rough with him so he's growling and snapping to keep them away. Just a possibility. I hope you figure out the problem and find a suitable solution.

    Answer by Christina807 at 10:09 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • We've had him since he was a pup, we got him 4 years ago. He is fixed, and has been for 3 years.

    I'm hoping the vet can tell us what is going on because if they can't then I may have to make a very difficult decision. Right now we are just making sure he isn't around the kids alone. I am thankful that my mastiff was in the room when he snapped at the three year old. He hasn't done it since, but he is still growling at the bigger kids. They are now refusing to pet him because you never know when he will be fine with it and when he will growl.

    Answer by Petie at 10:45 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • to me it sound like a neurological problem,bad teeth, or a ear infection either way it could be a health issue ur smart about taking him to the vet first to find out other people wouldnt give a dog that big boy is a rescue hes 5 this year he'll get cranky in his old age and growels once in a while i just have to give him a quick hey he he sneaks away most say i would get rid of that one to but he has saved my dd from certain death so how can i turn my back on him b/c hes getting old?

    Answer by rainmommy at 12:41 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • He's probably in pain somehow... so taking him to the vet will probably fix the problem.

    Answer by Gremlyn at 6:45 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I agree....maybe he has some sort of medical condition going on that is causing him discomfort and the kids are seen in his eyes as the weaker in the pack...the only ones that he thinks that he can get away with it because he feels dominant over them. Hopefully once the vet can determine what his medical issue is it can be fixed and this will not be a problem. Good luck Mamma.

    Answer by lucindamartinez at 10:37 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I agree, I think he maybe in pain.
    Keep him away from your kids and take him to the vet ASAP!

    Good luck.

    Answer by mach1racer at 5:29 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

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