lovebug asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

dog bites from st bernards?

my brother has a st bernard dog that has just suddenly started to miss behave a night, he has been sleeping down stairs with the dog for the past month now while his wife and twin baby boys are upstairs, and things are now getting a lot worse and i'm very worried.

the dog started misbehaving only at night by barging through doors and constantly whinning and the odd bark when the family went top bed, and when he was told to stop it he would growl, then last week he bit my brothers arm but never drew the blood, only on saturday night the same thing happened only this time he bit straight threw my brothers arm and he had to have 9 stitches,they have twin boys that are 9 months old and i,m very worried for them not that the dog has ever shown anyh aggression towards them but i dont think he can be trusted now, my sister-in law feels the same but my brother says he will have him neutered and that will stop the problems they are having.

has any one ever had any experience with st bernard


also the dog randomly ripped a hole in a strangers jacket whilst walking on holiday a year or so ago and he has to be muzzled to go to the vets as he once went for the vet.

if any one has had similar problems or has any ideas as to what they could do i would be gratefull as my brother says he cant get rid of the dog but i think it is too risky now but , the dog is fine during the day but at bed time he seems to change.

Update 2:

the reason the bite occured is that my brother was trying to stop the dog from charging around the house in the early hours of the morning.

the dog has been breed for longer life as well as st bernards only live for around 6 years but the breeder told them they had breed their litter to live for 10 - 12 years don't ask me how as i have no idea.

also the dog has always had the run of down stairs and has had no trainning as such and as he is so unruly they have not been for walks, but the problems seem to be at night.

Update 3:

Thanks for all replies, unfortunately my brother has decided to keep the dog but has agreed to try and train him properly and is as i type got a animal behavior expert with him at home.

23 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Our neighbors had a St. Bernard. When the boys (mine and theirs) were four, our youngest son was at her house playing. Their St. Bernard knocked him down and bit him on the face and head. He had 171stitches on the face and 154 on the top of his scalp. A teenage boy from across the street yelled at the dog and picked up my son away from him as soon as it happened. My son is 24 now and fine. He had to have two plastic surgeries. The dog was killed after 10 days observation.

    There are lots of reasons for this. Probably number one was that she should have had the dog fenced while the kids were running back and forth playing. In fact, she should have always had the dog fenced or inside all the time, but they thought it was friendly. Our kids, all the neighborhood kids, played back and forth all the time and nobody seemed to have mean dogs. I assume that the dog had some prey instinct and when he started chasing the kids, he just became over consumed with catching one of them. They had 4 kids, from infant in arms to age 6. They would never have had the dog if they had any inkling he would ever attack anyone. We lived next to each other, so all the kids ran back and forth all the time. Everyone who saw this happen said the dog was outside running with the kids and just suddenly attacked. He tried to get another boy, but didn't catch him, he caught my son instead.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I was bit by a St Bernard a couple of years ago. My neighbors had a fence, but let the dog run around the neighborhood because they didn't want to have to clean up his messes in their yard. The dog thought the whole neighborhood was his. I had been walking past this dog since he was a puppy, yet when he was about a year old, he came after me and bit me. When I knocked on the door to tell the owners, she actually had the nerve to ask me to help catch him so she could put him up! I don't blame the dog, but I do blame the owners. The dog has not been properly trained. There is a high risk he will bite again. He will do major damage to a child simply due to his size and strength. Please keep the kids away, he could be getting jealous or territorial. It will take a while after neuturing before he calms down and hormone levels go down. He needs serious training or to be located where he can get more exercise and attention. Good Luck!

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Go here for the best dog training couse

    Since it is obvious that you do not have a clue about obedience training, your services should be for free. You cannot train even an adult dog for 8 hours a day. About the most that can be done at any one time is 10 - 20 minutes and that is with an adult dog and not a puppy. The attention span on this baby is extremely short and training session should be no more than 10 minutes and twice a day. Additionally, there isn't going to be much learned if you will only be training for 5 days. Obedience training is cumulative and is done over a much longer period of at least several weeks to several months.

    What you can charge is determined by your experience, reputation, and accomplishments and in a case like this, should also include guaranteed expectations. Just working with dogs over several years, is not the experience that is necessary to be a dog trainer. There are too many people who are putting that title to their name and fleecing the public. Don't be one of them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Firstly, the dog needs to be kept away from the kids NO EXCEPTIONS - even during the day.

    Get him neutered, but this will not be a quick fix, testosterone levels will not start to subside in a molosser for around 6 months due to the sheer scale of their systems.

    Sleeping downstairs with the dog is creating WAY more problems than it's solving, the dog is confused as to it's position in the family.

    The only way to get round this problem is to remove the dog from the house and seek help from a trainer familiar with large molosser breeds - they are completely dissimilar to most other breeds in their understanding of things if not trained firmly and with a level head.

    If your brother can provide an area for the dog where he is able to exclude him from the family then he should do so immediately and get help pronto.

    I would recommend seeking the assistance of a breeder or contacting one of the breed clubs for some expert advice as soon as possible otherwise the dog will just get more difficult to retrain and may end up causing serious injury to somebody when it could easily be avoided.

    Source(s): I specialise in retraining and rehabilitating problematic and aggressive Mastiffs and other molosser breeds.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are lots of reasons this could be happening. Neutering is most certainly a good idea, but so is an experienced trainer.

    Also, the dog should be evaluated by both a vet and a trainer. The vet can check for any physical problems, including brain tumor or physical pain of some kind, that might be causing this and the trainer can evaulate whether or not the dog's behavior can be safely corrected.

    This is a serious situation as they will soon have toddlers and the dog obviously should never be left around them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Having him neutered will not solve the problem. Firstly do not try and fix this problem yourselves by looking things up on the Internet. Get a qualified behaviourist see the dog. There are a number of reasons why a dog turns aggressive and you need to asses the reason why and the type of aggression it is before you fix it. A trained behaviourist will be able to tell you whether it's dominance aggression, fear aggression, idiopathic aggression, No one can tell you this without seeing the dog!!Get the vet to checkout any possible medical causes for this sudden aggression as a there are a number of medical problems st Bernard's can be susceptible to which can cause aggression, then if it isn't medical ask the vet to recommend a behaviourist for him. Even if he seems cured Do not trust this dog near children ever again.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Nuetering will not necessarily stop this behavior which is certainly now learned. I have a giant breed, and three small kids. My girl is kept seperate from the kids in the yard, and on leash in the house so she cannot get too out of hand, and she DOESN'T bite.

    We had a male, nuetered at the time, who growled at my nine month old. He had bitten more than once, and had growled and snapped at my daughter from the day she was brought home. At first we thought it was jealousy, but after nine months it had not passed. Working in a children's hospital, I know the facts. Dogs that have bitten (as he had) will bite again. Dogs will bite children most often in the face, and lets face it the babies faces are level with the dogs. Dogs do not see children as anything other than peers, not members higher than them in the hierachy. They won't until the child is much older. They believe they have the right to discipline the child, just as they would another member of the pack. What would be a little nip to a dog, can be severe damage to a tender face, necessitating plastic surgery.

    I would have him checked for any physical issues, just to rule them out, but his agression is learned at this point. Without true concerted effort to retrain, and understanding that he probably will not ever be safe with the kids (not that any dog is, mind you), I would strongly consider putting him down.

    I had an old-time vet tell me when I took my boy in that nothing made him madder than to see a child come in with stiches in their faces, with a dog in tow to be put down, when the signs had been there and the parents had not heeded them. In the end, he comended me for what I did in love, for my dog (not turning him over to "rescue" who would never be able to place him) and for my child.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Is he waiting for the dog to bite one of the kids before he does anything? this is an aggressive dog which needs a handler that knows what he is doing. Your brother needs to be made to realise that he is the wrong owner for this dog. Having the dog neutered may calm him down slightly but will not change his nature. I think the dog should be living with either a person on their own or a couple with no kids.

    Some behaviour training will help also.

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  • 1 decade ago

    honestly from the sounds of it the dog is out of control and professional training and LOTS of it might help but I would never trust the dog.

    It is good that he will get the dog neutered,it will take more time for the dog to settle. it is not the magic fix.

    And u said he was never trained....which does not help...big dog means u have to train cute at 20lbs is not cute at 100. All dogs should have training!

    Also yes i can think of 2 agressive St's one was a mixed male who showed aggression from puppy hood. another was my uncle's but the dog was kept outside.

    I'm not sure i understand the breeding on living longer. I would talk to the breeder.

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  • magy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You are right to be worried- the dog is acting unsafely, and you can't have that in a house with little ones. Your brother is right-kinda. Neutering will help, but it's not an 'instant fix'- it can take months for the hormone levels to drop, even after being fixed.. He needs to be neutered STAT, and they need to hire a trainer to come in and work one on one with the dog, and them. They need re-training too! If they can't commit to working with a trainer a few times a week, they should turn the dog over to a reputable rescue that can rehab the dog. In the meantime, they should keep the dog clear of the babies.

    I see you added he bit someone's jacket and tore it- this dog needs to go, too dangerous, not the right home for him.

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