Oh, yeah. That's really true around here. I'm always hearing, "But he's a LAB!", like he couldn't POSSIBLY cause a problem.
I heard a very sad and upsetting story about a Golden Retriever this past weekend.
I was out with my parents and we went to their friend's house who had family visiting from California. They had a baby earlier this year, she was born by c-section 5 weeks early because she was hydrocephallic. She was a few days old when they put the first shunt in, then later had to do a second surgery because of problems, then a third. She's about 6 months old now, home and doing well.
The older of the two Goldens was 7, and the wife had had him since he was 8 weeks old. A few weeks ago he sniffed the baby and then growled/snarled at her (she specifically said that there were teeth involved). She explained to us that the dog thought he was "alpha" and that he needed to know that he was not "above the baby in the pack." I didn't ask for an explanation, or what they did after.
She said that they considered contacting a rescue, then decided not to.
The Friday before, the dog sniffed the baby, then bit
her in the head. Yes, a real bite. As always, he could have put her in the hospital or even killed her if he wanted to, but she ended up with four cuts from his canines, so he grabbed
her and meant harm.
They put him down on Sunday.
My jaw dropped. I wanted to ask half a million questions, but that would have been completely inappropriate. Some of the comments she made just screamed "Dog Whisperer" to me. How did they introduce the baby into the home? What did they do to train him? What steps did they take to make sure the dogs actually had some semblance of normalcy even with a very sick baby in the house? Training? Separation? etc etc etc etc etc
Of course, after the "alpha" comments came the "he just snapped" comments. He was so wonderful, then he "suddenly" grabbed the baby's head. Uh... a few weeks he sniffed her and then made a serious threat. He later followed that up with a bite. What part of that indicates that he "suddenly" snapped? What did you do to address that threat? (with visions of alpha rolls dancing in my head)
I felt horrible for them, but truly felt just as horrible for the dog... and a little part of me was thanking God that it wasn't any sort of bull breed.