My dog is becoming aggressive: Thoughts?

I’m really needing some advice about a situation we have going on. Our large dog reared back and almost bit my four-year-old son today. My son was just petting him, Not too close, not aggressively, as my son is just now warming up to them and keeps his distance, so there’s no history of my son climbing on or mistreating the dogs in any way. This is not the first time this has happened, but the last time was about three years ago. I’m very torn on what to do as our dog is a St. Bernard mix and could seriously injure my kids (or worse) if the aggression continues. He’s also eight years old, which qualifies him as a senior dog due to his size, and so I don’t know that rehoming him would do any good, and it would break my heart. I’m just not sure where to go from here.


You really need to find a different place for your dog

Where was he petting the dog ? The ears ? Could have a ear infection…the back or hips ? Could have arthritis. I’d take him to the vet for a check up


First, I would take him to the vet to rule out any issues of pain or neurological issues. If there are none, I would get with a trainer that specializes specifically in behaviors. I am a CPDT. The kennel I use to work for is amazing and the owner has a degree is behavior.

ThunderHawk Canine LLC they offer online services if you’re interested :heart:

Saints have bad issues with arthritis, he may be hurting and just a cranky old man.


I would suggest a few things. Muzzle training, behavioral training and a vet visit to rule out medical issues as a cause. I would keep the dog and child separate until a solution is found. If interested, muzzle up pup is a good group to join, as well as aggressive and reactive dog


I would do a vet check… he could be hurting somewhere… if not, I would look into rehoming to a family with older or no kids. Always a hard decision but bette than a major injury to your son and euthanasia for your pup. :frowning:


I agree that it may be a health issue that you don’t see on the outside, if he’s in pain he’ll react. A vet appt. Is in order. If they don’t find any issues I would say research a trainer in your area. If thats not an option I would rehome the dog to home without children. You’ll be heart broken to get rid of the dog but if he injured or killed your kid you’d be devastated. Keep the priorities in order here and work with your vet and other animal professionals to find a solution.

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I had a large dog that in her old age would grumble and sort of bite the air around my kid to warn him my dog never bit him but my kid got the picture to be easy with her i had a spray bottle that i would get her with if she got to loud it would shock her enough she would back up

Was the dog eating when he was petting him? I have had St. Bernard’s in my past. My female was aggressive if you got near her while she was eating.

We’ve been having problems like this this our black lab and our son…I knew it was out of norm and not like her so I took her to the vet and had blood work done and her adrenal glands we out of whack causing the random out burst of aggression take your pup in and have a full work up done could just be an issue thats not their fault and can be managed


Muzzle could be good for safety for now so you don’t have to worry about bites. Make sure it’s bite proof.


My old man has arthritis in his hips and even snaps at our other dogs for getting too close sometimes. He is probably just in pain and grumpy

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We give our dog his own space. A bed in the corner of the room. Our daughter knows she can not go near it and the dog knows if he doesn’t want to be bothered to go there. Boundaries for sure. But I’d check with the vet. Could not be feeling well or have a sensitive spot

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If he’s older he may have something wrong with him health wise dogs don’t just turn aggressive for no reason either so if it’s not health related there’s a reason but some older dogs can’t handle kids either and some dogs just don’t get along with children either

I would have the dog checked for injury or brain tumor if this is something out of the ordinary. If nothing found I would say probably find a more sutible home. I have also had to make this decision but found a brain tumor in my dog.


Sorry but the dog has to go. The sooner the better.


I am sure he will continue to get more aggressive… have a little experience with that but I’m sure youd chose your kids safety over your dog.

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The dog may have health issues, my mum had a St. Bernard years ago and she only lived to eight years old so please think of your dog as being a senior these dogs don’t have very long lives


Is he hurting any. ? Or does he get enough excersize? Some dogs and I’ve heard about this breed being on the list are more tense than others. Find a rescue in your area, a shelter will most likely put down. If he’s not a bad dog he can find a home with no kids. I work with a rescue . Please give this baby a chance.

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