Unpredictable Dog Equals Dangerous Dog

Adult Pitbull

An unpredictable dog certainly presents a danger to those around him. Should this Pitbull mix be given another chance, or does a child's protection come first? Share one visitor's situation and see what the Dog Expert has to say.

Fact: An Unpredictable Dog Can Be Dangerous

My husband has an eight-year-old Pitbull mix. He has had this since she was a pup during his previous marriage and spoiled her. The dog has had free roam of the house, bed, sofa, etc.

We have a 22-month-old boy and a baby on the way. The dog sometimes shows aggression towards our son; she has nipped him once, drawn blood and snapped at him with bared teeth on two other occasions. During these episodes our son was not even touching the dog, but merely walking past her.

She has growled at me occasionally when I tried to get her off the couch when I wanted to sit down and did the same thing with the bed, even growling at my husband. She is not always aggressive and is sometimes actually affectionate towards our son, but she is unpredictable.

My biggest concern is for our children. If it wasn't for my husband's feelings, I would have gotten rid of the dog by now. We have come to an agreement that the third time the dog shows aggression towards our son she is going to the pound. I don't want to see this happen, but obviously the dog has no idea where her place in the family is supposed to be. I think it has to do with how she was spoiled. Is there anything we can do? Part of me feels like a bad parent because I have put up with this for longer than I feel I should have.

~~ Sandi

Expert Reply

Hi Sandi,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Certainly, an unpredictable dog is a danger to your family. The fact that she has already drawn blood on your son makes this a very serious and unacceptable situation. In some municipalities you would have already been required to surrender your pet. Pits tend to have more aggressive natures, and since your husband's dog has been allowed to do whatever she wants, she feels like the dominant member of your family pack. That said, I'm not sure you really want to give her a third opportunity to show aggression, considering she has already been aggressive on several occasions. The most important thing here is to make sure your son and the coming baby are protected.

~~ Kelly

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Unpredictable Dog Equals Dangerous Dog