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Topic : 03/30 Is This Normal?

Number of Replies: 1000
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Created on : Friday, January 20, 2006, 03:07:28 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 01/25/06) Have you ever found yourself in a bizarre situation? Do you think the people around you are acting unusual, and you want to know why? Dr. Phil helps his guests distinguish what's normal and what's not. First up, Lynette doesn't think it's normal for her 78-year-old father, Forrest, to want to be a country music star. Forrest feels like his daughter is discriminating against him because he's old. Then, Suzie says her husband, Steve, won't get rid of the family dog -- even though it recently bit their baby girl in the face, and she had to be rushed to the hospital! Steve wants to know if he's crazy for wanting the dog back in the house. Plus, a guest says she's able to see into the future and wants to know if she should alert her friends to the visions she has about them. Share your thoughts.

 

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January 25, 2006, 6:36 am CST

This happened to my child

Although not our family dog, Caine belonged to my cousin. My daughter and I drove from N.C. to M.D. for a visit, we were in the house for about 4 hours before the accident happened. My daughter and Caine had been playing together the entire time we had been there. After an outside visit Caine ran full steam into the house, my daughter was holding a stuffed animal and Caine jumped up to get the toy from her which she jerked to the other side of her chest to protect the stuffed animal. So needless to say Caine's bite landed on my daughter's face. He ripped her lip in two spots, gashed an inch long spot just below her eye and barley punctured her chin. This is a nightmare that no parent should have to go through. I completely agree with the mother about not having the dog in the house with her daughter!!!! My daughter has grown up with her grandfather having a large huskie that stays in his yard so every visit she is the first to greet you, it took over 6 months for my daughter not to scream to be carried through the yard and she still does not want the dog to lick her face. She is does see a therapist  that works with a dog and for Christmas we got her a chihuahua. Her scares are not to bad but the plastic surgeon said that we should wait until she is sixteen to do the corrective surgery so that her face is completely through growing. Hopefully the father will understand and side with his families safely.
 
January 25, 2006, 6:52 am CST

Dalmations always seem to get a bad name

I am a mother of 2 children ages 9 and 11, an also a mommy of 2 dalmation's.  I believe that dalmations are very loving dogs. My dalmations are very large both of them weigh over 120lbs and I can honestly say that i trust them around  not only my children but the ones who live around us. We have had SAM for over 8 years and domino for over 5 and we would not give them up for the world.  When my kids we younger they would get on there backs and ride them around the house.  Never once did they boys snap at my children.  I believe that they way a dog reacts to somethings is all in how you raise them.  On your show today it was very sad that the dog did bite the litte girl. However please don't make it seem that all dalmations are bad.
 
January 25, 2006, 7:01 am CST

Dr. Phil's advice is great!

As usual, I think Dr. Phil is dead on with his advice.   

The first priority must be the safety of the child.  But the child's safety would not be compromised by keeping the dog provided they are not allowed to be together.  Clearly the man loves his dog and there is no reason to have to get rid of it if they simply take some measures to keep the dog and the little girl seperated at all times.   

When my son was 2 years old, he stuck his face in the dogs food bowl pretending he was a dog too.  The dog was eating at the time and turned an bit his nose.  It was nothing as severe as this incident, but non the less, I was horrified!  My knee jerk reaction was to get rid of the dog.  My husband found a co-worker who was willing to take him.  We dropped him off and I immediately started to ball, I loved that dog!  We turned right around and picked him back up.  We realized we could keep our beloved pet and keep our child safe.  We simply put gates up on a couple of doorways.  The dog had access to a bedroom, bath and hallway at all times.  The hall went out to his enclosed dog run out doors.  When our son was asleep in his room or away at preschool the dog could have free run of the house.  When our son was home the dog was limited to areas that our son could not access.   

Several years later our kids were old enough to completely understand that certain things, like sticking your face in the dogs bowl, were not safe to do by a dog.  At that time we let the dog and the children be together and there was never another incident.  Frank, our lab, lived to be almost 12 and he and the kids were best of friends.   

There is just no reason the child can't be kept 100% safe and the dog can still be a loved member of the family.  It is really very easy to keep the two seperated.  I don't understand why so many people are leaving messages that are so strongly worded that the dog must go.  Why?  Just keep it seperated from the child.  Very simple. 

 
January 25, 2006, 7:04 am CST

disagree with Dr. P on dog bite solution

 I just viewed the segment on the dalmatian who bit the 18-month-old.  Clearly, both parents are at fault because they had the dog for several years before they had their daughter.  They knew that its deafness meant that it required special attention and care in how people behave around it. (In addition, Dr. Phil did bring up very good points about dalmatian temperament and incompatibility with children in general.) The point is that these two parents should be ridden with guilt for the rest of  their lives because they failed to establish between them rules governing how to monitor and control the dog/child interaction.  It was absolutely irresponsible of the mother to let her daughter climb over the dog in the way that she did and cause the biting incident. It is irresponsible for the father to now fail to recognize the absolute issue of his daughter's safety created by his and his wife's mutual negligence.  All that said, I disagree with Dr. Phil that you can now just make the dog live outside in a secure run and that will make everything fine.  You can't take a dog who has been a house dog and put it outside, which will isolate it from its established pack (the human family), and expect that later when the child is more mature the dog will suddenly love her.  I think that if this family does that, they'll end up with an aggressive animal or that it will develop other behavior problems such as incessant barking from the loneliness and isolation, and then it will be too far gone to be desirable as anyone's pet.  Before this happens, these parents need to do the only responsible thing they can and contact a dalmatian rescue group (every breed has rescue groups, folks), to have the dog rehomed to an environment it can handle. If the husband's mother wants to keep the dog, then a secure run at her house, with bad weather shelter, should be created so that the daughter can visit her grandma there without the dog being in the house, until the little girl is older and can be educated on how kids should behave around dogs. These parents then need to educate themselves on how a dog can successfully live in a human pack with children around, before they get another dog and the same thing happens again because they are ignorant of how to regulate the environment, or worse yet, not on the same page as appears to be the case with this guy and his wife. I think that for the viewing audience it would be highly constructive if Dr. Phil would do a show where he brings in dog behaviorists (not just 'trainers', but people who are academically credentialled in animal behavior), to address how to be a responsible pet owner, not let your dog dominate you, how to know when you have to rehome a dog because you are incapable of giving it what it needs, etc. Dr. Phil needs to include in that show someone to tell the truth about what happens to animals at shelters, to let people know that's not where you take a dog with the hope of it finding a new home (the only new home most shelter dogs find will be in the afterlife...)
 
January 25, 2006, 7:09 am CST

Dalmatians

In general I agree with Dr. Phil's assessment about keeping that precious baby safe.  I also think that there were probably some "missing" things on the show that were probably due to time constraints.  Missing things like, what were the couple doing to prepare the dog for the arrival of a baby?  What was the mother thinking, just putting the baby down like that?  Why wasn't that dog socialized to be familiar with children before the baby arrived?   

  

The smartest dog I ever owned was a Dalmation, and I will be fans of the breed forever.  They do need special handling though.  They are a high-energy breed that need a LOT of exercise and attention.  Also, deafness is common with this breed.  When anyone owns a dog with this kind of "handicap," the dog needs to get careful training to be able to handle social situations.  I had a local Marine take my Dalmation for a daily 6 mile run.  It did wonders for the dog's disposition, and both dog and Marine had a mutual admiration society going.  (Mind you, this dog was also taught to put its toys away at the end of the day, use one corner of the yard for its business, and knew quite a lot of doggie tricks.)   

  

In the end, this is not the fault of any of the participants, whether quadrepedal or bi-pedal.  I would suggest inviting in a dog-trainer like Uncle Mattie or the Dog Whisperer.  Don't give up on this dog.  Keep the baby safe.  Remember, the owner has to be smarter than the dog is at all times.  There will be people who disagree with me, but I am totally SOLD on Dalmatians as a breed, especially when purchased from a home breeder who cares enough about the breed to not let the bloodlines get too close, thereby increasing negative traits.  The Dally I owned turned into a fabulous family dog who was very protective of each member of our family.  This loyalty and protection of family unit is also a Dally trait.  So, please.  Give this dog and the baby a chance for a long and happy relationship together.   

 
January 25, 2006, 7:15 am CST

Is This Normal

I watched with great interest because I've battled a  huge fear for over  30 years. I have a horrendous fear of cars and driving. Although I found the show very interesting I didn't quite get the answer I was looking for. I guess I don't think my fear in unreasonable. When my husband or son are out I don't stop thinking about their safty while being in a car. They always have to call me when they get where they are going. Also, about Stephanie one of the main issues I felt Dr. Phil didn't address was ... about her having children. I understand her not wanting them to be as afraid as she is but .. the more important issue in my mind is .... will SHE be able to parent. The responsibility of having a child and protecting them could be totally overwhelming if she doesn't realize what having a child will do to HER.  This is a very complicated issue. It's one thing when you can't keep yourself safe but I could see someone that irrational feeling like the responsibility of a child is just too much to take and then doing something horrible. I hid my fear of bugs and cars so well from my son, that from the time he was 4 years old until about 9 he wanted to own his own bug store! He is driving now (at 17) and is a cautious and defensive driver with just a normal "concern" of driving and cars.
    Thank you for your excellent and wise advice.
Sincerely, Dara
Dara
 
January 25, 2006, 7:28 am CST

Get rid of the dog & the husband!

When the husband said that his wife put the child in that situation, implying that the ATTACK was her fault, I nearly fell on the floor.  If anyone is responsible for the ATTACK it is the husband.   

Obviously he knows the nature of that breed since he feels he needs to TRAIN his wife and child to be around the dog.   

The fact that he is so much more concerned about the dog and keeping the dog in the same house with his daughter that the animal attacked is infuriating.  If he was my neighbor and brought that dog back into the home with the baby...I would feel it necessary to call child protective services to make sure that the child was being protected. 

He may not think he is putting his desire to have the dog over the safety of his child, but it certainly appeared that way to me.  I would not allow my husband, nor anyone else, to put their selfish desires above the safety of my child. 

In my house, if my husband tried to bring an animal that had attacked my child, back into the home...not only would the animal be gone, so would my husband. 

  

 
January 25, 2006, 7:30 am CST

animal lover

I am a big animal lover and well understand the gentleman's love for his dog. By the same token I am a mother with the same instincts as this mom and understand her fear for her child's safety. A few years ago a friend of mine faced the exact same type of situtation. Where this family is fortunate is that the dog is not a bad dog but the wrong breed for children and is complicated by a hearing impairment. This as Dr. Phil said, can be remedied by keeping the dog in a good size run and separate from the child. As the child gets older the relationship between them will change. Unfortunately for my friend her dog had to be put down as the reason for her attack was due to blood vessels bursting in the brain area. I am a person who takes or adopts an animal with a difficult personality. Ones that would not have a chance to go to a good home. They come around to being very loving pets, but you need to understand the difficulties they face and deal with them accordingly. Take loving care of that dalmation. It's a beautiful dog, but also take care of that beautiful child. Compromise is the key to the safety and loving enviroment for both of them.
 
January 25, 2006, 7:32 am CST

calm down

 I have a Dal.  I love that dog more than anyone can ever imagine.  My dog has bitten and it broke my heart.  I always said I would never own a dog that bite but because of my love for this animal putting him down was the last option.  Giving him away was not an option. It was just passing the problem on to someone else.  He could have gone to a home where he wasn't as loved and cared for as he is in my home.  This is very sad and this family needs to make a decision that is right for them.  None of you have a right to be so insulting and high and mighty!!   

  

My dog is created when we have company over.  When we need to introduce him to stranges we do it very slowly, we put him in the kitchen with a gate up and have the new person give him his favorite treat and some simple commends. (sit, paw, lay, wait) after a peroid of time we let him out of the kitchen and we watch every move he makes.  If we see the dog is uncomfortable in a situationwe take him out of that situtation. 

  

We take him to the beach early in the morning when very few people are there and we let him run loose. 

  

Also when I have to take him out in public I put a plastic muzzle on him. 

  

If I were this family I would buy gates and a create.  When the child is around I would keep them separted.  I would exercise the dog as much as possible. When the child is in bed or napping I would let the dog out to have the freedom of the house and some one on one attention.  I would seek out professional that can help you understand and teach you what you need to do.  If you find someone that tells you to put the dog down.  (which we did) Then find someone else.  consult you vet for information.  If you really want to keep this dog then you have to educate yourself.  It is a big responsibility to keep a dog that bites but I can tell you that it is worth it to me.  He is a great dog. He is funny, loving and sweet. 

  

I still have my dog and I am glad to say that it has been over a year since he has bitten anyone.  however I would not trust him 100% so I keep him safe from people and people safe from him. 

  

I understand how both the mother and father feel.  I am a mother and I love my dalmatian. 

  

Good luck, but be and take care, I hope your daughter is going to be ok 

 
January 25, 2006, 7:38 am CST

dead dog

many years ago my cousin was only 5, when he was attacked by a black lab.he almost died. my uncle did not even hesitate,he shot the dog before my aunt even got to the hospital. it was the family dog,but children come FIRST!!!!!!  once a biter always a biter 

  

 
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