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« Lives Saved = 159 | Main | Weekly Roundup - Week Ending 12/20/09 »

December 23, 2009



How sad. It makes you realize how quickly it can happen, and how a bite in just the right place can cause death very quickly. It makes you wonder how much the dog intended to hurt the child. People say that dogs have incredible amounts of control over their mouths, but they are "human" and capable of mistakes.


I'm with Staf...this one sounds like a bad accident (in all honesty who knows with this cursory reporting). I know little kids like to hug dogs around their neck and can really hurt a dog - any human that has been hugged but a little kid around the neck can attest. Dogs will give them a nip just to get them away. Labradors get strangled all the time because people thing Labs are 100% kid proof and will let their children harass them endlessly.

Poor family...Christmas will never be the same.

Funny/Odd that they won't automatically euth the dog (I'm not saying they should). If this was a pit bull type dog they'd be talking about a ban...


Dogs are not "Human" they are dogs. No one taught this dog mouthing inhibition (force pressure used when delivering a bite)when it was younger, either by it's mom and littermates (maybe taken away to early, or not supervised if he played inappropriately) and we train them to go lightly when touching teeth to human flesh.
being an 8 yr old dog he may have been tired and did not want the child near him, I am sure the dog gave the signals to not approach, (usually a freeze and a sideways eye view, you'll see the whites of the eye, and they telegraph where they are going to bite by looking at that location before they strike)most people don't know this body language of dogs, if he had something he considered a resource he could have been telling the child also to back off with a look, I wonder if they had trouble with resource guarding before? Training is always the answer when getting a dog, teaching mouthing inhibition, and resource guarding prevention is important for any dog living in your home. We don't know the full story, but the dog will be blamed (it's never the dogs fault,when we domesticated them we must take all the blame) and the child lost their life, which is very sad. Condolences to the family, human and dogs.


I don't mean "human" as in being a primate, but "human" as in capable of mistakes. Weren't you ever screwing around as a kid and accidentally hit your friend/sibling harder than you intended? Or perhaps shoved an annoying kid away and accidentally pushed the kid too hard?

My dogs have accidentally chomped me hard when going for a toy, and I assure you that they are well trained with good bite inhibition. I've also managed to get a puncture wound by falling into a dog's open mouth.

We don't know that this dog didn't have mouthing inhibition. We don't know anything about the situation with the dogs and the child. This could have been a dog showing classic warning signs (which i'm well aware of and experienced in identifying, thanks) since the boy was brought home as a newborn, or this could all be a tragic accident with a well trained, loved, and supervised family pet. Nobody knows but the dog, and he isn't going to tell us.


my total comments were not direct at you but at the public reading this article and comments
read about mouth inhibition from someone who has a tremendous amount of training experience and is a CAAB, Dr Dunbar, at Dogstar daily
who I learned a great deal about training and dogs


A horrible tragedy,I have bread Weims,they are great dogs! My heart goes out to the family!God Bless & give you strengh!


First this was not an attack. It was a horrible accident with one puncture wound that lead to this beautiful boy losing his life. This family has created a foundation for Liam to educate on dogs and children and they are building a playground in Liam's honor. They wanted to do this to help create a safe place to play. They had 2 losses that day and are working hard to keep Liam's legancy going and to educate.

Here is a link to the most recent information.


Thanks Janiese for the additional information. This was a great tragedy, and unlike many incidences like this, it appears as if the family was very responsible in how they treated their dogs and their child.

I think it is great that they are looking to build a playground in the boy's honor.


Here is the newest information, please know they are working on education.


"Mouthing inhibition"? All animals know the difference betweeen playing and biting with intent to harm or kill. It is innate, it doesn't have to be taught. Besides, the dog that killed this child was 8-years-old and had been in the family since it was a puppy. When it went for that little boy's throat that day, it knew exactly what it was doing.

I know this is going to be deleted because any comments on this site that in any disagree with the convictions of the site owner are deleted, and that's his prerogative. But it really bothers me that this family has another dog of the same kind in the home and they also have an infant daughter. This is a tragedy waiting to happen, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, many people read information on sites like this one maintained by dog-oriented individuals and believe it is safe to have large dogs (even pitbulls) in homes with infants, even though this year alone, dogs in the US have already killed several infants and toddlers.


Actually Lee, I seldom censor comments as long as they are respectful, not beligerant and don't make accusations that are slanderous to someone.

And I like to leave comments like yours just to show how much educating there needs to be among the general public -- to people like you.

All larger breed dogs essentially have the bit capacity to cause serious damage to someone -- particularly a young child -- if they wanted to. Most don't, of course. And they learn it through bite inhibition. I wrote an entire blog posting about it two months ago - -you really should go read it here. Follow the links too, because you'll get some good insight into bite inhibition, and the real science behind how dogs learn it.

Most dogs do learn it of course - which is why in a nation where we have 76 million dogs (including 10s of millions of pit bulls, Weimaraners, Rottweilers and other large-breed dogs) we have only about 25 or so tragedies like this one each year. Most of these incidents involve gross neglegence on the dog owner's part, or sometimes the parent's fault (often, they are one in the same people). Sometimes, like in this instance, it appears to just be an awful tragedy.

It is my hope that through education of real canine behavior (again, read the post I linked to) we can educate people one what REALLY causes these types of attacks -- and thus prevent them. And hopefully that starts with you.


Actually, it is less safe to have PARENTS in the home with their children that dogs. "More than 2,000 children in the U.S. die of child abuse and neglect each year". This does NOT include outright murder.


Read Liam's story and what is being done since this tragedy.

A Foundation has been set up with the following mission statement:

“Through awareness and education, helping parents and dog owners create safe and healthy home and public environments for children. Ultimately, enhancing and promoting the safety and health of children in all aspects of life.”

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