I would like to sum up the story of "Bennett" a neutered male boston terrier.
We got him as a puppy and he was part of our family for 9 years. He was happy, playful and full of love. But he never liked to be picked up. He didn't like to be touched on the nap of the neck. He would growl and snarl when we picked him up. He went to obedience training and did all the exercises. Sit, heal, stay, come and stop were fairly easy for him. He would let our kids dress him up in their old baby clothes and pull him in their wagon. He would let them pick him up, no problem, no growling. Loved to give kisses and nip on the nose.
But As he got older he had an attitude. Our kids now in their early teens thought it was funny when he growled, showing his teeth like a wild dog.
They liked that he was tough.
When we had to pick him up we learned to first tell him we were going to pick him up. We would walk up to his side and say, "Bennett, I'm going to pick you up" as we put our hands slowly around his sides, he would wiggle and sneer and we would reassure him he was safe. We wouldn't put him up to our face as he would nip our nose. As time passed he went from the little nip to biting.
In time what we had was a male boston with a biting problem.
He would bite our son, (just nips we would say) while they played basketball. Soon our son had scars from the bites but nothing needing stitches.
Then he bit a 9 year old girl on the nose (because she picked him up) requiring stitches.
Then he bit our son's friend on the ear, (because he picked him up) slicing the lobe and requiring stitches.
Then he bit my daughters friend (a young model on the face)(because she picked him up) requiring 24 stitches, we had to pay the emergency hospital bill and we were sued.
When he was 9Years old we did put him down, but only because he was so badly ripped to shreds after attacking a bigger dog.
*How did this happen, you ask?
We were walking him on his leash the dog down the street was tied in front of his house. We were distracted (it only takes a second) by something and he broke away, running across the street and attacked the big dog an Akita. He had attacked this dog before and had a quarter sized hunk of hide taken out that our vet was able to stitch up. After the second attack the bigger dog defended itself picking Bennett up in his mouth. Bennett literally had his throat slit as he spun above the ground in the big dogs mouth. Our vet assured us he would do it again, given the chance.
I miss Bennett, I loved him but we let it go too long. We put him above people. We were in denile that we had a dog that bites. We allowed him to bite. He didn't like to be picked up and that was just the way it was. His growling, snarling and biting were his way of saying leave me on my own feet, don't pick me up.