The father of three-week-old Reggie Young has reportedly been arrested over concerns for the manner in which the baby was being cared for, and the dog, said to be a tiny terrier named “Tricky” has been removed from the household. Friends, family and neighbours all expressed shock at the death and said that the baby’s parents seemed like a lovely couple.
One family member suggested that Tricky, a Patterdale terrier, may have been jealous over the attention the baby was getting.
The child’s mother didn’t normally leave the child alone with the dog, but had been attending a family meeting about the death of her grandmother at the time of the attack.
Small dog syndrome?
Patterdale terriers are said, at around 30cm in height, to be small enough to be considered toy dogs but despite their small stature are even linked to the mastiff group of dogs, and have bull terrier bloodlines. They were originally bred to hunt small burrowing creatures such as rabbits, rats and foxes.
Smaller dogs may have “small dog syndrome”, where the humans in the house do not show leadership to the dog and the dog may then try to assert itself as the alpha of the family “pack”. This can include negative behavioural traits such as extremely possessive behaviour over people and objects. The owner of a small dog should assert authority over the animal.