I am uber responsible about dogs and toddlers. I have dogs (chows and rotties) who could kill a child. And yet, I once came out of the bathroom to find my child sitting with my rottie, her head wrapped in a blanket and … I kid you not... Qtips stuck up each nostril.
My point? We all make mistakes. Anyone who says they don't hasn't lived very long, is delusional, or a liar.
Fortunately, I had raised the rottie right. And I believe there are things you can do to change things soon. Once your child is old enough.. and that may be in as little as a year ... he becomes the one and only giver of food. No one ever feeds the dog but him. He also becomes the person to let her outside and in. You would be amazed how fast a dog will see even a toddler as higher in the pack if they control those things.
If there is a university vet school near you, call for a behaviorist consultation.
In the mean time, crate her when you can't actively watch her. Or, get a basket muzzle for her to wear when she has to be around him. She won't die, removes the worry. But absolute supervision is critical.
I am not sure about BRAT's policy on taking a dog that has bitten but sadly <putting on="" flame="" proof="" clothing="">I do know what many rescues do and what I sadly believe all should... dogs that have bitten, no matter the reason, should be kept out of rescues. Sadly if you know a dog has bitten, and it doesn't matter WHY, if that dog bites again the person placing the dog can be sued. It isn't worth risking a rescue being shut down to save one dog, however innocent.
Yes, you should have gotten help with the food issues before. But guess what? It is not too late to work on it. Understand this, and hopefully explain to your husband. Food aggression is NORMAL for dogs. Dogs that are not protective of food starve in the wild. We work on food issues from birth, we train it out of them. But it is normal. Really it is. Fortunately most dogs learn that humans are a food source. Unfortunately when small children are involved they also must learn that even if a human TAKES or bothers the food, they don't get to respond.
Mary Woodward is a friend, and trainer. Sadly she is in DE so of no help individually, but her pages can help you understanding how to turn the behaviors around.
Kathy Diamond Davis is another buddy, and writer. You can write her directly, tell her I sent you. KDiamondD@aol.com
And like the rest said, stop beating yourself up. ((hugs))</putting>