Dog lovers HELP

Avatar for deenow17
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Registered: 10-12-2004
Dog lovers HELP
6
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 12:55pm
Edited to clean up mess of original post 

Our little 11 lb dog is very jealous of the baby. The problem started when Fynn became mobile. Until then, the dog was quite happy to check her out when Fynn was in her chair or exersaucer. So we thought the problem was another 4 legged creature when Fynn started crawling. Well she is walking constantly & we still have a serious issue. Dog adores Noah & always has been his dog when he is around.  In fact, we have the opposite issue. We have to be careful as she will bark & try to defend Noah if she thinks someone is a threat to him.

Dog started with growling at the baby. We were told to ignore this behaviour and reward when she was nice to baby. Baby handles this reward herself as the dog loves to clean up anything baby drops on floor so once Fynn realizes this she drops more food. Now the dog is growling & snapping at the baby. She has been close enough to bite but hasn't done this yet. Fynn thinks it's funny and goes running back to dog as soon as we remove her. She isn't afraid at all. She wants to be with the dog. Right now the dog is in the playpen growling & barking. 

Suggestions please as right now I'm worried that I have to get rid of the dog which would break my heart as she is my baby.  Right now our strategy is to keep the baby & dog separated but the dog will continue to bark non stop. She doesn't stop unless she is with me which is hard as I'm babysitting the baby. 

Thanks, Dee


Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 1:46pm
Any chance of keeping the dog somewhere else while Fynn is over? Not ideal, but maybe the dog will warm up to her as she gets older?
Avatar for mourningthewicked
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Registered: 04-08-2008
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 3:44pm

Hi there - our dog is friendly to all of us, very protective, but when others come over (with exception to my sisters, my niece, and my mom) she really goes into attack mode. It's mostly geared towards men. Anyway, the only thing we can do is keep her in another room. If it's nice outside, she'll be outside, but if it's during summer heat or winter cold, she's locked in another room. 

I know you said the dog barks knowing you're near, this happens for us too, but eventually she does stop. Honestly, Flynn's safety would trump the dog barking, as long as where the dog is being kept is safe and there is nothing that s/he can get into, kwim? If it's just barking because of being locked away, then just ignore it.

Good luck! 



“Are people born wicked, or is wickedness trust upon them?” 

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 4:56pm
(my 'somewhere else' meant basement or other room, not at someone else's house or anything!)
Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 5:16pm

Whoever told you to ignore the growling was wrong.  Dee, she has to learn that she cannot growl and snap, which means there have to be consequenses.  The best consequense when she does this behavior, she is then muzzled.  You don't want to smak her or even startle her, like with a spray bottle of can of pennies, because that might provoke a fear bite.  And you don't want to have to force her into the muzzle, so she needs to learn to wear it before she is around the baby.  There are soft muzzles, such as vets often use, as well as the stiffer variety.  Many dog professionals now recommend muzzle training your dog from the getgo, just as you crate train your dog.

I have also included an article from Cesar Millan, about dog aggression toward children.  He makes the point that dogs are not "jealous" in the way humans use the term.  There is something else causing the behavior, and I have some ideas, since she was not aggressive untill the baby was freely mobile...  One, she may be "guarding" Noah.  A mobile creature is a threat to her "pack".  As Cesar suggests, you must make Fynn a pack LEADER, so she feels safe allowing Fynn to approach Noah.  Another possibility, since she does not recognise Fynn as a pack leader,  is that she sees Fynn as a threat to HER.  A threat to her food, her safety or her position in the pack.

  In the first place, allowing the baby to drop treats on the ground is NOT the same as having the baby hand treats to the dog as a reward.  Treats on the ground are FOOD to guarded and eaten.  What this has done, is reinforce the idea in the dog that the baby is competition for her food.  Understanding that Fynn is "above" her, is achieved when Fynn demands "submission" and then dispenses a reward.  The way I did this with Bree, was to call the dogs and make them sit.  Then I had Bree in front of me, and I held her hand, and the treat, in my hand, and released each dog to come get their treat.  The dogs are ALWAYS told to "Sit!" before they are given a treat.  Jumping dogs are not rewarded.  She is now able to hand feed the treats herself.  It also helps her to distinguish which dog is which, because I will say, "Give Marco his treat.  Now give Ozzie his treat".

Another problem is when you say "Fynn thinks it's funny and goes running back to dog as soon as we remove her".  SHE is being too "aggressive" around the dog.  The dog probably feels threatened.  We have had some issues of our dogs growling when Bree gets to be too much.  And our dogs are all in the 22 lb range.  An 11lb dog will feel threatened with much less handling.  Fynn needs to learn to STOP immediatly when you say STOP, not only because of the dog, but if she heads for the stairs, the stove, the street, etc.

By the way, is your dog crate trained?  All our dogs are;  it is their "bed",  and a place they can go when they need to get away from the baby, or any hubbub. The crates are in an unused bedroom, and the doors are always left open.   If they are too rowdy, if there are a lot of people in the house, or if anyone is nervous around dogs, all I need to say is, "Get in your beds!" and off they go.  Conversely, if they need a break, they will go in their beds, or up on the "dog chair" when they are not disturbed.

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/3948

http://www.cesarsway.com/askcesar/aggression/Dog-Aggression-Towards-Children

Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 5:47pm

I forgot to tell you, when the dog growls, tell her BAD DOG, call her away from the baby, and have her Sit!.  Have her continue to sit for a couple minutes, untill she calms.  Then pat her, or give her a treat, because she has obeyed.  DO NOT pet her, or pick her up when she growls, even if she is growling out of fear.  That just rewards the wrong behavior. 

The other day, when I did something Bree didn't like, she looked at me and said, "Bad Dog!"

Avatar for nora_mcl
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Registered: 10-30-2011
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 9:16am

Hi Dee-we went through this with our grandchildren when they were little & our Pugs hadn't really seen "little people" much. We started by holding the dog's collar just speaking quietly to them & telling them that it was okay, that this person was a friend. Then we got the dog to sit down & we'd still hold on & if she calmed down, (& they did-we-her people-were calm)the toddler gave her a treat. It was something that could be held out-not something little. It took a bit of time-not a lot-but we made sure the dog could see the toddler was not a threat. Sometimes she threw a ball-which the dog could not resist fetching even for the interloper.

And there is hope-it got so that Jasmine would recognize the car when it drove up, & automatically roll onto her back for a belly-rub. And Anya & Jonah were the only ones who could say "Roll-over" & she would-the rest of us could say it & she'd give us the "I am PUG-I don't DO tricks" look. But at first it has to be carefully controlled-like introducing baby #2 when they are born close together (Noah was older-so Sandy got off easy!).

Nora