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Old 02-15-2010, 12:29 PM
Leah00 Leah00 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Default Dogs with children...

Hi, I should have introduced myself in the introduction forum but I have limited time with a 15 month old. That's my problem, how to get our dogs to accept and respect our baby boy, Dylan.

We have 3 dogs. Puck (10yo beagle/shih tzu mix), Reese (7yo rott/shepherd mix), and Rocky (6yo hound/shepherd?? mix). I had Puck before I got married when I lived with my family and lots of little kids, but Reese and Rocky my husband and I got after we were married and they've never been around small children.
I am scared to death of having the dogs around Dylan. When Dylan was 2 days old I let them sniff him and meet him and Reese tried to take his head in her mouth. That scared me to death of course. I thought later that she could have been trying to treat him like a puppy, not being aggressive, but now I'm reading that it could have meant that she saw him as prey!?!?!
Fast forward to now. I've got a baby gate set up in the kitchen doorway so that they are seperated. The dogs have the kitchen and familyroom. I really hate doing that because I know that the dogs probably feel left out. I want ALL of us to be a family. So I've recently started letting the dogs in the livingroom, one at a time, to spend an hour or so with me and Dylan.
Old Puck did fine. He's pretty mellow and he's been around babies before. Reese's first day was yesterday and it was going ok until she was laying down and Dylan walked behind her and he stumbled and put his hand on her back leg (not hard, just touched). She jumped and barked/sort of snapped at him. She didn't touch him but she scared him. He got really still and his little eyes were big around. So she got put back behind the gate. It might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it upset me.
Should I keep trying? It terrifies me. Every little hair on Dylan's head is like gold to me.
Any advice? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing?
I do know to never leave them unsupervised. Also, we've been teaching Dylan to "be nice" and "be easy" since he was old enough to start grabbing at stuff. We have two cats and they just lay there and let Dylan pet them. He's always good with them but I'm always there ready to intervine if he starts doing something not nice (I know he's just a baby).
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:06 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 6,403

Personally, I don't have any experience with introducing babies and dogs. But this does seem to be a growing dilemma, and many trainers are now teaching lessons about how to live with babies and dogs. There is a good trainer search on Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources, hopefully you'll be able to find a trainer with experience in this area.

I do know that if you're nervous, your dogs will be nervous too. They're probably already a little nervous around Dylan since he is very different than what they're used to, and then your nervousness on top of that will definately make them edgy. Without a professional there to encourage you and calm your nerves, you are likely to make the problem worse. Good luck!!
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:24 PM
Thracian Thracian is offline
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Check out this site:


It will help.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:43 PM
Leah00 Leah00 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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I know this is an old post but I wanted you guys to know that I appreciate your responses. Believe it or not, my computer crashed about 15 minutes after I posted the original message and this is the first time that I'm seeing your replies! lol

Thank you.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:28 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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I also don't know a lot about this, but some good suggestions I think are:

Take a walk with both the dogs and the baby. (taking the dogs one at a time is not a bad idea, either)...have someone put Dylan either in a stroller, carry him, or hold his hand, and have the dog on a leash, that way, she can get used to be around him without him touching/scaring her.

When the baby gate is up, do they see Dylan playing in the other room? You might want to let him play near the gate close to the dogs but on the other side, so they get used to him bouncing around and making noise and everything. Give them lots of treats during this, as well.

I would NOT let Dylan come up from behind the dogs. Are they okay with him petting their shoulders or backs if they're expecting it?
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:31 AM
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Grab Grab is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,370

How long have they been kept separate from him? If your child is walking, I assume it is quite some time.
I'm not surprised that your dog got startled by a toddler walking behind her..if she's never been around a small person, she likely had no idea what the heck was happening. Separating her is just reinforcing that this little person is unpleasant for her. Vocalizing when startled is normal..just as you would gasp if someone touched you when you weren't expecting it.

Obviously you don't want harm to come to your child, but I'd start by having them drag leashes (so you can control interactions) and involving them in all/most of your daily activities with your son. If hey have training, have them in down/stays during dinner time, have them out and about during family time, go on walks as a family, etc. Isolating them does nothing to encourage family interaction.

I am also not certain why the dog who is familiar with children is also being isolated?

For anyone lurking, working on introducing family dogs to the things that come along with babies when you're expecting will go a long way towards reducing stress after the baby is home.
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