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Old 07-25-2008, 02:40 AM
pipoface pipoface is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Default Dog aggressive toward new baby?

(Sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to have the whole story.)

We have a 7-year-old German Pinscher (GP) who shares the house with another mixed breed dog and a cat... as well as us.

Two weeks ago our first baby was born, and now we're having problems with the GP.

Background: Our GP is an altered male with a strong prey drive. He's the alpha among our pets (although not in our household... alpha role belongs to me and Hubby). To try and acquaint the dogs with babies before her birth, we bought a doll that cried and carried it around. We brought home an item of clothing scented with the baby from the hospital. We put up doggie gates around the house and gave the dogs some "confined" time so they were used to it before baby arrived. Previously, GP was not socialized around kids or babies (our first big mistake). He has a history of aggression toward people, biting/nipping them enough to break the skin. He's bitten about 5 people because they've entered his "territory."

Since bringing baby home, we've kept the dogs completely separated from the baby. We've let them into the nursery to smell around when baby isn't in the room. They've heard her cry and seemed to be adjusting to that. We use doggie gates around the house to keep them in separate rooms from baby. We haven't changed their routine a whole lot, and we still try to give them plenty of one-on-one time with us.

We tried to introduce the GP to baby for the first time, and he totally freaked. Hubby had the dog by the collar, and the baby was in the crib. The GP started trying to get through the crib slats, and he was acting as if she were a squirrel or bunny he wanted to chase/eat. When she started crying, he freaked out even more.

Although I don't want to get rid of the dog, my child's safety is my first concern. Hubby and I have considered these options:

1. Turn GP into a strictly basement dog. Not my first choice, as he will get far less social interaction that way.

2. Crate him when in the house and baby is in same room until he learns to adjust to her more. We have never crated him in the past--except for a brief, failed experiment in the early days--and I fear he'll resent baby since he'll be in the hated crate whenever she's around.

3. Ask vet for anti-anxiety meds and sedatives. GP has always had anxiety issues anyway... but I don't particularly want a drugged dog.

Any other suggestions? I'm willing to try anything that doesn't put baby in any jeopardy.

Last edited by pipoface; 07-25-2008 at 02:58 AM.
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