Dog won't stop whining around newborn, driving family crazy!

fwed

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#1
We just delivered a newborn 1 week ago and since she's gotten home my dog won't stop obsessing over here, barking and whining.

Just a little background on my dog, he's a rescue dog and had separation anxiety for the longest time. He guards our home and us non stop and barks at strangers. He's bitten a few people also. He's a small dog, 10 pounds. I don't trust him to get close to the baby so we been keeping him on a leash around the house. Here are the things I've tried.

1.) I've tried sitting with him and just sternly saying no when he barks or crys, then giving him treats when he stops (although he doesn't really stop, he just pauses for maybe 10 seconds). I don't think this can be a long term solution, I would have to invest hours and hours to this method and I don't even know if there will be a pay off.

2.) I've tried letting him sleep with some of the baby's clothes. (although I stopped the last few days)

3.) I've introduced him to the baby on a leash but getting close to her just gets him even more nervous and anxious, he whines even louder. I can't just let him get close enough to smell because he might nip her, we don't know. He is wagging his tail but I'm not sure I can assume this means he won't bite her.

4.) I've Tape recorded her crying and played it for him while he's eating so he associates her crying with something positive. Now I am just having him stay in a seperate room with her crying clip playing on a loop to see if he gets used to it.

Our house is small, 1400 square feet so even with him being in another room, we hear his barks really loud. Everytime he hears the baby cry he goes nuts, barks, whines real loud, and scratches the door like a maniac trying to get through.

My wife has gotten so fed up with him and I'm fixing to go back to work in a couple days. She's already stressed out enough having to care for a newborn and not getting sleep but the dog brings the stress to another level.

Are there any other ideas that I can try to get this to work out? Getting rid of him is not an option, I've had him for 8 years since I rescued him and he's a good dog, loves his family but just has never been able to get over his anxiety around strangers and curiosity when something new comes to the house.
 

krissy

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#2
Getting rid of him is not an option
I have no advice as I've never had to deal with introducing a baby to my dogs. You have tried some very creative things. Hopefully some others here with more experience with dogs and babies can offer some advice. But I just wanted to commend you for being willing to work through this with him. It sounds like he is confused and nervous. I hope you can find some ways to reassure him. Congrats on the new addition.
 

Maxy24

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#3
Is he whining because he wants to investigate her? Does he have a high prey drive (try to chase or kill small animals)? What if he got a food stuffed toy or a bully stick while he is around the baby, do you think he would be able to lie down and work on the toy? Obviously you can't have him eating something 24/7 but it might offer periods of peace. Is he constantly whining or are there things that trigger it? I think the recording is a good idea. Make sure you start it on a low volume so he isn't stressing the whole time, then slowly increase the volume over time until it's realistic.

I also commend you for working through this. With dogs and babies people tend to jump to getting rid of the dog very quickly, it's nice to see someone willing to work through some rough patches. It has only been a week so some stuff might just be a matter of time.
 

fwed

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Is he whining because he wants to investigate her? Does he have a high prey drive (try to chase or kill small animals)? What if he got a food stuffed toy or a bully stick while he is around the baby, do you think he would be able to lie down and work on the toy? Obviously you can't have him eating something 24/7 but it might offer periods of peace. Is he constantly whining or are there things that trigger it? I think the recording is a good idea. Make sure you start it on a low volume so he isn't stressing the whole time, then slowly increase the volume over time until it's realistic.

I also commend you for working through this. With dogs and babies people tend to jump to getting rid of the dog very quickly, it's nice to see someone willing to work through some rough patches. It has only been a week so some stuff might just be a matter of time.
Yes the crying is what sets him off. He's at the point now where he can look at her and just be intrigued but not bark or whine too loud although he'll shake and give out a whimper but once he hears her crying he loses it. He runs at her and whines real loud. I'll have him on the leash so he can't reach her but he tries. I just want to get to the point where I can let him freely roam around the house while having her in the bouncer close to the floor, not worry about him biting her.I guess it will take time, I seen very small improvement but some improvement none the less.
 
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#5
I would totally recommend getting a trainer who can see you in person and work with your dog around the baby. A trainer can tell you whether you need to be worried about the dog biting the baby or if he's whining for other reasons.... That's not something we can do over the internet. Because the dog has bitten before, and because you're so worried about him biting the baby, I really feel like no one will be comfortable in this situation until you can get a knowledgeable, experienced trainer that you can trust, give you her opinion of the situation and how to fix it.
 

Dogdragoness

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#7
I used to have a similar issues with Josefina, only the scream of a baby or child used to revv up her pray drive, every time I saw her getting excited , I would tell her to sit and treat her.

Maybe get with a trainer and see if he can be taught to "come get you " or "find you" when the baby starts crying? Use his attentiveness to it as a game?

Sorry but that's all I have :/
 
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