Our 8yr old Lab-Newfie mix Sadie is problematic with the baby.
Sadie is well trained, and well-established beta (after people) over our other dog; everything is fine. But now the baby is crawling or in a walker down at "dog level" and Sadie is not recognizing her as "people." She's treating the baby like another dog, bumping her, growling at her, and yesterday scratched her face. There was a moment's inattention from Mom and the baby wandered toward the bowl where Sadie was eating (ugh) in her walker. She either snapped at her or scratched her with her paw. Skin wasn't broken, just a welt that looks like nail marks to me, but I wasn't there. The wife flipped out and was ready to get rid of the dog immediately, but I talked her down for now.
The thing is that this isn't really aggression. Sadie is doing the same types of corrections she would use on any other underdog. But clearly that's not going to work where the baby is concerned. In the short term, we've made a rule that Sadie will be in her crate any time the baby is out of arms moving around the floor, but I need to figure out how to convince the dog that Ezlyn is "people" not "dog".
How do I do that?
In the earlier, milder incidents, I have done typical dominance stuff with Sadie - rolling her on her back and pinning her down, etc. But that is only reinforcing MY status as alpha, apparently, and not influencing the baby's pack position at all. I was thinking of buying a muzzle (for safety's sake) and trying something similar with physical positioning but having the baby involved somehow? With firm control of the dog, set the baby on her like she's riding? Roll the dog on her back and let the baby crawl around on top of her? Again, controlling the dog to make sure the baby isn't in danger.
Any other ideas? We can continue the crate rule until the baby is 3 or 4 (although she'll move out by then), but I'd rather fix this problem if possible.
And no offence, but I don't really need to hear that you would get rid of the dog. I don't abandon pets I've had for most of a decade because of MY mistakes in training. As long as I can create conditions where the baby is not in danger (crate, muzzle) I'm going to keep trying.
P.S. This is NOT the dog who ate the hamster, nor the one who barks at every outside sound. Sadie is the good one.