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#1 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:45 AM

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.

 

 



#2 Glacies

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:53 AM

I don't know whether you would consider it the same situation, but my big dog, Mac, had a similiar issue. He's adopted my kids, is feircely protective of them, but doesn't want to be messed with. He's never bit anyone, never intentionally hurt anyone, but would not tolerate  being approached or anything by the kids without letting it audibly known and getting up and moving away and knocking down anyone in his way to get out of the situation.

 

My solution, not sure it was the best, but if he growled, I corrected it intensely, so much that he just stopped doing it flat out. And at first, when he saw the baby coming and started getting up tight, before he did anything, I was correcting him. I had to catch it before he even got in that mental state to let him know it wasn't okay and if he didn't like it, he'd have to move.

 

Again, i don't know whether it was the best solution, but it really stopped 90% of the problem. He'll still accidentally knock down the kids because he's clumbsy, but damn does he love them. Keeps trying to sleep in their rooms. If they're hurt or upset he gets right up in there with them.

 

But if he's laying on the floor and the kids are playing with cars or something, he knows he is going to have to end up getting out of there because a car is inevetiabily going to come at him.

 

My other dog doesn't move. They roll cars down his head and he just lays there.

 

edit to add: most of my dog stuff (and kid stuff) is heavily based on really focusing on the situation and catching it before it happens. In my mind, if I miss it even one time, it's an inconsistent message to the dog and it confuses them. I consider it something I can't afford to do.



#3 Sidney Porter

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:40 AM

How much longer is you daughter going to be living with you? If I remember correctly she is a teacher so I assume she has income starting back up in a couple months.
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#4 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:53 AM

How much longer is you daughter going to be living with you? If I remember correctly she is a teacher so I assume she has income starting back up in a couple months.

Teacher is #1.  Momma is #3.  She works at FedEx and will be with us until she pays off the $8k or so of debt that her piece of shit sperm donor racked up in her name.



#5 the_stain

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

I pretty much would take an approach like Glac suggests. You want to correct the dog immediately if it even shows a tiny bit of interest in the baby. "NO! Leave it! " anytime the dog even glances at the baby.

At least that's how I got my pit bull not to bother my chickens, even when they were tiny chicks.

It's basically establishing that that is MY baby (chicken), and dogs don't get to mess with it.
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#6 TonyBrown

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:57 AM

for me the scratched face would be deal breaker.  dog must go feck that, only takes one instance for that aggressiveness to manifest into an attack, no chances taken.


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#7 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:59 AM

for me the scratched face would be deal breaker.  dog must go feck that, only takes one instance for that aggressiveness to manifest into an attack, no chances taken.

What did I say?  :covreyes:

 

The thing is that it's NOT aggression.  It's pack dynamics, where the dog doesn't understand her place compared to the baby's place.  That MY failure.



#8 Glacies

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:00 AM

for me the scratched face would be deal breaker.  dog must go feck that, only takes one instance for that aggressiveness to manifest into an attack, no chances taken.

 

I fundamentally disagree. There are multiple levels that all animals have. The dog might have learned that to protect itself and have it completely detached from any proactive violence. My kids get scratched all the time by the little dog because he plays rough. I let the kids decide if they want to play with him like that. That's a decision they're making, I'm not going to correct the dogs play. He might scratch them and break their skin, but he won't intentionally hurt them.



#9 TonyBrown

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:03 AM

What did I say?  :covreyes:

 

The thing is that it's NOT aggression.  It's pack dynamics, where the dog doesn't understand her place compared to the baby's place.  That MY failure.

i quit reading before I got to the non-aggression part.


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#10 Deerslyr

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:19 AM

I'm in the "you don't get rid of the dog" camp on this one.  I'm sure that there has got to be a way to train and properly socialize the dog so that she will end up loving and being protective of the baby.  I'd go with what Glacies says, but initially do it in a controlled environment where you anticipate and correct.  I'd also make sure that Sadie is responsive to the correction from all adults, and not just you.


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#11 Trub L

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:26 AM

Have the baby dog treats.

For a domesticated dog, food comes from master.
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#12 TonyBrown

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:37 AM

Have the baby dog treats.

For a domesticated dog, food comes from master.

owner?


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#13 dagomike

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:49 AM

We had two older dogs when we had kids and recently brought in a new dog, about 1 year old.

 

One older dog wanted nothing to do with the kids. She would leave as soon as the kids bothered her. The other dog was protective of the kids, but didn't like uninitiated interactions. She would get ornery, but not withdraw. I'd give a strong correction. I'd jump up, get loud and low and be between her and the kids. That more or less fixed it, although once in a while I'd do a milder "hey" correction from where I was and she'd submit to the kids or leave.

 

The new dog pushed back with the kids early on. Treated her the same. Now she lets them climb on her and doesn't care or enjoys the attention. 

 

You have to work on the kids too be respectful of the dogs. No grabbing, hugging, chasing, etc. Pet nice and if they don't want to stay, let them go. 


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#14 dondewey

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:02 AM

Have the baby dog treats.
.


Not sure I follow. Are you suggesting feeding dog treats to the baby or actually converting the baby to some sort of human-based dog treats?
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#15 Trub L

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:03 AM

owner?


I didn't say that.

Not sure I follow. Are you suggesting feeding dog treats to the baby or actually converting the baby to some sort of human-based dog treats?


Yes.
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#16 Deerslyr

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:07 AM

Can you make a ham out of a baby, or would it be more like veal?


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#17 Trub L

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:25 AM

Runny eggs.
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#18 Vagus

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 11:28 AM

I agree with glac's approach.  The "alpha" training the george is trying to do might be effective, but limited in scope. Plenty of alpha males get run over by the bigger dogs because they lack turf. To be a true alpha, you need to mark your territory and defend it.  So, when dog look at baby, you need to react immediately.  Like you would someone reaching for your wallet, eyeballing your wallet, hell even just looking in your direction.  They're looking to take what you got. Show them the eyes and dont let up until you taste that fear. Their retreat.  And... uhh yeah if you gotta roll the dog onto the back and say you're his king, that might be something the dog responds to.  Just get a camera and we can decide for ourselves.

 

And stay away from pemberton. He's mine.

 

Likewise, all of you stay away from george. He's in alpha training right now, learning to mark territory.  We're going to start with the mailbox (sp) and work up to the videos.


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#19 davelew

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 11:45 AM

My father has a dog who is very focused on what order people and dogs go through a doorway. When I drive up, my father brings the dog out of the house on a leash, then makes sure the kids walk into the house before the dog does.

Not sure if that would work in your situation, but it’s a way to communicate pack order in a dog’s language.
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#20 Glacies

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 11:50 AM

My father has a dog who is very focused on what order people and dogs go through a doorway. When I drive up, my father brings the dog out of the house on a leash, then makes sure the kids walk into the house before the dog does.

Not sure if that would work in your situation, but it’s a way to communicate pack order in a dog’s language.


It's a good practice in general with dogs.


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