Post # 1
Hey Everyone… I’m starting to get really worried about my dogs and I can’t get my husband to agree on how to handle this. Basically we have two HUGE American Mastiff dogs, and they are both young with a lot of play in them – the oldest is only 2 years old, but he weighs a whopping 170lbs and we expect the puppy to be the same size, because she’s already about 95lbs.
They’re good dogs, but I’m just in no condition to break up some of their rough-housing anymore or try to wrangle them when we have guests over or the doorbell rings. Darling Husband doesn’t understand how weak I am. I’m only 5’3 and weigh 115 lbs, and it’s only that much because I’m 16.5 weeks pregnant. It’s getting to the point now they get me so worked up, I worry the stress will hurt our baby or later down the road cause me to go into preterm labor.
All I want is for my husband to agree that they are no longer allowed to rough-house in the house. I know they are just playing, but they are just TOO BIG. They only rough house in the one room with carpet and that room has a baby grand piano, a dining room set and wine rack. Today at 6:15 this morning, they were playing so hard, Cheddar, the bigger dog, slammed into the wine rack and knocked over one of our heavy wooden dining room chairs. Darling Husband insists they aren’t going to hurt anything and they need time to play, but the smaller dog is only going to get bigger and if Darling Husband doesn’t think they can take one of those skinny fragile wooden legs out from under the baby grand piano he’s completely in denial. My argument is they have plenty of time to play rough in our nice fenced yard (they go out whenever they like) and they should be relatively civilized in the house. So who do you think is right here? If Darling Husband would stick with me, I know we could get them to behave in the house, but they’re confused because I say its not okay to play in here and he says it is, so its not their fault they don’t know any better.
Also, as always, I’d be interested to hear if anyone is dealing with anything similar? I mean, if I wasn’t preggo, it would be one thing, but I’m not even supposed to be lifting things over 25lbs let alone wrangling crazy 170lb dogs 🙁
Post # 3
Gah, that’s tough. What would Darling Husband think if you had two full grown men rough-housing in the living room/house? I’m guessing it would bug him and you can communicate to grown men much eaiser than even very well-behaved dogs. (They are a different species after all.)
It might sound silly, but one 170lb dog is easily equivalent to a full grown man.
I LOVE animals, but that wouldn’t be ok with me either, pregnant or not. If you have a safe place for them to play, I think you need to enforce that as a play place for them.
I also am a huge advocate for pets & babies together, but do you think that Darling Husband would let them rough house around the baby? I doubt it, but in only a few months, there will be a baby around. That will already be a big adjustment for the furbabies, so its better if you made behaviour modifications now so it doesn’t all coincide with the arrival of LO, making them resent him.
Post # 4
If your dogs have access to the yard I see no reason why they should be raising hell in the house. I’m on your side with this one. He needs to understand that if this issue continues, it’s going to be non stop stress for EVERYONE until and after the baby arrives.
Post # 5
I agree that the dogs shouldn’t rough house in the house.
But I also think they need formal exercise time! Do you take them out for free runs? Where they can run around and wrestle off leash with other dogs, like a dog park. It works wonders on my 16 month old pup!
Follows my theory of tired dogs are good dogs!
Post # 6
@KatyElle: @Mrs.LemonDrop: Thanks ladies! Yeah, and I forgot to mention Darling Husband is gone overnight for his job A LOT, so it’s just me to take care of the dogs a lot of the time.
@Mrs.LemonDrop: I’m absolutely positive that he would NOT be okay with them rough-housing around the baby, and I don’t see a huge difference between the baby after it’s born and the baby while it’s in my belly now? I think otherwise they’ll be great with the kids. We have four cats as well, and they are so gentle with them and don’t chase them, so I’m sure they could handle being around a baby, but accidents do happen, and if at over 100lbs I can get stepped on or knocked over by them when they’re acting like idiots, I’m sure a little baby can too.
Post # 7
@FMM: I agree, and it’s so sad because I used to be able to walk at least Cheddar, since he’s more mature and had more training, and now I can’t even do that anymore 🙁 Cheddar is very well behaved on the leash, but if he sees another dog, he REALLY wants to say hi, and I get jerked around and all those ab muscles start ripping and I can’t really stop him anymore. Then whoever he wants to go see gets freaked out by his size and looks at my like “if you let that dog come near me I swear…” I used to sit on the ground and have other ways of controlling him before I was preg, but then I’d get stepped on, which isn’t okay anymore. The smaller dog doesn’t really know how to walk on the leash at all, and even if she did it wouldn’t be fair to walk just one of the two anyway.
They like the dog park and we take them whenever we can, though I do think when they run around for 2 hours straight in the yard they get some pretty decent excecise and they go out as often as they want. They are Mastiffs, and the breed is known for not needing a ton of exercise.
ETA: I can only take them to the dog park when Darling Husband is around, too, because Cheddar wont jump up into the truck by himself, Darling Husband has to lift his rear end in, and the butt half of 170lbs is alot more than 25lbs lol. Otherwise, non-preg, I can lift his butt in too.
Post # 8
I have 2 Great Danes. They are 7 and 5 so they are calm old men for the most part but they do still play. It’s important that they respect and listen to you. If you say to stop you have to follow through or they will just continue to ignore you. Have you taken them to classes? My favoritedog line is “a tired puppy is a good puppy” lol.
I feel bad that your husband doesn’t understand your fears. Maybe you need to have this conversation while/after the digs are rowdy so he can see it. Sometimes men need that visual!
ETA – I can walk my older dog withour a leash and he heals perfect but the younger gets scared at things like cars/big men so we use a pinch (not a choke) collar. It may sound mean but it really isn’t and he walks so well with it. I think it gives him confidence that we are in charge and will take care of him 🙂
Post # 9
Sorry you are in this position. I admit to not reading the other replys, but have you considered doggy day care? (Obviously only an option if they are good with other dogs)?
Post # 10
We don’t let our dogs play rough in the house, although sometimes they get playful and start to chase each other and it’s so cute that we just let them. Mostly, though, they only play rowdy outside. In my opinion, with dogs that large and breakables (and your baby in the future) in the house, there’s no need for rough housing to be going on at all, but maybe you can come to some sort of compromise where you teach the dogs an “all done” command where they settle down quickly and easily. So maybe you can let the dogs play (I would stipulate when your husband is there and supervising) and then teach them an all done command where you send them to their spots (beds or other designated spot in the house) and give them a treat so that they basically learn to settle on command. I’m not sure how far along you are, but I think it’s absolutely imperative (esp. with large dogs!) that they will listen to voice commands from you so that you never have to break them up actually using your body when you’re pregnant or holding a baby, etc.
Post # 11
I saw a tv show about this on Animal Planet a while back. The family had large dogs and the husband let the dogs play in the house – similar to your situation. The wife was terrified of the dogs knocking the baby down and trampeling the baby. And… people stopped coming to visit them because of the dogs. The husband didn’t get it.
I don’t remember the solution in it’s entirety but the dogs were restless and the husband had to agree to give them daily formal walks to expend some of their energy. They had to agree on boundaries and training for the dogs and stick to it.
If your Darling Husband won’t agree to working with you, I don’t know if this is the best solution, but I’d let the dogs tear up the room with the carpet and leave it for him to see and clean afterwards. Sometimes you talk to these guys and they minimize your concerns or tune you out. But when they see it for themselves, somehow then lightbulb comes on. I think it will be better if they damage the room as opposed to hurting the baby and/or you.
Post # 11
maybe go with your Fiance to your doctor and talk to him/her about the possible effects of that kind of stress would have on you and your baby, so your Fiance should be more understanding and make sure the rough housing is kept outside! you shouldn’t be expected to handle those two large dogs on your own while you’re pregnant!
Post # 12
Have you thought about getting a dog walker? I don’t know how do able that is in your area but you could find some one to walk them for you or even run them, they would probably be a bit more chill. I found with my boxer and husky they need to run or else they become annoying pains in the butt! They start to rough house and wrestle in the house, even tho they know they are not alowed to. Since becoming pregnant i havn’t had the energy to walk them. We live in a really small town and recently bought a quad. So I am able to run them with the quad now. But I was looking into finding a dog walker before we got the quad.
Post # 13
I LOVE big dogs, and I am super lenient with obedience, but I am so on your side with this one. It’s not like you are saying they can’t play, just that they have to play outside (which wouldn’t it be more fun for them to NOT hit stuff when they are being silly?!). Especially with you being pregnant and when the baby gets here it is just not acceptable to have those HUGE dogs rough housing inside. period. End of story. I have one 60lb dog and he isn’t allowed to get too crazy in the house because he will knock stuff over, I can’t even imagine if he were bigger!
I don’t have advice for getting your husband on the same page, maybe explain that when there is a baby around playing like that is really dangerous so it’s best that they get used to playing outside now?
Post # 14
I also have two danes, and a very bossy fuzzy mutt and they do their fair share of rough play. I have found that the only thing I need to do to get them to calm down is to give them a spray with a water bottle. I got a few plain little spray bottles from the dollar store and I keep them around the house. It’s pretty handy to keep them from checking out what we have for dinner too… it’s gotten to the point that I don’t even have to actually spray them, I just point it at them threateningly. Give it a try- it might work for you 🙂
Oh, ps- congrats on the behbeh!!
Post # 15
Wow! I wasn’t expecting so many great suggestions! I especially like the one about consulting my Dr. about it at my next visit with him there and assessing the level of real danger to the baby. The dog walker is a good idea too – I only wish we could afford it – especially with all the expenses related to a baby on the way I highly doubt my husband would agree to it. I might even show him this thread so he can see some completely objective opinions on the matter. I know if Darling Husband and I were united on this front the dogs would obey the new rules so something like doggie daycare wouldn’t even be necessary. Thanks so much ladies!