Post # 1
My Darling Husband and I each had a dog coming into the relationship. His dog is very well rounded, great with everyone, and an overall sweet dog. My dog is insanely sweet to me, but not always to everyone else. Here’s some back story on him..
He’s a boston terrier I’ve had since he was weeks old, he’s now five. When he was about one I went through a really bad break up and spent tons of time with him and we really bonded. Ever since then he’s overly protective of me and would only listen to me.
Hes been a lot better with other people, usually starts to play with them within the first few minutes of meeting them but still doesn’t get along great with Darling Husband. He’s bit Darling Husband twice, both these times were when we first started dating. He now will sit with him, lick him, play fetch, but he still seems to be afraid of Darling Husband. He hasn’t bitten anyone else.
So, his main problem is children. He sees them and his whole body stiffens. On walks he’ll start barking like a maniac. He’s especially terrified of little girls with high pitched voices. The moment they approach him he just seems completely terrified. Darling Husband has been working on ignoring kids on walks and it’s really been working. He doesn’t really react. We went to the dog park and a girl about 8yo grabbed his ball to throw it and my heart dropped, but he just played with her for the next 15 min! I was thrilled. Also, when my nephew was in town at around 2yo I sat on the floor with them and at first he was frightened but I talked him through it and sure enough he was fine, he even laid down and let my nephew pet him for a long time.
The other day Darling Husband took both the dogs with him across the street to the gas station to drop off the redbox movie. Apparently a woman had left her two small children outside. The little boy approached him and asked if he could pet so Darling Husband told him to pet our other one. Then the little girl ran up and apparently our boston terrier just went nuts.. Barking snarling at her and really scared the little girk. Darling Husband was furious when he got home and expressed to me that he’s really afraid of when our baby comes because he’s afraid our dog will bite.
I love my dog. He’s funny, sweet, smart, and this is his only downfall but it’s a huge one! Any advice is appreciated! Any experience with this? Any comments? Thank you for reading!
Post # 3
He’s a small dog, and you said that he is okay with children as long as you are supervising. From now on, I would tell strange kids not to approach either dog. I think it may be okay. If he had bitten other children in your family, I would tell you to find him another home, but I don’t think this will be a huge issue.
Post # 4
@MsW-to-MrsM: Yes, when I’m there to tell him “good boy” “it’s okay” he calms down and is fine but when I’m not there to do that he freaks out so I think I just need to tell Darling Husband to not let strange kids come up to him.
Post # 5
@MrsRichard: We’ve got / will have a similar situation. He may become protective of the baby as he’ll know the baby would’ve come from you, so then you will need be careful of him around people when they visit the baby. It’ll be OK as you’ll manage the situation, whatever it maybe.
Post # 6
Have you tried hiring a behaviorist? They would be able to help you a lot better than you can do on your own, probably.
But once the baby arrives, I’d keep them seperated. Always keep the baby where the dog cant reach. If the baby is going to be within biting distance, I’d keep the dog in another room. I wouldnt chance it.
I’d especially keep them seperate when the baby starts to crawl/walk. They’d still be too young to realize that they cant go grab the dog, and their sudden movements might make him react out of fear.
Post # 7
I would start working with a trainer now, ASAP so you can get out ahead of this and have a better behaved boy by the time your little one gets here. The trainer who taught my dogs puppy class holds special classes for “Feisty Fidos”. She also does a lot of in home training for dealing with specific issues, like your problem with kids. It probably won’t be inexpensive, but I would bring a professional in to asses his issues and create a good plan to address them. You’ll have to work on children, his posessiveness, managing his reactions etc. It’s doable but you will have to put a lot of work in, and even after training always be vigilant.
Post # 8
@CatyLady: I have heard of this happening too, I can definitely see him becoming overly protective of the baby!
@allyfally: I’m definitely considering finding a trainer. I agree with you, I won’t be letting either dog within reach of the baby unsupervised. Even with our other dog, at the end of the day they’re still animals. I think they’ll only be around the baby when Darling Husband and I can focus our complete attention on them. I hope he just shows no aggression towards the baby.
Post # 9
@MrsRichard: Well most dogs react out of fear, not aggression. Straight up human aggression is rare, its usually fear based. So hopefully your trainer can help him get past his fear and gain some confidence. Good luck!
Post # 10
@saraja87: I think thats a good idea, but we don’t have alotta children near by so im wondering how much training can be done without the child interaction, maybe we can go to a park or something?
Post # 11
@MrsRichard: Please do not take him to a park. He’s already stressed out by kids, and him being around a bunch of them, running around and screaming and playing is just going to make it worse.
Plus a lot of kids do not have manners when it comes to greeting dogs, and you never know when one of them might just run up without asking and try to touch him.
Post # 12
@allyfally: Youre right his aggression is absolutely fear based. His ears go back and he becomes rock solid so thats definitely it. We take him to the park pretty often and he does really well. Even if he sees kids he’s not phased it’s just when they run up to him that he gets spooked, which usually doesn’t happen cause we keep walking when we see kids coming over lol I just don’t know how a trainer would help us without having kids around but I’m sure he/she will have an answer. Thanks for all the advice!
Post # 13
I think a trainer would be very helpful. Even if they can’t provide an actual child to work with, they can help you set things up before the baby gets here. It will be very important for the dogs to see the baby as high on the totem pole.
In the mean time, I would not allow any unfamiliar children to approach or pet him. If you do find a few willing participants, try having them toss him treats from a distance.
Post # 14
There are programs for for this with trainers and stuff, depending on the area you’re in. Check with your vet. Maybe they know of a program?
Post # 15
We didn’t have an issue like this, but when my first niece was born, my mom played YouTube videos that had baby cries and noises to get her dogs used to it. At first, they were really curious but then they got used to it and were indifferent. Good luck, I hope you find a good solution!
Post # 16
@Sawyer13: That’s a really good suggestion.
Op, I think you should try and get him used to all the changes that will happen – smells, sounds, less attention, etc. Then he wont feel so lost when the baby does come. Id also introduce them straight away and let him inow theyre a good member of the pack otherwise he may get jealous and dislike the baby for keeping you away from him.
But the main issue for him may be the specific kids who just don’t know how to treat animals so when you raise your kid(s) to be gentle and not too rough will dogs there may not be any problem. Good luck, and congratulations.