So worried about dog and baby

posted 1 year ago in Pets
Post # 2
Member
2042 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

I understand you needing to put your child’s welfare first but the dog deserves a home where he is well cared for and he isn’t at the moment. Can you not afford a dog walker until your partner can walk the dog again? Part of being a responsible dog owner (and I understand that you didn’t choose to get him together) is having the money to look after it and he should be able to afford someone to walk it when he can’t. Who know whether the dog would ever harm your baby but letting him get bored could increase the chance that might. 

It sounds like the dog could benefit from some training classes too. Do you have any family or friends who would be willing to take him? I understand that would be hard for your partner but at this point he isn;’t caring for the dog properly anyway.

Post # 3
Hostess
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

My SIL has a dog that is rarely walked/ super hyper and rough with other dogs and I would never allow the dog around our baby once it comes (currently 17 weeks 4 days pregnant), so I see where your concern comes from.

Personally I believe you and DH need to have a serious sit down about the dog because this dog isn’t getting the care it needs and the behaviour you’re seeing is only going to get worse over time. I personally am not a fan of rehoming pets but in cases where the dog isn’t getting walked like it needs to be/ is spending a lot of time outside and at least one person fears the dog’s behaviour i think it’s completely necessary.

Your son should be more important than the dog IMO, your husband needs to see that your fear is legitimate and your son is more important than keeping a dog around that may potentially attack him one day. 

Is there maybe a family member than can take the dog, that way hubby still gets to see the dog?

 

Post # 4
Member
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Getting a trainer to help you become more confident in handling and managing the dog and to help your husband realize that he needs to provide adequate stimulation for the dog even if he isn’t able to walk him much.

 

There are other ways to “exercise” your dog – trick training, puzzle games, nose work, “working” meals. In fact your dog sounds like a terrible candidate for dog parks! And it sounds like they way over stimulate him and push him over the edge.

You need a dog behavioralust, not an obedience trainer, to teach you how to best help your dog build confidence and overcome anxieties – both directly related to the baby and in life generally.

Be prepared – these trainers will make dog walkers look incredible cheap but you need to invest to solve this now rather than working for the next 7 years. There won’t be an overnight fix, be prepared to work on this with the dog slowly and over a longer time horizon!

Post # 5
Member
1468 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

Your dog needs a trainer stat, and I would recommend a crate as well if you’re not already doing that.  Look into getting something called a “Gentle Leader” for walks (he won’t like it at first but they are MAGICAL) and also a ThunderCap (it’s like a mesh that goes over his eyes, sort of like a fly mask for horses.  It prevents him from being able to lock eye contact with other dogs which is likely the start of his aggression).

Post # 6
Member
6887 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
ne11y23 :  My dog is also the sweetest dog in the world, but he used to ‘go for’ joggers if they were running toward me and he was leashed (but of course he was leashed, I wouldn’t have dared let him go in that circumstance!).  They weren’t something he was used to, where we lived was fairly rural and most people weren’t outdoorsy unless they were ranching, so we didn’t bump into other people frequently.  He has never done a thing to my baby except tolerate him.  The other day my kid decided to lie down on him – he got up and walked away rather than growling a warning as he would to another dog that got on his nerves.  Of course my dog isn’t yours and mine could always snap sometime as well, just hasn’t yet, so it’s not entirely helpful but…

you do need to be sure that dog and baby are exposed to each other.  Right now it sounds like he’s jealous, but it’s this thing he’s allowed nowhere near (at least by my reading) that consumes his top dog’s time.  He’s going to try to maintain his rank in the pack (read: be jealous).  After exercise, give the dog time to know the baby by doing tummy time or sitting on the floor with baby.  Let the dog sniff, let him lie nearby, etc.  Maybe you already are, but with the fear you are describing, I kind of feel like the two are kept apart.

Training, etc. as mentioned above.  Put your foot down. It doesn’t matter how sweet his dog is, it’s not an insult to him, it’s just a fact about dogs that they are still a bit wild and unpredictable at heart.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with getting some training and professional advice!  Besides, you should be able to walk that dog, no matter his size.  If you can’t, that’s a lack of training.  Tell him it’s for yourself and for your peace of mind – if he won’t allow it even then, he’s being a defensive ass.

See if you can buy a used treadmill. See if your dog likes being put on it.  Some dogs think it’s great and it’ll let him run, which is still exercise even if it’s not as stimulating as a walk.

Post # 7
Member
9430 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

my dog has leash aggression too.  he’s old and smaller but goes crazy on the leash when he sees other dogs.  off leash or in a dog park, he could care less.  i stopped walking him when i was in the final months of my 1st pregnancy bc it was too much for me to handle. 

instead of an expensive dog walker, what about a neighborhood high school kid? 

 

i have 2 kids, now 2.5yo and 11m.  there were times when the older one was a baby that he would pull on the dogs fur and the dog would turn around and snap, realize it was the baby and stop.  then my younger was born.  she’s nuts with the dog.  but he’s used to kids now and has never snapped after one or 2 incidents when my son was a baby.

but i would keep talking to your husband and let him know your fears.  maybe if he sees in action.

also, do you have any open space in your house?  a basement? my basement is filled with toys and my office, but i throw the ball for the dog and let him get energy out in the space we do have.

 

Post # 10
Member
73 posts
Worker bee

Everyone had already said this, but your DH is not treating this dog well. There is an old adage, “A tired dog is a good dog.” Being a good pet owner means getting your pet what it needs even when you are unable to give it yourself. You NEED someone to walk this dog daily, it’s not fair to him to keep him cooped up in the back yard.

That being said, I do believe you are being overprotective. If the dog comes to see your baby as pack, or family, rather than a blob of extra unknown, he will be just as protective and loyal to your son as you are. That is the nature of dogs. But you have to give him the chance. Keeping him away from the baby will only vastly increase the chances of something bad happening when they do inevitably meet. I know it may be hard because of your own fear around dogs  but you have to let the dog get to know your son. It is the only way this will work.

Post # 11
Member
8980 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
ne11y23 :  The dog needs to be taken care of properly – that includes an appropriate amount of exercise for his size and energy level. Some big dogs are happy to lounge around all day, but others need to move. Training would help, but a tired dog is a good dog. 

Even the best dog in the world needs to be watched around small children so that’s not unique to your pup. A pediatrician once told me “toddlers are assholes and even adults get the urge to swat them away sometimes – the difference is we know better, but the dog doesn’t”. My dog is a freaking saint when it comes to my daughter, but even he’s gotten annoyed with her a couple times and pushed her onto her butt (he never growls or snaps at her). My husband and I jump in and remind BOTH of them how to play nicely with each other and she goes to timeout and he gets sent to his bed. 

Post # 12
Member
73 posts
Worker bee

View original reply
ne11y23 :  Also, it sounds like you suffer from major anxiety. With a new child, please know that these concerns will never stop. You will always be worried about something happening to your child, and I would highly recommend some counseling to gain coping mechanisms for this. You say you don’t want to be a ball of anxiety for the next 10 years, but that isn’t about the dog it’s about you and your cycle of thoughts (staying up at night having stress fantasies, ect.). You have to get that under control for your sake, your husband’s sake, and your child’s sake.

Post # 15
Member
8980 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
ne11y23 :  For what it’s worth chihuahuas bite more than any other breed and they’re tiny – size isn’t a big indicator of the likelihood of a dog bite. And despite people that say “it bit me without warning!” that’s total bullshit. Dogs give some type of warning that they want to be left alone but most people don’t pick up on it unless it’s a growl or a bark. 

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