So worried about dog and baby

posted 1 year ago in Pets
Post # 16
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

If you continue to think something is going to happen it will happen.  Your anxiety and stress are causing anxiety and stress in the dog.  A dog does not create their own anxiety and stress, owners do that.  The dog NEEDs exercise and just being left in the backyard is not exercise.  I second the gentle leader or a slip lead, both make a dog not pull while walking. Also, the dog NEEDs to be introduced to the baby or they will never be able to establish where eachother fit in the family aka pack.  Growling when someone comes over does not mean they want to attack that person, that is how a dog communicates.  Are you opening the door and welcoming these people or are they just coming in? My dog growls at people who we do not open the door for and welcome but that is him telling them they aren’t following rules, dogs need consistency.  A territorial dog that doesn’t like other dogs in or near his yard doesn’t mean he will attack a baby.  A baby is not a dog.  However, yes, I believe both your husband and yourself need to sit down and talk about getting a traininer to assist in easing your anxiety with the dog.  A discussion during an argument is not a real discussion and of course your concerns weren’t heard, neither were his. 

Post # 17
Member
73 posts
Worker bee

View original reply
ne11y23 :  I agree, you should definitely always be vigilant when a large dog is around a small child, and you’re right: stuff can happen. I’m not suggesting otherwise. But when you talk about thinking of moving out and staying up at night worrying about one possibility, it does cross into the realm of unhealthy. I think your fears absolutely have merit, but I suspect you are taking them to a toxic place. Now if that’s hormonal or anxiety driven, not for me to say. But I suspect it would help you and your relationships (including with the dog) to follow that rabbit hole and figure it out. That’s my two cents.

Post # 19
Member
9769 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

While I totally understand your concerns, this seems over the top. Have you considered talking to your OB about post partum anxiety? Or just seeing a therapist in general?

This dog NEEDS to be exercised. I would do whatever it took to find that money in the budget for a dog walker or doggy daycare a few days a week.

I do feel bad for the dog too. It sounds like he’s a pretty normal dog, but he’s only getting to come inside a few nights here and there due to your fears? That’s really not fair to the dog. How much interaction could he really be having with a 3 month old? 

Post # 20
Member
11381 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
ne11y23 :  

Aggression toward other dogs does not generalize into aggression toward babies or children. Totally different drives at work.

That said, a baby and a dog should NEVER be left alone together. No matter how gentle and sweet the dog is.  There is a terrible story of a loving collie who wanted to get the baby out of her crib and bring her to mommy. Unfortunately, the collie crushed the child’s skull in the process.

The dog definitely needs training.  All dogs benefit from training.  Ideally, you will be the one to work with him, either in group classes or via a private trainer.

One thing I always had clients teach their dogs was that entering the baby’s room is a privilege that must be earned.  He can learn to “sit” or “down” before you grant entry. Keep him on a leash indoors until he’s properly educated.

Training is the best way to establish your leadership. Your anxiety says “weak leader” to a dog and makes him feel less safe and secure.

 

Post # 22
Member
2042 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

So the other issue is that communication between you and your partner is difficult at the moment?  It’s all well and good him telling you how sweet-natured the dog is and that there isn’t a problem but what does he say when you express your concerns about the dog’s lack of exercise? Does he get offended even about discussing these things?

Post # 25
Member
1468 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

View original reply
ne11y23 :  You’ll want the one that goes on his head (looks like a horse halter).  With collars and harnesses, dogs can just sort of barrel ahead because the muscles in their necks and chests are so strong.  But if you control the dog from his head, then he has no bracing/pulling power.  He will probably pretend like he’s dying the first time you put it on him, but just be super positive and give him lots of snacks and praise for wearing it.

Post # 26
Member
2042 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

View original reply
ne11y23 :  I was just guessing at why you felt you may need relationship counselling too and obviously I was looking at the wrong area.

I hope you find away around this. As much as I don’t think he is caring properly for the dog at the moment I can see his perspective because when I had dogs they were family members. Obviously the baby comes first but to him the dog is a very close second.

Post # 27
Member
805 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

It sounds like there are some issues going on aside from the dog, but the dog is just this big old elephant in the room that’s drawing all the focus. You don’t sound like you particularly like this animal, your partner doesn’t sound able to care for it, and overall rehoming it might be the best bet. If your partner is unwilling to hear your concerns openly at all, no wonder they are getting ratcheted up. Invalidated fears tend to do that. A large, unexercised animal that isn’t inside too much of the time is absolutely a valid worry when paired with a baby. Your partner should listen. If he just shuts down or hears it as a personal attack, I would really recommend some couples therapy. If you do keep the dog, in the future you may want to put some effort into getting more comfortable with dogs (don’t have your baby with you), but, as you noted, dogs pick up on anxiety. 

In terms of short term solutions, other people have suggested various methods of keeping the dog mentally exercised as well as physically exercised and those are definitely worth looking into as it’s just a small one time expenditure and then really no more effort aside from doing something like offering food in the toy. Is it possible for you to throw the ball for the dog outside when the baby naps (take the monitor with you and 15 minutes with the ball several times a day would go pretty far). 

Best of luck. I had a dog with far too many aggression issues and had to rehome it before my son was born. It was really sad, but he started attacking my lap or anything on it. I just couldn’t live with that and the dog behaviorist said that it was pretty deeply rooted. My other dog is just the biggest love and she and my son get along famously. Dogs can be a great value add, but only if you trust them and they don’t make people feel scared or uncomfortable.

Post # 28
Member
1088 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
ne11y23 :  your dog is poorly trained and managed. Send him away to a board and train program that specializes in his behavioral issues. It sounds like money is tight but you owe it to this dog and your child to get this dog trained.

There are many mental exercises that can help tire out your dog without exercise. Try puzzle toys or training exercises. Find a neighbor or post online looking for a doggy play date friend. A lot of shelters use this trick — 5 minutes of dog on dog playtime is equivalent to a 30 minute walk. But to do this, you need to work with a trainer to overcome your dog’s aggressive tendencies. 

Updating to add that I think doggy daycare a few times a week would do this dog wonders. When the dog is exhausted from daycare you will feel very comfortable with the dog as he will be sleeping very soundly while you and your baby play nearby. He will be so calm and relaxed. 

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