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Thread: Need help, my dog is irritated by my toddler

  1. #16
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Grimms' right. All dog psychology is about understanding the pack mentality and asserting yourself as Top Bitch! LOL This might need some tough love DD but you have to take some positive steps to make the dog understand that YOU are in charge and if he steps out of line you have to be prepared to punish him and mean it. Has he been desexed? If not, you can reduce a lot of this Alpha Dog aggressive behavior by removing his gonads. Seriously. He feels threatened by the baby and you just cannot afford to risk it. Even a little hairball dog can cause a lot of damage to a small child and if he does attack her she will probably become totally dog phobic (understandable) which is unfair on her.
    I do think he is trying to be top dog. He knows my husband and I are boss, there has never been a struggle with that, but he is trying to boss the toddler around. And she is trying to boss HIM around!

    She tells him no all of the time (when he is breaking the house rules), she use to feed him when she ate, but now she tells him to go away and never shares her food, she won't let him do anything bad. She even tells on him.....

    Oh and we had him neutered when he was a little puppy, that was a must.

  2. #17
    Silver Member Hummus's Avatar
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    Let me start off staying that it is nice that you are taking your dog's feelings into consideration.

    But stop it, right now!

    Don't put your human reasoning and human emotions onto this dog. Put him back in his place.

    Your dog is an animal! Baring teeth, growling or ANY type of aggression towards ANY human should NEVER, EVER be tolerated. Do not make excuses for an animal that behaves this way.

    You chose to bring an animal into your life. Now you need to control it.

    There is no reason a dog should feel it has any right to ever show aggression to any of it's masters. And your child is definately one of the masters.

    You need to let your dog know that in your house it is at the very bottom of the pecking order.

    You know how we get those stories on here with the puppy mauling the baby and we all say "wtf was wrong with that mom?" Well that will be you if you don't fix this.

    You don't make excuses and say "well, my doggie was really stressed!" Hell no!

    Dogs are not allowed to bite humans!

    *Sorry, total pet peeve of mine is people not controlling their creatures. It's completely up to you what you do, so don't take offense.*

  3. #18
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I'm not excusing what he did, I'm just saying why I believe his behavior has changed this month.

    It's not okay for him to act this way and he is being punished for it. I just asked for more advice on how to make sure it stops, and I wanted to see if others have dealt with this behavior when they had toddlers.

    Let me be clear, our dog has never run this house, we have always been the boss and he knows that. We have always had control of our dog, he doesn't get away with shit, he's been a good dog and very obedient. I can look at him with "the look" and he immediately goes to the door to go to his timeout area.

    I don't beat my dog or scream at him. I raise my voice, tell him no sternly and send him outside to his time out area EVERY single time he breaks the rules. That's how I am dealing with his behavior towards my daughter. In my mind that's how I can restore order and show him that I will not tolerate his behavior. I want to know how others would deal with my situation.

    Thanks.

  4. #19
    A*O
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    I guess it boils down to the old trick of punishing bad behaviour immediately, and rewarding good behaviour likewise. Dogs are smart and quickly learn. But while he's this unpredictable you are going to have to watch him like a hawk and if he shows the slightest sign of aggression you have to come down on him like a ton of bricks and be consistant about it. It's a pain but there's too much at stake otherwise.
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  5. #20
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I'm still waiting for my cousin to get back to me, but I have been reading articles on growling/children/snapping.

    It looks like many dog trainers say NOT to punish a dog when he growls because it's his way of communicating to people. They say the dog is saying, "I'm not happy, stop doing this, etc." and you should address what is causing your dog to show this anxiety/aggression. Which, in my case would be to continue teaching my daughter that it's not okay to take her dog's toys and to never leave them alone until she is old enough to understand how to treat him (which like I said, they are never allowed alone because she is too young).

    These articles are saying when you punish a dog for growling (which we see as aggression, but a dog sees as communication), a dog will supress his growl and bite first. A growl is a warning that the dog is anxious/uncomfortable/afraid and should be allowed.

    So it looks like I am going about this the wrong way. I tell him no when he growls and put him in time out. I should just go up and grab my daughter and explain to her why her behavior is upsetting our dog, then separate them for a while by telling him to go to his blanket (not in a punishment tone of voice though).

    He has only growled at her maybe 5 times total (all in the past 2 weeks). And leading up to the growls, she was grabbing his toys, trying to maul him and chasing him around the room. He finally growled when she went to grab his toy away from him after taking the toy many times.

    Look, I don't like the growling, it pisses me off. But I also don't want my dog to worry he will get into trouble for growling and then bite my daughter without a warning (i.e a growl). The few times he growled at her, she immediately backed away and left him alone because she knew he was upset. I see that as a good thing IMO, she understood his signal and left him alone. As long as this behavior doesn't escalate, I am okay with an occassional growl during appropriate times.

    Here are a few articles:

    Animal Friends: Grouchy Canines: Dogs Who Growl or Snap

    Dog Growling-Little Buddy Gifts

    Food Bowl Safety...Making Deposits in Your Dog's Bank Account For Good Behavior! - Canine University

  6. #21
    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Oh, fuck it. My dogs run the house when it's just me there. I know, bad mommy!
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  7. #22
    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Cairn and Yorkie mix? That's your first problem right there. That isn't the type of dog that does well with toddlers. Size-wise or temperament-wise.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

  8. #23
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    I had a dog that I was afraid of, my then husband wouldn't let me get rid of her. She growled at me frequently and was big enough to really hurt me. The dog was truly mental, we had other dogs at the time and none of them ever did this. When she growled at my son (about a year old at the time) I had her put down. My other dogs were ok, we were able to incorporate the baby into the dog pack so to speak. I think some dogs just aren't for kids. (In my case this dog was not for humans, never knew what was wrong with her, very very neurotic).
    Don't worry about what other people think. They don't do it very often.

  9. #24
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet View Post
    Oh, fuck it. My dogs run the house when it's just me there. I know, bad mommy!
    Maybe we should put you down!

    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    Cairn and Yorkie mix? That's your first problem right there. That isn't the type of dog that does well with toddlers. Size-wise or temperament-wise.
    Well, that was helpful.

    I research the breed before getting my dog as I knew I would have children one day. They are not known to be bad with children, it usually depends on the individual dog's personality.

    But thanks for your post, it helped me a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corsair View Post
    I had a dog that I was afraid of, my then husband wouldn't let me get rid of her. She growled at me frequently and was big enough to really hurt me. The dog was truly mental, we had other dogs at the time and none of them ever did this. When she growled at my son (about a year old at the time) I had her put down. My other dogs were ok, we were able to incorporate the baby into the dog pack so to speak. I think some dogs just aren't for kids. (In my case this dog was not for humans, never knew what was wrong with her, very very neurotic).
    You did what you had to do, it sounds like your dog had something really wrong with it, that's sad and it's unfortunate she couldn't be helped.

    My situation is very different though, my dog is a good dog, he likes my daughter and plays with her daily- in small doses though and he doesn't like intense "playing" with her (if she tries to steal his toys 1,000 times or tries to pinch him, chases him too much, etc.). I can't blame him for that, MANY dogs are the same way. That's like saying I should be punished because I don't like rough housing where someone hurts me, I have a right to feel upset in that case. This doesn't make him a bad dog and there's no need to put him down or give him away. I know you aren't saying that, but I want to make my feelings known.

    I don't believe my dog's growling means he is unstable or bad, he's obviously reaching a breaking point with my daughter where he is telling her "Leave me the hell alone!" I get that. An animal (just like a person) can lose their patience after constant irritation. I wish it didn't have to get to that point, but my daughter is going to learn to give the dog his space and he is going to learn that he needs to go lay down in the corner when he needs his space. He's trying it now, but my daughter isn't understanding that his blanket area is his "safe" place. She goes and steals his blanket instead of leaving him alone.

  10. #25
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    DD, please be very careful, not just to be in the same room with the 2 'children'. A friend of mine had a wonderful Huskie for 11 years. But when they had a baby, the dog did not take kindly to having his spot in the pecking order usurped. One day the 11 month old dropped a cheerio off the high chair and leaned over the husky to get it saying uh oh. The dog bit the baby's face and opened it from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. I dont mean to scare you, but DO NOT let your baby on the ground with a dog challenging the baby's order in the 'pack' even if you are in the same room. Look, maybe I'm being paranoid, but better safe than at the reconstructive plastic surgeons office. And there is no explaining iut to the toddler. They dont have impulse control yet. You get to play warden. Sorry, but there it is. I'd rather tell you than have a terrible thing happen.

  11. #26
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    DD, please be very careful, not just to be in the same room with the 2 'children'. A friend of mine had a wonderful Huskie for 11 years. But when they had a baby, the dog did not take kindly to having his spot in the pecking order usurped. One day the 11 month old dropped a cheerio off the high chair and leaned over the husky to get it saying uh oh. The dog bit the baby's face and opened it from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. I dont mean to scare you, but DO NOT let your baby on the ground with a dog challenging the baby's order in the 'pack' even if you are in the same room. Look, maybe I'm being paranoid, but better safe than at the reconstructive plastic surgeons office. And there is no explaining iut to the toddler. They dont have impulse control yet. You get to play warden. Sorry, but there it is. I'd rather tell you than have a terrible thing happen.
    Yep-I told her the same. It happens. Have to stay on guard.
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  12. #27
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    I think invest in a few one-on-one sessions with a good trainer. It will be worth the money and you will have the tools and knowledge to carry on the training after the sessions end. I think dog is feeling pushed out abit perhaps.

    I think some posts have been harsh on DD, you can have a baby and a dog, she is just trying to get help rather than giving up on the dog, good on her

  13. #28
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    DD, I also commend you for not giving up on the animal you adopted once you had children or things got difficult. I find it admirable.

    I would focus more on teaching my child what's not acceptable to do to the dog. I would try and limit their time together as much as reasonable for a while and I would keep a constant and vigilant eye on them when together.
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  14. #29
    SVZ
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    let your daughter feed him

  15. #30
    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    DD, I also commend you for not giving up on the animal you adopted once you had children or things got difficult. I find it admirable.

    I would focus more on teaching my child what's not acceptable to do to the dog. I would try and limit their time together as much as reasonable for a while and I would keep a constant and vigilant eye on them when together.
    I was staying out of this thread, but I have to chime in and second that.

    My late doggie was the most gentle and patient thing you can imagine-he'd never been aggressive to people, kids, other animals (he was even good around my guinea pig or pups and kittens). The one and only time I'd ever seen him snap at someone was at my at the time two-year-old goddaugher, and only because she had tortured him to that point. Her mother and I set her right on the spot, and it never happened again-as a matter of fact, he grew to adore her.
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