June 2013 Moms

Puppy Problems (Dog Lover's only please)

I have two dogs. My 8 yr boxer Torre(ok not really a puppy, but he acts like one) is completely untrustworthy.  He has bit a vet in the past (5 years ago?), which I forgive him for because he had a terrible ear infection and must have been terrified, but he has also bit my hubby back when we first started dating (2 years ago?).  Torre was sitting on a lounge chair in the backyard and when hubbs tried to move him, he went after him.  Caught him right on the wrist pretty good.  He has since been neutered because I thought he was having dominance/territorial issues.  Now that I am married and living with my wonderful husband, Torre knows who is boss.  He listens, and respects him and knows who the true "alpha-male" of the house is. Well next to me, because that dog has always respected me.  We are still wary of him and don't trust him completely.  He is also terrible with other dogs.  Besides his brother of course, my fox terrier.  The scariest part about him, is before both of his people bites, and run-ins with other dogs... he DOES NOT growl, show teeth, or any signs.  So there is NO way to predict what he is going to do!  I know he sounds like a demon dog... but he is really a sensitive mush who loves giving hugs and kisses.  He is very loyal to me, and I always feel safe with him because I know he would eat someone haha (ok, not funny).  I wish I could post a picture of him, because he has such a cute mushy boxer face. I don't really have it in my budget for dog training... he certainly needs more than obedience class.  More like a complete physiological overhaul (like Cesar Milan)... and every penny needs to go towards the BABY... yes there is a BABY coming into the mix, and the more pregnant I get, the more nervous I get.  No way in heck I would drop him off at a shelter, NO WAY!  But honestly, what would you do?  I'm sure my parents could keep him for a few months, but thats asking alot because they aren't really dog people.  The safety and well being of this new baby is priority, but Torre was one of my first babies, so this is really hard.  Only a true dog lover would understand :(

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Re: Puppy Problems (Dog Lover's only please)

  • I wouldn't decide anything until after the baby comes and you can see how he reacts.  I would carefully introduce him to the baby and try to notice any warning signs that he might be agressive.  Make a decision based on that.
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  • While I may not be the best for advice, my dog is currently running the neighborhood with DH trying to find her. She is a pit mix and is very sweet but plays rough. She has only nipped people while playing, nothing I'd call a real bite but she does jump and get wild. I'm not a tiny person and she had knocked me on my a$$ playing in the yard. I read some articles online about bringing home a baby. Your dog needs to know that baby ranks higher in the pack. When you first introduce them have the baby in the house and then bring the dog in so it's the baby's home turf. Have the dog on a leash for all the initial meetings and if he acts at all strange walk him away from the baby. There's all kinds of other tips- check with Dr. Google. We will never give back our rescue so it will have to work, even if the dog gets more crate and yard time while LO is a baby. Good luck and I'm interested if you find out any good tips!

     

    Edited to fix iphone mistakes

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  • Exercise, Vet evaluation, training. I get that 2 of those 3 things cost money but you need to get your dog under control, and in the long run the payoff will be invaluable.

    And after that, we have the 2 most well behaved dogs on earth. I still don't trust them with my kid because they are dogs and the kid is a baby. Only one of us is capable of rational thought and that's me so, we exercise the sh!t out of them, have them on a very structured routine so they know exactly what to expect, put them in another room when the baby is eating, keep the baby away when they are eating (don't want to create an environment where they feel competitive for food), and we don't trust them to make the right decisions with the baby so we don't leave them decisions.

    We've had agression issues with the dogs in the past, the old one doesn't like other dogs and sometimes gets aggressive, the younger one had a heck of a life when he was racing and had to learn how to adjust to a completely different life. It was hard work, but it was worth every second.

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  • Look for a training school near you that has a "Bringing home Baby" or a "Dog to Human Aggression" - either or both of these could help.

    I have 2 border collies (one who is a certified therapy dog) and they both have been misbehaving as they can sense the pregnancy. We are taking both of them to the "bringing home hte baby" class this Spring.

     I also am a dog rescuer, so I understand where you're coming from, but we have a no bite policy. It's too much of a liability. Some dogs just aren't right in the head so there's no rhyme or reason to what sets them off or when.

     Good luck!

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  • I think you need to train your dog somehow. If you can't afford an obedience class, I'd say you and your hubs need to really take some time every day to train your dog until he is more trustworthy. My dog is still a puppy (just a year old) and while he is never aggressive, he is very hyper. It took a LONG time to train him. After a year of really concentrating on training him, he can sit, stay, come, and "wait." Not a ton but it's progress. I would Google how to train him at home. Make sure you AND your husband are involved so he doesn't think he only has to listen when one of you gives a command. 



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  • Has he been around children/babies before? Even trying dolls might help figure out if he will have issues.  Some dogs are aggressive towards babies/children others are super protective.  Ive even seen a dog who had no aggression issues be very jealous therefore aggressive to a new baby.

     I also have a semi aggressive dog (much like the way you describe yours) Im not worried because when he is around babies/children he's very calm/cuddly/gentle and is very much protective of them.  Even in his aggressive state he will still listen to stern commands.

     Now my fathers rescue dog is very calm and will suddenly go into a red zone like state, will not listen to commands and has bitten many people and lunged at my nephews.  I will not be bringing my child around this dog in anyway, and if he was mine I would be forced to get rid of him.  

    If you can't get him trained, even yourself (I would try anything) and he cannot be snapped out of his aggressive state by commands.  I would consider getting rid  of him as hard as it sounds ( I can't imagine the pain of having to get rid of a beloved fur baby) but if anything ever happened to your LO or anyone else's child I doubt you would be able to forgive yourself.   But I would try everything I could find first.  there is many free online resources that I would research.

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  • I just wanted to reply because I have a boxer as well. She was 4 years old when we had my son, who is now almost 3. We did have issues with her being aggressive toward my son... both when he started to crawl and as a toddler. We could never get rid of her, but we are VERY cautious. The most important thing for us was teaching our son not to bother the dog now that he can understand that. We also NEVER leave the dog alone with him. She understands that being aggressive is bad behavior that she will be punished for, and she has improved greatly over time, but she still doesn't want to be played with or bothered by our son. I have a second child on the way, and part of me worries about how that will affect her. I truly understand where you are coming from, as we love our son more than life, but our dog is also an important part of the family. As I said before, it is important that the dog understands that the baby is a part of the family, but as the child grows, it is also important to teach the child not to bother or taunt the dog. I hope this was helpful :)
  • I would never leave baby and dog unsupervised, and I agree that it is very important to teach the child how to be respectful of the animal also.  I tend to think that if the dog knows baby is above him in the food chain it will be alright.  Give the dog the basic training stuff and read all the articles about bringing home baby.  My parents had a very fickle dog who could get very cranky and my girls were taught what the dog liked and didn't.  They had to be slow and pet him nicely.  It is very important to teach the dog and the child.  I think you can make it work just fine so long as you are diligent.
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  • Wow, thanks for all of the encouragement and tips.  I know he needs some sort of training.  I'm going to send the Dog Whisperer a sob story LOL.  He has met babies in the past (with an adult holding the baby), but if that baby went for one of his ears, forget it. Oh, the most important thing that I forgot to mention is that I am in this ALONE.  My husband who is 100% supportive of me in every other aspect, wants Torre gone.  I mean he was bit and all, so I don't blame him.  And I love him for even letting the dog move in with us into our new place after all of that.  So I have to do the research myself, and come up with a solution.  In hubbs mind, the dog is leaving.  Whether it's my parent's or somewhere else.  He definitely needs more exercise, but imagine me doing that while 7-9 months preggers?  Or after the baby comes?  I can't do it alone! UGHH... I could cry just thinking about it. Before I was married and living at my parents it was great because they had a backyard that Torre could play in all day.  We are city people now... not that easy.  I may just have to put a few $$ aside and have him evaluated by a trainer. 
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  • If your dog doesn't give any warning before becoming aggressive which is what you said, then he needs to go.

    I'm a huge dog lover but my baby comes first.
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  • image misspriss726:
    Wow, thanks for all of the encouragement and tips.  I know he needs some sort of training.  I'm going to send the Dog Whisperer a sob story LOL.  He has met babies in the past (with an adult holding the baby), but if that baby went for one of his ears, forget it. Oh, the most important thing that I forgot to mention is that I am in this ALONE.  My husband who is 100% supportive of me in every other aspect, wants Torre gone.  I mean he was bit and all, so I don't blame him.  And I love him for even letting the dog move in with us into our new place after all of that.  So I have to do the research myself, and come up with a solution.  In hubbs mind, the dog is leaving.  Whether it's my parent's or somewhere else.  He definitely needs more exercise, but imagine me doing that while 7-9 months preggers?  Or after the baby comes?  I can't do it alone! UGHH... I could cry just thinking about it. Before I was married and living at my parents it was great because they had a backyard that Torre could play in all day.  We are city people now... not that easy.  I may just have to put a few $$ aside and have him evaluated by a trainer. 

    Your first problem is that you and your husband need to get on the same page with how you plan to address this.

    You're not going to accomplish anything productive as long as he has mentally checked out of dealing with any of the training or excercise or safety precaustions you will be taking with your pet.  Just like in parenting, you both need to present a united front.

    So I think you need to start there.

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  • I agree with pp don't do anything drastic until baby comes. Never leave the baby and dog unsupervised, i trust my dogs 100% but will never leave them alone in a room together. But you also need to get on the same page with your hubby and work together. You need to exercise the dog LOTS and make sure the introduction in gradual and safe. There are different methods available for training like e collars which are very effective and when used properly do not harm the dog, and it's a much more effective way when you are not within arms reach of the dog. You will also need to get to know you dog and put him in situations that make him uncomfortable and watch for warning signs, and correct them when they happen. Ignoring the problem or getting rid of him is not going to help any one. I believe you can train him. Good luck.
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  • Well I would call a few private shelters in your area, many of them have specific trainers that they work with. They may be able to give you the number and you can talk to the trainer, sometimes they may even come out to you free of charge. (Generally if you have a good private shelter or rescue, they're going to help you the best they can so you do keep your dog, and they'll most likely be working with a trainer who feels the same)

    They may suggest introducing him to other small children, in a controlled environment, to better gauge how he will react. Unfortunately all you can probably do is wait and see, I've seen dogs that are like this and sadly get worse and need to be re-homed but then again I've seen dogs who do a complete 180 when baby arrives.

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  • DH and I don't have a dog, but my MIL and FIL have two.  One is a three-legged Doberman and he has bitten three people (including MIL when she had a towel on her head) this year.  He's very sweet and lovey to the family, but when he gets scared he kind of goes berserk and barks very savagely.  

    Check with your vet.  It could be your dog needs some kind of medication to help with his/her behavior.  You definitely need to get your dogs into training right away, but above all, FOLLOW THE TRAINER'S INSTRUCTIONS!!!!  

    MIL got the Doby into training and hopes that they won't have to put him down, but FIL is in total denial about the situation and insists the dog is fine and the problem lies with the people he's bitten.  This has caused a lot of concern for myself and DH since we don't want our child to be in danger, but MIL and FIL will want to babysit, have family gatherings, etc.  

    You need to do every. single. thing. in your power to keep that dog since you made a serious commitment when taking him into your home.  You do not want to let this situation get to the point where there is no time to try multiple solutions before baby comes.





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  • I am also a dog lover (see siggy pic) and have 2 rescues along with my original Boston Terrier.  My big dog is a great dane/boxer mix and he is the sweetest dog ever, however, he does have boxer tendencies.  He "boxes" with his paws and has been known to knock people down when super excited and playing.

    That said, as we get closer to delivery, I will be reading every resource I can find about introducing dogs to babies and suggest you do the same.  We have a back-up plan if things do not work.  My FIL has an 80 acre farm and would be fine taking on the big dog.  So that is my suggestion, read and implement everything you can, have a back up plan, and never EVER leave the baby and boxer unsupervised.

    Good luck!

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  • image jenna13185:
    I just wanted to reply because I have a boxer as well. She was 4 years old when we had my son, who is now almost 3. We did have issues with her being aggressive toward my son... both when he started to crawl and as a toddler. We could never get rid of her, but we are VERY cautious. The most important thing for us was teaching our son not to bother the dog now that he can understand that. We also NEVER leave the dog alone with him. She understands that being aggressive is bad behavior that she will be punished for, and she has improved greatly over time, but she still doesn't want to be played with or bothered by our son. I have a second child on the way, and part of me worries about how that will affect her. I truly understand where you are coming from, as we love our son more than life, but our dog is also an important part of the family. As I said before, it is important that the dog understands that the baby is a part of the family, but as the child grows, it is also important to teach the child not to bother or taunt the dog. I hope this was helpful :)


    This is our situation. Our dog is a little younger. He was 2 when DS was born and he will be almost 4 when LO 2 is here. It's gotten more challenging as DS is moving around/running and all of that. I just don't leave them unsupervised together and try to get my dog out everyday which is getting difficult when it's dark by time I get home but we are doing our best. I would say work on training now but you may not be able to really ever "trust" your dog around your kids. And that's fine. It's just a fact of life.  When you looking into baby proofing your house focus on maybe dividing the house between baby friendly portions and then pet friendly portions.

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  • Sadly it takes money but dog training is really the answer you are looking for. It sounds like he has fear aggression.

    You say your dog doesn't give warnings but there's a chance you aren't looking for the right things. Fear agression rarely starts off with growling and teeth baring. Instead look for nervous licking and yawning, freezing or moving very slowly, turning away and avoiding eye contact, and acting vulnerably such as getting very low to the ground or lifting a paw in submission. 

    Pawning him off on your parents will only delay the problem if not make it worse because a dog is a lot more likely to go off on a child that is already trying to grab things than one who is very immobile and just cries.

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  • image ChristyD6:

    While I may not be the best for advice, my dog is currently running the neighborhood with DH trying to find her. She is a pit mix and is very sweet but plays rough. She has only nipped people while playing, nothing I'd call a real bite but she does jump and get wild. I'm not a tiny person and she had knocked me on my a$$ playing in the yard. I read some articles online about bringing home a baby. Your dog needs to know that baby ranks higher in the pack. When you first introduce them have the baby in the house and then bring the dog in so it's the baby's home turf. Have the dog on a leash for all the initial meetings and if he acts at all strange walk him away from the baby. There's all kinds of other tips- check with Dr. Google. We will never give back our rescue so it will have to work, even if the dog gets more crate and yard time while LO is a baby. Good luck and I'm interested if you find out any good tips!

     

    Edited to fix iphone mistakes

     

    this, and you may want to invest in a crate ... It is a great training tool. My dog loves her crate.

     

    Plus, never leave kids and animals unsupervised ... Even if they are generally good with kids.  My baby niece bit my dog and the dog went nuts. Wile the dog was justified in her barking and nipping, it is still a dangous situation for everyone and one that can be easily avoided.

    also,when they are older, never encourage rough play ... Even the best dogs accidentally hurt when playing rough. 

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  • I wouldn't worry too much over Torre, I have two boxers myself and completely understand your situation! Sounds like Torre just gets a bit skiddish when he's being moved or touched in a surprised state.  My boxer Luke is the same way it happens on very rare occasions but it is never so bad to the point I would worry how they behave around children, especially boxers they're known for being so great with kids.  Has Torre been around children at all? Does he have problems with other dogs of all sizes or just the larger dominant ones? My other boxer Kaia has this issue she has quite the attitude! But both are great with kids the most they do is want to give kisses which we simply just teach them their distance and after some tries they know the baby is alpha to them too so they dont look at kids as toys! Good luck :)
  • Your furbaby sounds just like mine. I've been thinking a lot about how to make the transition from furbaby being the center of attention to bringing home a new baby.

    I've been doing a lot of reading on what we can do to prepare our doggie for baby's arrival. If things don't go well with our own training, then we'll get a trainer to help us. 

     Good luck, I know exactly how you're feeling! Hopefully since we love our babies (fur and not) so much, it'll all work out.

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  • Read as much as possible on baby dog introductions and always remember A TIRED DOG IS A GOOD DOG.  I have found with our furry kids that a good structured walk can be more tiring for them than an unstructured one.  I have two huskies who have guarding issues, so I'm getting baby toys and putting them around the house and watching for guarding behavior.  The trick is snapping them out of it before a fight happens. Huskies have been known to guard babies from the parents, so it's something I want to avoid. 

    They will NEVER be left alone with a child because it doesn't take much for them to start play and they can easily bruise me. 

    Good luck.  Hope everything works out you still have 5/6 months till baby comes and that is a lot of time to train.

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  • I would start a routine with him that you can keep even when the baby comes home.  Rawhide at x time, Meal at x time, Walk or dog park at x time.  This way he gets used to having attention at certain times. 

    I'd also start gently tugging on his ears and tail.  Each time you tug, give him a little treat. This way he gets used to the idea of being pulled on.  And believe me, my 17mo loves to poke and tug on our 2 Catahoulas.  They just take it with a grain of salt and either roll over or move.

    Also, when the baby is born, have your husband take home blankets and clothing that have touched the baby.  Do this before the baby comes home.  This way he is used to the smell. 

    And lastly, I'd get some gates or a crate. If any aggression is shown towards the baby, he needs to be crated or gated and know that it is unacceptable behavior.  I know you mention you can't afford training, but perhaps you could talk to your local PetSmart or Animal Shelter.  They may know of a place that offers discounted obedience training.  I think it's really important in this situation.  My best friend was nipped at as an infant and has a scar on his face from it. It can happen in an instant and be forever regretted.

  • image CTGirl30:

    image misspriss726:
    Wow, thanks for all of the encouragement and tips.  I know he needs some sort of training.  I'm going to send the Dog Whisperer a sob story LOL.  He has met babies in the past (with an adult holding the baby), but if that baby went for one of his ears, forget it. Oh, the most important thing that I forgot to mention is that I am in this ALONE.  My husband who is 100% supportive of me in every other aspect, wants Torre gone.  I mean he was bit and all, so I don't blame him.  And I love him for even letting the dog move in with us into our new place after all of that.  So I have to do the research myself, and come up with a solution.  In hubbs mind, the dog is leaving.  Whether it's my parent's or somewhere else.  He definitely needs more exercise, but imagine me doing that while 7-9 months preggers?  Or after the baby comes?  I can't do it alone! UGHH... I could cry just thinking about it. Before I was married and living at my parents it was great because they had a backyard that Torre could play in all day.  We are city people now... not that easy.  I may just have to put a few $$ aside and have him evaluated by a trainer. 

    Your first problem is that you and your husband need to get on the same page with how you plan to address this.

    You're not going to accomplish anything productive as long as he has mentally checked out of dealing with any of the training or excercise or safety precaustions you will be taking with your pet.  Just like in parenting, you both need to present a united front.

    So I think you need to start there.

    I agree.  This is definitely the first problem.  Its a tough topic since it almost always ends up in a fight/argument.  We both stand our ground firmly on whether he stays or goes.  I was hoping if I make some headway with Torre's progress on my own, that hubby will be more on board. 

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  • image jlmadeiros:
    I wouldn't worry too much over Torre, I have two boxers myself and completely understand your situation! Sounds like Torre just gets a bit skiddish when he's being moved or touched in a surprised state.  My boxer Luke is the same way it happens on very rare occasions but it is never so bad to the point I would worry how they behave around children, especially boxers they're known for being so great with kids.  Has Torre been around children at all? Does he have problems with other dogs of all sizes or just the larger dominant ones? My other boxer Kaia has this issue she has quite the attitude! But both are great with kids the most they do is want to give kisses which we simply just teach them their distance and after some tries they know the baby is alpha to them too so they dont look at kids as toys! Good luck :)

    Yes, he definitely doesn't like being moved or touched on certain parts of his body.  When you start petting his hind quarters, his tail stops wagging and he becomes rigid.  Not like he's going to attack, but he just doesn't like it.  Belly rubs... now thats his favorite!  Or when you pet that sweet spot and his leg thumps around like crazy!  I am very worried about him though. He has dominace issues with other dogs of all shapes and sizes.  Right now we are working on making him wait before walking through doors, making him sit before a treat, etc.  As for being around kids... yes he has been around 7 year olds. He doesn't show much interest in them... just kind of sniffs them and goes on his merry way.  He is a true boxer in the fact that he "boxes" with his paws when he plays with us sometimes so I don't know how to untrain that behavior.  I know to never let a dog be unsupervised with a child.  Even a trusted dog.  I have to get him on a strict excersize regime, and possbily evaluated/trained by a trainer.  I didn't want to put a lot of money into this, but it seems like the only option at this point.  I also want to get a jump start on his progress without hubby (since he is set on him leaving anyway), so hopefully he will have more faith in the dog and be on board.  We have a LONG journey ahead!  Thanks for your response!

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  • image pinktrojanbride120107:

    Your furbaby sounds just like mine. I've been thinking a lot about how to make the transition from furbaby being the center of attention to bringing home a new baby.

    I've been doing a lot of reading on what we can do to prepare our doggie for baby's arrival. If things don't go well with our own training, then we'll get a trainer to help us. 

     Good luck, I know exactly how you're feeling! Hopefully since we love our babies (fur and not) so much, it'll all work out.

    Good luck to you too!

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  • This is a blog by a former Nestie.She has a lot of great information in here for getting the dogs ready for baby. It's definitely a process. Good luck!

    http://www.babiesandbeasts.blogspot.com/
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