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At what point do I admit defeat?(10 Posts)
My DS is now almost 6 months old and my dog still hasn't calmed down around him.
Original thread is [[ http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_doghouse/1528232-My-dog-has-to-go?pg=2&order= here]]
We worked with the behaviourist until just before Christmas and she felt she'd given us all she could and it was now down to us to implement it. The dog is no longer in a state of anxiety at the baby being in the house but he still seems to lunge at the baby (he's muzzled so I don't know if he is trying to bite).
My house is covered in stairgates and all interactions are controlled. I am happy that the current situation is controlled and safe but I'm just wondering when it will all end (if it will).
I don't understand what is going through my dogs head. If I'm holding the baby and go up to the stairgate he wags his tail and will sit on command. I then call him over to the gate and he will lick DS's hand, tail constantly wagging. DS seems interested in the dog and will now giggle when he comes to him. We do this a few times a day now and the dog has never shown aggression at these interactions.
The problem is if they are in the same room. The dog is muzzled and on a lead. If DS is on my lap he tries to get the muzzle off but doesn't show much interest in DS. If I put DS down in his rocker chair the dog is then interested. I tell him leave and gentle, both commands he knows. He just seems interested in DS's head. Because of the muzzle I don't know if he's trying to lick or bite but it doesn't look calm and he sort of lunges, always at the head.
Does anyone have any idea why he does this. Why the head? Why only when DS is not being held?
The youngest child the dog has been with was 9 months old and he never showed any aggression or over the top behaviour. I'm just worried about the future I guess, at what point do I call it a day?
I'm sorry it's so long, just feel a bit teary today that I can't yet have them both together.
What was the advice from the behaviourist ?
This is a serious problem that needs to be assessed by the behaviourist. Have her out again to tell you what she thinks. To be honest the behaviourist sounds a bit unprofessional not to have offered any follow-up. She has to interpret the dog's behaviour and advise you on the risk you are running in keeping him.
Sorry not to be of more help, but this is not an issue the internet can help you with.
The behaviourist said it was anxiety, not aggression that he was displaying. She gave us methods to get them used to each other but said it would take time.
I'm sorry, I know the internet can't solve this for me, I was just feeling down and wanted other people's opinion's on what they would do or at what point they would feel there was no hope.
Have you tried a DAP difuser/collar? I have had great success with it with anxious dogs.
Sorry I can't be of more help, I think you really need the behaviourist to assess the lunging behaviour.
We have a DAP plug in thing in the house, it doesn't seem to do much although I've heard some dogs are better with it than others.
I guess I will have to call the behaviourist again. I wish I knew if he was trying to lick DS's face or rip it off but no safe way of finding that out.
He doesn't growl at him or bark, his tail still wags so maybe it's excitement not aggression?
Thank you for replying to me though, it does help.
sorry i cant help, but good luck. Can feel your turmoil
I am sorry I don't know whether he would lick or bite, but I don't think anyone should take a guess other than the behaviourist. I assume she would be able to read clues from the dog's body language to let you know whether it would be safe to take the muzzle off.
Sorry to hear this OP. All I wanted to add is that you may be being a bit hasty about timescales. If you were working with the behaviourist until December it really isn't long yet, especially when you factor in the disruption of the Christmas break. Training for these sorts of issues takes quite a long time - I realise this may not be what you want to hear, but positive changes have already started from what you've said, and will continue, though very slowly. What might be very helpful is something our trainer recommended (we are using BAT with one of our reactive fosters) - he suggested we keep a little diary/log. Each day just record any training you've done, how your walks went, any incidents, general behaviour etc. It can be really useful as a way of building up a picture and sometimes you can look back at it and see how far you have come.
I'd also suggest asking the behaviourist to come back to give you some clearer pointers on the way ahead or to consider talking to another one.
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