Help - dd is pregnant!(8 Posts)
Yes that's my daughter who's pregnant but the problem is my dog.
Basically he's getting more and more protective. He's a, big for breed, 8yo gsd and this is his first experience of pregnancy in his family. Dd lives at home, she's only 12 weeks so maybe I'm wrong but nothing else has changed in his environment.
He's always been vocal and protective but will have an initial woof then considers his job done which is exactly what you want imo. Now though it's a whole new level, he flys at doors or gates like he's possessed, accepts a visitor then barks again if they move room or something (and his bark is loud, all be it with a hapoy tail), checks things out if anyone touches my dd (eg for a hug) and barks and gets anxious if contact is odd or prolonged (like she sat on my knee which blew his mind). Sleeps outside her room and is always watching her around the house. He's naturally an anxious dog, we've learned to manage him over the years and know his limitations in most situations but this one is new!
Now I must stress, he's showing no sign at all of biting, it's just like his normal behaviour amplified. He now seems to be bark first then assess which has meant he's barked at a household member with a new haircut for example where usually he'd let his nose do its job!
This behaviour is outside of my experience, I don't want it to escalate but also don't want to make him anxious by preventing him behaving naturally.
Then comes the next problem, what happens when a dog is protective of a pregnant women and baby arrives? I was slightly concerned about this anyway, he's a big, older dog and he's never been around young children (under about 2years old) but now I'm really worried. Should I be?
Thank you if you've made it through my ramblings, any advice appreciated! I'm going to ring our local breed clubtomorrowwho run the breed training, breed behaviourist and breed rescue here too.
Apologies to the poster who responded earlier, I had a name change problem, thank you for responding!
He is neutered
I'm not sure.
My mum had this with her male gsd when I got pregnant and in the end he did start placing arms in his mouth still not biting but slowly it moved from just barking to then warning holds with people he had known for years. I have no advise though sadly as she decided she could not take the risk with such a big dog who was slowly becoming more aggressive. That and the fact he was a rescue meant we didn't know his history fully.
Personally i would speak to your vet or a behaviourist about it he might get used to your dds pregnancy and calm down your dd will have a different scent around her (i think) so he is stressed and responding to everything i would take him to the vet he sounds upset and stressed
Hi, I'm sure he'll be fine and everything will be, but to put your mind at rest speak to a dog behaviourist. I had a long haired gsd, protective over my and my daughter, but as gentle as a lamb. I don't know where you are in the country, but I got him from a gsd breeder, who also does behaviour stuff also. We're in the South West.
I have had experience of this and it is very important you deal effectively with him. Firstly it is because of dd's pregnancy.
All family members need to step up consistancy of rules, very calm but very firm. You need to be the pack leader and always in charge. Make him wait for you to enter and exit the house first, wait till he's calm before he gets his food etc. he must get a clear message that YOU are in charge not him.
As he is still energetic step up his excercise as much as possible, he will be calmer and less anxious, expect him to sit quietly on his bed between times preferably always on the floor not on furniture.
If you are clearly in charge he should take your lead and be calm if someone walks into the room, if not take him to his bed, a firm sit command and give him no attention, always only reward with attention when he is calm.
Do not allow him to dominate if someone comes to the door, he can go and bark but you then take over, put him behind you say a firm NO then SIT, before you open the door.
When baby arrives l suggest establishing a boundary, around the baby that he is not allowed to cross, ie if baby is in a bassinet on the floor, put a larger blanket under and establish he must not touch this area, never leave him alone with the baby even for a moment however lovely he may be, never allow licking or crowding around the baby, calmly stop him with a firm NO, Down, if he oversteps the boundary.
I did this with a very assertive Wiemarener each time l was pregnant and it worked beautifully, and it was very necessary too as the behaviour can escalate if boundaries are not put in place and carried out by everyone in the home.
I am not a dog trainer so these are just my experiences of having large powerful dogs all my life.
Good Luck and congratulations on your soon to be grandchild!
Dominance theory is very outdated and I would not advise going down that route.
The problem is hormonal, caused by the pregnancy. Chances are that it will disappear with the birth, at least it has done so in the other, few, cases I have seen of this kind of behavior. So don't panic, the dog's current behavior tells you nothing about how he will be with the baby. Of course when the baby arrives always supervise any interactions and assess the situation.
Meanwhile talk to your vet. Adaptil and/or Zylkene may help during the pregnancy.
Thanks everyone I got some advice from a lovely (up to date) behaviourist who basically said, you're doing the right things, keep going and call if you need more ideas. This gave me the confidence I needed and we are now out the other side thank goodness he's back to his normal self and we've started work on the pram and baby areas so he's used to them being no go areas long before baby arrives.
Just so no one is concerned, we are very careful with dc and ddog. Even my 11yo is never alone with him. We simply believe that prevention is the best approach regardless of how much you trust your dog (and your child) so all of that is already in place and happens naturally.
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