Crazy dog and small baby.....(31 Posts)
So I am going to start this by saying I know I am an arsehole.
Me and my husband bought a dog shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I've wanted a dog for years and after moving to the country and leaving my job we decided it was finally a good time and thought the pup would be trained by the time our little bub arrived.....yes in hindsight this was stupid.
We got a red coloured labrador. Long story short he drives me absolutely insane. I have never met a crazier dog. He has no aggression in him but he doesn't realise his size and is very stubborn.
He graduated puppy training....would you believe it after pooing on the hall floor on graduation night....we are pretty sure it was a pity graduation as he did not improve at all over the 6 week corse.
He is never still, destroys everything we buy him, I can't even remember the number of beds he has got through. I constantly have torn up dog items all over the house. He runs around the house for the most part of the day throwing his toys in the air or at me or sits at my feet whining at me. He has to be locked away when people come over as he tries to become their new scarf. He jumps up guests constantly, has given multiple people nosebleeds and bites ears and nibbles in what he thinks is a playful manner, leaving guests drooly and scratched.
We now have a 10 week old baby. I am constantly on edge that he is going to hurt her. Not on purpose but because he is so crazy. I can't put her on the floor for tummy time etc and I'm finding it really frustrating. I've tried locking him out of the front room but he whines/howls the whole time and I feel super guilty. Plus he barks every time a person or large vehicle passes our house so wakes her up all the time.
He gets told off so much and it makes a really horrible atmosphere in our home.
He gets a long walk from my husband each day and we have quite a large garden for him to roam in. I don't know how to expel any more energy from him. I can't take him out with the baby as he pulls so bad on the lead and I can't have him off lead as he jumps up people and doesn't return once called if he finds something more interesting.
I am really at the end of my tether and am strongly considering adoption....hence the arsehole thing....but I really dont know what else to do....it isn't me to think like this, I am an animal lover and feel so awful even thinking it. My husband is strongly against giving him up and it's caused quite a few arguments, as has me moaning about the dog all the time.
Am i awful for considering adoption? What would you do??? Any suggestions are more than welcome.
I am sure someone would love to adopt your dc while you concentrate on the responsibility you had first.....
I work with labs and I think you have got the dog at the completely wrong time. Although he has done puppy classes, training is ongoing and most labs don’t mature until they are at least 2 years old. I have friends who have done loads of work with their dogs prior to their babies arriving but in your situation I do think your best bet is to rehome the dog unless you’re willing to put lots of work into him including getting a behaviourist to come help you.
It was a very stupid idea to get a dog at this point in time and especially not to research the breed every labrador I know needs a lot of work and attention.
You know this now and clearly regret it so choices are keep the dog, and continue struggling but avoid the guilt/judgement of giving a pet away.
Or find the dog a new home. Better for you, dog and baby. Don't feel guilty about it as it is the right thing for all.
A labrador? He needs training and exercise.... More of both than he's getting!
Can you get a dog walker for every morning? A good long walk with a ball to chase? Can you make the garden more interesting for him? Hide bones, a handful of dried food scattered for him to hunt?
This post describes my dog nearly perfectly 🙈
He's still only a baby (as is mine at 10 month old) and most dogs don't settle and mature until they're AT LEAST 2 years.
It's not just about physical exercise, I have a breed (EBT) that needs mental stimulation just as much, if not more, than walks and if I recall correctly Labs are the same. You need some toys that do that because also interact with him - I keep a ball close by and if I'm busy in the kitchen I throw it out the back foot and he fetches it back - repeat 1,000 times while I'm making tea/putting shopping away/doing laundry/washing pots - but it keeps him occupied and out from under my feet!
Also no dog is ever going to be trained in a week puppy class - the purpose of these classes is to teach the OWNER how to train the dog, you have to continue with it for months.
If you persevere it will be worth it - maybe trying doing multiple short walls with him with baby in the pram? And look into getting a trainer to come and work with you in your home, simple things like teaching him to behave around visitors, not barking at traffic etc.
I had a crazy lab - 2 is the magic age where things start to calm down. You're not too far away from that!
He needs lots of things to keep him busy. Have you tried brain games for puppy's (I bought a book) most can be done from home on the sofa easily with just a few biscuits. Have you got a kong? Fill it with peanut butter and freeze it before giving him - keep a few on rotation I need be.
I sent mine out with a dog walker once a week to help expel the pack mentality and give him a really good run around. It also gives you time where you can concentrate on just baby and not worry!
A Halti is your answer to walking dog with baby - it was the only way I could safely walk my young dog with the pram - he soon got used to it and eventually learned to walk with the pram.
Locally we have some fields that you can hire which are entirely enclosed - do you have anything like this which you can book into and take baby in a sling once a week and do some recall training etc give him a really good rub around with toys etc?
My dog is still very boisterous when people arrive at the house - we have never quite managed to crack that one but it's not quite so frantic now. I would ask anyone who is coming to visit the baby to speak to the dog first to make sure he isn't jealous!
Please get in touch with a Labrador rehoming. There are lots but it depends on where you live.
I would happily take him as my Dear Old Lab is almost 12 and very frail but think you should follow the right channels.
But, and a big BUT, labs are amazing with kids. My DS is so attached to my DDog.
If you can afford help to train and time to train he will be ana amazing asset to your family when your baby is older (and babies grow up very quickly)
So dog is 9 months?
This is probably the worst time for teenage puppy tantrums and you probably have at least another 4 to 6 months before he becomes visibly calmer then as pp said they don’t fully mature until about 2. He does need some intense training and it’s not a great time for you to have to do it.
Re homing is a very viable option and certainly the least stressful for you, but a few things you could try:
Dog walker, will give you at least an hour dog free time to spend with dc then hopefully dog will come back needing a nap.
Put baby for a nap in the pram and throw some balls around the garden for him get him running don’t do this in warm weather though.
Brain games for the dog, frozen kongs are great
Try antlers that can keep them busy for a bit.
When baby is napping do 15/20 minutes in the garden doing training.
Try the circle of calm so literally walk backwards and forward between 2 points for 20 minutes or so to start with until dog disengages with environment and focuses on you, yes it’s time consuming and dull but it does work and stops pulling.
Focus games with dog
Everything is geared around trying to calm dog down, don’t play games like tug for a few weeks as it gets them bouncy and worked up.
I do feel for you hope you’re able to get it to work if that’s what you choose to do.
Oh and totally forget the house work if they’re both sleeping you need to too.
@noimaginationatall I teach music so have a lot of people coming to the house, billypup has a step near the door so we’ve trained her to bark to let us know someone is there, then to sit on the good girl step quietly to get treats. Having that place where she has to sit before I open the door really works.
All of the behaviours you are describing stem from a lack of exercise and a lack of mental stimulation.
One walk a day is not enough for a labrador. If you have not taught him how to walk properly on a lead, you will need to pay for a dog walker to walk him for you daily until you do. Get some one on one training classes. Shutting him away when people come to the house will not teach him how to behave correctly - put him on a lead when people arrive and reward the good behaviour.
Get a play mat with sides to prevent him from accidentally standing on your baby, or get a play pen to put the baby in.
It is your responsibility to put in more effort than simply shrugging your shoulders.
I am sure someone would love to adopt your dc while you concentrate on the responsibility you had first.....
Such a pathetic response. As if animals are in the same class as babies.
Get rid, OP, you don't need the stress.
Yes, people are often ill prepared for a dog (at their peril) but a baby is a whole different world. It's one thing to deal with a difficult dog but with a baby as well it can be just too much.
I have small kids including a baby and I love my dog but if I had to choose it wouldn't even be a thought in my head. She's 13 and the dynamics have changed a lot since the kids and I understand where op is coming from.
I don't have any advice but lots and lots of sympathy. We have a miniature dachshund, have had him since a pup and he is now four years old.
It's dps dog, he wanted him and has grown up with them. I did a bit of light research before we got him but didn't pay much attention to the notorious to train part. He has always been a nightmare since we got him. Never been fully house trained. Thinks he is the boss of everything. Is very yappy. Also very loyal and loving which more than makes up for it.
But then dd came along. She is six months old now and negotiating the two of them constantly is an absolute nightmare and if i am being 100% honest has completely ruined my maternity leave.
We live in an open plan house with no means of sectioning the dog off. The minute u put dd on the floor for playtime the dog is there in her face or just being a barrier between the two. We are lucky he took to dd straight away and loves her just like the rest of us but like your dog he doesn't realise he can hurt her in other ways. He jumps up and down from the sofa so I can't lay or sit dd on the sofa or on the floor anywhere near the sofa incase he lands on her. It's really awful I have to say and I spend so much of my time worrying dd will never crawl as she is not getting enough time on the floor.
We can't put him out in the garden as he would just bark constantly. I have to cage him in a playpen when we're out to stop him peeing on everything in site which is such hard work to get out and put back away that 9 times out of 10 I will stay in rather than go out because I can't be arsed and then when you get home you have at best all his wee to clean up and the playpen to collapse and put away and at worst there will be poo in there too. I really do hate life with a dog at the moment.
So, as I say, I get it. I get why rehoming would cross your mind. It crosses mine every day but I do love him very very much he really is part of the family and tbh I just couldn't do it.
You will get lots of people saying get rid whilst others saying you took the dog on knowing you were pregnant and have a responsibility to him. Personally as you bought the dog and chose the breed after you knew you were pregnant I fall into the latter category.
A lab is quite a handful until they mature and will be hard work for the first couple of years. You need to be actively training him, providing lots of mental and physical stimulation. Think of it as having two babies and find a way to divide your time between the two. If you can't do that pay for dog walkers and daycare.
Just get the dog rehomed OP, dog will be happier and you will feel less anxious.
He's a young, nicely coloured lab. Get in touch with lab rehoming. He'll find a new home more suitable for his needs as the current situation sounds unsustainable for everyone.
I would rehome. Sometimes things don't work out, even with the best will in the world. It would be better for the dog to go elsewhere (though I'm sure you've tried your best) and better for your household too.
Don't beat yourself up about it. Things change. And you've proved that you've got the dog's best interests at heart. You'll find it a huge relief. Just make sure that you rehome him properly - RSPCA or a specific charity for the breed.
You'll get loads of people in here telling you how awful you are, but you're really not. You are where you are now. Don't feel guilty about it. Good luck.
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Agree what others have said, but want to add that fox red labs are almost always off working lines (as ability is more important than colour) which need a lot more stimulation than those from show lines.
Unless you are willing to work put a massive amount of time and effort into training ASAP it is best to rehome sooner rather than later. At his age the dog is still v mouldable and trainable rather than an older dog. Older dogs obv can still be trained but the current age of your pup he is begging to be trained and mentally stimulated.
I have been waiting for a pup from a certain breeder for years (my 3rd of a line). I am also pregnant and the pup will be ready when I am 6 months present so I've said no. Gutted but right choice as getting the training right at a young age is vital.
I really sympathise OP. I have a 4 month old part lab part pointer but I’ve been surprised by how hard work it is! And my youngest child is 3 not a baby.
You have three options:
1) carry on as you are, hoping that he calms down at 2 years or so.
2) rehome him - better now than later.
3) make an effort with his training. I have a 1 to 1 every week... It’s expensive but works far better than puppy classes for us so far & really starting to get on top of his training.
I would do option 3, personally.
Whats a red labrador ?
I thought they were creamy coloured, brown or black ????
@beanaseireann you can get fox red Labradors
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