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Dog & New Baby - Advice Needed - Long

(9 Posts)
laraeo Thu 28-Aug-08 07:40:29

We have a 6 month old DS. He's not the problem. We also have an approximately 12 year old extremely neurotic doxie (mostly) who is. We've had him since he was @ 3. I don't need to be lectured on how pets are for life, etc - we've taken the dog from the US to Australia to GB. What I do need is practical, realistic advice. My DH is working overseas for the next 9 months and the dog has not taken the change well. I knew there would be a period of adjustment but it's been almost a month now and things have gotten worse. He has started weeing in the house - first the guest room (I shut the door) now the dining room - a lot - and he is rubs his nose raw on it. It is not a medical issue - he sleeps through the night, no problem. I have caught him going in the house literally as I was opening the door to let him out. Yesterday I decided he'd have to stay in the kitchen when we go out - he had a walk, a treat, went into the kitchen (he's got food/water and a bed there) and at some point in the 4 hours we were gone, he weed on one of the kitchen rugs. He gets 2 walks/day which is more than he was getting when DS was younger and I try to give him "special" time after DS goes to bed. He's not a big on toys and doesn't fetch. I can't continue on like this especially once DS starts getting more mobile. I don't particluarly trust the dog with DS either but that's a whole other issue - he wasn't socialized well before we got him - we've done obedience classes, but he's fussy about what people and dogs he considers "friends". I'm sure the dog picks up on my stress when he's around DS - I try to stay calm but it's easier said than done. The dog will randomly get up and start licking DS's face while DS is playing on his mat gym - this is not a behavior I want to continue but am at a loss as to how to stop it. Any advice/suggestions?

FiveGoMadInDorset Thu 28-Aug-08 07:50:42

I know this probably sounds silly but have you thought of a dog psychologist, sounds like he is suffering from separation anxiety, is he closer to you DH than you. Can sympathise, our dog has to come with us wherever we go as he literally eats his way out of the house.

lilymolly Thu 28-Aug-08 07:54:57

firstly with the weeing- has he been castrated? could he be marking his territory now dh has gone?

As regards to him licking ds face- well thats what dogs do- we have 2 lab dogs and given half a chance they lick dd 2.7- we tell them off of course, but its there way of showing affection.

Our Lab bitch is constantly licking the other bitch as it is her daughter. Its quite sweet to watch.

The only solution to this is to keep dog away from ds when he is on the floor

why dont you trust the dog?- i trust my dogs 99.99999999% as much as one can trust an animal. If I had any doubt over the dog vs dc, the dog would have to go I am afraid

laraeo Thu 28-Aug-08 08:30:04

I've not considered a dog psychologist - I guess I could if it comes to that. The dog is actually closer to me than DH. He's never had separation anxiety before (DH goes overseas fairly often). He was castrated prior to us adopting him. I'm farily sure this isn't just marking territory. As for the licking, I was under the impression that it was more of a dominance thing, not really a sign of affection. I don't fully trust the dog because he's always been fairly skittish around fast moving things and he's been known to growl at toddlers - granted the toddlers in question were in his face and didn't leave him alone when they were told to - and he's never growled at DS. I do try to keep them separated when DS is on the floor but occasionally I'll go into the kitchen/laundry room/toilet and come back to find the dog standing over DS licking away. I don't want to have to move the dog (who generally sleeps the day away)every time I leave the living room for a minute.

FiveGoMadInDorset Thu 28-Aug-08 08:34:23

I fhe is closer to you then could be upset that now he has to share you exclusively with your DS whereas before your DH was in the group as well, his pack dynamic has changed.

bella29 Thu 28-Aug-08 08:38:33

Reading between the lines I think you're (understandably) having a hard time on your own with ds and dog. I know you don't want to be lectured but often the hardest part with dc & dogs is when the children start to toddle & walk, so you still have that ahead.
If you don't trust the dog with your ds then separate them - I have used dog gates (like large, high, stair gates) so the dc & dog can see each other and interact without any harm.
I think the dog may be picking up on your stress & if it were me I'd call in a behaviour specialist.
HTH

hercules1 Thu 28-Aug-08 19:34:14

You need to seek professional help and keep the dog separate at all times. We have 3 dogs and use stair gates so dogs are never alone with dd.
Good luck.

Badpups Fri 29-Aug-08 13:56:25

We've got 3 dogs and 3 children. Like the OP said - I trust the dogs 99.999% around our children. We had the dogs before the children and I was advised by my midwife that dogs can sense when somebody is pregnant and therefore are usually ok when the baby is born.

Having said all that I never left my children (twins and a younger one) alone with the dogs when they were babies and we had a babydan playpen so I could pop them in there if necessary. I know that playpens are an emotive subject but it provided me with peace of mind and also meant that I could put their toys and play mat in the playpen. It saved me having to find and move 3 dogs everytime I needed to leave the room!

The children are now 5 and almost 3 and get on fantastically with the dogs.

A dog behaviourist would probably be a good idea. We used one when one of our dogs started to have accidents in the house (coincidentally when the twins were about 6mths old). She helped quite a lot. Unfortunately the dog is still not 100% but she's had other health issues and we try to ensure that she goes out every 1 - 2 hours and accept the fact that if she's left longer than this we'll probably be cleaning up after her. She goes usually goes through the night without a problem though.

Good luck. I'm sure you'll get the problem sorted.

laraeo Fri 29-Aug-08 16:28:10

Thanks for the posts. I've got nothing against playpens but we've got absolutely nowhere to put one right now. I'm in the process of trying to move us out of our current house into a larger, more suitable one (very long story there) so the dog will probably be retraumatised in the next few weeks. In the end, I think he'll like the new place better because it will offer better walking opportunities for him and it will enable me to give DS a "play room" that I can gate off or at least enough room to have a portaplaypen thingy. Then if things don't settle down, I'll be back looking for behaviorist recommendations.

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