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My dog just 'warned' my baby - help!

(55 Posts)
ineedalifelaundry Fri 19-Jun-09 10:59:51

My 9 month old DD simply adores our dog, a ten year old mongrel. But our dog has always been very wary of children, the smaller the warier. Although she's a very gentle dog, she's also very nervous and highly strung.

Now my baby is crawling she spends half her day in pursuit of the dog, who spends half her day getting out of the way.

Yesterday I caught the dog bearing her teeth at the baby (the baby was trying to get in the dog's bed) - only a tiny bit but it scared me.

Today my baby touched my dog's leg annd the dog actually opened her mouth around DD's arm. She didn't bite down. She is ten years old and has NEVER bitten a human, or any other living creature.

Should I be worried? I am worried sick.

belgo Fri 19-Jun-09 11:04:39

Is there anyone who would have the dog for you? I wouldn't keep a dog who was threatening my baby.

nickytwotimes Fri 19-Jun-09 11:06:57

I would also look at rehoming the dog.

I adore dogs, but not worht the risk.

Lizzylou Fri 19-Jun-09 11:06:59

I would get rid of the dog tbh, your DD is more important.

MatNanPlus Fri 19-Jun-09 11:07:20

Sorry but why haven't you made it possible for the dog to NOT be pursued by the baby as you state you know she doesn't do small humans??

If you can't/won't keep them apart then you need to be looking for a new home.

theDreadPirateRoberts Fri 19-Jun-09 11:07:32

Sounds like you need to keep them completely separate. Good on the dog for the 'warning', but as she gets older she won't necessarily have the same degree of control/patience. Can you keep them totally apart? You've got at least 3 years before you can trust your DD not to wind the dog up.

Fimbo Fri 19-Jun-09 11:07:59

No brainer in my eyes (although I am not a dog lover) but I would need to give the dog away.

Disenchanted3 Fri 19-Jun-09 11:08:04

Get rid.

Heated Fri 19-Jun-09 11:08:47

If you can afford to do so, why not get a dog behaviorist in to assess?

diedandgonetodevon Fri 19-Jun-09 11:11:45

I'm not surprised you are worried.
I'm not a dog expert but I'd be a little reassured that you dog was only warning the baby and didn't bite. However if you don't heed the warning she might bite next time.

Has the dog got a place she feels safe that the baby cannot get to? And that the dog can always retreat to?

She was obviously threatened by the baby trying to take over her bed so if it were me I'd make sure the baby doesn't get near it again.

My DS is 8mo and constantly after our dog too- they must look like big, hairy toys that move! And I just have to watch him constantly and make sure our dog is happy with whatever is happening.
Depending on the situation I will move the baby away or take the dog out of the room.

As the adult you have the responsibility to keep baby and dog safe and happy so that they learn to get along- which is quite a task imo but it's better than the alternative of having to give up the dog.

belgo Fri 19-Jun-09 11:18:41

TBH the OP has already not heeded the warning that the dog gave yesterday.

I wouldn't risk a third warning.

inzidoodle Fri 19-Jun-09 11:21:53

I am a dog lover, I have 2 daughter is my life and I would never allow the situation to arise in the first place. My DD is only around my dogs under very close supervision, there would never be an opportunity for my dogs to threaten my daughter. If this had happened to me the dog would be gone, end of story. You are very lucky that she didnt bite cant risk it happening again.

If the dog was younger I would 100% re-home to a family with no children. However your dog is older and I can understand any hesitation to rehome but you must seperate the dog from your baby. I have my dogs seperated with a baby gate at all times. I still allow interaction but as I said closely supervised. TBH I wouldnt allow interaction until your DD is a bit older.

ineedalifelaundry Fri 19-Jun-09 11:29:18

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

Had already made the dog's bed inaccessible to DD after yesterday's incident - thought that would sort the problem. But what happened today really made me think I maybe should rehome the dog. It would be heartbreaking.

I'll try keeping them totally separate and see how we get on. I don't want the dog to feel excluded but it's either that or rehoming sad

edam Fri 19-Jun-09 11:33:01

is the dog's bed in a cage or something so your dd really can't get to her in there?

Knickers0nMaHead Fri 19-Jun-09 11:36:43

my dog stays in the kitchen or yard through the day. Im sorry but if my dog warned the dcs, he would be out like a shot. And he is one of the most loving dogs you can meet. He loves the dcs, and them him, but they are always kept seperate. It isnt worth the risk.

lou031205 Fri 19-Jun-09 11:38:01

I disagree with many here. You need to concentrate on making sure that your DD is never alone with your dog, certainly. But your dog is 'warning' your DD that she doesn't want the attention. You need to control their interaction. I don't think rehoming is warranted.

ineedalifelaundry Fri 19-Jun-09 11:38:15

No we don't have a cage and really don't have room for one. I'm going to have to keep the dog in kitchen/diner with a baby gate.

belgo Fri 19-Jun-09 11:43:48

Will the dog be able to jump over the baby gate? What if your dd puts her hands through the gate? I was once bitten by a dog when I put my hand on the gate, the dog jumped up and bite me from the other side.

BigusBumus Fri 19-Jun-09 11:44:08

I don't think a well-loved pet for the last 10 years should be re-homed! I think its just up to you Indeed to make sure both your baby and the dog are happy.

You can only do that by seperating them with a baby/puppy gate. Give the dog her own room (the kitchen / utility) to be peaceful in and section it off. When your baby sleeps, give your dog lots of special attention, as there could be a jealousy issue here too.

It can work fine, just not in the way you have it right now. Just put in some effort and it will be OK i'm sure.

pottycock Fri 19-Jun-09 11:44:50

You've got to keep them completely separate - dog in kitchen with baby gate or something similar. My dratted MIL's (old, docile, placid, friendly etc) dog bit my little DD a few months ago and I will not have them in the same room. The only time they are ever together is on walks. Dogs are very often territorial over beds so you need to keep dd away from her bed/food too. Not a pleasant situation to have to deal with but I would be keeping them completely separate from now on. It is absolutely not worth the risk.

heavenstobetsy Fri 19-Jun-09 11:45:08

You know the answer here OP - you say your dog has always been wary of kids, is nervous, highly strung and old. TBH she is never going to get used to your DC and whilst she has managed to restrain herself to two warnings they are just that - warnings that she will bite.

I would say that if you allow your child continued unrestricted contact with the dog she will get bitten so if you can't be meticulous about seperating them at all times when you aren't activley watching them (i.e. not just in the same room doing other stuff, actively supervising) then I am afraid the dog needs to be rehomed.

I know this is hard - I am a total dog lover and it would break my heart but it does sound like biting is inevitable if you don't take some kind of action

5inthebed Fri 19-Jun-09 11:47:17

I wouldn't rehome, but I would make sure I kept them seperate during the day when your DD is mobile. A babygate sounds like a good idea, maybe a mesh one though so that nothing can go between it.

Terrahawk Fri 19-Jun-09 15:11:19

I think in this case the dog is getting ready to bite. Rehome now. Probably an otherwise lovely dog who will make someone a great companion but at the end of the day it is a dog not a family member

Terrahawk Fri 19-Jun-09 15:13:32

Oh and Pottycock - did your MIL keep the dog then? Shocking

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 19-Jun-09 15:17:52

Keep them completely seperate. Only allow interaction under close supervision. If you need to leave the room even for an instant, remove either the child, or the dog.

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