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Barking at baby

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MyRealName Wed 12-Oct-11 15:09:10

My mum has three dogs, two 11yr old golden retrievers and a ten year old miniture Schnauzer. The 'big' two are good as gold (they have finally admitted they are not pups anymore!), but the schnauzer is mad with boundless energy and showing no signs of mellowing with age, which is kinda the way I like it. He has always barked quite a lot, e.g. when you come in through the door, if an interesting person walks past the house, when he thinks it's dinner time- I believe it is a trait of the breed, and he is convinced he is as 'big' as the other two I'm sure.

My DD is 4mths, and doesn't bat an eyelid at dogs barking at her, she is used to it. However, the barking becomes excessive when I visit with the baby, and it drives me and my parents mad. I tried to 'show' him the baby when I first visited- We let him come right up to her and sniff to his heart's content trying not to make a fuss about it, but he wouldn't stop his horrible high-pitched yelp/bark/howl routine. In subsequent visits we have tried: mum picking him up for a look at baby when none of us were holding her, same thing. We tried shutting him out the room. We tried ignoring baby and frantically fussing him. We tried telling him off. Someone suggested spraying him with water from a plant sprayer whenever he barked at the baby- the result?- a very excited and wet barking dog! We tried ignoring him. We tried distracting him with a biscuit.

He does settle down a bit after a (long) while, but if she makes a noise, he starts again. If she is in her pram i.e. he can't see her but knows she's there, at the slightest noise he will whine and bark. Sometimes he trembles with what I believe to be frustration, I really don't think it's fear. I know what he would like- me to put DD on the floor and go away and let him sniff and lick and jump and bark at her til he's bored. Obviously I'm not going to do that! He has never shown any sign of aggression even to another dog, but is very boisterous.

Is there anything to try that we have not thought of?

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