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Really like advice/did I do the right thing?? :(

(9 Posts)
mltvkt Wed 07-Jan-15 11:01:59

Husbands dog, very loved. I have lived on farm whole life with large guard dogs... Love dogs!!

After two years of bliss with hubby I fall pregnant. For the greater part I had taken on doggie responsibilities.. i.e walking, feeding.. he was my dog! Loved him. Still do!

He started showing signs of anxiety while I was pregnant. Weeing up anything I prized.. my PC, the kitchen bin was a favourite. I gave him loads of fuss to try reassuring him. He would always get offcuts of ham/cheese, (never over fed, just treats).

We wanted to do everything by the book to make the transition easier for him. Hubby brought baby blankets home for his bed to get used to smell, so much fuss given to him, especially when then babies came home! Any time he came to sniff one wee gave him loads of fuss 'good boy!!' etc. He always went for walks... we knew that was important for him.

He was always still very anxious and unsure around them. Never left alone... I took responsibility for him. If anything happened I would take full responsibility! If he were to bite one it would be my fault!

As the got more mobile he became more anxious... getting up and getting as far away as he could. In a small house all I could do was let him into the garden or in the kitchen where he was protected by a baby gate.

One day one of the girls approached him and he didn't move to get away. I was there,(my responsibility to make sure all went well). The babies love the dog. She went to put a hand on his fur, he was aware and I was giving him fuss... what a good boy, soothing tones etc. As she rested her hand on him very gently, no hair pulling he went to snap at her. This may have just been a warning but I'm pretty sure being there it would have made contact if I hadn't been there. I grabbed his face before he got to her and gave him a smack around the chops. Not my finest hour..... just a reflex move, not particularly proud of it.

He is now with my mother in law, enjoying three walks a day and a life with minimal baby interference.

My question is.... What could I have done to remedy this? What did I do wrong?? I know the blame is with me. After the first snap I was not going to take any chances... not fair on anyone.. sad Advice please

Was it the right thing to do???

BearsAndAngels Wed 07-Jan-15 11:08:41

I'm no expert, but it sounds like you did everything you could. Sounds like dog is happy now where he is and you will all still get to see him, so I think it sounds like the best outcome for everyone.

We had a old lab who tolerated the babies/toddlers, she was very good with them, but I know she found the noise and commotion stressful. Oddly she eventually went deaf and she was so much happier after that! I think your dog will find it less stressful at your MILs.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 07-Jan-15 12:13:13

How old is the dog mlt?
Is it possible his eyesight is going and his snap - like your smack- was a reflex in the heat of the situation?

I can imagine you feel absolutely dreadful, but as you say, it;s a reflex to protect your child.

I think in the circumstances you did all you could do.And you know where your dog is, and you know he's happy.
And your DC and your dog are safe.

mltvkt Wed 07-Jan-15 12:41:45

Silas is 7-8, shown no signs of eye sight going, but that's no reason to rule it out

Buttholelane Wed 07-Jan-15 23:12:16

Yes you did the right thing.
I would have given it more than a smack and had it put down but then I have absolutely zero tolerance for aggression around kids.
The dog is much happier and the kids are safe.

VeryStressedMum Thu 08-Jan-15 11:11:44

I have no idea of the actual situation but I'm pretty sure if my dog meant to make contact with one of the dcs when they were near enough to touch her she'd be able to before I could stop it so it may have just been a warning snap. However it sounds like you did everything you could and he's just too stressed around small children. How long can he stay at your mil?

VeryStressedMum Thu 08-Jan-15 11:15:17

He's given plenty of signals that he's stressed around the children which you've listened and the snap is another warning that he doesn't like it. If you punish a dog for the warnings they can suppress the warnings and go straight for a bite.

mltvkt Fri 09-Jan-15 14:18:22

I was there and looking out for any signs of hostility. The situation is one that I wouldn't let happen unless I was in-between them

silverjohnleggedit Sat 10-Jan-15 10:47:00

I think you have done the right thing, you could go down the behaviourist route but I'd be inclined to never trust the dog again after he snapped at a dc, warning or not, he is clearly not suitable around children. Must have been deeply upsetting for you.

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