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My dog is causing more anxiety than my newborn!

(31 Posts)
Imemimsmum Mon 19-Dec-16 17:44:07

I have a lab x collie (and think part German Shepard!- he a right mut! Bless him) he has been my baby for the past 6 years but he is incredibly hard work, very bonkers and jumpers up people, barks and snarls at strangers (we have to work really hard with him every time we have people round! Using positive reinforcement and proximity training), barks at what feels like fresh air when outside (i.e when we are entertaining guests) or barks at car doors, people walking past the house, postman etcwe have previously had him with children and he has been OK following "introduction"and keeping him behind a stair gate, we now have a newborn of our own and worked hard the last few months to train him to be more acceptable of people (again positive reinforcement and proximity training)- but we don't seem to be getting anywhere fast, seen some improvement but it's not consistent which makes me unpredictable!, we have given him baby scents etc now our little girl is home and he barks at her when she cries, I find it a lot of anxiety to be home alone with my newborn in case he jumps up at me when I have her and I worry in case he runs into the room while she is on her play mat (he only has one speed and it's fast!) - my husband has suggested rehoming him and this absolutely breaks my heart (I've always said a dog is family not just temporary) but now I'm finding it a possible solution to get me through my maternity leave with less anxiety!! - has any one got any advice or been in similar situations? Many thanks,

TheFlyingFauxPas Mon 19-Dec-16 17:55:11

You have a newborn and she must come first. I hate it when people get then get rid on animals on a whim. However. When I had ds I found it impossible to cope with 2 house cats too. I'd had them for years. In the end, luckily, they went to live with a good friend. All well. Over the years I'd thought shall we have another. Ds really really wanted dog or cat but I couldn't. I hated being that person. However ds is now 14 and we've just got a dog.
Sorry. What I'm trying to say is. These things do happen. Sometimes you think you can make something work. Try hard but turns out the best for your DD and your ddog if he has to be kept separate from you a lot etc, would be for ddog to find a new home.
However. I'd say. Don't make that decision while you're all hormonal, nappy-brained and sleep deprived. Is there possibly anyone that can take ddog for a while for respite so you can think, weigh up and come to a decision you're all happy with?

lovelearning Mon 19-Dec-16 18:01:50

Imemimsmum, how much exercise is your dog getting?

Imemimsmum Mon 19-Dec-16 18:05:16

Yeah I have also tried to convince myself that the anxiety is hormones, and I like the idea of respite but again cause he is such a large and boisterous boy not even family members are willing to take him for a while! However much he may be loved! Thank you for your shared experience! It certainly want be something il rush into deciding but also don't won't to prolong!

Wolfiefan Mon 19-Dec-16 18:06:30

How much exercise is he getting?
Does he have a safe space away from the baby? Stairgate?

Imemimsmum Mon 19-Dec-16 18:21:18

We walk him everyday for about an hour, well we did before baby came (unfortunately we have had to put it on hold at the moment due to back pain from labour!) he is behind a stair gate in the kitchen but his is linked to the living room where he stand up against it and barks at what goes on in the living room!

lovelearning Mon 19-Dec-16 18:32:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wolfiefan Mon 19-Dec-16 18:35:54

He needs to get out. Every day. Can DH do that?

GizmoFrisby Mon 19-Dec-16 18:44:02

He needs long walks he will be frustrated. I have a tiny shitzu and I walk him for 2 hours a day. He was here before my dd and no problems you need to keep his routine the same. Doesn't sound fair on the dog to me

lovelearning Mon 19-Dec-16 18:44:27

we have had to put it on hold at the moment

Get a dog walker.

He needs at least two one-hour walks every day.

Imemimsmum Mon 19-Dec-16 18:56:42

He doesn't like strangers so a dog walker doesn't really work, he has always exercise everyday, it doesn't change his behaviour towards visitors or the barking

Imemimsmum Mon 19-Dec-16 18:58:58

I know that his routine needs to stay the same and I know he needs a good walk, this is just one of the difficulties that has arised as our routine has had to change with a newborn

Wolfiefan Mon 19-Dec-16 18:59:41

But that can't mean he isn't walked.

missyB1 Mon 19-Dec-16 19:00:14

Have you tried a dog behaviourist?

lovelearning Mon 19-Dec-16 19:00:53

he has always exercise everyday

Imemimsmum, he's not getting enough exercise.

That's why he's badly behaved.

Could you put the baby in a sling and walk him yourself?

Imemimsmum Mon 19-Dec-16 19:01:44

He is a difficult dog to walk, he pulls and barks at people and dogs so we both walk him so my husband hold the lead and I can do the proximity training with treats etc

lovelearning Mon 19-Dec-16 19:04:52

my husband hold the lead

His walks need to be off-lead, in order for him to get adequate exercise.

Is there nowhere close to you where he can walk off-lead?

CinderellaFant Mon 19-Dec-16 19:05:33

You are making excuses- a large boisterous dog like that NEEDS exercise. You say he doesn't like strangers- I'm sure he doesn't like being stuck behind a stair gate either. It really is no wonder he is barking and growling- he is bored and frustrated. If you or DH won't walk him, get an experienced dog walker who can handle him. Not fair on the dog at all.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 19-Dec-16 19:07:08

I thought pets were supposed to be fun!

WannaBe Mon 19-Dec-16 19:08:34

This sounds complicated. You have a dog who has aggressive tendencies who doesn't like strangers or children, who jumps up, barks, snarls, and has to be kept behind a baby gate for much of the time.

You're currently unable to walk him due to back issues following labour, and TBH if you're afraid he'll jump up in the house then there's every chance he'll jump up when out, especially as you presumably can't let him off lead due to his aggression.

Added to that he is a breed who are known for their Need for stimulation (border collie) Which is likely to add to his behaviour issues.

TBH this sounds like a dog who is not at all suited to a household with children, but you of course couldn't have known that when you adopted him.

Personally I think your DH is right, however to be brutally honest, I can't imagine that any rescue would take him on.

WannaBe Mon 19-Dec-16 19:12:46

TBH these issues sound well beyond just a dog who is bored.

If it takes two adults to walk him, he is not trustworthy with a stranger or off lead anywhere, and is likely to at some point go for the OP's newborn I wouldn't rehome him I would have him pts. It's just not fair to pass a dog like that to anyone, and no rescue in their right mind would take on a dog like that. Even if you gave him to a rescue he would spend the rest of his life in kennels. But you can't realistically keep a dog who is that aggressive.

lovelearning Mon 19-Dec-16 19:13:25

You're currently unable to walk him due to back issues following labour

Excuse me, Imemimsmum.

My mistake.

Konyaa Mon 19-Dec-16 19:14:47

Let me get this right.

Are you asking why a large active breed mix dog that requires off lead runs to keep its energies spent - is going bonkers in a house when he is not getting that release?

Is the answer not within your question? It isn't a mystery. The answer is clear. It's nothing to scratch anyone's head about.

Large dog = needs to bounce off its energy in open fields = stays calm and happy

Large dog = not bouncing off energy in open fields = gets agitated and crazy.

What's the confusion?

WannaBe Mon 19-Dec-16 19:17:03

But the issue here is that he can't be walked off lead due to the fact he is aggressive.

Blackfellpony Mon 19-Dec-16 19:39:09

I do feel for you with this. Honestly the best money I spent was on a behaviourist. Mine are nowhere near fixed but it's helped put a plan in place.

I have a large aggressive GSD, a second GSD and a baby and to be honest I contemplated getting rid of the pair of them. The only saving grace is that they are relaxed around the baby!

Luckily we have managed to see light at the end of the tunnel now but it hasn't been easy.

Firstly it is possible to do BAT training single handedly. I manage alone with two dogs so your husband should be able to cope! Get proper equipment (i.e. Dogmatic!) and a double ended lead but it should be manageable with one person. I hold dog in one hand, ask for sit and watch and treat with the other.

I also would get lots of games/ Kong toys to keep him busy. Can you hide things for him in the kitchen or wherever he is while your busy so he is distracted and using his brain? Hide treats in a cardboard box that type of thing?

Obviously if he is being aggressive to the baby I would seriously consider a proper assessment by a professional. Mine don't like strangers either but accepted the baby after about 30 seconds- strangers wouldn't get within a mile of the house!

I don't understand all the off lead posts though- would you all be happy with an aggressive dog off lead around your dogs or children as I sure as hell wouldn't? Of course he needs to run but not if he's going to run off and bite people hmm

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