Why my dog dislikes my toddler
December 4, 2012 4:21pm CST
When I first brought home a squirmy, pink, squeaky thing, my little dog though it was Christmas. A new rat, just for her! She took an instant liking and would lay with my son, charging anyone that she didn't trust if they approached. As he got older, this abated somewhat, but she was still nervous when other people approached. Three things happened at once around 6 months of age: 1.) The cat honey took her...frustrations...out on disappeared. 2.) She entered the "must hump everything" stage of her heat cycle. 3.) My 6-month-old started to get up on all fours. With no cat to torment and "her" baby taking up position, she decided he would be a good target. I lost it, and brought the hammer down way to hard. After that, the budding friendship ceased and she now growls when he gets near her. Three months and lots of treats later, she lets him chew on, climb on, and tug her fur, but she still gets annoyed with him when she's sleeping and has ceased all playing. Have a story of punishment gone wrong?
3 people like this
5 Dec 12
No, nothing went wrong. On the contrary, I should congratulate you for making her accept the toddler chew on, climb on and tug her fur. But (and I know here there will be voices to tell I'm crazy) your dog is ... a person. And a person needs to rest. You must accept that her rest time must be respected. I know your son is too small to understand she needs to rest. But you are there to teach him that. Never let him disturb her while she is sleeping or resting in any way, and they will be the best friends.
5 Dec 12
If I hadn't over reacted in the first place, she was starting to use tugging and chewing as signals to play. For a little bit after the attack, she was afraid to go near him. I do try to have him leave her alone when sleeping, but seeing as she wants to sleep under my feet and he wants to play by my feet, it gets a bit hard.
6 Dec 12
I don't think anything have gone wrong. No dog accepts a child to disturb their sleep. Have you considered teaching the dog sleep in a crate, when nobody disturbs her? That crate should be her rest place, where she can "hide" when she has enough "attention" from the child's part. She must not perceive the crate as a punishment, but as a safe place for her.
• United States
11 Dec 12
Personally, I think you have your hands full, just with your baby. Does your baby appreciate the dog? It seems that this is all about the dog, rather than all about your baby. The priority is your baby, not your dog. I didn't get dogs until my children were older and could really appreciate dogs. When my children were teenagers and old enough to take care of dogs, they each had their own dog. And they did indeed take care and bond with their dogs. The dogs got along great with each other.
• United States
6 Dec 12
A lot of dogs are like that if they have never been around a baby that that is growing all of the time. We went through this with our dog last year when my daughter started to walk so we had to give him up to someone else because he just wouldn't listen to us when we told him to leave our daughter alone. She never did anything to her and he would bit at her and scare her. So it was all over for him when it came to my daughter and then before we gave him up we had learned we where going to be having another little baby.