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will not accept toddler

fleabitpokey
January 4th, 2005, 09:27 AM
My 6 yr.old Aussie/Catahoula female does not want my 2 yr.old gr.daughter to approach her.I have custody of the toddler and have tried to introduce them slowly,(6 months) always aware that Lacy doesn't want to be approached.She is not a outside dog,condo patio set-up,crate trained.What can I do to safe guard the child and permit Lacy the lifestyle she had before?

whinnie-boo
January 4th, 2005, 09:53 AM
Besides not wanting your grand-daughter to approach her, what other signs are you getting from Lacy that would make you feel it is the Baby she dislikes?

sammiec
January 4th, 2005, 10:00 AM
Is this a new thing or has it developed over time? How long has your grand daughter been living with you and your dog? How long have you had the dog?

fleabitpokey
January 4th, 2005, 10:17 AM
whinnieboo,and sammiec,I have had Lacy since she was 8 weeks old.I have had my gr.daughter her whole life.The problem started to show up as the baby started getting mobile.Lacy will go to her crate and growl if the baby gets close.I understand that is Lacy's space,but toddlers move fast.Lacy will back away from the baby show her teeth,then retreat to the crate.My gr.daughter has never been alone with Lacy,so I know for a fact that it isn't that she has been hurt by the baby.I am seriously concerned that *what if* Lacy is a great dog.What can I do?

Schwinn
January 4th, 2005, 10:31 AM
I have a feeling that something happened when you weren't looking. Daisy loves our nephew and oldest niece, but our youngest niece Daisy'll growl if the neice starts touching her, and has snapped in her direction (we think she is doing this as a warning, not an actual attempt to bite, as she will often move away from the baby. It's worrisome, if anyone has any ideas?). My wife does remember the dog acting apprehensive one day around the baby, and we aren't sure but think she may have poked Daisy in the eye accidently.

mrmilo
January 4th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Is the dog comfortable in the same room, but just nervous about being approached? If you are between the child and the dog but are close to the dog, is the dog ok with that?

Miker
January 4th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Well, the good thing is that you can't leave a 2 yr old unattended, so you shouldn't worry much about something happening. Perhaps allowing your GDaughter to put the food down for a while so she gets linked as a provider. When she gets older, she can discipline so that the natural pecking order is readdressed.

If your dog feels that he/she is the dominent in your relationship, this new addition is a threat. You need to address this relationship.

BMDLuver
January 4th, 2005, 01:08 PM
Twinmommy has been through all of this with her dog Gypsy. She has twins who are now just mobile. She should be able to help you with some of this as she learned well through experience and was able to make it work after much effort on her and her family's part.

The two mixes of your dog are difficult one's to adjust to children, believe me, I know from experience with my aussie mix. They are bred for herding and look at a toddler as a challenge that needs to be organized.

Your best bet is too look through the threads that Twinmommy started about her dog as there is a lot of good sites and advice that helped her. PM her as well, she's a great lady!

fleabitpokey
January 4th, 2005, 01:11 PM
mrmilo, if I try to have the baby feed Lacy,she will take the treat fast and not careful at all,then move away from her.If it was where Lacy can get away, that is exactly what she does.There has never been a time that she will freely go up to the baby.I can call her to us ,she will allow her to reach out and touch her then Lacy leaves,I can call her repeatedly and she will come,only to leave when she is not forced to stay.If the little one goes towards her,Lacy will either growl or show teeth or go to her crate. I have always been present when the two of them are in the same room.Baby gates keep them seperated when I can't be right there to watch. I am at my wits end.Lacy's quality of life isn't what it used to be.But I need to make sure the baby is safe too.

mrmilo
January 4th, 2005, 01:58 PM
I know from experience how trying a small child can be on a dog, but of course it depends on the dog and the child. From your description it sounds to me like your granddaughter is safe for now, as long as you keep a strict eye on them, but I am concerned as she continues to get more mobile she could end up getting bitten. I think you should find a professional trainer that will come into your home ASAP and assess the situation and assist you with training the dog. Not seeing or knowing the dog myself I would rather error on the side of caution. Good luck!!

tenderfoot
January 4th, 2005, 02:44 PM
Your first concern must be the baby and in my estimations she is not safe with this dog. I don't believe Lacy will intentionally go after the baby but I am sure if she ever gets cornered by her - Lacy will snap to defend herself.
Lacy is not comfortable with the unpredictable nature of a child. She doesn't know that she is safe around her and isn't confident that you will be able to keep her safe.
As the baby grows and you are able to teach her to respect the dog and begin to have her interact in more predictable ways around Lacy then things could improve. I know your intentions were good, but having a puppy (the baby) try to feed a nervous dog is asking for a hand to get bitten and the baby to become afraid of the dog.
You, as the leader of this pack of three, have to take control. You cannot make Lacy like the baby, but you can insist on good manners. Never trust Lacy with the baby or visa versa. I would have Lacy on the leash when she is out with the baby - give her lots of jobs to do to take her mind off of the baby. Giving her lots of jobs also rises you in the leadership role and gets Lacy to look to you for direction when she is nervous instead of just reacting. Teach her the direction 'easy' or 'settle' - which means to bring her energy down. This tells her to be slow around the baby which can calm Lacy and gets her to listen to you for guidance.
Her response right now is to become defensive and nervous around the baby and you need to start working on her gaining confidence and getting calmer. I would put the baby in her high chair or crib and give Lacy long wonderful massages in the same room. Concentrate on her ears, spine and tail the most - this helps to release nervous energy.
Does Lacy have a favorite toy? You could have the baby toss it across the room and have Lacy bring it back to YOU for you to pick up and hand to the child. This would help Lacy look to the baby for play and fun, but still keep you in control of the interactions and help Lacy feel safe.

Schwinn
January 4th, 2005, 03:25 PM
I'm asking this both for myself and fleabitpokey, but if it is a case of the baby accidently hurt the dog when no one was looking, is it possible for the dog to trust the baby again, or is basically a situation where you have to wait until the child is older to be able to take more of an alpha position?

tenderfoot
January 4th, 2005, 03:33 PM
From the descriptions of Lacy's behavior I think trust will be a long time in coming. Lacy is evasive and nervous over all when in the same room with the baby.
Think of it this way, if a puppy had come into the home and nipped at Lacy she would probably either get up and leave, or discipline the puppy and then get over it. But it is unlikely that she would avoid all contact with the pup to the degree she has with the baby. Other things are going on here. It has been 2 years and Lacy has had plenty of time to bond and trust - but instead things seem to be getting worse since the child became mobile.
Unfortunately, it is a long time to wait for this child to grow up until Lacy gets back into her comfort zone.

Gazoo
January 4th, 2005, 05:20 PM
From the descriptions of Lacy's behavior I think trust will be a long time in coming. Lacy is evasive and nervous over all when in the same room with the baby.
Think of it this way, if a puppy had come into the home and nipped at Lacy she would probably either get up and leave, or discipline the puppy and then get over it. But it is unlikely that she would avoid all contact with the pup to the degree she has with the baby. Other things are going on here. It has been 2 years and Lacy has had plenty of time to bond and trust - but instead things seem to be getting worse since the child became mobile.
Unfortunately, it is a long time to wait for this child to grow up until Lacy gets back into her comfort zone.


I agree with Tenderfoot in that there seems to be a negative relationship between the baby and the dog even after 2 years.

I would find the dog another home W/O CHILDREN or have someone keep it until the baby grows. I have NO tolerance for any dog that displays aggressiveness towards babies/toddlers.

Your responsibility lies with protecting your grand-daughter; NOT with the dog.

You can't watch them all the time and its a disaster waiting to happen!!!! 2 year olds are everywhere and into everything. One mistake by you could be a crisis.

A 2 year old needing facial surgery or worse might be the result if you don't!!!

twodogsandacat
January 4th, 2005, 06:32 PM
I would have to agree with Gazoo and others. As much as we love our pets we have to make tough decisions whenever somebody else's safety is concerned. Even if the child did do something to the dog that no longer remains the issue - there is a conflict and it's potentially dangerous. I don't believe that in dog attacks the size of the dog is the issue - it's the size of the victim that counts.

If the issue were peeing you could benefit from all the tricks others have had success with. However there is no room for trial and error in this situation, this is serious. It's just my opinion but I would strongly suggest you only try one other thing before finding the dog another home without young children- speak to your vet and find a canine behaviourist. I don't mean a trainer who can teach your dog to sit and stay but somebody who really understands dog behaviour - talk to your vet and do it ASAP. Other than that you don't have a lot of time before something terrible could happen.

Good luck

fleabitpokey
January 4th, 2005, 07:38 PM
I want to thank all for the replys.I guess I have had the feeling that I would have to place Lacy for awhile now.It just really hit home talking about what could possibly happen.I have always had a *kids come first* outlook on life.I really had hoped that Lacy would come around.I think that I needed to hear it from those that know more than I do ,on the outside of this situation.It isn't easy to make this kind of decision,but my gr.daughter's saftey comes first. Thank you all.

tenderfoot
January 4th, 2005, 08:37 PM
I am so sorry - I know how hard this is for you.
Sometimes the lesson we are learning is about letting go. Once it is done you will feel better I promise. When you see her go to a wonderful new home where she will get the time and attention she requires, then you will know it's for the best. I know those words sound cold right now and I am sorry.
Try to think of it as you have given Lacy a wonderful, loving home and start in life, and it has been the bridge to someone new - who needs her.
Best of luck. :grouphug:

fleabitpokey
January 5th, 2005, 08:44 AM
Tenderfoot,you sound like a very nice person,who actually cares.Thank you for the kind words.I have been feeling like I am letting down a friend to make this choice.But when it comes to the baby this is the only way I need to go.Thank you again

tenderfoot
January 5th, 2005, 09:10 AM
You would feel worse letting your granddaughter down and this situation really isn't best for Lacy anymore because she is not comfortable in her own home. She knows you are always nervous and on edge and she can't relax. You would be doing more harm to her if she stayed and worse yet if something bad happened and she was to blame - she doesn't deserve that.
You are doing the right thing. Forgive yourself.

mrmilo
January 5th, 2005, 01:32 PM
fleabit, I really admire your commitment to both your dog and your granddaugter. Of the course your prime responsibility is to your granddaughter but you obviously care deeply for your pet. I am sorry that this has happened but you should feel good knowing that you are providing the best possible protection for both.

Kindest regards,

fleabitpokey
January 5th, 2005, 06:31 PM
question, has anyone ever had dog teeth pulled ,say enough of them to not be a danger if they tried to bite. It isn't like Lacy would have to go out and take down a deer to survive. If I could eliminate the danger part of a bite,then there isn't any danger. I have asked at my vets to consider this as an option.They said that they would ask the Dr. when he was free and call me.Am I goofy??I really am not happy with the alternative I have left.

tenderfoot
January 5th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Really not fair to Lacy and it doesn't solve the problem. Lacy is afraid of your granddaughter. What if you still had to rehome her even after the removal of teeth - who would be likely to take her knowing you removed her teeth because of potential aggression issues?
Your granddaughter could still be attacked by Lacy (teeth or not), and be left emotionally damaged - let alone badly bruised.
Lacy deserves to live in a home where she is comfortable with all of its members. I know it is hard, but it is best for Lacy & your granddaughter. You need to let yourself grieve - but better to grieve over a dog who is rehomed than to grieve over your granddaughter's injuries, or Lacy being euthanized for biting a child.

Gazoo
January 5th, 2005, 06:44 PM
question, has anyone ever had dog teeth pulled ,say enough of them to not be a danger if they tried to bite. It isn't like Lacy would have to go out and take down a deer to survive. If I could eliminate the danger part of a bite,then there isn't any danger. I have asked at my vets to consider this as an option.They said that they would ask the Dr. when he was free and call me.Am I goofy??I really am not happy with the alternative I have left.


Yup..................... you're goofy. :p

I'm not sure this would be fair to the dog who would have to suffer thru getting the teeth pulled. :sad:

It just doesn't sound like a fair or practical solution from the dog's point of view.

I'm sorry but the best alternative still seems to be finding a new loving home for the dog.

fleabitpokey
January 5th, 2005, 07:01 PM
Gazoo, thanks I needed that.
Tenderfoot ,you are probably right.I guess I am just grasping at straws. I want to thank you for being honest,some with a little more umph :p then others.

tenderfoot
January 5th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Thanks, sometimes my honest 'umph' :rolleyes: is what helps me sleep at night.
If you can be involved in finding the right home I am sure you will be able to sleep better at night aswell.
Best of luck.

twinmommy
January 5th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Just putting in my .02 cents., I have the same situation, but I think mine was a little more workable, because of different variables, I have a house instead of a condo, but I also have twins...... :crazy:

If you are still on the fence with this, I can tell you that I am having success with my dog.

What you should try to do is get the dog to have the mind set that when the baby is around GOOD THINGS HAPPEN. Give her massages, like TF said, give her treats--from the highchair even better :D -- and give her attention ONLY when the baby is around.(for now) The rest of the time ignore her, just for now while you are trying to establish the new mindset. If you walk outside, keep her on a heel pushing the stroller ahead of her. You don't want to instigate a confrontation, you just want to reinstate her place in the pack.

Also she could re-learn that you are alpha, there is a great link I believe it's called "alpha boot camp" (right, Luckyrescue?) and also www.wonderpuppy.net has some great info on dogs and kids.

The thing is, no matter what dog you have, you can't leave ANY dog unattended with ANY kid---EVER. But you have to remove the stress from the situation, for your sanity.You mentioned baby gates,do you need somethng else to feel comfortable? I know that my dogs and my kids are NEVER together, not for now because I just can't monitor 1 50lb dog ,1 90 lb dog, and twin 14 month olds. And sure I feel sorry for the dog sometimes because she has less human contact, but that's where "kids come first" in my house. My dog also has a place here, as a friend and a member of this family. But I don't want this to sound like I'm preaching, I'm lucky that things have worked out, a short time ago I was in your shoes.

Let us know how things are with you, and if we can help at all, or just "listen."

Gazoo
January 5th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Twinmommy,

I agree with your intentions but I just can't agree with the method you propose.

I just don't think its worth the potential risk to the child to have a child-aggressive dog in the same household regardless of the precautions taken especially

No-one can be perfect in keeping a child and dog apart in a household b/c life will get in the way and mistakes will be made; and in this case mistakes could mean a disfigured child.

And I especially don't think its fair to keep the dog separated from the family and having "less human contact" b/c of its negative behaviour

:sad:

Especially since the increased separation and isolation of the dog could result in even more neurotic, fearful and/or aggressive behaviours!!! :eek:

A dog deserves a home where it fits and is a part tof the day to day activity.

In this situation its not the easiest solution emotionally or logistically but its probably the safest and the best.

Gazoo

twinmommy
January 5th, 2005, 09:33 PM
Gazoo

You're right. No child should be in potential danger. And I soooo know what you mean about mistakes happening in a busy house. I just wanted to get some ideas across, but never at the sake of a disfigured child.

Creating a safe distance, on the advice of Gypsy's trainer, did no harm to her but I could see how every situation is different. You have to feel comfortable. I had this trainer come into the house to make sure that no mistakes, or triggers were to happen.Although it's not foolproof, it was very informative and I have peace of mind and can go to the bathroom knowing that dogs and babies are seperate. And yes I jump more babygates than an olympic hurdler, but that's my choice and I do have the kind of dog thatwill sleep all day unless you call her, so she's not exactly on the other side whimpering :rolleyes: And yes, Gypsy is a part of our lives, but obviously less when I am busy with the girls,I also see less of my other friends since having the babies, AND my husband for that matter(free to a good home?? :D ) but we will all survive dogs, cats, friends,and of course hubby!!
I realize that this is just not feasible or acceptable to many, and for the sake of argument, I have another dog and 2 cats that amuse themselves with Gypsy on the other side of Babygateville, so her quality of life is still pretty good.

I guess again the important thing is to focus on what you have "on your plate,"as far as a problem, what resources are available, what you are willing to do(and I don't mean tht sarcastically by any means) and how you see the situation resolving. It's a relationship like any other. If things are too chaotic then maybe...but then the dog should be pts if it is that agressive. It will be too difficult to rehome anyway.

I know Fleabitpokey, you said you are grasping at straws, did you rule out a medical problem? Thyroid can cause agression in dogs, although it seems pretty specific to the child. :(

Good luck fleabitpokey
Well said, Gazoo. :)

Gazoo
January 5th, 2005, 10:28 PM
I know Fleabitpokey, you said you are grasping at straws, did you rule out a medical problem? Thyroid can cause agression in dogs, although it seems pretty specific to the child


Good point Twinmommy!!!!!!! :thumbs up

I never thought of that angle...perhaps a thorough vet check up is in order before any decisions are made!!!

Wadda ya think Fleabitpokey?

BTW.....Twinmommy:

I think the effort you're making to keep your doogie is commendable........crazy............ but commendable..... :p :D

Bugsy
January 6th, 2005, 12:56 AM
TwinMommy
http://users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/happy/604.gif I think you're amazing! http://users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/happy/604.gif

Schwinn
January 6th, 2005, 08:24 AM
question, has anyone ever had dog teeth pulled ,say enough of them to not be a danger if they tried to bite. It isn't like Lacy would have to go out and take down a deer to survive. If I could eliminate the danger part of a bite,then there isn't any danger.

I guess that depends if it's possible to be "gummed" to death...

Another question I have is, is the dog like this with all children, or just this one child? I think that could also help in determining if this is something that can be fixed or not. Again, is it the result of a bad experience, or the dog just does not like children? I know we don't know the answer to that, but I think any solution has to revolve around that answer.

twinmommy
January 6th, 2005, 10:37 AM
Bugsy, and Gazoo

Thanks for the kind words! I gotta say I thought about this dog all night. It also makes me question to some degree what I have going on here--don;t kid yourself Gazoo, I feel crazy sometimes too--but I just have to take it day by day. I have also gotten her trainer in here to give his opinion, and even he agrees that this particular dog is not just going to snap. She's also not a "fear-biter" which is what I think Fleabitpokey might be dealing with--which is MORE difficult.
Both Larry (trainer) and my husband, and I of course that we will not PTS on a "maybe" or a "what if" and we know exactly what Gypsy's problem is and why--another factor that is undetermined for Fleabitpokey.

I agree that there may very well have been some incident between the dog and the baby. And I agree that your kids HAVE to come first!! Some people here might think that I am compromising my child's safety, but I assure you I am not. gypsy's presence in the house in not that big a threat, and we are quite happy to jump babygates forever. I know that soon the kids will be jumping them as well, but I also believe that you have to educate your child on how to respect an animal. Gypsy has also never bitten anyone, we have actually never got past a warning growl.That being said, I don't ignore her temperment and pretend that she's fine, I just constantly work at it, and keep them apart. It's been 3-4 months now and Gypsy knows to stay away from the babies, but she also knows tht she gets alot of treats and lovin' when they are awake and about. There will always be a neighbors's dog,my inlaws dogs(who are horribly viscious and my inlaws turn a blind eye) or cat, or a dog in the park even and if your children don't know how to respect animals...you can't PTS the whole block.

I'm not saying to tolerate an agressive dog, Ireally don't feel that I am.( I know that woulds seem strange, but if she had a physical ailment that made me seperate her from the kids, people would think I was cruel for putting her down or rehomeing her. Because she has more "mental" issues people are quick to say "get rid of her". Some might think that I am treating her almost like a human... well, to me she is. :)

Bu what I really wanted to communicate to Fleabitpokey was that ANY and ALL dogs, from the sweetest meekest, smallest to biggest...would have to be constantly supervised.

"Lassie" was just a movie. Life with kids AND dogs is hectic at best. but very very rewarding. And I think alot of situations are workable. Get a trainer in there with you because they are not emotionally tied to the situation. And be careful of the trainer with dollar signs for "eyes". My guy was honest enough to tell me that I shuld have improvemnt within 5-6 weeks otherwise..... :(
(That being said we gave it 2 months and a bit, but you get the gist of it)

Anyways, Flea, I thought of you all night, and am wishing only good things for you and Lacy. Please keep us updated and no matter how this turns out, know that we are thinking of you and are here for you. :grouphug:

Rainy
January 6th, 2005, 10:38 AM
I think twinmommy, you are awesome!I am behind you 100%and support you fully in your decision! I know some dogs are nervous of little ones because they are so quick,loud,and unpredictable .What is the main thing you hear after a dog has bitten a child? "I don't know why.He/she has never acted mean etc...etc....." The potential for any dog to bite a child is there ALWAYS. The reality is most people don't have that worry or mind set.Most people think it would never happen to them with thier dog and they let thier guard down. The fact that you are aware of and even fear a potential problem will keep you on your toes and help keep the child safe.
fleabitpokey,Do you have baby gates set up to restrict the childs space? Can you seperate them often...ex: baby is playing in living room....have the dog in the kitchen with her toys,and or crate. Giving the dog treats from the high chair is a fantastic idea! No contact has to be made even.The dog will see who threw the treat! :D
Has lacy only shown her teeth then retreated? A dog does that to pups when she is not in the mood for play.
Ask yourself if you are willing to do the extra work to keep the child and dog safe.I don't think it is cruel to restrict the dogs areas.It won't need to be forever either.
I rehomed my dog of 12 years after my second child was mobile because my dog was in a panic all the time :sad: You could literally see the panic in the dog .For me it was an easy decision because my mom took my baby(dog) and he is sooooo much happier at her quiet home than he was with my 2 (human) boys running around.
Either decision you make will be the right one because you obviously love your dog and your grand daughter.Only you know the dogs character and your grand daughters!

twinmommy
January 6th, 2005, 10:57 AM
What is the main thing you hear after a dog has bitten a child? "I don't know why.He/she has never acted mean etc...etc....."

Thanks Rainy, sorry I was just editing my post before yours. You have an excellent point, in fact, this is why I call Gypsy my "blessing in disguise" because I also have another dog, Jake, who is your typical "angel" and he "would never..".

If I didn't have Gypsy in my life, I would have never learned so much and researched this to this point. I would have just thought I had the "perfect" dog with kids...and might have been very sorry. I would never have the set- up that I have now at home, that everyone SHOULD have.

Aggressive or not.


by the way, did I mention that you guys are great for the moral?? :D :grouphug: :D :grouphug: :D :grouphug: :D :grouphug:

Rainy
January 6th, 2005, 11:07 AM
:grouphug: backatcha.

fleabitpokey
January 10th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Schwinn,to answer your ? Lacy acts evasive around all children.When she was about 5 months old is the first time that I felt her tension with the neighbors little ones.Tried as I would,she wanted nothing to do with them.She would allow them to pet her and feed her treats,just had the feeling then that I really needed to watch her.

Rainy,I have had baby gates up since the baby was brought to me at 6 weeks.Lacy has been able to be in her life,just not total access to the baby.In fact,2 days ago Lacy chewed the moulding off the door jam(3ft.)next to a baby gate,while we were at the store.Never in my wildest dream would I have ever expected that.

twinmommy,I wish I had your resolve,of trying to cope.I have talked to a couple of rescue places to see what they thought.All were sure that I cannot make a mistake,where child saftey is concerned.I had one lady evaluate Lacy she said that I would have problems trying to find her a home,temperment,sound sensitive,age.Another man said he would only take her if I gave the group $700.,"big dogs are hard to get homes for".That really is where I stand at this point.Thanks to you all.

tenderfoot
January 10th, 2005, 07:43 PM
I cannot believe that someone demanded $700 to find her a home! That's outrageous!!!!! :mad:
Can you place an add and do it yourself? You would be amazed how often the perfect match can show up.

LL1
January 10th, 2005, 08:47 PM
Me too,most people would give up.And rehome the problem to someone else.Not many homes that never see kids on the street,in the park,have kids of their own or grand kids or friends kids that visit or bump into kids in a vet office.I admire your working through the issue.
TwinMommy
http://users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/happy/604.gif I think you're amazing! http://users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/happy/604.gif

LL1
January 10th, 2005, 08:49 PM
I agree! :thumbs up
If I didn't have Gypsy in my life, I would have never learned so much and researched this to this point. I would have just thought I had the "perfect" dog with kids...and might have been very sorry. I would never have the set- up that I have now at home, that everyone SHOULD have.

Aggressive or not.