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Dog "defending" the baby (By biting my wife)

April 29th, 2010, 10:23 PM
I have a problem where our English Springer Spaniel has started biting my wife when I'm holding our baby son. I have noted he acts protectively towards other members of the family, in particular biting my father-in-law when he gets near my mother-in-law. However the baby is now six months old and the biting has only started now. I am guessing it's some kind of protective behaviour.

I am at a bit of a loss, because I have a two-year old toddler who Phoebe is extremely tolerant with. She's "inherited" so I don't know much of her background. I believe she is still trainable, since I've managed to get her to stop jumping (on me so far only). Tempereament-wise she's usually very tolerant, but prone to the unexpected behaviour described above.

What is strange about it is that during the day Phoebe and the other dog spend the day with my wife and the two children, mostly without incident. When I'm home they tend to follow me around.

What do I do?

April 29th, 2010, 10:43 PM
Welcome to Antonroder :).

Your situation sounds serious enough (especially when young children are involved) to consult with a behaviorist experienced with this type of aggression. Without actually seeing your dog and the dynamics of your family, it's very difficult to give advice over the internet.

You'll find a list of trainers here: The Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers . Put in Manitoba in the province field. I suggest you research well and ask for (and please verify), references.

It must be difficult for your family. I hope you can all learn to work with him :fingerscr :goodvibes:.

May 1st, 2010, 05:15 PM
This is one case where I'd be hesitant to take training advice from people on a message board, because we're talking actual bites and infants are involved. Taking the wrong advice could actually make the situation worse.

Hopefully someone can post and recommend a reputable behaviorist for you, because you really really need to consult someone in person and have them assess the dog and your family's behavior around the dog.

Good luck :goodvibes:

May 6th, 2010, 02:38 PM
I think this needs to be said take the dog away from the situation put him out in the yard in a different room seperated by a door and any where that is away from the kids. Even if he is acting fine you said he is unpredictable. Consult a trainer asap and find one who is willing to do an in home consultation.

Goodluck and best wishes.