T.E. asks from West Hollywood, CA on February 26, 2007
Dealing with Dog and Baby
I am having a very very difficult time with my husband's dog. We've been together for 7 years, and the dog was never really a problem until I had a baby. I should say I put up with him. My daughter is now 16 months old and every day with the dog is a battle. It is driving me insane. My husband loves his dog and we argue every time I bring it up because he is so sensitive about the topic. I am having fantasies about moving out because of the dog. He barks really loudly alot of the time, is constantly scratching at the door to be let out and turning around and coming back in. We have hired an expensive trainer but the suggestions quickly went by the wayside. My husband resfuses to acknowledge how much of a problem it is and will not deal with it. In addition, I find I am full of RAGE on a constant basis and yelling at the dog in front of my daughter (something I never wanted to bring into our house). The dog has bones and toys all over that she is putting in her mouth.... I could go on and on. My husband and I have an otherwise very good relationship. This issue is tearing us apart. Please help.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you to all of you who helped with our dog issue. I actually read the responses out loud to my husband. It REALLY helped to have other people's perspectives. He was grateful to know that there were dog lovers among you. He felt he had someone on his side. He has now taken a very active role in making sure that our dog is disciplined and completely out of our hair during the day. We bought a citronella collar so he gets a ligh spray when he barks. That has calmed him down. He will not get rid of him and I understand and appreciate that. The dog also spends more time outside during the day and, as long as we leave the main door open, he seems ok with it. My husband has desginated an area in our closet for the dog toys. Thanks again for all of your help! It made a huge difference and helped us work through a very difficult issue.
K.C. answers from Los Angeles on March 03, 2007
If you can afford it , I would call the dog whisperer. e would know the best way to handle the situation and it would be an unbias opinion. When I was pregnant I had a rottweiler, I took her to K-9 companions in Riverside and then I brought her home she was a much better dog. Even better after I brought my son home. Those are 2 options.
M.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 27, 2007
Hey T., I have to say the only response that seemed to make a lost of sense was teila. If your husband truly loved his dog he would take an active part in training and rearing the animal. I would definantly make the dog an outside dog. Hell would freeze before I let some animal play mind games with me going in and out. I grew up with dogs that were not super well trained so I get very frustrated with untrained dogs. Put the dog toys outside, only feed her outside. That is what eventually happened in my house and it worked. Tell your husband it the dog or you, or get rid of the dog during the day. Serious. It just seems completly disrespectful towards you and his child to put an animal over your welfare and happiness. I now own just a large cat. He is more my husbands cat than mine. But when our son was born I told him, if that cat even LOOKS at the baby wrong, he is a goner. I can always get another cat, but I can never replace my son. Best of Luck, PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN.
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from San Francisco on February 27, 2007
we had 2 dogs. Then a cute baby girl, then another baby...
Both dogs died over a few years/ we remember them fondly.
(we only had 8-12 years from our dogs)
Our children are a lifetime....
C.N. answers from San Luis Obispo on February 27, 2007
Well, for one thing, you are going to have to be the one to manage the change here. So firstly decide that the dogs bones and toys are not a health problem. My great grandchildren have proven that to me. I used to cringe when they touched the dogs things, but they are still healthy. It wasn't my home, so I couldn't make the rules and had to observe.
Next, realize that the dog is important to you beloved husband, and you need to respect that. After you have conquered those two mountains, then you can start to solve the problem of the dog's behavior. Go back over the training that the professional gave you, then watch that dog training show, I have forgotten the man's name, I think that it is Caesar, but I am sure that you know who I mean. He has even trained Oprah and Stedman about their dogs. Caesar is very cool, and has good suggestions, and a lot of them make sense for when you are dealing with children or other adults, just don't let them know that you are plotting to train them.
I used to be a teacher and have used my disciplining tricks on my husband and children a lot. Without their knowing it.
Remember to comfort yourself. For goodness sake you are uptight and that cannot be fun for you. ...and remindyourself that you are in control. You are the lady of the house, but you cannot force, you have to guide. O.K.? O.K.
I truly hope that this helps you, C. N.
C.K. answers from San Francisco on March 10, 2008
Take the dog to doggie camp :) or daycare for doggies :)
L.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 27, 2007
T. ~ I truly wish that I had something helpful to say, but I don't know that I do. The trainer is nice, but if you don't do what the trainer suggests, its just a waste of money. Dogs do love to learn so if you work with your husband's dog with the advice of the trainer, in time things will get better. Also, you may want to install a doggie door so when you're home, the dog can come in and go out as it pleases, then you're not interrupted to let it out, just to have it want back in again. Also, suggest to your husband that perhaps you can have one designated are in the house for the dog's toys. This way, you either don't put your daughter in that room or if you do, you know you need to constantly watch what she's doing. Having a pet in the house is really nice and very good for kids, it teaches them compassion and responsibility, you certainly don't want to leave your home, your husband, the father of your child because of a dog! Having a pet is very similar to having a child, it is a lot of responsibility and takes a tremendous amount of effort, but is equally rewarding. Personally, I would take the suggestions of the trainer and work with the dog. In the end, it's your home and your peace of mind, you have to do what's best for you. Good luck. Also, Pets Smart has good trainers for dogs, its really not necessary to spend a lot of money for a private one. We've taken both our dogs to Pets Smart and hare very happy with the results. We really only spend about 15 minutes a day "working" with our dogs, the rest of the time, we just remind them with a "no" or "drop it", "leave it", "sit", "stay", stuff like that, but when your dog does something good, remember to praise him/her with a "good girl/boy" and maybe even a belly rub. You'll see the difference right away, they love the attention as well. Like I said, I don't know if this is helpful, but I do wish you the best of luck and hope all works out for you and your family.
T.L. answers from Bakersfield on February 26, 2007
Hi T.. I can understand what you are going through. Dogs are like children. Their hard work and can be very tiring! Plus, I do NOT trust dogs around my son. Babies like to grab and pull, and dogs like to bark and bite.
Do you have a backyard? If so, the dog can stay back there. He can become a back yard dog.
I know that you said you have fantasies of leaving: express that to your husband. Let him see its getting to that point.
Good luck and Best Wishes, T.
C.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 18, 2008
I do childcare for a living and some of the dogs were in the families before the children. What we forget is the dogs is apart of the family and they just want to sit and play with the baby. It takes a lot of patience just like your toddler now. Go for walks, play in the backyard include the dog except at eating time. Sometimes I have 4kids two different families and their 4 dogs. At first it is more work. The dogs are now 1 - 5 year's old. This is just an example now I have 2 6month old pupplies in two other families 5 children and I of the children has special needs.
I do live in California. The dogs just want †o be apart of the action and your daughter will learn that the dog is her buddy as she gets older. Which until you have another child she has a playmate. Sincerely, ____@____.com
C.S. answers from Las Vegas on February 26, 2007
I share your pains!!! I have 2 dogs, a Boston Terrier who is very hyper and a Rottie, who is to big for the house, but a house dog. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the dogs, I don't like smelly breath or dog hair and do not have the time to keep them up after working and chasing baby. I have told my hubby the dogs are his responsibility, so they just get ignored ~ poor things. I have put away all of their toys and bones because of the baby and that is that. I cannot have their stuff within her reach. The baby does eat dog food from time to time, but what can you do??? She will usually put the pellet in her mouth and suck on it until I discover there is something in there and ask her to spit it out.
But back to your question...if the dog is older than 2 years it will be more diffictul to train, but not impossible. However, dogs do adjust (most often). If you put the dog outside he should adjust to being out there, try longer and longer periods and then bring the dog in when you and the baby are not there or have moved on to another room. Can you make a dog section with the baby gates? They make some large gates that do not need to be mounted to the wall.