H.B. asks from Grapevine, TX on January 11, 2008
Dog Snapping at baby-HELP
Good morning. When I ask myself this question, I think I know the answer but I am not sure and dont want to jump to quick. I have a Chihuahua who is about 3 years old or so. We have had her since the puppy stage. I now have a 9 month old daughter who is crawling and intersted in the puppy. She is starting to want to "pet" the dog and stuff like that. Well, last night the dog was letting her pet her and stuff and then she snapped at her. I was sitting right there and my daughter did nothing different or wrong for her to really snap. She did not bite her or anything. Well, my husband is home with her this morning and said that the dog snapped again. I dont want to chance my daughter getting bitten or hurt by any means. I know it might take time for the dog to get used to her playing with her but still. Do I just keep them apart as best as I can; let the dog get used to her or get rid of the dog? HELP!!!
C.M. answers from Dallas on January 13, 2008
My dog was the same way. You basically need to get a crate and put the dog in it when you are not watching it. And when you are home, you need to get a choke chain (if they make them for chihuahua's lol) or some kind of collar and leave a leash on the dog at all times. Start off holding the leash when the kiddo is near the dog (they lose thier control over the situation if they know you now have it) and pull the chain up when ever the dog even makes the slightest grunt or growl, letting him know it is not okay and he has no say. This really works, my dog actually bit my husband years back right before I had my daughter and we really needed to work on it. At first we thought my dog would despise my daughter with putting two and two together, but my dog now is very sweet and does not snap anymore. He still grunts every now and then, but that's only when she's pulling the tail. And he usually just walks away. You just have to be consistant with it no matter what and shhh them when they growl or snap. Keep the leash on the dog all day too, it makes them feel like they can be held accountable at any time. Good luck!
S. answers from Dallas on January 12, 2008
Dogs are pack animals and they try to figure out their place in the family. Your dog is trying to establish dominance over your baby, to let her know he is ahead of her in the line-up. You have to make it clear to doggie that he isn't!
If he responds well, I think it should be safe to keep him. However, it is important to never allow a baby and a dog to interact, because even with the best of dogs, you never know what they could do. Keep the dog in a well-defined boundary area. You may need to confine him to a laundry room or crate/kennel. Let him out at established intervals, to play and to potty, etc. But make it clear to him that his place is not with the baby! And you also need to make it clear to your baby that she cannot touch the dog at all, unless you are holding one or the other and monitoring real closely.
I had a basset hound who had been my baby for 3 years before our real baby came. We had the same issue. The first time it happened, I reacted very strongly and quickly to both of them. I made sure both knew to stay away from the other, and I told both of them (yes, even though they are "just" a dog and a baby) that they would both be in trouble if anything happened. :) Of course, my husband and I also knew if our dog ever bit, just once, we would immediately remove him from the home. But I think my strong reaction and my constant monitoring taught both of them to live happily with each other. We should have never given our dog the freedom he had before our babies came, but we did find that everyone can adjust well, with some hard work and new boundaries! Good luck. I know it's an emotional issue, because you love your dog so much, but your baby so much more!
1 mom found this helpful
D.A. answers from Dallas on January 12, 2008
I refer my pet sitting clients with pet behavior issues to Aaron Stewart with The Edcuated Dog - he helped my own dogs with pet aggression issues regarding things such as food and toys and he's wonderful! He comes to your home and spends about 3 hours - one session, one time, it's worth it so everyone is safe and secure in your home.
Here is his info:
The Educated Dog
1 mom found this helpful
A.B. answers from Amarillo on March 28, 2008
We used to pull on our Lab's ears and tail and on his coat. As well as put our hands in his food, take his toys, anything we could imagine a child would do to him. Now when our kids do this, it doesn't faze Joey one bit. You might try doing this to your Chihuahua. Use a spray bottle everytime he snaps at you. And treat him with bite sized treats after a job well done! He'll eventually get used to it and do as our Joey does!
A.G. answers from Houston on January 12, 2008
I would not risk it, find the poor dog a good home, it was your baby till it noticed competition. Dogs are great but your baby comes first, and as you said, you know in your gut, the answer to this question, don't question yourself.
J.G. answers from Dallas on January 12, 2008
H., you have a nine month old daughter whose only source of protection is you and her father. If you allow your family pet to show signs of aggression toward your daughter without defending her, what other forms of aggression toward her are you going to allow? I think the question you have to ask yourself is this, "To what degree will I openly allow my daughter to be threatened without my intervention?"
E.W. answers from Dallas on January 11, 2008
I hate to say get rid of the dog because that's just not fair but realistically it's just going to be so hard to keep them separated. As you daughter gets older, more mobile and curious you will have to constantly be watching to make sure she doesn't find the dog. I'm sure eventually she'll learn to leave the dog alone but I don't think you want something to happen before that day. You also don't want to bring about a situation where your daughter gets snapped at a few times, maybe gets bit once and then becomes afraid of all dogs forever. I really hate to say the dog has to go because I know they are wonderful friends and family members but I also hate to see your little girl get hurt.
G.M. answers from San Antonio on January 12, 2008
Chihuahuas are not good dogs to have around children. They don't know when not to be agressive. We gave our to my parents when he bit my son, then the dumb dog tried to go head to head with my mom's neighbor's doberman pincher. Things did not turn out well for poor Paco. Get a Golden retriever. Good luck.
M.H. answers from Dallas on January 13, 2008
Look into Cesear Millan - the Dog Whisperer.