Dog Not Obeying Anymore

Updated on December 18, 2006
C.N. asks from Omaha, NE
9 answers

I have a 5 1/2 month old daughter and a 2 year old puppy, yellow lab. The dog used to obey pretty well, but since we had he baby she doesn't listen to me unless I get up and point and raise my voice. Then she does what I tell her and as soon as I sit back down she gets back up. This is usually regarding begging for food in the kitchen. She knows "out" means out and she will leave and come right back. She also doesn't like to be outside unless the door is left open for her to come and go as she pleases. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!

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answers from Pocatello on

My best guess is that she is still adjusting. Before the baby she probably got lots of attention, and now that the baby is there, she isn't an "only shild" anymore and is jealous of the attention the baby gets. Dogs take longer to adjust, and this is a major event her life. I would give her time. And just like with kids be consistant with her, and take her outside to play. Maybe bundle the baby up every once and a while and take the dog for a walk. not just a lets go potty walk. And remember she will get used to the baby, and how you know have to pay more attention to her. and try getting more eye level with her when she is acting up, and not yelling. Good luck! ~A.~

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answers from Omaha on

It sounds like she wants to be around you and the baby, so much so that her desire to be near you/get attention from you is overiding her discipline. I have that problem with my dog too (a black lab/beagle mix). Especially when Jack was smaller (she's not as big a fan now, since he can chase her and he pulls on her, hits her, not in a mean way, he's trying to pet her). I wouldn't say she's really jealous, just more craving your attention. I have found that spending some extra "Darla time", where I play with her, pet her, let her give kisses, etc. helps. And yes, sometimes I still just have to resort to raising my voice. Also, if you are protective of the baby when she's around (which is a normal reaction!) she may feel that she's been replaced. Which she has, so you might want to try letting her interact with the baby more (if you don't already). Let her be near the baby while you're holding her, let her give the baby a kiss or two, stuff like that. Trust me, in a few more months, she will probably settle down. And remember, at 2 years old, she's at the tail end of puppy-hood. She needs lots of interaction and exercise, especially being a lab. I used to put Jack in his ExerSaucer and play fetch with Darla. He got a big kick out of it, and she was happy she was getting exercise and attention. Now he plays fetch and tug of war with her, now she will being him her toys to throw and play with him. (She is much gentler at tug of war with him than she is with us!)Darla was 4 when Jack was born, so she was a bit older, but she had a very similar reaction, since at 4 years old, she was still a bundle of energy. Actually, this year, at 5 years old, she's STILL a bundle of energy. But now she has a partner in crime. :-) I think pets are a great thing for children to grow up with, so just be patient and extra loving to your 4 legged baby and hopefully you'll see some improvement. But I will say, if your dog is anything like mine, she will always have her naughty moments, they just get much less with extra attention (and the occasional firm command).


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answers from Des Moines on

I agree with the advice about exercising the dog more and spending more time with the dog because of jealousy. The only additional idea I have for you is to limit negative attention to the dog- the dog doesn't see negative attention as such, it just sees that he's getting attention. So, when my dog went through that phase, we kept his kennel close to where we spent most of our time, when he misbehaved, we didn't yell or make a big deal but took him immediately to his kennel- sort of like a time out for a dog. Then we made sure to increase his outdoor play time and even indoor play time to at least 2 good periods a day (enough that he was panting and becoming tired). After about 2 weeks, he started behaving again. Our dog also went through a period of wanting in and out all of the time, again, if he went out and did not "do business" or play and wanted immediately back in- we let him in, but then to the kennel. Again, if you use the kennel as discipline, the extra play time is essential! Good luck- I am the same age as you with a 4 month old- it's a challenge, but rewarding!



answers from Des Moines on

The problem is probably that the dog is jealous mabey thinking its not getting enough attention the best thing to do is to make sure that the dog is getting walked enough and played with I know it is hard I have a 3 month old 3 dogs and a cat. my cat was very jealous we just make sure that we give him lots of attention and it helps. My dogs are outside so they are a little easier to deal with. Just make sure that she (the dog) is getting enough attention. I know it is not easy with a newborn but I think it will help.



answers from Missoula on

No good advice from me, because we have the same problem! We have an 8 month old, and our pup is totally unruly. He acts attention-starved all the time, even though we try to give him a lot of "alone" time when Grace is sleeping. I have no idea what to do! I hate raising my voice to him and I hate it even more when my husband raises his voice because he sounds much more fierce and I'm afraid of what Grace is learning from that tone. I'm watching the responses to your request and hoping there is something useful, but if you find some good advice on the side, please get in touch with me! I asked for advanced obedience classes for my husband and the pup from my parents for Christmas :) We'll see if they come through.



answers from Great Falls on

Maybe the dog is jealous. Give her some extra time and she may start obeying again. If she's not hurting the baby, I wouldn't worry too much about her disobediance.



answers from Missoula on

This is a tough one.
Sounds to me like your puppy just wants some attention from you, and (just like a child) she'll take it even if it's negative.
You sound kinda busy with going to school & being a new mommy...maybe she's feeling a little left out. If you live where you can take her for a walk with you while pushing a stroller or even carrying the baby on your body it may get rid of some of your puppy's extra energy & do all of you some good at the same time. Puppies are just like kids in some ways...they want YOUR love, attention & affection...and will try to get it any way they can. Try giving her that little bit of exercise & see if it helps. (it sure helps us keep our dogs happy)



answers from Lincoln on

I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say good for you on working on you masters! What is it in? I am 29, and am working on my Associates!! I had a real late start! :)
We have a pup, who doesnt listen to anything, and he will be finding a new home soon. I'm guessing that the dog is jealous, and would possilby benifit from some one on one time with you. Take him for a walk, or play with him while baby is sleeping. Sounds like hes afraid your choosing baby or him.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

Hi C.! I had that problem too. Dogs aren't stupid creatures unfortunately. And especially with Yellow Labs, they're ALL about attention and being with you. So even the slightest bit of attention paid to someone else is likely to throw off your dog's training. Let me guess. The minute to sit down, the baby is almost asleep, the dog will start acting up? Like she knows when you *can't* raise your voice? My dogs (2) and cats (2) both did this when Bright was little. They soon figured out that I would indeed put the baby down to discipline them. It took them a while but they got the point.

The best advice I can give is to be consistent and try to include your dog in some things with the baby but make sure the dog knows that he/she is still the omega in the household. It's not mean it's really not. Your dog IS an important part of your family, but it's important for her/him to know what his/her limitations are and place in the "pack" is.

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