Dog Troubles...

Updated on October 14, 2010
T.H. asks from Altonah, UT
9 answers

Hubby, our 6 month old DD, and I will be moving to TN soon, and we are going to stay with my in-laws while we house hunt. We are pretty excited, because we have no family where we are living now, so it will be nice to have them around. I get along really well with them, I'm actually closer to his mom than I am to my own. All of us are pretty laid-back people, so I'm sure we will all get along fine. The only problem is that they have 2 dogs. One of which is a biter. :( He is really protective of family, and while he recognizes me as family (he has always known hubby) I am worried about how he will react to my daughter. He does really well with people he already knows... One you are his "family" you don't have to worry about anything... You can pick him up, pinch him, pull fur, whatever and he will just take it. Regardless, I have 2 main fears... the first is that he DOESN'T take to her, and I will have to constantly keep them separated in different rooms, and always be that much more nervous. (Of course, I would supervise anyway... even the most trusted pets have "accidents" sometimes...) My second fear is that he WILL take to her, but too much. I have this reoccurring nightmare that I am home alone with her, she is laying on my bed crying, and the dog is "protecting" her and won't let me go to her. In my dream I call Hubby on the phone, freaking out and in tears because my baby NEEDS me and I can't get to her. lol. I know that probably isn't gong to happen, but the thought is still there in the back of my mind. Any advice? I can't ask them to get rid of the dog, (not that I would even if they would consider it...) because we will only be there for a little while, and they have had him for 12 years...

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I would just use common baby should be left alone with a dog for any length of time for any reason. Like you said, even the best dogs can have a "moment". Don't lay her on the floor or in any position where the dog is standing over her or higher than her. If they must be separated, so be it. It is only temporary and hopefully you will be in your new home soon enough. I would not worry about the dog "overprotecting" the baby and not letting you near her - most dogs should recognize that you are not going to harm her. You are having a nightmare that is based on some anxiety that you are feeling - it is not based in reality.

I guess the question is why the dog is a "biter" and what has been done about it up to this point...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Who's the boss in that house, the people or the dog? If you let the dog know that your child is a part of the family and you will not tolerate any aggression toward her, then he should comply. Even a tiny little "under the breath" growl should be addressed immediately and under no uncertain terms. Give him a good Cesar Milan "bite" with your finger into the ribs and say "No!" He'll get the picture. Just because you're there temporarily does not give him the right to lord over you the whole time. He is the dog and should step aside and take the dog role as companion to the people, not tyrant. I have 3 good-sized dogs and two small dds (5 and 2) and even though they know never to bite or rough-house, I would still never leave them alone together. Be vigilant, but be assertive too. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

We used to have a dog that was "iffy" around kids (we did not have kids at the time). We made sure to keep a big radius between her and any small child - you just can't take the chance. Your best solution here will be to keep the dog in a different room whenever you are not holding your daughter.

As an aside, when I was born, my parents had a dog that really had not liked other children (neighbors, neices and nephews who only visited occasionally). They were very concerned about bringing me home from the hospital and how the dog would react. Apparently the dog was aloof at first, but then when she realized that I was there to stay, that dog would have defended me with her life. They say it took about a week for the dog to come to this conclusion, and after that she was my self-appointed guardian. She would always lay in between my play pen and the front door, and when she would hear the postman or the milk man coming up the walk, she'd stand facing the door, with her hackles up, and growl. But in all my growing-up years (the dog lived until I was 12), she never, ever did one aggressive thing toward me. She was the best dog ever. So take heart, it may work out really well. Just be cautious until you're sure.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

when you come into the house for the first time, make sure you and hubby and DD are a united family unit, when you introduce them. make sure you keep her close to you and push the dog away if it gets too close. this will tell the dog that she is part of the pack and YOUR baby, and she will be "protected" as such. YOU and your inlaws are the "pack leaders" in this situation, so when YOU guys accept the baby, then it is automatically part of the pack. dont' allow the dog to "mother" her and you won't have a problem with her protecting your daughter from you. dogs don't work that way. you'll be fine i'm sure. but yes ALWAYS be there with her when the dog is around. you can never be too safe!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from State College on

One other thing that may help, if possible is to let the dog smell something that belongs to your daughter before they meet. If you visit before the move, leave a few of her items behind so he can get used to them. The items will also probably smell like you and your husband, but will allow the dog to get used to her scent as part of the house. Once you are there, even after you have seen how the greeting will go, you can leave something of hers where he can smell it when they are separated. Best of luck to you and hope he sees her as an extension of you and your husband and part of the family. If you have troubles and are going to be there long, you may want to talk to a local trainer or behaviorist for advice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I'd suggest that you talk to your in-laws and ask them if they'd mind if you purchased a baby gate and put it up to keep out the dog from what ever room your in. If he's a biter they should understand your concern. Or better yet while your staying at their house ask that the baby gate keeps their dog into a area that is low traffic. One your daughter won't need to go it. That way the pup can still be out and see whats going on. .

My grandma has a snippy poodle that I have concerns about. She treats that dog like its her child and it in turn has turned out temperamental. He's bitten atleat 5 family members. There has been on times that he's been protective of my baby and i've asked she puts him outside. It's a hard issue so good luck. Hopefully they will understand and put their dog in a area that is safe for your kids.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Why worry?
Stop fretting and just be sure to put that energy into making sure an adult is always supervising the child/dog situation. You'd never leave them alone, and if I'm right.... THE DOG will love the baby and treat it well :)



answers from Chicago on

I agree with giving the dog a blanket or something that smells like your little girl to sleep with to get him used to the scent. But- you don't say how old your daughter is. Crying babies can really upset dogs, especially if they are not used to the sound.
Honestly, just to be safe, I would NEVER allow the dog to be near your daughter, especially her face. I was bit by a neighbor's small dog as a child- with my mom and the neighbor RIGHT THERE! You just cannot be too careful.

Your in-laws may feel differently, but I would just point out that you are not asking them to get rid of the dog- only to be super cautious because they would not want their granddaughter to get bit, right?

Keep the dogs away from the baby, period!



answers from Boise on

When we go to my in-laws, we put the dog out. My MIL will forget and let the dog in. The dog isn't mean in anyway, just too big and rambunctious and scares my son. She is not trained AT ALL, and my in laws just don't get it. You don't say how long you will be there, but I guess you won't know.

Most animals understand babies and are more gentle with them, so you may not have a problem, but you may. I would bring the baby in, maybe in a carseat, or have your husband hold her. Have your MIL or FIL hold the dog while they are introduced (have your husband greet the dog first) and don't let the baby wave her arms around while the dog sniffs her out.

If there is ANY hostility, your in-laws will see it, and you may need to get a baby fence set up for the dog or the baby. As far as guarding the baby. Keep the dog out of the room the baby will sleep in, and odds are that if he attaches to her that he would want her helped if she is upset.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions