New Dog - Columbia,SC

Updated on January 25, 2011
A.P. asks from Columbia, SC
8 answers

My husband and I just adopted a shelter dog today. He's 6 months old, potty trained, calm and easy going. He is a little anxious bc of new surroundings and he hasn't been around a 2 yr old before. While I trust him, he's still an animal and no ones perfect. Does anyone have pets with toddlers and have tips on how you taught your child to avoid playing with the dog while he's eating or chewing on a bone? Any other suggestions are welcomed as welll! thanks!

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So What Happened?

So thanks everyone for your advice! I ended up giving the pup back this morning. He was half white shepard and lab. He was SO good as far as behavior, I've never seen a six month old pup so well behaved! He just growled at my son once last night and once this morning and I just couldn't risk it. I was bit as a child and so I know I can be a little paranoid but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm thinking that when we do try again it will be with a puppy because he had had 6 months of his life not being around babies/toddlers.And I'm going to wait until my son is a little older as well. I watched both very very closely and my husband and I made sure our son was never unsupervised but one time Hayden (my 2 yr old) ran up to the dog fast before I could get to him and the dog was sleeping and it startled him and he growled a warning growl. I know that this dog will be an amazing family dog with a family that has kids 4 yrs and up. For now I think we're going to try a fish tank and work our way up! lol. Thanks everyone!
Ps he WAS fostered and NOT labeled as aggressive after I took him back. I took him back to his foster home. I'm sure that it COULD have worked out but all it takes is one moment that I miss and I'm not willing to risk that as a mom. Like I said before, my son just isn't ready. When we are, we will definitely adopt again.

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answers from San Antonio on

Knowing the breed of dog would be very helpful---if you have a clue on that.

My suggestion:

keep 2 yr. old away from puppy for a while.

Especially when Puppy is eating or sleeping. You have 2 "babes" and you will have to supervise their time together very closely.

Shelter dogs are usually great dogs..... 2 yr olds are very unpredictable---always be there.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boca Raton on

I have 2 labs and when my son who is now 4 started to crawl and bump into one of the dogs ( the dog was 6 then) he would growl. Today he doesnt growl at all!!! Actually now I have to protect the dogs from my 2 tough boys. I had to teach my boys to respect the dog when he was sleeping and eating, not to pull his tail or ears etc. Also teach your dog to sit when the 2yr old is eating. At times my son wouldn't listen not to play with the dogs food so I would tell him that if he didnt listen he couldnt be near the dog. If you have a baby gate you can use that too. It also helps if the dog has his own space.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

ok I can't believe you sent the dog back for doing something that comes naturally to him. The child charged the dog when he was sleeping
That's what training is for. No matter what age or kind of dog it is you will have to train it to do the behaviors you want.You also are going to have to teach your 2 yr old to leave the dog alone when he's in his space ( crate , pillow , etc)Now that poor dog will be labeled aggressive.
Next time go with a fostered dog. They are raised in a family environment and there is less work for you as far as training.



answers from Bellingham on

What breed of dog is he/she? that would be very helpful for us giving answers, as so many breeds differ in demeanor.
But with all dogs, obedience training should be at the top of your list. Six months is still young, but if you've picked a smart pup, they'll understand.
Keep an eye on kiddo, and feed the dog away from the child until you know the animal. No people food for the dog either. Once they learn that all they eat is dogfood, you'll have better luck with her/him not being interested in toddler snacks!
Good luck, I hope you edit, and add the breed.



answers from Philadelphia on

It dosen't matter what breed of dog you have.. despite what others might think...Each dog no matter what breed is as individual as we human beings.. In fact the darlings of the dog world Black Labs... are on the #1 list for dog bites in young children.. look it up it's true.. In fact I just had a chocolate lab become aggressive towards me for no reason last week... I have been a vet tech for over 15 years and own a shelter dog myself.. I'm not defending my dog in any way because he is not the dog I would have picked had I known I was going to get pregnant and start a family 3 months after I picked him up from the shelter he came from.. I picked him specifically because he was endearing, and everybody thought he was ugly... and because I knew I could rehabilitate him if I needed it. Of course he turned out to need a lot of training because he was a fear bitter and is still very protective of us when other dogs or people are entering our home..I had to accept that he just wasn't going to be a dog I had hanging out when people came over but to me it didn't make me want to give him away, euthanize him or just throw him to the curb.. With lots of time and training before my son was born I have to say my dog who hates everyone else.. loves my family and would never and has never, ever , ever harmed one of my 2 children ages 4 and 6, my husband or any of my 5 little cats. My kids habitually forget my dog is next to the couch and accidentally step on his arthritic hind legs ( he's now 10) when they jump off and my dog's response is to grumbles ( not growls.. its more of a ouching moan... that hurt ) and moves to his bed in the corner.. Some tips..I would start to feed your dog while you little one naps . Also make sure he is the last one to be fed in the morning and evening... Then you could start sitting next to your dog while he eats.. If you see no agression when u as the leader of the household is next to your dog then I would start to add things to the bowl like treats etc.. while he or she is eating to see if that spurs any looks or growls... Then if that seemed safe.. slowly try to take the food bowl away from him while he is eating.. This needs to be practiced for a ensure that your dogs knows that he is the dog.. not the leader of the house.. Plus these actions are all things toddlers do when they see doggie is having his din din... If you see any indication of agression while your dog is eating you need to correct it by a simple touch and a key correction word or sound.. After your dog is calm and stops the negative behavior then he can go back to eating... Another thing is.. supervision of your child.. You really need to teach young ones that dogs have feelings too.. Playing with the dog while he's eating is a no no.. and you can say to your little one doggie dosen't play with your food so you can't play with doggies food.. " He's hungry and wants to eat.. so you should leave him alone... After doggies din din we can play.. o.k.. " Time out or some non -hitting reprimand has to be instituted if your child is being disobedient ...You can't just let the little one jump on top of the dog, pet the dog too hard , grab tails.. etc.. If this is an issue then you have to nip your childs behavior in the but as well .. You show your child how to pet nice especially when your child is being too rough.... and keep a close eye on how your child is showing affection so that the dog see's your child as non threating.. It's a lot of work but it is rewarding when you see your children playing with the dog, and taking over the doggie dutites for you when they form a relationship...



answers from Houston on

I have an almost 4 year old daughter and a parrot. Unlike a dog (or cat) I have an "animal" that could bite off fingers. I have absolutely instilled in my daughter that his cage will "bite"...I also dont leave her alone with him. She often will tell me, "dont touch Momma, he bites"....
I love my DD and would NEVER put her in harms way...however, unlike many of you all's cats and bird is 38.
Funny, its harder when your "pet" is your age..



answers from Washington DC on

We have taught our dogs to allow us to put our hands into their dog food,. THey move away and wait for us to finish "eating". If they growled or made an attempt to eat we took their food away.
I have 2 Alpha female shepherds and a Beagle. None have ever gone for any of the kids or us.
We have used baby gates to separate babies from dogs. We do lock dogs up when there are people over.



answers from Augusta on

I understand sending him back. Your main responsibility is to your two year old, and it seems like neither one is probably ready for the other yet. I'm sure it's been frustrating for all that it didn't work out and you know better now. Our dog is very good with our 2yr old (we had the dog a year or two before the baby) but I can tell by her body language when she's getting frustrated with the toddler and I let her go to our dining room where she can not be bothered for a while.

The fish should be great to look at for your toddler. I would also say that if you wait a few years for your toddler to get older, you should still consider a shelter dog. With an older child who can understand the boundaries and the right dog, you'd be giving the dog a great home.

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