Not Sure What to Do???

Updated on July 29, 2007
A.B. asks from Elm Creek, NE
16 answers

I am about 35 1/2 weeks pregnant and I am getting worried about how or dog will react to the new baby!! We have had our Black Lab since Feb of this year. As I have gotten closer to my due date the dog is really making me worried. She is growling and barking at me when I am near her, when she and I are alone she will just look at me and growl. She was really good with my two other children, but now she is just making things really wierd. If they are just standing she will run up and jump on them knocking them to the ground. Or she will walk them and bump then so they fall down. ***BUT ALL THIS IS HAPPENING WHEN MY HUSBAND IS NOT HOME*** If he is home she wants nothing to do with us. Unless the girls are sitting with daddy and playing or reading books then the dog is right there watching them the entire time.
I have never had a dog before so I am not sure why she is acting this way, but I want it fixed before the baby comes...

I should also tell you that Sasha does not want to play with us without my hubby home. If it is just us girls she will lay in her kennel and ignore us. We try to take her for walks and she is so strong that she will fight until she gets away and will run off. She won't play ball...if we throw it she will just lay on it so we can't play.

Not sure what to do??????

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answers from Hickory on

If you are in the Des Moines area the ARL would love to help you! They are fantastic with unique behavorial problems!

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answers from Cedar Rapids on

My husband and just had to get rid of our 2 dogs becasue they were not playing well with our toddler. We had the dogs for 6 years and they were part of the family it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I cried like a baby , but I relized that we had to protect our daughter. I felt like I had to keep my eyes on thedogs very closley at all times and you know how hard that is when our 18 month old was constantly trying to hug the dogs.The they would growl at her. It was hard to punish teh dosg cause they were telling the the baby to leave them alone in hte only way they knew how. Thankfully my husband agreed which made the process easier. Just an idea but he may need to leave. Good luck with the baby!



answers from Boise on

Sounds like the dog is hostile toward you and the girls. I wouldn't take any chances, find it another home. The safety of your kids is much more important than what seems to be your husband's dog.



answers from Sioux Falls on

I have to admit that I would most definitely be a little worried about this dog! If you don't have much interaction with her it is really hard to say how she will behave when your new baby gets here. It sounds to me that she is trying to show all of the other females in the house that she is "top dog" and if she were in my home and knocked my kids over she would be spending a whole lot more time in her kennel locked in! We have a dog who has been neutered and he seems to understand that he has to be gentle with the baby (the dog is exactly a year older than my year old son) and they are great together. Does she get agressive if your girls are rough with her? Does she growl when you take food away from her? If she does any of these things I would not be trusting her to be good with the baby and maybe she needs a new home. I hope this helps and let us know how this turns out. Also, is your husband aware of her behaviour and what does he think?



answers from Waterloo on

Hello A. B- from another A. B! I just wanted to let you know that the advice to see a dog trainer is a great one!!! My dog is 9 years old and was having a really hard time with my son beginning to crawl. I took her to a trainer and she is like a different dog. One thing that is crucial is to make sure that she only had food to eat twice per day and she had only 10 minutes to finish it. This is one area that if the dog controls, the dog will think it is boss. It was the first thing the trainer had us working on with my dog. I just moved here from Florida so I do not personally know any trainers in the area, but I do believe in training especially if the dog is important to you or your husband!



answers from Grand Forks on

I see a lot of people telling you to simply get rid of the dog. While they are correct in saying that the dog could do some real damage and that it would be best, what they dont seem to realize is that dogs are also a part of the family and that you would, understandably, want to make this your last option. I agree that you should probably talk with a dog trainer. I had some issues with my dog when it came to my son crawling around and "getting in her way" however she also listened to me and my mom, who I lived with for the first 11 months of my sons life, and would cower when she knew she was in trouble. Now that my son is 3 1/2 it my dog has gotten better and treats him like a member of the family. While she has snapped at him a few times she never did any real damage. Of course they were warning snaps and never caused any bodily damage, thankfully. Of course she is a Westie and a smaller breed then yours.
Anyway, I would definitely talk with a trainer, finances permitting of course, and see what you can work out. It does sound like she views your husband as the alpha male and I am sure that there is a way to get to the bottom of this and fix it without having to do away with the sixth member of your family. I know that would be very difficult and that it would have ripped my heart out if I was forced to get rid of my dog. After you exhaust all your resources and nothing has changed then make sure you find her/him a real good home and interview the people, visit their home, and of course make sure they dont have any children. Of course if you have a trusted family or friend that can take the dog then that would be a really good option. Of course you would have to also consider the possibility that if the new owners have the same issues then they may put the dog into a kennel and then who knows what would happen afterwards. So of course explain why you are looking for a new home for the dog and make absolutely positive that they are willing to take on the responsibility.
I wish you lots of luck



answers from Des Moines on

First, she does sound territorial, which isn't necessarily a good thing with young children. But she could also be reacting to the fact that you look differently and she's interpreting you as a stranger.

Maybe first try talking to a dog trainer and get their opinion first, but if that doesn't work, dog goes away. Really the kids probably aren't that all attached to her if she won't even play with them. or least other than her not being around.



answers from Missoula on

Hi A.,
If I were you that dog would be gone. I would be scared for my kids to be around the dog. If your husband don't agree that the dog should go then when he is gone he needs to figure out what to do with him. Put him outside in a kennel and not allow him into the house with the children. If that isn't fair to the dog then he needs to go because the children are more important then the dog. Good Luck



answers from Boise on

Would need to know how old the dog is.
Where did you get the dog from?
what kind of background do you know about the dog?

From what you describe the dog was raised by a male.

I would try to get rid of the dog and get a puppy or wait until you stop having kids and they are old enough to take care of the dog.



answers from Omaha on

We had a dog that was also very territorial and somewhat aggresive and we tried everything to change its behavior so it could be trusted around our first daughter. Our dog was like our baby to us before we had our kids, so the decision was a tough one for us. Our dog could be so sweet at times, but her temperment was unpredictable and she just couldn't be trusted. I didn't ever feel comfortable leaving the room or putting our baby on the floor. Especially when our daughter started grabbing our dogs ears and crawling. I would have to put our dog in the kennel a lot, and I didn't think that was fair to her. It was a sad day, but we knew we had to find her a new home. I wanted to be sure that she went to a good home that could handle her temperment and so we gave her to a rescue group. That way they could find her a suitable home, and I knew that she would always be in good hands. They found our dog a perfect home, and they gave us the new family's contact info so we could keep in touch and check in on her. It was the best decision we made. I cried because our dog was a loved member of the family, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If I were you, I would find the dog a new home before it is too late. I can't imagine how I would have felt if my kids would have gotten bitten or hurt in some way before I got rid of the dog!




answers from Grand Forks on

wow that is odd. I would contact a dog trainer and see what they say about it. Sounds like she is being very teritorial with her owner(your husband) My dog is part black lab and she prefers me over any one else in my home. She mainly just lays around when I am not home but when I come home if I do not pet her when I walk in the door from work she gets annoying untill I do then she is good as long as I am home. I would try with a doll. treat it like it is a baby. Set and talk to the doll and put the baby stuff out like you have already had your little girl. Try that It is hard when you have a pet acting up because they are just like one of your kids. I know mine is. Best of luck to you. Girls are a joy but they are also hard to raise I have 2 teenage girls.



answers from Davenport on

If you are attached and really want to keep the dog, I would suggestt K9 University in Moline. Norm who runs it is awesome and I swear he can break and train any dog. We took our dog to the classes there and it was wonderful. She is now the sweetest, most submissive dog with all of us and anyone we say is ok to be there - but she would still defend us if someone broke in or something. Hope that helps.. .K.



answers from Boise on

Sounds to me like the dog likes only males. In that case I would say get her out of your house and find a nicer dog. Hope you can find another dog that is fun and will like all of the people in your home not just Hubby! And I would wait until the baby is at least 6 months old before trying to bring another dog in...... Good Luck! :)



answers from Lincoln on

Hey, A....that is a tough situation! Because dogs are a pack animal by nature, they have to have a hierarchy. It sounds like your husband is the Alpha and the dog respects him as such, but when the hubby is gone, the dog thinks he is next in the pecking order and that's not so. Your husband especially and all of you will have to re-establish the pecking order with the dog...and quickly! You can talk to your vet for some further ideas as well. Also, if you have products that you're going to use on the new baby (lotion, powder, etc), start putting an old blanket in the kennel with these scents on it so the dog is at least used to the smells of the new baby and it won't be totally foreign...worked great with my dog! And lastly - and sadly - your family may have to come to the realization that the dog isn't safe to have around you and the you may need to look into that possiblity and how you would handle it if it came to that - but let's hope it doesn't!! Sounds like the dog is great once she's given her loyalty to someone! Good luck!!!



answers from Great Falls on

I think the dog is getting jealous of the baby and maybe you take the dog to the vet. The behavior seems really weird to me, too.
If he snaps at your other children, I'd get rid of him because he'll snap at the new baby. My sister had to get rid of her one dog because he snapped all the time at my nephew and niece when they were babies.
I'm sorry your pet is being so difficult. I wish I had better advice. Good Luck with the dog and the new little one!!!!!!



answers from Pocatello on

Other than getting rid of the dog, which I would probably be thinking about, here are some other ideas. One is for you and your girls to give the dog a bath with your shampoo. Do it with your husband home, even with him in the room, but you and the kids put the water on and scrub. Seems to have helped my dogs know who they belong to. Another wierd thought is: is the dog pregnant or having a false pregnancy? My golden had false pregnancies when I was pregnant. She got wierd- never growled or anything- just nesting. When I had the baby, she had her "puppies". The baby was one of the puppies too, running to check on the baby if she cried, making sure I was taking care of the baby. Always checking her diapers and trying to nurse her.

Anyways, I think dogs are pregnant about 2 months, and then her hormones should be normal. If she is spayed, this shouldn't be an issue.

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