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Thread: In home dog training/boarding? Tense dogs with baby...

  1. Breathe and chill
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    #1

    In home dog training/boarding? Tense dogs with baby...

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    My dogs have been AMAZING with DD. Love to cuddle her and if I move her away from them (especially Lucy, my Aussie) they will seek her back out and follow her.

    But the past week or two...they just seem more on edge And less patient with her. She is super mobile now, but other than that, nothing has changed. However, both dogs are now shorter with her? I guess that's a good way to phrase it.

    Yesterday, Sydney walked into the kitchen where Lucy was laying down and all of the sudden (as I was headed to get DD) I heard a snarl and Sydney (DD) started crying. Heart. Stopped. I checked and couldn't find anywhere that it looked like she had gotten her, but that is the last straw for me. Apollo (our Scottie) has turned and snipped if she falls on him and startles him...but not out of aggression, just from being startled.

    Something has to change. I have never before been worried about my dogs and DD. But the past week or two...I don't trust them. They may be feeding off of that, so I'm trying to keep it in check...but I have to do something.

    Have any of you used a dog behaviorist or sent your dogs to an in home boarding facility for training? (They're both barkers too...annoying habit, but I can live with that).

    (Sorry for typos...on my phone)
    Put on your big girl panties and deal with it like a boss.

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    #2
    Our trainer has done privates where she comes to our home and works with us and the dogs. Our baby isn't here yet, but one thing she did say is that babies change rapidly from a dog's point of view. First they are small and sleep a lot and squawk, and then all of a sudden they are flailing about more, and eventually crawling/walking, etc. it can be very strange for them to get used to one "baby" only to have another the next day. She said to be especially vigilant if we take a trip or are away from the dogs for a few days.

    I think I'd try private training sessions at your house first before sending the dogs away for training. That way your trainer can see your house and your set up, see how you and your DH interact with the dogs, etc. You'll be the ones having to keep up the training and the consistency anyway, so it makes sense I think to do it at your house. Plus, she may have recommendations specific to your set up (we got a couple of strategically placed gates to create space for myself and the baby if I need it).

    Good luck. I know what it's like to have an unpredictable dog (one of mine is reactive to other dogs, especially on leash, and while he's a million times better than he was, it's still frustrating and we are constantly working on it).
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JaneSays View Post
    Our trainer has done privates where she comes to our home and works with us and the dogs. Our baby isn't here yet, but one thing she did say is that babies change rapidly from a dog's point of view. First they are small and sleep a lot and squawk, and then all of a sudden they are flailing about more, and eventually crawling/walking, etc. it can be very strange for them to get used to one "baby" only to have another the next day. She said to be especially vigilant if we take a trip or are away from the dogs for a few days.

    I think I'd try private training sessions at your house first before sending the dogs away for training. That way your trainer can see your house and your set up, see how you and your DH interact with the dogs, etc. You'll be the ones having to keep up the training and the consistency anyway, so it makes sense I think to do it at your house. Plus, she may have recommendations specific to your set up (we got a couple of strategically placed gates to create space for myself and the baby if I need it).

    Good luck. I know what it's like to have an unpredictable dog (one of mine is reactive to other dogs, especially on leash, and while he's a million times better than he was, it's still frustrating and we are constantly working on it).
    Thanks for this...I never thought of it as a different baby like that. We will definitely do the in home training first, but just curious since one of my friends had a great experience with it for her dog.

    I'm pretty sure it is some sort of "pecking order" issue or something...but I have no clue how to fix it. Sydney can't do what our previous trainer showed us to assert dominence/essentially put her in her place...so I'm at a loss.
    Put on your big girl panties and deal with it like a boss.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by *Bazinga* View Post
    Thanks for this...I never thought of it as a different baby like that. We will definitely do the in home training first, but just curious since one of my friends had a great experience with it for her dog.

    I'm pretty sure it is some sort of "pecking order" issue or something...but I have no clue how to fix it. Sydney can't do what our previous trainer showed us to assert dominence/essentially put her in her place...so I'm at a loss.
    Yeah, I'm continuing to try to prep the dogs for the baby. She has me carrying around high value items (stuffed soft baby dolls, loaves of bread, etc) and teaching the dogs not to jump or investigate. I also have to practice giving them verbal commands only (they do better with hand signals, but I'm not going to always have my hands free) from reclining and sitting positions, to mimic how I'd be when breast feeding. We've been playing baby crying sounds to try to desensitize them from the noise to prevent them from getting stressed, and also using the gates to create separation and getting them used to that.

    Here are some links I found helpful too, that my trainer recommended about ideal dog behavior/body language around baby:
    Look, Ma! My Body’s Talking to You! | Dogs and Babies
    Doggone Safe - Home

    Also, I don't know what kind of trainer/methods you've used before, but we've had tons of success with positive reinforcement methods/clicker training. One of the BEST techniques we've developed for both dogs is a relaxation protocol. We have a small yoga mat for both of them and when they are pulled out, both dogs immediately run over and lie down on their mats, wherever they are placed. They are calm and often now fall asleep there. I pull the mats out whenever they are stressed/anxious or I need them to refocus and it's an awesome technique.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JaneSays View Post
    Yeah, I'm continuing to try to prep the dogs for the baby. She has me carrying around high value items (stuffed soft baby dolls, loaves of bread, etc) and teaching the dogs not to jump or investigate. I also have to practice giving them verbal commands only (they do better with hand signals, but I'm not going to always have my hands free) from reclining and sitting positions, to mimic how I'd be when breast feeding. We've been playing baby crying sounds to try to desensitize them from the noise to prevent them from getting stressed, and also using the gates to create separation and getting them used to that.

    Here are some links I found helpful too, that my trainer recommended about ideal dog behavior/body language around baby:
    Look, Ma! My Body’s Talking to You! | Dogs and Babies
    Doggone Safe - Home

    Also, I don't know what kind of trainer/methods you've used before, but we've had tons of success with positive reinforcement methods/clicker training. One of the BEST techniques we've developed for both dogs is a relaxation protocol. We have a small yoga mat for both of them and when they are pulled out, both dogs immediately run over and lie down on their mats, wherever they are placed. They are calm and often now fall asleep there. I pull the mats out whenever they are stressed/anxious or I need them to refocus and it's an awesome technique.
    I will definitely check that out, thanks!

    Lucy is good about taking a "time out"in her crate when she needs to (on her own, she disappears). I'm debating moving her crate into the living room as a safe place for her and teaching DD that it is off limits.
    Put on your big girl panties and deal with it like a boss.

  6. In vino veritas
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    #6
    So I have said it before, but the idea of 'pecking order' and dominance in training is TERRIBLE and antiquated. Its like saying you should Ferber method your baby, sure it works for some, but its in general a terrible idea.

    I think having an in home trainer is a great idea, but if you find one that wants you to 'dominate' her- its a bad idea. In general though, dogs are going to be dogs, and snarling is them trying to communicate they arent happy with a situation. Snarling is better than teaching them not to snarl and then they give no indication that they have gone from 'comfortable' to 'fearful' and they snap with no warning. All dogs give warning when they are uncomfortable, whether it is lip-licking, whale eyes, avoidance, tight mouths etc... Reading your dog instead of trying (and failing) to train them to be human works so much better. In addition, toddlers are the WORST for dogs. They have no sense of personal space, and they cant read signals like we do. Plus all those idiots who post pictures/videos of their kid near the dogs toy/pulling the ears or sitting on them, and you can tell the dog in uncomfortable, but they just laugh. Thats an accident waiting to happen. Giving the dogs a safe space where they can go away from Syd is always a good idea.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.VinoVet View Post
    So I have said it before, but the idea of 'pecking order' and dominance in training is TERRIBLE and antiquated. Its like saying you should Ferber method your baby, sure it works for some, but its in general a terrible idea.

    I think having an in home trainer is a great idea, but if you find one that wants you to 'dominate' her- its a bad idea. In general though, dogs are going to be dogs, and snarling is them trying to communicate they arent happy with a situation. Snarling is better than teaching them not to snarl and then they give no indication that they have gone from 'comfortable' to 'fearful' and they snap with no warning. All dogs give warning when they are uncomfortable, whether it is lip-licking, whale eyes, avoidance, tight mouths etc... Reading your dog instead of trying (and failing) to train them to be human works so much better. In addition, toddlers are the WORST for dogs. They have no sense of personal space, and they cant read signals like we do. Plus all those idiots who post pictures/videos of their kid near the dogs toy/pulling the ears or sitting on them, and you can tell the dog in uncomfortable, but they just laugh. Thats an accident waiting to happen. Giving the dogs a safe space where they can go away from Syd is always a good idea.
    -- everything Vino said x 2!!

    I absolutely HATE the "funny videos" of the dogs who are clearly miserable and uncomfortable and doing EVERYTHING they can to communicate that to people who are too oblivious to see it.
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    #8
    We are of the mind set that my kids need to be taught, not the dogs. I have a yorkie, a shih tzu, and a 14yo lab. My shih tzu is moody and just plain high matenence. He also was with my parents the last 5 years because of the flying restrictions on his breed and how his personality is. Now he's with us and he's gettig. Used to Emmett who is running around and a generally 'loving" baby who wants to be around Brutus. We got Brutus a crate which stays in the living room and we taught Emmett that he cannot get in it or mess with Brutus while he's in it.

    Brutus and Julia (yorkie) both have snapped (not nipped or anything just scared) the kids when they were doing stuff got he dogs they shouldn't be doing - pulling ears, tails, hair, etc. the dogs do not get punished, usually the second they do it, you can tell they're remorseful and go to their crate or bed. The kids are the ones who get spoken to or time out (depending on whT happened and which boy) and then they have to apologize.

    Basically, it's the kids who need to be taught, dogs only have a few ways to tell a toddler to stop and scaring the hell out of them by snarling/barking in their face.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KnittingGuamMama View Post
    We are of the mind set that my kids need to be taught,
    YES - if only more people would worry as much about training their children as they do about training dogs.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Grey Mare View Post
    YES - if only more people would worry as much about training their children as they do about training dogs.
    Yeah we don't have kids but DH and I are of this mind set big time. So is MIL, my nephew kept bugging my dog over and over and I kept telling him to stop and I kept grabbing my dog and MIL and DH were both like "stop, you've told him a bunch, when he gets bit he'll learn to stop" my nephew is 7 so it's a little different than a toddler but when I have a toddler I plan to remove them from the dog to try to start teaching them you don't just hang all over a dog when you want to.
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