Family Life & Relationships <
11/05/2015 at 23:41
Hi all, I really hope someone can help me with this situation. Long story short my in-laws got two labrador pedigree puppies when I was pregnant after the old (very docile) family lab died. As soon as the two sister pups came home we saw one was more dominant and boisterous than the other. Nearly two years on and we now have a 9 month old son, all we've done is have heated discussions where (via my husband, their son) I insist they involve a professional trainer to learn how to control the boisterous dog who jumps up, bites, albeit playfully, and keeps growling and barking at our son and leaping up at him. The father-in-law completely disagrees that they need a professional trainer to help, insisting he can train the dog. It came to a head today when this dog jumped at my son and then growled and barked at him, the father-in-law didn't see it and refused to believe it happened or that he needed to seek professional help. My mother-in-law was far more understanding promising to consider the dog training route. In the meantime, we now have to pay for full time childcare for our baby boy, which will cripple us financially. I'm not convinced the father-in-law will change even if a professional trainer gets involved. My question is, should I calm down, chill out or whatever,or should I bite the bullet and just put our son into nursery full time for the foreseeable future, at least until I see a massive improvement in this dog's behaviour?
12/05/2015 at 18:07
Hi there not sure what help I can give but here goes, dogs are a pack animal, they live within a strict hierarchy system with the alpha / leader at the top ... In a domestic situation this is a human - or should be!
Any dogs together will seek a place within the hierarchy and ununless kept in place by their alpha/ human they will vie for the spot of top dog.
Any smaller animal is lower down the hierarchy and has less contact with the alpha so what I think is happening here is the more dominant dog, with its lack of training and discipline is seeing itself in position of top dog/alpha/pack leader and is seeing the smaller little creature on all fours ( your son) getting a lot of attention from the humans so its confused and displays agressivly.
If not kept in its place the dominant dog will challenge any animal it sees as a competitor for alpha so yes your in laws need some training however basic to let the dogs know who is in charge and that challenging a baby is not tolerated in the pack. Effectivly lowering the dogs status below the babys.
You could suggest that while the baby is in their care the dogs are in a separate room? A dog gate ( higher than a Stairgate) is a compromise, keeping whichever room baby is in doggy free but the dogs can still see and smell baby and get used to him being the focus of the humans/ alpha at the time he is there and they are somewhat demoted to the side..( not having free run and attention)
That would be the quickest solution but the dogs could become disruptive if left alone so an adjoining room is recommended whilst training is undertaken.
Hope this gives you some ideas for resolution x I think if you spoke with mum and voiced your concerns and compromise she might go for it? She still gets to see baby and dogs are away from him...at least til they ate trained or he is physically bigget.
27/05/2015 at 10:27
Hi there, I'm so sorry for not replying sooner, I had no idea you had replied till now as I'm useless with these things. Your response was absolutely spot on, it's exactly what I think and both my husband and I have tried to get this through to his parents even suggesting keeping the dogs in a separate room, but they believe the only way this dog will get used to our son is to be in the same room as him. They point blank refused to get professional advise, even when we offered to pay for it. They said they found it an insult us suggesting they can't train their own dog. Shortly after I posted here I managed to get our son in nursery three days a week to cover when I'm at work. I've taken an evening job to help pay for this. The matter hasn't been discussed since with the in-laws. I will never understand their attitude in this situation, but the only people losing out are them. thanks again for taking the time to respond.
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