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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Question Dogs with Children

I am hoping you guys can help me. My April, my doxie, has really never been exposed to young children (children under age 3).

The one experience she had with a young child, the child (just turned 1) was tormenting her, by locking her in her crate, when she was sleeping, and pulling her ears and tail (normal baby stuff). April was good about the whole situation, she never once tried to nip, she let the baby pull on her ears and tail.

But now, when ever she sees younger children, she barks at them. But, if I am holding her, or if she is near me, she just moans. I think she is afraid of them. She has never tried to nip at them or anything, but she just barks at them.

However, eventually my husband and I will have children. April is not even 1 years old yet. I know that she needs to come accustomed to younger children, or it could be a problem down the road.

Do you have any suggestions, on how I can prepare her for a young child now, so later it won't be a problem?


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 09:46 AM
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I have never dealt with it much, but from some experiences that I know of friends and family...most of the time, I think the dog senses when you are pregnant that things are going to change...bringing in all the baby stuff...setting up the room...from people that I know, the dog has always been ok with the baby and they end up growing up together the best of friends. I think that when you have such a young one around all the time, especially when they are newborn, the dog gets to do its good looking over and sniffing and licking and things like that...and slowly as the baby grows they interact a little more and more each day...so they get to know eachother slowly and end up liking or else loving eachother. At least this is what I have come to know with friends experiences. Good luck with her!


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 01:11 PM
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[QUOTE=AprilsMom]

The one experience she had with a young child, the child (just turned 1) was tormenting her, by locking her in her crate, when she was sleeping, and pulling her ears and tail (normal baby stuff). April was good about the whole situation, she never once tried to nip, she let the baby pull on her ears and tail.

[/QUOTE

She may remembers this. I think it is much harder for the smaller breeds because they feel intimidated and become afraid. Perhaps you have well mannered (I know a one year old baby doesn't know better...where was mom??) young relatives that could sit quietly with her on the floor and give her treats and/or toys? She needs to learn that children will not harm her and if they do try, an adult will step in. If you are really concerned, you might want to contact a trainer or behaviorist before she gets much older.

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Rest in peace, Cricket, Casey, Bella, Yank, Chloe and Bones.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 01:34 PM
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What we always did, was prepare the dog by messing with ears and tails in a playful way...discourage playbiting or nipping while playing and reinforce correct behaviours such as the dog walking away, with treats and praise. Also, you will want the dog to know baby is part of the family, When setting up baby's room and clothes, encourage the dog in and let her sniff everything. That way she get's used to the scent and it won't be as big a deal when baby does arrive. Especially female dogs sense when you are pregnant. Just include her in as much baby activity between now and when you do have your own

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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These are great suggestions. Thank you.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 11:05 PM
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I don't understand why that 1 year old child was allowed to do all those terrible things to the dog in the first place. I find this very heartbreaking and it angers me that parents don't stop their children. When I was young, my mother always told me over and over again to be very gentle to animals. Before I could even walk, she would put my hand on the dog's back and gently stroke my hand saying "this is how you pet the doggy nice and soft"...and I learned that I have to be gentle, never to pull or torment. I believe its children that need to be trained these days, not dogs.

I hope that when you have a child, you will never leave the two unsupervised, and make sure you let your child know from the beginning that pulling and tugging and hitting is wrong.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2004, 03:45 AM
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pitbulliest: I understand you anger, but I am sure that most parents will try to get their children to understand that animals must be treated kindly and gentle....

As for AprilsMom; I really liked Chinchilla_Girl's advice. It's important to let the dog participate in everything that has to do with the baby. Like in "Lady and The Tramp" Let her sniff everything that is for the baby. And when the baby pops out and you are home, let the dog smell at a blanket with the baby's smell on...try to remember that animals also can get jelaous, so you should try to talk and give her some treats while holiding the baby, so she understands that you not favoriting the baby....

I think that this will work out just fine...And that you dog and baby will grow up together as best friends
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2004, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Pitbulliest: "I don't understand why that 1 year old child was allowed to do all those terrible things to the dog in the first place. I find this very heartbreaking and it angers me that parents don't stop their children."

I totally agree with you on that. The mom was not in the same room with a one year old. I thought she was, and I was hosting the party, so I was in the kitchen. I knew April was in her crate. And when I came out of the kitchen I saw my April being tormented, I quickly took her out of the crate and went looking for the mother.

I was very upset at the situation, first at the mom for leaving the child and second because of the child tormenting my April. It truly pissed me off. I would never leave my child of only 1 years old unattended!!!!


Everyone has given some great advice on this topic. I thank you all for that. Just an update: Recently we had my husband's cousins over one 9 and the other 4 years old. I held April in my arms when they came in. Of course, she barked like crazy and tried to run away from them. But, I gave them a treat to give her, and kept holding her. After a while, she started to calm down and eventually allowed them to pet her. It was a great success.

Now, I am going to try to do that more often with different aged children, like when I walk her in the park, I will let the younger children to pet her while I hold her. I am sure with time and "practice" she will eventually, stop barking at them and just go up to them.

Thank you all, because I was very fearful of what might happened, if we had a child. I am going to continue to practice with her, that way she eventually will relax.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2004, 02:11 PM
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In a perfect world, all parents would teach their children to be kind to animals. Unfortunetly, those who don't have pets (and even some that do) don't think to teach their children to be gentle. I feel it's the owners responsibility to prepare their pets for those situations.

April'smom, you did great by taking your girl out of the situation with the baby and bringing it to the mother's attention. If you prepare your girl as suggested by myself and others, I think it will be fine. Your dog will know the baby is supposed to be there and is part of the "pack" by the time baby is old enough to reach out. I'm sure you already know to teach your child how to treat animals Again, I think you'll do fine!

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2004, 08:33 PM
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Chinchilla girl..I have to disagree

..so are you saying you should prepare your pet to get its tail pulled and deal with it? That's not ok..

its the children that need to be taught about how to properly interact with the animal BEFORE any pet is brought into the home.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2004, 08:43 PM
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While I whole heartedly agree that parents should never allow their children to harm their pets in any way, mothers cannot watch their children every second of the day. I think what Chinchilla Girl is saying, get your dog used to normal little child grabs. Even with a parent sitting in the same room, incidents and interactions can occur fast. It is better that the family dog be used to this rather than never experience it and be startled.

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Rest in peace, Cricket, Casey, Bella, Yank, Chloe and Bones.
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