Jump to content

Dealing with a jealous dog


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Electric_Blue

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:50 AM

Hi all,

Hoping someone may have some advice for a situation I'm in. My son is 4 weeks old today and of course he takes up a lot of my time. Especially since I am adjusting to my new life as a mum. Everything has been going mostly well...although the breastfeeding has been a bit of a nightmare...but I think it's improving.

I also have 2 dogs...a Pug x Boston Terrier named Dexter and a pure bred Pug named Rogue. Dexter is 4 years old and Rogue is 3 years old.

My DH and I bought a house in South East Melbourne nearly 4 years ago. My DH was working and living in Portland with his parents (which is a 4.5hr drive from Melbourne) So I lived in the house we bought on my own with Dexter. It was just he and I for 3 months.
My DH was made redundant due to the GFC and moved into our house. Suddenly Dexter no longer had me all to himself. Dexter wasn't too impressed but he got over it.

As my DH and I worked full time and were not home a lot we decided (okay, I nagged DH) to get another dog. So we bought home Rogue. I wouldn't say Dexter was really jealous then...but it was another change for him. He and Rogue play and look after each other. But DH clearly has a soft spot with Rogue (he loves Pugs and she's a pure bred where Dexter isn't) but I made sure Dexter was given attention from me. DH would come home from work and pick up Rogue and play with her. He would also play with Dexter but it's pretty obvious that Rogue is the favourite. But that was okay...Dexter was mine.

However, I've now got a baby and Dexter's not happy. He hasn't shown aggression towards the baby in any way shape or form. But he went to bite my friends 2 year old the other day (mind you she was unintentionally digging her foot into his back) I went to bed and took Dexter with me and when DH came to bed he went to pick up Dexter to take him into his own bed (dogs sleep in the laundry) and Dexter growled at him.
When I am breastfeeding Rogue will lie down next to me...and Dexter will lie in my lap. Of course this isn't ideal so I kick them both off me.

I'm not sure what to do to make Dexter feel a bit more at ease with this change. I understand that once upon a time it was just he and I and it's gone from DH, to another dog and now a baby. Those changes must be really big for him. My DH did bring home a baby blanket from the hospital for the dogs to sniff so I am sure they knew what was going on...

Does anyone have any suggestions? When DS is down I do try and spend some time with Dexter...mostly just sitting on the couch with him in my lap. And for those who don't know...Pugs are lap dogs.

Thanks

Edited by Electric_Blue, 21 February 2013 - 08:51 AM.


#2 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

I'd probably have posted this in the Pets Forum - or at least started a second thread. Most of us dog training people don't usually hang out in the 'your family' bit. I am looking after a sick child this morning, so just cruisin' EB. Otherwise I totally would have missed this!

Part of your issue seems to be that your dogs haven't really been treated as 'dogs', rather, they've been your substitute children or family. It also sounds like you haven't prepared them for your new arrival.

What I would encourage you to do is get a dog behaviouralist to visit you in your home, and help you to retrain both your dogs. One of the stand out things is that your dogs sit at the same level, or even on you, and that means (to a dog) that they are 'in charge', not you. Which also means (to a dog) its okay to correct human behaviour - by biting, nipping and growling. You need a behaviouralist, to get your 'in charge' back, and to make it a pleasant experience for all concerned.

First off, the best place to start is with your DH taking over the doggy-related chores, and encouraging more doggy play. He needs to build a rapport with your dog, and the best way to do that is via their tummies. wink.gif Get him to use treats, and to practice skills such as sit, down, stay etc - and reward with small bits of food for good behaviour.

There are some additional rules that need to be imposed on your household.

1. No picking up dogs. When you pick up a dog, your elevate its status, possibly above your own. A dog is not a toy or a handbag. 4-on-the-floor is the goal, except when helping an animal into the car. A dog has legs, it can walk. Even pugs. Especially pugs.

2. No dogs on furniture or laps. Ever. A dog's correct place is at your feet. Yeah, I know, little dogs seem so cute and they don't take up much space, and they're almost cat-like on your lap. But, in allowing a dog on the furniture and in your lap, you are sabotaging your 'in charge', and giving it to the dog. Again, lots of rewards for being on the floor. Get them a special blanket or cushion, and reward them for sitting nicely at your feet. Remember, you can chat to the dog while BFing, and this will encourage the dogs to see it as their job (ie, sitting at your feet while you BF).  No dog is a 'lap dog'. Ever. Not if you intend to have children or other animals in your lap, and relationships with other people. YOu should not be putting this dog in your lap, even when you are not BFing. You are causing the dog to think it has the right to your person, and at some point, you may be putting your baby at risk. So please stop doing this. Pat the dog while it is on the floor.

3.Dog gets fed last. Doggy dinner occurs after ALL of the humans have eaten. Not before, and they never ever should get scraps directly from the table. Or the coffee table. Yep, again, this tells the dog that their status is lower than everyone else.

4. Dogs go through doors AFTER people. A dog should sit and wait for a command to go out, if you're not going out as well, and should only go through a door after you have. I'm personally slack on this one - but my dogs know I'm in charge, so I don't really need to amend my routine. You probably do, because your dogs don't understand that they aren't really in charge.

5. Dogs get attention AFTER the people are finished their activities. Doggy attention-seeking behaviour is to be ignored.

I am sure that a visiting behaviouralist will give you additional things for your dog's personal quirks, but these are the top 4 that are always on the list.

There is a great brochure about Kids N Dogs, that's worth a read.

I would be putting the dogs away when you have very young visitors. Its pretty easy to injure small dogs, even accidentally, and even when you are supervising them, as you've discovered. What's more, a dog that bites is in danger of being on the receiving end of a PTS order from the Council, if the council receives more than one complaint. The thing which concerns me is that your dog chose not to move away from the child, but rather, it chose to bite it. If it had bitten a child because it was being hurt and couldn't avoid it (ie, cornered), I would be less concerned about the possibility of it happening again, but your dog is a risk without a lot of work on your behalf. There is every reason you should expect that it will bite your child, in the same circumstances unless you teach it how to be a proper dog.

Okay, enough from me - hopefully you have enough to get started. Good luck, and if you want further advice, PM me, or find me in Pets.

Edited by *Spikey*, 21 February 2013 - 09:23 AM.


#3 Purelle

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:50 AM

Great advice spikey. I'm going to start using this at home as well. original.gif

#4 Electric_Blue

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

Thanks Spikey,

I was actually going to mention I may have posted this in the wrong area...there's so many threads I often get confused! Thanks for your advice though....it's great. And you're right they were treated like children rather than animals...

#5 PurpleNess

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

Pugs are dogs just like any other dogs & should be treated as such...there is no such thing as a lap dog & that's where your problems begin.
Spikey is the resident expert on here so do listen to her advice & it will assist  you no end.
You can still love your dogs but they need to understand they are dogs , not humans, with a different set of rules, they'll still love you but the adjustment will take time.

Good Luck, be firm & consistent with your messages & they'll do just fine :-)

#6 Cirrus

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

Hi There,
Good luck with the regime change in your household. My dog has been getting worse with dominance behaviour with other dogs - so a few weeks ago I decided to help him know his place.
Not allowed on couch, must wait for command before he eats, must not pull on lead - etc.

The hardest part is some of these are losses (eg I now have to get on the ground if I want a cuddle and I have to ignore his demands for attention occasionally) - but it is clear from improvement in his behaviour that this stable structure is best for him and other dogs and therefore me!

The growling you mention is very worrying. Your dog thinks that bed is a throne and he has a right to it!
That could be a safety issue with visiting children.
He need to be demoted from prince to family-dog!
Dogs love prectability and those with a clear place in the pack (family-dog) can relax more.

The other important responsibility you have to your pet is to give him the exercise he needs. This will also make for a calmer dog - and one you feel less guilty towards, reducing spoiling behaviour.

Good luck !





#7 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

Completely off topic,

But DD is totally enjoying singing along to Icehouse's Electric Blue. Now I can't get the song out of my head!

If you ever post in the wrong spot, you can ask the Mods to move it for you, they're pretty good like that. Don't forget to update us with your progress. original.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How I learnt to relax about routines

After many routine-led, tough years, we've realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect. It isn't about following a schedule to a T.

Should you have a third child or not?

I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

Helping a toddler embrace an adopted sibling

A single parent by choice, I am preparing to adopt a second baby from Morocco. And I face a special challenge.

When pregnancy messes with your self-esteem

Pregnancy doesn't make all women feel beautiful. It certainly doesn't raise every woman's self-esteem.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Robbie Williams live tweets wife's labour

And the award for most patient woman in labour goes to ... Robbie Williams' wife, Ayda Field.

Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

In the absence of credible, strong political leadership, paranoia about disease can go viral.

Parenting differently based on birth order

All children have unique personalities, but keeping birth order in mind could help when parenting.

How to get rid of the mum guilt

Motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand, but there are ways to focus

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

The devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

The pros and cons of finding out the sex of your unborn baby

It’s often one of the biggest choices parents make during the course of their pregnancy; to find out, or not to find out, the sex of their baby before it’s born.

Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

5 things to do with your baby?s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby?s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Take 'The Coles Big Nappy Change' Challenge

You could become part of our Test Drive team and win one of 200 packs of Coles Little Explorer Nappies as part of our 5-day challenge.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Thief uses breast milk as weapon

Police are on the hunt for a thief who robbed a pharmacy using her lactation skills.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.