Aggression issues around a baby
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Thread: Aggression issues around a baby

  1. #1
    animuL67 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultAggression issues around a baby

    I've had Batman since he was about 8 weeks old and he's about 7 years now. Black lab mix that we rescued from the locale humane society. Batman is very smart and learns quickly, he'll do just about anything for a treat but he tends to have multiple sides to him. To give a good picture of his behavior, if its say just me and my wife at home he's laying around lounging and not too concerned about whats going on in the house. If someone comes over he gets super excited and wants to play, runs back and forth jumps up. After a while he will calm back down. If he hears something outside, a person or a dog, he will jump up and start barking and running from one window to the next continuing to bark and is difficult to calm down. I can usually get him to stop but then he runs down stairs and does it more. It takes me actually getting in his face to stop, he won't simply listen. Now when he's in the back yard and does this there is virtually nothing I can do to calm him down. There is a walking path behind out house that gets dozens of people a day, usually walking dogs, and as they near he gets wilder and more aggressive barking, showing teeth, acting like a viscous animal, running up and down the length of the fence. He does this even to the neighbors and their dogs who he sees every day. I can try and try to get him to stop but he runs away as I approach him and doesn't even make any indication that he hears me at all. So thus far this probably sounds like normal behavioral stuff and that I can deal with but its the aggression and danger he poses that has become an issue because we have a 6 month old baby now. So to exemplify that, one morning years ago Batman was in the back yard going into viscous animal mode, I was in a hurry to get to work, I lost my cool and cornered him (I know great idea right?) anyway he was facing me and when I went to grab his collar he bit down on my hand and just locked on HARD. It hurt, we both froze and I was literally terrified that he was going to thrash his head around and do serious damage to my hand. I think he suddenly realized that he messed up and he let go and ran for the door and sat down very submissive. I scolded him but was not physical with him because I was worried that he would lash out. Since then he has never done that to me again but I also haven't created the situation again. He has however tried to bite some one who was doing some work on our house. Batman was in the back yard, the random guy approaches the fence, Batman is barking at him and the guy apparently tried to pet him (I wasn't there but yeah, talk about dumb) and Batman lunged at him. He said he got out unscathed and I didn't get sued so I guess it wasn't too bad. I have personally seen Batman do this 3 or 4 times but I have been there to hold him back. A couple of time he even starts out acting nice and then when the person goes to pet him he snarls and snaps. I think he is being territorial and protective but it's not needed. So, long story but I want to give the full picture and here is where the problem really comes in. All of the above stuff I have managed for years but now we have a new baby and he is getting to the age of grabbing stuff. Last night he was in a bouncer and my wife was playing with him, Batman approached and they were having a fun exchange, so far Batman has been great around the baby, but baby grabbed Batman's ear and he went to nip at him. He didn't get him but it scares me to death to think of Batman actually hurting the baby. In my opinion this will happen. The baby IS going to grab Batman, no doubt about that, he's going to tug on his hair, his ears, tail, and I am concerned that Batman is going to bite him. After this happened I grabbed Batman's ear lightly and he nipped at me too. I scolded him and he became very submissive. I tried it again right after and he let me to it. I tried it again a few hours later and he half way went for the nipping so I half way scolded him. I don't know if thats the right thing to do but I need to do something fast because I can't allow Batman to hurt my baby and I'm seriously afraid he will. If the only option is to separate the 2 then I will have to get rid of Batman. I apologize for the long post but I am really needing some advice here. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    Lilika's Avatar
    Lilika is offline Member
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    I am really sorry this is happening. I am no expert, but it sounds like you have a reactive dog. I'd consult a professional trainer or behaviourist to evaluate Batman. The issue you are having sounds serious, especially with a baby around.

  3. #3
    Dryfo is offline Senior Member
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    sound like this is an issue that's been building over the dogs life and is now worse with the stress of a new baby in the house. Remember that bringing in a baby changes a dog's entire life, it's a major stressor. so he has taken old habits and ramped them up, either due to stress or "protecting" the baby or both.

    Regarding the baby grabbing his ear an the dog going to nip - sounds like the dog making a correction. Not entirely "cool" but not really "OMG AGRESSIVE".

    The only solution i see to you is finding and hire a trainer behaviourist to come into your home ASAP. Find one that doesn't mention "alpha" theory. Preferably someone with more positive training techniques. Get them in ASAP to assess the dog and the baby's safety and give you a solid action plan. don't wait until your "have" to give the dog away. Act now. Or just rehome the dog now. You will not fin the answers to your problem online, you need professional assistance to save your dog now.

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    mauricio is offline Senior Member
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    and i wouldn't keep him in the yard if he is so reactive to people walking by. you aren't there to train him not to do it, and he keeps doing it, which basically tells him it's ok. others may say he is protecting your property but unless you hired a guard dog, it's unacceptable. what if a kid goes by and gets too close to the fence? or puts his hand in thinking the dog can sniff and will stop the behavior. an accident about to happen.
    now is the time to start training and aggressively.with a good trainer. talk to your vet and see if he has suggestions and then practice and follow thru daily. don't skip thinking he's learned. it takes consistent , firm training.

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