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Worried about our boxer with baby

Discussion in 'Boxers & Children' started by cmastr, Oct 12, 2011.

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  1. cmastr

    cmastr Boxer Pal

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    Hello everyone,

    I need some advice about our boxer. We have a 9 month old and she is becoming more mobile. As this is happening, our boxer is showing signs that he is not ok with here crawling around him. Yesterday, as she got close to him, he growled at her. My husband thinks we can keep them apart all the time so that no accidents happen. I would like some advice on how to modify his behavior so that he is ok with our daughter crawling, and eventually walking around him.

    Anyone know where we should start? I'd love to get some professional help/training but don't know where to find a good trainer.
     
  2. ouesi

    ouesi Boxer Booster

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    A good resource is http://www.dogsandstorks.com for information and for help finding a trainer.

    My own children are now 8, and our Biko STILL hasn't forgiven me for letting them get mobile. He loved, loved, loved the babies, but once they started moving, that was it. No fun anymore.

    In the meantime, some things to think about:
    Baby free zones. Make sure your guy has a baby free zone, a safe spot, where he KNOWS the baby will not follow and will leave him alone. Crate, a gated off room, anywhere where he can go to take a break.

    Positive associations. Anytime he is around your daughter, good things happen to him. He gets treats, he gets pets, he gets attention he likes, he gets loved on, whatever. Just make sure that he associates baby with good things.

    On a related note, since your daughter is starting to walk, I imagine she is pulling up a lot. Keep a real sharp eye on her, and do NOT let her pull up using the dog. Some dogs are fine with this, but the majority of dogs do not like this at all. If your dog knows you will intervene if your daughter does this, it will go a long way towards him knowing that HE doesn't have to correct your daughter.

    Body language. Learn your dogs cues. Look up "calming signals in dogs" on google and you will get some great information about how dogs show their discomfort BEFORE the growl. If you see your dog looking uncomfortable (tight body language, flat ears, tight lips, lip licking, looking away, etc.) intervene THEN. Either remove your daughter, or call him to you away from her. This will teach him that he can trust you to take care of him, and it will also teach him an alternate behavior. A lot of times when dogs are uncomfortable, they get "stuck", it doesn't occur to them to move away from whatever is distressing them. By calling him to you, you are teaching him a good kid coping mechanism.

    HTH :)
     
  3. MyMayaGirl

    MyMayaGirl Boxer Buddy

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    I second everything Ouesi said! My in-laws are going through the same thing right now with their 10 month old son and their dog and they have been given similar advise by a behaviorist. 1. Give the dog it's own area that baby can't get into. 2. Always, always reward him when he is behaving well around your daughter. 3. It's never to early to start teaching your child what is and isn't ok to do with the dog - how to pet gently, to leave the dog's things alone, etc. 4. Don't ever leave them together unsupervised!

    Also, if you do decide to seek outside help, try checking your local animal rescue league as they usually have a behavior specialist or can get you in contact with one.
     
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