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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!

We adopted a blue tick hound about 1.5 weeks ago from a local shelter. Our understanding is he used to be a hunting dog (he's about 2, we think), and mostly lived outside. He's very sweet and we haven't seen any signs of aggression toward people or other animals. He does need some work with obedience and leash walking, which we're in the process of doing. My biggest issue right now is possible jealousy when I'm interacting with our 4-month-old baby. We also have two older boys and he's totally fine with them. The other day the baby was on her tummy on the floor on a blanket. I was seated next to her and the dog was on the other side of me. I was trying to give him some affection as he was laying calmly next to me. But as soon as I stopped petting him and started to pick her up, he literally pounced on her. Thankfully she was unharmed. Today when I had her back in her room playing, he wandered off, which relieved me at first, but then he had gotten a loaf of bread off the counter and started eating it--he tends to get into things when he feels like he's being ignored.

We do have a crate which he sleeps in at night. I am willing to put him in the crate for short times if I need to, but when I do that during the day, he barks very loudly (more like a howl/bay).

I've been trying to find advice online, but all the articles are about bringing a new baby home to your dog--not bringing a dog home to a baby.

Any thoughts? Thank you!
 

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He was most likely playing...inappropriately, but that strikes me as a play behavior. He probably doesn't understand how he is supposed to interact with the baby. He saw you handling her and picking her up, so he thought he should jump on her. Super fun. It may help to keep the two physically separated, or have a helper feed the dog treats while you are handling the baby.

And yeah, he's a dog with no house manners. He's going to get into things when you're not watching him. He should probably be supervised 100% of the time at this point, and crated when you can't, until he learns house manners. Also, keep food items off the counter so he doesn't have anything to jump up there for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much! He has tried to mouth her feet before when I've been holding her, so I almost wonder if he sees her as a toy? He also will try to mouth my hand (which is getting better with correction)--and he never bites down hard so obviously learned bite inhibition but thinks it is appropriate play.

With the crate, as I said, he will bark nonstop if we put him in it during the day when we are home. I can handle the barking but was just concerned about creating a negative association with the crate. We have begun to try giving him a Kong with peanut butter/etc. around our kids' bedtime because that is another time when he goes crazy and starts getting into stuff (because we're all busy and ignoring him, I think). If we put him in the crate preemptively, is that a good method, even if he ends up barking at some point?
 

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Yes, absolutely. Giving him boundaries now will help him understand how he must behave. Preventing him from practicing getting into stuff will not allow him to develop bad habits! Giving him a stuffed Kong and crating him is an excellent approach. It teaches him it's time to settle down when the kids are getting ready for bed.

Also, make sure he has plenty of appropriate toys of his own, ones that the kids are not allowed to touch, and praise him for using those instead of getting into stuff. Look up crate games on this forum. They help teach the dog that the crate is a good place. I would be feeding the dog all his meals in there and give him all of his best chews in there. It's normal for them to bark when they are crated, but if you ignore them they will learn that the only way to get out is to be quiet. I imagine this dog has never really been crated before, so it will take time for him to learn the rules in that regard. Or, you can attempt to keep him gated into one section of the house where he can't destroy anything while you can't 100% supervise.

I wouldn't say the dog sees the baby as a toy, just as a strange little human that he's not sure what to do with. Babies are sticky and covered in drool and bits of food, so why not lick them, lol? If the dog gets mouthy with the baby, redirect to a toy. If he still can't keep his mouth off her, remove yourself and the baby. He will learn teeth on flesh = fun time ends.
 
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