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2 golden labs howling when babies cry

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've got a friend who has a toddler and a young baby. Apparently her dogs howl when the babies cry, and exacerbate the situation. She has no idea what to do. I've one GSD who never really reacted to my crying babe, so I've no specific experience in this area.

 

She is very frustrated with it, and nothing she is trying is stopping it. Any ideas out there?  

post #2 of 13

Maybe she's already tried this, but this is what I think I'd do; when the baby starts to cry, they (mum or dp) could bring the dogs to their bed or crate, and give them a treat. Have a nice bone or stuffed kong ready, and when the baby cries, those could be brought to the dogs crate or bed, and they will hopefully start associating the crying with good things. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Positive association is a tactic I've used with my dog to good effect... but then I've never contended with 2 crying babes under 3 and 2 howling dogs! bow2.gif to any mama who can remain cool in such a situation!  

 

I'll pass on your advice!

post #4 of 13

I am going to try this when I practice piano -- our Bernese whimpers, prowls, and starts to smell bad.  She does this during the second half of my La Boheme CD, too, but DS1 says that's because she's bred for intelligence.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

How interesting! And your dog only gets into this state in these 2 particular situations?

 

Bernese Mountain Dogs are so sweet/gorgeous. I've never met one I didn't swoon a little over!

post #6 of 13

Hopefully the first suggestion works, but just to add another thought...maybe the dogs are just worried about "their" baby?

 

I have a friend with a beauty Chocolate Lab and he would get really upset when the baby cried until he knew the baby was ok.  So my friends would essentially have to take him with them to the nursery so he could see that they were taking care of the situation.  After a while he stopped doing it, I suppose once he decided that his people did in fact know what to do for "his" baby.  Funny, my golden retriever was like this with our cats if you can believe it.  If he heard a cat fight outside he would get totally upset until we brought both our cats to him so he could check them over and make sure they were ok.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

nstewart, My friends dogs are in fact Golden Labs, so this info is particularly helpful. Thank you!

I wonder if Labs are more inclined to have this reaction? Apparently the female begins the howling, and the male joins in. That this might be a "maternal" reaction did occur to me.

 

So I guess another idea is to let her dogs see that she has it all under control(ish), so that in time they'll stop worrying about their babies. :-)

 

post #8 of 13

Huskies and other northern breeds are prone to this as well.  From what I understand, it is actually a defense mechanism.  Crying babies signal "prey" so wolves and sometimes dogs howl over them to drown out the sound to others who may be listening.

post #9 of 13

My dog often howled and barked when people in the room were laughing. We never did figure out why. I suppose he was trying to laugh along, but I always imagined him scolding us ("Hey! No fun allowed in my house!!! rant.gif"), so it just made us laugh more and created a vicious cycle.

 

Maybe she can teach the dogs a "quiet" command? Here's the technique I've heard:

1) Fill a spray bottle with water

2) When the dog barks and you want him to be quiet, say the command and spray his face at the same time.

3) The dog will stop barking long enough to lick the water. Reward him somehow, before he starts barking again.

4) Over time, the dog should associate the command with stopping barking.

 

But it never worked on my dog because he hated being sprayed. (It's not supposed to be a punishment.)

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghannit View Post

How interesting! And your dog only gets into this state in these 2 particular situations?

 

Bernese Mountain Dogs are so sweet/gorgeous. I've never met one I didn't swoon a little over!



Yes, this is it.  I mean, she's agitated other times, but not as though the quality of the sound itself is getting to her.  I'm amazed at some of the things that *don't* cause a reaction.  Bruce Springsteen is howling at the end of Jungleland now, and she's just sprawled contentedly on the floor.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

greenmagick, that is so interesting... and makes so much natural sense! It actually might make this mother feel better in the moment to consider that her dogs might actually be trying to keep the wolves away from her baby. :-)

 

Where did you find this information?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Cyllya, "("Hey! No fun allowed in my house!!! rant.gif")"... hilarious!ROTFLMAO.gif

 

Actually, my Shepherd barks when there is a lot of laughter as well. I kind of thought it was him trying to join in, but now I'm going to laugh more too! The cycle goes on...:-)

post #13 of 13

Gosh ... listening... no advice.  I just wonder if they are trying to help??

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