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Discussion Starter #1
My in-laws have a really sweet Lhasa Apso (sp?) who is not a fan of my son. My in-laws sometimes babysit at their house. The dog is really used to being their baby and I don't think he likes sharing attention!<br><br>
I wanted to get some feedback on if I should just put the dog away every time my son is there, or if I can encourage some interactions. My son is 13 months and is SOOO excited to see the dog, shouting "DOGGIE! COME! PLEASE!! DOOOOOGIE!" and at 13 months he is not yet understanding quiet voices. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> The dog doesn't seem to mind so much with the loud noises, but he maybe just isn't showing that it's bothering him.<br><br>
One time they were in the same room together with my FIL right there and my son got close to the dog (who had his BONE, ugh Ils, how stupid!) and he growled at my son. Understandable. Another time my son touched him when he was sleeping and he nipped at him. (didn't hurt him)<br><br>
So I understand from the dog's POV that my son was doing something wrong those times, of course.<br><br>
We have LECTURED the hell out of my ILs about just not allowing them together now since they make stupid mistakes like that and we don't have dogs and don't know what's the right thing to do.<br><br>
But is there anything constructive we can do otherwise? Allow them to be together but under careful supervision to preclude situations like above? Or keep them apart? How to help with the jealousy issues? With our cats we've made such huge progress since my son feeds them now (they finally like him!) but I don't know if that's appropriate for dogs.<br><br>
Thank you!<br><br>
-from, an avowed cat person
 

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Yes, you can help the dog like having your son around. Long story short, if every time your son comes over the dog gets a treat party, lots of fun, treats, attention, etc this will help build up the positive associations. However, without your ILs being prepared to intervene and help some of the other issues, it may be kind of hard.
 

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Please keep in mind that what I'm about to say is only because I worry for the sake your baby, but, it needs to be said. You son is in danger. The dog is OBVIOUSLY uncomfortable around your son and has, by the sounds of it, given PLENTY of warnings, two that we know of for sure (which means there are more that we don't). And your in laws, who are supervising your son, either don't care, or are totally ignorant in matters concerning dog and toddler interactions.<br><br>
Under the right circumstances this could probably be a non issue. A bit of socialization, conditioning, baby gates, and supervision. Manageable. But if you are LECTURING these people on what you know needs to be done (or not done), and the end result is a dog that is growling and snapping at your baby, then I, as a parent, would never, ever leave my child alone with them and the dog. Ever.<br><br>
I'm more worried about your in laws and the lack of common sense than the dog.<br><br>
They need to understand WHY the dog is acting this way, and how they can help prevent it. It likely has nothing to do with the dog being their "baby", or jealousy. It's more likely to do with the fact that the dog probably hasn't had a lot of exposure to children and is afraid of your son. Lhasa's also aren't naturally good with children either, it takes a lot of work to make a home with Lhasa's and children work. So really, it's no wonder the dog is acting this way.<br><br>
Lack of socialization + lack of proper supervision = recipe for disaster.<br><br>
Personally, I'd insist that if they wanted to babysit they enlist a private trainer. I'd even help pay for it. I don't want to ostracize a family member's dog, and the problem is not going to go away as the child grows up. Actually, if left unaddressed, it will only get worse. It's within EVERYONE's best interested to get this resolved now. Not only for the safety of your son, but for the quality of life for the dog. It's not fair to them to make them choose between their dog or the grandchild, but if they fail to see this problem for what it is, that's what will end up happening. They need to understand that.<br><br>
If nothing else, an experienced trainer will help them figure out an arrangement that can make the home manageable when children are around. Plenty of people have dogs that are not reliable around kids and still manage to have relationships with family members who have small children. But the first step in maintaining peace in the house is acknowledging that peace must be sought out. If they think it's no big deal, or that the dog will "come around", or that the problem will go away when the child is older, you're all in trouble!<br><br>
If I were you, I would instill a NO-child-and-dog-in-the-same-room rule until it's clear they're working with the dog or that they're at least going to take supervision issues seriously.<br><br>
I honestly would not be happy at all that the people in charge of watching my baby are allowing him to approach a dog that's eating or sleeping. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Even for well socialized dogs, those are still incredibly supervision-worthy activities with a 13 month old baby.<br><br>
I'm sorry this isn't a quick fix, "everything will be Ok" reply. I really think you deserve the truth so you can keep your baby safe.
 

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Lock the dog up every time!<br><br>
I lock up our dogs when friends are over.It is the safest thing.If my dogs bit my kids or their friends the dog would be euthanized,but that would not make up for the scars.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not sure if my post was read clearly, North of 60, I said that there is now no contact between the dog and baby at all, my question was whether or not I could *start* to initiate contact in some controlled way.<br><br>
The 2 times the dog growled and then snapped were a shock to them as he had never done anything that wasn't insanely passive before-- this dog is passive almost to a fault! And before that the dog was really loving towards my son so they just didn't expect it (though perhaps should have). I think he just doesn't really have any experience with kids.<br><br>
So I know my son is safe when he's there, he's not there that long so the dog and he being separated is not an issue at all. I'd just like some concrete suggestions as to whether any interaction is ok to initiate when I am there. I can't see them getting a dog trainer, and no I'm not going to never let them see my son at their house, so if the only solution is to keep them separated it's not a big deal at all. In fact, that's what they want to do.
 

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One thing that worries me a bit is, while of course you want your son to be safe and that is the number one priority, if the dog get put away everytime your son comes over and never gets a chance to get used to him and comfortable around him, IMO this could cause bigger issues later.<br><br>
So much here is going to depend on the situation and the dog, but if I were you, I would definitely try and work on some things with your son and the dog. Have your son give the dogs treats, play fetch, etc (all of course with your help and supervision) etc so that the dog gets used to and comfortable around children. IF the dog seems to get worse or it doesnt seem to help, total separation may be needed, but personally I find that a bit risky as it builds up the trouble sometimes and an accident, like forgetting to shut a door or latch a gate, could be a serious event.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Altair</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not sure if my post was read clearly, North of 60, I said that there is now no contact between the dog and baby at all</div>
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That wasn't really clear, but I think a wise choice. At least for now.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">my question was whether or not I could *start* to initiate contact in some controlled way</td>
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Sure. The dog needs to learn to be comfortable around children. The question is, who gets to do the work, and when. As Greenmagick suggested, creating a positive association between your son and the dog is a great start. I wouldn't have a 13 month old actually feed the dog treats or play with him, not yet, but I would certainly use some sort of positive reinforcement for the dog in the presence of the baby. Ie, have the baby sit in your lap or on the floor or in a chair, and have the dog near by and reward the dog for good behavior.<br><br>
When the dog starts to act stressed or worried, calmly lead him out of the room and enforce a spot for him to be when he feels like that. A bed in another room, on the other side of a gate, etc. I think that will accomplish two things. One, it lets him know that he has a spot HE can retreat to when he feels stressed (you're giving him an out and showing him how to do it), and two, it reinforces the idea that socializing with people is a form of positive reinforcement. You're not punishing him, or acting harshly. You're simply going to lead him out of the room. You don't even have to say anything. It's not a big deal. The ONLY message you want to convey is "when you get agitated you have to leave the room".<br><br>
You might be doing a lot of that at first because if he's scared and nervous he's not going to have a way of controlling that until he learns there's nothing to be frightened of, which is why it's going to be important to also work with the dog while your son is around. If all you do is keep kicking the dog out when he gets scared, and don't do anything to show him otherwise, he won't really learn anything.<br><br>
IF and when he starts to relax and doesn't get stressed around your son while the adults control the interactions, then I would start having your son be involved. But really, at 13 months old, he can't even hold his little fingers flat so the dog can safely take a treat out of his hands. It's just not a good idea in my opinion. Plus, all it takes is one quick motion, or one screech, or one time of the dog snatching the treat and catching a baby finger, and you get them both scared and you're back to the dog being wary of the baby again.<br><br>
Before I let a nervous dog take treats from a 13 month old, I'd make sure he has commands like "gentle" or "leave it" down to a science. That way you have some measure of control and can verbally guide the dog.
 
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