Dog almost bit baby with no warning sign

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Dog almost bit baby with no warning sign

This is a discussion on Dog almost bit baby with no warning sign within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a year and 9 month old border collie. He is a very gentle, affectionate dog. He listens very well to commands and he ...

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Old 09-20-2017, 11:57 PM
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Dog almost bit baby with no warning sign

I have a year and 9 month old border collie. He is a very gentle, affectionate dog. He listens very well to commands and he is usually fantastic with kids. He has always been great with our 4 year old. (Although, he did nip at her one time but it was because she was hugging him around the neck and it clearly was frightening him). Other than that, he is very tolerant to kids. We also have a 7 month old baby. Now, my dog wasn't with me for most of my pregnancy (situation with our housing situation, he stayed with my parents). He did show a bit of protectiveness over me when I was pregnant but not much. Mostly with strangers. Anyways, he has always been good with the baby. He has never shown signs of jealousy. He usually doesn't pay any mind to the baby, but when he does it's gentle sniffing and a couple licks. However, I noticed a strange thing with my dog whenever I am holding my son. I'll pick my baby up and go to sit down with him. My dog acts excited and gets close to us. Like he wants to see him. He usually does a little jump up toward us, but this time he nipped at my baby and just barely got him on the eyebrow. I was horrified. My dog showed absolutely no sign of aggression or fear. I was watching him very closely. I am just looking for answers as to why this would happen. In the past he's done the same slightly jumping up toward up ( more like a little hop) and I thought once that I saw him try to bite my baby but I wasn't sure. I thought I was being paranoid. I'd also like to mention that he has quite a bit of OCD. Mostly pacing I'm circles (triggered by many things noises mostly or when I'm holding/feeding my baby he will run up to the side of the chair, look at me and then run back to his pace spot). Please help, I just need to know why my sweet dog would have done something like this.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:54 AM
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Please find a good reeard based trainer, behavior consultant, or behaviorist to assess your dog in person and provide help. This thread may help you out in finding a qualified professional.
https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...6/#post1347266

That said, I would suspect, based on your description, arrousal/excitement rather than aggression. Still something to work on with a pro though.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:25 AM
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Does it seem like the dog is excited, and is focusing solely on the baby? That and the nipping almost sounds like a herding behavior. THis is exactly how they establish control over a sheep.

Try de-escalating his excitement around the baby. When you see him focus on any of the kids, make a sudden noise to distract him (like a coin can). When he breaks his concentration, reward him. BC's are smart, and he'll make the connection that the baby is not something that he should herd.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:27 AM
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I agree with kmes. I think your problem is far beyond what a forum can help you with and you should get a professional involved asap.

Another thought is over stimulation. Is he being exercised enough? Or mentally stimulated enough? Border Collies are smart dogs that need to be both mentally and physically stimulated every day or they will literally go crazy. The pacing in circles sounds like he may already be getting there.

Please seek out a professional. Some one who can meet you and the dog and address the issues in person.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:11 AM
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I absolutely agree that you need a professional. In addition to link kmes provided, there's a sticky on Safety with Children, Babies, and Dogs! I believe at least one of the organizations listed a the top also certifies trainers to specifically work with families (Family Paws, if my memory is correct).

Congrats on the baby and best wishes for a safe and happy home!
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:30 AM
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Also, until you can get professional assistance to work through this, gates and crates can help keep the dog and baby separated and safe.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:27 AM
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I work at a dog daycare and I've seen the same exact thing when you pick up dogs in a group of dogs- the others will jump on you and try to nip at the one you're holding. I have no idea why they do this but it's kind of a jerk thing to do.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:46 AM
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My large dog is very gentle with small dogs and puppies, not aggressive at all. He's never shown any aggression with babies but has barked at children or adults if they wear helmets or yell or run at him, never tried to bite just barks but is friendly if they stop yelling or running or take off the helmet.
But if anyone in the dog park picks up and carries a small dog or puppy he runs over and starts jumping up trying to get to it. He'd ignore it if it was on the ground but gets overexcited if they're piced up. I don't know why.
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