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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not at all proud of how any of this went down, but I need guidance, so I'm giving full disclosure. Please refrain from lecturing me on supervision, because I am very attentive, but today was just lousy, and I'm still rattled and emotional about it. So thank you :).

I have a 1-year-old. He and Lola get along famously; we've never had any issues.

Whenever we're finished with a peanut butter jar, Lola gets to lick the jar. Husband gave Lola the jar today, and little one was crawling around. I stupidly assumed that he knew to keep a very close eye on them since she had her treasured peanut butter jar. I was in the kitchen getting baby's lunch ready when I heard Lola bark on the opposite side of the counter. I knew the bark immediately. It wasn't her meanest bark, but it certainly wasn't anything friendly. This next part is very difficult for me to share.

I was so upset and went into full on mama bear mode, flew around the kitchen to the living room. Baby was trying to grab the peanut butter jar out of sheer curiosity. I hollered something like, "Don't you ever bark like that at my son!!" and scooped him up. I threw away the peanut butter jar and was very rattled and told Lola, "Go to your room!" in a scolding tone. I never send her to her room for being naughty. It's just her little hideout. I just needed her out of my sight in that moment. And I'll be honest, she cowered and was afraid of me in that moment.

I handled it wrong all the way around. Problem is, now I'm tense every time the baby crawls near Lola. I know she wouldn't hurt him, but I've never seen her do that before, and it really scared me.

How can I patch up my relationship with Lola and maintain a healthy dynamic in the house? I realize that when the baby is a bit older, he can learn to respect animals and their boundaries, but for now, he's a baby, and he's constantly on the move. That often means being around Lola.
 

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Hi LoveLola,

What an awful experience! I agree with you that there's no need to go back and talk about what you should have done or could have done better. It happened, and thankfully, no one was hurt.

I would like to suggest that you and your husband revisit management. I would start setting up baby gates and an ex-pen for Lola. You'll need to limit their interaction to those times when you are right there actively supervising. Whenever you step out of the room, even for a moment, you're going to have to take your baby or dog with you.

Since Lola has some propensity to resource guard, and that might increse with the peanut butter jar incident, you'll probbly want to put her in a pen or crate when you give her food and especially treats.

Again, I'm sorry this happened. Good luck!
 

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I handled it wrong all the way around. Problem is, now I'm tense every time the baby crawls near Lola. I know she wouldn't hurt him, but I've never seen her do that before, and it really scared me.
You know, your dog is a dog. Given enough provocation, she would bite a baby, so it is reasonable to keep them separated. There's nothing wrong with using baby gates and ex-pens to keep them apart. At that starting to crawl, inquisitive, total lack of control age, I don't let dogs and babies interact unless I am literally holding one of them. Otherwise, they can look at each other through the bars of a gate. And that's okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will try baby gates. I think Lola is just going to have to stay in her room though, gated off so she can see out. My floor plan is extremely open, so gates are difficult unless I'm gating off a bedroom.
 

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I'll be perfectly honest, while you reacted badly I'm nearly 100% sure I would not have reacted much better. You reacted with instinct so don't beat yourself up about it to much (((HUGS)))

I agree with SusanLynn, set up a very good management plan and use it until your son is much older. Feed Lola, and give her her chews and long lasting treats, in an area that she can enjoy them without any chance of your baby getting to her. Make sure your husband follows the plan.

To repair the relationship between Lola, your baby, and yourself, start making awesome things happen to Lola while your baby is in the room, pets, play, and treats are all good to use. Be CAREFUL using the treats since you now know that she's a mild resource guarder, so make sure you have a helper to keep the baby from getting to close.

The last thing has been mentioned by SusanLynn, don't let the baby near Lola unless you are right there watching, it only takes a split second for stuff to go hideously wrong.
 

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I will try baby gates. I think Lola is just going to have to stay in her room though, gated off so she can see out. My floor plan is extremely open, so gates are difficult unless I'm gating off a bedroom.

Expens work wonders and can be fixed to the wall. They come up to 4 ft in height and most have side gates. I have one up around my front door to prevent accidental door dashing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll be perfectly honest, while you reacted badly I'm nearly 100% sure I would not have reacted much better. You reacted with instinct so don't beat yourself up about it to much (((HUGS)))

I agree with SusanLynn, set up a very good management plan and use it until your son is much older. Feed Lola, and give her her chews and long lasting treats, in an area that she can enjoy them without any chance of your baby getting to her. Make sure your husband follows the plan.

To repair the relationship between Lola, your baby, and yourself, start making awesome things happen to Lola while your baby is in the room, pets, play, and treats are all good to use. Be CAREFUL using the treats since you now know that she's a mild resource guarder, so make sure you have a helper to keep the baby from getting to close.

The last thing has been mentioned by SusanLynn, don't let the baby near Lola unless you are right there watching, it only takes a split second for stuff to go hideously wrong.
I always try to make Lola a part of our fun. The three of us go on walks, we play, and Lola gets bites of baby's food if he's eating something like meat or sweet potatoes. Today, I laid a blanket in the front yard and the three of us lounged and played. I'll keep doing that and kick it up a notch. And I usually am right there for everything. I need to have a talk with my husband about keeping a close eye when he's in charge, like today.
 

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Wow, what a frightening experience that must have been. I'm not a mother, but I could imagine myself reacting in a similar manner.

You've gotten great advice above. The only thing I'll add in case you haven't thought of it is to work on Lola's resource guarding. There's a good thread in the training and behavior stickies section.

What really makes you a great parent to your son and your dog is that you realized you made a mistake and want to remedy the situation. Not everyone would do that. Kudos to you.

ETA: Yeah, I have a husband - he's the biggest obstacle to my training plans. I do hope he recognizes the importance of active supervision now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Expens work wonders and can be fixed to the wall. They come up to 4 ft in height and most have side gates. I have one up around my front door to prevent accidental door dashing.
Like others mentioned, I think the expen is going to be the key here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, what a frightening experience that must have been. I'm not a mother, but I could imagine myself reacting in a similar manner.

You've gotten great advice above. The only thing I'll add in case you haven't thought of it is to work on Lola's resource guarding. There's a good thread in the training and behavior stickies section.

What really makes you a great parent to your son and your dog is that you realized you made a mistake and want to remedy the situation. Not everyone would do that. Kudos to you.

ETA: Yeah, I have a husband - he's the biggest obstacle to my training plans. I do hope he recognizes the importance of active supervision now.
:rofl: YES! He does not share my passion for knowledge about dogs/training/all that other jazz. So yeah, he's usually an obstacle as well.

Thank you for the kind words. Baby is in his crib napping, and I've just been holding Lola and loving on her nonstop, almost to tears. She is my first born after all :)
 

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You could even put your son inside an enclosure like an ex-pen for a short time if you have to turn your back such as when there's a kock at the door or the phone rings.

You're a longtime member, so you're already probably quite familiar with this thread:

http://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-discussion/safety-children-babies-dogs-115969/

Maybe, though, rereading it might give you some ideas on how to keep your child and dog safe as your little boy starts to toddle around. Also, you could share the resources with your husband. :)
 

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Well first things first

((((hugs))))

Honestly, don't beat yourself up on how you reacted. You reacted how many of us would have reacted. Adrenaline was high and your (great) motherly instinct kicked in. I can't say if I was in that situation I would have reacted any better.

It sounds like when Lola gets something that you know she treasures, she gets to have that in her room, or in a place that she is not by the baby. Honestly it's for both their sake. Of course the baby is going to be interested in what the dog is obsessing over, and Lola, I am sure, would rather like to not have to worry about what is going on around her and just enjoy her treat.

I would maybe start working on some resource guarding games. Not saying she is one, but just as baby gets older, you are going to want to make sure that she is use to having toys taken away from her and given back. Have to make sure Lola understands that it is ok. Something I know I would have to work on with my dogs if I ever had a child.

I'm sorry this happened. But hey! It's a learning experience, and it could have been much worse.

I feel like a glass of wine is in order tonight...
 
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I second the suggestion to start training for resource guarding. The book Mine by Jean Donaldson is great. If you want to start before the book arrives start some straight up classical conditioning to help Lola make a positive association with the crawly baby. Baby appears=Lola gets super good food tidbit given by you. The most important thing, right now, is that Lola doesn't associate the baby with being yelled at. Enlist your husband's help. He owes you big time. :)

Don't beat yourself up. You reacted like most moms and dads would react. Spend some time doing some fun training with Lola. She'll forgive you. Forgive yourself.

I agree that baby and Lola need safe places to be when one or the other is out and about in the house.

Lola barked. She didn't bite. She warned. Good girl, Lola.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well first things first

((((hugs))))

Honestly, don't beat yourself up on how you reacted. You reacted how many of us would have reacted. Adrenaline was high and your (great) motherly instinct kicked in. I can't say if I was in that situation I would have reacted any better.

It sounds like when Lola gets something that you know she treasures, she gets to have that in her room, or in a place that she is not by the baby. Honestly it's for both their sake. Of course the baby is going to be interested in what the dog is obsessing over, and Lola, I am sure, would rather like to not have to worry about what is going on around her and just enjoy her treat.

I would maybe start working on some resource guarding games. Not saying she is one, but just as baby gets older, you are going to want to make sure that she is use to having toys taken away from her and given back. Have to make sure Lola understands that it is ok. Something I know I would have to work on with my dogs if I ever had a child.

I'm sorry this happened. But hey! It's a learning experience, and it could have been much worse.

I feel like a glass of wine is in order tonight...
Thanks for the hugs :)

I vaguely remember working on resource guarding when Lola was a a few months old because she bit me when I reached for her bone. It was the one incident I've had with her guarding from people, with the exception of today. We most definitely need to brush up on her guarding.

Thanks for the encouraging words. And yes, we are definitely having wine tonight!
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I second the suggestion to start training for resource guarding. The book Mine by Jean Donaldson is great. If you want to start before the book arrives start some straight up classical conditioning to help Lola make a positive association with the crawly baby. Baby appears=Lola gets super good food tidbit given by you. The most important thing, right now, is that Lola doesn't associate the baby with being yelled at. Enlist your husband's help. He owes you big time. :)

Don't beat yourself up. You reacted like most moms and dads would react. Spend some time doing some fun training with Lola. She'll forgive you. Forgive yourself.

I agree that baby and Lola need safe places to be when one or the other is out and about in the house.

Lola barked. She didn't bite. She warned. Good girl, Lola.
I know Lola will forgive me, but that's almost what makes it worse, ya know? I almost want her to be mad at me. But the fact that as soon as I calmed down and called her out of her room, she came towards me with a wagging tale and smiling face, it made me feel about two inches tall.
 

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@LoveLola -

First, HUGS! I'm so happy to hear that no one was hurt.

I haven't read any of the other responses but I'll say that what's done is done. Maybe you can carve out 30 minutes or so tonight to take Lola for a walk or play ball or whatever. Just some one on one time with her.

From everything that I can tell about you via this forum, you're a wonderful mama- to both pup and small human.

I'm sure Lola has already forgiven you, don't beat yourself up. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you, @Aspen726 :) Lola's over it, I just still feel lousy from the whole ordeal. I think playing with her one-on-one would be a big help.
 

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Thank you, @Aspen726 :) Lola's over it, I just still feel lousy from the whole ordeal. I think playing with her one-on-one would be a big help.
We do tend to "anthropomorphise" our animals... You're suffering for how you instinctively behaved toward Lola, but what if the tables were turned: what if Lola had puppies and you accidentally hurt one of them? Lola would have reacted much the way you did, maybe worse....because that's how it is: we mother with our claws! Our youngest puppies get the most intense level of protection. So I'm guessing that Lola wasn't as bothered over what happened as you were.
 

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It is no different when you have 2 dogs. Dogs are naturally protective of their food. Some more aggressive some less.
Just need to keep them under close supervision and like other comments, separate them when you are busy, even for a few minutes.
And when feeding your dog, do ensure to keep him in a play-pen or a room to himself.
It is actually no different from human, imagine you are watching your favorite drama and someone came along and turn off the tv. You will also get aggressive.
 

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I agree with the baby gate/ex pen suggestions. We adopted our boy Rocky when my son (now 21) was still crawling. Rocky had been a throw-away from two different homes, so the initial 9 months or so in our home was very bumpy. He nipped Nik (my son) on his cheek near his eye one time, at which point we came very close to rehoming him, but instead we started using baby gates and play pens to keep them separated when needed. I'm so glad we did because Rocky was the most confident, content, happy, fun-loving dog I've ever had once we got over the initial bumps. You're a good mom to all of your kids, non-furry and furry. Sometimes they need a little space, just like any siblings. ;)
 
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