Dealing with Bamm and kids

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by skittledoo, May 8, 2013.

  1. jenv101

    jenv101 Bite Club

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    I like what Adrianne said about family. I think sometimes dogs are smarter than we give them credit for. Riley has a lot of the same issues as Bamm (minus the unpredictable behavior with people he knows) and we have had no issues with baby. I would never trust him with someone else's kids, completely different thing in my opinion. So while he does have strange people and strange dog reactivity and is easily stressed, he has been nothing but gentle with Clarissa.

    We didn't introduce him right away and for the first few days her noises stressed him out. He's been so good with her, has this look of happy love on his face just like he would if it was any other member of the family. They both just want to sniff and lick her. So I've been very pleasantly surprised and totally believe in the family connection.

    Prepare for the worst but you might be surprised in the end. Obviously we never will leave them alone unsupervised and will not let her "bug" them as she gets older.

    And I second whoever said new babies are time consuming. It's been very challenging home alone with two dogs and a new baby. They will feel neglected for the first few weeks so make sure you have a plan in place for that aspect as well.

    Feel free to pm me if you want more details on our first few weeks. Lol :)
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I'm wondering, for those of you who say your dogs or dogs you know accepted the baby as a member of the family....did your dogs ever show aggression TOWARDS family members? In the OP Amber states Bamm growled and reacted to Josh, but I'm not sure if that's the only occasion. I think if a dog is reactive or nervous in situations with strangers or non-family, that's one thing, but if the dog is unstable even with/around family members, it's very different.
     
  3. jenv101

    jenv101 Bite Club

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    Yep totally agree. I think getting his vision etc checked is a good idea. I've never had that issue with Riley so it's not totally the same thing. But babies are definitely non threatening in the beginning and gives you plenty of time to manage the interactions and plan for when they get older and more mobile.
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I know in Chloe's case, she reacts aggressively towards family members, including myself (although to a much, much lessor degree). Which is why I would NOT trust her around a child, even my child. At all.
     
  5. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I think you should look into anxiety medication for him. I know you've worked extensively on Bamm's behaviors already but I really think it would be beneficial for you guys. Getting a handle on your anxiety (easier said than done I know) would probably help a lot too - both of my girls feed off what I'm feeling. Combine that with behavior modification and I bet there'd be a lot of progress.

    Also, there are TONS of baby containment devices. It's actually pretty easy to keep the dogs and the baby separated when I need to. Even when babies get bigger you can use x-pens and/or play pens to keep them apart - if you have the time and energy it IS possible to keep a dog and baby totally separated.
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    You already know what I'm going to say ;) *cough*meds*cough*

    But remember, meds will NOT change his association with kids, it will only make him easier/more stable to work with. So if you want to have kids soonish, you need to start meds NOW, get his dosage right, and start conditioning him. NOW.

    And honestly, I think you still need to be ready to euth if that doesn't work. I honestly don't think I would ever be comfortable bringing a baby into a home with a dog like Bamm. I have no interest in children myself, but if I did, I wouldn't bring one into a home with Frodo. He gets too upset with sudden movement, and I feel like he and Bamm may have that in common from what you have said about Bamm.

    I am sorry that you have to even think about this kind of thing :(
     
  7. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Also I would say that rehoming him would be very VERY irresponsible and dangerous. I think if he can't stay with you anymore (and if he can't I don't think a single soul would judge you for that decision) then you owe it to him to put him to sleep. There are so many things that are worse than euthanasia, really there are.
     
  8. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    **ETA: or euthanasia. I don't know why I specifically said rehome when you're worried about his bite history and the responsibility of rehoming, which I think is reasonable.

    As for meds, I think they can help a lot. As PWC said, it's not like a magic wand but it can help smooth the rough edges and make any behavioral modification and training you do easier to penetrate his brain.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    In my moms case peanuts was a resource guarder, he never guarded against my sister.

    I'm not saying its fool proof nor an always thing. When we first considered kids (wont be for a while for us) I immediately panicked and thought about putting down B (who's been aggressive with house members) however we're skilled with management and I could never live without trying, I wouldn't blame anyone for deciding elsewise but I have seen a fair number of surprisingly pleasant outcomes from similar situations so... hey, maybe there is hope.
     
  10. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    I'm definitely holding onto hope because of course I want it to work out. Bamm is my first dog of my own and he has been there by my side through some really trying times in my life and you guys totally know how I feel about him. I definitely wouldn't make any decisions right away because sure there is a chance it could be different when its our own kid. I do worry though since he has gone after Josh before (only 2 incidents that I recall) when Josh is technically family... And usually Bamm literally fawns over Josh. Josh is the only guy that can rough house with Bamm and get away with it. In fact, Bamm will bring him tug toys and encourage the rough housing. So it is odd to me that twice he'd go after Josh. Both times were so sudden and afterwards he acted like nothing had happened and was completely happy to prance around with Josh and bring him toys, beg for food, etc.

    I do think sudden movements are a major trigger for him. That's one thing I can for the most part predict with him.

    I am going to pursue getting his eyes/hearing checked, talk to a behaviorist and see about getting him on meds like yesterday. I have to wait a couple paychecks before I can get him seen mainly because Cricket had her unexpected vet visit when she hurt her foot and Joey has a vet appointment next Wednesday which uses up money I had set aside for vet bills. Just have to save up a little before I take him in.
     
  11. Shakou

    Shakou New Member

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    I am in a very similar boat as you, only not to such an extreme. I also have PCOS, and my husband and I are working with fertility doctors to try and get me pregnant by the end of summer. Charlotte we know would be absolutely no problem at all with an infant or young children, but with Ma'ii it's hard to say. He has a pretty strong prey drive, and can be touchy at times. We've tested him out on toddlers before, and he seemed to be okay, like he acknowledged they were just a very small person, lol. But a couple times here and there in public for a few minutes doesn't say how he'd behave LIVING with a young child.

    He's never behaved badly around the few children he's met though, so I figure he atleast deserves a chance to prove himself. Of course my children will always come first, and I'll do whatever I have to in order to protect them, but I still love my dogs and will do whatever I can to make things work.
     
  12. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    I'm probably going to have a really unpopular opinion here. . . well, opinions. . .

    Bamm is unpredictable. Having been on the verge of feeling his unpredictability I can completely understand your worry. I truly do not think he's safe around a child. I don't even think he's safe around Josh. (However, Josh is an adult and gets to make his own decisions about what risks he takes.) I remember sitting on the couch next to you watching the OC with Bamm between us, and having him go from slinky and relaxed to stiff, white-eyed, and frozen a foot away from my face. I easily could have been snapped at - or in the hospital with stitches. Relaxing, licking my lips, slouching, and looking away from him didn't change his posture a bit. That worries me more than the initial bite threat.

    I don't think you should put him down before you even get pregnant. I think you should cross that bridge when you come to it. But I don't think he should ever be in the house or within 200 yards of a child - especially yours - without a basket muzzle on, preferably soft one so that he can't cause damage. And if he goes a few years without issues? Great. If he doesn't? I think it will be kinder to everyone to put him to sleep. It's irresponsible to try to re-home him, and he's so bonded to you that I don't think he could live without you.

    I'm going to preface my second extremely unpopular opinion by saying please make sure you're alone when you continue to read my post.

    :(

    Do you really want to have kids with Josh? I don't think he treats you well. At all. And he's definitely not comfortable about certain aspects of your life that you've previously talked about that a life partner should be comfortable with. That, to me, is a major issue. I realize you're married and committed and want to make things work, but do you want to make things work for the sake of making things work or because you're truly in love with each other? This is not a question you need to answer to me or on the forum. You don't owe me that at all. I just want you to think about it. I love you, and I'm worried. I hope I'm not coming across as harsh, and I know I could be way off because I'm not you and I'm not in your shoes.

    Third, and probably my least unpopular opinion of the night. . . If you really want to get pregnant - see a chiropractor. I heavily recommend Sean Connor. He's a good friend of mine and is a great chiro. If you get regular adjustments for a month or so, it's very likely you'll get pregnant. We saw it happen all the time. :eek: Sounds crazy, but it's a lot cheaper than a repro doctor and you've got nothing to lose by going.
     
  13. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

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    Harry was dangerous around children. We were really worried about how he would handle a baby. The delivery was an emergency after being flown to a hospital a couple of hours away, so our plans for a slow introduction the the smells were tossed aside. He baffled us. We brought her home and she was immediately his. He would lie next to her bed and guard her from the other pets. He'd bring her his toys when she cried. It was so unexpected.

    We hoped it would mellow him out, but he still hated every other kid on the planet.
     
  14. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    I want to echo what others have said re: working with a good trainer/behabviourist. And probably not your boss.

    I'm extremely lucky to have a behaviourist as a boss also (I'll call him that for the purposes of this but he doesn't refer to himself as one) He is qualified, experienced and trained under some awesome trainers. I trust his opinion and so far, he hasn't led me wrong.
    I thought I had a pretty good handle on behaviour before I started spending a lot of time around him but in the last six months I have relised how much stuff I missed, even with my own dogs I know back to front.
    The things I have changed at home in this time have made a huge difference between my dogs. (when at the time, I felt like Quinn was spiralling into a mess where she wasn't going to be able to be loose with any of the dogs she lived with.)

    That being said, I have also lived with a very unbalanced dog (Harry) that seemed to have similar issues. He'd be fine... until he wasn't. It was unpredictable, hard to pick and when you saw the signs you had about half a second before he reacted. In the end it killed him, the worst bit is he was PTS scared and knowing he messed up. It was selfish of us not to take that option sooner.
    Bad genetics, very poor early socialisation or a combination of these can sometimes just not be overcome. No matter how much you want to be able to.

    Few of us here are experts and not one of us can give advice over the net without seeing the situation. Get a good trainer/behaviourist.
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I think it really would depend on the dog and the kid. I would probably try it at first and see what happens because I do know dogs that treat their kid differently than other kids. But I'd be aware it may not work out.

    Mia is not kid friendly at all but I think it's a very different situation. She is afraid of their sudden movements and how direct they tend to be. Her instinct is to run away from kids, not aggress on them. I blame me partially because while I socialized her like crazy, we were at a college campus and I didn't know anyone with kids. You don't see kids very often.

    She is around my nieces (2 and 4) sometimes. I keep a close watch on her and them to keep them all in line. Mia will growl at them if they don't back off of her. It's very easy to predict because she will give every calming signal in the book and really tries to distance herself from them. I COULD see her snapping and biting IF she got cornered by a kid but as long as there's an escape route, she will try to escape. We have talked with the kids about her and the older one calls her 'the mean one' and knows not to try to pet her. The younger one is too young but really with supervision they can coexist in the same house okay. She's gotten more comfortable around them as time goes on.

    It crosses my mind that if I ever have kids (unsure now) it will be a big stress on Mia. But I think it is a workable situation because she's so easy to predict. I also have the luxury of her being very small so I think that makes things easier. I guess this is a long roundabout way of saying I think a dog that was defensive would be a lot easier to handle around kids. I am not sure about a dog that was outright aggressive though. Mia's never snapped at anyone, so that makes me less worried. I would not want to put a kid in danger for the sake of a dog. I do agree with the muzzle and some anxiety meds for Bamm and see where that goes. I wouldn't cross the bridge yet, just wait and see. But in the end if you have kids they have to come first.
     
  16. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    Just in reply to some things...

    yeah, you can probably keep the baby and the dog separated for a while. But, when your baby starts learning how to crawl and walk, it's going to be a different ball game.

    You *want* to have a safe environment for the baby to explore. That's how they learn early motor coordination and new experiences help their immature brains develop. It's not fair to keep the baby contained just because the dog can't handle sudden movement. That's just no life for a little one.

    Honestly, if you're going to put your dogs' needs before the baby's, I'd suggest just waiting until you don't have the dog anymore before you conceive.

    I know you really really love your dog, and I think that's an amazing thing. I wish more people loved their dogs the way that you love Bamm. But, the baby's needs absolutely 100% have to come first.

    And if you KNOW your dog has a bite history and it does go after the baby, you could get charged with child endangerment becausue you were aware of the problem.

    Knowingly putting your little one in a situation like that to test and see how the dogs reacts is really irresponsible in my opinion.

    I know maybe some people on this board aren't kid lovers and probably flat out don't even like kids, and that's ok. But if she wants to have a baby, the baby has to come first, not the dog, and that's just the way it would have to be.
     
  17. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    This below.

    I love my dogs and I want kids.., the thought of having to give up a dog to have a child is horrid :(

    But if you want kids and have a dog that bites, you have to decide which one you want more :(

    I don't know what the answer is. We get dogs for life. How many of us have mocked the 'had baby so can't keep dog' adverts?!

    However, if the dog is a biter..... There's a lot more to consider. Can you keep bamm muzzled at all times, and still allow him a good quality of life? Or would that be horrendously stressful for him?

    Will having a baby alone stress him out? Never mind keeping them separate, that presence in the house might be too much. It's not like adding another dog, then deciding its not a good fit and giving it back to the breeder. It would be bamm that had to go, and you've already said it would be irresponsible to rehome him. Can you put him down if you need to?

     
  18. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Grizz.. <3

    This is a good point as well as legitimate opinion. I think with a soft basket muzzle the possibility of Bamm hurting a baby is slim, though. Both of them majorly stressing is pretty likely.

    And surprisingly, most of these posts are coming from members that love kids. I'm one of the very few who has posted that dislikes them. No one here is going to disagree that the child's life should be put before the dog's if that's what it comes down to.

    Dizzy, awesome post.
     
  19. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    When kids become mobile, things can happen in less then the blink of an eye. It is *amazing* how quick my 10 month old is and he can't even walk yet. Literally, I take my eyes off him and he's already across the (baby proofed) room trying to pull the (very patient) dog's ears or tail.

    Obviously, at 10 months old, he doesn't know that's wrong. And yes, I'm teaching him to be gentle with the dogs. But, the dogs I have in house are kid safe and good at giving me stress signals (like getting up and trying to walk away).

    My point is that kids have a learning curve with pets. Toddlers don't think, "Oh well gosh, this dog is giving me signals that he's stressed out. I better back off." They see "doggy" and think "I love doggy!!"

    While you can teach little ones to be dog safe, you will have those moments where you need to be able to trust your dog not to snap or bite and to handle the situation with sweetness and grace.

    All it would take would be you taking your eyes of the kid/dog for a second and you could be in a really horrible position.

    It seems to me that if you don't even know what his triggers are that there's no way you could plan to keep your kid safe. You'd have about 6 months of newborn and then after that they learn to crawl and it's all over.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I enjoy kids, I would go as far as saying I love them. I worked in a daycare out of school and while I work as a dog trainer right now I have plans of finishing my masters and returning as an elementary teacher (or highschool considering my desire to teach a higher level of art appreciation). Additionally I have a nephew I swoon over and am excitedly awaiting the arrival of my second nephew and niece. We plan on kids and I would never intentionally put them, or any children, at risk.

    My point wasn't to do so but merely every case is different and numerous cases lend themselves to pleasant surprises. It is entirely possible someone is missing something with this dog that a behaviorist, one without preconceived judgements, can help with. For the simplest of examples, why was a dog who's known to be aggressive on the couch between that which he guards and another person? Dogs, in my experience, are not clear cut as predictable and unpredictable. It's each owners job to judge the dog and shape their management skills around the reactions.

    While some dogs are not suited for all stages of life I really don't think I could condemn a dog to death without truly knowing it and knowing whether or not it was a workable situation. This isn't coming from a child hating viewpoint, it's merely from a relatively well educated family loving viewpoint.
     

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