Cesar, I Need a “Canine-Vention!”
Where’s Cesar Millan when you need him?? I have problems…canine problems! I’m realistic enough to admit that my dog does not love children. He has never been around them and to be honest, could care less about them! Boy, did he get a wake-up call when my son came into the picture 18 months ago!
Here is the canine in question..(Don’t get me wrong, he is the most affectionate and sweet dog-he just doesn’t like to be poked and prodded by the “little man” running around after him all day long!).
Here’s Jacks’ story…
Once upon a time there was a Canadian girl living in Sardegna who wanted a new companion. She was out one night in a small town, shopping at the market, when she saw “Jack” sleeping in a Romanian gypsy’s accordion box (while the gypsy played the accordion-I’m sure it was some slow, sappy song to give his case more effect!).
Jack was the last of two “poor” dogs who needed a home. All it took was one look for me to fall in love! I paid the kid 150 euro (for a stray dog!), took him home, and the rest is history!
Jack and I shortly before the birth of my son…
Being the “first-born” Jack was used to having all the attention on him, at all times. I couldn’t blame him for being jealous when his little “brother” came along. I was told by many, time and time again, that “things would change when my son was born” and that the dog would take second place.
I had no doubt that he would but I didn’t think it would be so hard to balance it all! Besides a few initial reactions (probably brought on by fear of the “threat” always around mom) he seemed to handle the situation quite well and almost seemed protective of my son.
Everything was fine and dandy…
Until THIS little guy started to walk and take notice of the furry “toy” in the house!
I’m not afraid to admit that my dog is not good with children, and as much as I agree with the saying, “your child comes first” I’m not ready to give up on my dog! Many people have told me to just “get rid of him” but that isn’t an option for me, firstly because he is MY dog and secondly, because he is my responsibility! I even tell friends to give me a heads-up if they come by with the kids so I can bring “Kujo” to my parents’ house (God bless my parents!) just to avoid any possible issues.
Although I wish that my dog adored children, I know the possibility of this happening, is, well, next to impossible. In the meantime, I intend to take the necessary precautions (and suffer the inevitable stress that comes along with the situation) because it’s just what I have to do! We’ve also resorted to a trainer in the hopes of resolving the situation.
Here are some of the training tips we’ve put to use…
1.) We have our son reward Jack for good behaviour (i.e he gives him a treat)
2.) Jack is not allowed on the couch or in any position of authority when my son is near.
3.) He has an “escape route” (i.e downstairs, his bed in another room) if we sense that he is getting antsy or just wants to be left alone.
4.) We NEVER leave the two of them alone (which I think is a MUST for ANY dog regardless of its size or temperament.)
5.) If Jack growls he is put in a 2-minute “time-out” in his room.
6.) We reward his profusely with treats when he doesn’t react to my son’s screaming, chasing him around the house, etc.
7.) Last, but not least, we are “training” my son! Every parent needs to teach their child how to approach dogs and how to behave around them. How often than not have we blamed a dog for snapping at a child, of course, after the child had been poking and prodding at it for hours on end?!
Needless to say, all this seemed to be working…until we pulled one of Jack’s (rotting) teeth! He is now re-born, full of energy, and full of attitude!!! Long gone are the days when he tolerated my son because he probably didn’t have the energy to get annoyed or “confront” him! By no means is he vicious or does he “prey” on my son-he just wants to be left alone, most of the time. Sometimes he’s fine with my son, lets him pet him, lay near him,
smack him on the head while mom’s too far away to stop him and he doesn’t even flinch! Other times all it takes is a step in the wrong direction for Jack to get annoyed. Talk about “Dr.Jackyl” and Mr.Hyde!
My second child is due in 2 months and I’m getting anxious about managing my two “children” plus one! It seems that the only option is to wait it out, take the precautions we’ve been taking and to keep positive…but I can’t imagine the level of stress I’ll be under in the near future!
Like I said, where’s Cesar Millan when you need him?!!
Have you been in or know someone who’s been in a similar situation?
What training tips proved to be be successful?
I’m desperate and open to ANY piece of advice!!
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