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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My golden, Mozzie, is a little excitable but in general is a really well behaved dog. My husband and I got him before we had kids but knowing children were in our near future, one of the main reasons we went with a Golden is because we wanted a family dog.
When we first brought our son home, Mozzie was really curious and gentle with him... But had a problem with chewing up anything he thought we used to "play" with the baby.... Bottles, binkies, burp rags, etc. He hadn't had a problem with chewing things before that so we assumed he was feeling a little jealous. We really babied him before the baby came, and I spent the majority of my last 3 months of pregnancy at home due to complications, so he got used to the attention. I assumed he would get used to the baby and warm up to him as time goes on.
My son is now 14 months old and is obsessed with Moz, he squeals and laughs when he walks in the room, is always bringing him his bones and loooooves to "pet" him (which I will admit is more of a hard pat and sometimes he does grab his hair.) The problem is that the older my son gets, the more resentment Mozzie seems to have for him, and the more aggression he shows. When my son goes over to sit by him, he will immediately get up and move to the other side of the room, he won't take the bones that are being handed by him, when I'm on the floor playing with him he will come between us and do a little backwards kick thing (like a horse) to push my son over and out of the way. Lately as soon as my son gets anywhere near him he rolls over and uses his paws to push him away, he has even left scratches. It brings out my "mama bear" instinct and it makes me really frustrated with the dog.
I try to use nap time as "me and Mozzie time" to show him extra attention and give him snuggles, but the weird thing is, when my son isn't around he doesn't want anything to do with me...? I don't know if he is being pouty or what. He usually just lays in front of the baby's door and naps too.

Is this normal? Does it eventually stop? Is there anything I can do to help him feel better? We really love him, he is part of the family but it is really frustrating. Baby #2 is on the way and I'm afraid he will get worse with another one.
(Sorry this is really long)
 

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It sounds like he wants to be left alone. I would restrict how often the baby bothers Mozzie and make sure Mozzie is getting adequate exercise without the baby around.

I don't have human children but we recently got another dog and there was some jealousy in the beginning. We made every effort to let Bear have alone with with us without the puppy and that when it was the puppy's turn, that he waited and/or did his own thing for the duration.
 

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Is he rolling on his back "to push him away"?

From what you describe, I'm hearing a lot of misinterpretation of what his behavior might really be (bearing in mind that I'm not there).

He didn't chew up the baby's things out of jealousy...he chewed them because they smelled interesting. If he's rolling on his back, that's more submissive behavior trying to get attention than deliberately pushing the baby out of the way. The fact that he walks away when the baby is too much for him? That's really polite behavior.

I really can't recommend strongly enough that you find a trainer who can come to your house and help teach you what you're seeing. The way things are going...with the baby being rough with him and your inexperience with dog signals...this could go bad fast. Especially if you're about to have another.

He actually sounds like a really good dog. Please get the help you need to make sure everyone lives happily ever after, okay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What did you do to make sure bear waited his turn? The problem is that Moz is the kind of dog that always has to be right next to you... At the max maybe 10 feet away, so when he's that close its hard to "not let" a baby go near him. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know what a submissive behavior looks like, this is different. He rolls on his back and cycles his legs around (front and back paws) in the direction of my kid...
 

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I have never encountered that problem. I don't have many pictures on the computer, but here are a couple. One is of grandson sitting with Hunter and chewing on his back. One is of granddaughter and Hunter--he would bring his toys and put them on blanket for her to play with. Another is of grandson sitting on the floor with Kaycee.

But I would say to not let the baby be alone with the dog. And here is za catch. If you lock the dog out, he may feel even more resentment. But you can't let them be together without constant supervisions and a dog can snap in a heart beat--I saw it at my son's recently. His live in girl friend has two sons 6 and 10. She had adopted a chocolate lab and later a catahula/pit bull . Both paly great with the kids. However that night the catahula mix was in a chair the youngest walked up and bent down to pet him and he bit the kid in the face. Luckily it was not bad, but could have been. They said this was the 2ed time he had snapped at the 6 year old. Never at the older boy nor son's daughter (she is 12, the boy is 11. I said I would be getting rid of a dog plays great with a kid one minute and then snaps at him the next when the kid has done nothing--and there were 6 adults in tht room that saw the dog bit the kid and know he did nothing to cause the incident.
 

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Forgot to upload the pictures
 

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Your dog is not comfortable about some of the interactions. It is important for the safety of your child that your dog does not feel unsafe. This means you will limit interactions - use crates, gates, and doors so that they have separate areas.

Like mentioned above, get a competent and skilled trainer who is appropriately qualified to deal with baby/dog challenges. And now is the time to get the help.

If your dog is feeling unsafe and if you are not helping your dog get the space he needs to feel safe, he may increase his distance-increasing displays and we do not want this to increase to the place where someone may get hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
But I would say to not let the baby be alone with the dog. And here is za catch. If you lock the dog out, he may feel even more resentment. But you can't let them be together without constant supervisions and a dog can snap in a heart beat--I saw it at my son's recently.
I guess that is part of the problem, Mozzie is a REALLY good dog and he mostly shows resentment toward the kid when we are playing with the kid and not him. I would never be scared to leave them in a room together, I do all the time. He is such a sweet and well-behaved dog, he just gets jealous. I assume it's because the more my son grows up, the more interaction he needs and there is only one of me, so less interaction goes toward the dog. But trust me, he still gets plenty. He goes to the dog park, We take him fishing, hiking, and we play with just him when the baby is sleeping. Even with kids in the mix, I think he still has it better than most dogs.
 

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What did you do to make sure bear waited his turn? The problem is that Moz is the kind of dog that always has to be right next to you... At the max maybe 10 feet away, so when he's that close its hard to "not let" a baby go near him. :)

Bear knows "go to your bed" or really any number of "go to...." commands, along with impulse control commands like "wait". So if he starts hedging in, I'll tell him to "wait his turn" and "go to your bed."

When it IS his turn, I am very vocal and excited to spend time with him and he in turn relishes in our time together. Likewise when it is Bear's turn, if Gypsy wants attention, I put her in a down and tell her to wait. Often I have to accompany that with a chew toy because she is still learning patience.

Bear does the roll on his back, kicking his legs about, and pushing off my legs.... But this is play behavior. He is very polite about taking turns between who is "on top" vs who is "on bottom" and if he's is the bottom dog, he'll push off my legs so he can get out from under Gypsy and switch positions or grab a toy.

But when he's had enough, if Gypsy keeps going and I don't step in, he will correct her which could be devastating towards an infant/toddler. Which is why their interactions should be supervised. And I would work on teaching your son the correct way to pet Mozzie or don't let him pet him until he can better understand why Mozzie needs to be pet with respect and kindness.
 

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I guess that is part of the problem, Mozzie is a REALLY good dog and he mostly shows resentment toward the kid when we are playing with the kid and not him. I would never be scared to leave them in a room together, I do all the time. He is such a sweet and well-behaved dog, he just gets jealous. I assume it's because the more my son grows up, the more interaction he needs and there is only one of me, so less interaction goes toward the dog. But trust me, he still gets plenty. He goes to the dog park, We take him fishing, hiking, and we play with just him when the baby is sleeping. Even with kids in the mix, I think he still has it better than most dogs.
I'm sorry, but I disagree - you should never leave a 14 month old toddler in a room with a dog alone, especially when said dog is exhibiting behaviors that aren't good. Even the best "REALLY good" dogs can and do get fed up with a toddler tugging their fur, etc. You already said your son pats him too hard, and your son is only getting bigger and will play harder.

It takes only the eye blink for a dog to give a warning snap at a child, one that can (and probably will) puncture them. Trust me that you don't want to live through this, ever. When my youngest was 18 months old, our then-neighbor's dog bit her and we had to go to the ER for stitches. It was horrible and I don't want any parent or child to go through what we did. She still has the scar on her forehead, half an inch from her eye. The dog was on leash, about six feet away from her, and two adults were standing right there. It can and does happen that fast (the dog wasn't even looking at her at the time). By law the hospital had to report it, the police came, animal control, it was a very big and stressful situation we'll just say. My daughter was rather traumatized by the whole thing too, as was I. I think I cried for two days straight every time I thought of it.

Anyway, I agree with the others that you need to get a trainer in before something bad happens. I know goldens are big love-bugs, but every dog is capable of having had enough and biting. Like I said, it can happen even with you and your husband sitting right there. It happened to me and can happen to anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bear does the roll on his back, kicking his legs about, and pushing off my legs.... But this is play behavior. He is very polite about taking turns between who is "on top" vs who is "on bottom" and if he's is the bottom dog, he'll push off my legs so he can get out from under Gypsy and switch positions or grab a toy.
So this could be Mozzie trying to play with him? That actually makes me feel a lot better and makes sense. It makes sense Mozzie wants to play with him, maybe it won't make me so nervous when my son is a little bigger and can walk. Mozzie is really big, 95 lbs and not overweight for his height. I don't think he quite understands his power. I was so confused because he does so well with other kids, that's why I thought it was a jealousy issue, but I think maybe it's that the other kids he's been around have been older.

As far as the petting goes, I only let my son pet him when he's on my lap and I have ahold oh his arms. I say "soft" and "gentle" and drag his hands around. He just sometimes grabs and ends up pulling the hair. We are working on it, and he is getting better. :)
 

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Please don't ever leave them unattended together! Any dog will bite when pushed over their threshold! Have Mozzy leave the room with you when you have to, or take the baby with you. It only takes a second, and could cost you son an injury, and Mozzy his life!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really can't recommend strongly enough that you find a trainer who can come to your house and help teach you what you're seeing. The way things are going...with the baby being rough with him and your inexperience with dog signals...this could go bad fast. Especially if you're about to have another.

He actually sounds like a really good dog. Please get the help you need to make sure everyone lives happily ever after, okay?
I don't necessarily think I'm "inexperienced" with dog signals, I have had dogs my whole life, Moz has just been a lot different than any of my other dogs. they were all English setters. So I guess I'm still learning with him. We will get a trainer to come see the behavior, thanks, that is really good advice. His usual trainer is out of state so we have only taken him to her, she has never been to see us.
 

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As others have said, I think the key is getting a trainer who can help you read your dogs signals. He's letting you know, "hey this cute little thing is making me uncomfortable" when he moves away, etc. He is doing all the right cues to let you know. A lot of times bites happen when the humans don't pick up on the signals. These signals can be very subtle, lots of lip licking, big yawns, ears back, pulling back, etc. Also, don't reward him for trying to butt in when you are with your child (even to say no). Just ignore him and turn your back. And then give him plenty of attention later.

I think this is fixable. Just a little bit of understanding of what your dog is telling you and teaching your child how to interact with a dog will set this up in a positive way. When your child gets older and know how to interact with him, they may become good buds :) Good luck.
 
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I guess that is part of the problem, Mozzie is a REALLY good dog and he mostly shows resentment toward the kid when we are playing with the kid and not him. I would never be scared to leave them in a room together, I do all the time. He is such a sweet and well-behaved dog, he just gets jealous. I assume it's because the more my son grows up, the more interaction he needs and there is only one of me, so less interaction goes toward the dog. But trust me, he still gets plenty. He goes to the dog park, We take him fishing, hiking, and we play with just him when the baby is sleeping. Even with kids in the mix, I think he still has it better than most dogs.
I second the suggestion to call in a trainer. A child of that age (14 months) shouldn't ever be left alone with a dog, and especially not with a dog who's clearly trying to tell you that he doesn't enjoy interacting with the child.

Toddlers don't think before they act. They do stuff that animals don't like: they move quickly and unexpectedly, they grab fur, ears and tails, they stick their fingers in the dog's mouth and eyes, they try to take things away from the dog, and so on. As for your dog, he's refusing to take toys, removing himself from the child's presence, and pushing the child away. These are all very clear signals that he doesn't like being with the child, and you should respect them. If you don't, it doesn't matter how good the dog is, the next step will be growling, and it can easily escalate from there.

Properly managed, this phase will go away as your son grows. My old dog really disliked my daughter until she had learned to play nicely and be respectful - around 3 years of age. This was the gentlest dog in the world, but she gave out the same types of signals as your dog, and we respected her need for space. We never left them alone together and never had a problem. The two became inseparable in later years. However, I'm convinced that if we hadn't supervised them closely in the early years, things would have been different.

Dogs don't think like humans. They don't rationalize the time you spend with them versus the time you spend with the children. If you dog doesn't enjoy your son's presence, it's probably because your son has inadvertently hurt him or made him feel uncomfortable at some time. This isn't your son's fault: he's a baby. It's not the dog's fault either. It's just that babies and dogs don't mix well and must be managed very carefully to avoid accidents. Even the best dog in the world will snap or bite if provoked sufficiently. Yours is clearly a wonderful dog and is doing his best to make you understand his discomfort. A trainer will help you interpret what he's saying and give you tips to manage the relationship until your son is old enough to play nicely.

Good luck! This can be done - it's just a question of understanding and acting accordingly.
 

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I second the suggestion to call in a trainer. A child of that age (14 months) shouldn't ever be left alone with a dog, and especially not with a dog who's clearly trying to tell you that he doesn't enjoy interacting with the child.

Toddlers don't think before they act. They do stuff that animals don't like: they move quickly and unexpectedly, they grab fur, ears and tails, they stick their fingers in the dog's mouth and eyes, they try to take things away from the dog, and so on. As for your dog, he's refusing to take toys, removing himself from the child's presence, and pushing the child away. These are all very clear signals that he doesn't like being with the child, and you should respect them. If you don't, it doesn't matter how good the dog is, the next step will be growling, and it can easily escalate from there.

Properly managed, this phase will go away as your son grows. My old dog really disliked my daughter until she had learned to play nicely and be respectful - around 3 years of age. This was the gentlest dog in the world, but she gave out the same types of signals as your dog, and we respected her need for space. We never left them alone together and never had a problem. The two became inseparable in later years. However, I'm convinced that if we hadn't supervised them closely in the early years, things would have been different.

Dogs don't think like humans. They don't rationalize the time you spend with them versus the time you spend with the children. If you dog doesn't enjoy your son's presence, it's probably because your son has inadvertently hurt him or made him feel uncomfortable at some time. This isn't your son's fault: he's a baby. It's not the dog's fault either. It's just that babies and dogs don't mix well and must be managed very carefully to avoid accidents. Even the best dog in the world will snap or bite if provoked sufficiently. Yours is clearly a wonderful dog and is doing his best to make you understand his discomfort. A trainer will help you interpret what he's saying and give you tips to manage the relationship until your son is old enough to play nicely.

Good luck! This can be done - it's just a question of understanding and acting accordingly.

Please reread this about 4 times. It is SPOT on.

I would also add a couple of large wire crates in your home. They are not to punish your dog but to protect him from your son and allow him to be a part of the family at the same time. Dogs do not mind them near as much as the people especially if they can watch and hear what is going on with everyone. With a new baby on the way, you will not have enough eyes to keep watch on the dog, the toddler and the new one. A crate will allow you to know that the dog is safe in bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Properly managed, this phase will go away as your son grows. My old dog really disliked my daughter until she had learned to play nicely and be respectful - around 3 years of age. This was the gentlest dog in the world, but she gave out the same types of signals as your dog, and we respected her need for space. We never left them alone together and never had a problem. The two became inseparable in later years. However, I'm convinced that if we hadn't supervised them closely in the early years, things would have been different.

Dogs don't think like humans. They don't rationalize the time you spend with them versus the time you spend with the children. If you dog doesn't enjoy your son's presence, it's probably because your son has inadvertently hurt him or made him feel uncomfortable at some time. This isn't your son's fault: he's a baby. It's not the dog's fault either. It's just that babies and dogs don't mix well and must be managed very carefully to avoid accidents. Even the best dog in the world will snap or bite if provoked sufficiently. Yours is clearly a wonderful dog and is doing his best to make you understand his discomfort. A trainer will help you interpret what he's saying and give you tips to manage the relationship until your son is old enough to play nicely.

Good luck! This can be done - it's just a question of understanding and acting accordingly.
Thank you! Knowing that it *probably* won't be forever gives me hope, I really want them to be able to Play together eventually. We will definitely call a trainer and I will do better at keeping them apart.
 

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So this could be Mozzie trying to play with him? That actually makes me feel a lot better and makes sense. It makes sense Mozzie wants to play with him, maybe it won't make me so nervous when my son is a little bigger and can walk. Mozzie is really big, 95 lbs and not overweight for his height. I don't think he quite understands his power. I was so confused because he does so well with other kids, that's why I thought it was a jealousy issue, but I think maybe it's that the other kids he's been around have been older.



As far as the petting goes, I only let my son pet him when he's on my lap and I have ahold oh his arms. I say "soft" and "gentle" and drag his hands around. He just sometimes grabs and ends up pulling the hair. We are working on it, and he is getting better. :)

It could be but you've also described clear signals that Mozzie wants space. What works for my dog, or signals he portrays may NOT be the same for Mozzie.
 

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If you have time before the new baby comes, in addition to having your trainer come to the house, this would be a great time for you and your dog to do some training classes together. I take my other dogs "back to school" for some one on one time when I'm just adding another pet to our household.

It will improve your relationship and your ability to communicate instructions to him for those days when you have a baby in one arm and a toddler in the other...and thinking time makes for a much happier dog.

Please be safe.
 
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