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Rachael_Astro

Problems with new baby

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Hi all

 

Unfortunately I’ve been having problems with Astro since my baby arrived home :(

 

He’s been guarding her from Koda. It started off with low growls every time Koda went near her crib in the living room, that escalated to him snapping at Koda, and today he he went for his neck quite viciously. Even when they were both upstairs and Baby was downstairs Astro was staring at Koda

 

I just don’t know what to do. Do I wait and see if it gets better and risk something happening? Training doesn’t work overnight so I could get a trainer in but that wouldn’t solve the issue straight away which is what I need really with a new born in the house

 

Any advice is appreciated. It breaks my heart to think of giving him up but unfortunately time is not on my side

 

 

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Only thing I can think of is removing him from the room the moment he so much as looks the wrong way at koda , never had to deal with this situation so I can't help really :( a behaviourist might be worth looking into rather than a trainer tho

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Only thing I can think of is removing him from the room the moment he so much as looks the wrong way at koda , never had to deal with this situation so I can't help really default_sad.png a behaviourist might be worth looking into rather than a trainer tho

 

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Thanks Nix I meant to say behaviourist but I’m half asleep! It’s difficult because we don’t have a living room door, and they could easily get over a baby gate. Can’t think how else I can keep them out

 

It also escalates very quickly last night Koda was lying on the floor minding his own business and Astro snarled and snapped at him, there’s not really any warning that it’s going to happen

 

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Thanks Nix I meant to say behaviourist but I’m half asleep! It’s difficult because we don’t have a living room door, and they could easily get over a baby gate. Can’t think how else I can keep them out
 
It also escalates very quickly last night Koda was lying on the floor minding his own business and Astro snarled and snapped at him, there’s not really any warning that it’s going to happen
 
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Would a dog gate work? Or would they get over that too ? They're taller than baby gates

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I agree removing from room into isolation.  Leaving Koda with you & baby  may start to say YOU are okay with this one near you two thus telling the other this is fine.

Can you not crate one or both separately, or, muzzle ? That way neither can bite the other.  Are they both male ?

Protection is one thing but that sort of aggression certainly needs curbing around baby and even a firm voice from you to say "No! Away & Leave", or "Out". 

If one is the dominant one then maybe you have to overide this too. Both my male Boxers were jointly protective towards my daughter and co-ordinated the guarding .. never had an issue like this ... but put anyone NOT a family member and both were 'on guard' immediately refusing to let even previousky regularly visiting friends get near her without my sayso. 

How is Koda around baby ? For now, I'd keep them both away from baby when it's just you, and let one in at a time provided you have someone else with you in the room.

I would also fit two baby gates to work as one (one over the other) on the open door.  Seen this in another household with huskies and thought it a very good idea. 

Hope it improves.  Astro is doing right but shouldn't exclude Koda from a joint watch over new baby ... only you can quietly tell A to leave K alone, and remove Astro from the room until s/he behaves better.  🤗

 

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Would a dog gate work? Or would they get over that too ? They're taller than baby gates

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Maybe, that’s a good idea!


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I agree removing from room into isolation.  Leaving Koda with you & baby  may start to say YOU are okay with this one near you two thus telling the other this is fine.
Can you not crate one or both separately, or, muzzle ? That way neither can bite the other.  Are they both male ?
Protection is one thing but that sort of aggression certainly needs curbing around baby and even a firm voice from you to say "No! Away & Leave", or "Out". 
If one is the dominant one then maybe you have to overide this too. Both my male Boxers were jointly protective towards my daughter and co-ordinated the guarding .. never had an issue like this ... but put anyone NOT a family member and both were 'on guard' immediately refusing to let even previousky regularly visiting friends get near her without my sayso. 
How is Koda around baby ? For now, I'd keep them both away from baby when it's just you, and let one in at a time provided you have someone else with you in the room.
I would also fit two baby gates to work as one (one over the other) on the open door.  Seen this in another household with huskies and thought it a very good idea. 
Hope it improves.  Astro is doing right but shouldn't exclude Koda from a joint watch over new baby ... only you can quietly tell A to leave K alone, and remove Astro from the room until s/he behaves better. 
 


Thanks Maz, I think I’ll ask my boyfriend to get a muzzle today. They are both male and neutered. Koda is great around the baby he’s not showed much interest in her at all, he’s really laid back. He’s not reacting to Astro at the moment but last night he was scared to come into the living room where Astro was he just sat on the stairs :(

My boyfriend still has 3 weeks off work and he’s basically said if it’s not improved by then Astro will need to go because he can’t leave me on my own with a baby in a situation like that

Will definitely try the isolation and only 1 dog at a time

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Oh Rachael this sounds so stressful esp recovering from a C section! I have no experience sorry but I do hope you get it sorted
Maybe just call the behaviourist you have used before and ask advise? They may prioritise your situation and come asap?


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So sorry Rachael, you really do not need this.   I agree about the behaviourist   -  but another thought occurred to me,  it might be a completely stupid suggestion,  but have you thought of separating Astro for about a week   i.e.  put him in boarding kennels?   When he comes back his perceived position in the pack will have changed.    Then when he gets back you immediately start with new 'rules'  like the new gates, separation, etc.

As I said it might be a completely stupid suggestion.

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I think that’s a good idea to kennel as it also gives koda a break. I hope you manage to work thru it Rachael, have a look at Victoria Stilwell on you tube, she’s so good at working on behavioural issues.


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Try separation at home as hubby is home & you BOTH need to 'do' the walking out on a lead into a separate isolate room, or the one who doesn't do this won't pull the 'leader' role. 

Three weeks should sort this - just praise big time when Astro behaves correctly & reward.  React IMMEDIATELY to any hint of unacceptable behaviour.  Astro will learn that Koda has a place in your pack, with baby.  When out walking have them either side of the buggy/pram.. so dual a 'role' is instigated & reward both for being good 'on guard'.

Dogmatic collars have better instant control on their heads, stops pulling too. I wouldnt handle my two (13 Stone combined) otherwise!

DO encourage Koda to approach and sit with you and then Astro , near baby & initially  use a full basket* muzzle not the thick ones that still leave mouth/teeth bare.  You can reward treats through these* easily enough, & they can pant and drink. Just measure from nose tip to behind ear & round neck for right size. Check online too but most pet shops/stores have them.

About £7.99-ish.   Good luck - keep me posted. Xxx

Successdogs.com is great too. I use it all the time.

_____________. Prev post: 

I agree removing from room into isolation.  Leaving Koda with you & baby  may start to say YOU are okay with this one near you two thus telling the other this is fine.

Can you not crate one or both separately, or, muzzle ? That way neither can bite the other.  Are they both male ?

Protection is one thing but that sort of aggression certainly needs curbing around baby and even a firm voice from you to say "No! Away & Leave", or "Out". 

If one is the dominant one then maybe you have to overide this too. Both my male Boxers were jointly protective towards my daughter and co-ordinated the guarding .. never had an issue like this ... but put anyone NOT a family member and both were 'on guard' immediately refusing to let even previousky regularly visiting friends get near her without my sayso. 

How is Koda around baby ? For now, I'd keep them both away from baby when it's just you, and let one in at a time provided you have someone else with you in the room.

I would also fit two baby gates to work as one (one over the other) on the open door.  Seen this in another household with huskies and thought it a very good idea. 

Hope it improves.  Astro is doing right but shouldn't exclude Koda from a joint watch over new baby ... only you can quietly tell A to leave K alone, and remove Astro from the room until s/he behaves better.  🤗

Edited by Maz51

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So sorry Rachael, you really do not need this.   I agree about the behaviourist   -  but another thought occurred to me,  it might be a completely stupid suggestion,  but have you thought of separating Astro for about a week   i.e.  put him in boarding kennels?   When he comes back his perceived position in the pack will have changed.    Then when he gets back you immediately start with new 'rules'  like the new gates, separation, etc.
As I said it might be a completely stupid suggestion.


I did think about this myself but Astro gets really stressed in kennels! I also thought if someone could look after him for me for a short while but I can’t think of anyone at the moment :(


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If you want me to come up at some point and have a look at how you could keep him out of the room, I'm happy to do so. Don't get me wrong, I'm not great with DIY, but we do have Koda who we have to think about keeping him out places at times (Not for the same reason. Just because he is a PITA in general with things like food and anything else remotely edible LOL)

 

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Catching up (and further to my Message), I'm not convinced that separation, either immediate (room/crate) or kennels, would be a solution as it could just draw out the situation - but muzzling would be a necessary precaution. Astro needs to learn not to guard the baby and, like all resource guarding issues, the answer probably lies in desensitisation - in other words, gradual introduction to the issue rather than removal from the situation (but that's just my take on it).

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The removal / push out is what a snr pack member would do to any undesirable behaviour off of another pack member with pups... it says 'out'.  When the 'bad' pup/member shows submission and stops showing unacceptable behaviour, they are alliwed back in. 

This is also very soundly confirmed by Monty Roberts in his book EQUUS (incl & especially on wild horses, deer and dogs, and the few hundred  foster children he had!)  He breaks in horses so gently, the Queen had him over to work and teach her man Terry I/C of the stables at Windsor. 

Maybe, just take Astro out and make him stay on the other side of the door, and call Koda in, but observing Astro closely, altho' total separation may work faster.  It's only a few minutes but rejection tells them faster. Big praise and "Good dog, be nice!" Plus areward (to both too) will be important too.

Previous:  I would try separation at home as hubby is home & you BOTH need to 'do' the walking out on a lead into a separate isolate room, or the one who doesn't do this won't pull the 'leader' role. 

(Victoria Sidwell advocates tjis as do many other behaviorists).

Three weeks should sort this - just praise big time when Astro behaves correctly & reward.  React IMMEDIATELY to any hint of unacceptable behaviour.  Astro will learn that Koda has a place in your pack, with baby.  When out walking have them either side of the buggy/pram.. so dual a 'role' is instigated & reward both for being good 'on guard'.

Dogmatic collars have better instant control on their heads, stops pulling too. I wouldnt handle my two (13 Stone combined) otherwise!

DO encourage Koda to approach and sit with you and then Astro , near baby & initially  use a full basket* muzzle not the thick ones that still leave mouth/teeth bare.  You can reward treats through these* easily enough, & they can pant and drink. Just measure from nose tip to behind ear & round neck for right size. Check online too but most pet shops/stores have them.

About £7.99-ish.   Good luck - keep me posted. Xxx

_____________. Prev post: 

I agree removing from room into isolation.  Leaving Koda with you & baby  may start to say YOU are okay with this one near you two thus telling the other this is fine.

Can you not crate one or both separately, or, muzzle ? That way neither can bite the other.  Are they both male ?

Protection is one thing but that sort of aggression certainly needs curbing around baby and even a firm voice from you to say "No! Away & Leave", or "Out". 

If one is the dominant one then maybe you have to overide this too. Both my male Boxers were jointly protective towards my daughter and co-ordinated the guarding .. never had an issue like this ... but put anyone NOT a family member and both were 'on guard' immediately refusing to let even previousky regularly visiting friends get near her without my sayso. 

How is Koda around baby ? For now, I'd keep them both away from baby when it's just you, and let one in at a time provided you have someone else with you in the room.

I would also fit two baby gates to work as one (one over the other) on the open door.  Seen this in another household with huskies and thought it a very good idea. 

Hope it improves.  Astro is doing right but shouldn't exclude Koda from a joint watch over new baby ... only you can quietly tell A to leave K alone, and remove Astro from the room until s/he behaves better.  🤗

Successdogs.com is great too. I use it all the time.

 

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@Maz51  are you aware that Rachael has just had a C-Section birth?  Forgive me for poking my nose in but in the early stages of recovery she's probably not going to be able to do much of the physical stuff mentioned.

@Rachael_Astro Did you have any joy from phoning the rescues behaviourist?  Trying to recover from the op, take care of a newborn baby, sort out the dogs with everything else on top must feel pretty overwhelming right now.  Sending a virtual hug your way. Xx

 

 

 

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If you want me to come up at some point and have a look at how you could keep him out of the room, I'm happy to do so. Don't get me wrong, I'm not great with DIY, but we do have Koda who we have to think about keeping him out places at times (Not for the same reason. Just because he is a PITA in general with things like food and anything else remotely edible LOL)
 


Thanks Marc that’s really kind, as the other Mark says though I don’t know if keeping them out is the answer, everyone says not to push a dog out with a baby and I think keeping them out might make it worse, but if I let them in there’s the risk of fighting! Really don’t know what to do


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[mention=12296]Maz51[/mention]  are you aware that Rachael has just had a C-Section birth?  Forgive me for poking my nose in but in the early stages of recovery she's probably not going to be able to do much of the physical stuff mentioned.
[mention=12313]Rachael_Astro[/mention] Did you have any joy from phoning the rescues behaviourist?  Trying to recover from the op, take care of a newborn baby, sort out the dogs with everything else on top must feel pretty overwhelming right now.  Sending a virtual hug your way. Xx
 
 
 

Thanks Emma, I definitely can’t do any of the physical stuff at the moment! Having them on a lead even in the house is a no no incase they pull me. Also I’m not sure how I can get a lead, put it on them and lead them out the room when Astro is literally lunging at Koda with no warning, I’m not getting in between them and by the time I had managed to get up Koda would have run away anyway. Thanks for the suggestion though Maz

The behaviourist said he could come at half 9 this morning but I’ve not been well so he couldn’t come, I’m just exhausted. It is a massive struggle at the moment, hug appreciated!


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Keeping a lead on at all times indoors on both can give you/your hubby access safely.. just let it drag.. never go near heads in a fight (too much bitey-end!), but grabbing hind legs or tail and hauling back is far safer. Muzzling both will let you have them indoors with you and no fighting too.

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Keeping a lead on at all times indoors on both can give you/your hubby access safely.. just let it drag.. never go near heads in a fight (too much bitey-end!), but grabbing hind legs or tail and hauling back is far safer. Muzzling both will let you have them indoors with you and no fighting too.

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I wouldn’t be able to grab the leads if anything happened, I can’t even pull the back door shut at the moment! And having the leads dragging is a trip hazard especially when carrying the baby so I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this but thanks for the suggestion


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Sorry to hear you’re feeling unwell, I caught a cold and then a stomach bug a couple of weeks after having a c-section so I can empathise with you there.

I can’t really throw up anything amazing or even new but I do agree with the muzzling idea and maybe rotating them one by one to being in the room with you? That’s providing you’ve got some help to get them safely rotated of course. Perhaps some positive rewards (something tasty, lol) if they’re together and Astro is behaving well and not fixating on Koda. Even if you have to call him over and do something with him first, or rattle a can of beans to divert his attention elsewhere. Basically anywhere other than Koda.

The biggest and most obvious problem is that whilst you’re healing, you’re just not up to being able to do too much about the situation like you would normally, which must be both frustrating and nerve wracking at the same time.

 

 

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I guess with anything, time will be on your side, especially for ASTRO getting used to your baby but not yet understanding what's going on. I hope a behaviorist can help with some useful insight. Also, I think it would be great for MARC to observe & access the situation firsthand.
Most importantly, you need plenty of rest to recover from surgery. Try to stay calm if possible. And take baby steps with ASTRO.
Again, congratulations with your beautiful baby girl!!




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