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Old 10-24-2011, 03:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
 

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My Pit is now scared of my child

We had a child back in March and before this our pit Jake was the center of attention. We brought him everywhere with us and did everything with him. During the pregnancy I was away on business 5 days out of the week so we never got the chance to break him of his normal life style. Now my son is 7 months old and is crawling around and is very interested in our pit. Some times our pit will lay next to him and lick his face and be very nice. Most of the time he acts scared and runs to the other side of room. He's growled twice at him. More often then not he would rather remove himself from where the baby is. He has always been a well tempered dog and Now I am just scared because it only takes one bite. What should I do?
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
 

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A dog growling at a child is not good that's a behavior that I personally wouldn't tolerate. I wouldn't allow the child and the dog to interact freely. You might have to introduce them slowly a little bit at a time. How is the dog with other people and strangers in general? Is it just your child he growls at? You should never allow the baby to be around the dog unsupervised ever. Keep the baby away from the dog toys and dog food. The dog could be reacting to the changes in the home but even still these dog's tend to be very good with kids and if bred properly they have excellent temperaments. Have you considered having the dog evaluated by a behavior specialist?
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't take the chance. I'm with Sadie. Never ever leave a dog alone with a baby. Monitor the interactions......

However, I know I might sound a bit harsh but I'd have one less dog if my dog growled at my daughter. I can care less about the dog at that point.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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number two rule with APBTs and all animals for that matter: dont leave children vulnerable or unsupervised in the vacinity of animals. Either the kid will hurt the animal or the animal will hurt the kid. You know how many times I've been bit ?? Snakes, Dogs, birds, cats, horses, pigs, buffalo and cows.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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agree with all above. Dont set the dog up to fail. Never leave kids unattended with anychild , not just this breed but dogs in general. But Id have to agree that dog wouldnt be in my home if it growled at my kid, Id get a temperment test done and maybe work with someone experienced who can come in and see the situation themselves and show you how to work with the dog. Sounds like he wasnt given a fair chance to adjust and going fromt the only child to now sharing your attention isnt sitting to well with him. Doyou guys spend time with the dog one on one ever? id try and spend more time working him and training and exercising even taking for walks with baby in the stroller , make him part of the family again. Best of luck
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehazard View Post
number two rule with APBTs and all animals for that matter: dont leave children vulnerable or unsupervised in the vacinity of animals. Either the kid will hurt the animal or the animal will hurt the kid. You know how many times I've been bit ?? Snakes, Dogs, birds, cats, horses, pigs, buffalo and cows.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
 

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Thank you for all of the replies. Just to pass a little more information our dog Jake is good with all other human interaction. He sometimes is slow at first to warm up to new people but once he realizes someone is there to stay he becomes attached. He is not as familiar with kids and used to be scared of children that were 5-10 years old. He slowly became exposed to children of that age and seems fine now. I think he was puzzled but "what" our baby is and is feeling sad because he is no longer the center of attention. Now that our baby is 7 months and becoming mobile the baby is becoming interested in the dog. We understand the notion not to leave the baby alone and would not do so with any dog small or large. We have tried to incorporate some family time all together with the dog. Some days Jake is fine and will even kiss the baby other days he will run across the room to get away. The growling has occurred when we try to force him to stay near the baby while we try to get the dog acclimated. Jake is taken on multiple walks with the baby each day and does fine walking alongside the stroller. Can anyone advise where you find behavior specialists or trainers that specialize in interaction vs general obedience? Our dog is already trained and has attended obedience school so we really want to focus on the interaction. Overall the dog is very good and has an excellent temperment we love him and would want to work with him so we all feel more secure that our situation will improve. Obviously our child comes first and we will take necessary measurements if need be however we would like to make sure we explore all options before making drastic changes.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Never, ever force your dog to be near your child. That just makes Jake feel defensive and like he HAS to growl in order to warn the child away, even if he would have normally just run away. That's why he's growling. Growling in defense because you keep putting your baby in his face is different than Jake walking by the baby and growling.

From now on, let JAKE choose when to approach the baby. This goes for all dogs that are fearful or shy of something. You never want to force them to accept attention because it makes them feel defensive and like they have to protect themselves.

edit: Forgot to add, you want to find a behaviorist who specializes in working with dogs who are fearful, as it sounds like Jake is fearful of (strange) people (and/or situations) in general. They can give you tips on how to build up his confidence and manage any fearfulness.

Last edited by k8nkane; 10-24-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach0 View Post
I wouldn't take the chance. I'm with Sadie. Never ever leave a dog alone with a baby. Monitor the interactions......

However, I know I might sound a bit harsh but I'd have one less dog if my dog growled at my daughter. I can care less about the dog at that point.
amen to that
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
 

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I agree with everyone above. Personally, I would get rid of the dog if the behavior continued with no reasonable cause (ie pain).

The dog would either be rehomed with a trainer that had no children and understood what the dog's history was or it would be PTS.

We don't need anymore headlines of "Pit bull mauls child" in the news.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I agree with everyone who advised to never leave the baby alone with the dog, or "force" interactions. It would be nice if you could find a behaviorist to work with.

I can tell you too, and I don't know how pertinent it is to your situation, but our Jake (who is a male coonhound) wanted nothing to do with our youngest granddaughter till very recently. She's nearly 2 now and he's mostly avoided her, but never growled. Our pit, Maggie, has been loving and super attentive to the baby ever since she arrived but Jake generally just removed himself from the "hub bub" by laying on the opposite side of the room from her.

Maybe just making sure he has a safe place to go to get away from the baby, like a crate or bedroom, would help for now.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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For one dont let your baby crawl around on the ground while your dog is out! Sweet baby jesus if that dog is already growled multiple times, that dog will bite that kid when your baby learns how to stand up and run, and then corning the dog. It is dangerous to leave your child crawling on the ground while your dog is out and you only a few feet away. It only needs a split second for the flight or fight reflex to kick in. Do NOT give your dog the chance for something to happen. You dog is uneasy around the kid and babies cant sence it. Its best to wait until your kid is older before slowly introducing them again. When your kid is out of the play pin and on the ground crawling, put the dog up.
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