How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Baby
If your dog is being aggressive towards your baby, then obviously you need to act right away. So what should you be doing? How do you keep your dog calm around your baby? Should you let an aggressive dog be around your baby at all? How do you go about making sure your dog will act right around your newborn?
Today, we’re going to answer all of these troubling questions, and most importantly, we’ll tell you how to stop your dog’s misbehavior. Soon, you’ll be able to let your dog be around your baby without worrying about what they might do. Let’s not delay any longer, and get to our article “How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Baby.”
Table of Contents
Dog Being Aggressive Towards Baby
Your dog is being aggressive towards your baby because they are fearful and untrusting of the baby, and some dogs respond to this by lashing out through aggression. It could be simply because your dog is not used to the baby, and sees them as an outsider to the home. Dogs are very territorial, having descended from wolves, so it’s not surprising that some would react this way.
It’s also possible that your baby is playing too roughly with your dog. This would cause them to be stressed and fearful of your baby, and often times your dog will essentially get fed up and respond through aggression. If it happens enough, they’ll be proactively aggressive before your baby has done any pulling or tugging on them, to warn your baby to stay away.
For the time being, you should separate your dog immediately from the baby at the first signs of aggression, regardless of whether your child did something to provoke it. But you still need to begin addressing your dog’s actions through behavioral training right away, otherwise you will give them the impression that responding with aggression to things that cause them fear or stress is okay.
Soon, your dog won’t just be barking at your baby and being aggressive to them, but towards many others as well. You’ll find your dog being aggressive towards the neighbors or even biting your visitors. Your dog could even become aggressive to your husband, because after all, they’ve seen that lashing out at family members isn’t a big deal.
Skip to the last section now where we’ll cover how to stop all of these.
How Do I Keep My Dog Calm Around My Baby?
To keep your dog calm around your baby, use positive reinforcement to help them see your new child as something pleasant to be around. There’s going to be a lot of noise and activity going on with your new baby, and your dog will be getting less attention, so be sure to reward them when they’re doing well.
Try holding your baby next to your dog (while standing so there’s still some distance). If they’re being quiet and non-threatening, give them praise and have someone else pet them at the same time. Drop a treat also for your dog to have. At the first signs that your dog is aggressive towards the baby, however, put them in a time-out immediately.
Continue to work on being positive and rewarding your dog when they are calm and relaxed while your baby is around, and putting them in time-out when they are not. Be patient and have everyone in the house also follow this. Your dog will quickly learn that the baby is part of the family, and that being calm around your child gets them rewarded, while being aggressive does not.
Should I Let My Aggressive Dog Be Around My Baby?
You should not let your aggressive dog be around your baby. Separate them from your child at the first signs of aggression by putting your dog in time-out. You can’t be too careful when your baby is concerned.
You should then work on correcting the problem through behavioral training before allowing your dog to be close to your baby again. We’ll go over that in the next section.
How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Your Baby
To stop dog aggression towards your baby, you need to positively reinforce good behavior, and send them to time-out for any bad. When you are holding your child, speak to your dog in a positive, happy voice, and give them lots of excited praise when they’re remaining calm. Drop a treat for them, and have someone else pet them.
You should not bend down and let them get close to your baby for the time being, even if they seem to be doing okay. At the first signs of your dog being aggressive towards your baby, give a calm but firm “no” and put them into a time-out (their crate or a closed room with no toys or treats) immediately.
Continue this cycle of keeping a safe distance, while rewarding good behavior from your dog with pets, praise, and treats. Bad behavior such as barking should be met with an immediate calm but firm “no” and time-out. Other signs of your dog being aggressive to the baby include a focused stare and showing teeth while growling.
Ensure your entire household and anyone who spends time with your baby around the dog is following suit. Be patient and consistent, and your dog should soon learn that the baby is now a part of the family and that acting aggressively towards the baby will never be acceptable.
Still, you need to address the fact that your dog ever felt that it was okay to act like this in the first place. As we mentioned earlier, if you don’t, your dog will soon also be acting out in other ways and being aggressive towards others. To properly do that, let’s first quickly talk about what makes dogs work.
You’ve probably heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader. Well, when your dog is aggressive to the baby or misbehaving in other ways, they are essentially telling you that they don’t think you can handle being the leader of the pack.
If they did, they wouldn’t feel fearful of the baby. They wouldn’t feel like they needed to worry about their “position” in the family being threatened. They would trust you to handle any outsiders that you welcomed into the home, even the tiny and loud ones. And most of all, they would obey your commands to stop being aggressive.
But once you’ve shown your dog that not only are you their pack leader, but a capable and worthy one, they’ll stop being aggressive towards your baby and you’ll be able to end all of the other behavioral problems you’re likely having, or will be soon. And you’ll have a quiet, stress-free home — or at least as much of one as you can with a baby present, of course.
“Sounds perfect, but how do I do this?”
You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is about this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In the series, he’ll show you everything you need to know in ways that are very easy to understand and he gets right to the point so that you’ll start seeing these crucial changes in your dog in no time.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t worry, because you’re not going to have to be mean to your dog. In fact, you won’t even have to raise your voice. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving training methods at all times. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the only way to achieve fast and permanent results with your dog.
I’m sure you’re ready to not have to worry about having your dog around your baby, so I’ll let you get started now. Best wishes with your new child, and thank you for reading our article “How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Baby.”