How do I go about introducing my fox terrier to my baby niece without ensuing mayhem?

My sis has just had a baby, and me and the girlfriend are going to be looking after her at some point. The problem is, our terrier is a pretty dominant chap, and I'm rather worried about letting him near her. He is very keen to get to her, but I have had no experience of introducing dogs to babies so won't risk letting him near her without some plan of attack. He's a pleasant little fella, just very excitable.... Any ideas? Thanks!

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docden8 years ago
Control of your dog is paramount to introducing it to the baby.  You can start my using a crate for your dog and putting the baby near by so you can see how the dog is going to react.  Once you determine this then its simply a matter of addressing the reactions with the proper punishment or praise depending on if they are bad or good.  If you see an aggressive behavior begin to surface then do whatever is necessary in a controlled manner to stop the behavior and praise the dog for stopping (or exhibiting the correct behavior).  Basically you need to go through some desensitising processes getting the dog used to being around the baby.  This should be no problem if you have control of your dog.  Even if you have to use the crate or a muzzle to maintain control just take it step by step and remember to reward good behavior (with praise not treats or food of any kind)  no matter how the good behavior was achieved.  Reward the dog even if you had to physically cause the behavior to change.  Remember you are going to teach the dog to repeat the behavior that is good by praising it and getting a number of consistent repetitions.  Keep your sessions to about 5 minutes and look for 15 to 20 repetitions of the same responses properly rewarded with praise within this 5 minutes.  Always remember that in order for the dog to link the praise or punishment to the selected behavior in the quickest least confusing way the praise/punishment should occur within 1/2 of 1 second after the behavior.  Basically that's almost simultaneous.  A dog is product of its environment and keep this in mind and remember that the dog may respond to the baby in different ways in different environment.
baggot8 years ago
I usually put 2 or 3 chicken nuggets in the baby's pockets, and don't feed my dog for three days prior to the visit. Or have them visit a few times and get them acquainted Prior to you having to watch the baby for a few days. This will be less stressful on the dog (and the baby) because the encounters are brief and less intrusive.
ravebot baggot8 years ago
so the dog goes crazy and attacks the kid in need of food? but i like the other comment
You should introduce your dog to young children (not newborns, but young) first. Next, allow the dog (on a leash) to sniff the baby, even lick the baby's hand/foot. Don't EVER leave them alone. If your dog is good to the baby, feed him a treat. Do this a lot. Soon he'll associate good feelings with being nice to the baby. Also, have you already introduced your dog to the baby? Most dogs are pretty nice to babies- but every dog is different. And how old is your dog? Puppies are a bit more dangerous, because of their high energy levels. Hope this helps!
I forgot, you should also let him smell the baby's things before you introduce them. Feed him treats during this. You dog will think baby=treats=good.
Bekk8 years ago
My pommeranian was a very possesive over me and if i handled someone elses baby or pet he would growl and behave badly, when i got pregnant i was very concerned how he would react to a new baby....when my daughter was born i put the items of the babies worn clothing in places that my dog sleep or spend time, by doing so i got my dog used to babies scent.. and made sure that on the babies arrival to the home, my dog was still given attention and love to ensure he was not jealous. The reationship between my dog and my daughter blossomed he accepted her and loved her as he did me......good luck
9241902488 years ago
I don’t know you situation very well, but no matter what bread your dog is, all dogs are territorial of their homes and owners. So, you might want to try getting the two to meet in a place outside of the home. Somewhere they never been before and also keep the dog on the leach during the interdiction, but do not put tension on it or you are giving negative energy. Negative energy can encourage negative and unwanted behaviors. Be sure that you have at all time total control and good luck. I hope I helped.
adsi8 years ago
bring the dog in on a lead and a muzzle if you have one if it gets to excitable round her then try and distract it with its favourite toy or a treat do this a couple of times until the dog gets used to her and cnt be botherd to play with her then you can take the muzzle off and take him off the lead when you think is best
NachoMahma8 years ago
> Dogs need a few things to stay in line - thats to know who's boss...
. Yep. If you will make sure that the dog understands that you are the top dog (Alpha), then the dog will follow your lead. If you are comfortable around the baby, the dog will have no reason to become aggressive.
. Dogs can be unpredictable if unsure about who the Alpha is, so take the precautions that frollard points out. Do not try to force the baby on the dog. Any aggression towards the baby should be dealt with immediately and in a manner that the dog understands.
frollard8 years ago
have baby in one person's arms, terrier in the other. Terrier should have a collar and a lead, tightly in hand, so it can't leap. let them get close, help baby stroke the pup, and the pup sniff the baby. Don't trust them alone together, obviously. Dogs need a few things to stay in line - thats to know who's boss, and who to protect. Terriers in general are territorial agressive dogs, by nature, but that doesn't mean they wont protect baby if its obvious that 'dogs owner (mom)' holds the baby as part of the family. yay, run on sentence.