This didn't bother you too much, although at times it does make you a bit wary of the dog. However, things have changed recently with the arrival of a new baby. You aren't so much concerned for the present time as you are about what happens when the baby starts to crawl and then play with the dog. It leaves you with an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Fortunately, you are facing up to the situation now and have plenty of time to take things in hand.
In an ideal world, prevention is better than cure and by teaching a puppy to have a soft mouth future problems can be avoided. However, if you have missed this opportunity, even adult dogs can often be rehabilitated with some patience and know-how.
For those dogs that are aggressive or you feel out of your depth with, always seek professional help. Your vet can put you in touch with a certified animal behaviorist who can look at all the relevant factors to put a strategy in place to keep everyone safe.
To do this you need basic equipment and motivators such as:
When some else that’s not in our family walks in the front door Jasper runs up barking and then bites the person and I recently had a baby and he actually started snapping at my kid and got him yesterday. How do I get Jasper to stop biting
Hello Alanna, First of all get Jasper used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle. To do this, show him the muzzle and give him a treat. Touch the muzzle to him and give him a treat. Hold the muzzle against his face briefly and give him treats through the muzzle's holes. Hold the muzzle against his face for longer and give him treats through the holes. Finally, put the muzzle on him and feed him treats through the holes while he is wearing it. Only put the muzzle on him for a minute, and gradually increase the amount of time that he wears it for while he is being rewarded. Practice all of this over the next couple of weeks, until he is comfortable wearing the muzzle. Go slow and do not move onto the next level of touch with the muzzle until he is comfortable with the current amount of contact with the muzzle. He needs to be wearing the muzzle when he is around the baby and when people come over. A soft silicone muzzle will still allow him to open his mouth, receive treats through the holes, and it will conform to his face and be more comfortable to wear. He needs to wear the muzzle for other's protection but also to learn that biting does not get him what he wants. Since he has bitten numerous people or times, he has learned that he can control the actions of others with his mouth. He needs that control taken away from him. Look up Jeff Gelhman from SolidK9Training. He is an expert in aggression and has a free YouTube channel with videos demonstrating aggression treatment protocols. They are far more complex than what I can get into here. I would highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to come to your home though, especially with the baby there. Aggression is one issue that I recommend people hire a professional for. It can be complex to address and often involves a combination of obedience for management, classical conditioning to make something that the dog dislikes pleasant to him, and boundaries and discipline to teach the dog that he cannot control people and he needs to trust and respect his owners. There is not one quick fix. Look for a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair discipline and has extensive experience dealing with aggression. Also, check out Jeff Gelhman's videos for practical things you can be doing in the mean time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?