Desperate, baby comming in april!!!!

Posted by bigblackdog
Oct 2, 2008
I have a six year old black lab that is built like a truck, I rescued him from my parents who were unable to give him the necessary attention. He was a kennel dog for most of his life and since becoming "free" at our house acts like an unruly puppy. barking, jumping, and whining are the main problems, every thing I've tried from the book has made things worse. I have to get him to straiten up before the baby comes or I fear he will be a hazard with the jumping and keep both the baby and me and my wife up with the barking and whining. any suggestions would help. I hope you can train an old dog.:confused:
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Oct 2, 2008
Hi bigblackdog,

I am pleased that you and your wife took the responsibility to provide the black lab a new home with lot of love, care and attention.

I don't think it's too late if you are being consistent and patient with him. It is the best to give him a clear boundary in your household. Being firm is not mean at all. It is good for him, especially you will soon have a new addition to your family.

I would recommend you and your wife enroll the dog at an obedience class as soon as possible. It is the best way for you to learn how to handle your dog. Spend a lot of time to practice what you and your dog is learning during the classes. By attending those classes, your dog will learn to pay attention to you as a leader as well as to build his self-confidence and control.

Treat him now as if you have a baby in the house - in other words, if you don't want him to be on the couch when the baby arrives, don't let him allow on the furniture. If you don't want him to go in a specific area in your house, keep him away from there now. You will have a half year to give him a clear structure and rules in his new home. Please also socialize him with all kinds of people, young and old, men and women. Make him comfortable to be touched by people as he sits still.

As for jumping, barking, and whining, the best way is to ignore him. Don't even say "No" or "Quiet". Those actions are all for asking your attention. When he is calm, give him a lot of attention. Since he is already 6 years old, I expect he will learn the consequences rather quickly. Dogs are learning every day by what he gets after each of his action/behavior, so be consistent and patient. Make him realize that even meals are not given automatically. Have him sit and wait before you serve his meal. If he eats twice a day, you will be able to practice this at least 365 times before the baby comes.

Please don't free feed him (don't leave his food out all the time). Make his daily routine will help him becoming more structured. Don't overfeed him either (I don't know about your parents but older people tend to spoil dogs by feeding too much).

Sorry I am going on and on but the beginning is very important so start training him as soon as possible to make up for the lost time.

Good luck
Posted by Annie
Oct 2, 2008
Hi there,
I totally agree with MAXHOLLYNOAH.

My dog came as a baby only 3 months before my baby was born. Start as you mean to go on. Expect a high level of respect from your dog and you will get it. I am a big believer in the powers of 'ignoring' your dog in certain situations, and with a new baby you will definately need the dog to keep out of the way sometimes.

I found it hard, as a new mother, to juggle the dog and baby. Dogs need lots of exercise. Is there a friendly (strong) teenager around that you could pay to walk the dog regularly? Or somewhere where the dog burns a lot of energy ( and the mother very little?) I found a good lake near me that my dog loves, and I could stand and throw tiny rocks in different directions as my dog raced around trying to 'fish' them ( baby asleep in pram ) or finding another mother with dog that you can walk together. A lot of mothers have no tollerance for dogs around the prams so it´s important to find a friend who is happy with this. Tennis raquets and balls is a good one for the dogs who love chasing balls.

Always be vigilant with baby\dog combo. etc etc but don´t be scared to let your dog sniff new clothes, nappies, change tables beds etc I don´t believe dogs infect babies, so don´t worry about 'germs' ( but do worm your dog from now on, talk to your vet about upping the dose)

hope something helps,
have fun!