Please help! I have a very sweet, female beagle. She is spayed, has a very loving personality and loves to sit on your lap and cuddle. The problem is, I have a 1 year old toddler and a baby at home. The toddler is making my dog miserable. I can’t get my son to stop chasing her around the house and she is showing her disapproval by snapping at him and peeing in our house. Abby would be a great dog for an older person or couple. If I can’t find her a home, I’m going to have to put her to sleep. If you think you might want her, PLEASE come meet her. All shots are current and she has been very well taken care of. She’ll live for many more years if given the chance!
Yes, I’m sure she would live for many more years if given the chance. If, you know, her owner, the person who made a lifelong commitment by choosing to own this dog, gave her that chance. Wouldn’t that be remarkable?
“But Snarky Blogger!” you say, “The dog snapped at her toddler! That’s a legit reason to want to rehome a dog.”
To that I say: One-year-olds don’t weigh much. You know what you do when your toddler chases your dog and provokes her to the point that she starts snapping? You pick the toddler up and put it in time out. If that’s not good enough, here are five more ways to deal with this problem that don’t require you to be the kind of epic douchenozzle who gets rid of your lovely senior Beagle or puts her to sleep because you can’t control your child:
- Get a trainer involved. Aggression = professional help. Period. Yes, trainers charge money, but most humane societies offer behavioral help for a reasonable price. Give up a few lattes and get some sessions with a good trainer.
- Use baby gates to separate the dog and the toddler. If the dog has room to get away from the kid and rest, she won’t snap at the kid.
- Use a playpen to confine the toddler when you can’t supervise. One is not too old to spend some time in a playpen.
- Take the dog to a vet. Maybe she’s peeing in the house because the child is stressing her so badly (is the kid preventing her from getting to a doggie door?) but it’s equally likely that she has a UTI or other problem. Health issues can contribute to aggression, too.
- Supervise the child whenever it is anywhere near the dog. I’ve worked with families with dogs and young children. Many of them. It’s not impossible to properly supervise even a young, energetic child around a dog. The instant you see the kid heading toward your frustrated, stressed older dog, intercept and redirect the kid to an appropriate activity and direct the dog to an area like her crate where she can relax.
Responsible dog ownership is compatible with responsible parenthood.