Dog Exhibiting Predatory Behavior Towards Baby

My son and his wife just had a baby. Their dachshund seems obsessed with him. She’s spent the last week barking her head off. Whenever he makes any noise, she charges over to investigate. They tried to put him in a playpen, but she races around it barking and biting at the mesh. Then she begins leaping up to get into it!
When they carry the baby around, she’s jumping up to try to reach him. Once she even grabbed the foot of his sleeper. It’s kind of scary.
She’s always been somewhat hyper, but this seems extreme. Does she think the baby is a squeaky toy? How long will it take before she gets used to the baby? ~ Michael

Please call a dog trainer today! While every dog will need some time to adjust to having a baby in the house, some of what you are describing sounds more like predatory behavior than simply a dog being thrown off by a new baby in the house.

It is rare to have serious kid-and-dog issues in the first six months. Given that the baby has been home a week and the dog is still showing such strong interest in him, I think it would be wise to bring a professional in to help your son and daughter-in-law decide how best to manage their new baby and their dog.

If the trainer feels that the dog is looking at the baby like prey–and dachshunds were bred to hunt badger–I think the dog should be rehomed immediately. While training can create incredible changes in behavior, predation is hard wired and difficult to change. It’s simply not safe to put a child at risk while working with the dog.

About the Author

Living with kids and dogs is a lot of work! But when things are going well, a dog can be your child's best friend. That experience is a wonderful gift for any child and well worth the effort involved. Got a question? Let's talk!

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