I started writing this post a few months back when I knew there would be a time very soon that I would need this information. Each time I do more research or talk to other dog owners or professionals I added more items to my list. Well, last night Bogart got out of our front door and made a B-line towards a dog walking in the neighborhood. Bogart attacked the other dog. He did not make contact and thankfully the other dog and Bogart were unharmed. I on the other hand threw myself between them. I ripped up my right hand apart and messed up my left elbow. I can barely move my left arm. Other than physically I am MORTIFIED to say the least. It was early evening and so many of my neighbors were out. Also, my in laws were over. I can not express how bad I feel. I have an unpredictable dog. I have tried for several years to make him better. He has been to obedience training twice. I'm at a loss and I don't really know what to do. My husband is finished with him. After the incident with the dogs his reaction didn't help the situation either. I want to make it work so bad for everyone involved. I have cried all night. I am so sick to my stomach I can barely keep any food down and because of the stress plus the pain in myleft arm I barely slept. I am absolutely heartbroken.
What you read below are some of the things I have found out in doing research. I don't know if they will work for Bogart. I am going to try and call some specialist and local trainers today. I have less than 5 months to make this work.
Any advice from parents of unpredicatable and badly behaving dogs?
I'll take anything.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that introducing Bogart to my baby scares me a little bit. Bogart has been the king of my world for 10 years. He is the "baby" and has been a spoiled, overactive and over zealous since the day he came home. After all, he is a dog and that's what they are supposed to do. However, I am concerned about bringing a baby into Bogart's life for many reasons. I worry about Bogart being jealous or being sad. I also worry about the safety of our baby. I would love nothing more than to have both my "babies" be the bestest of friends.
My first dog, a Springer Spaniel, Pokey was my best friend from the day my parents brought me home from the hospital. My dad had brought home a hospital blanket before I came home. Pokey slept with it and from the time I came home he would sleep by my playpen, crib and anywhere I would be. If you look at any of my baby pictures you will find Pokey in them as well. I hope that Bogart and Baby G have this type of relationship.
I've been reading up a lot on dogs and newborns. I also took Bogart to visit his vet last week. We discussed Bogart and some things our vet thinks would work well. Here are just of the tips I picked up on and we will try.
Start early- Our vet suggests we start getting Bogarts used to the idea of having a baby around. We currently call Bogart's toys his babies so we have already starting changing "Go get your baby" to "Go get your toy"
Scents- Like I mentioned when I was born my dad brought home a hospital blanket for my childhood dog to smell and get used too. It is suggested in some of the articles I've read that Brian and I should use the baby lotion and baby soap we intend to use on our baby so Bogart can get used to the smells over the next several months.
Nursery boundaries- I've been told by several friends that they have allowed their dog to be part of the nursery. Bogart never even goes into our spare room/soon to be nursery. He really has not interest in the room. I think its a good thing but it may change. Bogart picks up on changes very easily. I've also read on Cesar Milan's site that boundaries should always be set in the room.
Don't forget the 1st baby- Bogart has been my baby for 10 years. I plan on making sure there is plenty of extra love, treats and walks before and after baby arrives.