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we have a 3 yr old male doberman who's never been agressive in any way. always very friendly, even to strangers. we now have a 10mo old baby as well. at first, the dog didn't pay much attention to the baby at all. lately he's paying more attention to him and loves to lick him but that's about it. but in the last 2 days, the dog has started growling and showing his teeth directly at the baby. twice, he's snapped at him (from a couple feet away, not actually trying to bite him). We're at our wit's end. Could there be some factor we're missing? we don't want to give our dobe away, but obviously this behavior is totally unacceptable.

**fwiw, we moved to a new house 10 days ago, but it's a home of similar size, not sure what that would have to do with it.
 

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Paralibrarian
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Go to a vet. Make sure your dog isn't sick or in some kind of pain. If he isn't (or maybe if he is, to be safe for everybody) find a veterinary behaviorist in your area.

A baby is a BIG change to a dog, with the smells and noises and change in his peoples' attitudes and attention. Especially a 10 month old, who is becoming more mobile.

Moving is a HUGE change in a dog's mind. Everything is new and different. Everything in the world he knew isn't there anymore.
 

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I am not expert but I do know keep the baby away from the dogs food bowl and toys
they view it as competition

my dog tried ...really hard to kill a kitten I found...now that same kitten rules the whole house...it can work out...
 

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Please for the sake of your newborn as well as your Doberman, keep them separated until you figure this out. Nothing good will ever come out of this as is. The baby could be severely injured by your Dobe and your dog will more than likely PTS. Please do not set them up to fail.

Consult a trainer/behaviorist/vet ASAP.

Keep us posted and let us know how we can help.
 

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Why is the rum gone?
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Include a thyroid panel in your vet visit. Thyroid problems can cause temperament changes, including sudden, unexplained aggression.

I agree with the others too- keep dog and baby separated at all times, and find a behaviorist to evaluate your dog. It's really almost impossible to see or understand what's going on over the Internet.

Here's some people who might be able to help: Tuscaloosa K9 Camp.
 

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You need a consult with a board certified veterinary behaviorist: Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB They are best equipped to do a thorough medical and behavioral evaluation.

In the meantime, keep the dog and the baby separated. Don't take any chances with the baby's safety and don't set your dog up to fail.
 

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Mighty One
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Never leave your doberman unattended with this young child. Separate them for now until you have an idea on how to solve this issue. I agree to check for medical problems and consulting a behaviorist.

Is your doberman neutered? If not, then do neuter him this should help with aggressive and territorial behavior. Keep in mind that it will take at least 6 months and up to a year for the testosterone levels to subside to change behavior.

Tracy, Mariah, and Victor
 

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Is the baby mobile, is it crawling around, maybe going up to the dog when it is sitting or laying down?

Before your little one came along had the dog had any interaction with children especially ones of this age, I would bet my last dollar that he didnt, because no matter how well we socialise our dogs they cannot meet everyone of every age in every situation no matter how how we try.
Before the human baby came along I would hazard a guess your Dobe was your baby. Pampered, set upon a bit of a pedastal. We all do it and even though we can try and convince ourselves our relationship with our dogs has not changed in the slightest since baby came along, we also know that is just not true. And guess who knows this more than you, yep your Dobe. Now I am not saying he is jealous, but I would be surprised if he wasnt a little put out at times by baby and how you react to him. Add to this if the baby is crawling around, wriggling, shuffling, whatever your baby is doing the fact is, it is invading his space even more.
By his growling showing his teeth at your baby doesnt in my opinion indicate your boy is vicious or aggresive, if he was you would be posting 'help my dobe just savaged my baby' it just means he is being a dog
My advice would be to keep the baby away from the dog. He is trying to tell the little one he doesnt like what ever it is he is doing, but being a baby he hasnt the ability to understand what is going on. It is up to you to understand for him, for them both.

If you can, take your Dobe along to the vet to rule out anything physical that is causing him to be grumpy. Then if you can bring in a behaviourist to advise you how to proceed. But most of all, just try to keep the baby and Dobe apart without the Dobe feeling he is being pushed out all the more and train your baby to stay away from the dog. (this advice is applicable to any dog not just our Dobe babies).
 

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Just to add something to what the others have said... Whiskey went bonkers for about 3-4 weeks after I moved into a new place. It wasn't much smaller but the move was very stressful to him. I still had a thyroid panel run as well as consulted with a trainer to nip any problems in the bud.
 

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I wouldnt let the dog lick the babys face imo. Bit too close at this stage.
Definitly keep them apart which im sure your doing now, and as said see a behaviourist.
And nip this in the bud!

Some people have different opinions on this, but its worked in our family,
But make sure the baby is seen as higher than the dog in the pack.
He needs boundries to keep away from the child.
My uncle did this with my little cousin, anytime he would get too close he would make a loud noise, stand up and the dog knew to move back.

Thats just a thought its nothing professional but for the time being definitly make some boundries

Really, good luck i hope your sort this out and dog can stay with his family :)
 

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Jeri & Shelbi
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I completely agree with everything that has been listed so far, but I would also like to add that you may want to also look at your baby. Sometimes dogs can since a change in health. There are many cases where dogs have been able to detect tumors and cancer, long before the humans were medically tested.

I am most definately not trying ot scare you, but you should not rule anything out, all things are possible.
 

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There is a really good article in Whole Dog Journal May issue dealing with new babies in an older dog's home. I would go online and subscribe as you can also read online. It has a lot of good things to do, like essences and Rescue Remedy, how your feelings transfer to your dog. Youre anxious and worried about how he will react, you make him anxious and worried, too. Still take him to the vet, full panel thyroid test and certified behaviorist, but this article will help, also, plus all the articles are great and educational.
 
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