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my dog is driving me nuts

i have an 8 year old yorkie, a great dog mostly. his problem is he always takes my sons toys. my son is 10 months old. if he drops his paci, or any smaller toy, like a block or rattle type thing, my dog will snatch it up. he usually takes it out the dog door, and sometimes tears it up. i dont know what to do, he wont do this when my husband is here, but im a sahm, so im here alone a lot. how can i become the dominant one. or what can i do to get him to stop this. i just found out im pregnant also, theres no way im gonna be able to take care of both kids and make sure there are no toys on the floor. any help would be appreciated, thanks.

Answer Question

Asked by sweetjpea at 4:41 PM on Oct. 4, 2009 in Pets

Level 9 (367 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • You may have to train the dog to play with no toys, not even dog toys. There is a great new dog training book out by Karen Pryor that I got from my public library.

    Answer by Gailll at 4:44 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • Get rid of the dog, to a home better suited - older kids or no kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • getting rid of the dog is not an option, i'm very much attached to him, i've had him since he was a pup. hes not aggressive towards the baby at all, and is very good in that sense.and he also takes my things, or used to, such as socks and things. i have learned to not leave my things lying around, i can't teach my 10 month old to not put his toys on the ground though

    Answer by sweetjpea at 4:55 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • Wow... Just... "get rid of the dog"? Good god.
    What's the difference with your DH being home or without? Is the pup more intimidated by DH's presence? Or does he handle him differently then you do? (i.e. Firmer hand, stern voice).

    If it's something that doesn't go in to the baby's mouth, which, is so doubtful at that age, everything goes in their mouth - I would spritz it with some vinegar.
    Or, before giving baby a toy, spritz with vinegar and some cayenne pepper and let the dog sniff. They're very turned off by that smell, and will associate it with further toys - then, hand the dog one of his toys. Or a new one.. or just something that he's entertained by. One of my dogs like bottle caps, the other likes socks. So we dish out accordingly - ratty socks we knot up, bottle caps are pretty easily accessible.
    You can also give him a treat if he doesn't immediately lunge for a dropped toy and praise.

    Good luck!!

    Answer by K_Sawyer at 5:01 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • Oh, whoops.
    I forgot to add to wash the toys afterwards and hand them to your kiddo. :]

    Answer by K_Sawyer at 5:15 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • The poor dog is jealous of your baby. That's why it's taking the baby's things. a tap on the nose when you catch him taking your childs toys may help but who knows with dogs. They are very smart.

    Answer by vbruno at 5:53 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • With little dogs dominance is more important that I ever thought. The dog I have now is half yorkie and he's very well behaved (at 6 months) but its taken *alot* of work. I recommend the book "Little Dogs: Training your pint sized companion" and there is special emphasis and explaination in there about why dominance is so important with little dogs. First and foremost, you might want to stop free freeding (if you do) and make sure he knows that you're in charge of the food- go through doors etc before him, don't allow him to "guard" the house, tell him where he may sleep (if he sleeps on your bed, make him get off so you can get in first), and when dealing with/handling him roll him over on his back (big submission thing there). Be very firm and clear in your commands. Also, terriers in general are very smart, active creatures, so some trick training while your little one is sleeping may help. Plus you can fix manners...

    Answer by IrishMommaC at 6:05 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • .... issues that way. For example, my dog just mastered "stay" when we're leaving the house. When the kids and I are getting ready I put him next to the stairs (I'm on the floor anyway helping with shoes, etc) and I tell him to stay, so now he doesn't try to come with us when he's not invited anymore (ie, no more trips back from the van to the house to deposit him inside). Also, he's an excellent leash walker for me and "heels" now, which is nice for when he wants to follow me outside to pick up the kids toys (not a fenced yard and the community we live in is annoying about pet rules). Right now he's workign on if I point at him and say "bang" rolling over into "dead dog" (super funny).
    If he does get ahold of your kids toys tell him "no" firmly and crate him for awhile. Then, don't let him out until he has succesfully performed some tricks (I usually start with sit and stay).

    Answer by IrishMommaC at 6:10 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • He's jealous of the time you spend with the baby. Get him a companion. He needs someone to play with too.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 7:30 AM on Oct. 5, 2009

  • You can teach him the "drop it" command. When he picks up one of the baby's things, say "drop it" and when he does, give him a treat or one of his own toys then praise him alot.

    Answer by CollinBayleeMom at 9:34 AM on Oct. 5, 2009

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