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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dog-gone it.

When Kev and I brought Aspen home from the hospital, Maddie (our dog) was with my brother Seth. He Kept her for most of the week and when he came back up to Ogden to meet Aspen and spend some time with us, Maddie returned home as well.

It worked out because Maddie was SO EXCITED to be with Seth that she didn't miss us. And then she was SO EXCITED to see us again that she didn't pay much attention to Aspen. For months after Aspen's arrival, we could get Maddie to "go find the baby!" and we'd watch her search the house until she sniffed her out.

Since Aspen didn't start moving around until she was almost a year old, Maddie didn't have to worry much about their interactions. And by the time Aspen was officially mobile, she was old enough to learn how to be soft, and she wasn't obsessed with putting EVERYTHING into her mouth. I was hopeful Maddie would just continue her avoidance tactics when Aspen got too close for comfort.

I have only seen Aspen pull hard on Maddie's ear once or twice, and she has always been sternly reprimanded and removed from the situation. Additionally, Maddie is sometimes gated out of the play area when all the kids are together, making a lot of noise and running around. Despite all our efforts though, she is showing a lot of aggression towards Aspen lately.

It's getting hard to deal with because I'll be with both dog and daughter in the living room and Maddie will suddenly snap at Aspen's face because Aspen decided to crawl up onto the couch where Maddie is sitting. Aspen doesn't even have to touch Maddie for her to get aggressive. The result is Maddie spending a lot of time separated from us, whether it's just being locked out of the living room (with free reign over the rest of the house) or being down in the cellar (where her dog bed is).

Maddie has always been extremely territorial with her people and space. I hate that I now have to keep such a close eye on the two of them to avoid incident. You would think that with the amount of food Aspen hand-feeds to Maddie they'd be bonded for life. But I guess Maddie doesn't see it that way.

Have you had any problem with pets and kids? I was hopeful this wouldn't happen, especially since things started out so well. I know smaller dogs have a tendency to be more prone to agitation, but I thought we'd avoided this kind of reaction since it took so long to develop. I think I might try walking Maddie alone every day, even if it's the dead of night after Kev gets home. I'm hopeful the extra attention and exercise will help her mellow out. Wish me luck, or we're going to have to figure out something else.


  1. uh oh :/ i bet cesar milan has something about this. i'd look into it.. i'm worried how jay-z will act with henry around, because he's been having behavioral issues lately. he literally POOPED in our front room right underneath the pheromone diffuser thats supposed to make him happy/comfortable. so we shall see.

    i hope things get better with maddie! it would be sad if she couldnt be as much a part of the family as usual :(

  2. That is sad. I am sorry. Dogs can be so funny sometimes. The alone time idea is a good idea. I hope it works. Maybe you need to have her shock collar on and zap her every time she acts aggressive to Aspen.


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