I had a baby and I think my Jack Russell is acting out…?

I have a 6 year old Jack Russell. She’s always been my baby, but last month I actually had a baby. Libby (the dog) has been great. She sticks close to the baby at all times, when we leave the apartment with the baby she follows us to the door wining like she doesn’t want the baby to go (she only does the wining thing when we leave with the baby, not just if one of us leaves and the baby stays.) She’s a JR so of course she’s kind of hyper, but since the baby was born she’s been very very mellow.

Well, she’s always had a problem with going to the bathroom in the apartment when we’re not home or asleep. When we are home she’s always been good at letting us know she needs to go out. Since we have a baby who will be crawling around before we know it, we bought a kennel that we keep in the living room to put her in when we’re not home, that way she won’t go to the bathroom in the apartment. I’ve put off doing this for a long time because she hates the kennel and it breaks my heart to do it, but with the baby there’s really no way around it. We read up on the proper ways to cage train a dog and have followed all the rules, and even though she still hates it we’re sure to put her in the kennel when we’re not at home. This has worked out well for a few weeks now and she hasn’t had any accidents in the apartment.

However…. yesterday we were home and she went into the bedroom and urinated on the carpet. We caught her in the act, spanked her and called her and said bad dog, we figured she’s been so good that this was just a fluke. Well today I was at home and actually in the bedroom and she urinated in the carpet again.

Now I don’t know what to do. I just took her out a few hours ago so it’s not like it’s been a really long time since she’s been outside, and there’s no reason she couldn’t have let me know she needed to go outside. I’m thinking maybe she’s just acting out since we’re giving the baby more attention than her and she’s not used to it, plus she’s probably angry that we’ve been keeping her in the kennel when we’re not home. But I don’t know what to do….

Does anyone have any suggestions?
Wow, sorry that was so long! I apparently am not a woman of few words. ;o)
Yes I do clean up the spots with a spot cleaner and I almost always clean the carpet with a steam cleaner every weekend.

And yes, I’m definitely still getting used to being a parent and juggling the baby, the dog, and my other responsibilities. ;o)

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7 Responses to “I had a baby and I think my Jack Russell is acting out…?”

  1. Fields of Gold says:

    It sounds as if she has accepted your new baby as part of her pack and, like any dog, she will get upset when any member of the pack leaves for any reason.

    Perhaps when you leave with the baby you could leave your JR an item of the baby’s clothing or a piece of old blanket which has the baby’s scent on it. This will help the dog to feel more secure and if she has the baby’s scent near her she will think that baby is still nearby and she won’t fret.

    When your baby reaches the crawling stage you could put up a baby gate which will separate the dog from the baby but also allow them both to see each other. This worked really well for a friend of mine who used to regularly look after her baby granddaughter and she wanted her Golden to be able to see the baby but not be in close contact with her when she was crawling everywhere.

    You need to clean the carpet really well where she urinated because she will now return to this spot time and time again and eventually she will treat it as ‘her place’ to relieve herself. There are some excellent products on the market which will remove the stain and also the pet odour so do a bit of research and find the best one to tackle both jobs.
    There is a spray called Oxy-stain which works very well.

    Try not to get cross with your dog. She has been ‘your baby’ for a long time and will naturally feel a little left out now that your new baby has come along. Give her some ‘one to one’ care with lots of cuddles when baby is asleep. That can be ‘her time’ and then she won’t feel rejected. She will take a little while to readjust to this new regime but you’ll probably find that they will be the best of friends in no time.

    Good luck with her. I hope all works out well for you..

  2. lara_mee says:

    As you say, there’s no way around it. With all of the changes, everyone is anxious right now and trying to reorganize the world! Give her some time, the baby won’t be crawling for a while yet and, by that time hopefully the JR should be better adjusted to the new world. Don’t scold her too harshly, if at all, for the accidents, just give her a bit more attention when you can (which understandably isn’t often right now). Let her know every day that you love her. I would say it’s less about the new baby and more about her new status 😉

  3. Jessica T says:

    First off you need to clean that spot were she urinated or else she will keep doing it.Second have you ever consider maybe getting a dog walker it helps sometimes when you are not home.She is a dog not a human she is not angry at you she just needs go outside when the moment comes and dogs do not like to have accidents in their crates because it is usually were the lay and sleep.She will continue to pee until you clean the spot because she smells it.Go to a Pet Store and get some cleaning carpet solution it will help.Also try when your home to include her around family activities as much as you can.For example take the baby for a stroll around the block and take your dog for the walk as well.It helps take some of the stress off you and the dog as well.

  4. pinkkiss says:

    I think its possible for her to be acting out, my puppy did the same thing when we babysitted my sisters baby. she was being a trouble maker and running around the house, when usually she is really calm. We punished her and put her in a room for 15 minutes after that we showed her more attention and she stopped acting out.

  5. live4fun1121 says:

    lol, sometimes only a few words doesn’t work out

    but you should take your dog to the pet store. they have trainers to help with stuff like that, so they can teach your dog, even though she already knows, to not pee in the house.

    they will probably be weekly classes

  6. Rachel-PitPolice-Spay the Humans says:

    Anytime there is a massive disturbance in the home dynamics (like a new addition and sudden crate training) this kind of regressive behavior can occur. Crate training at her age isn’t an easy thing. Couple that with the new baby and you have a clear explanation for her behavior.

    You will need to dedicate some time and patience to getting things on track again. Don’t hit her when she has an accident. She’s not doing this out of spite….she’s adjusting. Take her out often and praise her when she eliminates outside. Praise good behavior around the baby as well. Clean any accidents with an enzymatic cleanser that eliminates her scent. It might take some time, but it can be done, I assure you.

  7. GOODD says:

    Spanking your dog won’t teach her anything, so I’ll start with that. Don’t feel guilty about giving your dog a nice enclosed space that she is hard wired to enjoy. Your guilt will go to your dog and be translated as instability which will make more problems than it will ever solve.

    There has been a major upheaval in your house. Jack Russels are extremely intelligent dogs with a high energy requirement. Is she still getting adequate exercise? Depending on where you live you might be able to take your baby and your dog for a walk together, or put your baby in a Snugli or a sling and walk that way.

    Having dogs and kids requires a lot of balance and I think you’re still trying to adjust to being a mom.

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