Newborn baby boy

by John
(Bristol, England)

We have an 8 year old female Jack Russell Terrier who has shown unusual behaviour since our daughter brought her week old baby son home from hospital. She did lick him and has tried to lick his face several times but has also shown an interest in sniffing his nappy (whilst he is wearing it). She has also growled at him a couple of times when he has made squeaking noises due to wind and seems to get really anxious when he cries. We do not know whether we are being over cautious when we are telling her to "get down" or are we right to be concerned??? What are warning signs for aggression as sometimes she has her ears right back and other times she is wagging her tail.

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Nov 03, 2012
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Jack Russell and newborn
by: Felicia

It sounds like your Jack may be a little jealous/scared of your newborn. I would make sure you spend a little extra time walking/petting/spoiling your Jack Russell (I know how busy you must be with your newborn) so that she doesn't feel left out. I would give her one your son's used blankets/nappies to sniff (but not when on your son). I wouldn't let your Jack jump up and lick the baby. Definitely reprimand her for that and for when she growls at the crying/noises (dogs pin their ears back when they are scared). Also spend time slowly introducing your Jack to your son for small periods of time. Maybe while you are holding your son have your Jack sit on the floor next to you.
If you hear more growling after trying some of these things, I would consider bringing in a pet based behavioral therapist just to make sure that everyone is comfortable.

Hope this helps!

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