Posted On: 2010-04-28

We have two rat terriers that had never been around kids before so we weren’t sure how they would react to bringing Dylan home. Here is some background on each dog:

Murray: is a rat/fox terrier mix. We got him when he was 2 months old from a pet store that was purchasing their pups from puppymills (they are now out of business). We believe Murray had a hard-knock-life due to that background and also because he had so many things wrong with him when we brought him home; kennel cough, worms, rashes, you name it he had it. 

Two months after we brought Murray home, we looked for another puppy for him to play with.

Gus: is a purebred rat terrier. We got him when he was 2 months old from a different pet store but onethat has puppies from local and licensed breeders thus his tail is snipped and his dewclaws are removed. He was named after the mouse in Cinderella because we knew they had “rat” terriers that had just arrived at the store. He lived a pampered life.

The two dogs couldn’t be more different but yet they get along very well. When Gus enjoys playing fetch while Murray enjoys keep away…from Gus. Gus was a whiner while Murray was a schemer. Murray was dominant, Gus submits.

Anyway, When we brought Dylan home Murray knew there was something different with the chain of command. He seemed depressed and anxious meanwhile Gus went on about his business, he was and remains, the lowest in command and therefore was not affected by the change.

Both dogs have been really good with Dylan considering they have never been around babies, or kids for that matter.  Murray still vies for “Daddy’s” attention and will strategically place himself between the two of them. Gus is afraid of Dylan, which works out well since he should be… Dylan is unpredictable and somewhat rough when it comes to his doggies.

Preserving a nap- One of the first things I had to do was install a gate in Dylan’s doorway because if he made any sound at all the dogs would let me know and then stand next to the crib, Gus would be whining of course. The gate allowed me to train the dogs to stay out of his room while he was napping so he could get all the rest he needed.

Toys- We have done really well in teaching the dogs which toys are theirs and which ones are for the baby  but several toys have been trashed; specifically a teething ball, balls from the ball popper, and a couple random stuffed animals. Nothing too expensive and definintely not very many items have been ruined thankfully.

Stroller Walks- My dogs have always been afraid of and bark at anything with wheels: skateboard, bicycle, rollerblades in use, stroller etc. It took some adjustment but I did get them used to the stroller and now they walk beside it without flinching.

Gentle Touches- Teaching gentle touches to an infant is nearly impossible but it doesn’t hurt to try.  We taught Dylan from early on that hitting dogs or grabbing their skin/hair is not nice, we would just remove his hand and then reapply it gently and say “Gentle Touches”. 

Barking- Well... we don't have this one figured out yet. Both dogs bark when they hear loud trucks or when someone is at the door and it does wake Dylan up.

Do you have any suggestions for barking dogs?