Dog Snatches Baby From Crib, Treks into Woods

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SRL, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Did you see this story about the trusted family dog snatching a newborn from his crib and taking it out in the woods? The owners believe the dog snatched it like it would a doll. Baby was in critical condition but appears to have stabilized now.

    That poor family, poor baby, poor dog! It's not hard to imagine a dog acting on instinct like this.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They didn't say, but was this their first child? From my understanding, that would make this more likely. And they have several dogs - the "pecking order" would be interesting.

    It's not always a larger dog, but I've seen this happen with tragic consequences, especially where the dog has been the "baby" for the couple, until a real baby arrives. The dog gets jealous and tries to remove the baby, or kill it, or teach the baby it's proper place in the pack (according to the dog).

    If this dog had wanted to attack the baby it would have done a lot more damage a lot more quickly. But it's still not the normal actions of a well-trained dog that knows its place (as a dog, and not a fur-person). A lot of damage WAS done, if the dog had been properly socialised to the baby then this wouldn't have happened. Certainly not like this. But a dog determined to kill the baby - that baby would have been dead in seconds. A small terrier can do it in seconds, so a larger dog would have less trouble.

    I'd be removing ALL dogs form the household until all have been properly socialised to the baby; if one dog did this then it indicates a problem that needs to be addressed.

    I don't know any more details of this case than have been mentioned here, but in t he past when I've read about cases where the family dog savaged and killed the aby, often the parents say, "But we've never seen the slightest aggression from this dog, it's been like our baby, we've been so close to this dog all its life!"
    And often that's the trouble - a dog that has been the "furbaby" finds itself suddenly supplanted by a hairless rival and all the attention and babying it used to get, is gone. I the dog's mind, getting rid of the usurpser is ther logical way to handle the problem.

    If this dog "snatched the baby like a doll" then it hasn't been taught properly to respect its owners' possessions. Again, poor management, poor discipline - and if one family dog is undisciplined like this, all of them are suspect until proven otherwise - at least where the precious life of this baby is concerned.

  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I saw this this morning on GMA. This baby isn't their first child.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    There are humans who do unspeakable things to babies. Why wouldn't one think that a difficult child dog couldn't do something dangerous or abhorrant?

    As much as I love my sweet puppies, I trust no one or nothing around a small child. They are vulnerable and it is our sacred duty to protect them. If I allow the dogs to be in a situation where their reaction is harmful then I have failed the dog and I have failed the human.

    My heart goes out to that baby who has suffered so much pain already in his little life.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I read an article which said that the baby's crying could have set off a maternal urge in the dog and it was trying to take the baby to a safe place. I don't know enough about dogs and babies to see if this is true.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Something doesn't add up here. I know I'm skeptical -but a. You have a preemie in the house -and a large dog takes him out of the crib? Take into consideration how tall crib sides are - HOW did a dog get OVER the crib rails? Then HOW did that dog get that baby OUT of the house with monitors and stuff not to mention that the baby would have SURELY screamed in pain? And how did the dog open the door? And how long DO you leave a preemie alone in it's crib when it was born with health issues?

    and b.) Then you nearly loose your preemie son, but he makes it - you remove that dog from the house, bring the baby HOME and LEAVE your OTHER large dog in the home? THEY are foolish people.

    The dog that took the child was never taught boundaries. I believe at this point they will destroy him. I still have my doubts how a dog witout thumbs opened a door with an infant in his mouth and made it outside while keeping it quiet.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Star, my concerns are - if Dog A doesn't know boundaries, then other dogs in the household, Dog B and Dog C (plus the rest of the alphabet) would be similarly socialised (ie not).

    I quite understand that they may feel the dog is not a risk, especially if kept away from babies and perhaps given another home where it CAN be taught proper position in the pecking order. They may be right - but I wouldn't be trusting that dog again around small children, especially unattended small children.

    I've grown up with dogs. I also had some dealings with Aussie working dogs and they are animals I would NEVER have around an unattended small child. When I was little I was very nervous about any dogs that were not our own, because they didn't know me and I was very small compared to the folk those dogs were used to. And farm dogs - I was especially nervous, because they only looked to the farmer, not to anyone else.

    I also noted that it wasn't a matter of genetics, it was purely the upbringing of the dogs. We bred dogs and often sold them to friends and neighbours. The dogs we kept were well-behaved (except for our first one sometimes, who had been an "only" dog for a while and resented the other dogs, was jealous of any attention they got from us). But there were two families (couples, actually, they had no kids of their own) whose dogs, from our brood stock, were horrid little yappy critturs that would snap at strangers and take your arm off. Their owners thought this was cute. Whenever we visited these people the dogs had to be locked up and even then you could hear them snarling thorugh the shed door every time someone went near. The few times we visited when the dog was in te yard or the owner had the dog on the leash - we had to stay out of range and even when the dog misbehaved, the owner wouldn't chastise it, they would just tell people, "He's very protective of me. But he wouldn't hurt a fly."
    Yeah, right.

    Meanwhile littermates of those snarling horrors were the loveliest, nicest-natured animals that you could trust with your child, no problem.

    When I was a baby my parents let the family dog babysit me. He was a Shepherd/Lab cross, a big dog. My mother said that I would be in the play pen in the front yard and no stranger would set foot inside thta gate. But she could let me crawl all over that dog, I would pull his ears, wiggle his teeth - I have a clear memory of trying to get a grip on his tongue with my fingers, but it was too slippery. And the dog just sat there and let me torment him.

    Dogs need not be a danger. But they nneed to be properly socialised to a baby and also need to know that they are dogs and people are people. They have to know their place and have a firm hand.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star...Im with you. How on earth does a dog snatch and grab a baby and get out of a house? Now I can see a dog thinking a baby is a doll. My little buddy thinks all baby dolls are his toys. He has never gone after a real baby and is perfectly gentle with the grandkids even when they pull his hair and paws and beat the living daylights out of him, but I can see how a dog would get confused by a real baby and that plastic doll that sounds like a real baby.

    But how a dog, jumps into a crib, grabs a baby, jumps out, then opens a door with the baby still in its a real good trick.
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    You know, I wondered the same thing, how the dog got the baby out of the crib? Maybe they had a doggie door and he got outside that way, but unless it was a Great Dane or something, I can't picture it being able to get a baby out of a crib! Did they specifically say that the baby was in a crib and not in a swing or something where the dog could reach it? It doesn't quite add up to me either.

    I was at my daughter's house when my grandson was a newborn and I keep thinking about their set-up and how unlikely that would be. They have two (mostly) well-behaved good-sized dogs but it would be physically impossible for either one of them to do that, much less be able to jump all the way over the side into the crib and grab up the baby. Now if you left a newborn alone on a sofa or in a chair or a swing maybe they could, but not in a crib with the side up!

    Their male dog has only a passing interest in the baby, not too concerned, but he would never harm him. But the female, who always loved both my daughter and sister in law equally, became strictly my daughters dog while she was pregnant. Never left her side! Somehow they just know. And when they brought the baby home ... she adores him, very protective of him. When he's napping, you can occasionally hear it on the baby monitor as her toenails tap on the wood floors of his room when she goes in to 'check on him'. She's almost reverent of him and knows she doesn't touch him without permission. When they sit down with him in the living room, she sits right there - she wants to see him and check him out to make sure he's OK. Then after she checks him out, she's allowed to kiss him on the ear a few times. He will be a very lucky little boy growing up with lots of puppy kisses - she will probably be his best buddy when he's older. I'm rambling - but my point is ... those dogs are extremely aware that he is a little person, not some kind of toy! He even smells like a person, not a plastic toy! They just seem mildly puzzled that he's such a tiny little person - they've never seen one quite that small - but they know very well that he's not a toy!
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Our dog, the first one we had who was always a bit jealous of the others - she was a natural mother who mothered every animal on the farm. When the goats or sheep gave birth, that dog would be there to help clean up the babies. She would be licking them all over and you would see "mother" in her. Her daughter was also a good mother, one of the best. But there was rivalry between them.

    I remember one day, the daughter had a pup (the mother was past bearing puppies). I was sitting with my sister on the park bench. The daughter dog and her puppy were up on the park bench with us. Mother dog (grandmother really) came up to us as we were holding the puppy, she sat and begged (very cute) so we held the puppy for her to sniff. She sniffed alright, but grabbed the pup by the scruff and took off with it (dognapping). Her daughrer, mother of the pup, was down off the park bench and after her instantly. Thee older dog glanced over her shoulder, saw her daughter after her and dropped the pup and kept going. Her daughter stopped at her pup and checked it over (it was unhurt).

    The interesting thing - in this case the older dog would not have hurt the pup, I'm sure. she wanted to be a mother again, I think that was it. And the pup was completely unharmed although its mother was a bit anxious for a while and growled every time the older dog came anywhere near. Normally she was a very tolerant mother and even tolerant of other dogs around her pups.

    The difference here - the baby was injured. And the dog took the baby out into the woods. Why? If the dog was wanting to play with ther baby (thinking it wasa doll) then why take it away? If the dog had found a doll, would it have taken it away? Taking the baby away is like the cockatoo that grabs a buttered biscuit (a special treat) and flies to a more distant tree with it so other cockatoos won't see it has something special and fight over it.
    So in this case - did the dog take the baby to the woods because it knew it was doing the wrong thing?

    Back to our dogs again - our older mother dog would steal food and bury it. It was an insecuirty thing although she knew it was forbidden. We'd catch her in the act of burying the contents of her food dish and her reaction was classic guilty conscience plus "Blast, I got caught. How can I sneak more food later on?" It got so we would watch for her behaviour to change to skuling furtiveness and would know she was up to her old tricks again.
    So was this dog doing something similar? "I've found something interesting, I strongly suspect I'm not allowed to do this so I'll take it to the woods so I can take my time with it, so nobody will take my new toy away from me."

    I do strongly suspect that the dog knew it was doing the wrong ting, hendce it went to the woods.

    As for how it got the door open etc - was the door closed at all? It IS summer over there, it is possible the doors/windows were open for a breeze.

    However, if that dog meant serious harm from the word go, that baby would have been dead before it left the crib.

  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    This was a large dog and I could easily see it being able to reach the baby in the crib. Especially because people often leave the rail down with newborns so they can reach in more easily.

    How the dog got outdoors is another story. It would have had to be a seriously big doggie door if the house wasn't open.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    We had a Great Dane when I was really young. The dog could open the refrigerator and open the pantry door. She was a rather large Dane and definitely could have accomplished what they say this dog did.

    Fortunately, she used to sleep by my crib (I have pics, too). She was extremely protective of me, which is probably a good thing, since my biomom slept the day away while I was left to roam, unattended.