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I have a Yorkie named Master Chief and a 10-month old infant named Austin. I think in general he has been a real sport about the new baby in the house. It was a major change for all of us, but one he couldn't understand and certainly didn't ask for, so I give him a lot of credit there. He has tolerated a lot.

Now that my son is crawling around like a mad-man, Chief's gotten a little more aggressive and I'm a little concerned.

One of Chief's major malfunctions quirks is a weird aggression towards people who touch him or his bed (except petting him, especially belly rubs) while in his bed. If I ever try to move his bed or him, he will start to bite me. I don't think he's trying to hurt me or draw blood, but he's not messing around either.

He has exhibited this aggression towards my son if he crawls up to his bed while Chief is laying in it. Chief's main bed is on our bed towards the foot. Austin (my son) will usually breastfeed and then play in our bed for an hour or two in the morning and that's when that happens. Chief also has another bed (for the daytime) in the living room, which he doesn't exhibit the same level aggression with, but he can still be pretty protective when he's laying in it. Chief will stand up, puff up his chest and get this look in his eye and actually (on a few occasions) lunged with his teeth at my boy. He left a visible mark on his face once (no blood).

We got a small plush ball (grapefruit sized) for Austin. Chief immediately thought it was his and got pretty protective of it. We correct him whenever possible or take it away, but this has caused a couple issues when Austin has grabbed the ball and Chief didn't like it.

Austin will occasionally grab one of Chief's toy balls and I've seen a few different actions. I've seen Chief get aggressive, I've also seen him get playful like he wants Austin to throw the ball (of course he doesn't and at that point Chief usually tries to forcefully, but playfully, take it from him - and he usually accidentally hurts Austin at that point which we now try to avoid by not having Chief's balls around Austin).

There have been a couple other cases, some just (seemingly) completely random. He's only left a mark that one time, but he's definitely lunged and bit a few times - usually either missing or me or my wife are there to grab him or push him in the nick of time.

We obviously (especially recently) don't leave them together without supervision. We weren't too worried about this before. Chief never had issues until Austin was about 7 months.

tl;dr: So my question is: is there anything I can do to try to keep my Yorkie from exhibiting aggression when my 10-month old son crawls up to his bed while he's sleeping in it? And what tips (in general) can you give me for taming his aggression towards my son in other situations?

Thank you

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I hope you have found a solution for your timeframe. Maybe you could write an answer yourself for this question :)

If I where in your situation today I would try to give baby and dog rules, they could count on. (You should choose them in that way you could follow them all times.)

The dog have to learn that you are the ruler who defends the dogs property against the Baby. This way the dog itself could relax and be less aggressive. Same time the dog has to learn aggression against the baby is not tolerated by you (the ruler) and the babys property is not for the dog.

The baby has to learn respect for the dogs needs: a place to rest and properties like toys. Also you could teach a (supervised) way to interact with the dog (like petting with your hand guiding babys hand) and the need to be gentle with all living beeings (important point for future life).

So my suggestion would be to protect the dogs bed. You could choose between training the child or build a physical border. I imagine a fence part to divide your bed from the dogs. In this way your child could not accidential touch the dogs bed if it is playing in your bed.

Also you could teach the child special care for the dog as living animal with feelings like happyness (petting, playing) but also pain/sadness (pull the fur, disrupt the rest in bed). In future life this will build sympathy and respect in your child. It will be able to imagine the feelings of other living beings, which is important for all parts of life.

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