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Mums to be that are dog owners sharing wisdom and stories

(59 Posts)
Slippysnow Mon 29-Apr-13 16:06:48

Hi everybody.

I thought I could start a thread for dog owners that are at various stages of pregnancy. Reason being I was slightly nervous about how my dog (4yo staffy) would behave around me during pregnancy. He's pretty energetic and is welcome on the sofa he's a very oversized lap dog to be honest. So far so good, I do sheild my tummy occasionally.

We bought the book telling your dog your pregnant which I recommend. But would love to hear other people's experiences and share ideas of how to make the new arrival fit in smoothly with our pups

The thread May or may not be successful... Time will tell

Isandri Sun 05-May-13 08:50:39

I have a Gordon setter, black lab cross. He's lovely smile I also have a 5 and a bit month old baby, he's also lovely. My dog is a barker when playing, when someone comes to the door and when we get his lead out. It's never bothered the baby I think he was used to the sound.

My husband took a babygro home from the hospital and came home at night to look after the dog. When I got home the dog was very happy to see me and I took him on a very quick walk approx 5 minutes. After that once I'd had a few day r&r at home, (straightforward birth only 7 stitches) I'd wear the baby in a sling(caboo) when walking the dog. I have a baby that wanted to be held a lot and a strong dog. I don't need to use the sling anymore but it was essential at the start.

bogwoppitinatree Sat 04-May-13 23:36:45

Aw Queen that sounds really hard. I wonder if there are any charities which could help. I'm not sure where you would start though. I certainly think getting the dog neutered would be a good start - it will almost certainly calm him down a bit although labs can be quite giddy when young. Is there anything your son really enjoys doing which you could try to somehow involve the dog in? Other than that if the dog seems happy and is getting love from you and your OH, maybe over time your son will accept him. Everything crossed for you.

QueenofWhispers Sat 04-May-13 22:08:51

Yeah, I have been trying to get the right training. However in our area--it's close to £1k for special needs training.

Maybe a bit of expert help from someone who knows about assistance dogs or works with children with specific needs? My dog is a PAT dog but I don't know much more about anything specific I'm afraid.

As regards neutering he can be done at about a year old but talk to your vet if you think you'd like it done sooner. Some dogs are mature enough earlier than that.

I've seen so many examples where, with the right help, children with specific needs blossom with a dog in their lives. Would be worth getting help now tho

QueenofWhispers Sat 04-May-13 21:34:09

I don't want to give up on the dog, in fact husband and I are soo very sad that our DS hasn't taken to Milo despite wanting a dog most of his life. Our son has a particular disability--his frame of mind may not change in regards to the dog.

Milo means the world to us, he truly truly does. I'm just worried about our sons treatment of Milo as our son grows up. Our son was much bigger than Milo when we brought Milo home. (Labrador) Milo has since grown and is much larger than our DS (who is 4). We tested out having a labrador for a few weeks over the summer before we decided to get Milo--and our Son was over the moon with that dog.

I honestly feel that once Milo has been neutered and grown a bit (calmed down) their relationship will be better; however if I cannot control Ds's behaviour+attitude towards Milo I will then become worried for Milo's safety and happiness.

Milo is the funnest, sweetest, kindest animal we have ever met--and he has restored our faith in ourselves (when our DS was dx'd with a disability my dh and I naturally felt responsible for our bad parenting skills).

It's difficult enough to get our son to be mindful of his toys---just soo worried how he'll treat Milo as he gets older.

bogwoppitinatree Sat 04-May-13 20:40:27

I also have two rescue dogs and implore you to do everything you can to hold on to your boy Queen. It is traumatising for dogs to leave the home they like and Luna, our lab cross, still frets whenever we leave her, even four years after being with us.
Dogs are hard work, just like kids. In fact, we are due our first in a few weeks and feel like the dogs have been a great preparation (only difference seems we have friends and family already lined up to babysit the human!) I know we don't have our baby yet but our dogs are staying despite the fact that they are both pains!
Could you perhaps try doing some fun things with dog and son - maybe some simple training with treats, some games of catch, even just five minutes of supervised stroking/tummy rubbing time? Might help with the bonding process. I think your son will follow your lead so if you make some dog time exciting and fun it should rub off. Good luck smile

Why do you want to give him up? Just because your son isn't keen?

So if your son isn't keen on the new baby will you give that up too?!

Sorry but I feel massively strongly about dogs being 'given up'. If you do go down this route please rehome him straight to someone who will keep him for the rest of his natural life. I have 2 rescues and know first hand the utter disaster zone of dogs who've had multiple homes and been in kennels. My 9 month JRT had been in 5 homes when she came to us. It's taken us 2 years to get her mentally ok.

I'm not trying to be harsh but it upsets me greatly

QueenofWhispers Sat 04-May-13 19:27:36

How will I know if our Dog has to go?

We love him like crazy, and we got him as a puppy (8 weeks old) however our DS doesn't like him still (after having him for nearly 9 months) and now we're pregnant again.

at what point do you give up? I really love him, and I think we would love to have him, but I feel that he would enjoy a whole family who appreciated him, not just 2/3 people.

KingRollo Sat 04-May-13 08:53:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bountyicecream Sat 04-May-13 08:29:37

Also noisy barking is the one noise that DD has always been immune to. If the dog barks in the night it wakes me up but not DD

bountyicecream Sat 04-May-13 08:28:30

My dog didn't seem to have a clue that I was pregnant. I bought the crying baby cd and she didn't care. i think it annoyed me mroe than her grin . I didn't worry about her sitting on me, pulling me. I think babies are pretty tough inside our tums.

However I would say she saved my sanity both in the long wait for DD to arrive (2 weeks late) when we did big walkies every day, and also she forced me to get out of the house for a walk each day once DD was here. I probably wouldn't have bothered without the dog but I always felt so much better for the exercise/fresh air

SilverSky Fri 03-May-13 22:13:21

We have a barker. My boys never get woken by the barking, the are so used to it. The youngest is 9mo old.

The dog was interested when my oldest came home from the hospital and heard the crying, think the dog thought the baby was a squirrel.

We stopped the getting on the sofa too and the dog quickly adapted.

I never leave them alone together as I don't want to put the dog in a situation. The dog is really good with the boys but why rock the boat and chance something?

neontetra Fri 03-May-13 20:28:17

During pregnancy, my working cocker became fascinated by my worn knickers, pj bottoms, leggings etc, and would rip them up given half a chance. Never did this before or since - must have loved something about my pregnancy hormones! Post birth she has been v loving to dd. I remember my mum visiting when dd was 2 days old, and commenting on how d dog sat close while I was bf. She still does now dd is one! Also so patient, allows dd to do all sorts to her (supervised, of course). Good luck, op and other pregnant posters - do thoroughly believe baby and dog can have a wonderful (supervised) relationship!

KingRollo Fri 03-May-13 19:48:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Fri 03-May-13 19:40:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Fri 03-May-13 19:15:58

This is TMI and not helpful, but the thing I remember most about bringing DS home was that the dog was utterly, utterly fascinated by all my different smells - especially lochia blush. Barely glanced at the baby then buried his face in my crotch again. Not the magical moment I'd envisaged.

stickingattwo Fri 03-May-13 15:46:34

Here's what we did which really helped our dog get used to the new additions:

1. Make all changes right now - so that your dog doesn't associate change with the new arrival as much - he will be down the pecking order no matter how much you love him

2. put a stair gate on babies room or at top of stairs now so dog get used to it. You don't want unsupervised doggy visits to baby. Though we let our pup upstairs as long as we're there too.

3. reinforce manners - keep off furniture, not pulling on lead, coming when called etc which will make everything calmer in general and easy to walk baby & dog together. Also reinforces the 'we people are the pack leaders youre the dog' thing.

4. Always feed dog after humans/baby so he knows he's below baby in the pack and will respect that.

5. Before you bring baby home get someone to bring back a blanket or clothes that the baby has worn and put in in dogs basket so he can get used to smell.

6. If the dog has baby/ikds toys or dolls to chew on get rid of those now and get proper dog ones, so he won't be eating your kids stuff!

7. When baby's first home we let our dog have a good sniff and lick the babies feet ( a good sign apparently if your dog wants to!) Obviously don't let your dog lick kids faces but anywhere else is fine I reckon, helps with their immunity!

And don't worry about being strict, your dog won't mind at all if it's done gradually and it will help with any jealousy and it's for his own good, cos one jealous snap at baby means he'd have to be re-homed.

Our dog LOVES the kids and is very sweet for the most part but has learnt to take himself off when they really bug him. We have a doggie flap so he can go get his own space which is great.

Pizdets Fri 03-May-13 14:30:57

Thanks fairydogmother, I have read about that! I'm not looking forward to it but better to be forewarned. To be honest, as long as he's not as clingy as he was when he was a puppy then I can deal with other naughty behaviour. He used to cry if I went upstairs and shut the stairgate...now I'm working in my office and can see him happily pootling around the garden in the sunshine without a second thought!

Beamur, thanks also for the tips, we're doing the same, moved the dog from the bedroom to the hall a few weeks ago as we knew we'd want our space in the night, I feel much more relaxed knowing we've already got that job done too!

Beamur Fri 03-May-13 13:44:03

Make any changes you want to how you set up your house long before your baby arrives, we decided to restrict our dog to the ground floor and to keep her out of the lounge. Our dog just loves to roll in stinky stuff and I know she runs through all sorts of muck and just didn't want that on the floor where my new baby would be. So we changed those 'rules' months before the baby came.
Sensible tips about never leaving a baby and a dog together, however calm and gentle the dog usually it.
But in the main, there is rarely a problem, our dog is lovely with DD, if a bit boisterous and clumsy - but you learn to anticipate and deal with specific issues - like our dog (like most) is insanely excited before a walk and so I get DD to get her shoes/coat on and then wait in the garden, standing to the side of where the dog charges out otherwise she would be knocked flat.
Like recall says, most dogs I've come across do moderate their behaviour around children. I know my dog had had pups too (before I got her) and I don't know if that makes a difference - I suspect she was a good mother to her pups.

recall Fri 03-May-13 13:22:43

I never had to clean up after I fed the baby in the high chair, the bits never even hit the ground grin She would sit there waiting like a fielder.

recall Fri 03-May-13 13:18:48

This just brought back a lovely memory of my lab with my DD when she was about 6 months old. They were playing tug of war with a blanket, and the dog had hold of it really gently her front teeth, and was sort of matching my DD's gentle little tugs. When she plays tug of war with me, she can drag me across the room grin ….they know wink

Just make little of the first encounter, play it down and try to relax, and don't do anything too different. Maybe do it when they have a lead on so that you feel in control.

The worst thing my dog did was constantly lick the baby's head, she would trot past her and give her baldy head a random slurp of affection.

def worth thinking ahead about 'dogcare' if you need to go into hospital.

DPs father looks after our two so he'll be employed when the time comes!

I got a rescue border collie when I was 5 months pregnant. A good excuse to get out of the house as I wasn't working!

She used to press her paws against my stomach which was pretty funny. She came from a family so we knew she was used to crying babies - but we also got given a CD with babies crying and various other noises to play for her.

When I went in to deliver, a friend picked her up and she stayed at my friend's house until about day 3.

VeganCow Fri 03-May-13 12:34:35

I had 3 dogs when mine were babies.

Biggest tip - don't do anything different.
Thats it, simple - it works.

pizdets just be aware that some dogs have a wee change again about 12-14 months ish. my dog started chewing again and got a bit trickier to handle. not saying yours will but just be prepared! apparently lots of dogs are put up for rehoming between 12-18 months because their owners cant understand why they've had a setback. but it'll go away!

i'm not worrying about having dogs with a baby - baby gates and a close eye plus some training will be grand

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