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Dogs and baby?!(36 Posts)
I wasn't sure where to post this - but was wondering if anyone can help me!
Only in early stages of pregnancy but can't help think how my dogs will be with a baby
I have 2 french bulldogs - ones 1 and the other is 8 months. They're lovely, used to children, soft, and pretty much sleep all day. But when we first come in they get giddy and jump up etc
And I'm just worrying how this will work with a baby! Also introducing a baby to dogs !
Does anyone have any advice on anything we can do to prepare and what we do when the time comes to bring a baby home ?
I don't really know enough to advise yourself but there is a Pets board on here with a section called 'in the Doghouse' I think so the helpful people there might be able to give you specific advice
I have a dog and 3 cats and to be honest all I'm planning on doing is keeping my eye on them at ALL times lol, never leave them in the room alone with the baby basically. I've also started locking the cats out of the bedroom at night, they have adapted well to be honest though I still feel mean as my fatty loves sleeping next to my head!
I am well aware though that it is going to be harder work than if I didn't have animals but tbh I don't care, I will put the work in as I'd never rehome them or anything. She is not exactly a jumping kind of dog anyway, just lies there...shes only a small cavalier/bichon cross though so is very docile and easy to control. I specifically chose her with the thought of having children one day....I would also recommend trying to get them used to the sound of a baby crying etc and maybe slightly less attention? Sorry I can't be of more help its just I don't know your dogs or their personalities/how easily they deal with change, mine is quite used to it. Theres a lot of articles online about introducing a dog to a new baby so you might want to have a look at them xx
I've also got a very bouncy dog, 20kgs of him! He thinks he is a lap dog. I'm only a few weeks along, but I've taken him right back to training this weekend (we were getting lax about walking to heel and letting him get away with pulling etc). I'd never consider rehoming him - he's my baby at the moment!
We know hes OK with kids after introducing him to a friends child at 6 weeks old (she was only 4lb 4oz then!) when they came to stay for a week. We're talking about getting some help from a local behaviourist regarding jumping in the house, and we will start to work on his sleeping habits soon (he sleeps in our bed and always has done). We'll be taking advice further down the road, once we know for sure that the little bean is sticking!
A quick google gave this as the top result - hopefull its sensible advice! (too queasy to read long text blocks!)
We don't anticipate a problem with ours. We have an overexcited Jack Russell and lots of exercise for him and also more training is in the schedule. Funnily enough of his own accord he started to sleep in the living room after I got pg and only comes to the bedroom in the morning now.
I will be in hospital for a week after the birth so dh is going to take baby smelling things home and let him sniff and have in his basket so he gets used to the smell. He's very good with children already.
Just be sure to not leave them alone together, not even a second.
You should always anticipate a problem between your dog and a new baby! Not to do so is just foolish. Your dog will be expected to go to the bottom of the pile (and certainly rank after the baby) and that will take some adjustment on the dog's part. You may have to change the way you deal with the dog in ways you haven't yet anticipated and you have actually no idea how the dog will react to being demoted yet.
Just being mindful of the issue is a good start.
I have a very spoiled Cocker Spaniel I was worried about jelousy and how he may react to the noise of a screaming baby.
I got a cd online (cant remember the name of it) but I had to play it with the volume low them gradually turn it up it lasted about 20 mins I think and I played it every day.
I had to get him to stay off the sofa (apparently if make changes early he wouldnt associate loss of privilege with the baby coming)
Finally in the last month of preg I set up the pram and bouncer indoors and had a butt ugly baby doll to sit with and adore in front of him, lay on a changing mat and instruct the dog to go to hes bed when dolly was on the mat or in the bouncer.
In the end the dog was a star when real ds came home, ds is nearly 2 now and they are best friends.
second what livingzuid says, never alone together, an extra dividing gate between rooms may be handy.
Dutchesse what a ridiculous alarmist thing to say. Are you seriously suggesting that all dogs are going to turn on the child or that the OP or me is an irresponsible dog owner or parent?
No, I do not anticipate a problem and neither should the OP. My dog is constantly around small children, toddlers and babies and is very tolerant and gentle with them. We have exposed him to this deliberately so he is used to them in general.
99% of dogs are well trained and absolutely fine so long as proper precautions are taken, the owners are responsible and the dog is never ever left alone with the baby. To start with the premise that it's 'going to be a problem' is inviting trouble.
If, however, you can't control your dog prior to having a baby then you should expect problems.
Dogs are animals, with animal instincts. If you expect them to do delighted at the arrival of a small soft thing that supplants them then you are deluded. It doesn't matter how well trained a dog is, it's still a dog. And still never safe with small children (unless you don't mind your child undergoing reconstructive surgery at some point.). I am a dog owner (well behaved, gentle dogs), have a 4 yo and have NEVER left them alone together. To do anything else is deluded about the capacities of dogs.
We have started to leave a baby doll around the house so the dog gets use to it always being there for when the baby arrives and been playing the odd baby cry sounds and stuff on YouTube so she has it around more often than not, she's generally well behaved but jumps up sometimes which she is now starting to stop a little, I don't want to get to 8months and the size of a small house with a 30kg dog jumping up! She's already good around kids and she tends to just sit around our nieces/nephew while their playing but I never leave her alone with the kids, no matter how soft a dog is they can always nip or scratch out of accidental excitement and well you hear the horror stories! X
I agree to posting in dog house. I've got a very high energy retriever, he didn't turn a hair when the baby came home, baby didn't care about the barking either. When he's over excited I put him in another room to calm down, think about making sure the dogs still get enough exercise - we actually put him in kennels while we had the dc (took days) as he loves it as he's very sociable so he was worn out when he came home too.
I would just add my point about exercise is a well exercised dog is usually a happy dog, it's hard to give your dogs the same level of exercise with dc so it needs planning. A lot of accidents can happen when they're hyped up. Worn out happy dogs won't pay much attention to children.
I've bought my dog up to be adaptable, baby and dog won't be left unsupervised together and child will be bought up to learn that the dog is my dog and not a toy.
Thankfully my dog is a quick learner and he knows he's bottom of the pecking order. To be honest I'm looking forward spending more time with him when on maternity leave. He's used to me working full time so is happy enough to have human company during the day and I'll make sure I have various Kongs and toys to keep him amused if I can't walk him.
I've already started training him that fluffy toys are not his to disembowel!
We have a giant black lab who was our baby until ds arrived 18 months ago. We were worried about jealousy but we really needn't have gotten so stressed over it. Obviously we took all the common sense precautions like not leaving the dog and baby alone etc.
on the day we got home from the hospital we laid ds on the lounge rug (with DH and I on either side) and let the dog have a good sniff and get to know him. No licking, although he wanted to, as we don't allow him to lick us. He spent about 30 mins gently sniffing and very gently nudging him with his nose - it was very sweet and we got loads of gorgeous pics of their first encounter. He then laid down beside the baby and that's where he stayed ever since. When ds was napping in the Moses basket he would lay beside it until he woke up and when he moved into his own room at 6 months old, the dog started sleeping outside ds's closed door. He still does now. He's been a bit freaked out by the crying and always leaves the room when ds is having a cry but apart from that they are best buds!
Marking place to come back later
duchesse My dog didn't get "demoted" when the baby came, what a bizarre idea.
She means exactly the same to me (and dh) now as she did before we had ds - she is our dog, our pet, and a valued family member. It has never occured to me to rank everyone in my family.
I found that ddog got lots of exercise after ds was born because it was so convenient to put him in the pram (or sling) and head off out somewhere. He got a lot of fresh air!
I have a Westie who was my baby before DD arrived. The Dog Whisperer by Cesar Milan has some really good advice re how to deal with bringing in a new baby. It basically suggests that you need to establish the hierarchy of the 'pack' with the baby above the dog immediately, starting by bringing the baby home while the dog is out and then greeting the dog holding the baby, making it wait until you have put the baby down before being petted etc.
It worked well for us, but we did make sure that we had established a pack with the dog at the bottom right from puppy stage, so this may have helped.
We have never had an issue with the dog and DD. In fact, he would get very agitated if we didn't respond to her cries immediately and got very concerned when she screamed during her first bath, to the point where DH had to pick him up and show him DD was ok!
Now they are the BEST of buddies and I actually think that having our dog as her first 'sibling' is really going to help with the adjustment for DD when her new (human!) sibling arrives next month, as she has always had to treat him carefully, knows that his toys are his own and not for her to touch and sometimes has to wait for things or can't do what she wants as we need to tend to his needs too. Basically that the world doesn't revolve around her!
I would definitely recommend checking out the book.
Then you do not understand dog psychology at all, KitchenWitch. Dogs have a very strict hierarchy and are much happier when they know where they stand in the pecking order.
Thanks everyone for your advice !! We want to start early so the change doesn't hit them like a tonne of bricks when baby arrives
Find it lovely when people say how strong their dogs bonds are with their children and I know how gentle my dogs are so I'm hoping for the same
Just watched Marley and me and I'm an emotional wreck!!
I'm interested to see this thread as I will have a border collie who will be 2 years and 4 months when the sultana is born. He is, like you say thekitchenwitch, a valued family member.
It seem that any discussion about dog training always comes down to dominance and bloody Ceser Milan (a horrible man who I would happily put a prong/choke collar on to see how he likes it).
I am very worried about how my dog will adjust to having a baby in the house but I am not willing to hit my dog or employ any other 'dominance' theory. My dog and I are partners - he does what I ask him because he respects me not because I bully him.
Not sure how we are going to cope, I imagine the dog will spend a lot of time in his cage (something we started with when he was a pup but haven't used for eight months or so)
Avoid CM advice - have you seen the youtube where he ignored all the signs the dog was clearly giving him and forced her to attack by backing her into a corner and not giving up?
Our dog was a little miffed that this new thing was getting all the cuddles and she wasn't - but soon decided that she could tolerate 'it' - and found out that 'it' was quite beneficial when food started being dropped (on purpose)(to the extent that she had to be put out of the room whilst he was eating otherwise he would simply drop everything for her to eat!).
Can I recommend getting a pushchair that you can push (and change direction) one handed - ideally something that will cope with whatever walks you normally go on. We got one that would go through thick mud and foot high long grass without any problem (and without getting clogged up) - a single handed push will mean you have one hand free for dog leads - ideally if you can train them to walk on a single lead with a double end it will mean you only have one lead to juggle with.
My dog, who is my third baby (2 cat babies which I got before her) is soooo protective over my 3rd cat, the youngest baby (well she is protective of all of them really, but especially with this one). She will bark at any stranger that tries to go near him! They play together and snuggle in together. Its hilarious how she reacts to a stranger approaching him with their hands, she is already used to sharing her attention with other small beings so I am not anticipating any problems, just being responsibly watchful. A dog does see its household members as 'the pack', and it is important that they know where they stand.
My dog doesn't mind whatsoever new animals coming into the house, so I am pretty sure she couldn't care less about a baby. The sound of a baby crying doesn't bother her at all, she also quite likes kids and is extremely gentle and docile when around them. Its so cute! Various posters on here are acting like having a dog in the house is like having a tiger or other wild animal. Yes they are animals but they are domesticated and should be trained to obey.
People also have to take responsibility for their kids so they know the dog isn't a toy and teach them how to appropriately stroke etc a dog. I've found some people don't do anything like this, child doesn't know how to touch an animal properly and parent just lets them be rough as hell with the pet. If their child was attacked it would be their own fault!
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