We have an 11yr old dog, 10 yr old son, 8 yr old son and 21 wk old daughter. The dog has always been at the bottom of the pack. She knows that we (hubby and me) are in charge and now the kids are here- they are higher in the pack too. Buffy (the dog) is allowed free range of downstairs during the day. At night time she sleeps in the dining room-living room, hall and kitchen doors are shut. We have a safety gate at the top of the stairs, as she can jump over the one at the bottom so seemed pointless putting it there this time. Buffy is very good with the children and often lies next to them on the sofa. Our baby gets very excited and waves her arms when she's in the same room- we never leave them alone though, we always leave the door wide open and the dog comes with us- baby is left to play
TeenaH - I've just downloaded that for my Kindle have also bought a cd with baby crying/cooing noises on it.
Moses Basket is in place and dogs bed has been moved to other side of bedroom - in a couple of weeks we'll move it out to the landing and put a stairgate/petgate on the bedroom door so that he will no longer be in bedroom.
Just to reiterate to everyone - I have no intention of leaving my dog alone with my baby or of keeping the dog in the bedroom at night with the baby. thanks for all your help and advice though, I have a clear plan of action now
Good question and good on you for preparing early!! When I was pregnant with my first child, Sara I used a book called Tell Your Dog You're Pregnant: An essential guide for dog owners who are expecting a baby. It was really helpful, written by a vet behaviourist and came with a CD of sounds. Max (my fur child!) took some time to get used to the sounds but the book helped on how to do it. Maybe that will help you too!
I kept my dogs routine exactly the same and my first DC fitted around dog walks etc, they were also never left alone with my child even though i had made sure that they were very well socialised with small children and babies. I can remember the MW coming round at 10 days and found my DS in his moses basket on the floor with a black lab asleep either side of him, she was not fussed. now i have 2 children and the rules have not changed, the dogs get praised if the kids annoy them and the kids get bollocked if they go near the dogs when they are in there beds (every dog needs a safe place were they can be undesturbed) sensible precautions really.
I would start by reducing access to your bedroom - if the dog is sleeping there along with the baby you will never be able to relax - what happens if you need to pop to the bathroom? I never left our dogs, much as I trusted them, alone with the baby.
Allocate somewhere for the dog that the baby won't go if possible, make time for the dog and do your best not to upset his routine. Make sure he gets as much exercise as before, and as much attention - I made a point of fussing the dogs first when I'd been out - as you can too. I always let ours eat in peace, away from the baby (then toddlers) and they knew that under no circumstances to were they to go into their basket, pull or pester them. Until they were old enough to understand that I kept them under close supervision!
Much as you love your dog, don't put him under pressure by expecting him to love your baby, and don't ever leave him unattended with the baby - not because he's necessarily going to be aggressive, but his natural curiousity might stir up instincts and it's just not fair on the dog to put him in that sort of situation.
My dog has never slept in our room so wasn't an issue, but I wouldn't let a baby and a dog sleep in the same room. Our dog has always been restricted to some parts of the house before we had DD but we decided that the lounge would also be off limits too and I think we stopped the dog coming into the lounge (not as awful as it sounds as it's on a different floor) before DD was born. Never have left them in the same room unattended - not even now. Our dog is very gentle with kids, but you can never account for a child doing something that bothers the dog.
LetThereBeCupcakes - Ha ha what a coincidence I wondered about dog in the room too. Our dog is pretty well socialised with small children/babies and currently sleeps in our bedroom. But I think our plan is to put a stairgate across our bedroom door so that dog sleeps on the landing when we are all in bed at night. However, I don't see an issue with him being in the bedroom with baby in the daytime when I am around - would never let him near the baby unsupervised.
I've read some good articles by Ceasar Milan, Victoria Stilwell, HSUS and several others that all say similar things. Most recommend socialising your dog with baby and encourage interaction so that dog doesn't get resentful or associate major change/upheaval with the baby. They all seem to say the following too which I found useful.
- Make any changes in advance to give dog[s] chance to adapt - buy a cd with baby noises to acclimatise dog - buy doll [or I guess a pillow would do] and wrap in baby blankets and rock it, coo to it when Baby crying CD playing - Also to sprinkle baby powder or whichever products you might be using on baby blankets and allow dog to sniff to get used to the scent
I just googled 'acclimatising dog to baby' and it came up with loads of articles if you are interested. I have ordered baby crying CD and stairgate and tonight have moved dogs bed to the other side of the bedroom and put the moses basket where it will be when the baby is born. Gradually I will move dogs bed out onto the landing and put the stairgate up and get him used to sleeping on the landing before the little one comes home.
Anyway, that's my grand plan - just have to put it into practice now
Hi Nikki My weimaraner was 2 years old when I had my first baby.
I second starting now not to let him in your bedroom. My dog is allowed on the couch but not upstairs.
I think its a good idea about the CD of crying baby noises. We didn;t do that but I think it's a good idea to get them used to the sound. I know it can be stressful for dogs.
When I brought my first baby home, I let the dog sniff her. I didn't tell him to keep away from her etc. Obviously I was holding her and he was never left alone with her but I didn't want him to see her as an intruder who was causing him to be told off or to have less affection.
Our dog really loves DD. We had another baby 6 months ago and, again, he is allowed to sniff etc. We don't leave them alone.
my advice would be to start limiting the dog's access to the bedroom sooner rather than later and other place you don't want him to go. We have a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs and the dog doesn't go upstairs (maybe when there's fireworks...). But start excluding now as you don't want the association of new baby and suddenly there are rules.
We neverever let the dog and any of the kids be alone with the dog. He's a golden retriever, and very tolerant, but still...
I am expecting my first child in January [20th is my due date] and wondered how people have acclimatised dog with prepping for baby and also if they have changed anything with their dog?
Dog currently has free run of the house [we have a v small house], sleeps in our room at night [tho not on the bed] and allowed on sofa etc - but he has to ask or be invited if that makes sense.
He has an excellent temperament with people and children - I am also careful this isn't 'abused' by my niece and nephews. Am planning to start carrying round a pillow and blanket and get a CD with baby crying sounds - moses basket etc will go into bedroom soon.
Anyway, I would be really interested to hear what other people have done and how you prepared for this.
Thanks and or depending on preference or pg status