dogs and babies. Any tips??(9 Posts)
i have an 8 and a half year old border collie he is the most amazing dog who is good with my friends babies/kids. obviously i would never leave them alone in the room together but im still abit worried about the strange noises my little on will make etc. im 28 weeks pregant now due 11th Jan 2010.
My BIL has a dog and when their first baby was on the way they were advised to send home a blanket the baby has been wrapped in ahead of you (this is assuming you stay in hospital at least one night), put it in your dog's basket so he will be used to the baby's smell by the time you arrive home.
Hello I would also add that I let my dog sniff the baby too (while I held her) and not shut her out the room if she came in looking interested , Good luck with it all.
I'm in the same boat as you - expecting pfb 12th Nov. Our dog is only 1.5 y.o. though.
I asked around and was told to instigate any changes in dog's routine in advance of baby's birth. So e.g. we started sometimes not letting her get up on the sofa with us in the evening, so she's used to being told "no" and will not associate this just with the new arrival.
Also I've started putting up the new equipment and letting her sniff it and suss it out. I've even wheeled the pram around the house, which she's not so sure of, but I'm sure she'll get used to it.
Also make a big fuss of your dog when the baby is present. Baby==good things happening, to avoid jealousy.
We had had our dogs 4yrs before we had DS1 and although they were good with kids out & about, there were no children in the family to gauge their response. The are both rescue collie-crosses.
we started by stopping them sleeping in our room and making them sleep in their beds in the kitchen (i was about 6months pregnant at this stage) - they are allowed on rugs in our room during the evening but it just making sure they know the pack structure. also feeding them after we had eaten.
when DS1 was born, a friend took them and brought them back once me and DS1 were settled on the sofa. I held DS1 and let them come to greet me and sniff him. It was no big introduction - DS1 was asleep. They were a bit shocked by the crying but they had their beds as a retreat.
Did the same with DS2 and they have accepted both boys.
I dont have a kitchen door but a tall "dog" baby gate so the dogs are safe from my toddlers but arent excluded from the house. We have lots of walks with the pram and they are very protective about strangers coming up to the boys - not aggressive but just stand between DC and the stranger. They are also excellent hoovers when weaning.
Having said that, they are never left alone with DC as much for the dogs safety (my younger dog as a very pullable tail) as the boys. The children arent allowed to touch the dogs when they are in their beds or eating - the dogs need their space.
It seems to be working well. We do have grumbles rather than growls when the dogs have had enough of the noise/being played with but I know my dogs and their limits and they trust me enough to know that I am going to intervene and remove them from the situation. I think its about reading both dogs & childrens behaviour and being sensible.
have you theought about a DAP diffuser for when baby arrives. may help the dog to feel more secure and happy with the huge change to his life.
totally agree with the blanket smelling of baby to be brought home fist if possible.
and if you have any friends with babies perhaps make a recording and then play it at home - start off at v. low volume and time and build up to get her used to the sounds. i think there are commercial versions of this on sale too.
ask your vet /vet nurse they know your dog and may be able to offer some more advice.
Rather than worry about the dog feeling left out (that's more how humans feel than dogs) think about making sure the dog treats the baby like a pack leader. Ensure that the dog gives lots of physical space to the baby and only approaches in a calm manner. Any excitement within 6 or so feet of the baby gets a reprimand. I literally growled at my dog (who I adore btw) when she first approached my baby and she has been very respectful since. Baby is now 7 weeks old and dog is now allowed to lick the top of her head (so SWEET) as long as she is totally calm and gentle.
You will find that as long as s/he realises that the baby is 'top dog' the crying won't affect him/her. My dog responds to the crying with a concerned and curious look. When we are standing by the tumble dryer (white noise works when nothing else will soothe my LO) my dog will come and keep us company in the utility room. She also sleeps outside any door where the baby is lying. Keeping guard I suppose.
Focus on boundaries, not affection. Give affection when the dog shows respect to the baby and this will actually make the dog feel more secure. Reward calmness, giving space, not looking directly at the baby (which is giving over leadership rights) and tentative approaches with head and tail lowered. Do not tolerate excitement, speedy approaches, staring at the baby, sniffing the baby without being specifically invited or the sort of proud look (tail erect, head up, trotting) that signifies possession. If the dog does these things tell him/her off in whatever is your normal way and walk towards the dog with babe in arms until s/he backs off. This is all normal body language to your dog and s/he will understand it perfectly. She will be quite comfortable giving the leader role to the baby and that will prevent any problems arising later.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
sorry just realised your dog is male. still got preggers brain!
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