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tips for preparing a dog for the new arrival

(12 Posts)
Naomip88 Sat 01-Nov-14 22:45:45

Hello! I'm 28 weeks pregnant with our first baby and I was wondering if anyones got any tips for getting a dog ready for the new arrival? We rescued him 2 years ago (he was a stray and the rescue centre think he's about 4 or 5) and he's a mongrel-y dog ( looks like a very small staffy without the muscle) . He is extremely sweet natured and great with people but I guess we're just a bit worried as we have spoilt him a lot with attention and we don't want him to feel ''pushed out''. I'm aware this makes us sound a bit bonkers! Also any tips for walking the dog whilst out with the baby? His only issues are related to chasing cats and barking at other dogs when he's on the lead so any tips for this would be great too!

Thelovecats Sat 01-Nov-14 23:18:50

Play baby crying noises lots in the house.
Bring something home from hospital for him to smell before baby comes home.
Practise walking with pushchair in advance, and never hook lead round pushchair handles- I see it quite often. Personally I found a sling best for dog walking as had both hands free then.
Get a playpen (mine had raised level for newborns). I found it invaluable with a dog around.

Balderdabble Sat 01-Nov-14 23:37:01

Our main thing was we set up the new 'no go' areas in advance. We wanted to section off part of the hallway with a stair gate so we could leave the bedroom doors open for our room and the nursery without the dogs going in. We did it well in advance so they didn't associate the new rules with the new baby - so no negative connotations. And agree, baby carrier or sling much easier than a buggy when walking the dogs.

We also introduced them as soon as we were home from the hospital and let them have a good sniff of DD immediately. And have made sure to give them lots of fuss since she arrived too!

tomanyanimals Sun 02-Nov-14 08:11:55

On top of those a good one we did was buy a dol that cried and laughed And left it in silly places on the floor etc and made sure they knew they weren't to touch and to always be careful with what they were doing I.e no tearing round the house at 100 mph if it cries to alert us but never to approach with out one of us there worked really well I have quite high strung dogs and they certainly accepted and were fine once baby did come and they never went in a room with the baby on there own and if we left they walked out there own choice not rules we enforced to be honest

TheScenicRoute Sun 02-Nov-14 09:04:12

Great thread. I've got a Cd of baby crying noises, when we first played it the dog when mental..... Then we read the instructions! Had to play it at zero volume for at least a week, we couldn't hear it but our dog could obviously pick up bits, ears twitching, etc. then gradually turning the volume up a micro notch each week. She's been through stages of leaving the room, to showing signs of anxiety like chewing/ obsessive licking of paws, but Now we have it on really load and she isn't in the slightest bit bothered. I was a good investment. I think you can get youtube videos of just baby sounds which would be free.

Naomip88 Sun 02-Nov-14 09:43:35

Great advice thank you! He's not allowed in our bedroom anymore (he used to sleep in our bed with us!) which we're hoping will help with the boundaries. Will definitely try playing the cd to him as well. Luckily in the house he's very obedient (when we're outside it's a different story!) so hopefully he'll be very gentle and respectful :-) .

Funkyfairy2004 Sun 02-Nov-14 10:50:09

Our basset hound has been the baby of the house for 2 years and so we have been trying to prepare him. We put the pram up and have put it in different places in the house, he isn't interested at all!im mostly concerned about the baby toys getting destroyed and bottles, he loves chewing things that are off limits like my expensive shoes!

CherryLips1980 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:15:28

Yes to everything everyone else has said! We have a high energy dog and we were worried about him knocking into DD by accident - he's 30kg+ and still thinks he's the size of a terrier, but they were totally unfounded.

We let him sniff her as soon as we were through the door but he was far more interested in greeting us. He does come on the sofa and he will lie as close as he can to me and DD without being on DD. In fact, DD plays with his ears (stroking) as she's drinking her milk - she has never laid 'like a baby' for her milk, preferring to be stetched out in front of me. DDog lays next to her and she strokes his ear as she's drinking. When she started nursery, we had to send her with a soft toy that was as close to the feel as the dogs ear as we could, because she refused to drink without him!

As for walking, we tend to walk in places where he can go off lead as soon as we get out the car park. I have to be careful occasionally as although he's fine with other dogs, if they come to the pushchair first, he gets a bit protective and dominant (although, touch wood, he's never actually gone for anything). Echo the poster who said about not looping the lead round the pushchair!! And when you buy your pushchair, make sure you take into account where you walk the dog!! We went to M&P, tried loads of lovely chairs, settled on the Stokke (which we still adore), spent a small bloody fortune on it and various accessories but the first time I took DD + dog out, I got about halfway along a path in the forest park we go to before having to admit defeat. Ended up with a £40 Graco off eBay which has been awesome for dog walking.

The only real problem we've had has been him nicking her toys, the little turd. TBF, he doesn't shred them like he does his own, but he does walk round showing off what he's got and then has a small 'No, you aren't getting it back' before giving in.

Elysianfields Sun 02-Nov-14 11:34:42

I would add end of walk manners to the list! So when you get home the dog sits nicely by the door until you give the command to come in on to the carefully placed mat/towel or whatever. Is really really better than dog racing in with muddy paws everywhere while you have baby, pram etc. easy to do as well with tasty treats.

OneDayLikeThis2013 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:42:04

Loving this thread, we have the added complication of our dog recently going blind so we're prepared to work extra hard to make this as easy as possible for him.

Try not to change the dogs routine when the baby comes. If you need to change it (eg your other half always walks the dog but it'll be you when the baby arrives) then make the changes now

Don't over compensate by giving the dog lots if attention when baby is sleeping etc. do quite the opposite, ignore the dog when baby is upstairs etc and fuss him, give him a lovely stuffed kong when you're with baby, that way he associates baby with positive things.

Dogs and young children can be wonderful (I personally grew up with dogs in the home from birth) but it's all about being sensible in my opinion. Even the best natured dog will start to feel put out with less walks, less attention, restrictions in the house unless you implement these now so he doesn't associate the changes with the baby

catsofa Mon 03-Nov-14 01:43:21

Thanks this is a great thread, reading with interest although I have a clingy, elderly cat to prepare rather than a dog.

We're still at the stage of trying to explain that she can no longer stomp around in circles on my belly until she figures out which way round she wants to lie down. I think I'll try the baby sounds recordings. Might help me get used to it too, not to mention the neighbours.

Will a cat definitely have to not sleep in my bed any more? sad

Thelovecats Mon 03-Nov-14 07:07:49

Catsofa, clearly cats are not evil baby harming creatures (as my mother in law tried to tell me before both my kids were born) but I confess I did shut then away at night. I think cat hair is a problem more than the cats themselves. My cats were never fussed about being near babies anyway, but I wouldn't have wanted them sleeping in the cot or anything because of the hair.

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