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Calling pregnant/new mum dog owners

(14 Posts)
SeriousStuff Thu 21-Mar-13 10:35:29

I have just had my 12 week scan and am already thinking of buying a pram and I need some advice.

Basically, we have a dog which we got as a rescue puppy. He is great - fun loving personality, protective, and incredibly intelligent (he's a border collie) - but, he didn't have the best start in life which means he's very anxious and isn't a fan of unfamiliar, strange moving things! Such as prams...

He once circled a pram whilst on a walk for 10 whole minutes, as if he was trying to herd it. He would never bite or hurt anyone, but try telling that to young parents observing this mad dog circling their young baby! It was awful!

We thought, if we bought the pram now, we could start getting him used to it before the baby comes. But it's one thing to just place it in the kitchen with him, as soon as it moves, I know he'll scurry away and start barking at it, and will try and nip at the wheels!

Has anyone had a similar experience, and if so, how did you overcome it? I would hate it if I couldn't take our baby and dog for a walk at the same time.

No advice I'm afraid, but how about a sling for the baby when you need to take them out together?

SeriousStuff Thu 21-Mar-13 11:39:29

That's true, if it does get a bit much a sling would be a good alternative. Thanks!

foolonthehill Thu 21-Mar-13 13:57:34

I think someone will be along with info on BAT and prams in a is the official website

I've not done it with a pram...but it works when a dog reacts to dogs/children and my experience!

good luck

Thumbtack Thu 21-Mar-13 19:59:56

I take my huge dog and 5 mo son out in a sling 4 times a day, have done since he was born, I can't lie, sometimes it is tricky but we muddle through and generally enjoy the experience, I never even contemplated taking the pram . . . You'd need an extra hand! No advice on training really but would suggest you took dog and pram out for practise to see how you got on, treat good calm behaviour but don't forget you can fall back on the sling, my boy without exception always falls asleep in the sling dog walking

idirdog Thu 21-Mar-13 20:52:53

Get a clicker.

Get him used to the clicker. Then just click and treat next to the pram. If you could get oh to move the pram an inch click and treat the dog. He will start to turn towards you when he sees the pram move.

Just increase movement of pram click and treat each time until you can walk him next to pram.

I would start with counter conditioning rather than BAT as he will have to learn to walk with the pram and the movement is encouraging the herding instinct rather than fear.

With a collie this will happen quickly however be prepared to have to remind him frequently

tollyandfeste Thu 21-Mar-13 20:59:12

I have a rescue collie. He is great but does that hearding thing (to children actually so I have to be v carefull). Anyway he isnt great on a lead so pram is a nightmare. I have a sling and it is easy as pie. However when I found out I was pregnant I did get a few of the baby things in advance to get him used to the idea. I put the baby gates and the playpen up, so he didnt associate his restricted access to all rooms with the baby. I also sprinkled baby smelling things around and played crying baby noise etc as he can get anxious. All in all it was worth the preperation. He isnt a massively in love with DD in the way he is with me or DP, but he isnt worried or anxious and that it the main thing. The clicker idea is great, just get the pram and practice. Good luck.

apricot72 Thu 21-Mar-13 21:32:16

We have 2 collies, they are both wheel obsessed, 1 slightly more than the other. They are both very soppy and gentle inside the house but do get over excited around wheels outside - Bikes are their favourite, closely followed by buggies. We have had 2 babies since we got the dogs and we have coped, as have the dogs! I tend to take the boys out (now 3 and 1.5yrs) with a sling and an off road buggy when I walk the dogs on my own. Obviously it's easier if there are 2 of us to manage the situation. I tend to take a ball flinger thing to distract them when I'm on my own and they do actually like balls even more than wheels.

The dogs have adapted well to the children but we have obviously made sure they have their own child free space, that they get plenty of exercise and stimulation away from the kids and that the boys know what behaviour is expected around the dogs.

Watching my boys grow up with the dogs is fantastic and although it's hard work trying to keep them all happy, I wouldn't be without them (the dogs that is, sometimes I wonder about the boys). And now our oldest son is learning to throw the ball I am envisaging them all entertaining each other in a couple of years.....

Good luck with your pregnancy and lovely collie!

TataClaire Fri 22-Mar-13 11:12:32

look up counter-conditioning - you'll need to get him doing something else that will mean he can't perform that behaviour because what you're asking him to do - say heeling close at your side - is incompatible with his circling behaviour. Breaking his concentration on it will be key - it's difficult because he probably finds it quite exciting and rewarding - so if he finds what your asking him to do is more rewarding and exciting - i.e. the odd treat from a little treat pouch on your belt and the odd pat and praise you have a chance of breaking the behaviour - first though you'll need to desensitise him to the pram which will be tough - try and find a border collie specialist or look up the APBC - association of pet behaviour counsellors website or APDT website for a trainer. Borders can be hard for breaking those behaviours that come naturally. Good luck!

Isandri Fri 22-Mar-13 16:44:17

I have a large strong dog. He's on my profile smile he has no herding instincts but is 28kg of pure muscle. I have a 4 month old baby. In the start I used a caboo sling when walking the dog. At the moment my DS is not happy with the sling as he wants to watch things so I'm using a stokke xplory. I can steer it one handed if needed and my giant viking husband can push it without kicking it. I'll be buying a backpack carrier for the baby soon.

SeriousStuff Sat 23-Mar-13 21:27:52

Thanks all - some great advice there and positive stories coming from similar situations to ours. Our dog really made us a family when we got him and now this is DC1 on its way and the dog will always be my hairy baby.

He has taught us about patience, being less selfish and because of his 'issues', that nothing is perfect in life. We have already had people telling us maybe we should consider what we do with him now, because of the baby coming. But he's our responsibility and we would never get rid of him. If we had a child who turned out to be a nightmare, we would never turn our back on him/her, the same goes for the dog! He was starved and rejected as a puppy and we're confident we're making him as happy and comfortable as he can be with us.

dopeysheep Sat 23-Mar-13 21:32:09

Oh good luck. Nothing helpful to add but my rescue collie x tried to bite the wheel of a slow moving recycling lorry. He so nearly ended up a pug. Daft idiot.

mrsmarzipan Tue 26-Mar-13 09:51:11

I found the problem with using a sling is when the dog poos its not the easiest to bend down and pick it up! We got a lab puppy when ds was 5 months so she has grown up with the pram but buying one you can steer with one hand (we have a micro lite which is a dream to push) is a huge help and gives her a bit more of a distance from the pram. A problem I have is that the dog walks to heel to the pram rather than me (though ds who is now 14 months rests his hand on her head whilst she walks which is so cute!grin)

horseylady Tue 26-Mar-13 21:10:12

I can't walk my dogs with the buggy. It's just mayhem. So ds (22weeks) goes in sling and has done since birth!!

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