How to get the dog used to new baby?

(26 Posts)
ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 10:22:26

We have a 3 year old cocker spaniel who has been used to having all of the attention and fuss for the last 3 years. She's always been well behaved and we've never had any problems with her. We now have a new born baby and understandably the dog is jealous that she isn't getting all of the attention but 7 weeks later it's getting out of hand. Yesterday I came home after being out for an hour and the kitchen floor had been ripped up and in shreds! She has never done anything like this before. Most of the time she goes to work with my husband but the days where he can't take her I now feel I can't go out and leave her for just a few hours. We never had this problem before the baby arrived. She also always sleeps downstairs and we have a stair gate so she can't come up. She now doesn't understand why the baby comes up at night and she can't and keeps trying to jump the stair gate to the point she works herself up so much she makes herself ill. Does anyone have any tips on how to get her used to the change or will it come in time? Getting to the end of my tether with her and I definitely don't want to be one of those people who get rid of the dog because they've now got a baby. She's part of the family and we love her but we just can't give her all of the attention she always has had and I feel so bad for her 😔

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BiteyShark Tue 27-Nov-18 10:27:11

I can't advise on the actual baby issue but I did pick up on the 'but we just can't give her all of the attention she always has'

Rather than it being a baby problem could it just be a simple understimulated bored dog problem. If so then dog walkers, day care, training exercises and mental stimulating toys might be the way forward.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Tue 27-Nov-18 10:33:37

On the says when she can't go to work with your husband, what does DDog do all day - walkies, enrichment etc?

ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 12:53:48

She does the same as what she always did do before baby arrived. But now misbehaves while baby is in my arms, if I'm feeding him etc. If any attention is on the baby she does something naughty so she has the attention. It's jealousy not boredom. She still gets a walk, has her toys etc. Before when she wanted my attention I was able to give it to her straight away. Now if I'm feeding or something she can't get the attention when she wants it

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LovingLola Tue 27-Nov-18 12:58:05

Is she in the same room as you when you are feeding the baby? Is there any risk that she could reach him while he is in your arms?

ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 12:58:06

Also I am not implying it's a 'baby problem' as you have suggested

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ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 12:59:51

LovingLola yes she is in the same room as me. I'm not going to shut her out if he room while I'm feeding. That will just makes things even worse for her!

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ifoundthebread Tue 27-Nov-18 13:05:03

Maybe try some challenging toys for while your out? Kong full of peanut butter, bottles with holes in with a couple of treats in,search dog puzzle toys on Pinterest. Spaniels are very energetic, any chance you can add an extra walk to your day? What has changed for the dog when you say she wants attention? Did she used to sit on your lap and now you won't let her up at all? Try always have her sit next to you even if you don't have the baby so then she has consistency in rules.

Bananarama12 Tue 27-Nov-18 13:05:18

I let my dog snuggle with us when I was feeding DS and when he was sleeping in my arms. I also made sure I walked her with him too. I also have a needy dog and she adjusted quite well. I never shut her out or stopped her from coming upstairs.

LovingLola Tue 27-Nov-18 13:05:41

Of course that's your choice. My concern would be that she would jump up on you and attack the baby.

Bananarama12 Tue 27-Nov-18 13:07:28

Oh LovingLola please 🙄

Si1ver Tue 27-Nov-18 13:11:51

Can you maybe offer her a Kong while you're feeding? That way she's engaged and stimulated but you've got your attention else where?

Have you tried feliway plug ins too to help calm her down? Finally can you make a big fuss of her when the baby is napping (if he's not napping on you)?

NotyourMummynotyourmilk Tue 27-Nov-18 13:14:04

I am watching this with interest as we have our first GC due next year and my perfect doggie who is my world will obviously have her nose pushed out when they are visiting and I need to know how to make her feel like that is ok to not be the centre of my world 100% of the time anymore. OP some posters are so funny, I don't think they read things correctly I do hope you get some good ideas from here. People are very precious on here sometimes and can't understand that of course you are not going to be giving your dog the same attention as you were, but really I don't think that is unusual, it happens with second children let alone a dog. I would try putting her in a cage if she is cage trained, slowly does it though don't just buy a cage, pop out and lock her in it. Look up about cage training on the web see if that will work. I hope your doggie settles down and learns to appreciate her new friend in time.xx

missbattenburg Tue 27-Nov-18 13:18:24

I think the point about the 'baby problem' was that this might be less a case of helping her get used to the baby and more a case of helping her learn to entertain herself and/or providing other entertainment. i.e. it might not be she needs to get used to the baby at all but does need help getting used to a different routine.

Ideally this would have been done way before the baby arrives. I realise that's not helpful for you now but might be for future readers of this post. The routine should be changed, slowly, months before baby arrives so the dog doesn't link the two and has time to settle into it before the stress of a baby arrives.


I would suggest going slowly. Whilst she cannot now have fuss all the time she wants, she will need time to get used to that fact. Which is going to be busy for you! Perhaps make effort to speak to her a lot, while you are seeing to the baby, give her eye contact etc. Over time you can slowly reduce how much you do this?

Things that she can entertain herself with would also be useful. Kongs, snuffle mats, lick mats, cardboard boxes to destroy, scatter feeding, etc. I think I'd be tempted to introduce them during baby feeding time (maybe behind a gate) so she gets the idea that baby feeding also equals lovely treats for her?

Did she always sleep downstairs or is that also new for her?

ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 13:19:03

Thanks bananarama I'm glad I'm not the only one with a needy dog lol. I'll try letting her snuggle with us while I feed. She's never been allowed upstairs because of how filthy she always is after coming home from work with my husband so that it something we want to stick to.

LovingLola.. She won't attack the baby while he's in my arms. If anything she's scared of him she runs off is she hears him cry etc. Also if you are concerned I don't leave the dog and baby in the room together if I'm not going to be in the room

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missbattenburg Tue 27-Nov-18 13:20:28

Some other great entertainment ideas on another thread:

Some won't apply here because they require heavy human involvement but others may help?

ifoundthebread Tue 27-Nov-18 13:20:46

@notyourmummy i found with my dog he was very accepting of new baby when changes were made before baby arrived and then that way it wasn't a change associated with the baby and then no resentment. For example - I put a safety gate up to keep the dog out the living room because I'd need this to be there when baby was napping in basket and I needed to keep them separate (because id never trust any dog alone with a baby, including my own) when I went to the loo for example. I put the gate up while pregnant and made the dog leave the room everytime I did, no change once baby arrived.

Wolfray Tue 27-Nov-18 13:22:27

I'd recommend looking for a Clinical Animal Behaviourist from the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.

ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 13:25:19

Notyourmummynotyourmilk. Hopefully we will get some tips. She was cage trained as a puppy but took it away when she was about 9 months. Unsure on if it would be good for her to go back to a cage or not?

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ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 13:32:02

Wolfray I don't think she is bad enough to need a behaveral counciler. Just simple home training. The days she goes to work she is no problem in the evenings as she's too tired to care

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BiteyShark Tue 27-Nov-18 13:35:14

Also I am not implying it's a 'baby problem' as you have suggested

Not sure what was so offensive about saying it might not be a baby problem. I was implying that it might actually be nothing to do with getting your dog used to the baby but a difference in routine so the dog was now bored having not got the attention it was used to (which you said in your OP).

ER1992 Tue 27-Nov-18 13:36:45

Missbatternburg i was working full time up untill just before baby was born so I would have been quite difficult to change her routine. I understand where you are coming from but I don't think we could have prepared her anymore than we did for a new arrival.
Her actual routine hasn't changed other than the fact I'm obviously at home more than I was and we have an extra little person in the house

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Wolfray Tue 27-Nov-18 13:52:01

@ER1992 Yesterday I came home after being out for an hour and the kitchen floor had been ripped up and in shreds!

This is an indicative flag for me, that makes it sound like your dog is suffering from some stress, due to change. Honestly, not a training issue.

Wolfray Tue 27-Nov-18 13:56:00

Apols, that should say 'Honestly, not a simple home training issue.'

tablelegs Tue 27-Nov-18 15:07:26

Your dog is learning that they've been bumped down the pecking order.

Leave her with one of the baby grows at night so she will smell it.

Take her out for a walk with baby in the pram.

When you're feeding/baby sleeping/baby placed down, do some training even if she already knows it. Sit, stay, down, lie down, speak, leave, etc. Give her a treat.

I would also get a kong or brain stimulation toy where treats are hidden so she has to work out how to get them.

Get a crate, make it lovely for her and leave the door open. Comfy bed and some toys plus water and food.

She will settle down but it will take time.

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