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Expecting and have a dog. Any tips?

(18 Posts)
DublinMammy Tue 11-Dec-12 18:14:51

Our dog (a terrier) was 3 when our DS was born, and he was very much my dog and v spoilt (slept on the end of the bed etc). We dressed a doll in baby clothes and let him see that there was something/ someone that I would carry round and not let him have to play with. He was allowed to sniff but only when he was on the ground and it was in my arms. We also brought a blanket home that smelt of the baby before the baby. The other thing was when we brought our DS home, my husband carried him, leaving me free to greet the dog and make a big fuss of him. I had been really worried about how he would react but he has been fine (DS now 3.5). I'm sure your dog will be too, lots of good advice on here.

OvenReady Tue 11-Dec-12 16:10:55

My parents had my 2 choccie labs whilst I was in hospital having DS. We sent a baby blanket home, and some of the babygros he had been wearing, and my DH put them around the house for the dogs to smell.

Parents returned the dogs to our house in the morning before me and DS got home so dogs got used to the smell. We made a huge fuss of them when we went in, and then put DS down in car seat. Dogs sniffed a bit and then lost interest! They have never bothered him or other kids - unless he has food!!

I feel because we were relaxed and carried on as normal, the dogs were too.

TimeyWimeyStuff Tue 11-Dec-12 15:11:38

As well as taking something baby smelling home first, we also made a point of me going into the house alone when I returned from hospital and making a fuss of our bitch, who had been quite sensitive to my pregnancy and on edge while I was away from home. Once she'd calmed down from greeting me we introduced the baby and let her have a good sniff. I'm pregnant again (third trimester) and she doesn't seem bothered at all this time. Mind you, she now knows that squawking tiny babies turn into rampant two year olds! Good luck. smile

scaredbutexcited Tue 11-Dec-12 14:58:25

Thank you hopeful, that sounds sensible.

I might try the CD too, like you say springersmum, it might help my DH adjust too!

hopeful92 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:36:00

Before you bring the baby home, have someone take a vest that the baby has been wearing and put it in the dog's bed with them so they get used to the smell of the baby before they come in the door. Then leave the baby in the car seat, keep the dog on a lead and let the dog have a sniff of the baby BEFORE he sees you holding baby. Then hold baby and sit down and let dog have a sniff of you holding the baby. Then they should be fine! Just be sure to take it slow, keep the dog on a lead at first meeting and they will be best buds before you know it. Just remember, lots of treats whilst all this is taking place!!

We did all these tricks with my mums 2 dogs and my niece and nephew, and I will be doing the same when I bring my baby home (I have a very exciteable 2 year old chocolate lab who will be VERY excited to meet baby...)

Good luck, as long as you never leave baby alone with the dog then you should be fine if you follow those tips.

springersmum Tue 11-Dec-12 11:42:54

This CD has been put together by a veterinary behaviourist

www.soundtherapy4pets.co.uk/soothing.html

It has lots of new baby sounds. The idea is to start playing v v quietly and over a few weeks increase the volume so the dog gets used to the odd baby sounds that will soon be filling your house! We used this before the birth of DD with our Springers (also helped DH!)
Also worth thinking buggies through v well, most are useless for proper dog walking! We've found a stretchy sling is great for newborns then a mountain buggy when baby gets too heavy grin

an apbc listed behaviourist will be able to give excellent safe advise specific to you too.

Good luck with new bubba, having a dog is great way to loose baby tummy and to avoid PND - you Have to get out everyday!

I have a GSD who was similar age to yours when I had my first DC.
We did have some behavioural problems with her due to her being so overprotective.
She actually bit a friend of mine who she has known since she was a puppy, he playfully punched me on the shoulder while I was pregnant and my dog bit him on the leg, pulling him away from me.
She also will not tolerate anyone playing rough with the DC, other than DH or me.
We have never had any problems with her being aggressive towards the DC, that being said, we never leave them in the same room alone.

We did/do have some problems with her being aggressive towards strangers/dogs when we have her out with the DC, so she is kept on the lead at all times now and I mostly walk her without the DC in tow wherever possible.

We live in the sticks and no way of getting a behaviourist to work with her, so we did what we could ourselves.
If you do see any changes in your dogs behaviour, I would see if you can get a professional to worth with her.

Now, all that being said, our dog LOVES our DC and they adore her, she is still very much part of the family.
I had a ropey first few months where I struggled to cope with having a baby and a dog to look after, but I persevered and am so glad I did, I love my girl.

scaredbutexcited Tue 11-Dec-12 11:26:16

Thank you so much, some fantastic tips. thanks.

I particularly like the ideas on smell, not making it too big a deal for him and also changing anything in his routine now.

I will also make sure the baby buys him some new toys!

Thank you.

Sams4lo Tue 11-Dec-12 10:41:01

Just a quick tip we were given when we had dd1, and had a 10m puppy, get a blanket and let the baby puke, shit and everything all over it, then just before ur due to go home get someone to give it to the dog, mine shredded it but the point is the dog gets a smell for the baby and touch wood we have never had a problem and followed this with all 4dc! X

Things to think about now include:
- Make sure his wormer is up to date, and make cleaning up dog mess your partner's job.
- If you are responsible for walking him wear anti slip shoes, and use an anti pull harness if he is a bit jumpy. You don't want to risk a fall as you get bigger.
- If anything will change for the dog when the baby arrives, make those changes now. For example will one room previously available to the dog be out of bounds, will his bed need to be moved, will his walk and feed times change?

Finally, regardless of how well trained he is, how used to children he is, and how much you trust him NEVER leave him unsupervised with the baby, even for 30 seconds. A dog is a dog, and if he is startled by a sudden noise he may react.

Rhubarb78 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:24:58

I have a jrt and when we brought ds home we just put his car seat down and gave her loads of attention. She had been staying with the il's so we asked them to make sure she was home before we got home. When she had stopped being so excited to see us we let her come close to the baby to have a sniff, tbh she wasn't that interested, she was more bothered about getting attention from us. I also had a travel cot in the living room with the baby's playmat in it so if I needed to nip to the kitchen or something the baby would be safe in there. Ds is 9 months now and he loves watching the dog, he giggles away at her

Dogsmom Mon 10-Dec-12 19:24:25

We've got 4 dogs, 2 of which are GSD's, we plan to make the whole baby thing very much a non-issue.

We'll just bring her in, leave her in the car seat while they have a sniff and stay very relaxed about the whole thing, no shouting at them etc, shepherds are great family dogs so I doubt you'll have any problems.

As another poster said keep them involved, stick to their routine as much as you can, keep giving them fuss/treats/walks etc and not shut away as you could create jealousy.

Lora1982 Mon 10-Dec-12 18:50:43

Ive also heard its an idea to fetch home a blanket the baby has been in before you bring the baby home so your dog can get used to the smell

Doodlekitty Mon 10-Dec-12 18:22:11

Our baby arrived with a box of treats for the dog. A load of cheap toys and a bone and some smaller treats. That way when I needed to be getting settled the dog was distracted

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Mon 10-Dec-12 18:19:37

As long as he still gets his walks, very important, and lots of love and attention, he should be fine. Never leave them alone together where he could reach the baby, you never do truly know so be sensible, it will be fine smile

scaredbutexcited Mon 10-Dec-12 18:17:37

Thank you for the link Salukigirl

Salukigirl Mon 10-Dec-12 18:00:09

Contact a local behaviourist www.apbc.org.uk. who will be able to give you help based on your own dog as they are all different. Only use a fully qualified behaviourist.

scaredbutexcited Mon 10-Dec-12 17:28:00

Hi All. I am looking forward to my first baby in April and already have a fantastic, loyal, affectionate alsatian dog.

He is about 4 at the moment. He is great with other peoples children and we understand the home he came from (he is a rescue) had two young girls that he loved.

I think he will be ok but I want to do what I can to make things as easy as possible for everyone (him included).

He is treated very much as a dog (fed after us, doesn't go on furniture or upstairs, expected to sit/come etc) but he does get lots and lots of love and attention.

Any tips would be appreciated. smile

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