How long did it take your dog to get used to a new baby?

(13 Posts)
thinkingpositivethoughts Fri 27-Sep-13 14:11:42

just that really

the baby is 3 months old and the dog (a 3yo lakeland terrier) goes mad, barking, jumping and whining every time she sees us, esp DH, hold the baby.

chrissiegsd Fri 27-Sep-13 15:29:47

I've had dogs when all three of my children were babies - rescues (came to us when they were adults) collie/retrievers with my first 2 & a German Shepherd with my last one - none have ever behaved like you're describing.

What do you or your husband do when the dog starts barking & jumping up?

If she were mine - every time she did this I'd put her in a sit/stay. Is her obedience good? The other alternative is before you/hubby pick up your baby, send the dog to her bed & ask her to stay, then a firm correction if she even attempts to move/bark until you give her the release command. You need to make her understand that this behaviour isn't allowed.

At the same time, she needs to see that having a baby around is a good - so lots of walks with the pram, attention only paid to the dog when baby is on your knee, etc.

Lilcamper Fri 27-Sep-13 15:51:12

No dog ever needs to be corrected, firmly or otherwise.

Lilcamper Fri 27-Sep-13 15:52:43

Correcting this dog is very likely to make her feelings towards the baby, worse, not better.

Tiredemma Fri 27-Sep-13 15:55:13

Our cocker spaniel acted all odd for about two days- we have really tried to include her in everything (my MIL even did 'mock winding' on her yesterday when I was winding the baby!!)

we really have tried not make her feel left out - hard sometimes but if im with the baby then DP will fuss the dog.

thinkingpositivethoughts Fri 27-Sep-13 17:45:38

we generally say no and give a tug to the collar. Is that right?

re obedience; she suffers from 'selected deafness' for recall which is typical of the breed I understand, but she will sit and wait for food etc.

she is generally very territorial and will bark quite ferociously when she hears neighbours through the fence etc. or at people at the door which I'd quite like to be able to reduce as its quite intimidating and always wakes/startles the baby (once people are in the house she is usually okay).

Any advice welcome!

Lilcamper Fri 27-Sep-13 18:05:28

Saying no and tugging her collar may make her associate baby being around means bad things happen.

You need to change her mindset into 'yay, baby' by rewarding her for being calm when the baby is around.

chrissiegsd Fri 27-Sep-13 22:30:30

Ok, well I think Lilcamper & I have different viewpoints on this.

As far as I'm concerned, ensuring your dog is able to carry out a reliable Sit/Stay is extremely important. There are so many situations where it's useful & you just never know, it could even save the dogs life if it were in a situation where moving wouldn't be a good idea.

"Leave" is another very important thing to teach your dog, again it could save its life.

So, yes, in my opinion, if the dog isn't "on board" with staying or leaving when its told, it would be firmly corrected. One firm correction is way more beneficial than a 100 ineffective corrections as far as I'm concerned. But this is your dog, your baby, your hubby & it's up to you decide which method suits all of you.

You would be correcting the dog for not doing as you ask - sit/staying - so I don't see how she would relate this to the baby. I'm assuming that the dog understands sit/stay - if she doesn't, you'll have to teach her from scratch, without the baby, as you'll need to focus your full attention on the dog. Call her to her bed(I say "Bed" when I do this, so later on I simply say "Bed" & they know to go there), tell her sit/down(whichever you want), then Stay (I usually reinforce this with a hand signal), then treat & release (I use ok). Gradually increase the time that she stays on the bed. Lots of short sessions with positive reinforcements ending on a good note is much better than one long session that ends badly. It's important that you watch her very closely, & as soon as she attempts to break the "Stay", you correct her with a very firm "no" & repeat "Stay".

Once she's able to carry out a good sit/stay (or if she is already), then you can start doing it with your baby around. To start with you're probably going to need another person to help you. Depending on how excited she gets, it might be a good idea to put a soft lead on her. So you send her to bed with a "stay", have your hubby standing near ready to correct her the very second she starts to move - then pick up your baby. It's important that your hubby corrects her before she breaks her stay, with a quick pull on the lead, saying no & stay quite sharply. If she stays & is quiet, she's given a high value treat (bits of chicken/hot dog/cheese)

I would practice this with your hubby next to the dog & you holding the baby to start with, if she gets more upset when he's holding the baby as that'll be easier. Then swop positions letting hubby hold the baby once she understands what you want from her. When you're by yourself during the day, providing she's a lead on, you can simply put your foot on the lead telling her "no" if she starts to break the "stay". Also by using the lead to correct her, she's less likely to become hand shy, which can happen if you're constantly grabbing her by her collar - it's important that she associates your hands as something that delivers good things - food/cuddles/toys - not bad things.

I wonder if you're only paying attention to the dog when the baby is asleep? This needs to change - good things like feeding time/walks/playing etc happen when the baby is around - when baby isn't around try to ignore the dog as much as possible.

You could try teaching her "Quiet" - so when she starts barking, tell her "Quiet" - if you do this quite sharply to start with, it'll should startle her into shutting up(lol), then immediately give her a treat - again you'll have to start slowly & build up the time.

Hope it's all not too garbled for you!

Lilcamper Fri 27-Sep-13 22:46:05

I absolutely disagree. A dog needs to be set up to succeed, not corrected for failure.

correcting a dog is VERY outdated and goes against everything science has told us about the way a dog learns.

Correcting this dog for reacting to the baby WILL make her associate the baby with bad things happening. She needs to be taught that the baby is an indicator of good things using cc/ds.
Suggesting punishment is dangerous and downright irresponsible!

mrslaughan Sat 28-Sep-13 09:12:37

I personally think this is a problem - I would be worried because it is 3 months and 2/ because she/he is a terrier, so therefore feisty (sorry for the gross generalisation).
Anyway I think rather than take advice of a forum, from people who can't see the dogs reaction (is it that she is excited?) I would get a qualified behaviourist in, to observe and advise. You don't want to make things worse, by reacting in the wrong way, to the wrong things.

I would want to get thins sorted before your child starts moving.

poachedeggs Sat 28-Sep-13 09:20:20

Dogs learn by association so I too would caution you strongly against any form of "correction". These Barbara Woodhouse ideas are outdated and being in the past - we fortunately have a much better understanding of dog learning and behaviour now, and any dog professional worth their salt will agree that corrections in these situations tend to escalate the problem.

While I could give you a few ideas to get you started, I think you'd benefit from the support and individual advice of a qualified behaviourist. At the moment your dog is highly aroused in the presence of the baby. You need her to be relaxed, for safety and for the dog's welfare.

poachedeggs Sat 28-Sep-13 09:21:11

belong in the past

Does she have any interaction with the baby? My
Goldie is very attention seeking (if DH and I hugged he'd jump up to join in) so we were a bit worried before we had DD. We made sure that we let him have a sniff (while one of us was holding DD the other holding DDog) and tried not to change his routine too much.

7 weeks later he's very relaxed around the baby. If he's outside and she starts crying he comes to see what the matter is. If she's on my lap he tries to lick her feet. If she's in her swing chair he lies beside it. And he loves to sniff her bum when she has a dirty nappy!

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