Hubby & I are planning to start a family soon but we have one concern, a big fluffy concern. Our dog. He is of a larger size about 35kg but we let him go where he wants. He lays on the couch, sleeps on the bed (mainly in winter) and in Summer he sleeps on the floor next to the bed. We don't have carpet, we have timber floors but we do have to vacuum the house every day because he leaves his fluff everywhere. He is very well trained but he has been our baby for three years now.
So I'm just wondering what experiences people have had where their dog is very close to them & does everything with them when baby is introduced to the house. Are there places we should stop him going or behaviours we can train now so he is ready for the arrival of a new family member?
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03-05-2014 06:44 #1
Dogs & Babies
03-05-2014 07:22 #2
Firstly, good luck on your ttc journey! Although our dog is a LOT smaller than yours, she was also our baby and loves to be close to us most of the time. Being a female dog she was very aware of me being pregnant. For example, she loves sleeping on or across my lap yet ceased doing so when I was pregnant. She also wouldn't jump across me suddenly. Their instincts are amazing! She also sleeps on our bed most nights and still does even if DD is havin an unsettled night and is in bed with us. Our dog is very cautious of her. We were lucky in that she has always been amazing with our DD and they are best friends. Our dog adjusted immediately to having a new member in the family. She wanted to lick DD when she first came home but other than that she kept a safe distance. She also doesnt touch any of DDs toys. Being a dog that doesn't shed hair we haven't had to deal with that side of it. The only thing we did to prepare our furbaby for bubs arrival home was send home one of the wraps I used for DD in hospital for our dog to get used to her scent. I am sure you could find other useful websites and tips on how to prepare your dog though.
DH + Me + DD (born 11/10/12) = our little family :-)
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03-05-2014 11:00 #3
We have 2 dogs - a lab x border collie, so he's a larger dog - and we also have a little cav x pom. Anyways, the small one which is a female has never been any worry with our DS as she like PP has said, was also very cautious of me while I was pregnant and very cautious and careful with DS. Maxx, the big one on the other hand we had him first and he knows he is our baby. And he was very territorial of being our baby, he is a very strong willed dog.
So what we did was we stopped him being allowed on the couch. Dogs need to know their place, and believe it or not - when we let them on our couches etc, they actuelly think they are the leader of the pack. With dogs it's all about being alpha and the leader. Us humans need to remind them of their place while also showing them love. I don't know what your dog is like, but i am a strong believer that especially if you plan to have kids around, the dog needs to know their place and not be on the human places - like our beds and couches. So that way they wont become territorial and competitive. Once your baby comes home your dog needs to now your baby is also their master. If the dog is allowed on the couch with your baby, then that is teaching the dog that.
I felt bad for our dogs at first changing things on them, but i reminded myself its so we can all function as a family.
I would recommend buying your dogs a indoor dog mat and make that their spot for now on. Dogs just wanna be part of the family, so he will adapt.
03-05-2014 11:02 #4
Also a tip we learned from puppy school... start poking your dog, pulling his ears etc. Not too rough but enough to make him familiar with it. That was the BEST thing that puppy school teacher taught us. because I can assure you your LO will do that eventually.... so you want your dog aware and used to it.
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Pusheen The Cat (03-05-2014)
03-05-2014 11:50 #5
We are similar, have a 28kg golden retriever fur baby we didn't really do anything to prepare for baby, just thought we would see what happened. So far they have been fine together, dog knows she isn't allowed to touch DD's toys. We have also told the dog off for licking DD so she doesn't do that either. DD now crawls on, pokes, pulls ears/fur on the dog and she is fine. I think it is important though that your dog is able to get away from baby if they want, we have a dog door so if DD is being too annoying the dog just takes herself outside.
oh, one other thing I wish I had done was the train the dog to pull on the lead less when walking! It is great if your dog will walk nicely next to the pram so you can all go for walks.
03-05-2014 12:33 #6
We have a 35kg dog who is our first baby! He is still a puppy (2 in September) and he was also allowed to roam most places in our house (bedrooms off limits). I had so much anxiety when I thought of bringing bub home and how he would react.
To prepare for bubs arrival we no longer allowed him on the lounge but put his bed near it so he was nice & close. It only took a day of redirecting his behavior (we did this while both hubby & I were home to make it easier).
We put a baby gate on the nursery door as we knew we would be in there a lot of the time so he can still see us & he normally sleeps right outside the gate.
After I had bub hubby brought home some clothes on diff days that bub had worn so he could smell. He was allowed to keep them while hubby came back to hospital.
On the day we brought bub home I came inside first as he hadn't seen me for a week and had loads of cuddles. Hubby brought bub in & sat on the couch and let him sniff her foot.
Hearing her cry for the first time was distressing for him but he got use to it and now runs over to her and sits (not something we have trained him to do).
He has always been really good on the lead and walks right next to her pram with no problems at all.
He is not allowed to lick anyone so no problems there either.
Bub has lost one toy to him and that's it. He doesn't rip them or anything which is surprising and he still regularly get it out of his toy basket for us to play with.
I was induced early for medical reasons and the day before & morning I was told he was the biggest sook. He wouldn't leave my side the whole day and would even try to squeeze in between me & the loo! And would cry if I closed the door on him.
Last edited by Wissa; 03-05-2014 at 12:36.
05-05-2014 09:55 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2014
Whilst some dogs may just accept a new baby without any fuss, not all dogs will so it is important to put some 'rules' in place so that your dog knows he isn't top dog. Eg. if your dog is allowed on the couch, and the baby gets put in a bouncer low to the ground as a newbie, then once your baby is more mobile, if the baby pulls itself up on to the lounge the dog may react with a bite, not because it's an aggressive animal, but because that's how pack animals work. Those who aren't equal to the top dog don't get to be up high with the top dog.
To avoid jealousy issues with the baby, I'd start implementing things now...get your dog a bed to lie on next to the lounge, that is lower than lounge height. The dog can still be with you, without being on the lounge. Same for your bed. When my kids were babies I liked to be able to give them a space that was clear of dog fur (and you won't always get the chance to vacuum every day in the early days). The house we were in when our kids were babies was designed so that the rooms all followed on to each other (loungeroom-dining room-kitchen-sun room, with bedrooms and bathroom coming off these rooms). It wasn't a modern open plan design, so we drew an imaginary line for the dog and she knew she wasn't allowed past it. So she would lie where the loungeroom met the dining room, but did not enter the loungeroom. This was also good for visitors who didn't like dogs. We also kept the dog out of the bedrooms.
When I was in hospital my husband would bring home clothes to wash and let the dog smell it so that she got to smell the baby before we bought her home.
I also agree with pulling on the dogs tails, ears, stealing its food etc. It's important to teach kids to not do these things but you want to know your dog isn't going to react negatively to the behaviour.
Taking dog and baby for a walk in the pram was always something I enjoyed and made exercising the dog so much easier, so definitely make sure your dog can walk well on lead.
I know it may seem too full on to think that a dog would do anything to a baby, especially a dog you know and love so much, but if you google you will see many cases of babies being killed by dogs, and not the stereotypical 'dangerous' breeds...I'm talking Golden Retrievers, Husky's, and even a Jack Russel Terrier killed an 8 day old baby. Dogs and babies can be the best of friends, mine certainly were, and my kids adore their dog now and he adores them, but preparing your dog for a new arrival isn't something that should just be a 'wait and see how it goes' thing, because you don't know how your dog will react (oh and whilst my dog was fine, my cat was not. He absolutely hated that there was a baby in the house and we had to re-home him to my SIL's house because he was not coping with the new addition at all).
06-05-2014 09:32 #8
Thank you for all your advice. I will have to start to implement a training plan, and have to convince my husband, as he seems positive we don't need to change our furballs behaviour. He loves his food so that will probably be a big one to train him on, not taking biscuits & things from the baby. The couch point is really good, about the dog not being on a higher level-one I know my husband won't like.
06-05-2014 20:02 #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2014
Perhaps get your husband to read the stories of babies being killed by the family dog. They're really devastating to read, but the vast majority of them were loved family pets who had never shown any signs of aggression previously.
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