I am currently 17 weeks pregnant with our first baby and today my mum expressed some concern about how our dogs will respond to a newborn. I feel her concerns are legitimate as one dog is a staffy cross pitbull, and the other is a rescue dog who has shown dog aggression in the past, particularly to small dogs. They are both excellent with small children but have had very little exposure to tiny babies.
I have been researching ways to prepare the pups for bubs arrival, including buying a baby doll and teaching them to behave calmly around it, playing them audio clips of baby crying and noises, enforcing boundaries and introducing bub slowly using a blanket with his/her smell etc. They are usually outside dogs but come in to the lounge room with us when we are relaxing, which I think might have to stop until bub is safely in his/her room with the door closed.
I am seeking other mum's experiences of helping their dogs (especially big dogs) adjust to a newborn, and tips to prepare for this adequately. I understand the risk but I don't think it is high enough to warrant getting rid of my dogs at this stage.
Thanks in advance x
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12-02-2015 17:27 #1
Big dogs and a newborn
12-02-2015 17:36 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Brisbane North
I'd be more worried about small children rather than babies to be honest. dogs get aggressive when toddlers/small children touch their faces or hit them as opposed to babies who lie there doing nothing much..
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12-02-2015 17:38 #3
So it would be more about being extra vigilent when bub starts to become more mobile?
12-02-2015 17:38 #4
Have 2 amstaffs and hear the same thing daily. But agree id be more concerned with a small child then a baby. Supervision and understanding dog body language is key. Id also avoid food exposure around the dogs AND move their feed bowls when toddler is around
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12-02-2015 17:40 #5
However the indoors while relaxing i dont see why it should stop tbh. Your toddler needs to learn how to behave around dogs and vica versa. They arent going to learn if you segregate them
12-02-2015 17:46 #6
Big dogs and a newborn
We have 2 german shepherds. DS is now nearly 1, they love him. They know to go to their bed when they come inside so they don't interact with him, he can be pushy and does pull tails and ears and well faces lol( trying to stop him with that) but from pups we pulled their ears and tails gently and taught them to ignore it. As a newborn I don't think you'll have any problems, when your bub gets to be a toddler Id make sure the dogs know where they need to be laying (have beds for them u bring out when they come in) or have an area that your baby can't go where they can to have a break inside. I think as long as they are trained enough to know where their bed is and know a command for it (we use 'bed' simple lol) and u do your best to keep your Bub away from them then there shouldn't be a problem.
I was told I should get rid of my cats and my dogs when we found out we were having DS but that was just not gonna happen.
Just to add - as an obvious point, no matter how much u trust your dogs (I trust my dogs to the end of the earth) never leave them alone with bub. Just for safety. Big dogs can hurt without meaning to. 😊
Last edited by Hasselhoff; 12-02-2015 at 17:51.
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12-02-2015 19:24 #7Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2014
We also have 2 bigger dogs & a baby on the way so I'm very interested in hearing everyone's experiences.
12-02-2015 20:07 #8
We have two staffy's and were equally concerned before dd came to arrive.
When she was a newborn they spent a lot of time sniffing her toes and curiously exploring this weird looking hairless puppy that whinges a lot. : )
One of the dogs did jump up on the side of her bassinet once to get a closer look. But as an infant they didn't really care too much. Just lots of sniffing.
We tried to take them for lots of walks and gave them lots of cuddles so they didn't feel out of place or rejected. Mostly our usual routine with them didn't change.
Once dd became more mobile the dogs actually just took themselves outside a lot to get away from her. It took them a while to feel at ease with her being able to somewhat chase after them. I would put the dogs outside more or leave dd in the cot of I needed to shower etc and couldn't be watching to make sure she didn't harass them.
They slowly became more confident in walking away if she was getting in their space too much. She also found it less and less exciting to be in their face.
Dd did bite one of the dogs paws once. It yelped and scared her, but thankfully didn't react or bite her back. She got a fright and hasn't tried it since.
She does sit on the edge of the dogs day bed sometimes just to hang out with her buddies. They are playful and curious but haven't shown any aggression. The only time we have dramas and tears is when the three of them are fighting to get to the front door when daddy gets home from work. Sometimes she gets knocked over from an over excited dog.
We try and keep a close eye on them when they are close to each other and never leave dd alone with them. But also allow healthy interaction and play with the dogs, she loves throwing the ball for them outside etc. So they have learnt to be friends and respect each others space for the most part.
12-02-2015 20:24 #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
We have a Kelpie x cattle dog. He is a medium sized dog (about 25kg).
When dd was born I sent one of her dirty singlets home with dh so the dog could sniff it to get him a little prepared. When we first brought her home we held her above him (you should do this to show the baby is higher in the family hierarchy, for dogs there is always hierarchy in their pack). Anyway we have him lots of love and he used to lay next to her bassinet lots and in the basonet she was always higher then him. We would just say a quick (ah ah) when he got a little too close.
She's now 22 mths and now is really the issue. She chases him and is rough!! He is very patient with her though but I need to keep and eye on her. (She threw her toy pram at him the other day!!)
He loves her though and licks her face at every chance. Apparently with dogs licking another dogs faces is to show they accept the other dog is more dominant so I think he does accept he's now lower in the food chain but he is happy!
We give him extra attention when she goes to bed too, that's the only time we let him in the house now.
I think try to keep them away unless you can really supervise. Never ever leave them alone together and you will be ok.
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12-02-2015 20:44 #10
We have a 30kg bulldog and a one year old.
We didn't do much before Bub came home apart from no longer let him on the lounge even for a quick cuddle. He was already trained to sit on his bed, stay etc. He also already knew not to jump on beds even if the door is open.
Once I had bub DH brought home a singlet with her scent on it and left it with him. Then the next day another.
I was in hospital for a week and I went inside first to have a cuddle as he was excited to see me. Then DH came inside with Bub and we let him sniff her feet.
The first time she cried he ran away upstairs and hid. But he got use to it pretty quickly.
He sits under her highchair waiting for snacks, they lay down together at her bottle time and generally play together during the day.
He has knocked her over once from being excited but apart from that he is so gentle with her.
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