New baby, newish puppy...help!
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Thread: New baby, newish puppy...help!

  1. #1
    Member Dogdays's Avatar
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    New baby, newish puppy...help!

    Our puppy Sir is 6 months now, and just a few months ago I realized I was pregnant. I was shocked because we were definitely planning on waiting to have kids until Sir was older and calmer, more trained, etc. Well, it didn't happen as we planned, but both puppy and baby are staying, no questions asked. The baby is due in August, so I have some time, but any and all advice on how to make this transition easier would be helpful. I've heard horror stories of 'only child' dogs getting jealous and completely changing once a new baby arrives.

    To top it all off, we are moving in June. Not far, but it will still be something fairly new and possibly stressful for the dog, and then two months later the baby is scheduled to come.

    We've been trying to master 'off' right now, since I think that will be important, as well as 'leave it', but any other tips on training him for a new baby or helping him adjust to these changes would be appreciated. He is basically the love of our lives right now and we have so much time and attention to give him now, but I know things will change a bit this summer as we get busier.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member HollowHeaven's Avatar
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    I would step it up on training him, and reaffirm the commands he already knows.
    As far as moving goes, take him to the new place often, I would say at least once a day every day that you work towards moving, and extend the period each day. If you can spend the night in the new place, I would. Try to make the new place a fun place, with treats and toys, and once you're there, try to keep his routine as normal as possible.
    then when the baby comes, supervision is key.
    Mother and Maid to Nine Little Lovelys
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  4. #3
    Nil
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    I've heard of lots of ideas I liked in the past. And depending on your dog and his personality you may just want to pick what you want.

    Buy baby toys (even at thrift stores) just to get him used to them. A lot of them will move, have lights going, make a bunch of noise, pop up, walk, etc. All of that can be stimulating for a dog and either illicit a prey response or fear response. You can incorporate your leave it with those kinds of toys. I know management is a big key there too, but honestly, my sister has 3 kids and keeping the kids stuff away from a dog is a lot easier said than done.

    I know people that buy CDs that have baby noises on them. By getting him to use to the sounds a baby makes could help him adjust to the crying, whining, laughing, etc. Just play the CD, maybe on low first, and see what he does. Give him treats! Increase the loudness until baby noises are nothing special anymore.

    Take him to a child's park and bring lots of treats. See if you can ask parents to let them pet your dog (politely) or give him treats to associate kids = good things. Just feed him treats while he watches kids play to get used to their running/screaming, etc. I know the baby would be awhile away from running and screaming, but I think it still helps.

    Buy a kid's baby doll, one that makes noise is good too, and carry it around with you every once in awhile just to get him used to it. When you buy a stroller take him and the stroller out together to get him used to walking nicely with the stroller. He will be better trained for when you add the baby. (Assuming he will be walking with the stroller and baby)

    Work on leave it! Especially with food and diapers.

    Also, work on a place command so you have somewhere to send him if he is in the way while you are carrying the baby.

    I would work on a "go settle" command too. Maybe just combine "go settle" and "place" as one command. If the baby is on the floor playing/doing baby stuff you can tell him to leave him/her alone and "go lay down" somewhere else.

    Let him sniff and inspect the new baby stuff too. Sounds weird, but I think dogs are better when we let them see and explore new and potentially scary things.

    Decide on rules now. Do you want the dog to be allowed in the baby's room? If not, maybe work on some barrier training now. So that when the baby comes he has a good history of "I'm not allowed in that room".


    I forgot to add: CONGRATULATIONS!!
    Last edited by Nil; 02-22-2013 at 05:02 PM.

    7 year old- Siberian Husky Mix

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    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    We're kinda in the same boat and will be reading this! We have two dogs that dont get along, expecting our unexpected baby in April, and moving this week. Oh and Mater is getting neutered next week to add to his stress.

    The dogs get new rules with the house. No going in baby room and have to be invited up unto the furniture. They've been on a refresher course with respecting the baby gate and not rushing through - a big deal with them not getting along.

    Great idea about the toys.

    And congrats!

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
    The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
    -Ralph W. Sockman


  6. #5
    Senior Member sclevenger's Avatar
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    I've been where you are hun. My pup was 6 months old when I found out I was pregnant. He was a high energy nut case. lol. The absolute love of my life, I thought it would be literally years before I had my first baby. Well the first thing we done was work on the settle command, he was already a pro at a leave it because he was always into everything, we literally called him " Leave-It Pirate" So what we needed was him to know when to settle, so we really worked on that, by playing and then suddenly stopping and not resuming the game until he settled, we done this because with a baby that is in the floor crawling, walking, rolling we didn't wanted him to learn how to be settled around her so he wouldn't accidentally hurt her.

    the second and most important thing we taught him, which was taught to us by a horse trainer. We would pull his fur, pinch him ect, and every time he turned towards the pinch, pull we gave him a really awesome treat. Within a few weeks any pinch, poke, pull would make him the happiest dog in the world. We done this because even the most diligent mother can turn her head a second and accidents can happen, before you take a breath your child can be somewhere else...and it may be pestering the dog. So we wanted to instil tolerance, I didn't expect Pirate to take a beating and be pestered full time by my child, and I always planned on keeping them supervised, but I wanted to feel at least a little safe in knowing that if my child for a split second pulled, or poked she would be greeted with a happy dog and not a bite. AND...when my daughter was born I couldn't have asked for a more gentle and devoted dog to our daughter, when she started rolling over and trying to pull up he was right there through every accidental pinch poke or pull.

    I know some may not agree with the method but it really worked for us, because before that if you poked him or pulled or whatever he would turn around with teeth, not aggressive but normal, like anyone would do if someone suddenly poked you or grabbed your hair, and in the end he got excited about the whole ordeal. lol.

    Good luck, and the good thing is, all the extra training you put in now because of the baby, you probably wouldn't have done otherwise so you will end up with a really awesome dog!!

    Congrats!!!

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    Member Dogdays's Avatar
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    Thanks for the advice! I have also heard that to prep your dog for a new baby, you should gradually stop paying as much attention to your dog and slowly spend less time with him, so that he isn't as shocked when the baby comes and a lot of your attention goes from him to the baby. I really, really want to keep his routine the same though, and make sure he's getting his walks and things like that after baby, but does that seem like a good idea, to slowly start ignoring him a little more?

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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    Hi. I know this thread is week+ old already, but we're going through the same thing. We have a 4 month old puppy and a baby due in 4 months (in our case, we knew we were pregnant first and did the crazy thing of a getting a dog because I was raised with a dog and see my sister raising her baby with a dog and believe it can be a positive experience, even if nuts at times!)

    Some tips I've picked up from my reading as well as from my sister (her baby and 1.5 year old dog are GREAT together)...
    1. after the baby comes home, still plan on spending some "play" time just with the puppy. Yup, i know its hard...but in a puppy's mind, from what i read, they don't understand that this new "thing" takes priority over them and they still need their own play time too.
    2. try to get them around children as much as possible so they are use to crying, screaming, etc. Go to playgrounds, etc.
    3. pull their ears and tails so they get use to it and not react. of course, once a baby is old enough, will be our key as responsible parents to teach them not to, but regardless teach the pup its ok just in case.
    4. don't plan on leaving the baby alone with the dog and always supervising them together
    5. hire a dog trainer for a private in home lesson (maybe pricey, but so worth it). My sister did this because of jumpiness of her dog and she was worried about holding the baby and the dog jumping, etc. I think the trainer came before the baby was born and another session or two after the baby and said it was once of the best things she did. we plan to do the same in another couple months
    6. go to obedience class. I was reading if one will be home more often with the baby and dog, that is the person who should be the key trainer during the class
    7. Find a doggie daycare you and your dog like and take him frequently before the baby. This way, if you need a break from the dog's energy to focus on the baby, you have a fun place for your dog to go to to burn of his energy ...but isn't something new he will see as "caused by" the baby coming home.
    8. any rules you want, start teaching now (ie. don't going in the baby's room, etc)

    Good luck!

  9. #8
    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    can add is your working relationship, practice your ob skills and have you pup be your helper in all your daily activities around the house.
    examples
    1) waiting at doors while you go into a room to get things done
    2) going to their lay down spot while your doing things back and forth
    Think of things that will be most helpful when you have a baby in your arms.. the above two would be perfect not having to have the pup underfoot while you have the baby and might trip over them. or when the baby starts to crawl around and there is a spot for the pup to stay again out of the way and not need to act upon the baby on the floor moving around.

    Defining a working relationship as your learning to apply OB skills to accomplish task can be molded and changed to any task in the future as you find you need the dog to help you.

  10. #9
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    Re: New baby, newish puppy...help!

    Yeah so many folks give up their dogs when then find or they are pregnant ... It really is sad because like you guys who are committed to their dogs, the dog could with a little research, guidance & consistency they could have a dog who would be like a "service" dog that could help you & make it easier.

    But most people don't even give their dogs a chance

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