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Hi all,

My husband and I are expecting a baby in July (our first) and we know Baloo is going to be jealous. We have a small kitten and while he's extremely gentle with her, if ever we 'dare' to pet her without him he comes running over for a cuddle. He's certainly loves to be the centre of attention!

We've been looking into what we need to be doing now to prepare him for the baby's arrival (let him listen to babies crying; show him that baby blankets etc aren't toys; discourage him from jumping in our laps without us saying he can; etc), but can anyone recommend something the internet might not have thought of that's essential for velcro dogs?

Thanks.
 

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Start now with some training to get him used to the lifestyle change - get a newborn sized doll and go through the motions of feeding, diaper changes and so on. Some of the things I did was have a cookie jar on the change table, so we did sits while I changed the diaper, then they got a cookie when I was done. If your dog is very sucky and can't handle you paying attention to the cat, then a baby is going to be much worse, so start now with drawing the line - he should learn he can back off and find something else to do besides get in the middle of that. Work on verbal commands so he's used to working without you having to go get him, teach him to go to his bed, sit and wait, that kind of thing, so he's not shocked when you expect him to go lie on his bed and stay out of the way.

With the equipment for baby, use it. Play the baby noises in one room with the monitor in another room, test out the swing so he's used to that, go for walks with the stroller, use the sling and walk around with the 'baby' attached. Start getting 'dad' used to the idea of coming home from work and taking dog and baby for a walk around the block so you have a break too. The more you can work the dog into the baby's routine and make it fun, the better!
 

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Start now with some training to get him used to the lifestyle change - get a newborn sized doll and go through the motions of feeding, diaper changes and so on. Some of the things I did was have a cookie jar on the change table, so we did sits while I changed the diaper, then they got a cookie when I was done. If your dog is very sucky and can't handle you paying attention to the cat, then a baby is going to be much worse, so start now with drawing the line - he should learn he can back off and find something else to do besides get in the middle of that. Work on verbal commands so he's used to working without you having to go get him, teach him to go to his bed, sit and wait, that kind of thing, so he's not shocked when you expect him to go lie on his bed and stay out of the way.

With the equipment for baby, use it. Play the baby noises in one room with the monitor in another room, test out the swing so he's used to that, go for walks with the stroller, use the sling and walk around with the 'baby' attached. Start getting 'dad' used to the idea of coming home from work and taking dog and baby for a walk around the block so you have a break too. The more you can work the dog into the baby's routine and make it fun, the better!
This is exactly what I would suggest. I've never been through this but I have a friend who had a baby last July and she did exactly what Bordermom suggested to get her 5 dogs (2 of which were extremely clingy) prepared. All but one of the dogs handled the new addition well and the one that's been having issues has become MUCH better over time. From what I've heard (through many people) is that most dogs will adjust just fine given enough time and plenty of patience from the owners.


I'm glad that I never (hopefully) have to worry about this (crosses fingers)
How helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Aaaw you're fine.

Although he is incredibly clingy (example: now I have my laptop on my lap, and he's found a way to also rest his head on my lap and just stare at me), he is pretty good when we tell him "go sit down somewhere" or "bed" when it gets too much. Any ideas on how to start showing him that he's not in trouble, he just needs to stay put for a bit? He always sulks and gives us the most terrible big blue puppy eyes, haha.

I'll definitely do the doll thing, and set up all the baby equipment when we get it. I read somewhere about making sure that dogs don't just get on the furniture whenever they like, which I don't think will be too hard. He already knows he's allowed on our couches but if he visits someone's house, etc, he isn't; and for a little while we had one certain couch he wasn't allowed on, and he never even tried. He usually plops his head on the couch and looks at us for approval before he jumps up anyway, but obviously even if he just jumped onto the couch with the baby there once that would not be alright. Anyone know whether it would be alright to train him that he's only allowed on the couch when there's no baby there, or should we just keep him off the couch at all times? In the past, we had success training him that he could only jump on the couch after we'd laid out a blanket. Not sure why we stopped that, actually, but do you think it's a good sign he would be careful?

I know that my baby's safety is the most important thing here, but if I can keep my furry baby happy too, I'd like to. Plus, those big blue puppy eyes even make my husband melt...
 

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Have treat jars at the ready to reward him for choosing to be on his bed and staying there. My dog slinks to her bed too as if I've banished her forever but she also knows that I toss her goodies at random for being there. Now it's kind of her default.

I say this not as a mother but as a dog owner, practice pushing a stroller with him now. It makes me sooooo nervous when I'm walking the dogs past somebody with an infant in a stroller and a dog straining at the leash.
 

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Yes to practicing with the stroller!! I adopted my dog after my daughter was 2, but since she still rides in the stroller on the way to the park, it has taken some getting used to. So that is a good thing to practice.
And I second the sounds of a crying baby.
 

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I don't have any preparation suggestions for you, but I can say this: Dogs are so much like siblings. Some of them adjust well, others get jealous, some don't think twice about it and some of them get very excited like the big sister/brother who's always wanted a baby in the house and they know exactly what to do and are protective and nurturing and cautious with baby. Here's hoping your velcro dog ends up being the latter.

A new baby is very different from a cat, so it's possible your dog won't be as competitive with baby as you're anticipating. Good on you for doing everything you can to anticipate problems and prepare for them though. My one suggestion I suppose is to be prepared to make sure baby's room is a no-go zone for the dog and have that baby gate on the ready so you can put baby on one side and dog on the other for floor time so baby doesn't get stepped on.
 

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The only thing i can say is let him still be part of the family when the baby arrives. Often dogs are the family until a human baby comes and dog ismore pushed aside. The dog then retaliates. So letting him sniff/see the baby is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have another question, not specifically about preparing Baloo for the baby, but since it's baby-related I thought I'd post it here (instead of making another thread).

How true is it that animals can detect pregnancy? Lately Baloo's been acting really weird. He's getting quite disobedient and alternates between being extra-needy and pulling away when we pet him. He's forgetting basic aspects of his training, like not begging when we have food. He's started to jump up on people a lot and has all but stopped listening to me altogether, although he still listens to my husband. Is it possible he knows something is different, and that's why he's acting up? (He just turned 1 a few days ago, I don't know whether that also has something to do with it)
 
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