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I just read the sticky about kids and dogs and found it interesting.
Does anyone have more tips for preparing dogs to live with a human baby? We have two dogs (Tessa - 2 year old husky x golden, Maggie, 3 year old Pyrenees x golden) and we are expecting a baby in September. Is there anything I can do to prepare the dogs?

So far my plan is to keep working on obedience with both of them (obviously). With Tessa, I want to focus on calm greetings and impulse control. She is a very friendly dog, but can get excited easily. She has in the past knocked small children over with her enthusiastic greetings. :doh: I also want to get her used to not licking people (she does like to eat poop... so that's kind of gross)

With Maggie, I mostly want to build her confidence. She is easily scared (mostly by loud noises and tall people) but getting better. She is very calm with children and seems to have infinite patience (though obviously I do not want to push her on that). She does not seem to be scared of kids at all (probably because they do not tower over her) She does sometimes get hyper when outside playing. I will have to teach her to calm down when near people.

Tessa is partially crate trained, but mostly at night. She hates being confined during the day.
Maggie does not like to be confined to the crate, and we never felt the need to (she never chews anything or make any problems whatsoever). Still, I am trying to establish with her that her crate (which is always left open) is a safe place. Same with the doggy bed. My goal will be to teach the child to always, always leave the dogs alone when they are on their bed or in the crate.

I am also planning to use a baby carrier rather than always relying on a stroller. Among other advantages, it will make it easier to walk the dogs and play with them outside.

Aside from that, I don't plan on ever leaving the baby unsupervised where the dogs can get to it. The dogs are not allowed upstairs (where the nursery will be) and we'll have a baby gate as an extra precaution.

Any other ideas?
 

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When my one Niece was pregnant ... my dogs knew it before any of us did. They kept sniffing her belly and wanting to be close and liked to lay on it. When my great nephew was born .... my dogs Leeo and Blu Boy were immediately protective of the baby as if they had known the baby forever. I would suggest introducing the dogs to the baby before he/she is born. :) And Congratulations! :)
 

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Expose them to as many 'new' scents as possible during pregnancy (as Abbylynn said), and bring home a baby blanket from the hospital for them to smell before the baby comes home.

Expect them to vacuum the baby thoroughly for the first few days. When the baby is on the floor, they may try to nudge him (yes, I do know the future :) ), supervise them to be gentle. In contrast, supervise the child, because the first thing he will do is hit the dog in the nose. ... Usually not a problem for the child, but you do want to protect the dog.

Goldens are usually OK with kids, but make sure that they are OK sharing their food with a crawling infant, and that they can tolerate being hugged and kissed (My dog would simply get up and leave when 'pestered.' When he was in a particularly bad mood, he'd give a vicious slobbering - it really looked intentional ;-) - and then leave.) I recommend that you start getting in their faces now, so that they get used to it.

Desensitize them to noises, to things being dropped and clanged, to crying, and to (happy) yelling. If you go slowly with pillows, in a few months, they can get used to pots dropping. Congrats!!!
 

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When my one Niece was pregnant ... my dogs knew it before any of us did. They kept sniffing her belly and wanting to be close and liked to lay on it. When my great nephew was born .... my dogs Leeo and Blu Boy were immediately protective of the baby as if they had known the baby forever. I would suggest introducing the dogs to the baby before he/she is born. :) And Congratulations! :)
I wish my pets had reacted to the pregnancy, but so far nothing. Maybe when the baby starts moving more they might sense it.

Expose them to as many 'new' scents as possible during pregnancy (as Abbylynn said), and bring home a baby blanket from the hospital for them to smell before the baby comes home.

Expect them to vacuum the baby thoroughly for the first few days. When the baby is on the floor, they may try to nudge him (yes, I do know the future :) ), supervise them to be gentle. In contrast, supervise the child, because the first thing he will do is hit the dog in the nose. ... Usually not a problem for the child, but you do want to protect the dog.

Goldens are usually OK with kids, but make sure that they are OK sharing their food with a crawling infant, and that they can tolerate being hugged and kissed (My dog would simply get up and leave when 'pestered.' When he was in a particularly bad mood, he'd give a vicious slobbering - it really looked intentional ;-) - and then leave.) I recommend that you start getting in their faces now, so that they get used to it.

Desensitize them to noises, to things being dropped and clanged, to crying, and to (happy) yelling. If you go slowly with pillows, in a few months, they can get used to pots dropping. Congrats!!!
Thanks!
I'm not sure it will be possible to bring baby things before coming home with the baby (unless there is a problem, we'll be home 12-24 hours after the birth). But we'll let them smell the baby as soon as we get home. I want to be very careful about the dogs interacting with the baby in the first few days, since newborn skulls are so fragile, but I will supervise closely.

It's a good point about the food. I forgot about that. Maggie gets a bit nervous when the cats get close to her bowl, so I'll get her used to it more. Tessa eats in her crate, and the food is gone from her bowl within 2-3 minutes, so that makes it easier to manage. Both dogs already tolerate kisses and hugs pretty well. I will keep bugging them regularly to make sure they continue to tolerate it. I've also been tugging their ears (gently) and manipulating them more.
Maggie is getting pretty good with noises, but I'll try to find recordings of baby crying and yelling and get her used to that.
 
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