baby and dog

Kendall - posted on 04/20/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

87

12

3

Okay,did any of you have a dog before the birth of your child. And if so how has the do reacted to the child.
The reason I am asking is because my son has begun to stand and walk a little when holding on to thinks. I am just wondering what behaviors should i be aware of with my dog that indicate I should give her away.

added note my son is never left alone with the dog

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

April - posted on 04/28/2010

10

2

1

We have three dogs and two cats... quite a houseful with the 10 month old. The dogs are: 4 years old (complete mutt, size of a beagle), 3 years old (shitzu), and 1 year old (jack russle/fox terrier). When I was pregnant, the jack russell would sleep on my tummy, and my daughter Kayla would just kick away. They've continued this relationship now that she is out, him definately being "her" dog. I've taught my dogs that if they don't want attention from Kayla, they have the right to walk away, but that is it. We're working on Kayla (pretty much continuously) on how to pet, not pull the fur and not to poke their eyes. Everything goes really well. I learned early on,with the oldest being a rescue dog, not to push his boundaries, so now they all know that if Kayla is being too much for them, they can go to bed. Again, echoing everyone else here, all dogs are wonderful if brought up correctly. And having control of both the pets and your child is key in this relationship... you are the parent!

Rachel - posted on 04/24/2010

10

11

0

Oh my. Don't give your dog away. I have always had dogs and cats. I have more than one child. The dogs and cats LOVE my babies. My 10 month old is currently pulling on my kitty and screetching in her face. It's all in love though, and the cat does not seem to mind. A couple of things to keep in mind: Keep food and water bowls out of babies reach even when standing and pay attention to any wary or avoidance behaviours from the animal. If the animal seems stressed, have some baby free time for him to chill out. Otherwise, just keep an eye out. A baby should never be left alone with an animal though, even a tried and true trusted, beloved pet. Just in case. Baby's are rough.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

36 Comments

View replies by

Christina - posted on 05/04/2010

22

23

1

My dogs love my son they play with him, my son will throw the ball for them and they get it and bring it back and now that he is walking he takes the ball and walks away with it its like a game for all of them. Never once have they tried to bite or even nip at him :)

Kathleen - posted on 05/04/2010

6

9

0

We have a five-year old Pit Bull who is the sweetest pet I've ever owned. She loves my 11-month-old son and my son loves her. We also have four cats.
What we have done is to teach our dog and baby how to behave around each other. We have taught our dog to be calm and gentle around our baby (which she seemed to know instinctively anyway). And we are teaching our baby how to be gentle when petting our dog and cats.
Children have a natural affinity for animals and can have a wonderful relationship with them as long as you teach them how.

Renee - posted on 05/03/2010

2

9

0

I have two dogs. I have a Jack Russell and a Beagle. The beagle use to never pay attention to her, but my jack russell was always interested in her. Our first pictures home is with her sniffing the baby.

I have to watch her since they use to be able to jump on the couch to get away but now she pulls herself up to them. The jack russell is too fast for her and usually gets away. Our beagle lays there and lets her pet him, and hug him. He's been getting lots of treats for being good to her so I am sure tht is why he stays now. And before a bath I assist her in walking towards them with just a diaper and she thinks it is so funny, and the dogs bring her a toy to throw.

They keep bringing balls to her now and when we throw a toy she watches and when they bring it back she thinks it's hysterical. Watching them with her makes me want to tell people to always have a dog with children. But she is never alone with them since she can be really rough.

Amanda - posted on 05/03/2010

87

10

0

we have a 2 yr old boxer, we had had her for just about a year when our daughter was born last june. Out dog is a female boxer, and although she is very friendly and loves anybody whom will give her love and attention she can sometimes under estimate her power and strength, she also loves to use her paws to "box", literally that is what it looks like. She doesnt intend to hurt anyone, but sometimes will catch ya with her claws and it can hurt. So naturally I was worried about having a brand new baby around her, plus we spoiled her rotten before and thought she may be jealous. But she wasn't at all, she instantly took to our daughter and acted motherly towards her, and is now her bestfriend and is protective of her, not so much that she wont let anyone near her, but she is always aware of where our daughter is and whom she is with, which is a good thing. Our daughter has also been walking along furniture since she was about 7mths(11mths now) and our dog has knocked her over a few times, never hurt her though, just wasn't watching where she was walking. Other than that she is perfectly fine with her, our daughter has even grabbed onto our dog a few times and tried walking along side her, it's pretty cute, but doesn't always work haha. unless your dog is acting aggressive or extremely jealous towards your son, i'd say you have nothing to worry about.

Chantelle - posted on 05/02/2010

21

18

0

We have a 4-y/o female yellow lab cross and we got her a couple years before our baby was born. Our dog Ruby is very sweet and gentle with our 10-m/o daughter. She lets her climb over her, tug on her fur, etc. If Ruby starts to get annoyed by this 'attention', she just moves to another area of the house. But I think Ruby really loves her. If she is ever stuck on the other side of the baby gate, she whines until we let her into the side where we are : ) And of course my daughter loves Ruby too - she just giggles like crazy when playing with her!

Leticia - posted on 05/01/2010

6

0

0

yes ..i have a dog ..but he is good with my baby ..he doesnt even look at her..insted she runs atras de el..jijijijiji she loves the dog..

Erica - posted on 04/29/2010

6

10

0

umm. I would like to disagree. I am sorry if you have had a bad experience with dogs but a pet is for a life time.
Need dogtraining advice go to my website www.anewleashstl.com

[deleted account]

I have 2 pitbulls and 1 lab, my pits are the playful, nurturing mother hen type to my almost 11 month baby girl. My lab is becoming more interested in her the older she gets. I have left my dogs and my baby alone in the same room while I peeked around the corner, they all seem to get along great!! I will not leave them completely alone until the day my girl knows how to treat animals with respect. I never thought of having to find any of them a new home.

Kelly - posted on 04/28/2010

4

0

0

I have a mini daschund. Parker loves getting kisses in the face which I don't like AT ALL, but I'm trying to work on that. Parker loves Star though. Star get aggressive while she's eating like most dogs, but since Parker was born I moved her food into another room anyway - small pieces and all.

Liza - posted on 04/28/2010

1

13

0

We have 2 labs a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Our son crawls all over them and they are fine with him. Just listen for growling, or stiffening up when your son comes near the dog you'll be able the tell if there is a problem, or any other warning signs from your dog . Most likely your dog will welcome your baby into the the family just fine if not forced. Our dogs leave the room when they don't want to play with our son.

Marlene - posted on 04/27/2010

3

8

0

dog are great for kids. they learn respect both ways. The dog should never be trapped and always allowed to get away from the child. my dog thinks she is my daughters second mother. She never allows a dog she doesn't know around them. The kids or their friends can hit her, pull her or do whatever they want and she just takes it. NEVER GET RID OF YOUR DOG unless it is breed to fight and mame. And teach you children to respect dogs not fear them.

Christina - posted on 04/27/2010

16

2

2

i have had 2 dogs since before my children were born. i always try to keep the kids and the dogs are a safe distance, but my son plays with his doggies all the time. he is not afraid of any animals and i have never been given any reason to worry about them together. i always get me son to give the dogs their treats and food and water so the dog respacts him too. he is 2 now and loves me son, and is very protective of him. now that my daughter is almost walking i have been introducing the dogs to her. she really enjoys feeding the dogs their treats, and loves to cuddle with my larger dog. (they are allowed to do more with the bigger dog because i know they will not hurt her). as long as the dog is not showing any aggression towards the child you should be fine, but i would deffinately start accustoming your dog to your son being the master too...

[deleted account]

Many behavioural problems in dogs come from their owners not recognizing the signs of stress or inadvertently elevating their dogs to positions of power in the pack hierachy by how they interact with their dog on a daily basis. Aggression is often the final manifestation either of the dog's fear/stress or the baby/child not understanding the dog who has been elevated to a higher position giving signals for discipline and so not responding appropriately. Both can be avoided with the correct approach by the owners. If you think that your dog thinks he is boss (been elevated to a higher position), I recommend you seek advice from a veterinary bahaviourist for correction of how you interact with your dog to ensure that he is in the correct position in the hierachy of your family. However, this doesn't sound like the case from your post, and I am assuming that your dog hasn't shown any signs of aggresion or dominance at this point. So, the other problem that can start coming out when your baby is mobile is that of aggression brought on by stress ("fear aggression").



The signs to watch out for that your dog is feeling stressed (and therefore potentially likely to give an aggressive response to your baby) is licking of lips, ears back, tail down, mouth pulled into a "smile" and eyes closed (not all necessarily at the same time, but usually are). These signs can be subtle, and are often missed by owners, who often only see the bared teeth/hackles raised/growling/nipping - when it is too late in the sense that the dog has already felt the need to respond aggressively to get out of a situation that it is feeling uncomfortable ("fear aggression"). This presupposes that your dog was not an aggressive dog before (some breed are bred for aggression by irresponsible breeders and parental temperament DOES play a role, but so does environmental and training). If your dog is truly aggressive (which it doesn't sound like from your post), I would strongly recommend seeing a veterinary behavioural specialist (not just for your baby's safety but other peoples'/animals too).



If your dog is stressed, give your dog a break from the baby - a safe,quiet, calm place for your dog to relax in. Some dogs get stressed from the baby's crying and also from your stress, so do watch out that your dog is coping like everyone else int he family. Exercising your dog is also important - a tired dog is a happy dog! And exercise helps with stress just like for us. (Safe) chew toys also allow the dog to release tension and is a nice way to occupy his time while you are tending to your baby. Don't ever let your baby pull on your dog's ears/tail/mouth - even if your dog is stoic and appears to be tolerant, you need to teach your child to respect animals and their space and bodies, and you also never know if today is the day that your dog has the beginning of an ear infection or a small wound on his tail or ear or tooth ache and even a gentle tug might be painful, and so elicit a snap. Keeping your dog well groomed and having regular vet checks will help keep him in tip top health so that this risk is reduced.



I also recommend that you play with/handle/massage your dog's feet and toes and get him used to having his feet handled, because babies and children also love to touch paws. Some dogs never have their feet touched and don't like it, and so might react negatively to it. So getting your dog used to it from any age is a good thing (it is also good for getting them used to grooming - nail clipping)



As you say, never leave your baby unsupervised with a dog, but supervision also means controlling your baby around your dog - this can be tricky with a baby who only has the motor skills to grab and pull. And when they are learning to walk, they sometime will sit heavily or even trip over a dog who is in the way. I recommend that you keep the two separate unless you are able to be with your child and the dog in the same space, and so be able to avert curious fingers. Using baby gates strategically placed in the room can help keep them separate so you don't have to banish your dog to the outside (which could make him feel rejected and stressed if done too often).



I am a veterinarian, used to train dogs for obedience and agility competition, and currently have 2 dogs (mutts), one of whom has a very nervous/anxious personality. She has not shown signs of aggression or jealousy toward our 10 month old baby, but I do not let him "abuse" her and she has a safe space (not a crate in our case - a sofa, where he cannot get to), where I have taught her to go on command if I feel that she is feeling stressed. This has only happened a few times in the last 10 months.

I do not believe that children and animals (any kind, including the small furries) go together until the child is old enough and has enough motor control to understand how to handle the animal safely and kindly - in my experience, they only get to this stage at about 5 or 6 years of age, although from about 3 or 4, a gentle child would be able to gently pet an unstressed animal under close supervision.



When your baby is older he will have plenty of opportunities to love and cuddle your dog, so don't hurry the process.

In the meantime, YOU can hug and cuddle your dog, and even do it a bit roughly, like a child would, with gentle tugging of the fur and big bear hugs, so that when your child is old enough, your dog is used to this kind of gentle rough housing.



Good luck, and enjoy your baby and your dog! I see it like I have 3 babies instead of one, and it makes dealing with all the interactions a little easier!

Beth - posted on 04/27/2010

3

40

1

I have a 2 1/2 year old German Sheppard/Pit Bull mix and she is protective over him (used to walk in his room and check on him when he would start to cry) and share's everything with him. She is neither toy or food aggressive. The only thing is she wants to love on him all the time and she gets on his nerves and he yells at her. lol

Jennifer - posted on 04/27/2010

6

5

0

We have two Shelties (a male(fixed) and a female) plus two indoor cats. The dogs just try to lick her to death! but she is just where your son is as well (pulling herself up on stuff and cruising holding on), they havent been inside with her yet because we had a flea problem so they had been relegated to the garage until we got rid of them (the fleas not the dogs). So i will closely monitor them when the dogs start coming inside again and address/modify any undesired behaviors as they come up. If you dont feel qualified to do that you can always seek help from a professional dog trainer. It would be a shame to give up a four legged family member just because you added a two legged on ;( Feel free to message me if you need any more help ;0)

Cheryl - posted on 04/27/2010

41

8

2

I have had a dog since before my daughter was born. He is med. size lab/chow chow mix. He has been nothing but tolerant with her. He even lets my daughter climb on him as she learns to walk. He has learned to walk away if he doesn't like something. I think that is key. The dog needs know know it can leave if it doesn't like something and have a safe spot.

Shanica - posted on 04/27/2010

68

17

5

I have a 6 year old 100 pound doberman since he was a pup. He is a very good dog, very protective, and a typical guard dog. He is great with Kingston. We made sure when Kingston was born, we brought home a few receiving blankets from the hospital so Zeus got familiar with the smell of the baby. When the baby came home, it's like Zeus knew the baby was his little 2 legged brother and we have not been able to separate him from the baby ever since. We didn't even need to open the baby monitor, Zeus will let us know when the baby needs us :)
We trust our dog but will never leave the baby alone with him especially now that the baby is trying to crawl and we have noticed him pulling on the dog's ears and stuff. Zeus tolerates it but we are always watching the two of them.
I hope your dog will behave him self and that you will never have to get rid of him. Just like many moms have said, introduce your baby slowly to your dog and and make sure you spend time with your dog like you did before the baby came home so he does not feel neglected and start showing signs of jealousy and aggression.

Kari - posted on 04/27/2010

6

16

0

We have a 7 year old Bouvier des Flandres, which is a breed that is known to be really great with children. When I brought my now 4 year old home from the hospital the dog was extremely nervous and jumpy... as time went on she actually became quite jealous of the baby and would stand in front of me while I was nursing and bark the whole time. A couple of times she snapped and growled at the baby once he started crawling. We were kind of at a loss because we loved our dog, but obviously keeping the baby safe was a priority. We thought we may have to give the dog away... but we kept trying to slowly introduce the baby and the dog to each other...and never, ever left them alone together... this took a lot of time and effort but it did eventually pay off. They are now the best of friends and we recently had a second baby and the dog was absolutely fine the second time around. No aggressive or jealous behavior at all. That being said, dogs are animals whose only defense is to bite if they feel scared or threatened, so I still would never leave her (or any dog) alone with my child.

Marissa - posted on 04/27/2010

6

17

0

I have two dogs, a jackrussel xpoodle 6yrs and a terrierx blue healer 3yrs, both med build, when I brought michael home for the first time sophie (rus x podl) was alittle nervous and bandit (ter x heal) loved him, now he walks around assisted , by chairs, lounges etc. they both run from him, wait till he's walking un assisted, boy are they in for it. I do have to watch him some times when he catches up with them, we have been teaching him to pat the dogs but he still grabs once in a while. Start the interaction between the two now, teach him gentle touch, hold your dog and re ashore its ok. You shoulden have to get rid of a beloved pet, it will also get better as he gets older .

Hayley - posted on 04/27/2010

8

0

0

I had a 6week old boxer puppy and a 13 yr old boxer, after having the puppy 11months later i had my daughter. I can't speak for other breeds of dogs but, my younger puppy took to the baby more than the older one I would never leave them alone together but I can guarantee that the puppy would not hurt her. the older dog growls if she gets to close but will then get up and walk away. the puppy is how my daughter learnt to walk she held on the puppy collar and followed her around they like chalk and cheese. dont take my word for it but if u have not had any problems with the dog and baby so far i cant see there being much of a problem just watch out for the pulling of ears.

Natalie - posted on 04/26/2010

17

23

1

I would just always supervise your dog with your child.

You should check out the Dog Whisperers website http://www.cesarsway.com/

very handy tips.

I've been told to watch out if your dog is nervous around the child and often dogs give a warning before they bite.

Also keep your dog/s well exercised and their aggression (if any) decreases dramatically!

Laura - posted on 04/26/2010

11

6

0

I have 2 terrier mixes and another terrier over at my Mom's--they can sometimes seem a bit surprised by the baby and unsure of her, but they have done nothing around her to indicate I would need to get rid of them...I would take them to further obedience classes if they showed a lot of aggression. My Mother's Westie is very good with the baby and didn't care when she got a hold of him real quick and pulled his hair a bit. He just ran away.

Sarah - posted on 04/26/2010

37

11

3

i have a 2 year old golden retriever and my son does great with her. Our sons name is Aedan and he loves to pet Lucy (our dog) and even when Aedan rips some of her hair our she will just lay there. Lucy generally avoids Aedan unless he is giving Lucy some of his food.

Laurel - posted on 04/26/2010

1

18

0

I have two french bulldogs dogs and a 10 month old. One is very nervous and the other just goes with the flow. There is no need to get rid of your dog! Just keep them apart and never put your dog in a situation where your baby could harm or scare it. Dogs react when they are frightened. Most dogs are not aggressive and there actions are misread by their owners. Set your dogs up for success and all will be well. As I love my dogs dearly, have been to multiple trainers and had one of the top NYC behaviorists to my home for an evaluation. I highly recommend Pamela Dennison book on her site www.positivedogs.com. Good Luck!

Melissa - posted on 04/25/2010

5

3

0

I also have 3 dogs, all mutts, lab cross 10+, bordie collie/corgi cross 5, and husky cross 5, the dogs have shown no signs of aggression towards my 10 month old daughter they are a little leary of her, and if she gets too rough with them, ie pulling ears or tails they just run away. I honestly don't see any reason to get rid of your dog unless she shows any real signs of aggression. I am an animal lover and nothing makes me more upset than when people treat animals as if they are expendable, they are not items to just be tossed out. I realize circumstances do arise, but judging by your post and how you seem more than willing to get rid of your dog you probably haven't had her that long, so I would suggest maybe not getting a dog if it doesn't fit with your lifestyle, ie the impending birth of a child.

Ashley - posted on 04/25/2010

121

11

17

And to the person asking the breed, that doesnt really matter, ANY dog breed can be aggressive, its all about the dog not the breed. I see breed discrimination as no better then being a racist. My pit is the definition of a child friendly dog, but my moms lab has to be put out in the dog run when the kids are over.... its all a matter of training mixed with the individual dogs personality..... Statistically labs and retrievers are FAR more likely to bite a human then a pit or a rot or a dobi because the so called "bully breeds" have a higher pack mentality and want to be the BETA to your ALPHA

Ashley - posted on 04/25/2010

121

11

17

I have a 3 year old Red Nose pit that I got when he was 5 weeks and my daughter was 2 and he is wonderful with her. I was a little Nervous how he was going to act when we brought the new baby home 11 months ago but once he got over being excited (he was Psyked and Jumping and I was only concerned he would hurt him by accident being to excited) and curious about this new member to the family he has been just as sweet and protective of him as he is of my daughter. My oldest will lay on top of him while he is on the tile and plays rough with him all the time, and my son who is learning to walk uses him as support and teeths on his ears and legs with out problem. Not to mention he checks on them through out the night by going door to door on little doggie rounds lol and comes running when ever either of them cry to make sure they are safe!

I have never had issues with raised fur or barred teeth, tail between legs or anything like that but I would think thats what you would look for behavior wise. Also if the dog is not interested or protective of the baby cause dogs are very much pack animals and not having affect for the child at all shows he doesnt see them as a part of the pack.

Another way to let your dog know that he is still an important part of the pack is to crate train. Properly done the crate becomes your dogs "safe spot", a place where kids and other pets are not allowed to go, that way if your dog gets overwhelmed and needs a time out from kids or other pets he can just go in and lay down in his safe spot and get the space he needs. Also I let my 5 year old be the one to feed him, and that establishes her higher order in the pack over the dog and he doesnt pee in her room or chew her toys or become food aggressive because she is the bringer of his yummys.... there are lots of different things like that to assure your dog feels like an important part of your pack still and welcomes the new addition knowing he is still just as loved!
hope it helps, if you would like some more tips (my best friend is an expert on dog behavior and trains show dogs) or anything, questions and the like, you can always send me a msg!

Diana - posted on 04/24/2010

8

25

1

Any signs of aggression towards your son might be a good reason to get rid of your dog. Nipping, bitting, growling, barking. Also if you do not enough time for the dog might also be a reason to get rid of the dog. It's good to tell children also not to get near any dogs they might not know. ( Strangers dogs) Not all dogs are friendly. They all have teeth and they will bite.

Melissa - posted on 04/23/2010

89

9

6

We had our Doberman and he had just turned 6 when we had our daughter. When we first brought Haven home he jumped up on the side of the crib to check things out, which scared me, but he has only done that one time and he has been wonderful with her. She tugs and smacks on him all the time and he doesn't make a move. Also, when she cries he comes to see what's going on, and if she is in the bathtub he will lay outside of the door until she comes out safely (I guess because he hates baths haha) I was worried when she started crawling because he is not neutered and does hump people occasionally but so far it's been ok, he just sniffs her diaper but I still watch very closely. And, I agree with Katy, if your dog hasn't done anything bad to your child since you brought him home then I wouldn't worry too much. They usually show signs of jealousy early on. The only thing I would look out for is that she might try to play more with him since he is walking around now so just be careful of the jumping and all.

Katy - posted on 04/22/2010

10

16

1

well it just depends. dogs in this aspect are just like children. they get jelouse. if the dog hasn't tried to hurt the child at all since the day you brought he/she home chances are they are adjusted. if the puppy is searching for him then he wants to make sure hes ok. if the dog loves on him i would say you have nothing to worry about.

Angie - posted on 04/22/2010

3

1

0

I have two labs one is 4 the other is a month younger than my son. My son is 10 months now and he loves the dogs and the dogs love the baby. They are outside dogs so it is easy to manage the time the baby and dogs spend together (we live on a farm). I think it is important to teach your child how to act around the dog and teach the dog how to act around the child. I am working at teaching my dogs not to play with sticks around my son (this was my biggest concern), to be calm, and not to lick. It is slowly working. Right now my concern is the playfulness of my dogs and them not understanding the level of activity that is acceptable around my son. We are all learning how to do this. I praise the good behaviors of the dogs, and stop/punish the bad.

Does your dog show behaviors that you are uncomfortable with right now? What is the breed you have and how old is your dog? Is it a house dog? At this age I wouldn't leave your child alone with the dog like you said because the baby doesn't know what is ok and what isn't. Here is a site I found that might help you a bit. http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/toddler...
I would also like to encourage you to do more online research on this.
I hope this helps!

Christina - posted on 04/20/2010

33

21

6

i have a year old boxer & she is great with both my kids & my youngest son is startin to do all that to & she just lays & looks at him but if he falls down or starts to cry she goes over & checks on him shes a great dog i havent had one problem with her he even climbs all over her pulls on her ears & tail she just lays there if he hurts her she will just get up & go to a different room i wouldnt get ride of ur dog u just gotta teach her not to knock ur son over

Caitlin - posted on 04/20/2010

42

17

1

I currently have three dogs right now. A german shorthair pointer that's 11, a border collie/black lab mix who is 9 and a goldendoodle puppy who is only 2 months. The 11 and 9 year old were here where I brought Emily home. The 9 year old wants nothing to do with Emily unless she has food. The 11 year old is very protective of her but now that she's crawling, he's a bit nervous. The puppy, right now, is very protective of her also. He follows her around. The older dogs also have to check to make sure she's okay when I bring Emily home from some place. Just keep an eye on the dog and your child. Your son might decide to grab the dogs ears or tail. Emily grabs the older dogs ears and tail all the time. He has no problem unless she pushes on his hips because he's arthritic. Good luck.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms