Does your dog act different with your newborn hime?

Cortni Hogan - posted on 05/29/2013 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My newborn is now 3wks old today and we have 2 awesome dogs that are very kind BUT ever since lil man(Mason)has been home my older dog Duke goes crazy everytime he hears him cry ir when we get home and head into the house Duke will kinda jump up to try and see whats goung in in the carseat...because hes an awesome loving dog i didnt worry but idk...now it just seems to be a bit much and almost a bit aggressive? I love my dogs but i live my son more obviously and i geuss i wanted to check in with u guys and see if ANY of u have experinced this and if so...should i worry??? *cort*

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Mary - posted on 06/01/2013

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Cortni, I'm a little unclear about your dogs spend their days in your home. Are they just restricted to the basement and yard, or are they in the home with you, wherever you and your family are?

I brought a baby home to two dogs as well. One of my dogs had been around kids a lot throughout his life. He is my "bomb proof" dog; he's an innately gentle soul, who loves pretty much every living creature he encounters on sight. My other dog definitely issues. He was around five when we adopted him, had been mistreated in his past, and had never lived in a home until we brought him into ours. To this day, he is fearful and mistrusting of strangers. He's not aggressive, but he is not okay with people he doesn't know well petting him. With us, and people he "knows", he is the most loving, tolerant, and patient animal alive. My now 4 y/o and her friends adore him; he is the star guest at play dates, and the girls dress him up, paint his nails, and shower him with hugs and kisses. He thrives on all the attention.

When I brought my newborn home, I was very conscientious to try and not disrupt my dogs' daily routine any more than was absolutely necessary. They still had free run of the house the way that they always had. They had slept in my room before my daughter was born, and they continued to do so afterwards (one at the foot of the bed, the other on his dog bed next to my husband's side). The bassinet had been next to my side of the bed for weeks before she arrived, so they were already accustomed to that. We did have a stock of extra treats and toys on hand to keep them occupied - stuffed kongs, food puzzles, and marrow bones. I made sure to snuggle and play with them whenever I could. I also asked any visitors to make sure they gave the dogs a good amount of attention before they held the baby, and when they were fussing over my daughter, my husband and I were fussing over the dogs.

I also did my damnedest to keep up with their walks. Up until two days before delivery, I was still walking them a minimum of a mile every day. It was a few weeks before I was up to that level of walking again, but either my husband, my parents, or my friends took those boys out for daily walks - starting from the first day that baby came home. Once I was physically back to normal, I took back that responsibility. When possible, I had my mom, neighbor or friend stay with the baby while I walked them on my own, or I did it as soon as the hubs got home from work. For me, this was a bit of sanity-restoring therapy to escape the house! On my husband's days off, one of us pushed the stroller, and the other walked the boys. By the time my daughter was about 8 weeks, I had mastered the art of baby wearing, and I was able to do this with her ( a stroller and two large dogs on a double leash was simply too much for me to manage - I tried it once, and the results were comically disastrous!). By the time she was 12 weeks, my dogs got more excited when I put that carrier on than when I got out their leash.

It really is possible to integrate a baby into your dog's life and make them view her as a non-threatening, positive addition to the household, but it does take a conscientious effort on your part. Nothing huge or outrageous...but you do have to be mindful of not ignoring your dogs, and still giving them as much attention, exercise, and stimulation as they got pre-baby - the same way you would if they were your human children.

One small thing I would suggest to change Duke's response to the baby's crying is for either you (or whomever is around) to give him a small treat as soon as the baby starts to cry. This is a standard classical conditioning/desensitization technique. Buy a pouch of those tiny little training treats, and keep a handful of them on you at all times. As soon as the baby cries, take 5 seconds to give him a treat, a pet, a verbal reassurance of "good boy!", and then tend to the baby. With a little time, this should help him to not view that crying as a negative thing.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2013

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Did you ever give the dogs one of the babies blankets before you got home from the hospital? If not, give them one now. Let them smell it and become familiar with his scent. Do not over react when the dog jumps up, just tell him no sternly and make him sit. He could be acting over protective of the infant, or be freaked out of his mind. One thing for sure, never ever leave your baby unattended even for a moment with the dogs alone...like EVER. This has nothing to do necessarily with what you have told us, but more general safety of babies and kids with animals.

If you are overly concerned about your dogs behavior, bring him to the vet. Talk to them about how he is behaving. But one thing I am for sure, do not make him more jealous of the baby.

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Cortni Hogan - posted on 06/01/2013

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ment think they should sleep downstairs bc nobody...not even an expert can tel you how your dog may act when all is asleep and bc Mason cries at night when hes hungry i worry Duke may act funny and we are just being protective over our lil one..but please dont get me wrong..i LOVE my dogs and they will never get treated differently with love..just the sleeping pattern has changed a bit and thank u btw for the kind respinse yet helpful:-)

Cortni Hogan - posted on 06/01/2013

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Mary-its VERY similar..mine and your situation with the dogs and our newbirns actually...and to clear up the whole dogs arrangements..we have a huge yard ib the country and Duke has been with us since he was a baby so hes grown up with my other older children where my 4yr old daughter-like yours-ha always played w Duke and she could pull his tail while he ate raw meat and this dog id never had to worry about bc hed simply lick her...this isnt why iv changed routine....im worried for my baby bc I kniw Dukes ways and hiw sweet and loving he is and before baby came home he slept with our 7yr old son buy when he lunged atbaby Mason and goes crazy when Mason cries my fiance worried we needed to slowly introduce them so we let both dogs sleep in the basement...which btw is like a dogs heaven and nothing i feel bad about bc they ONLY sleep there then at 5-6am i open basement door to let them out to use bathroom then they hang out outside

and come in n out throughout the day....still get alll the love and attention as before but to take extra safety steps we simply at the mo

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/31/2013

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Actually I am basing all my information on what you have shared with us. And I am trying to give you some professional advice here, and encouraging you to seek further professional advice from your vet or even a behaviorist. I am not trying to offend you, I am more concerned about your kid and the welfare of your dog so the both can build a good relationship together. What you have said are not good signs. You posted, and I am trying to help.

Cortni Hogan - posted on 05/30/2013

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Wow-lol-look im not sure exactly why you insist on being right and assuming the worst but id appreciate it if you not share your opinion based on very little info you know about me...not to mention your assumption that we just throw our dogs outside then bring em in at night as if theyre recieving no love ectra....im just giving the gist of what eas being spoken about...also its a tad rude you ALSO assume my friend knows nothing just bc you strongly believe different...so please...as a mature mother i ask you simply not share nor respind to my post UNLESS you can drop the whole "i know better than you" attitude....thanks! :-)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2013

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Yes, it does need to be addressed. Not ignored by leaving a dog outside all day, then in the basement all night without much social interaction. And no, what your friend said is not sound advice if you are trying to change your dogs behavior.

Cortni Hogan - posted on 05/30/2013

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I dony assume AT ALL that its an ok situation..bc its not and thats why i fear for my angel and no he didnt snap and yes he is now neutered and he isnt always outside..we have a full basement the dogs stay in at night...my fiance got an invisible fence on purpose before i had baby so we wouldnt have to tie them up nc THAT would be in my opinion mean...no dog should be tied up ALL the time....so anyway i trust in our lingtime friend who works with dogs all day everyday for more than 25yrs but that doesnt mean i trust my dog and think the situation needs not be addressed bc it most certantly does!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2013

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Well, I have worked with animals for 11 years. And sorry but your friends advice is not so good. If your dog in any way is acting aggressively, you need to train him....not just leave him in the yard and ignore the situation. No animal should be permanently an outside pet, and your dog needs to know his place in the family. I would definitely give your dogs a piece of your childs clothing to get used to the scent.

When your dog lunged at you, did he try to snap? Or was he just trying to see the baby? You can say he is a good dog all you want, and maybe he has been. But this is a new situation. Don't assume he will be fine with the new baby. It sounds like he has never been with a baby before, and needs to be trained to do so, and socialized properly. That does not mean letting him sniff the baby and walking away. It made him curious. Like I said, go see your vet and ask for advice. What country/state are you in?

Also, if you are strictly leaving the dog outside, that is HIS domain. When your child is old enough to go out, and the dog has not been socialized properly with the kid, it can be very dangerous for the kid to be in HIS territory.

Is your dog neutered? How old is he?

Cortni Hogan - posted on 05/30/2013

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No i didnt give him anything bc iv had a dog before with my now 8yr old and geuss i didnt think anything of it..and both me and my fiance have tried not to yell nor overeact and most certantly have and will NEVER leave him alone with Mason not even for a second BUT my fiance thought itd be a good idea to slowly introduce them so he held him by the collar and let him smell as I held baby in carseat and he did fine until i pulled carseat up to walk away-THEN he lunged at us so yea....scary...but Dukes a great dog and like said he just isnt use to the new baby...also what u said ab goin to the vet...we have a friend who works for the animal control shelter and she said bc we have an invisible fence and he stays outside not to worry ab dog around baby alone BUT TO DEF WORRY WHEN WE COME OUTSIDE SIMPKY BC WE DO NOT KNOW HOW HE WILL ACT...geuss to be safe for now ill just do so but i put the stat up just to see if anyone else has had this issue and how they dealt with it :-)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2013

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And no shorty it is just simply "its okay if the dog doesn't bite you.". SMH.

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