A Couple Questions!
Hi everyone, I have been lurking for quite sometime now. I have a couple questions, and hope to get honest answers. This is my first GSD, and I am still learning every day! If you're going to be mean, save it for the "oops my dog's pregnant" threads =]
I just found out that my husband and I are pregnant. Wasn't planned, but we will be welcoming this child with open arms.
Diesel is only 7 months, so he will be 15 months when the baby arrives.
Is there hope that he will calm down a little by then? Is there anything I can do to prepare him for an infant and the change that is going to be happening in our home?
Our pup hasn't been socialized too well with children...there are not kids in our family, and hardly any neighborhood kids.
How do I socialize my dog with children, when I don't know any?!
And last but not least, I took him to Petsmart to see how he would act, (he loves my friends Pitt) and my lord it was a nightmare. I walked him in the store, and turned around and walked out. He was pulling and barking, and would not listen to a single command. So I decided immediately it was not the place for us!
How do I correct this behavior?
Thank you :)
Family Paws-New parent classes dog and baby is a good resource for parents-to-be. In addition to help with dog and baby, the trainer can step in and train for obedience, instruction for socialization etc.
Wow, thank you very much!
I would agree with Twyla, both with regards to the "Family Paws" link and a good trainer. A good trainer can really open your eyes to how you are communicating with your dog and how to speak their language (as we expect them to speak ours... so to "speak" haha). I live in Cicero area and we hired BarkBusters to come out to our house - we had a nipping problem with our 4 month old GSD and she showed us the tools to resolve it in 5 minutes! It's amazing how much communication I realized I was not doing correctly with Ares. It's been great going forward - there are still days where he "acts up" but now I am able to understand what it is that I am doing wrong (it's not the dog, it's me). If you are in the suburbs of Chicago I would highly recommend Barkbusters - they have a trainer named Connie Pinkerton who is phenomenal - although I don't know if one can request a particular trainer for an area? Good luck! I'm sure everything will work out fine! :)
Aw, congrats on the baby!!! My husband and I also got pregnant unexpectedly (I had an IUD) and were shocked but excited lol. I agree with the above link. And I just posted about this to another woman who was preparing for a baby. I got our GSD when my son was 6 month old, and the biggest thing for us was obedience obedience obedience. I didn't really focus terribly much on all the baby-specific things, more so proofing all his obedience. You don't want the dog running over the baby (baby's get lots and lots of tummy time) but you also don't want to have to cordon off the dog all the time. Our dogs have a "spot" (their beds) that they go to and lie down when given the command "spot." They know they are not allowed to leave the bed until given the release command "break."
We also made sure loose-leash-walking was a must, a reliable "down," and no jumping (my male is just over a year old and is good about that 80% of the time, but we have a very very reliable "down" and he drops on a dime, regardless of distraction).
I think you should focus a lot on the obedience(sorry, just can't say that enough lol) and the socialization. Just based on what you've said, it sounds like your dog has not really been exposed a lot to kids/other people? This is something that you should remedy and is very very important. I don't have experience with a dog that reacted the way your's did at the store, so I really don't have any advice there, and that's when I would say get a trainer involved. But be careful, you don't want a trainer that just floods him with socialization.
My thoughts are, the dog needs to know you are the leader, you are the protector, and you are in "charge." The fact that he went so crazy at the store makes me think maybe he didn't know who to look to for direction in this knew arena? And it also probably has most to do with his age and level of immaturity. I would get into a puppy class, where he has to do obedience, focus on you, and ignore all the other people, animals, and distractions. How is he at parks? Is it a nervous, unsure, barking/lunging? Or is it more excitement and out-of-control-puppy? Again, a trainer that can witness this and offer advice would be best. Good luck! And dogs and babies growing up together can be super duper fun....it can also be a nightmare if you don't prepare for it, so it's wonderful that you are planning for it now. :-)
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