Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

a newborn baby come August!!

I have been posting regularly since getting Bacchus about concerns of having a toddler and a puppy. So far all has went beautifully. This was way back when he was 10 weeks old and Bacchus weighed less than our daughter.

February 10, 2009


May 2, 2009:


Now at five months and 60 lbs. later he has proven himself to be <u>VERY GENTLE, EXTREMELY PATIENT AND TOLERANT</u> of my daughter's antics towards him. I was watching them the other day (without her knowing) she proceeded play with him while he was napping and put all of his bones underneath each leg (front and back), piled all of his stuffed animal on top of him and was "playing dress up". He sat there patiently. It was amazing to see the dynamics of a toddler and an older puppy. Now if I did that he would definitely start to whine at me and probably mouth me a bit to leave him alone while telling me in his own way to leave me alone momma. He clearly knows and understands that she is above him and knows the "pack order".

So now I am facing for the first time in my life the scenarios of a newborn and an older puppy. Bacchus will be 8.5 months old by the time our second child is born. I don't have any doubts about his ability to adjust. But of course a toddler and a newborn or totally two different situations. I know most of it is just common sense. The thing that I am most concerned about is when I am just going about my day and when baby is older. Usually I would put baby in a swing in the kitchen but now with Bacchus I just don't know. I truly know he would not do anything but you still have to be cautious.

Our trainer recommended us buying this book Child Proofing Your Dog by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. I took a look at it and the majority of readers said the book was great but if you're already going through obedience (as we are) this book does not do much. Can anyone recommend another book about newborns and dogs in particular.

Also any suggestions on how to go about bringing in newborn and introducing Bacchus to our new addition? I know the usual bring a blanket home so Bacchus can smell his/her scent before we take baby home; carry around a doll that screams, coos and cries for about a month before baby is born so Bacchus can get use to the "new sounds and noises" in the house, etc. Anything else?

I want to be prepared as much as possible and want to make sure this transition goes smoothly for all involved in our family.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 09:56 AM
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

I am sure he will do just fine with the newborn
Just make sure that you include him when you do bring baby home

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 10:24 AM
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

I like the book, "Living with Kids and Dogs...Without losing your mind" by Colleen Pelar. Easy read and has sections for all ages of children from infants to teens. I was able to find it at our library.

Marley - 3 yr old blue GSD rescue
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 10:45 AM
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

Our first dog was about 5 months old when we brought home our fitst child. Emmie was great from the beginning and helped raise all four. My wife sat for a couple kids when we just had one and Emmie would lay on the floor with her head under the chair so the kids could be all over her, but could not get to her head and ears. She used to watch over the kids when they were out playing.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 11:08 AM
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

My worry would be your not setting limits.

The dog needs his own time and space. If you do not protect him he will eventually be FORCED to protect himself. Then forever labeled a bitter.

Your story would have been cute with your toddler and pup except for the fact the dog was SLEEPING. This to me should be a time the kids know to leave the dog alone.

I hate when owners brag about how much "abuse" their dog takes from the well meaning kids.

They take it until they can take it no more.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

Quote:
Originally Posted By: michelle03My worry would be your not setting limits.

The dog needs his own time and space. If you do not protect him he will eventually be FORCED to protect himself. Then forever labeled a bitter.

Your story would have been cute with your toddler and pup except for the fact the dog was SLEEPING. This to me should be a time the kids know to leave the dog alone.

I hate when owners brag about how much "abuse" their dog takes from the well meaning kids.

They take it until they can take it no more.
Wow, this is pretty harsh towards the OP. It does not sound like the child was abusing the dog in any way. In fact, I myself have placed stuffed animals on top of my dogs when they were sleeping once or twice and they didnt' mind at all. It sounds like the OP's puppy is very good with children and I expect that's exactly what the OP will see when the new baby comes too.

In my experience, german shepherds tend to be very tolerant with children. As long as they are always supervised and the children taught to be respectful towards the dog (as in not sitting on them, not bothering them when they are eating, etc.) things should go just fine.

Crates provide a great opportunity for the dog to have their own space as well as peace of mind for you when you can't fully supervise. If you haven't crate trained your puppy then this would be a good time for that.

I do not have kids myself but several of my dogs have been raised around very young children. My first gsd, Massie, was so good with kids that friends would request I bring her to picnics and group outings and parties b/c she was sort of an activity director for the little kids! My nieces and nephews grew up playing side by side with her and the only problem was when she would destroy their sand castles after they built them.

She was especially good with tiny babies. Even my Chama, who does not love kids, was excellent with all of my cousins kids from infant on up. I just made sure to supervise them and teach them to be gentle, etc. The only thing she ever did was to gently remove food from the kids hands.

Yesterday my neighbor came over to help with my awning and brought his 1 year old grandson and his 1 year puppy. Rafi played with the puppy but was very careful to maneuver around the grandson when they were playing so as not to bump into him.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

Quote:
Originally Posted By: michelle03Your story would have been cute with your toddler and pup except for the fact the dog was SLEEPING. This to me should be a time the kids know to leave the dog alone.

I hate when owners brag about how much "abuse" their dog takes from the well meaning kids.
Ok so grammatically I was not correct. He was not "sound asleep" he was really just hangin' out. When he sleeps he goes into the marble floor or underneath the table and actually sleeps (I know this because I can actually hear him snore). And nor was I bragging by any means about my daughter "abusing him" as you suggested and nor would I ever let her do that. He was happily just lying there because if it did bother him he would have simply got up. Lastly but not least my daughter though only 3.5 yrs. knows her boundaries with Bacchus and knows the meaning of how to respect "his space" and "his sleep time".
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:09 PM
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Re: Dynamics of a older puppy and a toddler, and soon

My two older dogs were about the same age when I brought my eldest daughter home. My male couldn't get enough of the baby's toes and to this day he loves kids. My female didn't care for her and ignored her and to this day just walks away. The baby blanket trick works but nothing can prepare the pup for the first time the baby cries. It was awesome to see both pups (approx 11mos) check her out. I personally think you've already figured things out and will be ready. Just like you wouldn't "not supervise" your older child with the baby, the same goes with your pup.

Good luck!!

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