Puppy and newborn - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy and newborn

We have a 5 month old GSD and a two week old newborn. Can anyone offer some tips on how to ensure a harmonious upbringing for both? How should we let them get to know each other? What’s a good command for how to teach our pup to behave around the baby?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 02:39 PM
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I would keep the baby and puppy separate until the baby is older and the puppy is older and very well trained. One nip or bite can be devastating to a baby, and it isn't worth the risk. Even a scratch from sharp puppy nails can be serious.

"Leave it" would be a good command for the dog to have a very solid response to.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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I would keep the baby and puppy separate until the baby is older and the puppy is older and very well trained. One nip or bite can be devastating to a baby, and it isn't worth the risk. Even a scratch from sharp puppy nails can be serious.

"Leave it" would be a good command for the dog to have a very solid response to.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Lless28 View Post
We have a 5 month old GSD and a two week old newborn. Can anyone offer some tips on how to ensure a harmonious upbringing for both? How should we let them get to know each other? What’s a good command for how to teach our pup to behave around the baby?
Congratulations on your baby!

I've had newborns and GSDs with, I think, great success. (The little humans are now almost 3 and 1).

I think the best thing we did was to get dogs from good breeders. Other than that, we spent a lot of time training. We took the dogs to a series of obedience classes when they were puppies and into their young adulthood. I think that helped to ensure that the dogs were used to lots of distractions, noises, and different kinds of people and dogs. We managed to do much of the training before the babies were born, knowing (or hoping) that a family was in our future.

I know it will be hard with a newborn, but I'd recommend investing in obedience classes with your puppy, more than one ideally. If you ever want to go on walks with your dog with a stroller or a toddler, having a solid heel and good manners in public will be essential. All the basic obedience commands will be useful: heel, come, stay, sit, down, leave it. Perhaps, a place command.

Also, crates and baby gates are your friends. There are times when babies and young puppies just don't mix. If things get too amped up, block off a room with a baby gate so the puppy can still see you, and let him cool down for a while.

Supervise supervise supervise. Did I say supervise?

I didn't do anything special to help my dogs get to know the baby. I wanted them to be on good behavior and even ignore the baby. I could tell you how I introduced the babies to them, but since your newborn is two weeks old, I'm assuming you've already done that.

How is your puppy with the baby? If you are having problems, and you can possible afford it, hiring a private trainer could make your life easier and give you peace of mind.

Last edited by sebrench; 06-11-2018 at 02:55 PM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @sebrench! We let our pup smell the baby but I am not comfortable with them being so close any more than that one time. Our pup gets riled up easily and I’m afraid he’ll nip a flailing hand or foot.

We’ve had a private trainer coming to our house since he was 12 weeks old so we could start setting the foundation for learning commands and corrections once he was old enough for that to all start to stick. He’s very smart so we’ve definitely noticed progress and I’m hopeful he will be very well trained once the baby is starting to crawl!

We’ve been working on leave it and he knows “go to bed” means get in his crate, so I’ll contibue to hone those skills.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 10:47 PM
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I love the "place" command. Similar to your "bed" command. But make it a rug or dog bed that can be easily moved/taken places. They learn to go there and stay until released. Be very fair with your expectations especially with a young pup. They can stand,sit,down..anything as long as they stay on the "place" item. It is also their safety place, as the crate should be. When they are in their crate or on place, they are to be left alone. They will usually learn to go there themselves when they get tired or tired of the kids. Check out Leerburg.com for great articles and videos, tons free, on the place command and dogs w kids. Have fun with your new additions.

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