1 year old shepherd - how to train for new baby - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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1 year old shepherd - how to train for new baby

I have a one year old (next week!) GSD puppy and am currently pregnant. We have a good 5-6 months to prepare but I was wondering what I should be preparing him for. As background, he's pretty well behaved (but still a puppy) and listens to basic commands. He's enrolled in agility as an outlet for his mental/physical energy and does well there so long as he has a nice walk prior. When he's been with kids (/mostly toddlers) he very gentle and tolerant. I am not really concerned about the two together, although we would obviously monitor closely any interaction. I guess I just want to prepare him as best I can for the big changes to come and also make my life easier by training him before baby.

I've heard to train heel with a stroller, which sounds reasonable once we do get a stroller. I've also heard to ignore them a bit more so the attention they get doesn't drop so suddenly when baby comes. I've also heard to leave a blanket out and teach them they aren't allowed on it. But since I've never done this before, I don't know if these are good ideas, or if there are other things that I should be doing. Any input or advice would be great!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:27 PM
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:37 PM
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Since your gsd is naturally gentle and tolerant with toddlers, I wouldn't worry if I were you. He does sense that you are pregnant so will not be surprised when baby is here. I would keep his routine as normal as possible now and when baby comes and would make sure he gets attention. Decreasing his attention now is only going to get him upset because he will think that he did something wrong . Leaving out a blanket and training him not to go near it, makes no sense to me, and I don't think it would to your dog. Also wait until you get the stroller and baby - he may just naturally walk along side, but an empty stroller and you pushing it, may confuse him. What I have heard, is to bring something (like a blanket or a small towel) with the baby's scent on before you come home with baby and let your dog sniff it. Your husband could do that when you are in the hospital. That way your dog will know why you are gone and that you are coming home with the baby.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:43 PM
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This site is a good resource from baby coming home and older -

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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I was going to talk to his trainer when we have class this week. But thought I'd get some other perspectives from other owners of GSDs.

Some of the things I've heard didn't make sense to me either (honestly the ones I posted were the most normal sounding) so thanks for your input. I know he senses the pregnancy as he settled down around me but still is quite rambunctious with my husband.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:58 PM
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Obedience obedience obedience. It's great that he is already showing great tolerance of children, and really it isn't until the baby is 6+ months that you have to worry about the baby "bothering" the dog.

We got our shepherd when my son was 6ish months old. Baby was never ever alone with dog, and our dog's obedience has always been top priority. Baby's get a lot of "tummy time" and the last thing you want is a dog stepping on or running over the baby. Our dog's know the command "out" which means get out of the room or immediate area that the baby is in, they have a "spot" or bed that they go to immediately when given the command, and of course all the other basic "manners." Sit, stay, down, etc....

And of course baby needs to grow up respecting dogs and their space. My son knew "gentle" and was taught how to properly pet animals, pretty much from day one. Lol, not really, it's just something we were always emphasizing so I don't know exactly when it sunk in. Our son is 1.5 now and when we were at the park with the GSD the other week a bunch of kids came up to pet the dog. My son ran over and plopped down next to the dog showing all the kids how to be "gentle" and how to pet the dog....cutest thing.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 10:08 PM
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My GSD was 2 1/2 years old when my youngest son was born. We brought him a hat and a blanket that the baby had on and let him smell those items and sleep with them. That way the dog was used to the baby's scent when we brought him home. We also let him sniff and inspect the baby when we brought him home. We kept him gated from the baby unless we were supervising until he got used to him. It didn't take very long before they were best friends. Congrats on your pregnancy!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 10:20 PM
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Oh, and a note on the "training him to stay off a blanket, heal by a stroller" etc...In my personal opinion, obedience should occur regardless of the distractions around. Baby on a blanket, chicken in the field, stroller on a walk, etc....Of course there will always be an introduction for these things....but I want my dog to just have obedience no matter what is happening. Imo, it's more important to me that the dog goes to his "spot" when given the command, than taught to stay off a blanket....the baby isn't always on a blanket, and you don't want the dog to avoid the baby, or be fearful of the baby....so I'd rather just have obedience obeyed....and then the issue of running over the baby won't happen...because he's in his "spot" or been told "out" etc..... Anyway, that's what worked for us, good luck, and watching your baby grow up with, and respect his furry siblings, is priceless. :-)

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Dani - the pics are so cute! We do actually have a 'place' command for his bed and a 'crate' command, so that wouldn't be hard to implement in that situation. Of course, my brain is half functioning, so I hadn't thought of that, but great idea. Thanks!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks wolfiesmom! And what an adorable pic.
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