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I am new to the board and need help! My wife and I have a new baby, it is our first and is 1 week old. We have a purebred female shepherd as well as a male lab/shep. mix. Both dogs are 9. The dogs have not been around children much at all in their lives. The mix is absolutely fine with the baby, he has always been the lowest ranking member in our "pack", he is VERY submissive. Our female has always been very protective of the home, has never bitten anyone, or even come close, but barks and shows agression to strangers.

My wife and I tried to get the dogs accustomed to a new baby by using a baby doll and a CD with baby sounds. We did all of the things we've read about to prepare her. She seemed very uninterested in the doll. When we brought the baby home, we calmly introduced by my wife holding the baby and letting our dog come over to see. My female immediately started to nudge the baby and that was enough for me. Now we've resorted to telling her to "go" whenever she gets near the baby. We've also installed a gate on the nursery so she cannot enter. I'm afraid my dog will never get used to the baby this way - but have read so much confliciting information on dogs and babies... I really need help! Thank is advance.
 

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hmm..my first thought would be to do baby+dog activities i.e. go for walks together, train with baby in sight and/or in hand. get the dog involved as much as possible with the baby with possitive reinforcement. i am also in the same boat with u. my daughter is 4 months old and my boy is only 7 months old. we have had tyson since he was 7 weeks and baby wasnt even born yet so obediance was a must.
 

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also socializeing was and is a big must, especially with small children..even if the dog is not aggressive with children they still need to learn there manners
 

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When my oldest son was born, Luther was 5 and Morgan was 2. I used a stroller in the house, bring the baby to dinner in it, wheel him around while I was doing housework etc. It really helped train the dogs becuase I had the baby safely held in a position where I could then observe the dogs and teach them the proper way to behave, without having to hold a baby in one hand and train a dog with the other.

Just be patient and kind to your dogs. They're part of the pack and I'm sure are really interested in this new member. Also don't have one parent hold the baby over the dogs' heads where they're likely to jump up to jump up to see what mommy or daddy are doing.
 

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nudgeing is nothing. She is interested. Keep engaging her. Banishing her will build up a resentment.
 

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think about what you are doing... paying attention to the baby gets her in trouble. this is the classic stimulus response you learn in Psych 101 - of course she will not like the baby if this continues! make being around the baby the bettest thing for her in the world. special yummy treats when she is calm around the baby.

also, teach her the gentle command with you and your wife so you can use it later on with dog-baby interactions.
 

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Originally Posted By: LandosMomthink about what you are doing... paying attention to the baby gets her in trouble. this is the classic stimulus response you learn in Psych 101 - of course she will not like the baby if this continues!
I appreciate your response, but feel it is somewhat condescending. That is exactly why I came to this forum, to find out what I should do INSTEAD...I wouldn't have asked the question if I thought making the dog go away was the solution, I understand it is not - it has been solely for the purpose of keeping my baby safe. My baby's safety is my first priority. I want to be able to have my dogs around my child, but I feel a bite could come out of nowhere.
 

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I don't think Lando's Mom post was condescending. The typed word is difficult to gauge a person's emotions.

I have a big female and she nudges everything that is just her way. But I have introduced her to puppies and kittens, no human babies but she uses her nose to investigate. She is a great tracker and her nose tells her so much more than her eyes. So your female nudging is like a small child touching things, feel tells them more than just looking.

How gentle is your female in taking treats and things from you or strangers? Is she gentle and just using her nose to investigate?

Val
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger
How gentle is your female in taking treats and things from you or strangers? Is she gentle and just using her nose to investigate?

Val
Thanks for the response. Sometimes she takes treats easy (sometimes you have to say "easy"), other times she stares at it a while then snaps it out of the hand. She is not gentle in her nudging, it's very rough, especially for a 6lb. 11 oz. baby. She's about 75lb. dog. She also tends to give little "nips", which on adults does not hurt at all, but on the baby would be very bad. I would be interested in any more advice you could give, really I need to know how to start introducing them while still keeping baby safe...she really is a good dog, I got her 9 years ago when my wife and I didn't even live together yet, she lived a bachelors life with me for a while and never had contact with kids. One other thing that may be important for you to know, she is extremely dog aggressive and hates other animals. The only reason our other dog is still alive is because he is SO passive and never challenges her. Thanks again I look forward to your response.
 

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on your new arrival and welcome to this great site! As usual, advise from everyone is right on... and I would let her sniff the babys blankets, clothing after you have changed him/her??(which you probably already have done) After awhile the newness will wear off and she will be use to the noises and scents the baby gives. I would just be cautious, and read your dogs body language.
 

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I'm certainly no expert, but when my daughter was born, I had 3 dogs, a peke-a-poo princess (Mandy), a westie-poo bully (Jake), and my ShepX guardian (Smoke). We began preparing the dogs early. All the baby equipment was set up, and they were allowed to check it out. We put a doll in the swing and had it running.

After Christina was born, my husband brought home the first clothes she wore and allowed the dogs to sniff them.

When Christina and I came home from the hospital, we put the carseat on the coffee table, and one by one brought the dogs to her. They were allowed to get close and sniff. We didn't keep them separated from the baby at all. We were just always watching and right by them. After a while, the newness of the baby wore off, and they never displayed any jealousy or roughness with her. If I was on the couch feeding her, they were right at my feet, if she was in her swing, I can guarantee you that the three dogs were close to her.

We did the same when my son was born, and until the day fur babies left us, they were my children''s best friends and protectors.

Good luck and CONGRATULATIONS!!! Enjoy every second, because you know it, the kids grow up and the attitude kicks in!!! (LOL)
 

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Scott76, what are the lightening conditions when she snaps things out of hands and how far away are you holding the treat? With her age, there is a possiblity that she might be losing some of her sight or depth perception. Is there any cloudyness developing in her eyes? Have you had her to the Vet and had her eyes looked at.

My first GSD was the most gentle of dogs when taking treats, but as his eyesight started to deterioiate he would miss the treat some times and get fingers. The first few times I was really upset, but I started to watch him and the lighting conditions.

A trip to the Vet and have the eyes looked at really good might be in order. Then you know if you are dealing with a physical problem or a problem that just needs more training.

Val
 
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